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Alberto said of his 13-year-old mare Contanga: ‘I think she is the best horse in the world, very scopey, very special. Laura Renwick, another who looks to have some promising up-and-coming horses, was fourth and John Whitaker, the hero of Sunday night, was seventh – all excellent results considering the overseas talent that came to Olympia this year.There was a popular home win in The Holly Speed Stakes sponsored by Champagne Taittinger for William Funnell on the home-produced 14-year-old Billy Angelo, a horse he’s been bringing to Olympia for seven years.“He’s won a fair bit here over that time and he loves the atmosphere,” said William.The Holly Speed Stakes sponsored by Champagne Taittinger went to a jubilant William Funnell riding Billy Angelo, closely followed by Laura Renwick to make it a British one-two.The BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by Le Mieux showcased a different breed of horse to that more regularly seen in the Olympia Grand Hall, with palomino Welsh Section B pony, Cadlanvalley Sandpiper, ridden by Katy Marriott-Payne crowned the winner.“He squeals with excitement when he goes into the prize giving.”Despite getting the better of the rest of the field, William was analysing how he could have gone even better.“We stumbled just a little on a turn which broke the rhythm a bit.Alberto Zorzi’s Olympia debut ended in the best way possible, with a superb victory in The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, the first win in the class for an Italian rider, on Athena Onassis’ Contanga.
It was a thrilling end to a great day’s sport with a British one-two-three, Ben Maher second on Madame X and Laura Renwick third on MHS Washington, with the younger riders all quick to acknowledge a genius ride.“I studied the course carefully because I knew Kevin [Staut, eventual fourth on S&L Through the Looking Glas] was last to go and I had to do something,” explained John, who has been competing here for four decades.“It shows what a good horse he is because when we did the sharp turn the crowd gave a big cheer and that could have put him off.The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix provided an exhilerating finale to a fantastic week at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.With 12 riders through to the jump-off, the lead changed several times throughout the class, with Italy's Alberto Zorzi coming out on top ahead of Harrie Smolders in second and home favourite Michael Whitaker in third.‘This is his seventh time at Olympia and we nearly gave him a winter break, but the bigger the occasion, the better he goes.’Rebecca Penny was reserve champion with Lynnuck the Snowman, a Welsh Section C by Caerneuadd Hywel, owned and bred by Lynne Scott.Results:1 Katy Marriott-Payne’s Cadlanvalley Sandpiper (Best of Breed, Welsh Section B)2 Lynne Scott’s Lynuck the Snowman (ridden by Rebecca Penny, Best of Breed, Welsh Section C)3 Sandra Burton’s Banks Timber (Best of Breed, Connemara)4 Bethan Simons’ Ballynacoy Prince (Best of Breed, Welsh Section D)5 Mrs J Pennell’s Nipna Flora (Tayla Lewis, Best of Breed, Dales)6 Heidi Bennett’s Glebedale Jonny Depp (Samantha Roberts)7 The Countess of Shrewsbury’s Chetwynd Jasper (Gemma Pallet, Best in Breed, Welsh Section A)8 Martin Wood’s Swchyrhafod Brenin (Michaela Wood)9 Maureen Richardson’s Dunkery Wigeon (Hayley Reynolds, Best in Breed, Exmoor)10 Mrs G Simpson’s Wortley Golcar Lily (Aimee Devane)Other Best in Breeds: Dartmoor: Miss L A Calcutt’s Shilstone Rocks North Westerly (Chloe Chubb)Shetland: Margaret Summer’s Briar Snowman (Grace Litherland)Highland: Aileen Curle’s Harris of Mendick (Brian Williams)Fell: Jonathan Stevens’s Wildhoeve Okidoki New Forest: Maddison Bishop-Peck’s Hollybrooke Duke The Longines FEI World Cup TM Jumping Leg provided an afternoon of exhilarating sport in the Olympia Grand Hall, with only four of the 36 starters jumping a clear in the first round.
Scott, who pronounced the course “challenging, but well thought out and jumpable”, raised the roof with his clear round on the 16-year-old Ursula Xll and hopes were high that he might score the first back-to-back win since Nick Skelton in 1984.