Joe Stockdale banks the spoils in the Grandstand Stoneleigh Events Cup

Joe Stockdale banks the spoils in the Grandstand Stoneleigh Events Cup

Saturday night at Horse of the Year Show is always a fan-favourite and the packed-out crowd were in for quite a treat! The first class of the evening, the Grandstand Stoneleigh Events Cup, was hotly contested by the international showjumpers and the crowd were revelling off the electric atmosphere.

Eight riders made the cut through to the jump off course set by course designer Kelvin Bywater. Despite Italian rider Lorenzo De Luca setting a tough time to beat of 37.47 seconds, Joe Stockdale was determined to do one better.

Riding the striking chestnut stallion, Ebanking. Joe meant business from the off. He plotted his route to perfection, taking calculated risks on the turns and pushing on all the way. With the crowd right behind him, Joe came over the finish in 37.20 seconds. The round of applause from the audience just proves how adored and respected Joe Stockdale is, who is also Horse of the Year Show’s official show ambassador.

Speaking after his win Joe said: “I watched Lorenzo go and thought he was really quick and there wasn’t really an easy option to beat him. The horse jumped so well in the first round I knew I could ask a bit more of him in the jump off. The second to last fence was particularly tight but I got the perfect stride and just took the chance. He’s a quick horse anyway and luckily it paid off.”

Jumping a 1.60m track on a nine-year-old is quite an ask, but the stallion owned by Barbara Hester remained focused throughout.

“We’ve been building him up for the past year and have just gone steady, but now we are creeping up to that top level I couldn’t be happier with him. It’s a good test here for a young horse but his attitude in there couldn’t have been better. He was laser focused the whole way and his form is unbelievable. If he keeps improving like this there could be no limit for him.”

Joe continues: “He’s such a sweet horse, even though he’s a stallion he’s like a big teddy. He’s always with you and wanting to do his best. We’ve not really pushed him against the clock since I’ve had him, I’ve just been getting the ride where I want him, but now when I have pushed the button and asked for that bit more he’s took it well.”

Audio interview with Joe Stockdale:

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