Switch up pays off for Hewitt at Hartpury

Jessica Hewitt claims the Blue Chip Dynamic B and C title as her own.
Jessica Hewitt claims the Blue Chip Dynamic B and C title as her own.
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WEST Yorkshire’s Jessica Hewitt made a successful switch to horses to claim the Blue Chip Dynamic B and C at the 23rd year of the Blue Chip Showjumping Winter Championships held

Hewitt, 14, a successful pony rider, enjoyed victory on Rachael Evison’s Kojak-sired Zaronda II at Hartpury Arena in Gloucestershire

The teenager began riding the 10 year-old chestnut mare 12 months ago and saw off 44 other combinations to seal the title.

“I just kept flowing” said a delighted Hewitt. “She’s little, but has a massive stride.”

Running from October to March, eligible horse and rider combinations competed for the chance to qualify for the event at shows allocated all over the country.

Also celebrating at the weekend was Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson, who was one of only two top 10 British finishers in the feature class of this year’s Belton Horse Trials in Lincolnshire.

Wilson finished seventh on rapidly improving 10-year-old Badminton entry Annie Clover with multiple British Olympian Mary King leading Britain’s challenge in third on Imperial Cavalier.

Victory and with it the Grantham Cup went to New Zealander Mark Todd with Leonidas II.

The 58-year-old double Olympic champion, who is based in Wiltshire, triumphed by a comfortable margin after finishing on a dressage score of 35.5 penalties.

Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon, riding the highly-rated Borough Pennyz, finished second on 39.9.

A delighted Wilson said of Annie Clover: “She did a super test to lie eighth after dressage with 72.3 per cent and then did a fabulous double clear just adding a few time faults to her dressage.

“She is a horse that my mum bought as a four-year-old and we have enjoyed watching and working with her through the grades and it is just so rewarding when they go well.

“Annie is entered for her first four-star run at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, so hopefully this will have been a good preparation run, if anything it can prepare them for their first four-star. We will just have to wait and see.”

After a decent dressage test and clear showjumping round, Wilson’s One Two Many, who is being aimed at the Bramham CCI three-star event, was withdrawn from the cross-country stage of his Advanced class. That was always the intention with One Two Many having already excelled in that sphere at Fountainebleau two weeks ago.

Huddersfield’s Oliver Townend enjoyed two victories with BGS Captain Morgan and Colonel Joe in a Novice and Intermediate respectively.

Looking ahead to this weekend, Wilson’s Opposition Buzz will accompany his half brother Ngong Hills, who will be doing his first Advanced at Weston Park.

Wilson added: “It will be an interesting day with the wise and mature and the first timer.”