October 09, 2014 at 8:26 PM

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Prolific Horse of the Year Show winner Guy Williams made a flying start to the international classes at Birmingham's LG Arena on Thursday by winning the inaugural Michael Mac Memorial Trophy.

The two-phase competition, which includes a jump-off, produced a thrilling spectacle as just 53 hundredths of a second separated the top five combinations.

Guy, who is based in Kent but will shortly be relocating to northern France, guided Casper De Muze home in a time of 29.23 seconds, edging out Norwegian runner-up Victoria Gulliksen and Billy Buttercup, while Nicole Pavitt (Our Duchess) was third, Ireland's Billy Twomey (Ardcolum Duke) fourth and John Whitaker (Lord of Arabia) fifth.

"I think it was the same route for everyone in the jump-off, but my horse has got a big stride," Guy said.

"It was always going to be close in the jump-off, and this is a very good start to the week."

The class was inaugurated at HOYS this year in memory of Michael Mac, a former chairman of British Showjumping and international rider who passed away in June, aged 52, following a long and brave battle with cancer.

Prizes were presented by Michael's widow Emma and their family.

"Michael did a lot for the sport," Guy added. "To win it is nice to do so in his memory."

Attention in the Williams household will soon turn to the impending house move, which will see Guy, his family and horses set up base near Deauville in Normandy.

"Up until Christmas it is going to be busy," he said.

"I have sold my house in Kent, and while I have looked elsewhere in England, the properties are very expensive for what I need. We've bought a lovely place not far from Deauville in Normandy.

"I own all my horses and do it all myself, and we are going to try it and be there before Christmas."

And as for his possible future Great Britain team prospects, Nations Cup regular Guy added: "If you are going well enough and getting results, then that is the way forward.

"I have got some new horses, including a promising new eight-year-old called Basic from Phillip Miller. He could step up next year."

Audio link to the winner of the Michael Mac Memorial Trophy:  

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/HorseoftheYearShow_Williams.mp3



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