Billy wins the day at Chester

Ireland’s Billy Twomey and Essex-based pony rider Laura Sims shared the top honours on the opening day of the Chester International Show.

The second running of Britain’s newest international show, held in the beautiful surroundings of Chester Racecourse, again proved popular with the members of the public, who attended the evening performance in good numbers.

Billy Twomey, who has played a crucial part in Ireland’s winning Nations Cup teams this year, had it all to do against a strong jump-off field in the £2,500-to-the-winner Premier Consulting Stakes — but he put Sue Davies’ lovely German-bred mare Anastasia into a beautiful rhythm and, despite an unhurried looking round, no one could get close.

“That was a great jump-off course and I’m delighted to win at my local show,” said Billy, who has been based near Nantwich since the beginning of the year.

The pony riders had their moment under the floodlights in the Credit & Business Services JA class, where a £1,000 first prize attracted some of the best in the country. Sadly, a strong course and the occasion proved a little too much for many riders. Only three reached the jump-off, where Laura Sims produced a mature performance to jump the only double clear on her new partner, New York Spritzer.

Local hero Keith Shore opened the show with a good win in the Welcome Stakes on Princess Jade, but Keith and Pakko had to settle for the runner-up spot in the following Roodee Stakes.Their standard looked impossible to beat, but Mark Armstrong produced a stunning round to take the honours on Rex.

After signing an agreement with Chester City Council, organiser Scope Promotions has announced that the racecourse will be the show’s home until 2007.

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