Triple Olympic gold medallist eventer Andrew Hoy and showjumper Beth Vernon proved a dream team combination as they won a thrilling Bolesworth International Eventing Grand Prix, sponsored by Cazenove Capital.
The competition saw 13 teams contest the relay-style event, which was started by the showjumper in Bolesworth’s International Arena before the eventer headed into the grounds of Bolesworth Castle to tackle a short cross-country course, then returned to the main arena for the final showjumping fences.
All against the clock – three seconds were added for any fence knocked down – with a final fence joker obstacle offering 10 penalties added or subtracted from the overall time, depending on whether it was cleared or not.
And there was no stopping Nottinghamshire-based Beth and Australian star Andrew, whose combined time of 127.66 seconds saw off the challenge of runners-up Jamie Wingrove and Chris Burton, with Joe Clayton and Tom McEwen finishing third.
Andrew, an Olympic team gold medallist for Australia at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics, rode experienced campaigner Cheeky Calimbo, with Beth aboard Annbalou.
“It was a really exciting class,” Andrew said. “I had a great partner.
“When we met up in the collecting ring before the competition Beth said we were going to win. The tactic was to go fast – simple as that, really.
“Beth did a great job with the jumping, then I just had to get out there and do the cross-country. My horse’s owner watched the class on the show website’s livestream in Aaachen, Germany, so it was great for her to be able to do that.”
And Beth added: “Andrew is the best team-mate I could have hoped for. We had never met before today, and I had no idea he had won so many gold medals!”