A remarkable hat-trick for Jessica Burke

A remarkable hat-trick for Jessica Burke

A remarkable hat-trick for Jessica Burke

Irish rider Jessica Burke completed a remarkable hat-trick of international titles at the Horse of the Year Show with another performance of breathtaking virtuosity.

The 30-year-old, who is from Galway but now based in Hampshire, won the Speed Horse of the Year showcase class aboard nine-year-old mare Inpulss.

It followed victories with the same horse in Friday’s NAEC Stoneleigh Stakes and The Accumulator on Saturday.

Not since Ellen Whitaker won three international classes on the same day in 2010, has any rider achieved such a feat at HOYS.

Two of the week’s top performers – Jessica and Mark Edwards – battled it out for top spot, with Mark surging into an early lead on Flying Tinker II after clocking 49.34 seconds.

It meant a huge test for Jessica to try and overhaul it, but she achieved it in blistering fashion, combining tight turns with precision jumping to clip 80 hundredths of a second off Mark’s time, with another Irish rider – Trevor Breen – taking third on Jicarla T.

“I don’t have the words, to be honest,” she said, when asked to sum up her achievement.

“I didn’t really think about the hat-trick too much, although obviously I knew it would be nice to do it. I tried to take each day as it came, and I believe in the horse so much.

“She fought so hard everywhere. Once we got the first half of the course out of the way, she flew. It all feels surreal, and it won’t sink in probably until we go home.

“She is such a sweetheart, and I think people can see what we have together. The mare believes she can do anything.

“At home, she pulses all around the place. She never stops. Everything she does is fast – coming out of the stable, getting on the lorry.

“This year has been an amazing one. I jumped my first Nations Cup, we won a Nations Cup, I jumped in the Dublin five-star, and now to do a hat-trick of speed classes at Horse of the Year Show. Incredible.”

This year’s penultimate showjumping session concluded with the Thistledown Investments Six Bar, which delivered a victory for Robert Whitaker and Vermento.

It proved to be a family affair, with Robert’s father John finishing equal-second on Sharid alongside Ireland’s Shane Breen, riding Vistogrand.

It was the first six bar held at HOYS, with each combination facing a six-obstacle course of vertical fences, run as a knockout format with a maximum of five rounds. Fences are raised after each round, with the final fence height standing at 1.90 metres in the last round.

“He has never done a six bar before, so I was a bit sceptical, but he jumped the first round pretty good and then kept jumping better and better,” Robert said.

“He is a very well-bred horse and really is one for the future. He has had some very good results, and he is improving all the time.”

* Audio interview with Jessica Burke, winner of the Speed Horse of the Year at the Horse of the Year Show

* Audio interview with Robert Whitaker, winner of the Thistledown Investments Six Bar at the Horse of the Year Show


For more information on Horse of the Year Show 2022, please contact Horse of the Year Show Press Office, Grandstand Media Ltd. Tel: 02476 858205. Email: press@hoys.co.uk

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