Horse & Hound’s coverage of the Liverpool International Horse Show is brought to you in association with Equestrian.com

Peter Smyth gave Ireland cause for celebration after an emotional day at the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show by scooping top honours in the Equitop Myoplast Puissance tonight (1 January). Peter and the rising 10-year-old Cavalier Rusticana cleared 2.16m (7’1”) in the final round, in only the horse’s second puissance.

The enormous Irish-bred, by Try-Time, made the final effort look easy, despite having left a brick teetering after the lightest of touches in the previous round.

Ireland’s Shane Breen filled second position with Gotti Van Paemel, a previous Bolesworth and Horse of the Year Show puissance winner under David Simpson. The Irish whitewash continued, with three of their riders making up the quartet of riders who shared third place.

The youngest rider in the field, 17-year-old Christopher Megahey, showed skill beyond his years to pilot Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier (pictured below) into a spot in the four-way tie, despite the feisty chestnut not giving Christopher the easiest of rides, raising gasps from the crowd when taking off early in the third round.

CHRISTOPHER MEGAHEY riding SEAPATRICK CRUISE CAVALIER during Puissance Show Jumping Class (Class 04), at The Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show 2016 at Olympia, London, UK on 1st January 2016

Denis Lynch gave a masterclass in catch rides, steering Garkus Van Het Indihof over 2.14m despite having only ridden the hugely athletic 10-year-old gelding once prior to the show. Anthony Condon rode the only mare in the field, Hadine Van’t Zorgvliet, to tie with his compatriots.

British rider James Smith piloted the Dutch-bred Tyson Uno to complete the third-placed tie, with the horse “taking life into his own hands” in the third round, according to commentator Geoff Billington, who whipped up the crowd throughout the popular class.

Geoff accused the winner of having “so much dressage coming to that wall it was disgusting” in the third round, having already taunted him for taking time to get started in the first round.

“I suggest you start cantering,” he quipped, as Peter took his time to show Mary McCarthy’s horse the arena. Peter made his only ride of the show count, scooping €4,080 (£3,000) to start his 2016 season off with a bang.

The first running of the Liverpool International Horse show continues tomorrow from 9am, with CSI4* classes sponsored by Equo and Horse & Hound at 3.30pm and 9.15pm.

Don’t forget you can watch the live stream here.