Wordsworth displays value to land top Balmoral Show prize
The Irish riders might have dominated the opening day's international classes at Balmoral but it was British rider Simon Buckley who claimed the feature event, the Rydale Clothing International Spectacular yesterday, riding Wordsworth 11.
The jump-off class was over two rounds with only six horse and rider combinations making it into the timed round.
Course designer Steven Williams once again built a strong and technical course with the majority of the fences standing 1.45 metres tall.
First to set the standard in the jump-off was British rider George Whitaker, riding Axel Springs.
They had one fence down to finish in third place.
The completion had only two double clears and the first of these came from Egyptian rider Sameh El Dahan, riding WKD Tokyo.
El Dahan is stable jockey for Templepatrick resident Joanne Sloane Allen and they jumped a calculated round to take the lead.
However, that was short lived when the penultimate rider into the ring, Simon Buckley and Wordsworth, also jumped clear but two seconds faster to clinch the win. Afterwards, the lake districts rider said: "It was tough.
"My plan in the jump-off was to jump clear and be slightly faster than Sameh. The grand prix has the biggest prize of the week and I'm aiming to take a share."
The other international class that took place was the Clive Richardson Ltd Top Score. This is a very unique class with riders selecting their own course within a 60-second period. The joker fence is worth 200 points and if it falls, the riders are deducted the points. The eventual winner was Alexander Butler riding Will Wimble, who had a score of 1410 points.
Butler had the perfect draw as he went last in the competition. The 14-year-old gelding by Touchdown made little of the course and his rider selected all of the high-scoring fences to get the advantage. Second went to James Smith for Great Britain, riding Cumina, with a score of 1330.
Today is the final day of the Balmoral Show with the Grand Prix being the feature event.
The Wilson car auction inter hunt chase will bring the curtains down on the 2014 event when it gets under way after 5pm.