Irish Nations Cup showjumper Billy Twomey won the inaugural Royal Festival of the Horse Grand Prix at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire today.
Twomey and Tinka’s Serenade collected the £10,000 first prize following a five-horse jump-off ahead of next week’s Aachen Nations Cup round in Germany.
Twomey proved a class apart when the heat came on, going clear in 44.37 seconds for a comfortable victory ahead of John Whitaker and Peppermill.
Whitaker clocked 48.15, with Robert Bevis and Courtney 6 third, Ben Maher (Oscar) fourth and young West Country prospect Anna Edwards (Unique) fifth.
They posted the only five clears from an initial 23-strong field, although both Robert Smith (Talan) and Tim Gredley (Omeli) left all the fences up but were hit with time faults.
The earlier accumulator class – when riders collect points for fences jumped - saw Whitaker and Argento triumph, winning £3,000.
Whitaker, second-placed Maher and Gredley, in third, all recorded maximum scores of 65, but Whitaker’s time of 51.78 seconds was more than two seconds quicker than his rivals.