Rails rattle in Bega Showjumping Cup finale

Clear rounds were few and far between for Bega Showjumping Cup contenders on Sunday afternoon.

Visiting rider Alison Rowland was the sole double-clear rider, picking up the 2019 crown after a clean finish to the second round, in 63.94 seconds.

Defending champion Tori Stuckey out of Melbourne had to settle for second place, finishing with a single jumping penalty and a time that would have given her back-to-back wins, blitzing the course in just 62 seconds.

Double clear: Alison Rowland and Glenara Cognac stick the landing during their winning run in the Bega Showjumping Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Double clear: Alison Rowland and Glenara Cognac stick the landing during their winning run in the Bega Showjumping Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Bega favourite Clint Beresford rode among the quicker times, but dropped two rails in his first round effort riding SL Donato.

He recouped in the second round and finished third with his two jumping penalties and the quickest time of any rider with a 54-second round clear.

Earlier, Beresford had been pipped in the Helen Slater Futurity ride by Victorian first-time visitor to the Bega Cup Max Height, riding --

The Chester and Smith Showjumping Cup was the headline act for spectators on Sunday afternoon and an enthusiastic crowd were greeted by a remarkable spectacle in balmy 30-degree heat.

The 1.40 and 1.50m class was no easy run including plenty of downed rails, a few refusals and unfortunately one fall that hurled a rider from the saddle.

Milly Clarke was unfortunately thrown out of the saddle when her horse Rosthwaite Grumfus hesitated at the last second on one of the later jumps, but the rider walked away from the fall unscathed.

It wasn't the only dramatic exit from the competition either with Leon Carroll falling out of contention after missing a jump in the second round on Delisch.

Some rails nearly toppled by the wind alone as a cross-ground breeze blew in late into the second set of runs, but it didn't make much impact for the last handful of riders.

In the Amateur Championship earlier in the afternoon prolific Bega rider Jen Smith scored a cracking victory on Country Platinum with a double clear run edging out her rivals by a narrow margin.

Another Bega contender in Craig Matthews riding Fifa La Viva finished runner-up after Smith pipped him at the post, just three hundredths of a second in arrears after a classy jump off clear finish.

Events continued into Monday and officials said they had been thrilled with both entries and the competition with good numbers of spectators embracing new shade shelters under the grand stand.

Feedback from riders was also strong with many complimenting the ground, while officials also welcomed a mass of first-time riders to the event.

Some have also made repeat appearances after a long hiatus including a few in the top classes that haven't competed in Bega in more than a decade.