By Susan Cook

The annual migration of the amateur competitors to the Amateur and Veteran Championships held at Aintree EC is over for another year but not without a few successes recorded.

Megan Cowan opened the show for the Scots with a win in an 85cms qualifier on her super speedy pony-size Tullycars Peek A Boo. This 14-year-old mare is now Grade A having won more than forty classes this year alone and featured throughout the championship show winning two classes and being second in a third and then came home to start her campaign for next year by winning first rounds at Blue Ridge and Morris.

Ben Fairbrother is enjoying the ride on Mr Money Puzzle finishing second to Megan the first day, some minor placings throughout, before earning fourth in the 85cms final.

Shotts-based Laura Lane rode her own Electra into a second place in a 95cms qualifier but then found herself the fastest home in a 1m challenge to earn the £200 first prize, no mean feat when these classes had hundreds in them.

Another to win a final was Lucy Stewart this time on Glow DK which headed a 1.15m qualifier before scorching round the final to reclaim the title she won last year on Cancun.

Vet nurse Marion Brown found herself on the winners’ podium for her third place in the 95cms final after a successful show which saw her picking up minor placings with Summer Solstice as well as Abacus.

Travelling from Strathaven, Jodie Cairns who took over the ride on Gigolo from Mischa Irving in 2017 and has now taken him to Grade B, qualified for the 1.10m final where they finished a very creditable seventh.

The Veteran Championship saw a few Scots in the line-up. Alistair White has had a fantastic season with Hanleen O’Tess bred by Harry Aird by Otis out of a Cruising mare which has hardly been out of the money at every venue they have jumped at. They jumped a super double clear for third place in the final then came home to win two classes at SNEC to start their 2020 campaign.

Only a second in arrears Laura McCabe finished in sixth place with her own Easy Money. Three seconds behind them was Fiona Burgoyne on Indigo Van De Roshoeve in seventh.

David Brown tackled the major veteran final to slot into eighth with just one pole on the floor with Americo.

Keira Rankine made the trip south a busy one, her own Wyzer By Far brought home a red rosette in a 1.05m qualifier.

It didn’t quite go to plan for Andrew Blackwood and Copper V who were unusually out of the money throughout, but travelling home they came back to form with wins at Morris and SNEC.

Morris EC ran a busy Winter Development show where the novice classes and qualifiers were well filled.

One of the most impressive performances over the show was given by Jodie Maher who completed a one-two in the Scottish Young Riders Championship with two very useful young horses.

After jumping flawless first rounds over a thought-provoking track by Raf Suarez Jodie confidently tackled the jump off to produce two of just three second round clears being faster home with the eight-year-old Quasimodo daughter Gavanta.

Jodie’s other eight-year-old Grace Unlimited was some three seconds slower with the only other double clear coming from Rachel Williamson two seconds slower on her own Templepatrick AZ.

Graham Babes was lucky to get a phone call from a fellow competitor to let him know the CWD Final was starting, giving him just enough time to load up and head over to the show.

Riding Patricia Fraser’s Cluedo he had to gallop to beat Moira William on Millabbey Du Carel to ensure he took the top prize of a brand new made-to-measure CWD saddle home.

Sandy McLean has had plenty of opportunities since joining Jonathan Dixon’s yard near Carlisle. Riding Incredibola in an over eighty-starter Winter Novice qualifier, he not only managed to win the class but to sell the mare to his sister Claire Leitch meaning he’ll get to keep the ride for the final.

Sandy took over the ride of Aston MF from Joanne Dixon over a year ago taking him from British Novice classes to his first attempts at 1.25m where he showed plenty of ability winning the Winter qualifier.

Boss Jonathan had won two 1.30m opens at Morris at the previous show on his Diarado-sired Guus Geluk which went on to head the Winter 1.35m at this one.

Alex Barr spent a good part of September in Canteleu, France, jumping the CSIO1 and 2* classes with Ferrara Durona, Falco and HBF Delta where the latter was a winner in the Young Horse sections. Coming home to partner Havall he was seen winning at 1.30m at Morris.

Nicky Williams is looking impressive with some decent horsepower at his disposal. Riding Elo he has been third in a 1.40m at Arena UK, won a 1.30m at SNEC before coming second in the 1.35 first round Winter B+C.

Lucy Guild has been in winning form as per usual with Hugana Vant Heike but her six-year-old Scottish bred Irresistible Bella MFS is impressing collecting her Winter Grade C ticket at Morris and giving these fences plenty of air.

Alana Hood won a 1.20m at Morris but this was just a warm-up for her trip to Arena UK where she claimed the Blue Chip Performance qualifier on another Scottish-bred Scherzinger FB.

Producing Jim Wilmer’s five-year-old Just White carefully, Greg Taylor has hardly had a pole down resulting in a win at Morris but also at Aintree where he competed four younger horses for Jim and his own Greg Taylor Equestrian.

Greg’s own four-year-old Kramer jumped double clears in British Novices, Jim’s Wicked’s Vancouver was double clear in two discoveries and the five-year-old Carvalla was first and second in two newcomers.

Elspeth Jamieson was seen in the money with Dassett Cooley Designed, as was Lucy Rennie with James Ramsay’s Ballylinan Black Beauty and Natalie Devlin who gained a fourth with My Hallo Jessie and a win in a 1.10m with Coulters Candy.

Near Aberdeen, competitors endured torrential rain the first day of the three day show at The Cabin but were cheered up by the trophies and prizes on offer on day two which incorporated the North Trophy Show.

Rosie Pindar took home three sashes when she won the Newcomers on Z Yazz, the foxhunter with No Snow On Me and the 1.30m with Hanleen Beatrice.

Other trophy winners over the day were Paul Rawling with Freckleton Maarifa, Jessica Fox on Sparko and Charley Hamilton with her Highfield of Howe winner Innishannon Red Squirrel.

At the ever-popular SWS Gala night Claire Leitch was over the moon with her own Warhol Wulfselection which outjumped the others to win the Masters. Claire now divides her time between jumping her own horses and watching son Owen who is just starting out on his show jumping career with the super 128cms Tatty Desire.

Another busy mother Lisa McConville may have just touched the planks but her overall score was enough to win the accumulator with her versatile Zacharias.

Rhiannon Stormonth took home the pony title after her flying clear whilst the ‘Hairy Grand National’ was once again provided the thrills and spills of the evening.