Victorious Adam delighted with his 'little crackers' in Discovery final
The spotlight fell on three young horses during the closing stages of the Equissage Discovery regional final at Dorset Showground.
Adam Ellery emerged victorious riding his own and Dick and Sandra Gummow's six-year-old mare Zastra.
Raf Suarez's first and second round tracks, reduced the 23-strong field to eight and with just one ticket on offer, they were all in it to win it.
"There was no other option than to go all out for it," said Adam, who set the target from opening draw with the five-year-old Arendsoog B, also jointly owned by Dick and Sandra Gummow.
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"It was the first time I've put these youngsters against the clock and they came up trumps for me. They are little crackers."
Adam showed his intention with a serious crack on the 16.1hh son of Numero Uno and their time stayed good for an eventual third place.
"Eddie's (Arendsoog B) an out and out star and blessed with a wonderful technique," said Adam, who bought Arendsoog B and Zastra from Daan Horn of Stal De Wiemselbach in Holland.
"I've always been impressed with Numero Uno and made contact with his owner Daan Horn about buying youngstock. I travelled to Holland with my veterinary friend, the late Neil Mathieson and we picked this pair. They both hold great sentimental value to me as Neil has since sadly passed away."
With time of the essence, the pressure told and clear rounds proved elusive in a chase against the clock. Dorset's Rosie Moss (Catherston Springstream), Kathryn Ellison (Centamira), and Zara Trim (Arusha) together with Cornwall's Claire Gwennap (Lady Edge) and hot favourite Mark Edwards, of Wales, on his quick mare Mamma's Tinka all paid the penalty.
With Adam's target clearly in his sights, James Johnson of Newton Abbot, broke the momentum with a tremendous round on Marion Clark's home-bred six-year-old Phin Phin mare Zsa Zsa L'Amor.
This Bardun Stud stable jockey broke the beam a fraction ahead to snatch the lead.
"I couldn't have gone any faster," said the 19-year-old BEF South West regional squad member.
"All I could do is wait and hope that our time was good enough. Adam's reputation against the clock is pretty awesome and I knew he'd come back fighting."
Determined to take the sole ticket back to Cornwall, Adam called on his vast experience in keeping Zastra close to the wings and confirming her carefulness by risking the final planks at a gallop.
"She's a very brave mare," said Adam, who combines competing with running the www.westcountrysporthorses.com business alongside his wife Helena. "Zastra's forward thinking and has plenty of scope. We've produced both these horses from scratch and I'm so pleased they're living up to their promise. Zastra's entered for the Grade C at Royal Cornwall and Eddie will be targeted at the British Young Horse championships at Addington."
Dick Gunnow said: "Adam's doing an excellent job with our two youngsters and we're chuffed to bits with this latest result. We're also excited about our shared ownership of Adam's stallions Bieminko (Viento Uno x Numero Uno) and Boebka (Upgrade). Both are licensed with the Anglo European Studbook and were personally selected by Adam during another of his visits to Daan Horn at his Dutch-based breeding station."
Johnson and Zsa Zsa L'Amor gained consolation by picking up the top ticket to Scope in the Sandicroft Stud 1.05m Adventurer championship qualifier.
"I've got no complaints," said James. "It was a hard fought final and Adam beat me fair and square. I couldn't have asked any more from Marion's mare and was pleased to win the Adventurer qualifier with her."