Tony Pearson made showjumping history on Friday by winning the inaugural Liverpool International Horse Show’s opening class.

The Windsor-based rider claimed a comfortable victory in the amateur 1.15 metre two-phase competition, sponsored by the PanAm Bar Official After-Show Party, at Liverpool Echo Arena..

Riding Arash, Pearson clocked a second phase time of 30.02 seconds, which proved too hot a pace for his rivals, with Aisling Byrne second aboard Deau and Oliver Fletcher taking third place on Little Business from a field of 30 starters.

“The horse is a winner,” Pearson said. “I think he has won at every international show I’ve had him at.

“He is a really good speed horse, and he just wants to win. That was the first class of this show, so we really wanted to go well.

“He is super-careful and he is quick, which is what you want for a winner.

“The going is great, the show’s great and the fences are brilliant. It is all set to be a really good few days.”

The four-star Liverpool International Horse Show begins got under way on Friday morning, culminating in Sunday’s headline four-star grand prix, with a superb cast headed by the likes of John and Michael Whitaker, Peter Charles, Laura Renwick, Guy Williams, William Funnell, Robert Whitaker and William Whitaker.

A considerable Irish challenge will be led by Billy Twomey, who finished third at this year’s Paris Masters, plus the consistently-successful Breen brothers, Shane and Trevor, former Aachen grand prix champion Denis Lynch, Cameron Hanley and Dermott Lennon.

And the overseas representation is considerable, featuring Italy’s recent London World Cup qualifier winner Emanuele Gaudiano, exciting Belgian prospect Constant van Paesschen, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, who was a member of Sweden’s 2004 Olympic silver medal-winning team, Norway’s Geir Gulliksen and Dutch rider Johnny Pals.

Besides top-class showjumping, Liverpool’s slick, eye-catching production will incorporate scintillating performances from the ‘Bootleg Beatles,’ opera singers Bella Voci, theatrical stunt rider Clémence Faivre and the ever-popular Shetland Pony Grand National.

Fine dining will also be available, plus a champagne bar and many food outlets, in addition to an impressive shopping village retailing high-end clothing, equestrian accessories, giftwares, fine foods and beautiful things for the home.

It’s not to late to book tickets. E-tickets are available online, or can be bought on the gate at the Echo Arena up until the last performance on Sunday, January 3.

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