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First HOYS win for delighted rider in Thistledown Cup

  • A young rider who has been second at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) “in just about every class” said it was a dream result to finally secure one of the coveted purple rugs.

    Lily Attwood won the Thistledown Cup ranking class on Karibou Horta nearly four seconds ahead of Angelie von Essen and Daniel.

    The 20-year-old, who represented Britain on the Nations Cup Final team last week with Cor-Leon VD Vlierbeek Z, was the fastest clear in the first round, from which the top eight went through to the jump-off. The second round ran in reverse order, so she was last to go and knew the time she had to beat.

    And although Ellen Whitaker and Equine America Spacecake were clear in the jump-off a second and a half faster than Lilly, their four faults carried through from round one meant they finished fourth, with Commandant Geoff Curran and Glengarra Wood third.

    “I’ve been second here six or seven times, in probably every pony class, so to finally get a win is really special,” Lilly said.

    “I had 100% faith in my horse; he’s very careful and he jumps better with a bit more engine and speed, so I went how he wants to go and it paid off.”

    Lilly has been riding her mother Emmy’s 12-year-old Landor S x For Pleasure gelding for a couple of years, but he had a break last winter, and has had a quieter year while he was brought up to full fitness, and while Lily stepped up her other top rides.

    “So he came here fresh and ready to jump,” she said. “He’s very sharp and spooky so I have to go in there 100% confident in myself or he’ll feel it.

    “It’s every rider’s dream to win one of those purple rugs and go down the centre line.”

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