Irish riders continued to stamp their authority on the All England Jumping Course this week, with Keith Doyle winning the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the flagship class of the national grand prix circuit. Only five riders – all male – made it through to the second round in the class, which was restricted to ladies only until 2008. Drawn second last to go in the jump-off, Keith and Walk Tall II beat the time set by Geoff Billington, the only other rider to go clear, by just 0.3sec.
“This is our biggest win by far – to be honest, I was pleased with two clears so to win is a real bonus,” said Keith, who finished second last month at Hickstead in the Bunn Leisure Derby Trophy. Walk Tall II is a homebred 10-year-old by Kannan. “We bred four or five foals that year and he was always pick of the bunch,” said Keith. “I may have to sell him on, but it would be nice to keep him for a while and enjoy him.”
Hickstead-based Shane Breen is definitely enjoying a successful show, with the Irishman landing the Sky Sports Speed Classic on Ominerale Courcelle. It was the pair’s second win this week, having won the Royal International Vase on Thursday. Shane, who was last to go, knew exactly what he needed to do to win and he didn't disappoint, beating the leading time of fellow countryman Richie Moloney by more than two seconds. It was an aggressive and tight-turning ride by the Irishman, who took huge risks that paid off handsomely. “I knew I could beat the time, and I took some strides out and saved some seconds so I could be a bit safer in a few of the trickier places,” said Shane.
The Bunn Leisure Salver kicked off the International Arena action this morning at the Longines Royal International Horse Show, the official show of The British Horse Society. Belgian rider Rik Hemeryck and Papillon Z won, beating countryman Maurice Van Roosbroeck (Calumet) by 0.13 seconds. “I first came to Hickstead 20 years ago and this is the first time I’ve been back since – it feels great to be back as it’s a really nice show,” said Rik, who worked for Peter Charles more than 20 years ago during a year-long stint in England.
Source: Press release from Victoria Spicer, Press Officer for the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead
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