Irish star Billy Twomey wasted little time returning to winning ways as he shone on day one of the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show.
Last year’s Liverpool Grand Prix champion, Billy took Saturday’s four-star jump-off class after a brilliant display on the stallion Ardcolum Duke.
Their time of 30.64 seconds eclipsed the effort of Italy’s Emanuele Guadiano, who was first to go in a 12-horse jump off and set a testing challenge at the Echo Arena, but one of Ireland’s top riders prevailed to land the £7,000 top prize, with another Irishman – Shane Breen – third, while Britain’s Laura Renwick took fourth place on her 42nd birthday.
“I am delighted with the win,” Billy said. “The horse jumped amazingly in what was a really fast class. This show holds very fond memories for me, and it is nice to get off to a winning start.”
On Ardcolum Duke, Billy said, “He is an amazing horse, very consistent wherever he competes. I really chanced it at the last fence, and he jumped it well. Credit to him as much as anything. Emanuele put down a really good marker, and we all had to chase him. I had to give it a go, and luckily it came off. The horse knows his job – he is always so competitive – and he is on form again.
And looking ahead to the rest of the weekend, Billy added: “It is an amazing show here. It’s a great atmosphere – the crowd really get right behind it.”
Saywell Speeds to Victory in Liverpool Opening FEI Class
Louise Saywell gave the strong British challenge a flying start to the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show on Saturday. The Nottinghamshire-based rider’s performance continued a recent run of success she has enjoyed with the James Hughes-owned Peiter VI.
They starred at Birmingham’s Horse of the Year Show three months ago, and Liverpool’s Echo Arena witnessed another superb round as they dominated the opening international class – a two-phase competition sponsored by Wilcox @ Edgemere and Cooke Horseboxes.
Ireland’s Dermott Lennon, drawn first to go, set a scorching pace on Fleur IV, clocking a time of 30.15 seconds, and it looked as though it might be enough for victory, but Great Britain Nations Cup rider Louise had other ideas as they romped home in 27.54 seconds, with Belgium’s Constant van Paesschen taking third aboard Isidoor Van De Helle.
“It is a fantastic start to the show for me,” Louise said. “We had a bit of a scary moment at the first fence – he was busy looking at the big screen – but then he was away.
“”He is naturally quick, and all the turns came off today. He seems to deliver at every show, and in different types of classes, which is fantastic.
“I am really pleased to be here, and to open with a win, I couldn’t have asked for a better start.”
Showjumping action in Liverpool across the next three days will be interspersed with performances that hold a wide family appeal, including music from the UK’s no 1 ABBA tribute band ‘Revival’, the Shetland Pony Grand National, world-class carriage driving, the Black Fire Girls and more.