Louise and Robert Whitaker claimed the National ladies’ and gentlemen’s titles riding Rostaar and BF Utopia yesterday at the Cushionbed British Showjumping Scope Festival.
While their skill at getting a tune out of anything is undeniable, even Louise and Robert could not have predicted they would win their respective championships on horses they have only just taken over.
The capacity crowd were treated to a real thriller in the ladies’ championship, as Mandy Hall’s Rostaar pipped the defending champions, Laura Renwick and Beluga II.
“This was an amazing result for our first show — he was quick and careful everywhere” said Louise.
Using his late draw to best advantage in the gentlemen’s championship, Robert Whitaker and Rowena Gredley’s BF Utopia overhauled the reigning Horse and Hound Foxhunter champions Bruce Menzies and Old Lodge’s Sultan V.
“This was a big test for our first outing, but he’s a fantastic horse with a lot of experience” said Robert.
Daniel Moseley and the Billy Stud’s eight-year-old mare Billy Buttercup clinched victory in the 1.30m championship.
“She’s been in the ribbons on every outing, but she’s had very little experience indoors at this level” said Daniel.
Chloe Aston pulled a special round out of the bag to win the National under 18 championship riding Tripoli.
“We kept moving all the way, cut inside the island, and stood way off number six,” said Chloe.
Small ponies got proceedings off to a cracking start, with Jessica Hewitt the first victor in the 128cm Primary final riding Pendini.
“This pony is the best I’ve ever had to turn into a fence and spin back to another,” said Jessica.
A photo finish to the 138cm Primary final saw Darby Ward post her first Scope win riding More Than Milton.
“We had to start and finish at the gallop to stand any chance, and all the turns came off in-between,” said Darby.
Chantelle Duggan and Rumworth Taylors Twilight won the junior Foxhunter masters in brilliant style.
Chantelle had already posted an early double clear on Grangeview Iceman, but she was quicker still with her final ride.
The final tickets to Horse of the Year Show went to Jordan Young (Calvadon), Charlotte Jose (Edenside Blue Eyes), Taylor Greenwood (Two Tone II) and Connar Morley (Tina Patch).
While regular jockey Ella Popely was busy competing in the outside rings, Tim Wilks rode Lea Popely’s Rusty Boy to win the junior starspotters championship.
“He’s a very careful pony and he was smooth and fast all the way,” said Tim.
SJA Services Ltd National 128cm primary.— 1, Pendini (J Hewitt); 2, Martha’s Darling (F Adams); 3, Sligo Lucky (E Ward. ditto138cms.— 1, More Than Milton (D Ward); 2, Milour Delagrange (J Whitaker); 3, Try To Hit Me (G Babes). Squibb Demolition pony Foxhunter masters.— 1, Rumworth Taylors Twilight (C Duggan); 2, Sequoia True Legacy (N Dean); 3, Miradays Golden Amber (G Tucker). Great Coffee pony starspotters.— 1, Rusty Boy (T Wilks); 2, Grangeview Iceman (C Duggan); 3, Bob Justice (H Barsham). HBF Equestrian National 1.30m.— 1, Billy Buttercup (D Moseley);2, Z Canta (J Welles); 3, Ulinn II (A Thomas). Grants Veterinary Services National under 18.— 1, Tripoli (C Aston); 2, Cumina (J Smith); 3, Cacharel Van De Slaring (T Wilks). Riverside National ladies.— 1 & 3, Rostaar & Dazzle (L Whitaker); 2, Beluga II (L Renwick). Midland Equestrian National gentlemen’s.— 1, BF Utopia(R Whitaker); 2, Sultan V (B Menzies); 3, Mr Darcy V (J Clayton).