PUISSANCE first-timer Angie Thompson brought the crowd to their feet when she and her home-produced mare, Oksana W, cleared 2.08m to win the Dengie-sponsored class on the second day of the Hartpury Spectacular.
Angie had to hold off the challenge from Horse of the Year Show winner Guy Williams (Una II), Andrew Mizon (Special Diamond) and Cornish farrier Andrew James (Presco S) to take the £1,000 prize. And the look on her face said it all.
“Neither of us had faced anything like that wall before, but Oksana’s so brave and I trusted her all the way,” she said.
Graham Lovegrove spearheaded a British-bred one-two in the silver tour A4. The man from Essex never took a pull throughout a flying round on Ali to demolish the standard set by Yorkshire’s Paul Barker on Temple Ryefield, a horse owned by Ali’s breeder, Jimmy Small.
“Ali’s just a brilliant speed horse. There’s nothing he likes better than a good gallop,” said Graham of the horse on whom he was placed in the Horse & Hound Foxhunter final four years ago.
Fifteen-year-old Marla Lovett made her first visit to the venue a winning one after taking advantage of a late draw to win the Griffin Nuumed Bronze Tour Speed and Power on Arkas.
There was a big entry for this class, run as an eight-fence table C followed immediately by six accumulator fences. And the Sussex-based teenager rode beautifully to knock 0.32sec off the time set by noted speedsters Tony Pearson and Lominard L, with eventer Pippa Funell showing her talent over coloured poles by taking a popular third spot on the impressive home-bred six-year-old, Billy Congo.
Marla’s trainer, Charlotte Platt, finished the day £1,500 richer after producing a great round on Paulien in the gold tour speed and power to demote the flying Paul Barker and Quinton.
Charlotte partnered this Dutch-bred 10-year-old to European young riders team gold this season, but she believes the best is still to come from the daughter of Koriander.
“She had three foals before she started jumping four years ago, so I think she’s still improving,” she explained.
Griffin Nuumed Speed and Power
1. Arkas (Marla Lovett)
2. Lominard L (Tony Pearson)
3. Billy Congo (Pippa Funnell)
Silver tour A4
1. Ali (Graham Lovegrove)
2. Temple Ryefield (Paul Barker)
3. Hidden Creeks Oscar (Ben Maher)
1. Oksana W (Angie Thompson)
2eq. Una II (Guy Williams)
2eq. Special Diamond (Andrew Mizon)
2eq. Presco S (Andrew James)
Devoucoux Gold Tour Speed & Power
1. Paulien (Charlotte Platt)
2. Quinton (Paul Barker)
3. Una II (Guy Williams)