Ireland’s Shane Breen finished a superb Hickstead season in style last week when claiming Hickstead’s £6,000 All England Grand Prix with the nine-year-old stallion Clyde VA.
A total of 74 starters came forward for the Grand Prix, which is the feature class of this four-day national championships, with eight combinations jumping clear in the first round.
Shane Breen and Clyde VA on their way to Hickstead victory Photo: Julian Portch
First to go was Breen Equestrian stable jockey Georgia Tame, who set a target of 48.30sec, but next to go Shane managed to shave more than 4sec off her time to take the lead.
The in-form Yazmin Pinchen almost secured her third 1.40m win in the space of four days but had to settle for second place with Van De Vivaldi, having finished 0.13 sec slower than Shane. But that was a memorable performance for this talented rider.
She went on and secured a double of Hickstead wins during the All England Jumping Championships, claiming both 1.40m Opens with this talented horse on the first and second days of the show.
Yasmin Pincher in action
Photo: Julian Portch
A total of 111 starters came forward for the class, which was the first to be held in the International Arena, with 19 combinations going clear in the first round. But Yasmin set such a strong time that no-one could catch her.
She said:” I am obviously delighted with him, but I was worried the time could be beaten. But at his best, he is unbeatable against the clock and can take a stride out so easily and is so careful.”
This summer Shane Breen’s form has been outstanding. He has won the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial and the British Speed Classic with Can Ya Makan, who was also third in the Al Shira’aa Derby, and he was victorious with Clyde VA in the Hickstead Masters’ Trophy. He is married to Chloe Breen, the daughter of Hickstead founder Douglas Bunn, and is based at Hickstead Place so this is his home show.
The win was also an ideal final run for Shane before he heads to Tryon, having had a late call up to the Irish showjumping team of four for the FEI World Equestrian Games.
“You don’t think he’s very quick and he’s a bit lazy, but he’s got such a long stride,” said Shane of his winning ride. “When he won at the June show I didn’t think he had a chance and that surprised me, but having won that class I knew he could do it today.”
Having finished seventh in his debut in the Al Shira’aa Derby in 2015, Alfie Bradstock knows what it takes to jump Hickstead’s famous fixed obstacles – and he proved that again when winning Saturday’s Douglas Bunn 1.35m Challenge.
Alfie made it a double in the International Arena when winning Sunday’s All England 1.20m Open Championship.
In the All England 6 & 7 Year Old Championships, the winner and runner-up both came from the six-year-old division, with Matthew Sampson winning on the mare Happy Fomia, ahead of Lucy Townley and the Billy Stud’s Billy Spiral.
Matthew has a talented string of horses for the future, as he also claimed the British Showjumping Talent Seekers qualifier with Geneve R, ahead of Nicole Pavitt on Paris 16 and Gianni HC in second and third respectively.
Three other championships took place in the International Arena on Saturday. Barry Drea, whose daughter Maisie has ridden on the British showjumping team on a number of occasions, won the first of these – the All England 1.20m Amateur Championship, riding Okehurst Miss Mexico.
Event rider Sophie Ashton-Rickardt took the Harcour Hickstead All England 1.10m Amateur Championship with Masterfly, giving Sophie her first win in the International Arena. The final class on Saturday was the Spidge Photography 1m Open Championship, which attracted huge entries with 158 competitors in the first qualifier and 221 in the second. The final saw 31 combinations come forward, with the win going to Nick Edwards and Its Showbusiness.
Joseph Trunkfield and Fanella I were the victors in Sunday’s All England Novice Championship, the first class of the final day of the show, while the All England 1.30m Open Championship went to Matthew Sampson and Ebolensky, giving Matthew his third major win of the show.