Billy Twomey retains Liverpool Horse Show crown
The Irish rider topped the 30-strong class to take home a prize of €20,000
Billy Twomey, winner of the Equestrian.com Grand Prix at the inaugural Liverpool International Horse Show last year, retained his crown on Monday. Photo: Getty Images
Ireland’s Billy Twomey, winner of the Equestrian.com Grand Prix at the inaugural Liverpool International Horse Show last year, retained his crown when claiming the 1.60m competition on Monday night in the Echo Arena, again on board Terry Payne’s 14-year-old home-bred gelding Diaghilev.
Three of the eight Irish riders in the 30-strong class advanced to the 10-horse jump-off where 22-year-old Michael Duffy from Turloughmore in Co Galway set the early standard when clear in 40.55 with Belcanto Z. That time was initially bettered by Britain’s William Whitaker riding Utamaro D Ecaussiness (38.79) but the first prize of just over €20k was secured by Cork native Twomey who, having executed some tight turns and galloped to the last, broke the beam on 37.32 with Diaghilev.
Co Limerick’s Paul Kennedy, who posted the fastest clear in the first round with his mother Jane’s Irish Sport Horse mare Cartown Danger Mouse, picked up five faults over the shortened track to finish seventh.
“I am really delighted with the win,” said Cheshire-based Twomey. “My horse went really well over the two rounds. Michael (Duffy) put down a good marker, but luckily, the jump-off round worked out pretty good for me. My horse is really competitive and when you are turning he is always looking to find the fence.
“He can be fast in the jump-offs and luckily he was a bit quicker than the others today. To the third fence, he was pretty sharp and maybe gained some time there. He brought some decent form into this event as he won at La Coruna a few weeks ago. I gave him a day off on Sunday and he repaid me with a really good performance tonight.”
In the evening’s earlier 1.50m speed class, Co Down’s Dermott Lennon was the highest-placed Irish rider when sixth with Fleur IV (55.68). Germany’s Felix Hassmann took the honours riding SI Brazonado (51.35).