Catch up on the latest action from the King George V Gold Cup and Hasseroder Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hickstead’s RIHS
Germany and Holland took the honours in two of the oldest show jumping classes in the world when Ludger Beerbaum and Angelique Hoorn captured the King George V and Queen Elizabeth Cups at Hickstead.
The King’s Cup was a classic and it took a masterful performance from the world number one to come home ahead of a jump-off field that also comprised John and Michael Whitaker, Richard Davenport, Brazil’s double Olympic medallist Alvaro Affonso de Miranda and John Popely, going for his fourth major win in the space of three weeks.
But Ludger, whose first-round time left him first to go in the jump-off, set off at the gallop on the 12-year-old French-bred stallion, Champion Du Lys, and the German maestro never looked took a pull to set a tremendous time.
Richard Davenport, competing in his first King’s Cup and second to go on his brother James’s horse, the athletic mare Enjoleuse De L’Eaugrenee, tried all the way and, although they ended up 4.5sec in arrears, their foot-perfect performance was good enough for second place.
Handel, whose first clear had been a joy to watch, looked a little flat this time and after Anne Bedford’s stallion lowered the gate, Michael Whitaker turned a circle and settled for a lower placing.
But Michael’s older brother John,on his recent Great Yorkshire Cock O’ The North winner, Steps Helsinki, was at his most determined.
The Russian-bred bay, spends the majority of his time in the field and comes in the day before shows – “That way, it doesn’t matter if he wins or not, as he’s not costing us any money to keep!” said John – was on course for a good time until John could not get the stride he wanted into a huge triple bar.
There was a collective intake of breath from the packed crowd when the gelding tried to bank the fence, but the pair carried on unperturbed to finish in a time good enough for an eventual third spot.
Alvaro Affonso de Miranda abandoned the clock, but his attempt failed when he hit the first part of the final double of water ditches, which left John Popely and the young Luidam as Ludger’s only challengers.
John had no alternative but to throw down the gauntlet, but it was all over when the chesnut, who won the Horse & Hound Foxhunter final in 1999, rolled a pole at the second fence.
“It was one of those rounds that couldn’t have gone better,” said a delighted Ludger, who was the first Germanwinner of this famous class since Paul Schockemohle, and the great Deister triumphed in 1983.
“Champion likes to go fast and he loves Hickstead because there’s so much room to gallop.”
Ludger was highly complimentary about Bob Ellis’s course, saying: “It was a very good track; difficult enough but extremely fair, and the fact that there were six clears and four-faulters to fill the other places speaks for itself.”
Queen Elizabeth Cup
Angelique Hoorn had earlier scored a smooth Queen’s Cup victory on her World Equestrian Games hope, Hascal, who jumped the only double clear to beat the sole British representative in the five-horse jump-off, Di Lampard.
Di was delighted with her ride, the eight-year-old Carlucci, a horse who has gone quickly to the highest level after competing in last year’s Horse & Hound Foxhunter final.
Angelique Hoorn bought Hascal, a son of Wisconsin, as a two-year-old and has owned him for 11 years.“We’ve grown up together,” said the 27-year-old from the north of Holland. “And he’s my only top ride, because horses like him are nearly impossible to find.”
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