Bolesworth Kicks Off in Style
Competitors and spectators alike didn’t allow the wet weather dampen their spirits as they gathered together for the eagerly awaited first day of the 2016 Bolesworth International.
The morning kicked off at 8.00am with the Halsall Electrical 1m25 class, held in the international arena, followed by the Aggreco sponsored 1m15 and to finish the morning’s fun, the relay format Jockey Challenge!
Halsall Electrical CSI Am-A two-phase class
Yorkshireman Ben Raistrick launched the Bolesworth CSI **** International in winning fashion with a stylish victory as a packed Thursday schedule got under way.
Riding the consistently-successful Top Limit, Rastrick triumphed in the CSI Am-A 1m25 two-phase class, sponsored by Halsall Electrical, making light work of a testing International Arena course.
Their time of 36.69 seconds proved more than a second clear of runner-up Ashlee Harrison with Beaufort III, while Kerstin Deakin and Sunsolde took third place.
“It was a really good start for me,” Raistrick said. “He jumped really well. Everything flowed and was smooth.
“He has been there and done it previously, and he has done it again today. I have been riding him for the past year, and had good results at two-star level. He’s a proper horse.
“That was my first time in the International Arena, and it was fantastic in there. This is a proper show.”
Aggreko CSI Am-B two-phase class
The two-phase CSI Am-B 1m15 class went to Julie Slade and the eight-year-old chestnut gelding Billy Gogo, owned by The Billy Stud.
They set a scorching pace in the two-phase class, posting a time of 27.40 seconds, and it proved way too quick for the rest, finishing more than five seconds clear of Belgium’s Bruno Goyens de Heusch, riding Corella F, with Camila Bingham and Wembley in third.
“I had a plan when I went in there, and it all just came off,” Slade said. “I was quite early to go, so I didn’t quite know how quick the time would be, but everything came off.
“I’ve had him for a couple of years. He won three classes in Spain recently, and he is always in the prizes.
“He is very quick and agile, and you can just let him run along. He covers the ground quite nicely.”
John Deere CSI2*
Action began in Bolesworth’s all-weather Castle Arena with a two-phase two-star opener, sponsored by John Deere.
Great Britain’s Mark Armstrong, riding Emma Armstrong’s Balougio III, finished in first clocking a time of 23.97. British rider, Paul Barker riding Sandors Legacy came in less than a second behind Armstrong to snatch second with Irish challenger, Kenneth Graham (Lenamore Lucy Lou) in third.
Jockeys Challenge Success at Bolesworth International
Showjumper Matt Sampson and National Hunt rider Nick Scholfield proved an irresistible double act as they powered to victory in the Bolesworth CSI **** International Jockey Challenge.
The fast-moving partnership triumphed by more than six seconds in the relay-format event, with Sampson setting a scorching pace before Scholfield – fresh from competing at Uttoxeter races on Wednesday evening – finished the job in style.
Their time of 51.39 seconds was more than six seconds clear of runners-up Victoria Gulliksen and Nico de Boinville, last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey and who rode Sprinter Sacre to an unforgettable Cheltenham Queen Mother Champion Chase victory in March, while Johan-Sebastian Gulliksen and Ryan Hatch took third.
“It was good to be partnering Nick,” Sampson said. “We have known each for ages, but we hadn’t seen each other for a long time.
“My horse Pandora is quite fast, and Nick’s round was perfect – he’s a good showjumper. Everything worked well.”
Sampson also praised the atmosphere in Bolesworth’s International Arena on the show’s opening morning, with the winners being roared home.
“It is good fun,” he added. “Classes like this one are what brings crowds in. It is something for them to cheer about, and it’s a bit of fun.”
Scholfield, who is based mainly with trainer Paul Nicholls and will shortly be back in the saddle at Worcester races, said: “I think we were something like 10 seconds up on the clock before I even started! Nico rode my horse earlier in the class, so he’d had a spin around.”
Other jockeys who took part were Will Biddick, Robbie Dunne, Ian Popham, Brendan Powell and Rhys Flint.