October 11, 2015 at 11:56 PM

Hoys_RGB_new_logo.jpgIrish star Billy Twomey hit top form to take the Leading Showjumper of the Year grand prix on the final night of the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham.

Riders work throughout the entire year to qualify for the coveted places at Horse of the Year Show, and today saw the best of the best recognised. 

Twomey, who is based in Nottinghamshire, delivered two immaculate clear rounds on Diaghilev to deny Frenchman Julian Epaillard a successful title defense.

Twomey's jump-off time of 32.31 seconds was enough to land the £13,200 top prize, completing a title treble in this class after he triumphed in 2008 and 2013.

Epaillard was second on Cristallo A LM, while this year's Bolesworth International Grand Prix winner Yazmin Pinchen took third on Van de Vivaldi, with Colombia's Daniel Bluman  fourth on Conconcreto Apardi.

"I am absolutely delighted," Twomey said.

"This week has been brilliant, and it is nice to top it off with a grand prix win.

"The horses have come into form, and hopefully, I can continue to kick on from this result.

"Horse of the Year Show is one of my favourite shows. The crowds here really get behind the runners, which helps make it so enjoyable."

Preston showjumper Nigel Coupe turned back the clock 27 years when he landed the Vinopolis Speed Horse of the Year title.

Riding Jubilee III, Coupe made light work of an early draw to win a £3,300 prize by just 15 hundredths of a second from William Whitaker, riding Balibu, with another British rider - Yazmin Pinchen - third aboard Ashkari and John Whitaker fourth with Lord of Arabia.

The top four combinations were separated by just 61 hundredths of a second as the speed class once again thrilled a bumper audience.

"I think I was 18 when I won this class previously, and that was when the show was held at Wembley," said Coupe, who is based at Salmesbury, near Preston.

"I am absolutely delighted. When you are drawn early and go into the lead, you always expect to be shot at, but today they kept having fences down.

"I watched the rest of the class on the TV monitor. Having an early draw, if it goes well, it can sometimes help you put the pressure on, and it worked out for me today.

"Any time you win an international class is great, but to win the speed championship here at HOYS is fantastic."

Oxfordshire rider Clark Glasgow, meanwhile, prescribed himself the perfect tonic as he claimed an impressive victory in The Thistledown Stakes.

It was Glasgow's first - and last - visit to HOYS before he continues his medical studies at Cambridge, and he could not have bowed out on a higher note.

Riding Corlando of Cavallini, he triumphed in the two-phase speed class after clocking a jump-off time of 39.94 seconds.

It was enough to edge experienced Irish campaigner Trevor Breen, riding Oldtown KC, into second place, with John Whitaker third aboard Echo of Light.

"I am over the moon. Just being able to compete here is a dream come true, so anything top of that is a bonus," Glasgow said.

"I disappeared into the warm-up arena after I jumped. I knew someone could beat me, but it worked out for me today.

"I have had the horse going on for six years, and he really has taught me the ropes, but to win here is very special."

And Grantham's Joe Clayton produced a stylish performance to win the Speedi-Beet Grade C Championship.

Riding Millioninmind, an eight-year-old bay gelding, Clayton saw off a challenge from his cousin and British Nations  Cup rider William Whitaker.

Clayton's jump-off time of 37.69 seconds edged out Whitaker by just over a second. Whitaker finished runner-up on C'Est Seppel and third with Dublin V, while Annabel Shields was fourth aboard ABC Quantum Cruise. 

The competition is for horses that are Grade C at qualifying, and is often used by top riders to bring on horses which they feel have the potential to become a top Grade A horse.

"It is a very good win. The horse jumped fantastically," Clayton said.

"He is a very cheeky horse. He's quite nervy, but brave at the same time. All the classes at the Horse of the Year show are hard to win, and when you win one, it feels very special."

 Audio link to Joe Clayton winner of the Speedi-Beet Grade C Championship
Audio link to Billy Twomey winner of the Leading Showjumper of the Year
Audio link to Clark Glasgow winner of the Thistledown Stakes
Audio link to Joe Clayton winner of the Speedi-Beet Grade C Championship

Photo credit: E.S. Photography



Featuring the most prestigious National Showing and Show Jumping Championships, International Show Jumping classes, Virbac 3D Worming Mounted Games and Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry Racing, HOYS 2015 is packed with excitement. The popular and exciting Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch Activity Ride will headline the displays and Team GB Vaulters will impress the audience with their awe-inspiring acrobatic routine.  Friday October 9th is the day of choice for dressage fans, with the Stephen Clarke Dressage Masterclass and the Mount St John Dressage Future Elite Championship both timetabled. The 2015 Show will come to spectacular close during the Sunday Evening Gala Performance, which will include entertainment from Britain’s Got Talent sensations The HoneyBuns. Tickets for Horse of the Year Show 2015 are now on sale. For show information, including the timetable, and to book, visit www.hoys.co.uk or call 0844 581 8282.

For more information on Horse of the Year Show 2015, or to request a selection of copyright free images, please contact:

Horse of the Year Show Press Office
Grandstand Media Ltd

Tel: 02477 712 110

Email: press@hoys.co.uk
Web: www.hoys.co.uk 

Category: News