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Megahey and Smith get royal seal of approval at the London Horse Show

By Robert Jones

Holly Smith and Templepatrick teenager Christopher Megahey shared the spoils in a thrilling finale to the Cayenne Puissance at the London International Horse Show.

With the Duchess of Cornwall, who was paying her annual visit to the show, looking on, the pair both cleared 7ft 1in in the fifth and final round.

Smith, riding the huge bay Irish sport horse Quality Old Joker, saw the perfect stride and cleared the massive wall in superb style.

But 18-year-old Megahey, a first-timer at Olympia, matched her nerve and pinged over on another Irish-bred horse, his brother's former eventer Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier, in a result that will thrill fans of horses from the Emerald Isle.

Norwegian rider Rebekka Lie Andersen finished third, having retired in the third round on Want To Do, and Britain's Laura Renwick, who withdrew from the third round, was fourth on Top Dollar Vl.

Megahey was thrilled with the joint success. He said: "I loved it - it didn't faze me at all. It's just brilliant being here, being around top riders like Marcus Ehning and Scott Brash."

Now travelling back home to Templepatrick to the Megahey family's Glenpatrick Competition Yard, Chris is preparing for the Puissance at the Liverpool International Horse Show over the New Year and training young stock along with his family and brother Harold, the Irish European medal-winning eventer.

Victoria Pendleton, meanwhile, marked her showjumping debut by jumping a clear round.

Pendleton, who received specialist tuition from Rio 2016 individual showjumping gold medallist Nick Skelton, delivered a solid display in the Markel Champions Challenge relay competition.

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