Yazmin Pinchen pulled off what she described as “the biggest win of my career” at the Ashford Farm CSI**** Bolesworth International today, after a superlative display saw her crowned champion of the Redrow Grand Prix.
The 22-year-old Sussex rider delivered three clear rounds aboard the 12-year-old chestnut gelding Van De Vivaldi, which is owned by her mother Nancy, to power home and claim a £19,800 top prize.
Despite being the youngest rider among a 49-strong field, Pinchen displayed impressive composure as last to go in a four horse jump-off alongside Trevor Breen, John Whitaker and Keith Shore.
With the other riders having collected jump-off faults, Pinchen knew a clear round would be enough to claim one of British showjumping’s most prestigious prizes, and she delivered in style.
And her career looks set to go from strength, with selection now confirmed in the Great Britain team that will contest next month’s Nations Cup event in Falsterbo, Sweden.
Irish star Breen finished second on Oldtown KC, collecting £12,000, with Whitaker and Lord of Arabia third. Shore and Mystic Hurricane finished fourth.
“John Renwick has been helping me, and he just said to stick to my plan and focus on going clear,” said Pinchen. “I have got a bit of an issue with my adrenalin taking over sometimes.
“Going last in the jump-off was the best thing ever. There was a lot more pressure, but I knew I just had to go clear.
“Luckily for me, I have had experience of jumping a few Global Champions Tour events, and it has given me more confidence. I know my horses can do it, it’s just all down to me being positive.
“This is the biggest win of my career. The horse is such a sweetheart, really. I have had him for a long time, and I have got a really good relationship with him.”
Earlier in the day, Scotland’s James Smith made it a case of third time lucky in this year’s Bolesworth International as he captured the opening four-star class on Sunday.
Smith had already claimed two second-placed finishes at Bolesworth on the 14-year-old grey mare Cumina, but he went one better in the 1.35m final, sponsored by Equi-Trek, to edge a thrilling jump-off.
And Smith did it from first to go in the race against clock, posting a time of 36.50 seconds to collect a £2,970 top prize and edge in-form Brazilian Marlon Modolo Zanotelli and Cavalia into second spot, while Laura Renwick and Ulievka De Breve finished third.
“We’ve had Cumina for eight or nine years now, and she has always been a real winner. She always tries and tries,” Smith said.
“She is a very quick mare and she turns very well. She jumped superbly. Because she is small, she is always going for the distances, and she doesn’t waste a lot of time.”
And the closing 1.40m accumulator four-star class, sponsored by J Hales and Shaw Farm Stud, went to America’s Laura Kraut on Thalis de la Roque by just two hundredths of a second from Smith and Theoreme du Desir, with Ellen Whitaker finishing third aboard Le Beau.