Chelsea heads high-class field at Willow Banks

Chelsea Skelton on route to winning the 1.40m class EMN-170918-175821002
Chelsea Skelton on route to winning the 1.40m class EMN-170918-175821002

Willow Banks laid on big prize money incentives to attract some of the country’s top riders, including Olympic rider Billy Twomey.

The Claxby-based equestrian centre’s British Showjumping show had classes from 90cm all the way up to 1.40m, with the big classes having combined prizes funds of more than £1,000.

Local rider Harry Whall and Chelsea Skelton dominated the big classes, with Skelton taking the honours in the 1.30m and the 1.40m to bag herself £600.

A field of 10 starters tried their luck in the 1.40m class and faults were gained throughout a tough course.

The toughness of the course was shown when Billy Twomey, on board the very talented seven-year-old Kimba Flamenco jumped clear to the last but knocked down the back rail on the 1.45m spread.

Harvey Smith’s horse Emmet VDM, ridden by his grandson Joel Parkinson, had the water tray down and a circle for eight faults.

The first clear to come was from Skelton, as Millfield Baloney made the course look easy with a foot-perfect clear.

But there were no more clears until the very last rider to go Nottingham-based Katie Pytches on the seven-year-old CSF Olympic Lady.

In the jump-off, the course was raised to 1.45 with the Willow Banks upright now standing at 1.50m.

Skelton was first to go and went round in a very quick time, but lowered fence 6a.

All Pytches had to do was jump a clean round, but fence three went down followed by fence 6a to hand victory to Skelton.

Results -

Newcomers/1.10 Open: 1 Harry Whall with Baloubet De Seguine, 2 Sophie Marsh with Corraldik, 3 James Blanchard with Bussinessman

1.15m Members Cup: 1 Sophie Marsh with Corraldik, 2 Avril Cassell with White Gates Surprise, 3 Rachel Holden with Martel III.

Foxhunter/1.20 Open: 1 Harry Whall with Valse de Pepinvast, 2 Adrian Speight with Gorky, 3 Harry Whall with Baloubet De Seguine

National 1.30 Open: 1 Chelsea Skelton with Millfield Baloney £200, 2 Harry Whall with Cynthia H £140, 3 Eoin Gallagher with Caspian £100

National 1.40 Open: 1 Chelsea Skelton with MILLFIELD BALONEY £400, 2 Katie Pytches with CSF Olympic Lady £250, 3 Billy Twomey with Kimba Flamenco £200

British Novice: 1 Georgea Cherrell with Co Star IV, 2 Ellie Stevenson with Contessa VI, 3 Jody Taylor with Elanda IV

Discovery: 1 Georgea Cherrell with Co Star IV, 2 Ellie Stevenson with Falerie DHH, 3 Jacqueline Sutherland with Touchdowns Golden Prince