Horse & Hound's coverage of Ashford Farm CSI4* Bolesworth International (18-21 June) is brought to you in association with Equestrian.com
Ireland’s David Simpson and Norway’s Victoria Gulliksen shared the prize money in the Equestrian.com puissance that went to a thrilling final fifth round at Ashford Farm Bolesworth International CSI4* (Friday, 19 June).
The wall rose to an eventual spine-tingling 2.10 metres and both David’s ride Gotti Van Paemel and Victoria’s mount Grafit were making their puissance debut.
With British rider Keith Shore withdrawing Rubiroso JX before the third round, it left David, Victoria and her brother, Johan-Sebastian, still in the running.
Johan and the 12-year-old gelding Grand Balou 4 knocked the top pole off the triple bar before the wall, handing them third place and leaving David and Victoria to battle it out in round four, which they both cleared with ease before announcing they would take on the final round – much to the crowd’s delight.
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“This is his first puissance and in round one I was trying to keep him confident and brave, by the third round he had figured it out,” said David, who previously spent seven years working for Shane Breen. “In a horse’s first puissance, you don’t really know how they will react.
“I started riding him this year and he’d previously been ridden by an amateur and competing in Newcomer classes. He’s still green but is big and scopey, it’s all started to pull together in the past couple of weeks,” he added of the nine-year-old grey gelding he co-owns with George Alcock.
Victoria was last to go on the Elm Rock-owned nine-year-old by Kashmir Can Shuttershof after David put the pressure on with his clear round. The gelding known as ‘Goofy’ was sold to America last year but Victoria was handed the ride while his new owner is away studying.
“I took advice from my dad as he has jumped up to 2.25 metres so knows how to do it but I wasn’t expecting to get to the final round. His owner is returning in August and it is likely they will have the ride back,” added Victoria.