Melissa Garry ensured British success on the opening day of showjumping action at this year’s Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show.
While the four-star international classes begin on Friday, Thursday’s action saw two-star and amateur sections take centre-stage in the show’s Castle Arena.
And Garry came up trumps in the Amateur A two-phase event, sponsored by Alessandra Albanese, after she clocked a clear round with Hotesse in the jump-off section, posting a time of 34.23 seconds.
The runners-up spot was filled by Britain’s Sarah Billington, riding Uforia Jx, with Brian Thompson and Aredis De La Rose completing the podium places.
The Amateur B two-phase class, sponsored by AW Jenkinson Forest Products, was dominated by Berkshire-based rider Tony Pearson, who claimed first and second places, with his rides being separated just 38 hundredths of a second.
He won the class on Amadeus M in 30.23 seconds, with Pepito D’airsain taking second, with a British clean sweep of the podium being secured by Flo Norris and Darling Hdh.
The day’s first showjumping class – the two-star, two-phase, sponsored by John Deere By Turner Groundscare, evoked memories of last year’s Bolesworth grand prix through the Hendrix family connection.
The show finale 12 months ago was won by Michel Hendrix, and his cousin Timothy maintained the winning trend, triumphing aboard Jewel Lvp in a time of 32.59 seconds, with Britain’s Georgie Crumley taking second on Haifa OL, and American challenger Kerry McCahill finishing third with Important De Muze.
Reflecting on his win, Hendrix said: “She has been a great horse for me. I have been developing here for the past two years, and I have high expectations for her.
“This is my first time at Bolesworth. My cousin, having been here last year, told me what a great show it is and what to expect, and I am absolutely delighted with how it has started.”
But the day’s most dominant performance undoubtedly belonged to Irishman Michael Pender, who romped to victory in the two-star, two-phase, sponsored by Conwy Land Rover.
Riding Doriena, Pender proved way ahead of the field, clocking a jump-off time of 33.35 seconds, finishing more than five seconds clear of runner-up Tracy Priest, on Caruso D’eres Z, while Stuart Neads finished third on Quiot Or.