Nottinghamshire-based Irish star Billy Twomey claimed his first victory at Horse of the Year Show 2014 on Friday when he captured the Suregrow Five Fence Challenge. Billy, who rode for Ireland at the London 2012 Olympics and is among the most consistent performers in World show jumping, triumphed with the promising nine-year-old stallion Royale Du Rouet (Jeff D´or x Kannan). The challenge is over a maximum of five rounds, with riders gaining two points for each fence jumped and one point taken away if they knock it down. Should they accrue a fault, then combinations are eliminated.
Three riders were left in round four - Billy, his Irish London 2012 colleague Cian O'Connor with Ulme De Feugeres (Quantum x Landgraph I) and Essex rider Graham Lovegrove, aboard Centolove (Cento x Continue) - and a clear round, including jumping the last 1.70-metre fence, secured a £3,300 first prize.
"It is a pretty inexperienced horse, and I am delighted with the win," said Billy, who was HOYS' Leading Show Jumper of the Year in 2013. "It is a unique class. The jumps get bigger every round, but it's a really good class to get experience with your horse, and he grew in confidence with every round he jumped."
"He had a touch on the last fence, but it is 1.70m, so he is probably allowed a little rub! It was a job well done. He has good international wins in Dublin and Calgary, so he has some decent form. Hopefully, he'll become a good Grand Prix horse. He is a good prospect."
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