Irish rider Billy Twomey hit top form to take the Leading Showjumper of the Year Grand Prix on the final night of Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham. This was the biggest course of the week, challenging both horse and rider in the Andrews Bowen International Arena. Combinations had to qualify throughout the week for a place in the prestigious Championship that also carries Longines Ranking points.
Twomey, who is based in Nottinghamshire, delivered two immaculate clear rounds on Diaghilev (Vangelis S x Handstreich) to deny Frenchman Julian Epaillard a successful title defense on Cristallo A LM (Casall x Corofino). Twomey's jump off time of 32.31 seconds was enough to land the £13,200 top prize, completing a title treble in this class after he triumphed in 2008 and 2013.
Epaillard was second, while this year's Bolesworth International Grand Prix winner Yazmin Pinchen took third on Van de Vivaldi (Vivaldi van de Kempel x Golden Joy J), with Colombia's Daniel Bluman fourth on Conconcreto Apardi (Corland x Kannan).
"I am absolutely delighted," Twomey said. "This week has been brilliant, and it is nice to top it off with a grand prix win. The horses have come into form, and hopefully, I can continue to kick on from this result."
"Horse of the Year Show is one of my favourite shows. The crowds here really get behind the runners, which helps make it so enjoyable."
Source: Press release from HOYS
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