Faith in Kitti pays rich dividends for Georgie
THE Little Kittiwake, owned by Georgie Stokes of SOS Sport Horses, Sticker, and ridden by St Austell's Sammie Jo Coffin clinched a last minute victory in the Blue Chip Joint RLF Power qualifier at Colraine Equestrian Centre, Truro.
Final draw proved advantageous for this on-form partnership, the only combination to break the 27 second barrier in the 11-strong jump-off.
"I'm so chuffed with my girl," said Georgie, who bought the 15.2hh daughter of Colato as a three-year-old in Holland. "She's such a hero and an amazing pony. I feel like I've won the gold even though I wasn't even riding her."
Georgie originally sold this striking grey to a local owner as an unbroken project but on hearing the mare was back on the market she couldn't resist snapping up the opportunity to buy her back.
"Kitti has confirmed my faith in her," said Georgie. "She did her first ever show in October and has jumped 16 double clears out of 17 classes, winning nearly £400. She's the most amazing reliable and consistent horse I've ever owned. I'm reluctant to put her up for sale but selling horses is my business and she's back on the market."
Some 26 hopefuls set out over Zoe Gwennap's inviting track in their quest to emerge with one of the eight tickets on offer. The first round saw 11 returning clean score sheets for a place in the barrage and take a step closer to the Hartpury College-based championships.
Riding three horses in the jump-off and ranked 41st on British Showjumping's list, Sammie Jo, 25, was the odds on favourite to stamp her authority on this qualifier and showed her intention by setting the target on her own Princess Pamela.
Camborne's Andrew Williams followed on Karen Jones' exciting dark bay Cenabresse and their time stayed good enough for the seventh placed ticket. Stylish youngster, Kayla Setford of Redruth conjured a quick round on her mother Karen's six year-old Caia Balia and although clipping a pole this ever improving combination held onto the eighth placed ticket.
Clear rounds then proved elusive until Mollie Trethewey of Helland returned with a calculated round on Rainman taking a tight route and stopping the clock in 27.78 seconds to steal the lead. But this was short-lived as Sammie Jo immediately returned riding the big grey Bellamy for Bolventor-based owner Lizzie Robson shaving a fraction off the time for an eventual third place.
Andrew Williams battled back on Karen Jones' chestnut Codar giving his Sennen-based owner a second chance at the Hartpury championships and then Charlotte Vincent of Newquay made her move with Gew Tok Tokkie.
Lighting up the jump-off, this partnership produced a tremendous round to rise to the top of the leaderboard and secure their Blue Chip ticket.
"I've had him since he was six months old and he's nine now, so we know each other pretty well," said Charlotte.
The 16hh black gelding, by Brigid Jasper's Connemara pony stallion Spinway Kestral, is out of the thoroughbred mare Gew Vesta and has accrued 88 British Eventing points with his young rider.
With Sammie Jo in pole position on The Little Kittiwake, Charlotte looked reflective as she bowed to experience in watching the final combination proving to be the winning one.
Josh Hutchins of St Wenn made a successful trip to Cheshire to compete at the South View 148cms Pony Premier Show where he claimed the top ticket in the HorseQuest Coral qualifier, riding Jennifer and Graham Hudson's pony My Time IV.
"I'm grateful to Jennifer and Graham for giving me the ride on their ponies," said Hutchins.
"I travel by train to the Hudson's home in Shropshire every Friday to stay for the weekend.
"Training with Graham and being in a position to compete at the top level shows is a wonderful opportunity and I'm grasping it with both hands."
Diary dates page 104.