Olympia Show Jumping: Saturday

By: Horse Deals

Olympia Show Jumping: Saturday
Laura Renwck wins the Renault Masters on Oz de Breve
Horse Deals show jumping columnist Laura Renwick enjoyed one of those days everyone dreams about at Olympia in Saturday. To start things off, not only did Laura qualify to compete in her first ever Renault Masters, but she showed all her six more experienced rivals how to do it to scoop the 15,000-Euro prize in this winner-takes-all competition.
Laura was the only woman to qualify for the class, in which each rider in turn chooses a different fence to be raised during every round. To jump the easiest course, most riders would choose to go first.
"But I didn’t really understand and I chose final spot. That meant that Oz [de Breve] and I had to jump the biggest fences in every round," she explained.
However, the advantage was with Laura when she and four rivals made it into round five and jumped off against the clock. She and Oz de Breve threw their hearts over every fence to take a victory after which David Broome, who was on the commentary team, said: "I hope the World Class Performance Manager Rob Hoekstra is watching because I think this is a 2012 horse."
Laura agreed with David’s assessment of her eight-year-old, whom she bought at the age of three from his French breeder.
"He’s a different level from anything I’ve ridden before. I took some risks, but in this class you don’t get anything for finishing second."
Laura’s day became even better when another horse who came from Oz’s breeder as a youngster, her long-term partner Limelight de Breve, signalled her return to the big time with victory in the Renault Christmas Tree Stakes. The little mare, who has had time off while Laura tried — unsuccessfully — to take embryos from her, flew round a difficult track to take the lead from early leaders Ellen Whitaker and Royal Rose and held on despite some strong challenges.
Cian O’Connor enjoyed his second win of the show in the Santa Stakes. The Irishman produced a fantastic winning jump-off round on the chestnut Splendor, a horse who will go to new Egyptian owner Ahmed Tallit after the show.
The day started with the Team Murka/World Class Under-23 Championship, which showcased the best of young British talent.
Only three riders could go clear in round one and two repeated the feat in the jump-off. Matt Sampson, 20, who won a saddle after being judged best rider by British team rider Peter Charles and French world number one Kevin Staut, looked as though he would repeat last year’s victory, this time on the nine-year-old Utopia XII — a horse owned by his boss Henk Nooren.
But Scottish star Jemma Kirk, a former European young riders champion, took full advantage of final draw to take the honours on Wexford.
"I’m best under pressure," said Jemma, who was helped here by Irishman Billy Twomey. "Wexford has jumped well all year and he really pulled out all the stops today."
The day started with the SEIB British Riding Clubs quadrille. The title went to the New Forest Pony Enthusiasts club with a fabulous "flappers" routine on their native ponies.