The Final Days of the 2016 British Showjumping National Championships

2016 British Showjumping National Championships Nissi Ladell riding six year old mare Exclusive Vant Scaaphof
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The Final Days of the 2016 British Showjumping National Championships

The 2016 British Showjumping National Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show was one of the busiest to date! With over 60 Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) qualifiers and a HOYS Wildcard at stake there was certainly a lot to work towards! With some serious horse power and game play in hand, the first few days got underway without delay. Here is the report on the final three days of action at one of the most anticipated equestrian showjumping events of 2016!


Day four of competition saw the start of the horse classes and kicked off with some warm up classes in Championship Arenas 1 and 2. Jake Saywell was a clear winner in both the 1.20m and 1.30m Senior Open Warm Up classes with his father’s eight year old mare Dakota. A new ride for Jake this season, this was their first time in the ring together and boy did they do it justice.

Jake Saywell and Dakota
Jake Saywell and Dakota. Image credit 1st Class Images

Lily Freeman-Attwood was crowned the National under 14 Champion 2016 riding her dark bay mare, Topspin III. At 14 years old, this was the last chance Lily had to take the title and she rose to the occasion. The school girl from Shrewsbury has already achieved her HOYS ticket for this year winning the 138cm qualifying event at Weston Lawns Equitation Centre in Warwickshire. Runner up in the championship and just missing out was Oliver Fletcher who took second and third place with Little Business and Daher respectively.

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Harry Charles was crowned the National under 18 Champion as the riders who had qualified for the championship final joined together to put on a tremendous display of young jumping talent in Championship Arena 2, at the British Showjumping National Championships. As the stars of the future took centre stage in the jump off, 17 year old Harry from Hampshire produced the only clear round out of the five combinations who made it through riding Vivaldi Du Dom.

Harry Charles and Controe
Harry Charles and Controe. Image credit 1st Class Images

Nicole Pavitt secured her place at HOYS 2016 in the Senior Foxhunter Masters riding Gemmarco 16, a homebred seven year old stallion. The competition proved intense creating an electric atmosphere as horses and riders tackled the challenging course designed by Mark McGowan. Nicole was delighted when she realised she had won, having ridden a double clear with a time of 37.35. “He’s been the easiest horse from day one, he’s only seven years old but he has a great attitude. We have had two foals from him this year and we have two other mares in foal to him ready for next year. The course rode well; it was testing in places but that is what you want at a championship. I knew I needed to respect the last fence because a few riders had previously took it on the angle and had it down. So I rode quite a wide loop to make sure I got a straight approach and it paid off,” explains Nicole.

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Over in Arena 3 were the National Club Horse Championships. In the 1.00m Championship, Liz Pears clinched the victory aboard 12 year old Statham Nautius. Being the only clear in the class it was a well deserved win, especially after just missing out in the 90cm Championship, being pipped from the post by Suzannah Engelmann who was riding Lissin Rocket.

The class that everyone has been waiting for was the first leg of the HOYS International Wild Card Series which took place in Championship Arena 1. The audience was expecting to see some exciting top class competition and the championship did not disappoint.

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It was Robert Smith riding eight year old Ilton VD Spithoeve who emerged the winner after a spectacular competition that saw 44 competitors battle to get one step closer to HOYS. The first round saw a number of riders go clear so course builder Mark McGowan stepped it up a notch by setting an up to height and technical jump off. Hot on Robert’s tail was Harry Charles with Controe who finished on a time of 40.58 but it wasn’t quite enough to beat Robert who came in on 39.11 seconds.

Despite just missing out on first place, Harry Charles did not go away empty handed. He picked up 12 points for the Wild Card Series and was also crowned the National 1.40m Champion with Peter Charles’ horse Controe.

The next leg of the HOYS Wild Card International Wild Card Series was to take place the following day.

With 12 show jumping championship classes on the agenda for day five at the British Showjumping National Championships, it proved to be a busy day all round. Staying calm and collected was the order of the day for Laura Mantel as she took the lead in the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Masters riding her six year old bay mare Funnycan. The young mare took everything in her stride as they maintained a steady and consistent pace finishing in a time of 39.81 seconds. With four HOYS qualifiers on offer for the top four, the lucky recipients were: Laura Mantel with Funnycan, Tracy Priest with Caruso D’ eres Z, Roger McCrea with Davinci VD Bosrand Z and Jake Saywell with Quimari W.

Laura Mantel and Funnycan
Laura Mantel and Funnycan. Image credit 1st Class Images

There was an overwhelming amount of entries in the KBIS Insurance Senior British Novice Championships, the second class of day 5, in Championship Arena 1. It was 17 year old Nissi Ladell riding six year old mare Exclusive Vant Scaaphof who took the title in a time of 36.80 ahead of Harry Bateman in second with Havanna.

Nissi Ladell riding six year old mare Exclusive Vant Scaaphof
Nissi Ladell riding six year old mare Exclusive Vant Scaaphof. Image credit 1st Class Images

The National under 16 Championship got underway in Arena 2. With 16 combinations forward, the Championship title was eventually awarded to the talented Lily Freeman-Attwood riding 15 year old mare, Banana D’Ive Z. From the five riders through to the jump off, Lily was early to go and knew her main rival was Oliver Fletcher who has already proved himself this week by winning the Squibb Group Pony Foxhunter Masters and the Pony Silver League 148cm & Under Final. Having won the Ashbourne Equestrian Fashion National under 14 Championship title just the day before, 14 year old Lily was determined to make it a double as she finished the jump off in 37.05 seconds, more than two seconds faster than second place Joe Fernyhough riding Countess II. Oliver Fletcher then completed the line up with his three rides in the class being placed third, fourth and fifth.

Following on his good form from the day before, and adding to his list of achievements, Jake Saywell was then crowned the National under 21 Champion for 2016 riding Grand Cru Van Paemel. As the only rider to go clear in the jump off, it proved a technical course and Harry Charles, National under 18 Champion, was hot on his heels riding Valvaldi Du Dom. However, Harry was forced to make do with second place in this championship. With two other horses in the class, Jake completed the top three with Cantho Z and also got a seventh place with Dakota.

Emma Jo-Slater set the bar high in the National Grade C Championship Final as she was first in the ring achieving the first clear of the class, riding seven year old gelding Kimba Flamenco owned by Kim Barzilay. Onto the jump off and Emma set the time at 36.43 seconds with zero jumping penalties which proved impossible to beat, fighting off hot competition from Abigail Walters riding Master Milligan 11 who finished in second place.

21 year old Chloe Winchester from Suffolk added another feather to her cap by taking the National Grade B Championship title riding eight year old gelding, Hasj VH Vliegenhof Z owned by Val Attenbrough and Julia Biddle. The last 12 months have been quite a whirl wind for Chloe having won the under 23’s Championship at Olympia in December making her the national young rider champion of Great Britain. Chloe has also been selected onto the National lottery and Sport England funded World Class Development Programme amongst and was selected for her for Nations Cup team.

After a well-fought class, it was 16 year old Harrison Hatteea who was crowned champion in the National 1.25m Restricted Rider Championship Final riding 11 year old Darko Supreme. For a partnership that has been together for just one year, they produced a text book double clear which put them into the lead and went on to give them their biggest win to date.

The crowd were treated to an impressive display of teamwork by all horse and rider combinations competing in the Para Club Championships that afternoon, which took place centre stage in Championship Arena 2. The Championships, kindly sponsored by Horsezone.co.uk, consisted of five titles which were awarded to the various grades. The grading system ranges from Grade I, II, III, IV with grades representative of the competitor’s level of disability. A truly inspirational class to end the day.

For the final day of competition at the British Showjumping National Championships, there was an energetic atmosphere amongst competitors and they prepared for their relevant championship final.

In Championship Arena 1 the day kicked of with the Nupafeed Supplements National Discovery Championship which was contended by 89 entries. Rachael Connor was eventually crowned champion with her 10 year old mare Be Valerie, ahead of Rosie Gunn riding Jagerbomb who finished in second place. Next up was the British Showjumping Business Partnership International Stairway League Final which came to a spectacular conclusion as Robert Smith with Cimano E soared to victory to be crowned the British Showjumping National Champion 2016. The final class in this arena was the National 1.30m Open Championship title which was deservedly awarded to Reece Oliver and 13 year old Urlanmore Aldi.

 Reece Oliver and 13 year old Urlanmore Aldi
Reece Oliver and 13 year old Urlanmore Aldi. Image credit 1st Class Images

Championship Arena 2 was host to the National 1.15m Members Cup Championship and with just 12 riders through to the jump off it proved to be a tough course for some. It was 16 year old Tara Byrtt from Weston-super-Mare who jumped to victory riding her 14 year old mare Valerie b, 3 seconds quicker than second place Emily Moris with Ultimatuim II. Next it was onto the four, five and six year old championships which saw magnificent talent come forward. The final class of the day was the National Senior Rider Championship where Nina Emery stole the show riding Piana, a 12 year old mare ahead of Derek Morton who came in second riding Keep Talking. Having been a partnership for six years, Nina and Piana demonstrated a true partnership.

On the grass surfaced Arena 3, the final day started with the NAF Five Star Final and it was Sophia Cuthbert who was announced as the winner riding her 13 year old mare Walty L. The pair produced a superb and careful round to finish in a time of 35.79 seconds. The last class was a flying finish for Abigail Walters in the Speedi-beet HOYS Grade C Qualifier with the striking dark by gelding Master Milligan 11. The pair stormed round the jump off in a time of 42.97 seconds to take the lead ahead of 73 other riders in the class – a huge field of great talent. With a challenging 1.25m course there were only 10 combinations through to the jump off phase, but no one could quite catch the time set by Abigail.

For full results from the 2016 British Showjumping National Championships, inluding the first three days, please visit http://www.bsnationalchampionships.com/

Written by 

Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse email: sashton@everythinghorseuk.co.uk

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