Luca Maria Moneta jumped “the biggest fence of his life” — 2.18m — to take the Alltech Christmas puissance at Olympia, 19 December, riding Quova de Vains.
Britain’s Guy Williams also made it into the final round, his mare Richi Rich getting a little deep to the final wall to clip it down. John Whitaker and Zantos II made it into the third jump-off to finish third.
H&H caught up with Luca, Guy and John after their performances — watch their reactions below.
When asked if he expected to win, Luca answered: “I always wish [to win] but I accept what happens and tonight it’s easier!
“It was difficult [the decision to ride in the fifth and final round]. I felt my mare really tried and she was so nice and I said that’s enough. It’s so big!” But Luca was persuaded to jump again and his mare produced another outstanding leap to become the only horse to clear the wall at 2.18m.
Guy Williams reflected on his second place with Richi Rich saying: “She jumped really good. I was a little bit deep maybe, it’s shame but second is good so I’m happy.”
When asked what the secret is to riding a horse that loves her job as much as Richi Rich does, Guy said: “Keeping her quiet and trying not to let her rush. She can get a bit deep. She’s really brave and really scopey. She’s a good mare and I’m pleased with her.”
John Whitaker was also pleased with his ride Zantos II: “I’m very happy, because it was a last minute decision to go in. I didn’t think he was a puissance type of horse but he jumped it really well.
“We were a little bit unlucky in the last round, he nearly jumped it but I think I was probably a little bit close. I was very pleased — he felt good.”