Saturday at Hickstead - Veteran Willem De Lux scoops another title
Saturday 24 July 2021
The long-term partnership of Sammie-Jo Coffin and Willem De Lux scored another win in the International Arena at Hickstead today, winning the CSI2* Prenetics Castle Stakes.
The pair’s Hickstead wins include last year’s Voltaire Design Douglas Bunn 1.35m Challenge, as well as the Hickstead Derby Trophy in 2012. They also finished sixth in the Al Shira’aa Derby in 2018.
Today the 18-year-old gelding looked as fresh as ever and quite at home in Hickstead’s famous arena. Drawn third to go in the two-phase competition, they set such a quick time of that no one else could better it. In second place was the in-form pairing of Jay Halim and Winning Moon, who were denied their chance to win two classes in 24hrs following their victory in yesterday’s Prenetics July Stakes.
“He just loves it here,” said Sammie-Jo. “When he was a nine-year-old he won a big class here, and every time he comes back he never disappoints. He’s very sharp, he’s very quick-thinking, and he always tries really hard. He’s got a massive heart, so he probably jumps more than his scope – he just gives you his all.”
Having been drawn so early, Sammie-Jo had a nervous wait until another 52 competitors had completed their rounds. “It seemed like a lifetime; there were so many good people coming along behind me. But I knew we’d done everything we could.”
Earlier in the day, the RIHS Southdown Stakes went to Great Britain’s Mark Edwards, with another of Friday’s winners, Ireland’s Anthony Condon and Zira VH Kapelhof Z, taking second.
Mark was drawn third last to go with Montreuxs Tale, and he made use of the 17.2hh homebred gelding’s long stride to knock almost two seconds off Anthony’s time.
“Big rings really suit him because he’s got such a big stride and he covers the ground, and you can trust him to jump. It’s a joy to get him here and out winning again, it’s always a joy to come to Hickstead and to be an international winner just makes it even more special.”
The final class of the day was the Hy Equestrian RIHS 1.10m Amateur Championship, which was won by Arianna Kuligowski and Ivascalle.
"It’s my first win in there, so it’s an absolutely amazing experience for me," said Arianna. "It’s been a long journey with her to get her up to this level so I’m really happy with her. She’s won both qualifiers and she hasn’t touched a fence all week, so I really couldn’t ask for any more than that.”
For all showjumping results, click here.
Tickets for the final day of the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show (21-25 July) are on sale now from www.hickstead.co.uk, with admission costing just £15 per person, £10 concessions and under-16s going free. The action will also be livestreamed at www.hickstead.tv