Belgium’s Koen Vereecke and his chestnut mare Sarah De St Pierre showed their rivals a clean pair of heels in the Bunn Leisure Stakes speed class at the Royal Internation Horse Show this morning.

The Belgium partnership was second to go of the 31 starters and produced a scorching round in 64.18sec that the rest of the class failed to match. Koen decided against taking a tight turn early on the course and, as the class progressed a number of others tried and picked up faults along the way. Sweden’s Erika Lickhammer, riding Magic Dream, came closest, stopping the clock in 67.56sec for second place.

Koen told H&H: “Sarah De St Pierre is not a great grand prix horse, but she is a good horse for second classes at major shows.”

The class was held in the all-weather arena to save the ground in the International Arena for this afternoon’s Samsung Super League Nations’ Cup competition. America’s Laura Kraut will get the competition under way on Anthem, followed by Britain’s Nick Skelton with Russel.