Triple Olympic gold medallist Andrew Hoy cruised to victory in last night’s eventing grand prix at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show (15 June).
Riding his experienced three-star gelding Cheeky Calimbo, Andrew teamed up with showjumper Beth Vernon and Annbalou for the relay-style pairs competition. Despite only meeting for the first time in the warm-up arena after having been drawn as partners, the duo came home clear in the fastest time to take the title.
“It’s the first class I’ve ever won at a CSI competition!” laughed Andrew. “I had a great partner in Beth — when I met her out in the warm-up arena she said, ‘So, we’re going to win this’.”
Thirteen pairs took part in the competition, which involved the showjumper tackling a course in Bolesworth’s International Arena, before handing over to the eventer who jumped a series of cross-country fences out in the grounds of Bolesworth Castle, before returning to the arena to finish with a showjumping round and a joker fence. Three seconds were added for any rail down, but Andrew and Beth left all the fences standing to finish just ahead of Jamie Wingrove (Ephonie P) and Chris Burton (Polystar).
“Our plan was just to go fast,” Andrew revealed. “I got Beth to talk me through the course she was going to ride, and she did a great job. The cross-country came up very quickly; it was a really good size and a sensible course.
“From an eventing perspective it was difficult having the showjumping phase at the end of cross-country, and a lot of the other rounds showed that with lots of rails down.”
Beth admitted she hadn’t quite realized how decorated her partner actually was.
“I hadn’t realised he had won so many gold medals,” she said.
More news from Bolesworth:
Charlotte triumphs in Mount St John Freestyle's first grand prix special, with Carl tops the kür.
Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle achieve an international grand prix personal best at Bolesworth
“Some of the early eventers were making the course look hard, but I was watching Andrew’s round on the screen and thinking he was going so fast.”
Sadly the ride of Ivy Freemann-Attwood, Sligo Luckyvalier, had to be put down after a fall during the cross-country phase of the competition. Eventer Ivy, 19, who had teamed up with her sister Lily for the class, was unhurt.
Don’t miss our full report from Bolesworth in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound, out on 21 June.