Sunday 22 July 2012 at Hickstead saw the Longines Royal International Horse Show, which is the official show of The British Horse Society, reach its conclusion. It culminated with a fantastic revival of the €200,000 Longines King George V Gold Cup.
Out of the 47 starters only nine riders made it through to the CSIO 5* and young British talents Joe Clayton and Louise Pavitt were in and among the nine. However, it was Henrik-Jan Schuttert and the 11-year-old mare Cerona H S, who were the second to last pair to go, who took the lead from Marie Hecart.
After posting the fastest time, Henrik only had to watch one other rider attempt to better his score, and had a nervous wait as the former Olympic Champion Ludger Beerbaum was still to jump. However, Ludger was unsuccessful as his time was fractionally slower meaning he had to settle for second place.
The Dutch winner was delighted and he spoke to hickstead.co.uk saying: “This is just amazing for me - to win a show like this is so special. When I went into the lead and saw the time, I knew I could have gone quicker, and with Ludger after me, I thought I was second for sure. But it was not his day, which is excellent for me."
Also on Sunday, 22-year-old Joe Clayton won the Royal International Accumulator on Antello Z. They had a sublime ride as the young and talented rider took tight lines to clock a very impressive time of 44.57sec.
After claiming a much deserved victory Joe also spoke to hickstead.co.uk saying: "It's just fantastic to win a big international class at an event like Hickstead. I've gone close all week, and this horse was second in another class here so it's great to finally win."
Katie Jerram and Dunbeacon were the lightweight hunter victors and Thursday’s overall hunter champions and were then handed The British Horse Society Supreme Horse title.
"He's won at every major show up and down the country, and he's been a joy to produce," said Katie. "He's the biggest galloping horse I've ever ridden and he really suits the big International Arena."
The pony supreme went to the winner of the Oggy Oggy Pasty Company BSPS Supreme Show Pony Championship, Lucinda Elliott and the 148cm victor Dance All Night.
Despite inclement weather in the run up to the Longines Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead's team pulled out all the stops to ensure the show could go on. The weather improved throughout the week and the weekend in particular saw the showground enjoy packed stands and glorious sunshine.
Picture courtesy of Nicola Strong