David Simpson lifted the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Cup at the Royal International Horse Show today (30 July), giving his wedding fund a boost in the process.

The Irish rider took the feature class on Chessy 17 today (30 July), two weeks before he weds fellow showjumper Louise Pavitt.

The combination jumped one of only three double clears, in 47.85 seconds, two seconds faster than second-placed Holly Smith, on Lammy Beach.

“I have to keep winning classes to pay for the wedding – it certainly keeps you hungry,” said David.

Last to go was former Hickstead Derby winner Phillip Miller, who recorded the fastest time, 46.51sec, on Caritiar Z, but four faults cost them the win and relegated them to fourth place.

David has the ride on 11-year-old mare Chessy 17 for three months last year but she was sold to the US.

“Due to other commitments, the owners have given her back to me to ride but I presume I won’t be keeping her for long,” he said.

“I’d love to keep her but I don’t think it will be long before someone offers them a big price for her. She’s really cool – like a cross between a pony and a motorbike but really strong with it.

“She hasn’t got all the jump and scope of some of the other horses but she’s a fighter and she’ll take on anything.”

It was a good day for Ireland at Hickstead today, as Billy Twomey scored a brace of international victories.

He won the Bunn Leisure Salver this morning with Diaghilev, and the British Speed Classic with Thomas.

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The Irishman has now won three international classes at this year’s Royal International.

Five riders jumped double clear in the Bunn Leisure Salver, but Billy and Diaghilev finished 1.49sec faster than Guy Williams, who took second place.

“I didn’t think anyone had gone that fast but I knew I had Guy to come after me so I had to put a marker down,” said Billy.

In the speed classic, Billy, drawn last, relegated British Olympic team member Ben Maher to second place by one-hundredth of a second.

Billy and Thomas had already won the Bunn Leisure Vase on Thursday.

Don’t miss next week’s H&H, out 4 August, for a full report from Hickstead.