Mennell Watson and Whisper in the Wind win the International Stairway at New Forest & Hampshire County Show
Friday 27 July 2018
Mennell Watson lifted the handsome £2,500 first prize in the International Stairway at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show with seasoned partner Whisper in the Wind.
A field of twenty-four initially contended this 1.50m class over course-designer Phil Ashworth’s 13-fence track and seven provided clear rounds to go forward to the jump-off. And in a boost to British breeding, the top two places were filled by home-bred horses.
Clear rounds proved more difficult to obtain in round two and it wasn’t until penultimate-drawn Helen Tredwell that a clean round materialised and she took a brief lead on her father Alan’s Larksong, a 13-year-old mare with Vangelis S x Lupicor bloodlines.
Her lead was short-lived as Mennell, who is from Solihull in the West Midlands, maxed on his advantageous final draw with Whisper in the Wind – a 10-year-old Cobretti x Mr Majestic stallion owned by Euro Sport Horse and Helen van Heyningen. Keeping his route tight and slicing corners to a minimum, Mennell secured victory by 2.22 seconds.
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 championships where three Horse of the Year Show International Wild Cards are allocated as well as it being where the sports National Champion is crowned.