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Exciting SJ climax to Hickstead

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum wins British Grand Prix at Hickstead’s Royal International Horse Show

Germany once again took the honours on the final day at Hickstead when American-bornMeredith Michaels-Beerbaum produced a terrific jump-off round to win the British Grand Prix, the only class outside Germany to be part of the lucrative Gold-Zack Riders Tour – a points table where the leading riders gain huge rewards at the end of the season.

Bob Ellis’s course was big enough, but perhaps not so technical as that for the previous day’s King’s Cup and the nine-horse jump-off was full of interest.

Frenchman Renald Angot set an electrifying standard on Tlaloc, the horse with whom he won the Stallions of the World Championship and only the winner could better it.

Meredith set off quickly from fifth draw on the attractive gelding Shutterfly and, despite the flamboyant bay spending time in the air, some tremendous turns saw them home a winning 0.28sec ahead.

Richard Davenport, who enjoyed a tremendous show, was the only Briton to reach the jump-off. His try for a steady clear on Grand Marnier failed at the final pole, but they still finished in an honourable sixth place.

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum was delighted with Shutterfly, who is by the Hanoverian stallion Silvio out of A Thoroughbred mare.

“It was the Thoroughbred blood that enabled him to cope with competing in the Nations Cup and then jumping so well today,” she said.

The show finished with an entertaining Refco Speed Grand Prix in which the Irish captured the top honours.

Last year’s winner Dermott Lennon retained his title with a sparkling round on the 10-year-old chesnut, Ginger Watt, who, despite a fence down, still beat the early leaders, Robert Splaine and John Whitaker’s former ride Diamond Cliff, by a fraction.

Robert Whitaker went for broke on his sister Louise’s big grey Livingston and they would have won but for a rolled pole three for home, which left them in third place.

Read full report with pictures in Horse& Hound (1 August issue)

For full show jumping and showing results click here

For full results from Dressage at Hickstead click here

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