With the fastest of just two double clears in the Zinc Management Trophy at the Horse of the Year Show, Robert Whitaker claimed the class with Rowena Gredley’s Omelli. This was their fourth show together.
“I took him to two shows in Spain, he was placed in the grand prix in Madrid, and then Scope before here,” said Robert. “As soon as we went over the first fence today, I could feel how good he was jumping.”
Eleven had made the jump-off and Peter Charles was first to go on Olga White’s Murka’s Rubert R. The pair went clear again but things didn’t go so well for the majority of those following. The second last vertical fell time and time again as riders tried to get a tight angle to it in order to save time. In fact, apart from Robert and Peter, only one other rider did not topple it.
“It was tight getting to that fence,” said Robert. “But Omelli got it just right.”
This time she was riding Sandra Keaveney’s Beluga II, who headed the thrilling speed contest.
“I saw Shane Breen go in early and thought he was fast. When Sam Hutton beat him, I thought nobody would catch the time,” said Laura. “I didn’t think I’d done it. I was pulling to the last instead of pushing, but Beluga is so naturally quick.”
Sam Hutton, who gained his place here with a wildcard won at Arena UK, took the first international class of the day, the Dick Turpin Stakes, with Valentino VII.
“I was early to go and just thought I’d have a good crack,” said Sam, 21. “I thought I’d try and put the pressure on.”
Sam just missed out on a second victory in the young riders championship on Olympia III. He had matched the time of leader Dan Neilson exactly, but a fence down put him into second. Dan claimed victory with the only double clear of the class with Chauvinist.
“He was a bit green the first day of the show, but as the week’s gone on he’s got better and better,” said Dan, 20. “He came out for this on top of his game.”
Having finished runners up in the first day’s Squibb Demolition pony Foxhunter, Chantelle Duggan and Rumworth Taylor’s Twilight went one better in the Blue Chip pony newcomers final to take the title.
Stay in touch with all the action from HOYS on Horseandhound.co.uk throughout the show, and don’t miss H&H’s special report, on sale Thursday 14 October