Guy and Caroline Phillips’ 12-year-old gelding took the honours in a four-round competition with Mathieu Billot on Dassler and Dan Delsart on Granby in joint second.
The versatile Chacco-Blue gelding, who has recently been jumping national classes with Guy’s 15-year-old daughter Maisy, was back to his puissance best, having knocked the wall to finish third at Horse of the Year Show two months ago, making two metres look like two feet.
Video courtesy of London International Horse Show
“I made a mistake last time, at HOYS,” Guy said. “So I did have a little practice before I left home and he jumped it so well at home, I thought good, he’s fine, back to his usual self.”
Guy said his method of riding the big gelding is to come three times slow and “risk maybe having a little rub”.
“But I don’t think he’s going to knock it down the first three rounds,” he said. “I don’t really want to run at it too many times; I let him run a bit the fourth time but then if you’re riding forward at it, he’ll jump it the last time, almost every time.”
The class was worth £7,560 to the winner, and Guy joked that “we can eat this year, so that’s good!”
“My daughter was jumping young riders two weeks ago in Scotland on him; he looks after her unbelievably,” he said. “He’s a good schoolmaster as well; the whole family ride him.
“We’ve had him a long time; Caroline and Rupert own him, and they’ve been really good friends of mine ever since I started so it keeps it all bonded.”
Guy said the arena at the ExCeL felt packed for the London horse show puissance, with a good atmosphere.
“There were a lot of people out there, all shouting your name but you’re trying to concentrate,” he said. “So I do my job first and then I can wave at them. I’m not very good at waving before I’ve won!”
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