HOYS Saturday 9th Evening Showjumping

Team Commercial News

Ireland’s Michael Duffy lit up Saturday night at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham as he claimed a spectacular victory in the Grandstand Challenge Cup.

The 26-year-old, who is from Galway but now based in West Sussex, took victory following an epic jump-off that had a crowd at Resorts World, NEC completely captivated.

There were audible gasps as Michael, first to go in a 10-horse jump-off, delivered some stunning turns on Jeff Ten Halven to clock 33.55 seconds that ultimately proved unbeatable and saw him collect top prize.

But it was close-run thing, as 66-year-old showjumping legend John Whitaker – fresh from representing Great Britain at the Nations Cup final in Barcelona last weeekend – finished just 12 hundredths of a second behind aboard Unick Du Francport, with William Whitaker and Galtur taking third.

The biggest hard luck story, though, was that of British Tokyo Olympian Harry Charles, who was almost a second quicker than Michael, but agonisingly had the last fence down and dropped to seventh.

Michael said: “A jump-off of that standard and quantity is going to be fast, but my horse is amazing. I am lucky to ride a horse of that calibre.

“We are here to first and foremost care for the horses, and secondly, to get them in the best position to jump the fences.

“You never really know if you had done enough, but we were happy with our round, and then you have got to just cross your fingers.

“It is one of the most historically famous shows in the world, and we are privileged to be here.”

Great Britain’s Harriet Biddick delivered a superb performance in The Accumulator to emerge a comfortable winner on Night of Glory O.L.

The one-round competition sees riders collect points for each fence jumped, with a maximum score of 65. Any combinations finishing on that figure are then separated on time.

Five riders among a 28-strong field hit the maximum mark, but Somerset-based Harriet’s time of 46.48 seconds left her well clear.

Ireland’s Shane Breen guided Vistogrand into second place, clocking 49.93, with Oliver Fletcher and Garande in third.

“She is an amazing mare, and the atmosphere was amazing,” Harriet said.

“She has been on really good form, and I made a silly mistake in one of Friday’s classes and she had a really quick time, so today I wanted to give her the win she deserved.

“Horse of the Year Show is an incredible show, and it feels amazing to be here under the lights again and win one of the famous purple rugs.”

 

* Audio interview with Grandstand Challenge Cup winner Michael Duffy

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access2/index.php?d=782&b=32082

 

* Audio interview with The Accumulator winner Harriet Biddick

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access2/index.php?d=782&b=32081

 

But it was a close-run thing, as 66-year-old showjumping legend John Whitaker – fresh from representing Great Britain at the Nations Cup final in Barcelona last weeekend – finished just 12 hundredths of a second behind aboard Unick Du Francport, with William Whitaker and Galtur taking third.

The biggest hard luck story, though, was that of British Tokyo Olympian Harry Charles, who was almost a second quicker than Michael, but agonisingly had the last fence down and dropped to seventh.

Michael said: “A jump-off of that standard and quantity is going to be fast, but my horse is amazing. I am lucky to ride a horse of that calibre.

“We are here to first and foremost care for the horses, and secondly, to get them in the best position to jump the fences.

“You never really know if you had done enough, but we were happy with our round, and then you have got to just cross your fingers.

“It is one of the most historically famous shows in the world, and we are privileged to be here.”

Great Britain’s Harriet Biddick delivered a superb performance in The Accumulator class to emerge a comfortable winner on Night of Glory O.L.

The one-round competition sees riders collect points for each fence jumped, with a maximum score of 65. Any combinations finishing on that figure are separated on time.

Five riders among a 28-strong field hit the maximum mark, but Somerset-based Harriet’s time of 46.48 seconds left her well clear.

Ireland’s Shane Breen guided Vistogrand into second place, clocking 49.93, with Oliver Fletcher and Garande in third.

“She is an amazing mare, and the atmosphere was amazing,” Harriet said.

“She has been on really good form, and I made a silly mistake in one of Friday’s classes and she had a really quick time, so today I wanted to give her the win she deserved.

“Horse of the Year Show is an incredible show, and it feels amazing to be here under the lights again and win one of the famous purple rugs.”

 

* Audio interview with Grandstand Challenge Cup winner Michael Duffy

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access2/index.php?d=782&b=32082

 

* Audio interview with The Accumulator winner Harriet Biddick

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access2/index.php?d=782&b=32081

 

ENDS

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]