William Funnell claimed victory in the blue riband event at Hartpury’s Showjumping Spectacular.
The Surrey-based rider posted the only double clear riding from a strong 33-runner field in the 1.50m Area Trial on the third day of the four-day attraction.
Following numerous four-fault rounds from many, the imposing chestnut jumped faultlessly in the first round with William opting for a steadier clear in the jump-off.
A time of 53.15 seconds and Billy Diamo’s bold jumping style secured the £1,000 first prize.
Joseph Fernyhough and Calcourt Quicktime lived up to their name with a quick jump-off time of 50.60 seconds, almost matched by Benjamin Bick and Galerius who put in a number of impressive turns to stop the clock in 50.92 seconds.
Both four-fault rounds finished in second and third respectively.
Lauren Edwards and Ella Sandra G followed up a good performance at Keysoe Equestrian Centre with a fourth placing, finishing on four faults in a time of 53.97 seconds.
Alex Thompson and Cathalina V (54.55 seconds) and Kathryn Ellison and Bayjing (58.49 seconds) finished in fifth and sixth respectively.
Last year’s winner Greg Hill and Big Ben VI had an unfortunate rail down in the first round, preventing them from being able to offer up a repeat performance.
Lizzel Winter, who heads up Hartpury’s Equine Academy, jumped in her first Area Trial on board Fernhill Quality Street.
Also on the third day, Helen Rees and Bart IV picked up a superb victory in the National 1.30m Open with a double clear and a time of 29.44 seconds.
Hartpury Equine Academy’s Abbie Summers continued a run of flying form with a third placing aboard Quantas II in a jump-off time of 32.94 seconds.
Stephen Morgan Jenkins and Vivamunde Z finished in second place with a jump-off time of 31.71 seconds.
William Funnell’s mounts Emmylou and Billy Kat almost repeated their second-day performances in the same class with double clears and jump-off times of 32.94 seconds and 33.07 seconds respectively, collecting them fourth and fifth place prize money.
Mark Edwards enjoyed a one-two in the Nupafeed Supplements Senior Discovery First Round with a win onboard Montreuxs Tinker.
A double clear and jump-off time of 34.19 seconds was good enough to fend off the 36.87-second jump-off time of Montreuxs Lass.
The final day saw Adam Ellery take victory in the Nupafeeds Supplements Discovery Second Round onboard Bonmahon Blue Shaker.
Adam rounded off a successful week with a rapid 34.86-second jump-off that left Marcella Marie Johnstone and Killea Storm in second place (37.47 seconds).
Speaking after his round, Adam said “The Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular is a great show and we love coming here. We are delighted with the performance of Blue Shaker and can’t wait to see how the rest of the season progresses”.
Young horse talent was also on show during the final day of the show. In the Breeders Elite Studbook 4 Year Old Final, Staffordshire-based Derek Morton took top honours with Science Supplements BP KO JAX.
“We are thrilled with this win and are excited about the horse’s future. We love making the journey down to Hartpury each summer as they always put on a good show” he said.
In the Breeders Elite Studbook 5 Year Old Final, Simon Crippen took the £260 first prize with Paddington 192 while Nick Edwards capped off a great week with victory in the Breeders Elite Studbook 6 Year Old Final aboard Idodinus PP.
Speaking of the show’s success, Equine Director Philip Cheetham said “The extra day has allowed us to add a greater variety of classes across the board.
“The addition of a Discovery Second Round was very well received by competitors and we’ve enjoyed stellar performances from top international competitors like Will Funnell.
“Closer to home, it’s exciting to see such striking performances from Hartpury’s Equine Academy students against such stiff competition.”
Picture: William Funnell riding Billy Diamo (Top Shots Photography)