Guy Williams achieved his season’s ambition when he rode Adele Guildford’s Be Precise to victory in the Gladwish Land Sales Speed Derby at Hickstead.
The man from Kent gave a consummate riding performance on the British-bred chestnut mare and even had time to take a pull before the difficult penultimate treble of planks to win by more than 3sec from Irish visitor Edward Doyle on the long-striding Cor D’Alme Z.
“Be Precise is a lovely horse,” said Guy. “She loves the ring and she’s really a couple of levels up from being a speed horse, so she finds this class easy. She’s so careful that I can trust her to do her job.”
Australian rider Brook Dobbin was the delighted victor in the other International Arena class, the Gladwish Land Sales Trophy. Brook, who has travelled to Europe from his Melbourne home “to learn, improve my riding and take on the big boys”, came out best in a five-horse jump-off on Ian Mouser’s Carrick Clover, a son of the great Irish stallion Clover Hill.
One of the most interesting rounds in this class came when John Whitaker had his first ride on Douglas Bunn’s Buddy Bunn, the horse prepared for the Derby by William Funnell. William further aggravated a groin injury in yesterday’s Derby Trial and suggested to the Bunns that they might hand the ride to John. The Yorkshireman rode the bay for only four faults over a big track and is now looking forward to trying for a home win in the Derby itself.
More than 200 amateurs started in the two qualifiers for the GBR Team Challenge Championship and the title went to Laura Renwick on her tiny mare, Carnaval Dance and Hannah Paul’s great Hickstead form continued when she rode Mister Amontilano to victory in the 148cm championship.