Great weekend of show jumping at Hickstead
By Imogen Johnson
24 July 2012 10:07
I really enjoyed watching the Longines King George V Gold Cup at the Royal International Horse Show on the weekend – the course designed by the brilliant Bob Ellis was pretty tricky and threw a few challenges at the riders, which made for some very exciting rounds.
It was a tricky turn following the famous water jump that appeared to be causing the most trouble for riders who’d push on for the water then have to work hard to bring their horses back, on a turn, in time for some bright white, upright gates. Even Ellen Whitaker had a pretty hefty collision with the gates and retired from the course looking very disappointed indeed.
The water jump itself caused lots of problems with eleven combinations either refusing it or dropping a foot in the water during the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup earlier in the competition. For the King George V Cup the water jump's white picket fence was exchanged for a small slanting brush which certainly seemed to reduce the number of issues.
In the end it was 22-year-old Hendrik-Jan Schuttert on Cerona HS from the Netherlands who won the King George V Cup although he had Ludger Beerbaum snapping at his heels for the top spot. Hendrik described his win as ‘amazing’ and said that while he knew Ludger was close behind him it obviously ‘was not his day’.
All in all it was a very exciting weekend of show jumping and the perfect way to get in the mood for the Olympics – plus it was great to get little taste of Olympic course designer Bob Ellis’ work before his efforts are unveiled next week.
I was lucky enough to speak to Bob for our ‘In the hot seat’ series earlier this year (if you missed it check out Your Horse issue 354 – call back issues on 0845 6011356 for a copy). I hope he’s sleeping ok at the moment – he said he’d probably struggle in the days running up to the Games! Good luck Bob, we’re sure you’ll do great!