Rider borrows ‘gentle giant’ stallion from husband’s string to win Hickstead young horse title

  • Ten weeks after having her fourth baby, Louise Simpson was on winning form at the Hickstead Al Shira’aa Derby meeting on a promising stallion borrowed from her husband’s string.

    Louise and husband David have owned Pjotr Van De Kruishoeve since he was a two-year-old but Louise only took over the ride three weeks ago.

    “I came back to my string and they’d all either been sold or someone else was riding them, so David said to take him. Because he was a big stallion, he automatically went in David’s string but he’s actually a gentle giant,” Louise said.

    “He’s always been so easy that from a four-year-old he could probably have cantered into that arena and jumped the same course we’ve just jumped.

    “We always said he would be a horse to jump big courses in big rings. I can’t wait until he’s an eight-year-old and we can try him over bigger tracks.”

    Louise was both top of the seven-year-olds and the over-all victor with the son of Bamarko De Muze, while Sally Goding and her consistent homebred Spring Willow topped the eight-year-old line up and collected second place.

    Louise has seven of Pjotr Van De Kruishoeve’s offspring at home, including two embryo transfer foals taken from her great mare Fiona.

    “We tried for seven years to get a foal from her. She retired two years ago, we had him available as fresh and so we tried one last go. We got two embryos in one go, so it’ll be exciting to see how those foals turn out,” she added.

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