Two riders fought all the way to share a thrilling Alltech Puissance at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, after both their horses jumped superbly over five rounds.
Jos Verlooy from Belgium and Germany’s Hilmar Meyer were the only two to make it through to the fifth round and shared the spoils - which were presented by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, paying her annual visit to Olympia - after soaring over the famous wall at 2.15m (7ft 1in).
Meyer first came to Olympia a couple of years ago as a groom; now, on his first visit as a competitor, he is celebrating winning one of the most prestigious classes. His horse, the 13-year-old Continuo by Contendro, is a puissance specialist and has taken many classes in Europe.
“I’m very proud of my horse,” said Meyer. “It’s an unbelievable feeling jumping that high, but only with the right horse. It’s been great to ride here at Olympia, it’s such a great atmosphere.”
Unusually, Verlooy, 20, was using the class as a warm-up for the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier on Sunshine (Diamant de Semilly x Hardi), a nine-year-old chestnut gelding. “I think that jumping a puissance can work well as a warm-up before a really big class,” he explained. “It was really exciting. I couldn’t believe how easily my horse jumped.”
Swiss rider Pius Schwizer riding Leonard de la Ferme CH, Victoria Gulliksen (Grand Balou), daughter of Norwegian Olympian and perennial Olympia visitor Geir Gulliksen, Ireland’s Trevor Breen on the dual Hickstead Derby winner Loughnatousa WB and last year’s runner-up, Karline De Branander from Belgium on her gallant mare Fantomas de Muze, all crashed out in the fourth round when the wall was 2.10m (6ft 11in).
Source: Press release from Revolution Sports + Entertainment // Picture © Kit Houghton/Hpower
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