The second day of International CSI5* Show Jumping kicked off in spectacular style with the 1.55m Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup, which saw Egypt’s Abdel Saïd triumph in a tightly fought contest.
The tight time-allowed in the first round added to the complexity of the course, which was twisty and up-to-height and saw only eight of the 29 starters jump clear. Sixth to go, Cheshire-based Irishman Billy Twomey, broke the deadlock, and his clear round was emulated by some of the best riders in the World, including World No. 1 Kent Farrington and Olympic gold medallists Ben Maher and Eric Lamaze, setting up an exciting jump-off for the £52,500 prize fund.
As second to go in the jump-off, last year’s winner, Kent Farrington, set a blistering pace aboard his striking grey gelding, however an extra stride before the last meant his time of 43.01 seconds was within reach to those who followed. Abdel Saïd followed, riding AS Sport Horses’ Hope Van Scherpen Donder and set-off meaning business. The nimble bay mare jumped faultlessly, making the tightest of turns and galloping to the last, to take over the lead from the current World No. 1. Britain’s Ben Maher put up a good challenge, with an immaculate display of jumping, however his time of 42.86 seconds was only good enough for second place.
The Show Jumping action culminated with the 1.50m Falcon Stakes, a two-round competition whereby the top ten from the first round were guaranteed a spot in the jump-off. With only eight clears in round one, this paved the way for the fastest four faulters, Billy Twomey and Ben Maher.
Local rider William Funnell jumped a fantastic round with homebred mare Billy Fanta, a nine-year-old by Billy Congo, to take the lead with just four riders left, however it was last to go, America’s Jessica Springsteen, who took the victory in impressive style. The daughter of rock legend Bruce Springsteen shaved over two seconds off Funnell’s time, riding the in-form Davendy S.
Following her success Jessica said; “She [Davendy S] is unbelievable, she jumped great, it was definitely an advantage to be towards the end but she’s so competitive, she always goes out and wants to win so she’s a lot of fun to ride. It’s so much fun here at Windsor, there’s such an amazing atmosphere with the crowds, it’s one of my favourite shows.”