Twomey wins Royal Festival

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.

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