Photo: 1st Class Images

Belgium’s Karel Cox has won Horse of the Year Show’s Leading Showjumper of the Year grand prix, beating defending champion Nigel Coupe into second place.

Impressive display

Karel was one of the most consistent riders at this year’s HOYS and he produced an impressive display in the final class of week, riding the nine-year-old gelding Evert.

Eight combinations from 26 starters made it through to the jump-off, including defending champions Nigel Coupe and Golvers Hill.

However, Nigel had to settle for second place, as Karel was on unstoppable form, beating him by more than two seconds. Trevor Breen was third on Golden Hawk and Michael Whitaker came fourth with Valmy de la Lande.

‘Lovely jump-off’

“It was a lovely jump-off round,” Karel said. “It sounds strange, but for my horse I went slow and tried to clear the fences, because he turns very fast and he wants to go fast over the fences. I really had to take my time to jump the fences, but by nature he is a fast horse.”

“I have been coming back [to HOYS] for the last three years. I was always clear in the grand prix, and this year I was really motivated to try to win it. This show is amazing; the people are so nice and the riders are so competitive.”

You can watch highlights of the Leading Showjumper of the Year tonight (Monday 8 October) at 7pm on Horse & Country.

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