‘The joy comes when you get over it!’ Former Olympic eventer takes second HOYS puissance

  • “It’s a fantastic feeling – and an absolute privilege to ride this horse,” said Commandant Geoff Curran, after he and Bishops Quarter landed their second Horse of the Year Show HOYS puissance on the trot.

    The Irish rider and the minister for defence’s Obos Quality 16-year-old were the only combination to jump clear in the final round, when the wall stood at 2.20m (7’2”), a centimetre higher than they jumped to secure the Ripon Select Foods title in 2022.

    Geoff said they cleared 2.25m to win the Dublin Horse Show puissance this summer, “but it feels bigger indoors!”

    “I’m delighted to come back and take it,” he said. “He’s on good form and he’s got all the scope, personality and attitude for the job; very brave, a real puissance horse.”

    H&H reported last year that former Olympic eventer Geoff had campaigned Bishops Quarter up to three-star (now four-star) level but changed disciplines as it was hard to produce a good dressage test. But the jump is all there; he made the huge wall look like a 90cm upright.

    “He was amazing in there, every round,” Geoff said. “He doesn’t really compete other than puissances, apart from some national competitions to prepare him, and if he’s in good shape and carries on in good form, he will go to London [International Horse Show].

    “He’s his own man; you won’t influence him too much so you’ve got to get on with him, that’s the secret.”

    And Geoff said it is hard to put the feeling of flying the wall into words.

    “I just have to focus on doing my job because I know he’ll do his – and the joy comes when you get over it!” he said. “But it’s a fantastic feeling – and an absolute privilege to ride this horse.”

    Guy Williams (Mr Blue Sky UK), Mark Edwards (Montreuxs Tale) and Joe Trunkfield (Cruze) all made it to the final round of the HOYS puissance but had the wall down.

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