Kent Farrington, from the USA, wins the prestigious Longines King George V Gold Cup at the Royal International Horse Show with Uceko. Robert Smith is best of the Brits with Talan in the runner-up spot.
A dramatic 10-rider jump-off had the crowds cheering and groaning in equal measures as the final fence, the towering Hickstead planks, took its toll when approached at a flat-out gallop. But the US rider stole a 0.5sec margin for a superb victory on his first visit to the West Sussex venue.
“It feels pretty incredible,” said the 30-year-old from New York. “I’d been told what to expect and I have watched it on TV. I hope people at home will have seen it.”
Three-times winner Robert Smith filled second spot with the 11-year-old Concorde stallion Talan, for the second year running.
“It’s pretty frustrating, but I wouldn’t do anything differently,” said Robert. “He’s not always the quickest, but he’s learning – I would say he’s three or four seconds quicker than last year.”
The victor originally bought his handsome 10-year-old grey gelding from third-placed Leon Thijssen (on Tyson) of the Netherlands – a decision he may now slightly regret.
“I had to choose one to sell!” said the Dutchman.
Don’t miss the full report, analysis and pictures in next week’s Horse & Hound, out 4 August.