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Ellen drives the Horse of the Year Show crowd wild

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Ellen Whitaker and Arena UK Lando. Photo by Julian Portch.Having won her place in the Horse of the Year Show wild card competition at Arena UK, Ellen Whitaker really made the most of it by thrilling the packed house during the Zinc Management Trophy. In this class, riders chose their own routes to ride the jump-off and she picked the one that suited her ride, Arena UK Lando, perfectly.

"He's quite small and like a pony," said Ellen. "So the route I took, which was the same one Laura Renwick had taken, was one where the fences were close together and we didn't have to cover the ground too much."

British riders dominated the class, much to the delight of the home crowd, and roared in celebration as the jump-off rounds got faster and more daring.

Early on in the day, jumping big fences was the order of the day in the Five-Fence-Challenge. This also proved to be a thrill-a-minute affair and Brit Guy Williams, riding Depardieu Van'T Kiezelhof, became the first ever outright winner. In this class, where the five fences are raised in every round and only those who remain faultless are allowed to continue, Guy was the only one to keep all of the obstacles intact in round four. This was good enough for him to claim the honours.

"It's a great class to compete in and the crowd love it," said Guy. "I am planning on jumping this horse in the Leading Show Jumper of the Year on Sunday, so it was good to get him in there jumping big fences."

Britain's leading lady rider Laura Renwick, a regular winner at HOYS, secured the win in the Dick Turpin Stakes with the speedy mare Beluga.

"She's tough to catch if she leaves the fences up," said Laura. "She always goes fast, it's just the way she likes to compete. I'll be aiming her at the Vinopolis Speed Horse of the Year on Sunday. I think it's a title that would suit her!"

Source: Press release from Horse of the Year Show

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