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Hat-trick for Ellen Whitaker in the first day of International Competition at HOYS!

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Ellen Whitaker got off to a sterling start to by taking the first three International Show Jumping classes of the week at Horse of the Year Show (NEC, Birmingham). The Xerox Special Events Services Cup was the perfect opening International show jumping class defined by a tough track and even tougher jump off. A tricky double caused plenty of problems for the field in the first round leaving only eight clears. First in was the flamboyant Fresh Direct K2 and Tim Stockdale, this huge impressive horse has really grown into himself since we last saw him at the British Open back in April and literally bounded round the course with consummate ease to score the first clear. This clear was to prove very influential and Tim finished a very comfortable second in the end with this promising young horse. But, no stranger to tight turns and hairpin bends, Ellen Whitaker and loyal partner Kanselier stormed into the lead with what proved to be an unbeatable time. Kanselier has a unique talent, combining speed and care which means Ellen can really put her foot down at every opportunity. Ever popular with the crowds, it was a great win for the fans to see their leading lady take the first international class of the week in such style.

The Sky Sports Trophy was no less dramatic, but this time it was CS Online who carried Ellen to victory. Her horse of only three seasons has really made himself comfortable at the top of her string with multiple wins abroad and at home. Ellen was confident this course would suit him ‘He’s very good at turns, if it is the right course for him, he’s very hard to beat as he wastes no time. I absolutely love him!’ Belgiums Niels Bruynseels finished second riding Cippolini VD Gasthoeve and Daniel Neilson, one of the youngest riders in the competition did extremely well to finish 3rd against such a strong field of seasoned international competitors.

The last show jumping class of the day was The Jump 4 Joy Trophy, with a prize fund of 18,250 and world class ranking points on offer it was all to play for in a class relying on both accuracy and speed. It was Ellen riding Equimax Ocolado who combined pace and tight turns with a speedy finish to win the class in a time of 54.54 seconds. Her cousin, Robert Whitaker and Rostaar took second place in a time of 59.43 seconds, while Tim Stockdale was third on First Direct Kalico Bay.

Known as the FA Cup final of the show jumping world, Laura Renwick riding Parvati De Breve was crowned the 2010 Horse & Hound Foxhunter Champion, taking the top spot with an impressive double clear. Having should have won it last year Laura is delighted to have won this title for the second time after narrowly missing out last year. The Horse & Hound Foxhunter series is the most prestigious national Championship, annually attracting around 25,000 starters with only a line-up of 22 promising young horses qualifying for tonights final. Six horses made it through to the jump-off, Simon Crippen missing out on the top spot on Wembley III. Stacey Babes took third place with Waldemar, who also produced a double clear.

Charismatic supporter and long standing sponsor, Jeff Osborne broke a world record today! Jeff and scurry pair Zig & Zag manoeuvred round the scurry course at a blistering pace to come home in 47.02 seconds which was just unbelievable! Sarah Cooke, last night’s winner, took the lead after her round with the lovely Black & Tan but Jeff, driving last, had it all to play for and stormed past Sarah’s time to not only win convincingly but actually break the world record. With Jeff in this form already, the rest of the week’s competition promises to be thrilling!

Today some serious contenders for the Supreme Championship in Sunday Evenings Gala performance were seen in action. Sarah Challinor returned today on Mrs Hughes dartmoor, Pumphill Buckthorn to claim the Thistledown Mountain and Moorland Working Hunter Pony of the Year demonstrating both the ability and beauty of the breed. This is the first time a pony has won both the flat and working hunter title at the same HOYS! The Topham Barnes Hack of the Year went to another consistent winner Royal Angel who has also been Champion at the Royal International and Supreme at both the winter and summer BSPS Championships. Katie Jerram took reserve in the Hack Championship but managed one better in the Mobile Phones 4 Business Ladies Hunter clinching the title with Dunbeacon.

Meanwhile, in the Caldene arena, the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse was won by Blue Java and Sonya Fitch-Peyton a successful racehorse who won almost 40,000 in his racing career. Eloise Pinnock riding Ekens Fifer won the Lead Rein section and went on to become Brineton Colne Mini Moutain and Moorland Pony of the Year a fantastic little jockey and a worthy winner. The Cuddy Supreme In-Hand went to Catwalk owned by Mr and Mrs Parkin and handled by showing master Simon Charlesworth.

The NFU Countryside Pony Club Mounted Games did not disappoint today with two hotly contested competitions. This afternoon, Devon and Somerset took 1st place just beating Berwyn and Dee and Rockwood Harriers into joint 2nd place. This resulted in them taking the NFU Countryside Trophy, a warm up competition to the Prince Philip Cup in which this evenings competition saw the first round get underway. The Oakley team got their first win under their belt so the competition is wide open going into Fridays rounds.

More exciting International Show Jumping classes along with the very best in equestrian entertainment continue tomorrow with the climax of the week, the Leading Show Jumper of the Year, taking place on Sunday evening.

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