This weekend saw the world showjumping stars shine as they competed in front of huge crowds at The Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show.
Taking place over the New Year period, it was to be three days of spectacular action and entertainment at Liverpool’s Echo Arena (31st Dec – 2nd Jan).
Friday saw wins for teenager Jodie Hall McAteer riding the incredible pony Tixylix in the 148cms Championships. This was to be Tixylix’s last major competition, having also previously been ridden with outstanding success by Jessica Mendoza. A delighted Jodie commented: “I’m really pleased with Tixylix’s performance today and the whole build up to the show but obviously I’m also a bit sad as its my final time with her in the ring.”
Irish star Billy Twomey wasted little time returning to his winning ways, taking Saturday’s four-star jump-off class, after a brilliant display on Ardcolum Duke. Last year’s Liverpool Grand Prix champion, Billy’s time of 30.64 seconds eclipsed the effort of Italy’s Emanuele Guadiano, who was first to go in a 12-horse jump off and set a testing challenge at the Echo Arena. But it was to be one of Ireland’s top riders to land the £7,000 top prize, with another Irishman – Shane Breen – third, while Britain’s Laura Renwick took fourth place.
Jess Hewitt (pictured centre top) also lit up day two at the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show with a brilliant victory double. The Yorkshire rider followed up her win in the amateur B speed class, to land the amateur A final on 19-year-old chestnut gelding Rusty.
While Michael Whitaker delivered an incredible performance, storming to victory in the 1.50m jump-off class riding Jb’s Hot Stuff, clocking 33.56 seconds and leaving all rivals in his slipstream.
That evening saw Germany’s Felix Hassmann hold his nerve to take the night’s feature class. But it was a close-run thing as he finished just six hundredths of a second ahead of Chloe Aston and Janika Sprunger, who were equal second. Felix, riding Cayenne Wz, posted a time of 63.90 seconds in the speed competition, which was bettered by only one rider – Britain’s Guy Williams – but he had to settle for seventh as a late four faults aboard Titus pushed him down the leaderboard.
Hat-trick for Felix Hassmann
The three days competition will be especially memorable for Felix who in the end completed a hat-trick, winning three classes.
As well as the showjumping action there was also plenty of entertainment for the whole family. Music from the UK’s no 1 ABBA tribute band ‘Revival’, the Shetland Pony Grand National, world-class carriage driving and the Black Fire Girls.
Crowds were also treated to the amazing adrenalin-filled performance by Freestyle Motocross. A thrilling show debut by specialist racers and freestyle motocross riders from around the globe, They performed electrifying live stunts and intensely choreographed displays with lights, lasers and LEDs. World renowned FMX riders taking part include Dan Whitby, Jamie Squibb, Samson Eaton and Arran Powley.
For more information visit: www.liverpoolhorseshow.com