Morris Equestrian Centre Large Pony Premier Round-up

Monday 08 January 2024

Morris Equestrian Centre Large Pony Premier Round-up

Lucy Capper got the New Year off to a great start, capturing the first of the Winter JA Classic 2024 series with Robert Capper’s Capability Brown at Morris Equestrian Centre in Scotland.

Course-designer Mark McGowan set an 11-fence 1.30m track for the eight competitors who came forward with five posting an initial clear.  Only one was lost along the way in round two for a four-pony jump-off with Renfrewshire, Scotland-based Lucy, 14, and the 13-year-old Capability Brown jumping the only treble clear for victory, underscoring the win with the fastest time by more than three seconds.

The Irish-bred Capability Brown joined Lucy 15 months ago and showed his talent early with Lily Attwood as a HOYS Pony Newcomers and Foxhunter finalist in 2017 and featured in three HOYS Finals a year later as an impressive seven-year-old, taking second in the Pony Newcomers Final, fourth in the Pony Foxhunter Final and sixth in the Leading Pony Showjumper of the Year. 

Lucy also contended the HOYS Pony Showjumper in 2023 with this scopey pony and, after finishing third in the English Home Pony 148cm Grand Prix last October, is looking forward to the Winter Classic JA Final.    

Cate Kerr aboard Cindy VI and Darcy Breen with One Saharah both returned four faults to fill the second and third qualifying places.

Darcy, 14, who is based at Hickstead, scored a hat-trick over the weekend, coming to the fore on Sunday, heading both the Winter JA Classic and the Children on Horses 1.10m.

Riders faced a 10-fence 1.30m course with half of the eight riders producing double clears to gain a place in the third and final round against the clock.  Darcy maxed on her final draw with a smooth, deceptively quick round on the nine-year-old mare One Saharah, by Angelie von Essen and Matt Sampson’s five-star ride Daniel and out of a Quiton mare, to win with a handsome 3.78 seconds to spare.  

Jenny Sheader posted the only other treble clear for second on Parc Judy with four faults dropping Nya Harriman and Ramiro High Society into the third qualifying position.

Darcy claimed her second win of the day in the Children on Horses Under 16 1.10m aboard Lea Popely’s Luidam x Le Tot De Semilly 11-year-old Kunis with an amazing 11 seconds in hand over second placed Ciara O’Connor on Miss Doctro B.

The Blue Chip Pro Sparkle JC/JA Handicap also fell to Darcy, Breen Equestrian’s Cevin Z x Indoctro 10-year-old Pixie heading an eight-pony jump-off by 2.16 seconds, the top six all from the JA section.  Annabelle Dale steered Carrickduff Pet into second and Lucy Capper secured third on Oscar Van De Beekerheide.

York’s Ella Kay, 12, finished her final 128cm year on a high in 2023 with three major championships to her credit – the British Showjumping National 128cm, the HOYS 128cm title and finally the London International 128cm, all with Red Alert III.  And she started 2024 with a bang, claiming the first of the Winter JC/JD on offer in fine style on Jane Lee’s Lucky Clover Boy to qualify for the Royal International Horse Show.

Thirty riders tackled the 11-fence 1.15m course but only six posted the required clear round, these halved in round two for a three-way decider all about the clock as all three posted treble clears.  Although a new partnership at only their third show together, Ella has a wealth of experience against the clock and kept her cool to provide the fastest round on the FSS Correlli Bravo nine-year-old to win by 2.31 seconds.

Holly Coward Talbott slotted Lottea III into second place and Michael McColm claimed third place with Legend Scais.

Lola Thulborn, 14, is also Hickstead-bound after scoring victory in Sunday’s Winter JC/JD with Ashley Thulborn’s Ella Z.  Lola took over the reins on this Dutch-bred E-Star x Silvio I 11-year-old in November from Izabella Rogers, building up from 90cm/1m to 1.15m over the past two months.

Twelve of the original 30 starters supplied first round clears but only three met their aims with a double clear to access the jump-off and claim their place in the prestigious Hickstead final.  Cambridge-based Lola, 14, provided the quickest time to win by an impressive seven seconds over Leva Eldridge in second on Clonberne Leam Pondi.  Emily Gulliver slipped Renkum Kickstart into third spot.

Emily, 13, topped the concluding Children on Horses Under 16 qualifier on Ben Gulliver’s seven-year-old Cevin Z daughter Billy Earp to register their finalist place at South View’s Pony Winter Finals by 3.47 seconds.  Emily was also double clear aboard Glamor De Vie for third, sandwiching Darcy and Kunis into second.

Jackson Stewart, 14, dominated Saturday’s Children on Horses classes, winning both.  He underscored his talent in the 1.10m by filling the top three places, winning on the 13-year-old Irish-bred Seefin Surprise and taking second and third with Aeraiocht and Amazon JD.

William Stewart’s 13-year-old mare Amazon JD (Lancelot x Dario) came to the fore for Jackson in the following Children on Horses 1.20m qualifier, beating their nine rivals by almost 11 seconds.  Emily Gulliver slipped Glamor De Vie into second and Nya Harriman guided Quinu Du Pravia into third.

Only two supplied initial clears to access the Bliss of London Pony Coral jump-off, Aimee Paxton, 15, jumping the sole double clear for victory on new ride of one week, Pitchwood’s Ceasers Palace, an eight-year-old stallion by the 138cm Grey Palace and out of a Mousti Van Overis Z mare.  Darcie Nobles claimed second on Carmelia’s Girl.


Image: Lucy Capper and Capability Brown. Credit: Rachel Watt for Jamie Agnew Photography

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