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A Thistledown Cup and Grandstand Challenge Cup to Remember at HOYS 2022

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A Hat-trick of Clears for J Superstar at Peelbergen. 9-12 November 2022
A Hat-trick of Clears for J Superstar at Peelbergen. 9-12 November 2022

Amy Mason’s J Superstar (Chamen x Superstar), showed his talent and quality this weekend with 3 faultless classes in the 1.35/1.40 Small Tour at Peelbergen, Kronenberg.

An exciting Table A on 11th November saw him take home the win, with double clears in his 1.35 and 1.40 classes at the same show.

‘He’s such a lovely horse to ride,” said Ellen, “He loves his job and finds it all extremely easy. He’s definitely one of my rides of the future and I am really enjoying producing him.”

A Great 2nd Place in the €40,000 VDL Groep Prijs CSI 4* at Maastricht
A Great 2nd Place in the €40,000 VDL Groep Prijs CSI 4* at Maastricht

To the delight of spectators, the opening day of the Jumping Indoor Maastricht CSI 4*, November 04, 2022 was an exciting crowd pleaser - with Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), this year’s World Championship bronze medal winner winning the 1.50m competition and Ellen Whitaker (GBR) and Equine America Spacecake (Stakkatol x Kannan), right on their heels, finishing a tiny two-tenths of a second slower, crossing the jump-off timers in 36.63 seconds.

The level of the competition was high and the final results featured three nations in the top three positions.

Final Results – €40,000 VDL Groep Prijs CSI 4*
1) Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) & Elwikke – 0 / 0 – 36.41
2) Ellen Whitaker (GBR) & Equine America Spacecake – 0 / 0 – 36.63
3) Cedric Hurel (FRA) & Fantasio Floreval Z – 0 / 0 – 37.52

A Thistledown Cup and Grandstand Challenge Cup to Remember at HOYS 2022
A Thistledown Cup and Grandstand Challenge Cup to Remember at HOYS 2022

The Thistledown Cup certainly didn’t disappoint this year at HOYS, with Ellen Whitaker and Equine America Spacecake holding onto the 8th qualifying spot to go through to an exciting jump off. First in, carrying her 4 faults from the first round, Ellen put down a scorching time and jumped clear, putting a lot of pressure on the 7 riders above her, 4 faults and 39.20 to beat! Her exciting round saw her move up to finish in 4th place with her 4 faults from the first round, but a second and a half faster than winner Lilly Attwood,

The Grandstand Challenge Cup opened Saturday evening’s proceedings, where a total of 29 horse and rider combinations including Ellen Whitaker and Equine America Ivanhoe GPH came forward in the first round to compete for a prize fund totalling £20,000. Fence three, which featured a water tray, was proving a stickler while the tall opposing white fence at 9, also knocked out a selection of the class’s contenders, but proved no challenge to Ellen and Equine America Ivanhoe who posted a lovely clear to go through to the jump off.

Eight imposing fences made up the jump-off round, each spaced evenly to encourage speed while demanding accuracy. Ellen and Equine America Ivanhoe GPH showcased professional etiquette and skill, jumping a fast clear to arrive at the finish line clear, with 1 second to spare against the leading round. However, Ellen’s was only the start quality rounds to come which culminated in a well deserved 5th for Equine America Ivanhoe who really came into his own in the electric indoor atmosphere.