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A line-up of promising show jumpers proved their ability in the international arena at the Horse of the Year Show this afternoon, in the Petplan Equine Senior Newcomers Championship.

The 1.30m height course proved no problem for half of the field, with 10 combinations making it through to the jump off. But in the end there was no stopping Ireland’s Billy Twomey on the six-year old mare Toscane R – the pair stole a two second victory over Britain’s Nicole Pavitt.

An early jump off clear from 18-year-old Nicole Pavitt and Maestro de Rend Peine set a 39.17 sec standard which none of the other contestants, bar Twomey, managed to improve on. Peter Murphy and Two Mills Seander made a gallant effort but an unfortunate knocked pole pushed them out of the top rankings. It was in fact Pavitt herself who came closest to trumping her score on her second ride Amaryllis VD Heffink. But an unfortunate near-collision with a jump wing whilst making a turn cost them valuable time, putting them behind her first score.

Billy Twomey and Toscane R entered the arena with determination and proceeded to shave off corners and turn on a sixpence. The formula worked to perfection – the pair finished in an unbeatable 36.38 sec to take first place, leaving Nicole Pavitt in second and third and Paul Barker in fourth.

The result marks Twomey’s 12th win at the Horse of the Year Show since 2000.