Darby Dominates the John Whitaker International Winter JA Classic

Congratulations to Darby Ward on her recent success at SouthView Equestrian Centre where they held the first pony premier show of the year hosting two John Whitaker International Winter JA Classic competitions.

 Run over three rounds Saturdays competition saw 23 starters fight it out for the top three qualifying places. Eight combinations jumped clear round the first round to make it into the first jump off with six of those jumping clear again.

Fourteen-year-old Millie Allen from Stockton on Tees had three of the five rides in the jump off and was drawn second to go on her father Peter’s nine-year-old bay mare Song Girl. Millie set the time to beat by jumping clear in 39.67 seconds.

Following Millie into the arena was 15-year-old Beth Vernon from Mansfield in Nottingham. Partnering her mother Allyson’s 11-year-old grey mare Falaza Beth jumped clear in a time of 38.69 seconds putting her into the lead. 

Drawn fifth to go was Darby Ward aged 15-years-old from Cheshire. Darby was partnering Carolyn Nevinson’s 12-year-old grey gelding Maradonna who jumped clear in a time of 38.24 seconds putting her into the lead with only Millie left to go. Millie’s final ride was David Miller’s 14-year-old chestnut gelding Scoubidou IV but with having an unfortunate fence down in a time of 39.91 seconds they finished in fifth place.

Sunday again saw some hot competition with 11 of the 25 starters making it in to the first jump off. Seven of these combinations jumped clear again to fight it out for the top three places in the final jump off.

Following on from her success the previous day Darby Ward had two rides in the jump off riding for Bilton Ward Developments. Drawn second to go on Wischin Chin M a nine-year-old bay gelding Darby set the target by jumping clear in a time of 44.60 seconds. This proved good enough for third place when Darby pushed herself down the line on her second ride the 15-year-old bay gelding Enzo III. Darby didn’t manage to hold on to first and second place for long as Beth Vernon riding Falaza followed her in the arena. Jumping clear in a time of 36.60 seconds gave Beth the win.

Qualified pony rider combinations on Sunday were Darby Ward riding Enzo II and Wischin Chin M and fifth placed Millie Allen riding Scoubidou IV.