The mini major showjumping competition is a brilliant class to watch, as some of the country’s top young riders team up with their heroes for some high velocity jumping.
But at the Equestrian.com Liverpool International, competitors embraced the festive spirit with gusto and we saw every fancy dress costume going, from a bouncing Christmas pudding (step forward, William Funnell) to a flying Christmas turkey (guilty as charged, Guy Williams). Here are some of our absolute favourites…
1. Santa Claus is coming to town…
…Although he’s looking a lot less rotund this year. Laura Renwick decides who has been naughty or nice in her Father Christmas costume.
2. Follow the star
While Billy Twomey dressed as a snowman, his team-mate Henry Squibb and his pony are tinsel-tastic — we’d happily wear that hat all year round, we love it!
3. Mud, mud, glorious mud!
Well this is Shane Breen as you’ve (probably) never seen him before — dressed as the very dainty Helena Hippo and making a high speed appearance.
4. He had a very shiny nose
Some would even say it glows — Harry Clarke Tomlinson has found a fantastic Rudolf hat to complete his outfit.
5. Ho Ho Ho!
Harriet Birkby has gone to town with her wintry ensemble — and check out those quartermarks!
6. Soaring over rooftops…
Santa Claus (Grace Shudall Hughes) takes time out of a busy present-delivery schedule to make a pit-stop in Liverpool, teaming up with Ireland’s Michael Kearins to finish third.
7. Who brought the brandy butter?
Christmas pudding arrives in the form of William Funnell, who partners Ellie Burrell Squibb for the runner-up spot.
8. Williams and all the trimmings
We all know turkeys can’t fly, but this one — cunningly disguised as Guy Williams — certainly makes a bold attempt.
9. Santa’s little helper
Luli Loveridge joins Guy Williams to jump the quickest round of all and win the class. Great teamwork!
10. Looking angelic
Is that a halo we see above David Simpson’s head? Those wings certainly seem to have given the Irishman a boost as he helps Noora von Bulow finish fourth.
11. Baubles and tinsel
Christopher Megahey, fresh from his puissance triumph, dons this very fetching Christmas tree ensemble. Suits you!
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12. Elf and safety
Italy delivers its very own elf to Liverpool, Emanuele Gaudiano, who partners Lucy Bowen Howard to 10th place.
13. Winner winner, turkey dinner
Possibly the most Christmassy podium you’ll ever see. The prize-winners enjoy the celebrations — congratulations all!
Read the full report from the Liverpool International in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (5 January 2017), on sale now