Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano maintained his hot streak of form by claiming a second win at the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show.
Gaudiano and the 13-year-old Cocoshynsky bounced back from an elimination in Saturday’s four-star speed class to land the 1.45-metre against the clock competition, sponsored by Equerry Horse Feeds.
And it followed a victory on New Year’s Day, with Gaudiano’s latest success coming after his World Cup qualifier triumph at London Olympia two weeks ago.
He set a scorching pace from an early draw, clocking 54.08 seconds, and no other combination came close, with runners-up William Funnell and Billy Angelo almost three seconds behind, while Sweden’s Peder Fredricson was third aboard H&M Sibon and Ireland’s Billy Twomey fourth on Ardcolum Duke.
With Gaudiano’s countryman Piergiorgio Bucci also claiming a win this weekend, the inaugural Liverpool show has proved a happy hunting ground for Italian riders.
Apart from his Liverpool and London successes, Gaudiano has also recently claimed two successes at Verona and a runners-up finish in Geneva, where he was also fifth in the five-star grand prix.
“I think this is a good moment for me in my career,” he said.
“We had a little problem yesterday when I fell off at the second fence, but today was like normal. The horse is very fast, I know her well, and I know exactly when and where we can go quickly.”
Earlier on Sunday, the Allen sisters did it style as they starred in a thrilling Under-25 final.
The class, sponsored by Gaskells Waste, went right down to the wire in a puslating jump-off as last-to-go Pippa Allen, riding Hope Springs, clipped two hundredths of a second off her sister Millie’s time to triumph.
Millie looked to have done enough on Balou Star, clocking a time of 29.56 seconds, but 22-year-old Pippa had other ideas as she claimed a superb victory in high-class company.
Harry Charles, son of Great Britain star and London 2012 Olympics team gold medallist Peter Charles, was third on Peter’s Vivaldi Du Dom, with Kerry Brennan — 2014 British Under-23 champion at Olympia — finishing fourth aboard Wellington M.
“I was over the moon to jump clear in a ring like that, and then suddenly I was in the jump-off,” said Middlesbrough-based Pippa.
“You have to know what your horse is capable of, and luckily the course suited my horse because he has got such a big stride, and I think that is where I won it.
“I knew the way I could catch Millie was to take strides out. We haven’t had a tussle like that for a while, but there were a few of them when we both rode ponies.”
Millie, while gracious in defeat, added ruefully: “That margin of 0.02 of a second is going to haunt me for a while! The last time we had a contest this close, it was the same result.”
And Liverpool unveiled its very own Angel of the North as 12-year-old Angel Tough, from Manchester, completed a memorable winning double by capturing the 1.20-metre amateur jump-off class, sponsored by Your Horse.
It was a display of remarkable maturity by the Urmston-based youngster, who guided nine-year-old mare Varuni Z — a horse owned by her grandfather — to victory.
Their jump-off time of 37.86 seconds was only seriously challenged by one combination – Tony Pearson and Arash – but they finished just two hundredths of a second behind to claim runners-up spot, while Chloe Breen, wife of Irish international showjumping star Shane Breen, took third.
Tough had already shown her quality by winning an amateur speed class on Saturday, and she became the first rider at the inaugural Liverpool International event to claim a double victory.
“It was pretty anxious watching it all towards the end of the jump-off,” Tough said. “I followed my dad’s instructions, but I lost my stirrup at the third fence in the jump-off.
“I am absolutely made up to win. She is my grandad’s horse, and I have been riding her for three months.”
Sunday’s opening competition – a 1.30-metre amateur class, sponsored by Land Rover Experience Peckforton Castle — went to Ireland’s Kristen Farr, riding R Candy.
Source: Debra Hargrave/Liverpool International Horse Show