WARWICKSHIRE’s Robert Smith won the National Gentlemen’s Championship Title on home soil after a spectacular final at the British Showjumping National Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show.
The final was the last class of the evening las Thursday and rounded out a day of fantastic competition in the Andrews Bowen Indoor Arena.
Smith, from Shrewley, was riding Karina Reilly’s seven-year-old bay stallion Ilton VD Spithoeve and secured the win in spectacular fashion amongst a field of experienced competitors.
The course proved intense and challenged the riders to call on all of their skills. Only three riders were able to complete a clear round and move on to the jump off.
The first rider to tackle the jump off was Theo Simpson, from Loughton, who was riding David Simpson’s 11-year-old chestnut gelding Touch of Chilli.
Simpson took on the course in style putting in an impressive performance with a clear round finishing on a time of 42.85 seconds.
Next up was Jay Halim from Cirencester who finished in a time of 38.35 on 13-year-old bay gelding owned by Rachael Hart.
The final contender was Smith and his young horse that was showing talent beyond its years having only started jumping this year as the combination sailed around the demanding course to finish in a time of 42.85 seconds.
When asked about the pairs winning performance Robert said: “He is very novice, I was just pleased with the way he jumped the first round.
“He is very rideable and is quite a quick horse although he’s not done much.”
The National Gentlemen’s Championship Final complimented its counterpart, the National Ladies Championship Final, that took place at the British Showjumping National Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show earlier this week.
RESULTS: 1. Robert Smith and Ilton VD Spithoeve, 2. Theo Simpson and Touch of Chilli, 3. Jay Halim and VIP II, 4. Douglas Duffin and Chiquito Z, 5. Cark Glasgow and Orizon De Brunel, 6. Lance Whitehouse and Dior V Overis Z, 7. Matthew Sampson and Eagles Costalot, 8. Conor Moore and Goodmans Acobado