Updated: Friday, 18 Dec 2015 20:50 | Comments
Guy Williams made a flying start to day four of the London International Horse Show at Olympia after giving another superb jump-off display.
The British Nations Cup rider is renowned as a brilliant performer against the clock, and so it proved in the Levy Restaurants Snowman Stakes.
The competition sees riders split into groups of four, with the quickest time from each of seven sections in round one going forward to the jump-off.
And 44-year-old Williams, who is based in northern France, delivered the goods with chestnut stallion Golddigger, clocking a time of 31.13 seconds.
It proved enough to edge out Sweden’s Peder Fredricson and HM Sibon – they had to settle for second after posting 32.37 – with Germany’s Marcus Ehning third aboard Hendrik.
“I am really happy to get my show started.” Williams said. “I knew my plan going into the jump-off, and it was a very good class.
“He’s difficult to ride indoors because he’s got such a massive stride, but he is such a good horse and will do anything for you.”
Ben Maher and Jessica Mendoza – two members of the Great Britain team that secured Rio Olympics qualification at this year’s European Championships – pushed hard for success in the Christmas Speed Stakes, but they were ultimately undone in a thrilling competition by Holland’s Jur Vrieling and French star Simon Delestre.
Vrieling won with Arezzo VDL, clocking a time of 56.78 seconds, while Delestre and Stardust Quinton finished just eight hundredths of a second behind, with Maher and Boomerang third and Mendoza, riding Sam de Bacon, fourth.