The Longines King George V Gold Cup proved a thoroughly French affair at Hickstead this afternoon. Hickstead newcomer Aymeric De Ponnat produced the only double clear of the class on Jubilee D’Ouilly, to take the win from compatriot Jerome Debas Montagner riding Idem De B’Neville*HN. Christian Hermon finished third with Ephebe For Ever*La Silla.
Although only two riders went clear in the first round, six went through to the jump off. Sweden’s Peter Eriksson got the second round underway with Jaguar Mail. Bringing eight faults forward, he rode the fastest clear round of the jump off to finish in fifth place.
Christian Hermon was the first of the four faulters into the ring and rode an efficient clear round in 57.03sec. He was followed by Britain’s only representative in the last six, Robert Bevis, who picked up an unfortunate eight faults to finish on a total on 12.
Jerome Debas Montagner left all the fences intact in a time of 55.66sec to rack up the pressure on the two riders still on a zero score. Belgium’s Vincent Lambrecht picked up an unfortunate four faults in a steady round on Cashmira to drop him out of the top three.
Last into the ring, Aymeric De Ponnat kept a cool head to ride a steady clear round and ensure the prestigious gentlemens’ title returned to France for the second year in succession.
Aymeric said: “I am overwhelmed to have won this class. Hickstead is the best show in the world and I can’t believe I have won here.”