Brazil continued its domination of the Royal International Horse Show this week after Yuri Mansur took a convincing victory in the King George V Gold Cup today (Sunday, 30 July).
Riding the ultra talented 11-year-old mare Babylotte, Yuri was last to go in the jump off, where a clear round was required to win.
The pair left all the towering 1.60m fences intact and Yuri’s willing ride did not look like she was going to touch a thing.
The Holland-based Brazilian, who was making his first visit to Hickstead, said: “It’s just a dream, I can’t believe it. I came here in 1999 to watch the European Championships and said I wanted to come back one day to ride here.
“I have no words to describe this horse, when I first got her she was jumping 1.45m classes and hated jumping on grass, now she just keeps improving more and more.”
Keith Shore flew the British flag against the clock aboard his 14-year-old Mystic Hurricane (pictured, below), having been the first from the huge 46-rider field to produce a clear in the first round. They finished eventual third behind Dutch rider Ruben Romp (Audi’s Teavanta II CZ) — both knocking a pole down.
Fourth place went to Germany’s Patrick Stühlmeyer, who finished on eight penalties with Lacan 2.
They were the only four combinations to make it through to the jump off.
Kelvin Bywater’s testing 16-fence track caused plenty of problems resulting in a hard-fought competition.
The bogey fence was a double of white gates at nine, with a big square oxer on a related distance before it. This is where the majority of riders faulted including Guy Williams (Rouge De Ravel), John Whitaker (Talisman De Mazure) and Shane Breen (Golden Hawk).
Drama came early on in the week’s feature class, when Robert Smith was unseated at the water jump. Things where going to plan for the Brit, when the 12-year-old mare put down in the water, pecking and throwing Robert over her head before cantering around the arena bridleless.
Likewise, fellow British rider Yazmin Pinchen and the 14-year-old stallion Van De Vivaldi were enjoying a great round — accomplishing the tricky double of white gates before the stallion took a dislike to the water jump at fence 10, where they were eliminated.
Hickstead Derby winners Nigel Coupe and Golvers Hill also fell foul of the white gates at nine to finish with eight penalties.
Don’t miss the full report from the Royal International Horse Show in Horse & Hound, on sale Thursday, 3 August.