Hickstead SJ/Showing: Sunday update

By: Horse Deals

Hickstead SJ/Showing: Sunday update
Guy Williams on form with Skip Two Ramiro
This year’s DFS Derby certainly lived up to its billing as one of Britain’s leading show jumping classes. Despite the alternative attraction of the England-Germany World Cup match, enthusiasts packed the Sussex venue and they were rewarded by a classic encounter.
For much of the class, it looked as though Tina Fletcher would become the first lady winner since Alison Dawes in 1973 after her classic clear on Promised Land, but last to go was Guy Williams, who had set his sights with Softrack Skip Two Ramiro on this class all year. And the man from Kent rode the round of his life to force a jump-off.
Guy is also an ace against the clock, so Tina knew that she had to jump clear again and hope to force a mistake. She was foot-perfect, but back came Guy on David Walker’s Belgian-bred chestnut — a horse produced up the road from Hickstead at Brendon Stud — and a fabulous round captured the £40,000 first prize by almost 16sec.
"I feel really emotional. I’ve been coming here since I was a boy and I’ve always dreamed of winning the Derby," said Guy, who was taking home his biggest ever purse.
Skip Two Ramiro has been placed on every attempt at this class.
"He had coming into the Devil’s Dyke every time, so I dug a big hole at home and all he’s done for the past fortnight has been jump Dykes," said Guy.
Tina, meanwhile, was unsure whether to be pleased or sad.
"I have to admit that I’m gutted at the moment, but to jump double clear in the Derby is some achievement," she said, paying tribute to the horse she has had since a five-year-old.
The other jumping class in the International Arena was the Hickstead Young Riders Masters, a speed competition open to the top 10 in the previous day’s young riders championship.
No one could jump clear over an up-to-height track and the £1,000 prize went to American visitor Catherine Pasmore with My Boy, the horse Lance Whitehouse rode to victory at Olympia in 2008 and had recently been partnered by Laura Kraut.
The showing classes again attracted large numbers and Jayne Webber’s stable was in terrific form. After Mandy Hughes rode The Humdinger to win the overall ridden coloured horse title, Jayne and the heavyweight Silverstream produced a tour de force in the hunter championship. The big grey, who hunts hard throughout the season, ate up the ground in the International Arena and loved his trip round with the visiting Crawley and Horsham pack.
Katie Jerram had to settle for reserve with the lightweight Azarax and she was again in the runner-up spot in the Tattersalls & ROR Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship.
Horses formerly trained by Bryan Smart took the top two places. The top honours went to Bryan’s wife Vicky on the five-year-old Chivola, a race winner by Invincible Spirit, with Katie and Night Prayers, a Night Shift 10-year-old who raced in Ireland, in reserve.
In-hand coloured horses also filled ring three and there was strong competition for the supreme championship. This went to Gary Keywood’s six-year-old Domino XL, winner of the open native/cob/traditional class