“I’ve had some fantastic days at the office, but I think this beats them all,” said the world number and recent world double bronze medallist.
“I’ve had my good results, but to me personally it feels like flashes in the pan – I’ll have a good result, and then I’ll have a few mediocre results — but I’ve been really consistent this year. You know, 2018 was a great year, when I won a few four-star longs and Burghley, which I cannot complain about, but this feels like something else.
“I’m making full advantage of some cracking horses and that’s really what it boils down to for me – to let these horses show how good they are and do my bit to let that happen.”
The 10-year-old five-star first-timer Coup De Coeur Dudevin, who is owned by his breeder Jean-Louis Stauffer, never faltered today as the pair jumped an assured clear round with just 0.8 of a time-fault to keep their overnight lead.
“It’s a new level of stamina, the fatigue they’ve got on board after yesterday, not knowing himself quite as well as he normally does in the warm up out there,” said Tim.
“We just had faith that he would go on the ring and go back to the working model which is he jumps well, he loves the job, he stays focused, and it’s only a minute and a half, isn’t it? He was super, I couldn’t be more proud of him and it’s just a great finish to what was quite a big decision to bring him here.”
The top four after cross-country all showjumped clear to hold their places. Tamie Smith landed second for the home-side on Ruth Bley’s Danito, who jumped beautifully aside from being lucky when he hit the blue Dubarry upright at fence eight. The pair had 0.4 of a time-fault to stay just 0.1 ahead of Britain’s Oliver Townend and As Is, who finished third.
“I’m so thrilled,” said Tamie. “He is a good jumper but the showjumping has been our weakest phase so to go clear is just an enormous achievement.
“This is as close as I’ve got to the top of a five-star and I just said to Tim, ‘You couldn’t have had a rail for me?’ But no, he’s ever the competitor as well. I’m so happy for my horse’s owner and for my team and for that horse. He’s just little and mighty and amazing.”
Phillip Dutton held fourth on Z, while Jennie Brannigan’s clear on FE Lifestyle elevated her from sixth to fifth in the Maryland 5 Star results.
Will Coleman had the penultimate fence, the Buckeye green upright at fence 12, down on DonDante, but still moved up from 10th to sixth, while Harry Meade’s clear on Superstition raised him from 15th to seventh.
Meanwhile Buck Davidson’s 12.4 time-faults on Carlevo dropped him from fifth to 12th and Lauren Nicholson fell from seventh to 17th with fence three down and 13.2 time-faults on Landmarks Monte Carlo, the result of her not hearing the bell and starting outside the 45-second countdown.
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