History made as rider takes record fifth London puissance in thrilling style

  • Guy Williams has become the only rider to have taken the London International Horse Show puissance title five times, clearing 2.18m on Mr Blue Sky UK, the combination’s third London crown in a row.

    The ExCeL was treated to a nail-biter of a competition as the 12 starters were whittled down to three in the final round.

    Guy and Caroline Phillips’ superstar 14-year-old, who has won nine international puissances with Guy, including four at London, were the first combination to go in round five, and they took on the wall as if it were three feet lower, and as if they could have cleared a foot higher.

    Next in Mark Edwards and Montreuxs Tale clipped a brick out of the wall, so the only question was whether Guy would share the win or take it outright. And when the two-time Horse of the Year Show puissance winner Commandant Geoff Curran found himself and Bishops Quarter in a less than ideal spot, and pulled up, Guy  and the Chacco-Blue gelding had the spotlight to themselves.

    Asked what makes Mr Blue Sky such a puissance specialist, Guy said: “I just think he has natural ability to jump a massive jump and he enjoys it. A lot of horses win a few then go by the wayside but I don’t think it takes too much out of him; he hops over it five times and then goes back to bed. I think he finds it quite easy and that’s why he keeps winning.”

    Guy added that the gelding is sharp, can be strong, and is prone to nerves.

    “If you can contain that nervousness, it’s fine but when he gets nervous he gets strong and is so brave he gets in trouble sometimes,” he said. “But when you get him right, he’s super – and hopefully it won’t be the last one he wins.”

    Guy has said before that Blue Sky is a “family horse”; his daughter Maisy has been riding him since she was 14, and the Phillips have owned horses with him for years.

    “He’s just an important part of our family,” he said. “There’s a lot of children who like him too, he’s a real favourite and kids absolutely love him.”

    This is Guy’s fifth win of the London International Horse Show puissance, including a joint victory on Richi Rich in 2011, but no less special for that.

    “It’s very special,” he said. “I come to win and luckily we’ve won so I’ll drive home happy!”

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