Hickstead Event News :: The Longines Royal International Horse Show, 2019
David Simpson yesterday scooped his second Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup on board his new ride, Gentleman VH Veldof.
The afternoon’s 1m50 two-phase class welcomed competition from a total of 27 horse and rider combinations. The competition was fierce from the outset, with a respectable £12,000 total prize fund up for grabs.
The first round, which was dominated by British talent, saw in time faults and penalties for poles that rolled to the ground throughout. Only six riders made it through to the jump-off, and after one rider announcing withdrawal five made it back onto the green carpet of the international arena.
Simpson only took the ride of the horse in June, where they competed shortly after in the Al Shira’aa Derby meeting. He spoke fondly of the new relationship:
This is now our fourth show and I really really like him, I have to say thank you to the Maruska Vitek family for the opportunity to ride a horse of that caliber. For such a short period of together, we seem to have clicked quite well”
Simpson, who was the only Irish rider in the class continued:
Although there was only five in the jump-off, all the guys were just incredibly fast, there’s no soft class anywhere in the world and with not knowing the horse very well I tried everything I could but I was pretty sure I was going to be beat.”
Simpson went on to express his admiration for Hickstead:
I’m not good enough with my words to express how much Hickstead is showjumping, I just love going into the bar and reading up about past winners, every great thing in showjumping is in someway related to Hickstead.”
In second place was Helen Tredwell riding home-bred mare Larksong. Buckinghamshire based Tredwell, who was top three last year joked:
“Next year is going to be my year!”
Tredwell, who has enjoyed a successful season so far, went on to talk about her 14-year-old ride who she owns with her father:
“She [Larksong] jumped super. Last year was her first time here and actually, she went really well. This year I thought she was a little backing off the Hickstead fences, with the wall to start, the gate early on and then double with the big gate. I was doing a bit of kicking to start with then she got a bit more into it and jumped super in the jump-off.”
“She’s a little trier and I couldn’t ask any more of her.”
Top U25 showjumper, Will Fletcher, took third place riding his 2019 campaigner, Persimmon:
“It’s one [Queen Elizabeth II Cup] we always pick out the calendar and aim to win, and I was just delighted to be in the running for it and finishing third was brilliant,” said Fletcher.
“My mums won it three times so it goes back in the family” he continued.
Fletcher, who competes alongside his brother went on to talk about his season so far “We’ve had a really good year between us both, unfortunately, a couple of seconds and thirds has meant we haven’t had a really big win,”
“We went to the Europeans a few weeks ago and again, unfortunately, an odd fence here and there kept us out of the medals.”
The Queen Elizabeth II Cup is one of Hickstead’s most famous classes. Initially launched in 1949, as a women’s only class, it wasn’t until the format changed in 2008 when the class merged with the BHS King George V Gold Cup where men and women were able to compete together. It was Ireland’s Shane Breen who took the win that year. The class has since forged a name for itself, making it one of the most prestigious championships in the showjumping calendar.
Hickstead action continued today, with the feature class of the BHS King George V Gold Cup due to take place in the afternoon.