Finn McCool crowned hunter champion at Royal International

  • Guy Landau and Finn McCool III finally claimed the Royal International Horse Show title that had until now eluded them.

    After winning their lightweight division, Guy, and John Dunlop’s Supreme Edge nine-year-old took the ridden hunter tricolour on the hallowed turf of Hickstead’s International Arena. The pair were winners here three years ago, and they gave a brilliant performance, and spectacular trademark gallop to clinch the title.

    “The little horse went well and got the job done, I’m absolutely delighted for him” said Guy.

    Taking the reserve was Jill Day’s Pride and Joy who topped the middleweight line up for Robert Walker.

    It was a high-class championship field which came forward, with the heavyweight winner Manton, and three runners up Azarax (Katie Jerram), Standing Ovation (Jayne Webber) and Book Of Kells (David Tatlow) all giving a good account of themselves.

    To cope with the enormous entries in the hunter divisions, an assistant ride judge was drafted in, and two lines per class were formed, to complete the three weight classes on time. (This format will be discussed in more detail by Katie Jerram’s in her next H&H column).

    Sisters Lucy and Clare Heseltine maintained their winning form in the amateur riding horse classes, with Lucy taking the title for the third year running riding her large class winner Queenstown.

    Clare has also been a winner here twice before, and while her 2007 and 2008 winner was Little Gem II, it was the turn of Funtime Frankie to head the small line up this time, and he went on to take the reserve.

    On his first outing since winning at The Royal, Time Lord IV stood top of a 20 strong line up of ladies hunters. “I really didn’t expect this, he was a really good boy” said Pippa Moon.

    Pick up Thursday’s Horse & Hound (30 July) for our special 13-page report on all the action from the RIHS

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