All year, Guy Williams has been bullish about his chances of winning the Horse & Hound Foxhunter with Djakarta, and on Thursday evening at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) he proved as good as his word.
In an absolute thriller of a jump-off, the Kent rider took an early advantage with Andrew Doswell’s ultra-speedy eight-year-old daughter of Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve.
“I half expected it — I knew if I rode well she’d win it,” said Guy. “She’s won nearly every class we’ve entered this year.”
Robert Maguire made a brave attempt from last draw with Beckham IV, a seven-year-old gelding by Indoctro, but was 2sec adrift for second. Daniel Moseley gave Billy Mexico a great ride for third place. This six-year-old stallion son of Cevin Z is definitely going places.
In the three international classes, Nick Skelton scored a winning double with Big Star in the Jump 4 Joy Trophy and Unique in the Grandstand Welcome Stakes.
“It was a nice course to get started on and Unique has come back fresh from a good break,” said Nick of Beverley Widdowson’s 10-year-old gelding.
This was Big Star’s first foray indoors this season and Nick set off on a schooling round, but soon changed his mind on the eight-year-old gelding he describes as a “machine”.
“He’s a fast horse anyway, but we got on a roll so I let him keep going,” he said.
Ellen Whitaker gave the home side another turn in the spotlight when she and Arena UK Lando III headed the Xerox Special Event Services Cup two-phase.
Despite some mighty bucks, the nine-year-old gelding sped round with Ellen, leaving Sam Hutton having to settle for the runner-up spot for the second time in one day — this time on Astral 57. Sam also finished second in the Grandstand Welcome Stakes riding For a Smile.
Stay in touch with all the action from HOYS on Horseandhound.co.uk throughout the show and enjoy over 20 pages of reports in next Thursday’s magazine