William Funnell claimed victory in the Hartpury Equine Area Trial with the only double clear from the 33 runner field. Hartpury has proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Surrey-based rider, proven once again with a host of wins and placings during this show.
The imposing chestnut jumped faultlessly in the first round, with William opting for a steadier clear in the jump-off having witnessed the numerous four-fault rounds of others. A time of 53.15 seconds in the jump-off was still the third quickest of those who made it through, although Billy Diamo’s bold jumping style secured the £1000 first prize.
Joseph Fernyhough and Calcourt Quicktime lived up to their name with a quick jump-off time of 50.60 seconds, almost matched by Benjamin Bick and Galerius who shaved yards off every turn to stop the clock in 50.92 seconds. Both four fault rounds finished in second and third respectively. Lauren Edwards and Ella Sandra G followed up a good performance at Keysoe a few weeks ago with a fourth placing here, finishing on four faults in a time of 53.97 seconds. Alex Thompson and Cathalina V (54.55 seconds) and Kathryn Ellison and Bayjing (58.49 seconds) finished in fifth and sixth respectively.
William Funnell’s other ride Billy Angelette couldn’t follow up on Friday’s 1.30m Open result having a rail down in the first round.
Last year’s winner Greg Hill and Big Ben VI also had an unfortunate rail down in the first round, preventing them from being able to offer up a repeat performance.
Lizzel Winter, who heads up Hartpury’s Equine Academy jumped in her first Area Trial on board Fernhill Quality Street.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Helen Rees and Bart IV picked up a superb victory in the National 1.30m Open with a double clear and a time of 29.44 seconds. Hartpury Equine Academy’s Abbie Summers continued a run of flying form with a third placing aboard Quantas II in a jump-off time of 32.94 seconds. Stephen Morgan Jenkins and Vivamunde Z finished in second place with a jump-off time of 31.71 seconds.
William Funnell’s mounts Emmylou and Billy Kat almost repeated their Friday performances in the same class with double clears and jump-off times of 32.94 seconds and 33.07 seconds respectively, having them collect fourth and fifth place prize money.
Mark Edwards enjoyed a one-two in the Nupafeed Supplements Senior Discovery First Round with a win onboard Montreuxs Tinker. A double clear and jump-off time of 34.19 seconds was good enough to fend off the 36.87-second jump-off time of Montreuxs Lass.
Sunday saw Adam Ellery take victory in the Nupafeeds Supplements Discovery Second Round onboard Bonmahon Blue Shaker. Taking more than two seconds off his nearest rival with a jump-off time of 34.86 seconds, Adam rounded off a successful week leaving Marcella Marie Johnstone and Killea Storm in second (37.47 seconds).
Young horse talent was also on show during the final day of the show. In the Breeders Elite Studbook 4 Year Old Final, Staffordshire-based Derek Morton took top honours with Science Supplements BP KO JAX. In the Breeders Elite Studbook 5 Year Old Final, Simon Crippen took the £260 first prize with Paddington 192 while Nick Edwards capped off a great week with victory in the Breeders Elite Studbook 6 Year Old Final aboard Idodinus PP.
“We are thrilled to have enjoyed such a great four days” said Philip Cheetham, Equine Director.
“The extra day has allowed us to add a greater variety of classes across the board and the addition of a Discovery Second Round was very well received by competitors. We’ve seen top international competitors like Will Funnell doing what they do best and also enjoyed a number of solid performances from Hartpury’s Equine Academy students” he added.
Click here to view the full results.