Harriet Nuttall added the Queen Elizabeth II Cup to her tally of Hickstead successes at the Royal International Horse Show today (Saturday, 29 July).
Partnering the nine-year-old Galway Bay Jed, Harriet was last to go in the jump-off and slashed Holly Smith’s time by 1.46 seconds, saving time early on in the course.
“This win hasn’t sunk in yet but it’s particularly special having been traditionally a ladies’ class and one I’ve watched growing up,” said Harriet.
“He’s been jumping very well and he’s relatively new to this level. He was here last year jumping the 1.45m class, but he has so much scope,” she added, of the horse she’s been riding for four years and who was purchased by her father Rupert at the Goresbridge sales in Ireland.
The 27-year-old Somerset rider is a favourite in the international arena, having finished second in the Hickstead Derby for the past three years now on A Touch Imperious. She also lifted the Hickstead Speed Derby in 2016 aboard Silver Lift.
Holly Smith came to the Royal International with just one ride and she took home the runner-up spot in this prestigious class riding her own Quality Old Joker.
Ireland’s Michael Duffy settled for third partnering EFS Top and also scooped the prize for the best under-25 rider.
From a field of 28, just eight combinations made it through to the jump off.
The last fence — an up-to-height 1.50m oxer — caught out a couple of riders in the first round, including Helen Tredwell (Sebastian VII), Nicole Pavitt (Areeb OL) and last-to-go David Simpson riding Unex Cognac IV.
Another bogey fence was the Hickstead planks, jumped on a turn-back from fence eight, and a handful of riders fell foul here including Alfie Bradstock (KBIS Caicos) and Phillip Miller (Unbelievable Lady).
Don’t miss the full report from the Royal International Horse Show in Horse & Hound, on sale Thursday, 3 August.