Marc Houtzager, who is fast becoming a crowd favourite at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, pulled off a notable double, adding victory in the H & M Ivy Stakes to his afternoon win in the Rolex World Cup qualifie.
The Dutch Olympic team silver medallist went as pathfinder in the evening class and didn't let the early draw inconvenience him, setting an unmatchable target of 34.15 seconds on Sterrehof's Uppity in the 10-horse jump-off.
"I was in a good mood," smiled Marc, who is bidding to be the first rider since Robert Smith to do the World Cup-Grand Prix double. He rides Sterrehof's Opium in the big class which will be the finale to the 2012 show.
The irrepressible Irishman Cian O'Connor gave it his vest shot, finishing just 0.7 seconds in arrears on Ishd Dual Star. Peter Charles, another to have a good day, came third on Murkas Nevada.
Another visitor from Continental Europe brought the crowd to their feet in the H & M Six Bar. Germany's Max Kuhner, along with Britain's Robert Whitaker, was determined to give the crowd the spectacle they deserved.
The pair battled each other in a thrilling contest, in which the fences are raised each round for those riders who have remained faultess throughout the competition.
Despite energetic support from the home supporters, Robert toppled the last fence with Waterstone leaving it open for Max to take the win outright. The Munich-based rider did not waste his opportunity and piloted Coeur de Lion accurate down the line of fences. The pin-drop silence was dramatically broken as he cleared the last fence and took the win.
"The crowd is great here and we wanted to give them something to cheer about," said Max. "They really get you motivated andare part of what makes this show so special. There is no other show like this in the world. It really is the best on earth."
Press release: Katie Silver
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