Italian Piergiorgio Bucci lavished praise on the inaugural Liverpool International Horse Show after claiming an impressive victory aboard his Nations Cup campaigner Casallo Z.

Bucci made it another successful Italian job following his compatriot Emanuele Gaudiano’s victory on Friday, and there was no doubting his supremacy in the 1.45 metre class against the clock, sponsored by Equo.

“I have enjoyed this show so much,” he said.

“I must say congratulations to Nina (Barbour) and all the organisers. This is the first year at Liverpool, and they have done an amazing job. It is so impressive.

“It is a super arena, and you get a really good, warm feeling in there.”

The Liverpool Echo Arena was bursting to its 6,000 capacity for a thrilling afternoon session, and the feature class provided some pulsating action, with Bucci prevailing in a time of 46.44 seconds.

Britain’s Laura Renwick had set a scorching pace aboard Heliodor Hybris, clocking 47.50 seconds, while Ireland’s Billy Twomey challenged strongly with Tin Tin, but ultimately they had to settle for second and third places, respectively.

Three other combinations — Nicole Pavitt (Victor Blue), John Whitaker (Lord of Arabia) and Johnny Pals (Urjul van Generhese) — all clocked a quicker time than Bucci, but each of them had a fence down.

Reflecing on his £6,000 triumph, Bucci said: “It was a tough class.

“Normally, he is my grand prix horse. He has jumped many clear rounds, but it was good for my horse to have the turns to do today. I am very pleased.

“He has been a bit stiff to turn sometimes, which is why I am wanted to try him a little bit in this class, and once again he showed how super, scopey and careful he is.”

8fa221d3-b0fd-4cf3-b59b-ccff33c0e122Source: Debra Hargrave/Liverpool International Horse Show