Sweden's Angelie von Essen, a regular campaigner on the British circuit, landed the opening international class of this year's Horse of the Year Show - the ReadySupp Cup - riding West Falica. Von Essen conquered a two phase class against the clock, but only after a thrilling battle with Irish star Billy Twomey.
The Swedish rider posted a time of 28.78 seconds, which edged out Billy Twomey and Tin Tin by just 11 hundredths of a second. Belgium's Karel Cox finished third on Covia Z, and Ireland's Anthony Condon took fourth spot aboard Balzac.
"I am really pleased with the win," she said. "My horses are in good form, and when I got the call on Monday I wasn't too stressed about it. I have just come here to do my best.
Frenchman Julien Epaillard started where he left off 12 months ago at Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham. Epaillard, the 2014 Leading Showjumper of the Year at HOYS, opened his current campaign by winning the CanterBanter.co.uk Cup, a one-round speed class, with Pigmalion Du Rozel.
Their time of 53.55 seconds headed a multi-national leaderboard as Colombia's Daniel Bluman finished second on Conconcreto Apardi, with Irishman Billy Twomey and Diaghilev third and Egypt's Abdel Said, riding Luron SZ, fourth.
"I feel very good," he said. "My horse is back in action after a one-month break. He was very fresh and he jumped nicely. I took all the risks today, and the horse performed superbly. You need a horse with experience, especially in the first indoor event of the season, and my horse certainly knows his job."
Source: Press release from HOYS.
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