Billy Twomey’s sole clear in a 12-strong jump off earned him the Horse of the Year Show’s leading showjumper of the year title.
It was the second time in three years the Irishman has claimed the £13,200 grand prix, this time partnering Terry Payne’s 12-year-old Diaghilev. Billy was a favourite for the finale, having proved his form throughout the week, winning the five fence challenge on the Vangelis S gelding and also taking the Naylors Equestrian accumulator with Tin Tin.
“The week’s gone brilliant, the horses have performed really well and it’s nice to top it off with a grand prix win,” said Billy. “The horses have come back into form now for whatever reason and hopefully I can continue to kick on with this result. It would be nice to get some World Cup points and perhaps qualify for the World Cup finals. If I can get back into the top 30, then maybe I’ll do some Global Champions Tour shows – that would be my aim.” Billy and his team now head to shows in Oslo and Helsinki for the next few weeks.
The grand prix saw a technical jump-off track from Kelvin Bywater, and Billy was economical throughout to set a midfield lead. The boldest challenge came from last year’s victors Julien Epaillard and Cristallo ALM, who put in the fastest time of the class but at the expense of a rail. Yazmin Pinchen finished best of the Brits in third place, as her Bolesworth grand prix winner Van De Vivaldi laid down the third quickest round with four faults to add.
Billy was previously a victor partnering stallion Je T’Aime Flamenco in 2008 and his mare Tinka’s Serenade in 2013. “HOYS is one of my favourite shows,” Billy added, “It’s an educated crowd and they really get behind the riders.”