Phillip Miller's one-two in All England Grand Prix

The All England Jumping Championships reached their conclusion today, with a one-two finish for a former Hickstead Derby winner in the Grand Prix. 

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The 2013 Hickstead Derby winner Phillip Miller had another successful day at the All England Jumping Course, finishing first and second in today’s feature class.
 
There were 61 starters in today’s £6,000 All England Grand Prix, but only seven of these jumped clear in the first round. The first few to go in the jump-off, Jude Burgess (Severly Hille), Tim Stockdale (Erasmus VD Heffinck) and Max Routledge (Carus Royale) all picked up faults, paving the way for Hertfordshire-based Phillip and his Derby winner Caritiar Z to jump a clear in a solid time of 45.53sec.
 
Tim Stockdale’s second ride Bling Bling IV was fractionally quicker, but another four faults kept him off the top of the leaderboard, while the second last to go, Clark Glasgow, also had one fence down riding Fleur De L’Aube. This meant Phillip rode into the jump-off with his second horse, Unbelievable Lady, knowing he could jump a steady clear to net a one-two. This he duly did, steering Shirley Light's chestnut mare round Bob Ellis’ track to take second prize, while Max Routledge finished third.
                                                                                                                               
Phillip has enjoyed a successful season with the 15-year-old grey gelding Caritiar Z. The pair finished second in the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup during this summer’s Longines Royal International Horse Show, and won the Grand Prix at both Surrey County and the South of England Show.
 
“Carter is sharp, while Unbelievable Lady is really laid back,” said Phillip, who also finished eighth with Sussex Caretino as the fastest of the four faulters.
 
While clear rounds were hard to come by for most, Caritiar Z seems to relish jumping in the International Arena. “It’s a long way round this big arena, but he’s very fit. The going is amazing, and I love the atmosphere,” Phillip added.
 
Mild weather and plenty of sunshine made for perfect showjumping conditions for the final day of the All England Jumping Championships (3-6 September), which are now in their fifth year. 
 
This morning’s action in the International Arena got underway with The Equitop Myoplast All England Novice Championship. Hundreds of riders have contested the initial qualifiers at the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting and the Longines Royal International Horse Show, before competing in the final qualifiers at the All England Jumping Championships.
 
From these, 31 made it through to the final in the International Arena, and here it was Julian Mincher and Samantha Middleton’s Eindhoven GH that took the spoils, ahead of Nicole Pavitt and Oscar Zee.
 
In the All England 1.20m Open Championship, double clears were very hard to come by – and out of 10 in the jump-off only the very last to go, Simon Crippen, could net that vital second clear round. Simon’s victory came on board Angela Graham’s Frisbee II, while Tracy Priest and her own Ninja Sue took second.
 
The Pro-Am Sport Horses All England 1.30m Open Championship brought the show to a close. Ten jumped clear in the first round, with Nicole Pavitt fastest of the double clears on board Amaryllis Van Deheffinck. It was the pair’s third win in this class.
 

Saturday round-up

Olympic eventer Sharon Hunt, who won a team bronze medal in Beijing 2008, rode out the winner of the Douglas Bunn 1.35m Challenge on Saturday. 
 
Sharon, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, has being doing an increasing amount of showjumping in the past few seasons, but this unique class could have been designed for someone with plenty of cross-country experience. The course incorporated many of Hickstead's fixed fences, including the Devil's Dyke, Road Crossing and the less steep side of the bank, and it demanded boldness, speed and accuracy.
 
Sharon rode HSB Harriet, a seven-year-old grey mare that she's had for two years. Originally bought as an eventer, she had a few top 10 placings at Novice level, but after winning the Novice Derby here at Hickstead in 2014, Sharon began doing more showjumping with her instead. 
 
"She won two 1.20m Finals at Millstreet in Ireland, so I decided to stick to showjumping as she was winning more prizemoney doing that!" said Sharon. "She's still green but this year she's been unreal. She's the nicest, kindest, consistent, most genuine mare, and for me to be able to learn to jump the bigger tracks is great for my experience."
 
A total of 35 horses came forward for the class, but only three jumped clear. Sharon was the first of those, setting a time of 91.99sec, and she was soon followed by John Crippen and Loughnatousa Diego, who finished on 94.44sec. 
 
Among the last to go were Harriet Nuttall and Silver Lift, who won the 1.40m Open on Friday and who are formidable against the clock. However, they finished more than 1.5sec in arrears and once again, the Hickstead Speed Derby runners-up had to settle for second behind Sharon. 
 
Last to go was Darren Wise and Midnight Time, but while they got the fastest time of the day in 91.16sec, a costly brick out of the penultimate wall left them in fourth place. 
 
Sharon's mare certainly looked like one to watch round this course. "It was nice to be sitting on something who is so rideable, and it was fun," she said. "I'd love to have a go at the Speed Derby and do some more 1.40m classes with her."
 
Hickstead regular Monica Ballard from Kent was on top form on the penultimate day of the show. As well as winning the Animo All England 1.10m Amateur Championship, she also finished first in the All England 1.00m Open Championship, with both wins on board Anemoon Van De Kapel. Monica also picked up third in the 1.00m class with My Amazing Grace, behind John Crippen and Scholarship in second. 
 
The first class on Saturday was the All England 1.20m Amateur Championship, which was won by Michaela Huntington and her own Alegro Z.
 

Friday round-up

 
Nottinghamshire’s Jake Saywell enjoyed his first ever win in Hickstead's International Arena, when his ride Escapado S won Friday's All England 6 & 7 Year Old Championship. 
 
It's always a useful class for spotting future talent, and Jake's six-year-old grey certainly marked himself as one to watch when netting a classy double clear in the day's final class, finishing the jump-off in a time of 41.35sec. 
 
"It's such a good show and it's great being here, but to get the win is even better," said Jake.
 
In the Light Legacy All England Five Year Old championship, there was a very proud moment for Hickstead Director Edward Bunn when his daughter Lucy took the top prize. Riding the Billy Stud's Billy Cointreau, Lucy was fastest in the jump-off ahead of Julian Mincher and Love Handel CS in second.
 
It was a very good day for the Billy Stud, with three of their horses finishing joint first in the Harrington Horses All England Four Year Old championship. With a dozen clear rounds, first prize was shared equally between all 12 riders.  
 
A long-awaited win for Harriet Nuttall came in the 1.40m Open. Having finished runner-up in four of Hickstead's major classes this summer, she was very deserving of a win here. The victory came on board her British Speed Derby runner-up Silver Lift, who won the £500 top prize ahead of Max Routledge and Carus Royale. 
 
The All England Jumping Championships mark the end of Hickstead’s competition season. It’s time for something a little different next weekend (12-13 September), when the showground hosts the first ever Boomerang Hickstead music event.

Stars including Jessie J, The Vamps, Simple Minds, The Proclaimers and lots more will be taking to the stage in the International Arena, and tickets can still be bought atwww.boomeranghickstead.com.

For full results from the All England Jumping Championships, visit www.hickstead.co.uk.

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