An electrifying Longines King George V Gold Cup at the Royal International Horse Show had the Hickstead crowd on the edge of their seats, but despite their support they were denied a British win.
The magnificent trophy went to the Netherlands for the first time since the competition began in 1907. Despite his tender years, Hendrik-Jan Schuttert, 22, held onto his lead with Cerona HS despite German legend Ludger Beerbaum’s final challenge on Chiara.
“I only started jumping four and five star shows this year, this is a dream win,” said Hendrik, “With Ludger behind me, I thought I’d be second!”
Talking point of the class, however, was the performance of fourth-placed Louise Pavitt and Brendon Stud’s fast-rising star Don VHP Z.
“I knew the height wouldn’t be a problem, it would be the track technicalities,” said Louise. “He’s huge and I’m little, but he’s learned to contain his big stride and is so easy to ride.”
Joe Clayton posted the only British win when commanding the Royal International accumulator with Antello Z.
“He’s been touching for a win all week,” said Joe, who is based with Michael Whitaker and took over the ride four weeks ago.
The pair had taken a close second earlier in the week in the Bunn Leisure trophy to France’s Penelope Leprevost and Oscar Des Fontaines. And a speedy round but with a rail down in Saturday night’s Sky Sports speed classic dropped them from second to sixth.
“He’s quick and careful, what more could you ask for.”
Don’t miss H&H’s full report from the Royal International, on sale Thursday 26 July, alongside part two of our Olympic preview
Longines King George V Gold Cup. 1, Cerona HS (H-J Schuttert), NED; 2, Chiara (L Beerbaum), GER; 3, Myself De Breve (M Hecart), FRA. accumulator. 1, Antello Z (J Clayton); 2, Sam (A Zoer), NED; 3, Caleta (M Armstrong), GBR.