Alex Gill & Billy Olive Take Top Spot

South of England Show

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2015 08:47pm
Allesley, Coventry
By British Showjumping
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Competitors and spectators were swathed in sunshine at the South of England Show in Ardingly, West Sussex and the sun most certainly shone down upon Alex Gill and Billy Olive, the winners of the Speedi-Beet HOYS Grade C Qualifier that took place on Thursday 11th June.


With three direct qualifying tickets available for the Speedi-Beet HOYS Grade C Championship Final, which will take place during Horse of the Year Show this October, yesterday’s class was well fought out by the fifty-nine combinations that came forward to contest it.


Following a stiff first round of competition, twenty-three combinations remained in contention after producing a first round clear to give them a place in the jump off. Each and every one of the remaining competitors was aiming to produce a double clear to put them in a strong position and eight eventually went on to achieve this, meaning that the clock was to prove pivotal in the allocation of qualification places.


The fastest double clear was delivered by 17 year-old Alex Gill from Northallerton, North Yorkshire and he was on board Billy Olive, an 8 year-old bay mare owned by Billy Stud. Alex and Billy Olive were given a late draw in this class and in the jump off, this proved to be advantageous as Alex knew exactly what he needed to do in order to secure a win. The combination needed a double clear and it was vital that they did it in less than 40.00 seconds. Ensuring that he rode both accurately and quickly, Alex steered his ride over the fences to cross the finish line with that double clear in just 39.84 seconds, just 0.14 seconds faster than his nearest rival.


Damien Charles from Westerham, Kent took a close second place with Sarah Rutherford’s 9 year-old bay mare Batavia T after they produced their double clear in 39.98 seconds. The combination had held the lead for the majority of the class before being pipped in the final stages, but their performance ensured that the pair would be heading to the Championship Final.   


Third place was taken by John-Paul Sheffield from Billesdon, Leicestershire on Carolus K, an 8 year-old black gelding owned by Jane Heerbeck. They produced their double clear in 41.59 seconds to slot into the top three.


South of England Show – Thursday 11th June 2015

Speedi-Beet HOYS Grade C Qualifier
st Alex Gill & Billy Olive – 0/0 – 39.84 seconds
nd Damien Charles & Batavia T – 0/0 – 39.98 seconds
rd John-Paul Sheffield & Carolus K – 0/0 – 41.59 seconds


NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results.


Horse of the Year Show 2015 will take place from the 7th – 11th October 2015 at Birmingham’s Genting Arena.

Photo: Spidge Event Photography


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