Tag Archives: Robert Whitaker

British Riders Dominate on Day Four of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Day four of Royal Windsor Horse Show welcomed the international circuit’s finest Show Jumpers, with Friday’s Manama Stakes’ winner Holly Smith making it a double in the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup. Earlier in the day, Robert Whitaker won the Martin Collins Enterprises Senior 1.45m Grand Prix, while fellow British rider, Guy Williams, took top honours in the Falcon Stakes. Her Majesty The Queen was in attendance in the Castle Arena to watch the Land Rover Services Team Jumping, the international display by the Dubai Mounted Police, and the Martin Collins Enterprises Show Pony Championship. Her Majesty also presented a number of awards, including the award to the Best Turned Out Trooper. Driver Boyd Exell looked set to take his tenth win following a competitive performance in the cross-country.

The day got underway with the two-round Martin Collins Enterprises Senior 1.45m Grand Prix, a national class held in the resplendent Castle Arena. After nine riders made it through to the second round, it was Rose Moss and Carlos F who set the early pace, going double clear in a time of 38.96 seconds. Next to go was Jay Halim, who also went double clear, much to his delight, giving his grey stallion Aragon Z 414149 a congratulatory pat on the neck. Robert Whitaker entered the Arena with Major Delacour to rapturous applause from the crowd, who encouraged the duo over every obstacle. Whitaker produced a fluid and fault-free round, which was enough to take top spot in 32.93 seconds, over one and a half seconds ahead of second-placed Lily Freeman Attwood.

With 13 of the world’s current top 20-ranked Show Jumpers competing in the day’s showpiece class, the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup, the level of competition proved to be incredibly high from the outset. The testing 1.55m Bob Ellis-designed course demanded every bit of skill from the 31 horse and rider combinations that started, with just six eventually progressing to the jump-off, including three British riders: Harry Charles, Ben Maher, and Holly Smith. Charles was first to go, and despite some early promise and tightly negotiated turns, he and Borsato put down the first of the swan-themed double. Friday’s Manama Stakes’ winner, Holly Smith, laid down the gauntlet producing an exceptional ride, crossing the line in 34.02 seconds. With Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Gregory Wathelet (BEL) both accruing eight penalties, it was up to Ben Maher and Martin Fuchs to challenge Smith’s time. But it wasn’t to be after both riders were unable to match Holly Smith’s unassailable time. Later in the afternoon the Leicestershire-based 30-year-old was all smiles when Her Majesty The Queen presented her with the King’s Cup trophy.

The day’s action culminated in the 1.50m Falcon Stakes, in which British riders again proved to be the dominant force. 10 riders, including three Brits, progressed to the second round, with American Kent Farrington setting the early pace, going clear with his mare Kaprice. Canadian Tiffany Foster and Swedish world number two-ranked rider, Peder Fredricson, both put in competitive performances with Foster knocking Farrington off top spot. However, there was a late charge from two experienced British riders, first from William Funnell and Billy McCain, and then from last to go Guy Williams, who masterfully steered his stallion, Rouge de Ravel, around the testing course, pipping Foster to top spot by 0.45 seconds.

Reflecting on his win, Williams said: “I won here last year, and it seems to be a great Show for me – I don’t know what it is about this Arena! I always love competing here, as the crowds are absolutely fantastic, and I hope they’re happy with another British winner.”

A seven-year-old show pony bought just two weeks ago gave veteran owner Gita Jago her first Royal Windsor open show pony title since 1992.

Sussex-based Mrs Jago, who celebrated her 95th birthday last week, was beyond excited when her John Harvey-produced 128cm winner, Whiteleaze Secret Charm, landed the Martin Collins championship in the Castle Arena — a result all the more remarkable since jockey Eva Herring, 10, had only ridden the pony once before.

Reserve went to the 138cm winners, Matthew Proctor and the Karl Morris-produced eight-year-old Reduit Royal Image.

The novice show pony title went to Cheshire with Team Hillyard, who produced the five-year-old 128cm mare Kouros Mayfia, partnered with great aplomb in the Castle Arena by Livie Smith, 10. This was only the third-ever show for the combination and as producer Lulu Hillyard commented, “It was a big ‘ask’ but Livie just rose to the occasion.”

The coveted mini title meant a major double for the team as co-producer Katie Smith — Lulu Hillyard’s daughter — led Imogen Stathern, 8, to victory on her Royal Windsor debut. Her pony, Seamoor Lady Derby, is a past victor at the Royal International Horse show, Hickstead, but it is Imogen’s first season in the show ring and therefore first visit to Royal Windsor.

Matthew Cooper claimed the ridden native championship with the Stanford family’s former Royal International Horse Show supreme, the big-winning home-produced Highland stallion Benbreac of Croila, who earned his ticket to compete in the final at Olympia in December.

Another John Harvey-produced 128cm winner, Kouros Mayfia, claimed victory for jockey Livie Smith.

Lead rein and Ridden natives — vying for a hard-fought place in the final at Olympia in December — were headed by the Stanfords’ prolific-winning Highland stallion, Benbreac of Croila, who is produced at home by the family in North Yorkshire and partnered at shows by London-based Matt Cooper.

A mainly dry day provided good conditions for competitors driving the marathon in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix. As last year, the overnight leader – world champion Boyd Exell from Australia – drove an exemplary round, his competitive times in the cross-country obstacles increasing his lead ahead of the final phase.

Exell actually came in second in the marathon phase, but just 0.03 of a penalty behind the marathon leader, Koos de Ronde from the Netherlands, who recorded the fastest time in four of the obstacles. This has moved the experienced Dutch driver up the order to third place from sixth after the dressage. Ahead of him, however, remains his fellow countryman, young driver Bram Chardon, whose good marathon – he was third overall – has retained him his second place. He is 9 penalty points adrift of leader Exell which gives the Australian three cones in hand in the final phase.

The Netherlands retain their lead position in the Nations competition with Belgium moving up from fifth into second place, France now challenging them closely for third.

Fortunes changed a little more radically in horse pairs, where the scores were considerably closer among the top competitors. A new leader emerged when third-placed after the cones, Sandro Koalick from Germany, drove a storming marathon to head this section and move into first place overall. Another to excel in the marathon, Franck Grimonprez from France, fourth in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix last year. jumped from fifth after the dressage to second overall at this stage in the competition, less than 4 penalties behind the leader. Lars Schwitte is currently in third place.

In pony four-in-hand there has been no change in the overnight order with experienced Dutch driver Jan de Boer winning the marathon to give him a comfortable lead for the final phase. Tinne Bax from Belgium retains her second place but has less than a cone in hand (3 penalties) over third placed Jaqueline Walter from Germany.

The fourth day of Royal Windsor Horse Show concluded with the third and final evening performance of The Victorian Pageant, which was attended by Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and His Royal Highness Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex.

More than 400 horses and a 600-strong cast of artists, dancers, and world-renowned international equestrian acts travelled from across the globe to bring the Victorian era back to life to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.

British actor, writer, and director, Simon Callow CBE, was part of The Pageant’s stellar line-up bringing the evening’s festivities alive, narrating the show alongside gardener, presenter, and novelist, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, whose years of television experience brought warmth and wit to the spectacular celebratory production.

Stand-out international equestrian displays central to the extraordinary theatre included: The Dubai Mounted Police and their 40-horse Musical Ride, the Dubai Police Pipe Band, The Hungarian Csikós, stunt riders from Azerbaijan, and The Oman Royal Cavalry trick ride.

The show welcomed a number of carriage horses into the Castle Arena, helping to create scenes from the period, including Victorian London, as depicted by Dickens, complete with cockney chimney sweeps, hansom cabs, and park drags.

The 90-minute show was staged by a BAFTA award-winning team and transported the audience back to the era, drawing on some of its typical characteristics, such as the Music Hall, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Charles Dickens.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Victory for Her Majesty The Queen on Day One of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Her Majesty The Queen braved the inclement weather on the opening day of CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show to witness a memorable win for her home-bred filly in the youngstock class. Showing and National Show Jumping took centre stage, as Windsor Castle’s private grounds were opened to the public on the first of the annual five-day Show.

Showing: Horses belonging to HM The Queen shone in the show rings, nailing one outright win and two second placings against strong competition.

Her Majesty’s strapping home-bred filly, two-year-old Hampton Court Margin, headed the Cleveland Bay youngstock class, and Lancer, another exciting young home-bred prospect, was runner-up in the highly-coveted four-year-old ridden hunter class. He was produced and ridden by Katie Jerram-Hunnable, only recently back in the saddle after a year off due to breaking her neck in a fall from another horse.

This was only the second outing under saddle for the handsome bay, who narrowly missed out on a ticket to the in-hand final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) last season, and here, he was just pipped to the post by the reigning HOYS champion, MHS Morning Master, and Cheshire-based Robert Walker.

The run continued when Her Majesty’s seasoned heavyweight, Tower Bridge — also ridden and produced by Katie — was narrowly pipped in a very strong heavyweight hunter class. This was the first outing of the season for the nine-year-old, who was third at Horse of the Year Show in October.

“He felt fabulous and gave both me and the judge a super ride,” said Katie.

In a thrilling Castle Arena finale, the championship went to Robert Walker with last year’s champion and supreme horse here, Jill Day’s View Point, making it the fifth time Walker has scooped this most prestigious title. His reigning HOYS champion faced tough opposition en route, though, including that from the eventual reserve, middleweight winner Silent Master, produced and ridden for the Bowie family by Norfolk-based Allister Hood — another rider back in the saddle after illness.

Walker was also on form in novice ranks, where Jill Day’s stunning five-year-old, Somerville Lad, headed the lightweights before giving the team a sixth overall triumph in the section, and stablemate Patric’s Choice headed the open heavyweights, partnered by Robert’s wife Sarah in the championship.

Katie Jerram-Hunnable, who also produced The Queen’s now-retired racehorse, Barbers Shop, to stand supreme here two years ago, had more cause for celebration when her latest charge, the prolific-winning steeplechaser Cue Card, stood fourth on his show ring debut.

“He only left his [racing] training yard three weeks ago but we’re very excited about his future,” added Katie. “Plus, his owner, Jean Bishop, was overwhelmed when Her Majesty specifically asked to meet her and see the horse in its stable.”

Show Jumping: Robert Whitaker wins the main event, while Laura Renwick makes it a double at Royal Windsor

Great Britain’s leading lady show jumper, Laura Renwick, got her 2019 Royal Windsor campaign off to a sensational start after she and her six-year-old gelding Maverick won the National 1.30m Open Jumping Competition. Renwick’s classy display in the imposing Castle Arena saw her knock a second off the time of eventual runner-up, Lily Freeman Attwood, in a blisteringly-quick time of 30.29 seconds.

Renwick’s winning streak continued, taking top honours in The Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship later in the day, after she and her six-year-old grey mare, Clarentina, faultlessly navigated the technical 1.30m course. Just four of the 11 horse and rider combinations, who qualified from the Equitop Myoplast Senior Foxhunter, went clear to progress to the jump-off. But it was Renwick’s supreme levels of bravery and speed, which proved to be the deciding factor, beating Ronnie Jones and Interstar B into second place by a convincing 1.24 seconds. Pippa Goddard and Nero Van De Kwade Heyde took third spot, while William Funnel and Billy Pablo slotted into fourth.

The biggest class of the day, the Land Rover National 1.40m Open Jumping Competition, went to Robert Whitaker and Major Delacour after the duo pipped Jay Halim and Aragon Z 414149 into second place by just 0.29 seconds. The class was closely fought with 21 of the 50 starters going clear, and under a second eventually separated the top six-placed riders. Third to go, Whitaker and his 11-year-old chestnut gelding were dominant from the off, as they effortlessly mastered the challenging course, much to the delight of the Castle Arena’s crowd. The day’s earlier star jumper, Laura Renwick, and Top Dollar finished in fourth place in a time of 38.34 seconds, while Oliver Fletcher and Hello Discko Boy went one better to claim third spot.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally. Windsor residents should call the Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743 589.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

McCoy and His Boys Prove They’re the Real Deal

An eager crowd was treated to an action-packed fifth day at Olympia, The London International Horse Show. The first Show Jumping competition of the day saw 18-year-old Robert Murphy produce a sublime performance going double-clear and securing a memorable victory in The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Final. A faultless Boyd Exell was once again on majestic form, finishing just under 30 seconds ahead of eventual second-placed Driver, Belgian Glenn Geerts. British riders dominated The Keith Prowse Father Christmas Stakes, with William Whitaker, William Funnell, Ben Maher, and Guy Williams taking the top four places, respectively.

In a first for Olympia Horse Show, a team of five top-class female jockeys took on their male counterparts in the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund – a fast and furious Show Jumping team relay competition. The Boys’ Team – with stand-out rides from Richard “Dickie” Johnson and Jim Crowley – did just enough to beat the Girls’ Team by a combined time of little under eight seconds, while Girls’ Team captain Bridget Andrews earned a consolation winning the prize for the quickest round.

The evening drew to a close with The Longines Christmas Cracker. Out of a field of 28 competitors, 13 jumped a clear first round and progressed to the jump-off, which then saw a further six pairs jump double clear. While Holly Smith (Claddagh Iroko) and Laura Kraut (Confu) put themselves firmly in contention, it was Robert Whitaker and his nine-year-old bay mare El Wee Widge who rose to the occasion, crossing the finish line in an unbeatable time of 34.51 seconds.

Jenny Kimber and Rogue took the honours in The Kennel Club Large Novice Dog Agility Finals on the third evening of canine competition at Olympia. After a fantastic qualifying round win, Naarah Cuddy and Lemon were last to run in the Final. The pressure was on for the pair to beat a fast and accurate round set by Jenny Kimber and Rogue, but an unfortunate early fault dashed their title hopes. The afternoon performance of the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National was won by Zak Kent and Briar Smokey Joe, while the evening performance was won by Lucy Aspell and Magheradartin Beeswax.

Jockeys Go Flat Out for Charity

The Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) proved a huge crowd pleaser when, for the first time, five female jockeys, including recent big-race winner Bryony Frost, took on their male counterparts against the clock over the coloured poles in the unfamiliar environment of a densely packed indoor arena.

The fiercely competitive Boys’ Team, trained by Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton and captained by 20-time champion Sir “AP” McCoy with champion jockeys Richard Johnston and Ryan Moore, were victorious with a collective time of 151.16 seconds against the girls’ 159.11, but it was Bridget Andrews who was fastest of all, upholding female honour with the prize for the quickest round, in 33.88 seconds.

Her fiancé, Harry Skelton, caused great hilarity when, last to go for the Boys’ Team and riding one of Laura Kraut’s jumpers, he suffered tack malfunction when the hackamore bridle ended up around the horse’s ears. Not to be defeated, he set off again, after some hasty repairs with a cable tie, but the same thing happened so he borrowed a teammate’s horse.

However, Harry had to settle for the third fastest time of 35.85 seconds behind flat jockey Jim Crowley. “The wedding’s still on,” announced commentator Clare Balding. Harry promised: “We’ll be back next year – with better tack.”

The jockeys were clearly thoroughly enjoying their Christmas party, but IJF president AP was quick to thank Olympia for giving the charity this great fund-raising platform. Next year, a third rehabilitation centre, named after the late commentator Sir Peter O’ Sullevan, will open in Newmarket.

Exell Is in the Driving Seat

Boyd Exell, the reigning world champion in Carriage Driving, laid down the strongest possible marker for the final of the FEI Driving World Cup™ leg, presented by Dodson & Horrell, at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.

In a display that left spectators breathless, the defending champion, who is competing here on a wild card, was second into the arena behind British hopeful Dan Naprous, who had driven a well-controlled clear round.

Exell, too, went clear but knocked 15 seconds off Naprous’s time and no one thereafter could come close; American driver Chester Weber suffered the disappointment of being eliminated for missing the first obstacle. Belgium’s Glenn Geerts claimed second place and the vastly experienced Koos de Ronde from the Netherlands was third.

In the drive-off between the first three, de Ronde bettered his first-round time but collected 12 seconds in penalties. Geerts also bettered his time, but his additional eight-second penalties gave the Australian maestro breathing space.

However, he had no need of it. In an electrifying drive, he knocked eight seconds off his first round time to romp into first place, 30 seconds ahead of Geerts and de Ronde.

“I’ve put two new horses into my team – one in the lead and one in the wheel – and they’ve moved the speed up like you cannot believe,” Exell explained. “They were machines today – I could not be more pleased with them, although, of course, tomorrow is the all-important competition.”

There was a great boost for British driving when Naprous, who was also previously performing at Olympia as leader of the Devil’s Horsemen Stunt Display Team, was the only other driver to go clear – he only missed the drive-off by two seconds.

Robert Whitaker Produces a Christmas Cracker

An Olympia victory was just what the doctor ordered when, two weeks after having his appendix removed, Robert Whitaker produced a masterful performance in a 13-horse jump-off for Friday’s main class, The Longines Christmas Cracker.

His winning mount was the relatively inexperienced nine-year-old El Wee Widge, owned by his uncle, Michael Whitaker.

“I just said to Michael: ‘I’m going to have a bit of a go’ as the horse likes to go forward,” said Robert, who took over the ride when his uncle was injured, finishing second in a major class at Oslo Show. “I went to Michael and said that I was really short of horses and he kindly let me have El Wee Widge.”

Laura Kraut, a world team gold medallist this year, came closest to catching Robert – she was just 0.4 seconds slower on the grey Confu, beating young British rider Holly Smith on Claddagh Iroko by a mere 10th of a second.

Keeping it in the family, Robert’s father John had the crowd roaring in excitement, but he lost time trying to keep the mare Leen O.L. on her line and had to settle for fourth place.

Earlier, to the delight of the packed home crowd, Robert’s cousin, William Whitaker, riding Lammy Beach, topped a British one-two-three-four in the Keith Prowse Father Christmas Stakes, an accumulator class against the clock. A final tricky joker fence gives double points if jumped cleanly, but is double the penalty if knocked down.

“It’s like you’re riding in a speed class, but then have that big last fence to think about,” explained William, who represented Britain at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ this year. “I had a lot of quick ones to come after me so I had to take a few risks and got away with it. I wanted one stride less to one fence, and I didn’t get it, so I knew I had left some room for others to catch me.”

The buzzing atmosphere suited the 10-year-old Irish-bred gelding. “The closeness of the crowd doesn’t suit some horses, but it really makes him light up,” said William. “I am really happy with this horse and it is a real privilege to ride here.”

With two more days to go, Norway’s Geir Gulliksen is currently Leading Rider of the Show with five placings, pushing Darragh Kenny from Ireland into second. William Funnell, who has been runner-up three times, is third.

Robert Murphy and Chablis Are the Toast

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship Final ended on a thrilling high note when, last to go in an eight-horse jump-off, 18-year-old Robert Murphy rode an audacious round on Newbridges Chablis to overhaul the brilliant early target set by Harry Charles, 21, on Vivaldi du Dom.

This prestigious class, which has been won by the likes of Scott Brash and Jessica Mendoza, gets stronger every year, the bulk of the field being represented by the talented sons and daughters of such well-known horsemen such as Michael Whitaker, Graham Fletcher, Mike Saywell, Duncan Inglis, Peter Charles, the late Tim Stockdale, and Badminton Horse Trials course-designer Eric Winter.

Robert, the son of former leading jumper Peter Murphy, set a scorching pace, confidently taking out strides and turning on a sixpence, to snatch the win from Harry by 0.5 seconds.

“There were a few options, but you had to take risks – I tried to mimic Harry’s round,” explained Robert, who was presented with the Tim Stockdale Trophy in memory of the much-loved rider who died last month.

Last year, Newbridges Chablis hit three fences, but Robert, whose aim for 2019 is to get into the Young Rider team, explained: “He’s quite a sensitive horse and he didn’t settle well in the stable, but he’s had some more mileage since then and things were quite different this time.”

Eight riders went through to the jump-off. Jodie Hall McAteer’s spirited challenge on Fantom, clear in 31.1 seconds, was good enough for third place behind Charles, whose brilliant year continues.

Tickets can be purchased at www.olympiahorseshow.com or by telephone on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

It’s Sunshine All the Way in Alltech Puissance at Olympia

Two riders fought all the way to share a thrilling Alltech Puissance at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, after both their horses jumped superbly over five rounds.

Jos Verlooy from Belgium and Germany’s Hilmar Meyer were the only two to make it through to the fifth round and shared the spoils – which were presented by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, paying her annual visit to Olympia – after soaring over the famous wall at 2.15m (7ft 1in).

Meyer first came to Olympia a couple of years ago as a groom; now, on his first visit as a competitor, he is celebrating winning one of the most prestigious classes. His horse, the 13-year-old Continuo by Contendro, is a puissance specialist and has taken many classes in Europe.

“I’m very proud of my horse,” said Meyer. “It’s an unbelievable feeling jumping that high, but only with the right horse. It’s been great to ride here at Olympia; it’s such a great atmosphere.”
Unusually, Verlooy, 20, was using the class as a warm-up for the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier on Sunshine, a nine-year-old chestnut gelding. “I think that jumping a puissance can work well as a warm-up before a really big class,” he explained. “It was really exciting. I couldn’t believe how easily my horse jumped.”

Swiss rider Pius Schwizer riding Leonard de la Ferme CH, Victoria Gulliksen (Grand Balou), daughter of Norwegian Olympian and perennial Olympia visitor Geir Gulliksen, Ireland’s Trevor Breen on the dual Hickstead Derby winner Loughnatousa WB and last year’s runner-up, Karline De Branander from Belgium on her gallant mare Fantomas de Muze, all crashed out in the fourth round when the wall was 2.10m (6ft 11in).

ROBERT WHITAKER TURNS UP THE HEAT

Earlier in the evening there was a British one-two-three in the Porsche Cayenne Challenge, a speed class. The third last rider, Robert Whitaker, made an audacious turn to the water tray on Usa Today to grab the spoils by 0.15sec from William Funnell (Billy Angelo) and Laura Renwick (Heliodor Hybris).

“I’ve been coming to Olympia since I was a kid, watching my father [John], so it’s always fantastic to win,” said Robert. “Usa is not actually that fast, but he definitely likes the atmosphere.”

Drawn near the end of the starting order, Whitaker had spotted an opportunity earlier during the round of another of the challengers.

“Jos Verlooy (BEL) almost made it but it didn’t quite come off,” said Robert. “When I jumped the fence before the turn, USA Today landed in a way that gave me enough space to get the tight right-handed turn in.”

Robert pointed out that winning at Olympia, The London International Horse Show is particularly special for the world’s top riders.

“Everyone wants to win here, regardless of whether they are British or foreign riders,” he said.

Italian rider Emanuele Gaudiano was the first rider to chalk up an Olympia winner when taking the opening Santa Stakes on Caspar.

EXELL SETS THE BAR HIGH IN OLYMPIA’S EXTREME

In the Dodson & Horrell Top Score Extreme Carriage Driving competition, Australia’s Boyd Exell showed, yet again, why he is the current world horse four-in-hand champion, both indoors and out. His thundering round, in which he gave a dazzling performance of rein handling, through the course that featured two obstacles and a bridge, recorded a time some seven seconds faster than his fellow contestants.

Speaking after the competition, Exell remarked that his horses felt like ‘magic’ in his hands. “I had to constantly slow them down rather than urge them on,” he remarked. He was disappointed, though, to incur a five-second penalty when a ball fell. “It had felt like a clear round,” he said.

Today’s contest was a forerunner to the two qualifying legs of the FEI World Cup Driving, the first of which features tomorrow with the Final on Saturday evening. The Olympia crowd was treated to the thrilling spectacle of this competition – the finale of the afternoon performance – as each driver pushed their horses to their limits round the tight course. Exell’s closest challenger, Ijsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands – himself a previous World champion indoors and out, was the only competitor to drive clear. Seven seconds slower than Exell, however, meant the Australian claimed the crown by a less than two second margin. Jozsef Dobrovitz from Hungary, driving at Olympia for the first time, was third.

To view the full results, click HERE.

For more information, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44(0)778 757 6490 or +44(0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.