AS the professionals continued to dominate, Daniel Alderson landed the first of his double in the EI110 (O). A small class of just three runners, Alderson took the spoils with Fleur Creed’s HHS Nacho, a nine-year-old by Quidam Junior.

The former Kelley Hutchinson-owned gelding is a new ride for the Waterford-based rider, although he did have him to school some 18 months ago. “I know him quite well and he’s a very good, careful jumper which makes my life easy,” said Alderson, whose new venture at Orla Byrne’s Forest Lane Stables is growing apace. “Business is good and has taken off really quickly,” he confirmed before explaining that he now has 12 horses in to event, and two five-year-olds qualified for the RDS.

Heidi Hamilton retained her second spot with Paulank Kirilkee, from Lindsay Graham who was also double clear with Moystown St Ghyvan.

Described as probably the tightest finish of the year, Alderson also filled the top spot in the restricted class. Fielding a far more competitive 28 starters, Alderson (Annestown Royal Blue) and second-placed Gillian Beale-King (Tullibards Evita) were neck and neck from the outset, and incredibly both held the same time across the country. At first Beale-King was posted as the winner, but positions were reversed when it was ruled that Alderson was marginally faster in the show jumping. This was a rewarding win for Yorkshire-born rider, as well as for owner-breeder Margaret Moore, who has had the equine family for several generations. In fact, the six-year-old Annestown Royal Blue (by Bonmahon Master Blue) is out of a half-sister to the former Michael Ryan-ridden international horse Annestown Emperor, and from the immediate family of Annestown Envoy (CCI3* now 4*). “She’s very trainable, loves her work and is starting to know what the cross-country is all about,” said Alderson, who added that an upgrade in class would be on the cards in the near future.

As the winner at Grove a few weeks ago, Tullibards Evita put in another excellent run under Beale-King to fill second, while Rebecca Coonan will have been delighted with her third place with the level debutante KEC Paqx.

As it had been all day, the show jumping was influential, and proved costly for dressage leaders Chloe Fagan and the thoroughbred Justbecool. Their single error and time fault demoted them to seventh, while Sian Coleman and the Jardy-bound Diamond Mistress, who was also poised for a good result, slipped down the order to sixth.