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Whitaker on top at Scope Festival

Michael Whitaker claims major class at Stafford’s Scope Festival on “highly rated” Prinses Z

Michael Whitaker worked his magic, and took home £5,000, when claiming the major class at this year’s Scope Festival on the inexperienced Prinses Z.

Michael was first to go in a classy 11-strong final jump-off and he set a terrific target, but at the expense of a tricky 1.55m upright away from the entrance. However, Britain’s number one then watched as every one of the following faulted, the majority at the “bogey fence”, which was the smallest on an enormous track.

“I was lucky, but the others obviously wanted me to win it!” said Michael. “Her inexperience showed at the fence she had down. I turned back to it a bit faster than she wanted me to and she became disunited.”

An eight-year-old mare owned by Tony Elliot – “a good owner for a number of years, who has had horses with David Bowen and Lionel Dunning” – Prinses Z is highly rated by Michael, whose next appearance in the ring will be at Calgary.

Bred at the Zangersheide Stud in Belgium, the grey is by the Russian stallion Prins out of Little Madam, a mare jumped successfully by Jan Tops. She has been consistent for Michael this season, winning at Hamburg and Wiesbaden.

Andrew Davies and Mandy Hall’s Limbo took second place, ahead of young rider Jamie Wingrave on Spring Master.

Read the full report in this week’s Horse & Hound (5 September), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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