Ireland's David Simpson secures Derby Trial success at Hickstead
Ireland's David Simpson once again underlined the outstanding ability of Gotti van Paemel when he won Friday's headline class at the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting.
Simpson landed the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial - a prelude to Sunday's showcase Derby class - in fine style as he collected a £6,400 top prize.
It followed up the combination's puissance success at the Bolesworth International in Cheshire last summer, and confirmed an outstanding partnership.
Simpson and his 10-year-old grey gelding jumped the trial's only double clear round, with William Funnell - a member of Great Britain's 2013 European gold medal-winning showjumping team - taking second aboard Billy Onslow.
"He's not fast, but he's really careful," said Simpson, of his Derby trial-winning ride.
"He was really good in the Derby last year, but took a real dislike to the hedge for some reason, so I immediately went home and built a hedge to train over, and he's fine now.
"This is the best chance I've ever had in the Derby. I just need to get him freshened back up and feeling as good as he did today."
Simpson's countryman Shane Breen, meanwhile, was third and fourth on Acoustik Solo du Baloubet and Millfield Ultymate, respectively.