A near perfect score of 29/30 secured Annabel Jenks’ champion riding horse Diamonds Are Forever his second successive supreme at the 2018 BHS Royal International Horse Show, reclaiming the coveted Winston Churchill Trophy.
Exactly a year ago, show horse supremo Allister Hood had ridden “Freddie” to claim the prestigious title and this year it was the turn of son Oli, who piloted the big-moving horse to perfection.
The supreme championship was held in far from ideal conditions, as heavy rain hit the Hickstead showground.
Despite the weather, Freddie never flicked an ear or turned a hair as Oli produced a flawless free-style display that included floating trots, smooth transitions, figure of eight and up-hill and downhill gallops to earn top marks from judges Nicky Coe, Jane Crofts and Adrian Charley.
“This horse has the most amazing paces. My aim was to show them all off the best I could and Freddie was with me all the way. I felt I could do anything with him,” said Oli.
With two contenders on the same marks, it was all the play for...
After Britain and Ireland couldn’t be separated at the end of two rounds, each team selected one rider to jump
Coming in reserve was Robert Walker with Jill Day’s winning lightweight and champion hunter View Point (Sean), who also performed exceptionally well to be awarded 27 marks.
“Sean has been pretty much on the go since April, but he seemed to peak here and went better and better in his class, the hunter championship and supreme. I couldn’t have asked for any more,” said Robert.
Hunter day had seen Robert and team do a triumphant one-two in the overall championship held in the International Arena, with View Point taking the spoils over their lovely heavyweight victor Patrick’s Choice, who was ridden by Rob’s wife Sarah in the final showdown.