Holly Smith Edges Closer to European Championship Selection

Holly Smith (GBR) & Hearts Destiny riding to win the Lord & Lady Equestrian - CSI4* - 1.50m - The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show 2019

Holly Smith and Hearts Destiny – one of the most exciting partnerships in British showjumping – took centre-stage on day three at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show. Underlining their quality, the pair powered to victory in the Lord & Lady Equestrian four-star jump-off class, landing a £7,300 top prize.

The Leicestershire-based Nations Cup rider is a major contender for Great Britain selection in the European Championships later this summer. Holly Smith and Hearts Destiny were part of the British team at the World Equestrian Games in America nine months ago, which proved an important experience in their development as a combination.

Sixteen combinations progressed to a race against the clock, and Holly delivered a perfectly-judged round in 35.61 seconds, clipping 43 hundredths of a second off eventual runner-up Richard Howley’s time on Chinook. Another richly-talented British rider Harriet Nuttall finished third aboard Galway Bay Jed, and fourth place went to Holland’s Patrick Lemmen on Ideaal.

Reflecting on her victory, Holly Smith said:

I changed his bit from the first round, which was something I had been wanting to do for a while. I didn’t want to try it for the first time in the grand prix on Sunday.

“I saw Richard’s round, and he looked mega-slick and quick. But everything just seemed to go very well and tight – the horse felt like he was on tracks.

“I kept pointing him – he has got a massive stride – although I didn’t think I would be as quick as Richard.

“He is a star. He is a funny horse, a very needy horse, but his athletic ability is just something else. I always suspected he would get quicker, but not quite that quick.

“Tokyo 2020 (Olympics) is the aim with him. We want it really badly. It’s not the end of the world, we know he is a wonderful horse, we’ve had a lot of fun with him and we will have a lot more fun, but that is ultimately our aim.”

Competition continues today (Saturday 15 June) with world-class showjumping getting underway from 9AM. The evening’s ride and drive followed by the recent rebrand celebration will wrap another day’s action for the prestigious 4* Cheshire based event.

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For the event’s live stream, click here

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