Tim Stockdale and Wiston Bridged clear 7ft to win puissance class at the Horse of the Year Show

Tim Stockdale and the fiery mare Wiston Bridget delighted a packed Saturday night house when they cleared 7ft to win the puissance at the Horse of the Year Show.

In a two-horse finale, Billy Twomey, making his debut in the class on his new ride, Prince Of Wales FCS, led off, but the lightest of touches brushed the top coping from the huge wall.

You could hear a pin drop as Wiston Bridget approached the fence, but the Hannoverian/Shire mare pricked her ears and made nothing of it, with Tim receiving a standing ovation from the fans.

Andrew Davies and Captain Wellington had earlier taken home the £3,000 first prize in the International Stakes , a table C, for the second year in succession.

This horse, who had recently returned to top-class competition after an interrupted season due to an ankle injury to his rider and the FMD crisis, jumped one of the few clears in a class where the fences got in the way for the majority.

Michael Whitaker was also delighted with Anne Bedford’s wonderful stallion Handel , who bounced back to form with a tremendous victory in the jump-off class, the Xerox Business Services Cup .

In a seven-horse jump-off, the pair won from the front, with their closest challengers being Michael’s nephew, Robert Whitaker , and Randi.

Handle was at his first show since undergoing a soft palate operation at Bristol University and the plan is now to give him some rounds at next weekend’s Towerlands CSIB before travelling in search of points the World Cup final that he came so close to winning last season.

Juniors also had their moment in the spotlight in the Blue Chip Newcomers final and Tara Shearer made her family’s 18-hour journey from Wick in the north of Scotland well worthwhile when she jumpedthe sole double clear on Weavers Legacy.