Horse & Hound's coverage of The Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting (24-28 June) is brought to you in association with Equestrian.com
Trevor Breen made it back-to-back wins in the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby this time riding Loughnatousa WB and producing the solo clear round.
The Irish rider was seventh to go in the field of 37 aboard the 16-year-old gelding by Spring Elegance VII – a previous Hickstead Derby winner with Paul Beecher in 2012 – producing a foot-perfect round that no other combination could replicate. Loughnatousa is the only horse to win the the Derby twice with different riders.
“It’s unbelievable – I thought I had a chance but you never know because it’s such a tough course and you need to get it right,” said Trevor. “He [Loughnatousa] jumped out of his skin for me but the petrol tank was emptying towards the end.
“Paul [Beecher] produced him so he needs to take the credit and it was a great day for everyone involved. I’ve been riding him for a year since last year’s Hickstead Derby meeting which was my first show with him. To win once was a dream come true, but to do it twice was surreal,” he added.
Trevor finished seventh with his 2014 winning mount Adventure De Kannan, after picking up eight faults.
Five combinations shared the runner-up spoils having all picked up an unlucky four faults – including Brits William Whitaker (Glenavadra Brilliant), Steven Franks (Carlow Cruiser), Nigel Coupe (Golvers Hill) and Harriet Nuttall (A Touch Imperious) plus Ireland’s Billy Twomey (Diaghilev). Last-to-go Harriet, who finished third last year, knocked the first element going into the Dyke riding the 11-year-old gelding, during an otherwise flawless round.
Making his Hickstead Derby debut, young showjumper Alfie Bradstock – son of Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Mark Bradstock – produced a promising round, picking up just eight faults with Graham Fletcher’s KBIS Caicos.
The 1.60m, 23-obstacle track, as always, produced its fair share of problems and penalties. Trevor’s clear was in fact only the 57th faultless round in the class’ history.
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Guy Williams and Skip Two Ramiro were eliminated following refusals at the bank, first-timer Clark Glasgow (Corlando Of Cavallini) and David McPherson (Gloria Van Zuuthoeve) were also forced to call it a day after encountering problems.
Tim Stockdale opted to retire the nine-year-old Bling Bling after incurring penalties at the Dyke and water tray. So too did Ellen Whitaker after Locarno 62 – the oldest horse in the class at 19-years-old – knocked the final rail after the bank and picked up faults in the Dyke.