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Holly Smith crowned queen of hearts after winning King's Cup

Sunday, 12 May 2019
CSI5* Royal Windsor Horse Show 2019

Photo © Royal Windsor Horse Show. Holly Smith with Hearts Destiny. Photo © Royal Windsor Horse Show.


Press release from rEvolution



With 13 of the world’s current top 20-ranked showjumpers competing in the day's showpiece class at Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King's Cup, the level of competition proved to be incredibly high from the outset. The testing 1.55m Bob Ellis-designed course demanded every bit of skill from the 31 horse and rider combinations that started, with just six eventually progressing to the jump-off, including three British riders, notably Harry Charles, Ben Maher and Holly Smith. Charles was first to go, and despite some early promise and tightly negotiated turns, he and Borsato (Contendro I x Nijinski) put down the first of the swan-themed double. Friday’s Manama Stakes’ winner, Holly Smith laid down the gauntlet producing an exceptional ride, crossing the line in 34.02 seconds with Hearts Destiny (Heart Throb x Rabino). With Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Gregory Wathelet (BEL) both accruing eight penalties, it was up to Ben Maher and Martin Fuchs to challenge Smith’s time. But it wasn’t to be after both riders were unable to match Holly Smith’s unassailable time. Maher and Tic Tac (Clinton x Darco) finished second, and Fuchs and The Sinner (Sanvaro x Landgold 3) third ahead of Charles in fourth.

Later on in the afternoon the Leicestershire-based 30-year-old Holly Smith was all smiles when Her Majesty The Queen presented her with the King's Cup trophy.

The day's action culminated in the 1.50m Falcon Stakes, in which British riders again proved to be the dominant force. 10 riders, including three Brits progressed to the second round, with American Kent Farrington setting the early pace, going clear with his mare Kaprice (Echo Van't Spieveld x Carthago). Canadian Tiffany Foster and Swedish world number two-ranked rider Peder Fredricson both put in competitive performances with Foster and Brighton (Contendro II x Quick Star) knocking Farrington off top spot. However, there was a late charge from two experienced British riders. First from William Funnell and Billy McCain (Cevin Z x Cruising), and then from last to go Guy Williams, who masterfully steered his stallion Rouge de Ravel (Ultimo Van Ter Moude x Quoglof Rouge) around the testing course pipping Foster to top spot by 0.45 seconds.

Reflecting on his win, Williams said: "I won here last year, and it seems to be a greatsShow for me – I don’t know what it is about this Arena! I always love competing here, as the crowds are absolutely fantastic, and I hope they’re happy with another British winner."


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