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Philip Spivey achieved his greatest ambition by becoming this year’s Horse & Hound Foxhunter champion on Tracey Forrest’s stallion Romanov II.

The Buckinghamshire-based rider thrilled a packed house with the round of his life to take the class every rider wants to win, beating Robert Bevis on another stallion, Kanon De Lambarde, and Joel Parkinson with his grandfather Harvey Smith’s Sultano.

“It’s just amazing. I dreamt of winning this class, but I never thought it would happen,” said a stunned Philip afterwards.

Romanov II is a seven-year-old Dutch-bred horse with a great competition record, recently upgrading to grand prix, and he is also in demand as a sire. He is fully graded with SHB (GB).

“We picked him out from more than 30 youngsters because he had something special,” said Philip of the horse, who was bought as a two-year-old.

Earlier in the day, Australian visitor James Patterson-Robinson became an equally thrilled first-time HOYS winner when he rode Samir Mahmoud’s lovely grey to victory in the Bates Security Systems Two-Phase.

The Dutch-based rider was pleased with this scopey horse, saying: “It’s only the second time he’s jumped indoors and he’s getting better every round.”