Edwards adds name to Queen Elizabeth Cup roll of honour at Hickstead

A new name was added to the historic Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hickstead when Mark Edwards took the title for the first time.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 9:00 am
Mark Edwards on his way to claiming the Queen Elizabeth Cup / Picture: Boots and Hooves Photography

It crowned a fabulous week for the Welsh showjumper, who also won Saturday’s Royal International Horse Show Sussex Stakes. Both wins came courtesy of the 11-year-old homebred, Montreuxs Tale.

Seven out of 46 starters jumped clear in the first round, guaranteeing a competitive jump-off. Kerry Brennan and Wellington M were the only other pairing to jump double clear, finishing in a time of 45.25sec to set the pace. Will Edwards (SHW Candies B) crossed in 42.37sec but the final fence fell to leave them on four faults.

Mark was the penultimate rider to go, and though he finished on the exact same time as Will, crucially he left all the fences standing. When final rider Douglas Duffin also picked up four faults, Mark had won the title that he’d narrowly missed out on winning a few years previously.

In 2019, he had netted the fastest time of the day in the Queen’s Cup but knocked the last fence down, relegating him to fourth. This time, luck was on his side, despite a worrying moment at the double when a pole jumped up in the air but landed back in the cups. “I think it’s even more special considering I nearly won it two years ago. I think I had nightmares about that last fence,” said Mark.

After a heatwave for most of the Prenetics RIHS, Sunday saw some thundery showers.

“Even though it’s raining, the sun is definitely shining on me today! I wasn’t too worried about conditions, the ground was really good in there and it held up well in the rain, so he really enjoyed it. He’s likes jumping in grass rings and being Welsh, we’re used to the rain,” he added.

Kerry Brennan and the diminutive Wellington M narrowly missed out on adding another title to their impressive collection. “He just absolutely loves his job; he just tries his heart out. He’s a little horse so he has to try so hard because otherwise he couldn’t do it – he’s only 15.1hh,” she said.

In the £6,000 Prenetics Royal International Vase, Nicole Lockhead Anderson took the win – bringing her tally of International Arena wins to two.

On Saturday, the long-term partnership of Sammie-Jo Coffin and Willem De Lux scored another win in the International Arena at Hickstead, 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.

The Prenetics Royal International Horse Showwas the first Hickstead event to run in front of an audience since 2019.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has come to support us this week,” said Hickstead executive director Lizzie Bunn. “It’s been a unique show, with two-star classes instead of our usual five-star competitions, but we’ve been treated to some wonderful sport and it was great to end the show on a high with an excellent renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.”