William Funnell claimed victory in the Hartpury Equine Area Trial with the only double clear from the 33 runner field. Hartpury has proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Surrey-based rider, proven once again with a host of wins and placings during this show.
The imposing chestnut jumped faultlessly in the first round, with William opting for a steadier clear in the jump-off having witnessed the numerous four-fault rounds of others. A time of 53.15 seconds in the jump-off was still the third quickest of those who made it through, although Billy Diamo’s bold jumping style secured the £1000 first prize.
Joseph Fernyhough and Calcourt Quicktime lived up to their name with a quick jump-off time of 50.60 seconds, almost matched by Benjamin Bick and Galerius who shaved yards off every turn to stop the clock in 50.92 seconds. Both four fault rounds finished in second and third respectively. Lauren Edwards and Ella Sandra G followed up a good performance at Keysoe a few weeks ago with a fourth placing here, finishing on four faults in a time of 53.97 seconds. Alex Thompson and Cathalina V (54.55 seconds) and Kathryn Ellison and Bayjing (58.49 seconds) finished in fifth and sixth respectively.
William Funnell’s other ride Billy Angelette couldn’t follow up on Friday’s 1.30m Open result having a rail down in the first round.
Last year’s winner Greg Hill and Big Ben VI also had an unfortunate rail down in the first round, preventing them from being able to offer up a repeat performance.
Lizzel Winter, who heads up Hartpury’s Equine Academy jumped in her first Area Trial on board Fernhill Quality Street.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Helen Rees and Bart IV picked up a superb victory in the National 1.30m Open with a double clear and a time of 29.44 seconds. Hartpury Equine Academy’s Abbie Summers continued a run of flying form with a third placing aboard Quantas II in a jump-off time of 32.94 seconds. Stephen Morgan Jenkins and Vivamunde Z finished in second place with a jump-off time of 31.71 seconds.
William Funnell’s mounts Emmylou and Billy Kat almost repeated their Friday performances in the same class with double clears and jump-off times of 32.94 seconds and 33.07 seconds respectively, having them collect fourth and fifth place prize money.
Mark Edwards enjoyed a one-two in the Nupafeed Supplements Senior Discovery First Round with a win onboard Montreuxs Tinker. A double clear and jump-off time of 34.19 seconds was good enough to fend off the 36.87-second jump-off time of Montreuxs Lass.
Sunday saw Adam Ellery take victory in the Nupafeeds Supplements Discovery Second Round onboard Bonmahon Blue Shaker. Taking more than two seconds off his nearest rival with a jump-off time of 34.86 seconds, Adam rounded off a successful week leaving Marcella Marie Johnstone and Killea Storm in second (37.47 seconds).
Young horse talent was also on show during the final day of the show. In the Breeders Elite Studbook 4 Year Old Final, Staffordshire-based Derek Morton took top honours with Science Supplements BP KO JAX. In the Breeders Elite Studbook 5 Year Old Final, Simon Crippen took the £260 first prize with Paddington 192 while Nick Edwards capped off a great week with victory in the Breeders Elite Studbook 6 Year Old Final aboard Idodinus PP.
“We are thrilled to have enjoyed such a great four days” said Philip Cheetham, Equine Director.
“The extra day has allowed us to add a greater variety of classes across the board and the addition of a Discovery Second Round was very well received by competitors. We’ve seen top international competitors like Will Funnell doing what they do best and also enjoyed a number of solid performances from Hartpury’s Equine Academy students” he added.
Yazmin Davis rounded off the opening day at this year’s Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular in style, by winning the National 1.40m Open right at the end of the day. The Dorset based 23-year-old, widely praised as a rising star in the showjumping world, put in a solid round of jumping stopping the clock at 34.13 seconds in the second phase and taking the £250 first prize. Yazmin’s success since moving on to horses in 2011 has included a win in the World Ranking Grand Prix CSI2* at the 2017 Scope Festival. Despite a stellar effort by Keith Doyle and his talented mount, Harlequin Dunraven, a time of 36.58 seconds in the second phase meant they had to settle for second.
A strong field of 23 contested the final class on day one with last year’s Area Trial winner Greg Hill taking part aboard Euro Star Blue. Kathryn Ellison and Ge Palve looked eye-catching early on in the class with a second phase time of 37.11 seconds, earning them third place overall.
It was a successful if not slightly frustrating afternoon for Kathryn who also came close in the Just Poles and Showjumps National 1.30m Open, putting in a solid performance onboard Hanleen Sultis and earning second place behind popular rider Helen Rees with a time of 33.12 seconds. Rees looked effortless aboard Bart VI, shaving off the final turn and stopping the clock at 32.40 seconds, ultimately securing victory.
Heavy rain on Friday didn’t stop Amy Ovens and F Palma enjoying an eye-catching victory in the National 1.40m Open thanks to a lightning quick 38.50-second jump off.
The combination put in a magnificent round of jumping, shaving almost four seconds from the time of Carron Nicol and Finnegan D. Keith Doyle and Harlequin Dunraven finished in third with a time in the jump-off of 43.05 seconds.
The 1.40m Open attracted 30 combinations in all including William Funnell who finished in fourth aboard The Billy Stud’s Billy Angelette. William had a successful day two at Hartpury picking up placings in a number of classes including the National 1.30m Open early in the afternoon.
Riding Billy Kat, William clocked a double clear with a jump-off time of 34.20 seconds for third place, a time almost matched by his other ride Emmylou whose 34.43-second jump off kept them in fourth.