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‘This is his seventh time at Olympia and we nearly gave him a winter break, but the bigger the occasion, the better he goes.’Rebecca Penny was reserve champion with Lynnuck the Snowman, a Welsh Section C by Caerneuadd Hywel, owned and bred by Lynne Scott.Results:1 Katy Marriott-Payne’s Cadlanvalley Sandpiper (Best of Breed, Welsh Section B)2 Lynne Scott’s Lynuck the Snowman (ridden by Rebecca Penny, Best of Breed, Welsh Section C)3 Sandra Burton’s Banks Timber (Best of Breed, Connemara)4 Bethan Simons’ Ballynacoy Prince (Best of Breed, Welsh Section D)5 Mrs J Pennell’s Nipna Flora (Tayla Lewis, Best of Breed, Dales)6 Heidi Bennett’s Glebedale Jonny Depp (Samantha Roberts)7 The Countess of Shrewsbury’s Chetwynd Jasper (Gemma Pallet, Best in Breed, Welsh Section A)8 Martin Wood’s Swchyrhafod Brenin (Michaela Wood)9 Maureen Richardson’s Dunkery Wigeon (Hayley Reynolds, Best in Breed, Exmoor)10 Mrs G Simpson’s Wortley Golcar Lily (Aimee Devane)Other Best in Breeds: Dartmoor: Miss L A Calcutt’s Shilstone Rocks North Westerly (Chloe Chubb)Shetland: Margaret Summer’s Briar Snowman (Grace Litherland)Highland: Aileen Curle’s Harris of Mendick (Brian Williams)Fell: Jonathan Stevens’s Wildhoeve Okidoki New Forest: Maddison Bishop-Peck’s Hollybrooke Duke The Longines FEI World Cup TM Jumping Leg provided an afternoon of exhilarating sport in the Olympia Grand Hall, with only four of the 36 starters jumping a clear in the first round.This show is special, with the crowds and Christmas and everything.It’s a great feeling and I feel lucky to still be in the sport.”Poppy Deakin, 11, secured the win in The Pony Club Mini-Major relay that had previous escaped both of her sisters, Daisy and Kirsten.“I wanted to come here and do better than them,” said Olympia first-timer Poppy with a cheeky smirk.Scott, who pronounced the course “challenging, but well thought out and jumpable”, raised the roof with his clear round on the 16-year-old Ursula Xll and hopes were high that he might score the first back-to-back win since Nick Skelton in 1984.However, despite the fantastic jump-off speed of 37.34 seconds, it wasn’t to be.“I know Julien well and I knew how fast he would go, so fair play to him,” said Scott sportingly afterwards.
“It was a very difficult course, very technical – you needed scope but also great control.”Course-designer Guillaume Jorge, who officiated at the Rio Olympics last year, set the high-quality field, which included six of the world’s top 10 riders, quite a challenge, and it wasn’t until the 21 to go, European Champion Peder Fredricson on H&M Christian K, that there was a clear round.
Alberto Zorzi’s Olympia debut ended in the best way possible, with a superb victory in The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, the first win in the class for an Italian rider, on Athena Onassis’ Contanga.
Dutchman Harrie Smolders crowned a great year with second place on Zinius, propelling him to the top of the Leading Rider of Show table.
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