Saturday at HOYS began with two first-time winners in the 128cm and 138cm championship.
It was a fairytale return for Charlie Evans, who jumped the sole double clear to take the 128cm title on Magic Shadow. Only 10 weeks before this show, Charlie was seriously ill in hospital and she returned to her Essex home two weeks before HOYS.
“This is a dream come true — and Shadow was the reason I got better,” she said.
After finishing second to Matthew Sampson in virtually every big class this year, Jordan Whittaker finally turned the tables in the 138cm championship. The Yorkshire-based 13-year-old produced a fantastic round on the stallion Grey Palace to defeat reigning HOYS champions Matthew and Strawberry Fair, by almost 2sec.
“It was a difficult course — really technical. And I can’t believe that I’ve managed to win at last,” said Jordan.
The two afternoon international classes were hard-fought and both went to international visitors. Spain’s Pascal Levy won the Xerox Business Services Cup speed class from final draw on Ingress II, while the Colourhouse Stakes jump-off also went right to the wire.
The lead changed constantly until last-drawn Karel Cox produced a fantastic round on Royal Beach Farao to take the honours and relegate his trainer, Holland’s Yves Houtackers on Granni G, in the process.