Nicole Lockhead Anderson not only produced the fastest time but secured victory in the Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Winter JA Classic Final on Sunday.
The Banchory 16-year-old had the sole double clear on the impressive Gangnam Style II at the SouthView Equestrian Centre in Cheshire.
“He is amazing and it is so nice to win on one who has been with us since a baby six-year-old,” said Nicole.
Only four from 17 ponies reached the jump-off over course-designer Mark McGowan’s technical 12-fence track but a confident Nicole and her mother Claire’s Irish-bred nine-year-old swept into an unbeatable lead.
The talented Gangnam Style – current Scope Dunglenn JA and National Pony Silver League Champion at the National Championships 2017 – never looked like touching a fence.
“He’s pretty chilled and takes it all in his stride and he’s so careful, I can trust him to anything – we took a long run at the final planks and he just popped it,” Nicole added.
The talented pony has a unique record at this venue. “He loves it here – in 2016 and 2017 he won the Blue Chip Pony Newcomers second round to qualify for the Horse of the Year Show, and in 2015 he finished second in the same class, again qualifying for the HOYS final,” said Nicole, who praised Scottish designer Mark McGowan’s courses.
“Living in Scotland, I’ve been brought up on Mark’s courses and I love them – they are courses you can trust,” she said.
Last year’s winner Lily Freeman-Attwood was out to retain her title in the final draw of the four-pony decider but an ultra-tight turn into a sizeable double was a turn too far for Valmy De Treille.
But the plucky French-bred nine-year-old mare quickly returned to jump it on the second attempt and their fast time earned second place.
Alice Weightman’s opening round also finished on just one mistake for third place with the Dutch-bred 11-year-old Cindy VI and Tahnia Jordan Jones claimed fourth place with the 12-year-old Jumper.
Results: 1, Nicole Lockhead Anderson & Gangnam Style II - 0/0 - 44.44sec; 2, Lily Freeman Attwood & Valmy De Treille - 0/4 - 51.06sec; 3, Alice Weightman & Cindy VI - 0/4 - 51.69sec; 4, Tahnia Jordan Jones & Jumper - 0/E.