Former Warrnambool resident Jess Barton wins Binnie Barclay Grand Prix at Mortlake

IT WAS a joyful and emotional return to the south-west for Jess Barton who was crowned the winner of the Binnie Barclay Grand Prix at the Western District Showjumping Championship on Monday.

The former Warrnambool resident rode two clean runs on Celso at Mortlake to secure the emotional victory after emerging as the fastest jumper in a four-way jump off for first place.

CLEAN SET OF HOOFS: Jess Barton on Celso produced two clear runs on her way to the Binnie Barclay Grand Prix title at Mortlake.

CLEAN SET OF HOOFS: Jess Barton on Celso produced two clear runs on her way to the Binnie Barclay Grand Prix title at Mortlake.

Barton, who now lives in Little River, said it was good to be back in the south-west.

“It is good to come back, and it's been an event I have always had earmarked as it's a memorial for the late Binnie Barclay who was a very close friend of mine and her children are a similar age to me and got me into showjumping,” she said.

“It was nice to win and also nice to come back to the Western District and compete.”

The win was made more sentimental because of Barton’s connection to the event.

“It was an emotional class to win, because of the family connection and because of Binnie,” she said.

“I feel very honoured to have won the class.”

Celso, the horse she trained specifically for Grand Prix class, was bred by her mother Sherrie Barton.

“He has always showed potential and it’s good to see him step up,” she said.

TRUSTY STEAD: Jess Barton poses with Celso.

TRUSTY STEAD: Jess Barton poses with Celso.

Barton was relieved the result went her way after an anxious four-way jump off.

“I was the second rider to go and I had already beaten the time of the first rider, so I was hopeful that I had done enough to win the class,” she said.

“It was a nervous wait for the other riders behind me and their horses made a few mistakes and I was able secure to win, which was relieving.”

Boorcan’s Greg Smith, riding Ultra Blue NZPH, and Yarra Glen’s James Harvey, riding Patangas Casino, rounded out the minor placings.

The three-day event included classes starting from 90cm jumps.