Scott Brash was delighted to claim his first international victory since winning show jumping team gold at the London Olympics in front of a home crowd at Horse of the Year Show. Spurred on by rapturous applause as he entered the ring to jump in the Sky Sports Trophy on Liz MacTaggart’s Bon Ami, Scott sped round the course to snatch victory from The Netherlands’ Albert Zoer, riding Sam.
“It’s a privilege to jump in front of this home crowd,” said Scott. “It’s a fantastic show for us British riders, the atmosphere here is incredible and the spectators always give you such a warm welcome. It’s great to be able to repay their support.”
Bon Ami, who was Scott’s winning partner in last year’s Zinc Management Trophy, gave such a good performance tonight that his rider has a few options for Sunday Gala evening’s Leading Show Jumper of the Year contest. “I was planning on riding Intertoy Z on Sunday, but Bon Ami is on form, so we’ll have to see,” said Scott.
Earlier in the day, William Funnell rode Billy Balou into the history books when claiming an emotional win in the Horse & Hound Senior Foxhunter Championship at “The World’s Most Famous Horse Show”. Cheered on by a roof-raising crowd, William won a record-breaking third time in style, punching the air as crossed the finish line. With a victory in last year’s EquestrianClearance.com Senior Newcomers Championship already recorded, Billy Balou became the first horse ever to have claimed these two prestigious titles.
“It’s important to realise how much of a team effort it has been to win this,” said William, who bred the eight-year-old Billy Balou under his and Donal Barnwell’s Billy Stud banner. “Right from breeding the horses through to producing and competing them, there are a lot of people involved and all of them play their part.”
Carol Toliver’s eight-year-old Billy Balou has many special connections to William and the Billy Stud team. His sire, Cevin Z, is a former ride of William’s; his dam was also bred by the Billy Stud; William’s wife, eventer Pippa Funnell, rode him to victory in the Andrews Bowen International Arena in 2011, and stable jockey Daniel Moseley was heavily involved in producing him, after taking over from Alex Hempleman.
The piece of history adds to William’s already unbeaten record of being the youngest rider to win a Foxhunter title; he was 17 years old when he won in 1984 with once more, and the fact that he was the last rider to win at Horse of the Year Show’s former venue of Wembley in 2001 with Mondriaan.
But the winning didn’t stop there for William, he beat off a strong field in the Xerox Special Event Services Cup this time with Billy Angelo, a horse who is already making his mark on the global circuit. “It’s a great position to be in having good international horses as well as nice ones coming up,” said Wiliam.
Guy Williams “dusted off the cobwebs” after having a few weeks’ break from competition in the best possible way by winning the opening international class, the Grandstand Welcome Stakes, with Larino. “It’s great to be here to get going again,” said Guy. “This show is an important show for Britain and important for our sponsors.”
Source: Press release from HOYS.
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