James Smith stormed to victory in the Royal Highland leg of the International Stairway adding his first 12 points to the league table with his own 10 year-old grey gelding, Twix De LA Roque.
With a strong class taking on a technical course, eight clears were produced in the first round and with a further three combinations went on to deliver a double clear. James, who is based in Kirkcudbrightshire showed his talent as he stormed in to top sport in an untouchable time of 51.02 seconds. Speaking after the class James said “Eight clears came through to the jump off and I was early to go. I’ve only had him six weeks so I just went as fast as I could without going crazy. It was a grand course, both big and technical but it was a good one that achieved the right number of clears. There were two distances I managed to cut a stride from, however there were a couple that beat my time but then had the last fence so it just worked out for me. The next competition will be at the Great Yorkshire Show before heading down to Keysoe”.
Keith Shore and his 10 year-old grey gelding, Hermes I took second place after leaving all the fences standing in fine style to claim a double clear in 52.67 seconds. Louise Whitaker secured third place on board Dietmar Ackermann’s 10 year-old bay mare Ruby VIII. This pair delivered the final double clear in 52.89 seconds.
The International Stairway takes place across a number of county shows where winning combinations accrue League Points that count towards the Final which takes place at the British Showjumping National Championships in August at Stoneleigh Park. The series culminates with a high profile championships where three Horse of the Year Show International Wild Cards are allocated as well as it being where the sports National Champion is crowned.