Donald Whitaker seizes a world ranking win in Oliva Nova

Monday 18 March 2024

Donald Whitaker seizes a world ranking win in Oliva Nova

Donald Whitaker landed a world ranking win with Millfield Colette at Spring MET III in Oliva Nova, Spain.

Fifteen from a field of 60 secured initial clears over the 3* 1.45m track for a place in the jump-off but they were no match for Donald.  He streaked ahead of the rest of the class, guiding the Cornet Obolensky x Clearway 10-year-old mare – bred in Britain by Sue Jagger at Millfield Stud – to win by an impressive 4.95 seconds. 

Izac Ketteridge netted third place in Friday’s 70-entry 1.45m speed with Elisha Simmons’ 13-year-old Galerius (Diamant De Semilly x Sandro Boy) 3.18 seconds adrift of the winning time.  Graham Gillespie was slightly in arrears for fourth on Veneno.

Graham slipped Partner In Crime into second in the Silver Grand Prix, the Pelgrim-K x Grandeur eight-year-old only 0.21 seconds off a win in the 11-strong decider.

Joe Clayton claimed third in the top-billed 3* 1.50m Grand Prix with Unex Competition Yard’s Gentlemen VH Veldhof.  Only five of the original 47 on the start list posted clear rounds over a challenging track with Joe and the 18-year-old Gentlemen (Quite Easy 958 x Calido I) again providing a clean slate in the jump-off to finish 1.51 seconds behind the winner, The Netherlands’ Ruben Romp on Picasso VD Zwartbleshoeve.  

Young rider Sophie Evans steered CSIO Bel into third in the world ranking 72-horse 1.45m two-phase, ESM Equestrian’s Tinka’s Boy 12-year-old finishing 1.31 seconds off the pace.

 

Emma Stoker and Matt Sampson hit winning form on the Andalucia Sunshine Tour

Emma Stoker hit a run of form on week six of the Andalucia Sunshine Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain, conjuring up a victory double with the consistent Q Seven.

Emma fired a warning shot of her intentions in Saturday’s 4* 1.45m two-phase, smoothly jumping ahead of her 46 rivals by 0.33 seconds.  Charlie Atkinson guided the 11-year-old Ballingowan Leia into third.

The FRH Quaid x Stakkato 11-year-old Q Seven again stepped up to the plate for Emma 24 hours later to take the 4* Small Grand Prix.  A field of 48 faced course-designer Raf Suarez’s 12-fence 1.45m track but he tested all the way and only nine found the key.  Emma, who has produced Robert Lemieux’s Q Seven for the last six years, again supplied a foot-perfect round to secure the top spot on the podium with 0.22 seconds to spare.   

Matt Sampson was another in the frame with three wins to his credit, and almost made it four.  He dominated Thursday’s 4* 1.45m over course-designer Raf Suarez’s 11-fence speed track, lifting the top two places.  A big entry of eighty competitors came forward but Matt outpaced them all, flying into the top spot aboard Isabel Fox’s 11-year-old MGH Candy Girl (Sligo Candy Boy x Cruising) and slotting Rachel Evison’s 12-year-old Curraghgraigue Obos Flight (Obos Quality x Errigal Flight) into second, 0.39 seconds separating the two.

Matt posted a double with long-term partner Geneve R, the Eldorado VD Zeshoek x Berlin 13-year-old scoring a handsome 2.83 second win against 60 rivals in Thursday’s 4* 1.40m speed.  The pair were again top of the podium in Saturday’s 35-horse 4* 1.40m speed with 1.22 seconds in hand over Chloe Winchester on the nine-year-old Korlenski.

It was so nearly four wins for Matt, just 0.55 seconds denying him another win in the 70-strong 4* Celeste Trophy 1.50m speed, Amy Mason’s 11-year-old Equine America Ivanhoe GPH slipping into second place. 

Holly Smith missed out on a Sergio Grasso Small Grand Prix win by a little over half a second with TJ Hall’s Fruselli.  Eighteen of the original 83 starters qualified for the jump-off with Holly and the handsome Zambesi TN x Karandasj 14-year-old stallion returning another quick clear but were unable to catch the winner, Japan’s Eiken Sato on Daloa Du Banco.

Two British riders just missed out on Grand Prix podium presentations.  Guy Williams jumped a double clear in a nine-horse decider in the feature 4* Deputacion De Cadiz 1.55m Grand Prix to finish fourth with Ernie of Greenhill Z 3.43 seconds off the pace.  And Nicole Lockhead Anderson steered the 12-year-old Madagascar Dwerse Hagen into fourth in the 4* Medium Tour 1.50m Grand Prix 18-horse jump-off 0.77 sec behind the winner, Ireland’s Mikey Pender aboard HHS Cornetta.

 

Mark Edwards flies to a world ranking winning double in Italy

Mark Edwards notched up multiple wins on week two of the La Caccia Garda Tour in Bedizzole, Italy, including two world ranking victories.

With a couple of 1.40m wins under his belt in week one, Mark hit the ground running in the second week with a 3* 1.45m victory double.  Marlene Edwards’ Flying Tinker II lived up to his name as he coasted into the top spot of Friday’s 1.45m speed for Mark, outpacing their 58 rivals by 1.80 seconds. 

Their form continued in Saturday’s 56-strong 1.45m two-phase, the Tinkers Tale 13-year-old – bred by Mark and his father Martyn at their South Wales base – winning by 0.63 seconds.

It was déjà vu for Mark and Royale Tale in two of the 3* 1.40m classes, the nine-year-old Montreuxs Tale daughter heading Friday’s 61-entry speed by 1.01 seconds and edging ahead of their 51 rivals 24 hours later by 0.14 seconds over a two-phase track.

Mark had to settle for second in the final day’s 1.40m speed against 72 riders as the Diarado nine-year-old Dillinger NE finished 1.13 seconds off the winning time.   

 

Image: Donald Whitaker and Millfield Collette. Credit: 1ClicPhoto

 
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