CSI 5*

A Victory of Will & Power! David Will & Never Walk Alone Top €150,000 Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup CSI 5* at Hickstead

2019. Hickstead CSIO 5 King George David Will & Never Walk Alone

Hickstead, England – July 28, 2019 – David Will (GER) and Never Walk Alone won the €150,000 Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup CSI 5* yesterday at Hickstead, becoming the first German rider to win the trophy since Holger Wulschner in 2008.

Will, 31, was aiming to ride one of his other international horses in today’s Grand Prix, but ended up having to change plans and compete his new ride, the nine-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding, Never Walk Alone (Numero Uno x Mytens XX), instead – a decision that certainly paid off when he finished top of a five-strong jump-off.

“It’s actually only our fourth show together, we did one show in Poland two weeks ago and won the Grand Prix there,” said David. “The horse I’d planned to ride was a little bit sick and had a bit of a temperature on the first day. She’s recovered, but we thought it would be better not to jump her, so we thought we’d give it a shot with Never Walk Alone and it turned out to be great! I thought he jumped both rounds exceptionally good. He was really, really fighting.”

The Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup CSI 5* is one of the most coveted Grands Prix in the world. First held held in 1911, it has since been won by many of the sport’s biggest names.

2019. Hickstead CSIO 5 GP King George David Will & Never Walk Alone

David Will (GER) & Never Walk Alone

“It’s something very special to be on the trophy forever. I couldn’t be happier. As we know, it’s a very special arena – a horse has to really be brave and try his best, and mine couldn’t have been better.”

Asked if he was a Liverpool fan, given his winning horse’s name, he said: “I’m certainly a Liverpool fan now! They have a German manager in Jurgen Klopp, so now we’re following them a bit more in Germany too.”

Olympic silver medallist Peder Fredricson (SWE) was first to ride against the clock, setting a time of 45.28 seconds with Zacramento (Cardento 933 x Cortus), before David shaved more than a second off his time to take the lead, the Swede would have to settle for second place.

“Of course I’d like to have my name on the trophy, but we had a great week and I’m really happy with how my horse jumped,” said Peder, who was part of Friday’s winning Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ team but had to settle for the runner-up spot yesterday.

Swedish rider Fredrik Jonsson aboard Cold Play (Contendro x Argentinus) completed the podium with no penalties, registering a jump-off time of 48.28 seconds.

Brazil’s Luiz de Azevedo Filho (BRA) and Chachito (Chacco-Blue x Daimler) both produced a double clear too, finishing fourth in 48.42 seconds.

Ireland’s Michael Duffy (IRL) came closest after finishing in the second fastest time on Mullaghdrin Touch The Stars, but unfortunately he was later eliminated under FEI blood rules, and dropped to fifth place.

No British rider has won the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup since Ben Maher (GBR) in 2013, and today none of the home contenders made it through to the jump-off. Guy Williams (GBR) aboard Rouge De Ravel and Amy Inglis (GBR), riding Wishes, came closest, with just four faults apiece.

The Longines Royal International Horse Show CSIO 5*’ finished today, bringing six days of competition to a close. The next fixture to take place at Hickstead is the Hurst College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships (Thursday 1 August), followed by the Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships (29 August to 1 September). Admission to both events is free to spectators.

For full results, please clck here.

Source: Press release from the All England Jumping Course – Hickstead

Photos: © AEJC – Hickstead / Julian Portch