Billy Twomey topped off a successful 2016 Royal International Horse Show with a win in today’s Longines King George V Gold Cup (31 July).
Last to go of the 13 riders who made it through to the final jump-off, the Irishman and the 10-year-old mare, Lizziemary, produced a clear in a speedy 39.46 seconds to take home the €66,000 (£55,764) purse.
“I’m delighted with her performance, I’ve always felt like she has been knocking at the door but not quite delivered so I’m pleased she has now won this class,” said Billy, who enjoyed a fruitful show and also won Saturday’s Speed Classic title.
“She’s a real chestnut mare and that’s why it has taken a bit longer to get things going with her — it’s nice to have finally got her over the line,” he said of Kim Barzilay’s mare by Cabri D’Elle.
It was Lizziemary’s first time in Hickstead’s international ring and she was totally unfazed by the experience.
“She likes big rings — she’s a big rangey horse and covers the ground well,” Billy added.
The mare was previously ridden by Emma-Jo Slater, who produced both Lizziemary and also Billy’s former top horse Tinka’s Serenade.
Billy’s round wasn’t the fastest of the class however — this was captured by fellow Irish rider Shane Breen (Golden Hawk), who came home in 38.84 seconds but agonisingly had the white gate down.
British hopes in the final round were pinned on both Tom Stockdale and Anna Power (née Edwards).
Tim partnered Marjorie and Clark Glasgow’s Fleur De L’Aube — the horse with whom Tim was longlisted for the Rio Olympics — to finish eventual fifth. They set the pace with a time of 41.91 seconds before Ireland’s Bertram Allen and his experienced grey mare Molly Malone V topped this by 1.66 seconds.
The young Irishman finished fourth behind the USA’s Lillie Keenan (Super Sox) in third and Dutch rider Jan-Wout Van Der Schans (Capetown) in second.
Anna Power and her own 10-year-old gelding Blazer B produced two foot-perfect rounds to finish eventual eighth.
Ben Maher’s ride Diva II picked up an uncharacteristic 16 faults in the first round to put them out of contention, while Guy Williams and Titus also racked up the penalties with 17 first-round faults.