Irish rider Trevor Breen secured a back-to-back win when taking Sunday’s Equestrian.com Derby at Hickstead. Buckinghamshire-based Trevor (36) was the only competitor to have not just one, but two, former winning horses on which to compete, making him firm favourite to retain the title he won for the first time a year ago.
Last year he won on board Adventure De Kannan, but this year it was on his first ride, Loughnatousa WB, that he achieved the only clear round to take the title.
‘WB’, like Trevor, already has a Derby title to his name. He became the first horse to win the Derby under two different riders – the chestnut gelding having first won in 2012 under his previous rider, Paul Beecher.
He was number 33 to go with his second ride, Adventure De Kannan, but hopes of both his rides going clear were dashed when ‘Addy’ ended up on eight faults and only the 2013 winner Phillip Miller (Caritiar Z) and Harriet Nuttall (A Touch Imperious) could push it to a jump-off.
Eight faults for Phillip and four for Harriet meant the title was Trevor’s for the second year in a row.
He said:. “It’s extremely difficult to win, and you need a lot to go right – and luckily everything did. I felt WB I was running out of petrol a bit towards the end so I was pleased I didn’t have to jump-off.”
Trevor also gave credit to his fellow Irishman Paul Beecher, who rode Loughnatousa WB to victory in the 2012 Derby. “Paul produced him his whole life so he has to take a lot of the credit – I’ve only ridden him for a year. It’s great for WB’s owner Patricia Brown, who is a huge supporter, and for Bernice Cuthbert who looks after Patricia’s horses.”
Harriet Nuttall was unlucky to have the first part of the Devil’s Dyke down to finish equal second with the other four-faulters. She has finished in runner-up spot in four major classes this week, but remained upbeat despite not taking home the winner’s cheque. “I’ve had the best weekend of my life. A Touch Imperious is just unbelievable, he has made my career, and I’d have paid good money to be second here,” she says. “I still think he has it in him to win. We’ll be back.”
Melton Mowbray-based rider Liz Harris won the Tattersalls and Retraining of Racehorses Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship, with the seven-year-old chestnut gelding Wild West, owned by herself and her partner Tommy Morgan. Liz, who was a former jockey and is now a Point-to-Point trainer, hailed the horse’s versatility, calling him the ‘ultimate all-rounder’. “He’s amazing, he’s so well behaved and loved it in that big arena,” she said.
Hickstead’s next international fixture is the Longines Royal International Horse Show, which runs from July 28 J to August 2 2015.