Emily Ward set the first blistering pace with Remi Cavalleri, jumping clear in a time of 39.81 seconds. The lead was to be short lived as Ireland’s Billy Twomey went one hundredth of a second quicker with Chat Botte to take the lead by a whisker.
However it was Great Britain’s Holly Smith who blew them all away with Rosemary Preston’s Claddagh Iroko. Landing for the turn to the penultimate fence in 26 seconds, 3 seconds up on Billy’s time, it was game on. A sensational round to set a sizzling time of 36.55 seconds. The Cruising bred 11-year-old never looked close to touching a fence, and no one looked close to touching them on time.
“It was a pretty quick round” commented Holly. “I took a bit of a risk at the planks but luckily it paid off and stayed up.”
“It was a fair competition as well. Despite only being a 2* there were a lot of 5* horses there, and it was a great class.”
Holly will now plan her end of year campaign around The London International Horse Show, Olympia and the Theraplate Liverpool International Horse Show at New Year.
“It was the perfect set up ahead of Olympia next month, and the rest of the year. We were really happy with the trip, I think everyone was. It is evident that the team at Keysoe are putting a lot of hard work in, and it just keeps getting better. It’s just a shame they can’t run more of these events there, one a month would be nice!”
John Crippen and Happydam took second place in 37.58 seconds, just unable to shave that final second off to knock Holly off the top spot.
Sixth placed Yazmin Davis picked crucial points to finish top of the Liverpool Wildcard Leaderboard to secure her ticket to the Theraplate Liverpool International Horse Show, to wrap up her season in style.
“She’s my horse of a lifetime. She’s had quite a bit of time off this year with a shoeing issue, but she’s come back just as good, although a little keen!”
TOP SIX: CSI2* 1.45m GRAND PRIX
1st – Holly Smith (GBR) – Claddagh Iroko
2nd – John Crippen (GBR) – Happydam
3rd – Billy Twomey (IRE) – Chat Botte
4th – Emily Ward (GBR) – Remi Cavalleri