A thrilling start to Saturday night at Horse of the Year Show saw the honours shared between last years’ two-time HOYS Champion, Geoffroy De Colligny, and this year’s outstanding performer, Anthony Condon, as they battled it out in the Grandstand Challenge Cup.
There were 13 riders through to the jump off, and as second to go, French rider Geoffroy set the standard high with a time of 32.79 seconds riding Raimondo Du Plessis. With very few double clears, it was the turn of Irish competitor, Anthony, riding yesterday’s winner in the Grandstand Welcome Stakes, SFS Vincomte. Chasing down the fences, the pair couldn’t be separated in the jump off, resulting in a joint win for the two international riders. It’s the second time at the Show this week that a competition has finished in a tie for first place, highlighting just how competitive this week’s classes have been.
Geoffroy had a successful first ride at Horse of the Year Show last year, winning the Accumulator and the Speed Horse of the Year class and he was delighted to be back on winning form: “It was a big crowd and it’s so amazing to be here, I love this show. I won here with him [Raimondo Du Plessis] last year and it is good to do it again.”
Anthony is on top form this week having now secured two wins and two second placings. He celebrated his win with wife Laura and three-year-old son Hector. Anthony commented: “I watched Geoffroy’s round and saw he had a naturally fast horse and my wife Laura said to me ‘I don’t know how you’re going to beat him in the jump off’. I tried my best, but I’ll settle for a tie. The horse [SFS Vincomte] is amazing, he’s so consistent. This is one of the best shows I’ve had; I just hope I can keep it going for tomorrow.”