William Funnell’s incredible run continued when he and Cortaflex Machiavelli won the major class — the Vinopolis Stakes — on the opening international day at the Horse of the Year Show.
Dutchman Roelof Bril set a good standard in this speed competition on the chestnut stallion, Phin Phin, but William (pictured) and Machiavelli looked totally unhurried to cut a winning 0.39sec from the time.
“I’m making the most of this at the moment. Although I’d love it to never end, I know that I can’t keep winning,” said William.
Di Lampard was another rider to frank her BSJA Festival form when the Arena UK ladies’ champion rode Leo Z to victory in the earlier hoys.co.uk Classic.
In a seven-horse jump-off, Di and the grey gelding were pushed all the way by William Funnell, this time on the scopey seven-year-old Tibor, who finished a fraction behind.
Di is currently so busy with her duties as BSJA head of coaching that she describes herself as “very much a part-time show jumper”.
Holland proved unbeatable in the third class, the Dengie Alfa A Cup two-phase. Hauke Luther was leading the way for Germany with a flying round on Index 29, but Mathijs van Aasten produced a wonderful winning round on the grey mare Larthago, whose stallion son, Cevin Z, will compete in this evening Horse & Hound Foxhunter final with Steven Franks.
This is Eindhoven-based Mathijs’s second visit to the show and he enjoys competing in Britain.
“I think I speak for all the Dutch riders when I say that we love coming here,” he said.