With only one ride at this year’s Horse of the Year Show, Billy Twomey had a defined aim – to make sure he qualified and claimed the Leading Show Jumper of the Year title with Tinka’s Serenade. “I had to get enough points in the week’s earlier classes to get qualified and give her a day off before tonight,” said the Irishman. “It worked perfectly.”
Under this Grand Prix’s rules, six riders are required for the jump-off. Five of the 24 starters had gone clear, with two of those carrying time faults. Therefore, Daniel Neilson, who had four down with Varo M in the first round, joined those.
As the final showdown was run according to faults and time in round one, he was first to go. A clean round this time was good enough for eventual fourth after first-round faults were taken into account. Britain’s final hopes for a home win followed in the form of Ellen Whitaker (Arena UK Lando) and Chloe Aston (Quiet Easy), both carrying a single time fault from round one. However, both toppled fences leaving the door ajar.
France’s Julian Eppailard (Qarat de la Loge) had one down, but kept up the pace to take the lead. But, he was soon followed by Ireland’s Cian O’Connor (Cooper) who opted to gamble on aiming for a steady clear. He got the result to move ahead of Julian, but had left a generous time for his fellow countryman, Billy Twomey, to chase.
The Nottinghamshire-based rider used this to his full advantage and jumped an immaculate round to the delight of the crowd. “She’s very talented and helped secure European team bronze a few weeks ago,” said Billy, who last won the Leading Show Jumper of the Year title in 2008 with Je T’Aime Flamenco. “It’s very special to win here and this class has a lot of history.”
He may not be a home-grown rider, but Germany’s Daniel Deusser proved to be an exceptionally popular rider at this year’s Show with his super speedy rounds on his fabulous horse Domingo. Having won The Accumulator the previous day, the pairing again beat Guy Williams (Bijou Van’t Vijfheide) in to second place, pipping the Brit by 0.02 seconds in the Vinopolis Speed Horse of the Year.
“It’s hard not to go for it when the crowd is so behind you,” said Daniel. “The atmosphere here is something special. There are lots of indoor shows like in Europe, but here it is different.”
Source: Press release from HOYS
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