Holly Smith landed the Blue Chip Pro challenge trophy with Kim Barzilay’s home-bred Kimba Castello with an early round that held off all challenges at the Blue Chip Championships.
“It’s great to get a win at Kim’s favourite show with one of her home-bred horses,” said Holly, who is just back from a successful show at the Andalucia Sunshine tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain.
The Castello Overcinge’s Z eight-year-old Castello is out of Heartbreaker mare Jessica Du Warchet – a former grade A showjumper – and clocked up six wins on the trot in four-star 1.40m and 1.45m classes.
“He’s always competitive wherever he goes and he’s won plenty at 1.45m now and although he’s back indoors after jumping in the big outdoor rings in Spain it doesn’t bother him,” said Holly, who found subtle problems when riding the track.
Run as a single-phase class with 55 competitors coming forward over 12 fences designed by Paul Connor, questions surfaced as the class progressed.
“It walked fine but there were problems everywhere, especially the line to the last. You had to make up your mind beforehand whether you would take six or seven strides to the final oxer. I knew I’d get in an early turn and I had already made up my mind I would take the outside line and go on seven strides,” explained Holly.
The tactics worked a treat. The consistent pair claimed a 2.73 sec advantage to win and are now in line for the Andrews Bowen championship bonus worth a £1,000 to any rider placed in the top three of the Blue Chip Pro challenge trophy who goes on to win the Blue Chip grand prix at tonight’s (8 April) gala.
Also targeting the bonus prize at the Blue Chip Championships is Yazmin Davis, placed second on Zanbowa Z and Angie Thompson, who finished third with Steyburn.
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