Eventers defeat showjumpers in Hickstead bull-riding contest

  • Billy, the mechanical bull, made his second appearance of the summer last week, when eventers took on showjumpers in a stickability contest.

    After drawing with the jockeys at Barbury Castle earlier this month, the eventers took part in the second leg of the Hit-air pro bull riding series, took place at Hickstead last week (Thursday 19 July).

    Georgie Spence, Laura Collett, Jay Halim and Mark Kyle were among the eventers, while the showjumping team included John and Robert Whitaker and brothers Shane and Trevor Breen.

    Ringers from the crowd included Grand National-winning jockey Robbie Power – who came a very creditable third in his first eventing grand prix earlier in the day – his sister Elizabeth and Ellen Whitaker. And Hickstead’s own Charlie Bunn was also roped in to take part.

    But the showjumpers were no match for the eventers, who clocked up a convincing win. And Georgie Spence took individual honours with a thigh -clenching 59-second ride. While John Whitaker only managed 11 seconds and Shane Breen just 10 seconds.

    Eventer Sam Watson still leads the series with his astonishing 70-second ride, achieved at Barbury Castle, and will defend his lead in the final leg at Horse World Live at ExCel in November.

    Rachel Ricci from Hit-air said: “We are thrilled that top riders are really backing this fundraising series. It has been great to see their sheer determination and team spirit. Training sessions will be held before the final!”

    The competition was in aid of the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund.

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