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.