Showjump­ing Crofton Manor, Arena UK and more

Ge­orgie Crum­ley makes it a hat-trick, while young guns go for it in the win­ter novice and a ‘trusty old boy’ jumps out of his skin to win the am­a­teur qual­i­fier

Horse & Hound - - News - By SARAH RADFORD

IT was a fruit­ful week­end for Ge­orgie Crum­ley and the Old Lodge Stud, as she pi­loted Haifa OL to wins in the two big­gest classes of the show, as well as claim­ing the win­ter grade C qual­i­fier with Khaled OL.

Course-builder Matt Hoskins en­sured the prize fund had to be earned in Satur­day’s fea­ture event, the £995-to-the-win­ner 1.35m open. The pop­u­lar class at­tracted 47 starters, but only five pro­gressed to the sec­ond phase.

All the jump-off con­tenders fin­ished on four faults, with an open­ing bid from Will Fletcher and Glory Rose set­ting an early stan­dard. They clipped the triple bar in 39.84 sec­onds, good enough to leave the oth­ers chas­ing.

Sally God­ing and Tiger Mil­lie

II , the first of her two rides through, trailed by over three sec­onds while Nicki Bates and War­ren Miss Con­tendro opted for a steady round in 49.68 sec­onds. Sally’s sec­ond horse, Wizardlea HFS, then came within 0.1 of a sec­ond of the tar­get, fall­ing just short of an elu­sive clear when they knocked the ver­ti­cal at the last.

In fi­nal draw, all eyes were on Ge­orgie Crum­ley and the 10-year-old mare Haifa OL — as well as win­ning the pre­ced­ing day’s 1.30m open, they had also de­liv­ered a stand­out scopey round in the first phase. But their hopes of a clean sheet went out the win­dow when the big ch­est­nut caught the oxer go­ing into the dou­ble at the sec­ond fence, and the Guild­ford rider had to kick on.

Keep­ing up a bold pace on the clas­sic triple-bar-to-ver­ti­cal ques­tion on the fi­nal line, they stopped the clock in a de­ci­sive 38.98 sec­onds.

“I was lucky to have had an early fence down [so she knew to go quickly] but the quicker you go with her, the eas­ier she is to ride, so I al­ways planned to start with a good pace,” said Ge­orgie, who took over the ride on the daugh­ter of Dulf Van Den Biss­chop in April.

“I could trust her on the fi­nal line — I don’t have to pro­tect her and she’s un­lucky if she has one down. If she does, it’s nor­mally be­cause she’s tried a bit too hard.”

Course-builder Matt of­ten aims for tech­ni­cal tracks in the qual­if­ers, en­sur­ing that win­ners can meet the stan­dard re­quired by the fi­nal, and the open­ing day’s win­ter grade C was no ex­cep­tion.

There were four dou­ble clears from five jump-off starters, and Ge­orgie and the six-year-old stal­lion Khaled OL claimed the top ticket. They breezed to a two-sec­ond win over Ge­or­gia Tay­lor-Jones (Cas­cade Van Het Driekooien­hof ) with Tracy Priest and Fox­hunter/1.20m open win­ner Dia­mants Aurora in third, an­other four sec­onds be­hind.

The stal­lion — who is by

Su­per Trooper De Ness out of Old Lodge’s mare Hus­sah ( jumped by Ni­cole Pavitt) — was on his first out­ing since fin­ish­ing eighth in the new­com­ers fi­nal at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

“He’s only six so I wasn’t go­ing to go gal­lop­ing, but when you ask him to go faster he stays smooth and is easy to turn,” said Ge­orgie, who took over the ride from Max Rout­ledge in Jan­uary. “Even if the tracks are tech­ni­cal, when you’re rid­ing a nice one, it feels fine. I thought that was a nice class for him af­ter HOYS, which was strong.”

HON­EST TO THE END

WITH 40-plus en­tries, Satur­day’s 1.25m speed stakes was al­ways go­ing to be com­pet­i­tive — and for many it turned out to be hit or miss, with a mixed bag of on-the­money rounds, high-fault­ers and a few fall­ers and elim­i­na­tions.

No one ex­em­pli­fied this trend bet­ter than vic­tor Leesa Long, who took a dra­matic tum­ble

from her first ride — who jumped be­tween the gap in the wings of a wa­ter tray oxer, land­ing her in front of the sad­dle and then bronc­ing her off — be­fore com­ing back to se­cure the win with Saber.

“I landed on my feet and I had a sim­i­lar fall from Saber two years ago where I badly broke my an­kle and had to have a year off, so I was wor­ried for a sec­ond I might do it again,” said for­mer jockey Leesa. “The dis­tance came up long [down the re­lated dis­tance to the wa­ter tray] where I’d cut in­side to the fence be­fore. Some peo­ple went on five and I went to go on four. Com­ing back in on Saber, though, we made it on the four — he has such a big stride I was able to take out one.”

Leesa has been rid­ing the big 13-year-old ch­est­nut for five years, hav­ing taken him over from his pre­vi­ous owner who didn’t get on with him.

“He was quite a hard ride at first but he’s turned into a re­ally good horse for me,” said Leesa,

“He wouldn’t usu­ally be my type.”

The pair missed a chunk of this sea­son when the geld­ing had to have 10 weeks off af­ter break­ing some blood ves­sels at Pye­combe.

“He won the class and was com­ing out of the ring down the chute and he started cough­ing and splut­ter­ing,” Leesa said. “Then it hap­pened again at Bic­ton. The vet said that while race­horses can run again af­ter do­ing it, with big horses you have to give the ves­sels time to heal, so we did.”

The SEIB win­ter novice had the big­gest sup­port of the qual­i­fiers, with 60 en­tries com­ing for­ward in­clud­ing some im­pres­sive young horse tal­ent.

Four­teen sur­vived to round two, with Michaela Webb, Ryan O’Sul­li­van and Ben Clark all bring­ing through more than one ride.

Jump­ing from third draw, Michaela and Nikki Sav­age and Adrian Jenks’ eight-year-old Stel­lar Sky­light pro­duced the quick­est of five dou­ble clears; with Laura Man­tel pro­duc­ing a well-judged round on Lady Caretino to claim the re­main­ing ticket 0.6 of a sec­ond be­hind.

Michaela’s win was the more im­pres­sive as the pair nearly tipped up af­ter a bad stum­ble on land­ing af­ter the first fence.

“I lost my reins but he’s so straight he just keeps go­ing — he was re­ally hon­est,” said Michaela, who had just a few strides to re­or­gan­ise be­fore a de­cent oxer.

“Af­ter the stum­ble, I didn’t have the best dis­tance round to the next oxer for the in­side route I was plan­ning to take. I knew I had to speed up to gain some time back so I ran him down the last line [triple bar to ver­ti­cal]. I can trust him as he’s so care­ful — it was quite a long run but he’s re­ally good with ques­tions like that.”

Michaela sourced the geld­ing, who was bred at the Schock­emöhle stud, at the end of last year, which is when he be­gan his jump­ing ca­reer. Al­though green, he is al­ready knock­ing on the door at 1.40m level and is ex­pected to con­test his first grand prix at Ad­ding­ton Premier Show this week (2-5 Novem­ber).

“We’ve just spent this year mov­ing him up and get­ting miles on the clock,” Michaela added.

‘OLD BOY’ ON TOP

FLORENCE BELLM pulled out her “trusty old boy” South­bound for the win­ter am­a­teur qual­i­fier. He jumped the fastest of two dou­ble clears (the other was de­liv­ered by Ben Clark and Cal­ista III) in a nine-strong jump-off.

“He’s 15 now and I only bring him out for spe­cial oc­ca­sions but he’s not a horse you can save too much,” said Florence. “I gave him four weeks off and at our first show last week he was ter­ri­ble — he was bunny hop­ping in front of each jump and we had to re­tire. He loves his job but can’t do the 1.30m classes as much any more, though he’s a master at 1.20m.”

Their de­cent win­ning mar­gin was all the more ac­com­plished as Florence ar­rived with­out the horse’s tack.

“The day started off badly — I brought him the wrong sad­dle and bri­dle,” she said. “I hate try­ing some­thing new at a show and I couldn’t get the girth done up!”

As South­bound has been a fam­ily favourite since he ar­rived as a seven-year-old, Florence is hop­ing she might be able to have a foal by the same stal­lion, Cal­varo.

“I don’t think there are many straws left so I’m look­ing at do­ing an em­bryo trans­fer with my fiveyear-old mare,” she said.

‘It started off badly — I brought him the wrong sad­dle and bri­dle’ FLORENCE BELLM TURNS HER DAY AROUND WITH SOUTH­BOUND

Ge­orgie Crum­ley and Haifa OL (by Dulf Van Den Biss­chop) win the top two classes, the grand prix and the 1.30m open

Leesa Long wins the dra­matic 1.25m speed stakes rid­ing Saber

Michaela Webb and Stel­lar Sky­light land the SEIB win­ter novice

South­bound (Florence Bellm) se­cures the win­ter am­a­teur qual­i­fier

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