Perfect Puissance at RWHS

Commandant Geoff Curran clearing the Puissance wall at a final height of 2.12m, crowning him joint Champion of the Martin Collins Enterprises Puissance Jumping Competition @RoyalWindsorHorseShow/Peter Nixon
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The famous Puissance wall took centre stage in the Castle Arena on the opening day of Show Jumping at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (RWHS).

Of the seven starters set to battle the famous red wall, five combinations made it through to the fifth and final round. First to bow out of the competition was Trevor Breen with Chin, who retired prior to the rounds getting underway.

All horse and rider combinations made it through the first two phases, it wasn’t until the third round did Seb Hughes and Colorado Valo get caught out. Dan Delsart and his ride, Granby cleared four times before retiring in the fifth and final round, leaving four hopefuls including Joe Stockdale to battle it out.

In a class that’s renowned for multiple winners, it was defending champion Derek Morton riding KBS High Quality who was first to clear the 2.12m wall to guarantee a minimum of first place.

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A delighted Morton said: 

The last time I jumped a Puissance was here in 2022. I had a fall last July and broke my hip, so this is only the second time I’ve ridden the horse since. He’s twelve-year-old Irish-bred and we’ve had him since he was a six-year-old. I originally went to look at him as a Working Hunter, but he’s got a big jump, so is perfect for this. I’m very lucky.”

Puissance debutant Nici Wilson, and her ride Guaranteed Quality, were not able to match Morton’s feat in this final round, however, it was an impressive performance for a combination more used to the field of Eventing. The same fate played out for Joe Stockdale and Dublon who failed to clear the wall to share joint 3rd with Wilson.

It was Commandant Geoff Curran, the only other to clear the imposing Puissance wall, who scored the joint victory aboard Bishops Quarter. Both riders enjoyed a split of the £5,000 (£2,500 each) top prize to conclude the afternoon’s thrilling class.

Feature image: Commandant Geoff Curran clearing the Puissance wall at a final height of 2.12m, crowning him joint Champion of the Martin Collins Enterprises Puissance Jumping Competition @RoyalWindsorHorseShow/Peter Nixon

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