Germany’s Jos Verlooy and Jacobien Dwerse Hagen rode to win The Bunn Leisure Salver at the world-renowned Hickstead Showground, in West Sussex this morning.
A field of 41 starters helped get international showjumping underway and despite the drizzle, spirits were high not only in the International ring but across the showground too.
The 1m50 class boasted a total prize fund of 25,000 Euro’s, and with a line up set to start the day as it was meant to carry on, with excitement in the air.
Only 12 horse and rider combinations made it through to the jump-off, the first round knocking out a selection of hopefuls including Ellen Whitaker and Jack Van’t Kattenheye, Mathew Sampson and Valse De Pepinvast and Guy Williams who rode Mr Blue Sky UK.
Harriet Nuttall, riding the 15-year-old A Touch of Imperious, was first out riding a clear, setting the time to beat of 39.33 seconds. First place wasn’t held for long when Sweden’s Angelie Von Essen and Daniel stopped the clock on 37.37 seconds, moving Harriet into second.
As the class progressed, four and eight fault rounds from Alison Barton for Great Britain and Germany’s Francois Mathy saw them slip down the finishing order.
Next to ride into first place was Italy’s Roberto Turchetto and 14-year-old Adare. Their blistering round stopped the clock on 36.07, and with only a few riders to go, the question arose as to whether the time could be beaten.
The new time of 35.54 was one of the last to be set, from Jos Verlooy and the 10-year-old BWP, Jacobien Dwerse Hagon. John Whitaker and Unick Du Francport had an unfortunate round, finishing on eight faults in 12th place.
Today’s feature class, The Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup, starts at 14:05 in the International.
For more information on today’s line-up, ticket sales and the remainder of this year’s event, visit https://www.hickstead.co.uk