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Kevin Jochems pilots Captain Cooper to King’s success

Friday, 27 July 2018
CSIO5* Hickstead 2018

Photo (c) Nigel Goddard Kevin Jochems and Captain Cooper, winners of the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup. Photo (c) Nigel Goddard.

The Netherlands’ Kevin Jochems had an early birthday present when winning today’s Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead.

This prestigious Grand Prix with a €150,000 prizefund was first held in 1911, and it remains a class that every top showjumper wants to win. This year it was the turn of rising star Jochems, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday on the final day of the show (Sunday 29 July).

It is the first season that the rider has competed at Hickstead, and indeed his first season contesting five-star international shows. Despite the disadvantage of going first in the jump-off, Kevin clocked up a fast clear in a time of 50.35sec with the 11-year-old Captain Cooper (Namelus R x Corland), and none of the other six riders to follow him could catch his time. 

“I had a very, very good feeling about my horse today. The jump-offs were very long lines which suits my horse, so I went as fast as possible. When I came out I said, ‘I think that is quick enough’,” said Kevin.  

“I can’t quite describe the feeling – I already feel very honoured to be here at Hickstead and to be in the [Nations Cup] team on Sunday. It’s incredible that my name is going to be on this trophy alongside these names and I’m part of that now.

“My parents are farmers and I’ve been riding ponies since I was six. About a year ago I moved to be based with Leon Thijssen, and I now have a couple of great horses and some great opportunities.”

Italy’s Massimo Grossato and Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire took second and third place respectively. Like Kevin, both riders were making their debut at this showground.

“This is his first five-star Grand Prix and I couldn’t be happier with him,” said Amanda. “The advice from Nick Skelton was go in to win it and I thought I was really fast but obviously I wasn’t!”

In the Bunn Leisure International Stakes, Great Britain’s Joe Clayton took the spoils on Carolus K DHI (Indoctro x Grand Corrado), keeping Ireland’s Trevor Breen and Noble Warrior (Warrior x Casantos) in second place.

Carolus K DHI lives with his owner Jane Heerbeck, who lives about five minutes away from Joe’s new base in Melton Mowbray, and Joe only rides the horse at shows. “It was all down to the horse – I didn’t think I gave it the best ride, but he is naturally quick, and he gives you confidence because you know you can trust him to the fences. He loves that Arena – he loves big open spaces where he can run and jump.”

Britain’s William Funnell, who finished on just one time fault in the King’s Cup with his Al Shira’aa Derby winner Billy Buckingham, did secure a win in the Old Lodge International 7 & 8 Year Old qualifier with the seven-year-old Billy Kodak (Billy Mexico x Vechta).

He has shared the ride with stable jockey Lucy Townley (nee Bunn), and describes the horse as “definitely one I’d like to keep”.

The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at the BHS Royal International Horse Show takes place at the All England Jumping Course until Sunday 29 July, with tickets available online or at the gate.

Tomorrow’s feature classes are the BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup and the British Speed Classic, which will be shown live on Sky Sports Action (red button) and FEI TV.


Press release from Hickstead Press Office 

Picture © Hickstead Events / Nigel Goddard 

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