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The WoSJ show review; Billy Twomey on Bolesworth International

Monday, 16 June 2014

This week top Irish rider Billy Twomey does the WoSJ show review on the Bolesworth International – a traditional show in the UK that for this year's edition was upgraded to an international three star show. The hard work with the event definitely paid off, and as Billy discovered – it was a beautiful show with its own identity!

"Many aspects of this weekend's show felt more like something on a five star, rather than a three star. The brand new international ring at Bolesworth was super, with the grass changed to Andrews Bowen wax surface which was very good to jump on – and that takes any kind of weather. We also had a large warm-up, one for flatting and one for jumping – providing plenty of space.

This is a show with its own identity, and the setting is something really special. The backdrop is the Bolesworth Castle, and then the ring itself is placed in the same way as an amphitheatre – so you look down into the ring and it gives a really nice atmosphere. The hospitality area was beautiful, placed on a long side of the ring. For sponsors it was for sure very enjoyable to watch the sport at this event. It was really something unique, and not a show you see everywhere.

It was a very well supported event, with good riders and good prize money. The only thing I would say could be improved is the stabling, but as we all know Rome was not build in one day and all in all the show organizers did a terrific job and paid attention to all the details. It was a real show case!

In the Grand Prix I ended as number six with Royale du Rouet. It was two tough rounds, which really took some jumping – and for a three star it was pretty big and difficult. The jump-off was not about going flat out – it really took some jumping, which I like. In the end only five of the almost sixty combinations were double clear.

In the first round Royale du Rouet felt really fresh, and jumped a super round. When I first got him he had the tendency to jump a foot and a half above some of the fences – almost being too careful, but now he is starting to get more relaxed and jumping all the fences in the same way. Hopefully he keeps on improving. In the jump-off I had the second fence down, and I am still trying to figure out why – I don't really get why it happened.

The sport in the Grand Prix was great though. Nick set a good target on Aristio, but in the end William and Upperclass were just a little bit faster!

At the moment my group of horses consists of an old veteran, and some promising ones that still are quite new to the top level of the sport. Tinka's Serenade is still on top of the tree, but she is 17 now. We try to look after her very well and not jump her too much so she can keep on going as long as she is fit. Then I have Diaghilev who has done quite well lately, and he is the horse I am aiming for the World Equestrian Games later this year. Royale du Rouet is only nine, and still quite new to this level – but he won a class in Hamburg two weeks ago and is starting to collect some good results. I am also very happy with Ardcolum Duke who I have had for about half a year now, he is turning out to be much more than I expected. Codarco – who I jumped at Bolesworth as well – is only seven, but shows a lot of promise. In other words, it looks like a good group of horses for the future.

After being out for so long due to my back surgery, it takes a little while to climb up again on the rankings – but we are on our way and most importantly I am feeling stronger than before! My next stop will be Hickstead, where I will be giving Ardcolum Duke a go in the Derby!"

As told to World of Showjumping by Billy Twomey

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