Royal Windsor Horse Show opened its gates today, at the start of a five day feast of competition.
Louise Pavitt dominated the day, taking first and second in the Walwyn Novice championship within hours of winning the Land Rover grades B and C handicap.
Henry Turrell had held the lead as second drawn in the 52-starter handicap with his own grade C Ahorn Van De Zuuthoeve. None of the remaining 41 combinations in the grade C section could match his target before the course was raised for the more experienced grade B horses.
Louise, riding the Brendon Stud’s Warrior, was second to go in this section and stole the class from Henry to claim her first victory of the day.Having qualified two six-year-old Brendon Stud stallions for the Walwyn Novice championship, Louise set a fast early target with the first of those, El Thuder.
Her clear round, in a time of 61.23 seconds, was too quick for any of her rivals, and most encountered problems at a midway double. Knowing that her first round was proving difficult to match, Louise had nothing to lose by riding flat out again with the 17.1hh Don VHP Z. Coming towards the final fence ahead of her previous time, supporters cheered her on and she jumped it cleanly, beating her own lead by half a second.
“I’ve been riding both of these stallions for two years,” said Louise. “Don VHP is a bigger horse so has taken longer to develop, it seems he’s now overtaken El Thuder.”
Louise’s younger sister Nicole followed immediately after and rode a determined round on Diane Mindel’s Valentine V. Her time would have been good enough to split her sister’s placings, but she toppled the last fence dropping her down the order.
Louise was not the only rider to have qualified two for the Walwyn Novice. The winners of both of this morning’s two Horse & Hound Foxhunter classes, from which the top seven qualify, also had a pair apiece in this afternoon’s championship.
Adam Botham headed the first qualifier with Quainton Stud’s Chateau De Brion Quainton and brought Sharon Mill’s Miss Ramixico into the Castle Arena to contest the final. The second section’s winner Emma Jo Slater, riding Kim Barzilay’s Inki II, had another shot at glory with Casimir II.
Unfortunately for both Adam and Emma-Jo, their luck did not continue in the day’s feature show jumping class.
Robert Walker has become the man to beat in Royal Windsor’s novice hunter championship. He claimed the title for the third year running, this time riding Jill Day’s Ballard Bouncer bay gelding, and stood reserve with Over the Rainbow III for the same owner.
The championship win came after Robert had stood first in the novice lightweight hunter class, judged by D Walters (conformation) and I Smeeth (ride). Heavyweight hunter Over The Rainbow III had taken the top spot in his division.
Robert was not the only rider retaining their silverware this year. Kevin O’Connell took the amateur hunter championship with his 2009 victor, Dr O’Connell’s heavyweight Avalanche II. Lucy Heseltine and her own lightweight Kozee stood reserve this time.
Alistair Hood partnered his son Oliver’s middleweight hunter Jenny’s Prince to stand Cuddy hunter champion ahead of Susan Yate’s lightweight Loch Royal II, ridden by Leon King. Both the champion and reserve working hunters came from the heavyweight division. David Reid-Scott’s Harley Foxtrot took the top honours, ridden by Libby Cooke, while Rory Gilsenan’s ride, Kimberley Stanworth’s Market Mark, claimed the reserve title.
Official Site: Royal Windsor Horse Show