Mark Edwards Claims the First International Stairway of 2024 at Devon County Show

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Mark Edwards Claims the First International Stairway of 2024 at Devon County Show

For the second year in a row, Mark Edwards took the first leg of this year’s International Stairway series at Devon County, this time with Flying Tinker II.

A total of 17 competitors faced the 1.50m track set by course-designer Matthew Hoskins on the beautiful green turf of the main arena.  With three horses in round one, Mark increased his winning odds and showed his form by qualifying two through to the jump-off of five.

First to go on last year’s winner Royale Tale, Mark piloted the nine-year-old, owned by Mark’s father Martyn, around the course in the fastest time, just having the penultimate fence down in the jump-off, relegating them to an eventual fourth place.

Last to go with his second ride and with no double clears on the score board, Mark knew what he had to do to secure the win. Setting off determinedly, Mark safely steered Marlene Edward’s 13-year-old gelding around the jump-off track, shooting through the finish line with 3.64 seconds to spare, and jumping the only double clear of the day.

“It was a very tough class, as they always are on the County Show Circuit, and there were only two first round clears,” said Mark.

“I was last to go, and no one had jumped clear, so I knew what I needed to do. He’s such a consistent little horse and has won three ranking classes already this year in Italy and at Chard and Broomes [David Broomes Event Centre]. He’s on good form, and it is great to start the year as we finished last year and hope to keep going.”

Gemma Ellison, riding Miss Conthargos TW, secured second place with a well-executed clear in the jump-off, whilst Phillip Miller and Don Royale slotted into third.

The International Stairway takes place across a number of county shows where winning combinations accrue league points that count towards the Final which takes place at the British Showjumping National Championships in August at Stoneleigh Park. The series culminates with a high-profile championship where, not only is the National Champion crowned, but three Horse of the Year Show International Wild Cards are up for grabs.

The International Stairway Series is supported by the British Showjumping Business Partnership, which includes partners ClipMyHorse.TV, Charles Owen, and HorseQuest.

Devon County – Friday, 19 May 2024
International Stairway Series

1st – Mark Edwards and Flying Tinker II – 0/0 53.09 seconds
2nd – Gemma Ellison and Miss Conthargos TW – 4/0 54.37 seconds
3rd – Phillip Miller and Don Royale – 0/4 55.32 seconds
4th – Mark Edwards and Royale Tale - 4/4 51.08 seconds
5th – Sammie Jo Coffin and Elsalvador Vant Scaaphof Z – 4/4 56.41 seconds

NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results.

Image credit: Katie Mortimore Photography for Devon County Show

 
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