IRELAND'S Jessica Burke added the 1.40m LeMieux All England Grand Prix to her impressive collection of Hickstead wins at the weekend.
Riding Liam Nicholas’ 13-year-old gelding Express Trend, Burke produced a jump-off round that saw her 1.5 seconds clear of runner-up Sally Goding and the prolific Spring Willow.
A huge class of 68 starters came forward for the £9,000 competition, the feature Grand Prix on the final day of the All England September Tour.
As always, the long course and Hickstead’s iconic obstacles caught many a combination out, with just 12 going clear in round one.
Only half of these could produce a clear in the jump-off, with Jessica managing to do so twice – also finishing in sixth place with Nikey HH.
At last year’s Tour, Burke and Inpulss won the Sussex Cup in week one, but this is the first time she has won the final Grand Prix.
“I didn’t jump the Sussex Cup last week as we were at Jim Whitaker’s wedding,” she explained. “But we targeted the Grand Prix here with this horse, so I’m delighted. He knows the job so well.” The Irish Sport Horse gelding is by Future Trend and was bred by the owner.
Following her first Hickstead International Arena win a week ago, it didn’t take long for teenage star Eve McCoy to add another. Riding her father AP McCoy’s Cocktail D’Azur, the pair is proving a force to be reckoned with at Hickstead, claiming the honours in the Stoner Jewellers All England 1.20m Open Championship for the second week in a row.
The pair produced the only double clear of the competition to take a clear win. “Going into the jump-off, I didn’t actually realise that there were no clears before me, so I actually should have gone a lot slower!” said Eve, 15.
The All England Novice Championship went to Nicole Pavitt and the six-year-old mare Azalea 16 with Matthew Turner on Newman J in second.
The All England 1m Open Championship was won by Elizabeth Prior and BE Royale, who finished nearly 5sec faster than their nearest rivals, Olivia Purdie and Diamond Hill Toby.