Lucy Townley joined an illustrious role of honour as she took victory in the prestigious Equitop GLME Senior Foxhunter class at Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham.
The Sussex-based rider, who works for the Billy Stud that is run by showjumper William Funnell, his eventer wife Pippa and Donal Barnwell, triumphed aboard seven-year-old Billy Nikon. In doing so, she followed a showjumping who’s who of previous winners such as David Broome, Nick Skelton, Harvey Smith, Malcolm Pyrah and John Whitaker.
Last to go from seven combinations in the jump-off, Lucy was one of just two riders to go clear again, but her time of 42.63 seconds was quick enough to push Joseph Trunkfield and Idwerd into second, with Oliver Fletcher and BP Pocahontas taking third.
Oliver recorded the quickest jump-off time of 39.01 seconds, but a pole down at the last fence cost him victory. Ultimately, it was Lucy’s night, as she held her nerve to take top spot.
“When the one before me jumped clear, I just thought I had to ride it like I wanted to ride it,” she said. “Will Funnell has always said about jump-offs to go for it and stick to your plan.
“I never thought I would win at Horse of the Year Show, but I am so lucky, I have the most amazing job riding top-class horses with the backing of Will and Pippa and Donal Barnwell. They are so supportive and believe in you.
“I have been coming here since I was tiny. My parents have always been involved with horse shows, and dad has always been at Horse of the Year Show, so when I was six or seven my favourite week of the year was to come up and stay at the show.
“To be stood here as a winner is unbelievable.”
* Audio interview with Equitop GLME Senior Foxhunter winner Lucy Townley
For more information on Horse of the Year Show 2021, please contact Horse of the Year Show Press Office, Grandstand Media Ltd. Tel: 02476 858205. Email: [email protected]