Hot Bluebird flies to Hickstead victory
A 22-year-old rider from Doncaster claimed yesterday’s Winter Grade B&C Championship at the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead.
Jessica Hewitt and the nine-year-old bay mare Hot Bluebird took the title after a blisteringly quick jump-off time that no one else could get close to.
“The jump-off suited my horse because you can really gallop and jump her. When I galloped to the last, I could trust her to still be careful,” says Jessica.
The pair have had plenty of successes on the Spanish Sunshine Tour, and she has kept up her winning momentum over the summer. “Recently, pretty much every class she’s done, she’s won,” says Jessica, who describes the mare as being ‘probably 16hh on tiptoes’.
Jessica made the journey down from Yorkshire just for this one class. “I just had a gut feeling about this class. It’s weird – sometimes I just get the feeling one will do well, and I had that with her.”
Katie Bradburne proved she has inherited her parents’ love of speed when winning yesterday’s Pony of the Year 138cms Final with Dolly Du Carel.
She is the daughter of former Cheltenham Festival winning jockeys, Gee Armytage and Mark Bradburne, but Katie is currently choosing showjumping over racing at the moment. “I have done a few races, and my brother’s done quite a few more than me, but showjumping’s going quite well at the minute,” she says. “The choice is always there for us, but at the moment, it’s all about the showjumping!”
Katie only got Dolly Du Carel recently, but they have gelled quickly as a partnership and looked a formidable team yesterday at Hickstead. “It’s a giant arena out there, but Dolly opened up so much and she just loved it. In the first round she was obviously still amazing, because she went clear, but I think it was just all the adrenaline and super excitement that she got quite strong and fast – but that helped me in the jump-off.”
Despite being super-competitive in the ring, Dolly is much more chilled out at home. “You’d think, because she’s quite strong in the ring, that she wouldn’t be good at home, but she does everything – hacks with anyone, and you can go bareback for miles. She’s got such a kind heart.”
In the SEIB Winter Novice Championship, Misca Irving was the fastest of only two double clears. Riding I Sir Marcus, she finished a second quicker than Nicole Lockhead Anderson and Kingston Star.
For all showjumping results, click here
1 HOT BLUEBIRD / 9 / Bay / Mare / Jessica Hewitt / GBR 330.00
2 EDE PEASY / 8 / Mare / Mark Edwards / GBR 220.00
3 SAM W / 13 / Chestnut / Gelding / Joanna Myers / GBR 180.00
4 CREEVY TAYLOR / 8 / Stallion / Ben Walker / GBR 120.00
5 STAROUGE / 10 / Bay / Gelding / Louise Simpson / GBR 90.00
6 IMPERIUM RJ / 8 / Gelding / Douglas Duffin / GBR 60.00