Brazilian rider Pedro Junqueira Muylaert underlined the true global appeal of this year’s Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show by claiming an impressive victory on the final day.
Pedro, part of the Nations Cup-winning Brazil team at Hickstead last year and a strong contender to line up in September’s World Equestrian Games, won the four-star speed class, sponsored by Horseware Ireland.
The competition attracted a bumper entry of more than 70 combinations, and it was Pedro who triumphed on Chief Tibri Z Mfs, a horse he has had for just six months.
It could hardly have been closer, though, with Britain’s Keith Shore and Iron Lady van T Meulenhof finishing just four hundredths of a second behind on 52.80 seconds.
Olympian John Whitaker was third on the experienced campaigner Argento, with rising American star Eve Jobs fourth and young British prospect Harry Charles fifth.
“He is a really good horse,” Pedro said. “He is really fast and careful, so really good for this type of class.
“I think the course was perfect for this type of class. The course designer gave us a lot of options, and to win we had to do all the options and go fast.
“Brazilian showjumping is very strong at the moment. We have many options for the World Equestrian Games with great riders and horses, so I think it is a good moment for Brazil in the sport.”
The day’s opening four-star action provided an exciting spectacle in the Castle Arena as Britain’s Nigel Coupe took victory on Jubilee III.
Nigel, a former winner of the prestigious Hickstead Derby, landed a top prize of £2,100 in the four-star class sponsored by Veredus.
The table C-style competition saw riders have four seconds added to their time for any fence knocked down, and Nigel finished top of the pile in a time of 52.90 seconds.
Matt Sampson almost added another victory to this year’s Bolesworth collection, as he clocked a time 22 hundredths of a second quicker than Nigel, but one fence down dropped him into third aboard Conlando 55.
Ireland’s David Simpson matched Nigel in the clear round department, clocking 54.12 seconds for the runners-up spot, while Oliver Fletcher and Disckoboy DN finished fourth.