NICKY Hill’s scorching round in the Eventing Grand Prix at the Equitop Bolesworth Young Horse Championship left others in her wake on the Wednesday Eventing Gala Night.
Based in Worcestershire, Nicky was in superlative form on her flying chestnut, Kilrodan Sailorette completing Captain Mark Phillips’ galloping course in 99.21 seconds.
Her sensational performance continued her success after her fantastic win in the Eventers Challenge at the Royal International Horse Show just a couple of weeks ago.
Nicky’s eye for speed saw her foot flat to the floor from start to finish, her talent shining through as she held her line and qualified for the prestigious Eventing Grand Prix Final at the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show.
Said Nicky: “Truffles is a star. She won at Hickstead and has been on amazing form. She is super careful and wants to leave the fences up. These classes are so different to what we normally compete in and the course was very technical with the fences coming up very quickly.
“I am really looking forward to Liverpool but am aiming for Blenheim before then in the four star long format, I’m just a bit worried I won’t get a dressage test out of her again.”
Local rider and well-known on the international scene for many years, Polly Stockton galloped into second place with the nine-year-old Chico showing why she is one of the very best cross-country riders.
Taking a tight angle throughout the course, Polly set out in determined force, kicking on with a long gallop to the joker which the bay gelding cleared effortlessly as they took out strides in their quest to cross the finish.
Long-time leader and setting the pace from first draw, Irishman Joseph Murphy and Electric Cruise eventually claimed a well-earned third place maintaining a consistent rhythm throughout in great style.
Stakes were high in the International Arena as leading event riders battled against the clock for the £4,000 prize fund.
The exciting course of show jumps and cross-country fences received much praise from riders and certainly had them thinking as they galloped from one end of the arena to the other.
This was the second leg of the thrilling Eventing Grand Prix series and the top five placed riders have now qualified to compete in the final leg at the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show in December, joining the five riders making it to the M&S Bank Arena when qualifying at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show in June.