Olympia Monday: Final day round-up

By: Horse Deals

Olympia Monday: Final day round-up
Irishman Cameron Hanley on Southwind VDL
Olympia’s final show jumping day began with Horse Deals’ own class, the six-bar. This provided an exciting finish, with Brits Geoff Billington (Uppercut) and Peter Charles (Murka’s Midnightlady) facing Irishman Cameron Hanley on Southwind VDL in the fifth and final round. Geoff lowered a pole this time, but Peter and Cameron were both foot-perfect over the final 1.95m fence to share the honours.
Midnightlady was partnered by James Billington when he was based in the USA and was on the second-placed Nations Cup team with James in Wellington, Florida, before Peter took over the ride.

German-based Cameron, meanwhile, has enjoyed a fantastic season, culminating in being voted Ireland’s rider of the year by his peers. He is well known to many British onlookers, having been based in Essex for some time before moving to Europe.

Pony rider Jessica Mendoza has enjoyed a fabulous season and she ended her year on a high with victory in the JJ Jumping Junior Stakes. Wiltshire-based Jessica, who is still eligible for 138cm classes, has won four international grands prix on her European team pony Tixylix, who flew to victory this afternoon in a four-pony jump-off.

Two British riders both looking for their second victory of the show fought out the finish of the Martin Collins Eraser Stakes. This novel class gives riders the opportunity to wipe out four faults by jumping a joker type fence and Guy Williams took full advantage of this rule to gallop into the lead on Duhkan.

Challenges came and went until Ben Maher, still on a high after the World Cup qualifier, made great use of Wonderboy’s enormous stride to reduce the time by a small wining margin.
The closing Alltech Grand Prix kept up the week’s high standards. It looked as though Eric van der Vleuten and VDL Groep Tomboy would repeat their World Cup win, but Cian O’Connor wasn’t prepared to settle for second place again. He and Rancorrado never stopped galloping and broke the beam ahead to take victory for Ireland.

The H&M Leading Rider award went to Pius Schwizer, who led from the start, while Michael Whitaker was on top form to collect the trophy for the top Briton.