Chris Smith takes the honours in the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Second Round at Arena UK

25 July 2019

116 competitors came forward for the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Second Round at Arena UK in Grantham, Lincolnshire, which took place on Friday and it was Chris Smith who came out on top.
With two qualifying tickets available for the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Championship Final, which will be held during Horse of the Year Show in October, all combinations were focused on securing one for themselves. It was just fourteen of the initial starters that made it through to Course Designer Neil Foster's challenging final round with seven going on to produce a treble clear meaning all eyes turned to the clock to decide the final line up.

Chris Smith from Hyde in Cheshire piloted his own 7 Year-old Dutch bred Cardento sired, Hornet, to the quickest round of the class. The crossed the finish line in 40.96 seconds, 0.25 seconds faster than second placed Ben Walker and Emma Ziff’s Heidiemorka, a 7 Year-old Belgian bred who won the Winter 7 Year Old Final at the Spring Championships at Addington in April, they posted a time of 41.21 seconds.

Third place went to Emma Crawford and Lynn Crawford’s Dukes of Hazzard, they crossed the line in 42.42 seconds. Helen Tredwell produced a steadier time with her own Luikan, they finished in 46.19 seconds which was good enough for fourth place. Close behind in fifth place was Chelsea Skelton and Janet Elvin’s Easy Annie, they crossed the line in 46.24 seconds. The two remaining treble clears went to Daniel Carroll aboard Can Balloon Q and Sophie Holiday with Golden Power.

On Wednesday the action was took place at The Scottish Summer Extravaganza at The Royal Highland Show Ground in Ingliston, Edinburgh and it was Emma Crawford and Allan Birch who took the qualifying tickets. 

Course Designer Mark McGowan set a track that saw faults occurring all over the course in each round, leaving ten combinations to battle it out in the final round. Emma Crawford from Cupar, Fife jumped a foot perfect clear in a time of 42.66 seconds with Jennifer Morris’ Finishing Touch, a 7 Year-old British bred mare by contender, to take the first of the direct qualifying tickets. Allan Birch claimed the other direct qualifying ticket with Katie Russell’s 11 Year-old Belgian bred gelding Cisco VH Rubenshof, they crossed the line with the quickest time of the class, 39.22 seconds but picked up four faults.

The weekend prior saw the Newcomer Second Round Qualifiers heading to SouthView Equestrian Centre in Cheshire, which also proved to be a popular choice over one hundred combinations. It was Beth Vernon who shook off some fierce competition to take the win.
Twenty-eight of the initial starters kept their hopes alive and made it into the second round but course designer Gillian Milner’s challenging track stopped fifteen of those accessing the final jump-off. The final round proved equally as challenging when only two managed to produce a clear.

Beth Vernon from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire took full advantage of 6 year-old British bred Pewit Dezoito’s quick and nimble agility to post a winning time of 44.08 seconds, knocking 4.56 seconds off her closest rival’s time. Nicole Kershaw piloted Alan Fazakerley’s 8 year-old Dutch bred gelding, Concert Z, into second place after steady but safe clear in 48.64 seconds.

The three remaining places in the top five went to the fastest of the four faulters. Allan Birch produced a time fast enough to take the win with Parkmore Rowan but one fence down proved costly for the pair, they eventually picked up third place. Fourth and fifth place went to George Whitaker aboard Shooting Star and Christopher Smith with Flaming De Pravia respectively, who both faulted at the third fence.

The top two combinations secured their place in the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Championship Final at Horse of the Year Show and all treble clears earnt their chance to compete in the Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Masters at the British Showjumping National Championships.
Arena UK – 19th July 2019
Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Second Round

1st Christopher Smith & Hornet – 0/0/0 – 40.96 seconds
2nd Ben Walker & Heidiemorka – 0/0/0 – 41.21 seconds
3rd Emma Crawford & Dukes of Hazzard – 0/0/0 – 42.42 seconds
4th Helen Tredwell & Luikan – 0/0/0 – 46.19 seconds
5th Chelsea Skelton & Easy Annie – 0/0/0 – 46.24 seconds
6th Daniel Carroll & Can Balloon Q – 0/0/0 – 47.86 seconds
7th Sophie Holiday & Golden Power – 0/0/0 – 53.24 seconds

The Scottish Summer Extravaganza – 19th July 2019
Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Second Round

1st Emma Crawford & Finishing Touch - 0/0/0 – 42.66 seconds
2nd Allan Birch & Cisco VH Rubenshof - 0/0/4 – 39.22 seconds
3rd Jordan Thompson & Saskia Sinseir - 0/0/4 – 41.10 seconds
4th Douglas Duffin & Garthago - 0/0/8 – 41.97 seconds
5th Jodie Maher & Grace Unlimited - 0/0/8 – 42.57 seconds

SouthView Equestrian Centre – 13th July 2019
Connolly’s RED MILLS Senior Newcomers Second Round

1st Beth Vernon & Pewit Dezoito – 0/0/0 – 44.08 seconds
2nd Nicole Kershaw & Concert Z – 0/0/0 – 48.64 seconds
3rd Allan Birch (Junior) & Parkmore Rowan – 0/0/4 – 43.84 seconds
4th George Whitake & Shooting Star – 0/0/4 – 46.91 seconds
5th Christopher Smith & Flaming De Pravia – 0/0/4 – 51.11 seconds

NB: Qualifications will be updated pending grading of results.

Image: Christopher Smith & Hornet on their way to winning the Connolly’s Red Mills Senior Newcomers Second Round at Arena UK Equestrian Centre on Friday 19th July [Credit: British Showjumping]
Image: Beth Vernon and Pewit Dezoito on their way to winning the Connolly’s Red Mills Senior Newcomers Second Round at SouthView Equestrian Centre on Saturday 13th July [Credit: British Showjumping]

The Horse of the Year Show 2019 will take place from the 2nd – 6th October at Birmingham’s NEC. The British Showjumping National Championships 2019 will take place during the 6th – 11th August at the National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre (NAEC), Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.