Leo Lamb storms to victory in the SEIB Winter Novice qualifier at Onley Ground Equestrian Complex

Friday 05 January 2024

Leo Lamb storms to victory in the SEIB Winter Novice qualifier at Onley Ground Equestrian Complex

Leo Lamb annihilated all opposition to take victory in the SEIB Winter Novice Championship qualifier on Jaguar Moon at Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex’s Winter Classic in Warwickshire, securing a finalist place at the prestigious Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead.

“He’s always been talented but he’s quite a big horse and has taken a little longer to learn his trade, but he’s very competitive now,” said Leo.

It was a good day for British breeding as two home-bred six-year-olds claimed the two coveted qualifying places.  Thirty-three competitors came forward over course-designer Mark McGowan 11-fence 1.10m track with 12 riders providing initial clear rounds to head into an exciting jump-off.

Thomas Pritchard set a sizzling target just over halfway in the draw to take a brief lead on the six-year-old Double M Sensation (Firkov Du Rouet x Up To Date Miltoo), taking tight turns and allowing the six-year-old to run to the final fence.  But Leo was tighter and quicker.  Maintaining a strong pace throughout, he negotiated the tightest lines on offer and forged ahead to the last to claim the win by 1.82 seconds. 

“I was so tight to the oxer at three and on a proper diagonal there was no room for error; he could have easily run past it but he trusted me and jumped it,” said Leo.

The home-bred Jaguar VD Berghoeve x Concordance six-year-old has been produced jointly by Leo and his mother Carron Nicol from his British Novice four-year-old days.

“My Mum competed his sire herself and she bought his mother Veramoon from Holland,” explained Leo, who acted as midwife at the birth – “I helped pull Jaguar Moon out when he was born and now, almost six years later, he’s qualified for the main ring at Hickstead."   

Leo almost didn’t return to this venue on the final day. 

“I am overtired, we have been really busy over Christmas and New Year covering for the staff as they enjoy their holidays at home so I didn’t get any rest.  Jaguar was fourth in the six-year-old a couple of days earlier and Mum told me to have the day off, but I love going to shows and I thought I could have Saturday off instead – it certainly paid off and Mum is happy, too.”

 

Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex – 5 January, 2024
SEIB Winter Novice Championship Qualifier

1st Leo Lamb & Jaguar Moon – 0/0 - 36.15 seconds
2nd Thomas Pritchard & Double M Sensation – 0/0 - 37.97 seconds
3rd Jessica Baugh & Monkeal Alfie – 0/0 - 38.14 seconds

NB: Results pending official grading.

Image: Leo Lamb & Jaguar Moon Credit: KB Photography

SEIB Insurance Brokers provides specialist equestrian insurance throughout the UK and internationally. With over 50 years of experience, SEIB offers a range of equestrian insurance from horses to horseboxes, trailers, stables, cars, home, farriers and other specialist equestrian trades plus riding schools and livery yards. The SEIB Winter Novice Championship is a popular series made up of ten national qualifying rounds which are held ahead of the Championship Final, which will once again be run during the prestigious Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead (24 - 18 July 2024). For more details, visit hickstead.co.uk

 
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