International showjumping classes got underway at Hickstead yesterday with a mammoth 78 competitors contended the welcoming class, the Royal International Vase.

Hickstead-based Irishman Shane Breen was quickest to top this initial speed class on his new ride of four weeks Ominerale Courcelle.

The partnership collected third in last month’s Hickstead Speed Derby and places at the British Masters, Aachen and Falsterbo.

“She’s done a lot in a month, so she’ll have Friday off and jump in the Sky Sports speed on Saturday,” said Shane.

He was the only rider to break the 70sec barrier. Fellow Irishman Clem McMahon took second on the Lux Z eight-year-old Point Two Elvis almost two sec in arrears. Early leader Guy Williams was best Brit in fourth on Bijou Van De Vijfheide.

Stallions dominated the Bunn Leisure trophy, where Shane was again in the running on the handsome Balou Du Rouet stallion son Balloon. He conceded to second on this occasion as France’s Penelope Leprevost galloped Oscar Des Fontaines into a half sec lead.

“He’s quick and brave,” said Penelope, who took out two strides to the last on the 10-year-old stallion she has produced for three years.

Louise Pavitt brought locally-based stallion, the Brendon Stud’s popular Diamant De Semilly son Don VHP Z, into third.

Showjumping results: Thursday

Royal International vase. 1, Ominerale Courcelle (S Breen), IRE; 2, Point Two Elvis (C McMahon), IRE; 3, Eurocommerce Sacramento (W-J van der Schans), NED. Bunn Leisure trophy. 1, Oscar Des Fontaines (P Leprevost), FRA; 2, Balloon (S Breen), IRE; 3, Don VHP Z (L Pavitt), GBR.

Old Lodge 1.25m. 1, Tammy’s Girl (L Long); 2, Cool Impression (L Stoner); 3, Murphy’s Cavcloe. Old Lodge young breeding horse qual. 1, Festiena Van Texelhof (N Pavitt); 2, Sussex Caretino (L Pavitt); 3, Shahenaz (S Breen). Horse & Hound Foxhunter. 1 & 3, Market Irminka & Doma Sue (T Priest); 2, Zandokhan H. Old Lodge 1.35m. 1, Vijlada MW; 2, Abdul Aziz (G Luckett); 3, Camielo (J McGlory). nov stakes. 1, Pro Galant (L long); 2, Ballyrussel PA (D Carroll); 3, Gibside True Grit (M Bowling). Saracen Horse Feeds amateur 1.10m. 1, Ballinteskin Bankers Hill (S Evans); 2, Pusiden (S Penn); 3, Walfried (K Welch). Gray Horseboxes 1m. 1, Hussah II (N Wood); 2, Uriek (J Draper); 3, Ecklands Bon Belle (D Johns). 1.05m. 1, Scholarship (L Lonsdale); 2, Mirah Kilgobben Rebel; 3, Anita II (L Turner).