Trevor Breen added another major Hickstead win to his impressive tally when he took the honours in the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup today, riding the 'one-eyed wonder horse' Adventure De Kannan. Last month, Irishman Trevor and 'Addy' won the Equestrian.com Derby at Hickstead, a class he'd repeatedly come so close to winning. The Hickstead Derby is known for being fearsomely tricky to win, and it was even more remarkable that a horse with just one eye could jump so well round the famous course.
But Trevor and Addy have already garnered a phenomenal collection of wins at the All England Jumping Course. As well as this year's Equestrian.com Derby, the pair has won the British Speed Derby (2009), the Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix (2012), the All England Grand Prix (2012) and now the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup. It is a record that no other horse has come close to matching at Hickstead.
"He's a phenomenal horse, he loves this place and the International Arena," said Trevor, who lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife Caroline and their daughter Mia.
The only one of Hickstead's premier classes that the pair is yet to win is the Longines King George V Gold Cup, which Trevor and Addy have only been able to compete in once, when they were part of Ireland's FEI Nations Cup team in 2013 (they finished 12th). But now there's a new ambition on Trevor's wishlist. "If he does manage to win the King's Cup, that would just be the final piece of the puzzle. Hopefully we'll be back for the King's next year," he added.
There were six clear rounds in the first round of the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup, with three former Derby winning riders among them – Guy Williams on Casper de Muze, Phillip Miller on Basic and Trevor. They were joined in round two by Laura Kraut on Nouvelle, David Simpson on Hermione V and Robert Whitaker on USA Today. Robert set the pace, finishing on 43.21sec, and though Laura Kraut and Phillip Miller also went double clear, they were more than 3sec slower. David Simpson incurred eight faults, before Trevor Breen managed to shave just 0.05sec off Robert's time to take the lead, and while speed expert Guy Williams set off in hot pursuit, he had one fence down.
While most riders cut inside the water jump in the jump-off, Trevor went the long route there. "I assumed, wrongly, that everyone else went round the water!" he said. "Obviously Addy has his right eye missing so it's on his blind side, and as he didn't jump the double particularly well in the first round, I thought it would upset my rhythm to turn inside."
Trevor is the younger brother of Hickstead-based Shane Breen, who has won the Queen's Cup twice since 2008, when the class was first opened up to male riders.
It was a superb day for the Whitaker family, with Robert winning this morning's Bunn Leisure Salver with Catwalk, while cousin William won this afternoon's British Speed Classic with Upperclass. Robert was relieved to return to form after a disappointing 12 faults in each round of yesterday's Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup. "I don't know if he was just a bit off colour yesterday – that was the worst result I've ever had with him. It's just one of those things, that's horses for you. It's nice to get the win today."
William was surprised by his win in the £21,500 speed class, which brought today's action to a close. "I'm amazed really. He's a really quick horse across the ground, a bit of pace suits the way he jumps, but to win by such a margin is a surprise."
Source: Press release from The All England Jumping Course
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