Honey Bowes claimed victory in the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers second round with recent acquisition VMS Dion Cruise at Morris Equestrian Centre’s Summer Pony Premier in Scotland.
Overwhelmed at winning her first sash, Grantham-based Honey, 12, and her father burst into tears of joy.
Eighteen of the initial 46 starters returned first round clears over course-designers Kevin Bull and John Bedford’s 13-fence 1.10m track, these further reduced to six for the final jump-off. Jumping was the major player as, fittingly, the four qualifying places were taken by the four treble clears.
Honey proved the quickest on the 11-year-old Irish-bred mare VMS Dion Cruise, forging ahead of her rivals to land a 2.41 second win. The pair only teamed up two and a half months ago but immediately gelled. However, Honey was nervous as trainer Joss Williams was himself chasing a HOYS ticket at Arena UK so was unable to be on the spot in Scotland.
“Joss was at the end of the phone constantly and we had his trainer, his mum Cheri, with us. Going into the last round I knew I had to be fast as there were six of us who hadn’t qualified. I’d been practising the turns at home with Cruise, and I knew she could do it, so I made a plan and stuck to it and she did everything I asked,” said Honey, who had an added incentive.
Joss has said every time I qualify, he would eat something he hates. When I qualified Coreys Princess [for the HOYS 128cm at Bicton] I made him eat sushi, now I can make him eat olives!”
Sienna Palin slotted the 5-year-old Mikado Van Den Dael into second with Jessica Rood filling third aboard the Locarno 62 10-year-old Cherie Amour II. Fourth-placed Eleanor Archibald also picked up a qualification place with the steadiest of the treble clears on the 8-year-old Beach Ball daughter LCS Peachy Beachy.
The Daimler foundation Morris EC – Saturday, 15 July 2023
Blue Chip Pony Newcomers Second Round
1st Honey Bowes & VMS Dion Cruise – 0/0/0 36.24 seconds
2nd Sienna Palin & Mikado Van Den Dael – 0/0/0 38.65 seconds
3rd Jessica Rood & Cherie Amour II – 0/0/0 40.54 seconds
4th Eleanor Archibald & LCS Peachy Beachy – 0/0/0 41.82 seconds
NB: Qualifications pending official grading of results.
Image: Jamie Agnew Photography