London, England – December 16, 2022 – Friday was a busy day at the 2022 London International CSI 5*-W. The €25,500 Christmas Pudding Speed Stakes CSI 5*-W, a 1.45m class against the clock, was a close-run affair. Bernardo Costa Cabral’s (POR) course proved challenging, with the penultimate fence, a double coming towards home, causing many combinations to accumulate faults. World No. 3, Julien Epaillard (FRA), set the early pace, jumping an impressive clear in a time of 53.44 seconds. Kevin Staut (FRA) was the next to jump without fault, making it a French one-two in the early stages.
However, Ireland’s Conor Swail (IRL) and Vital Chance de La Roque (Diamant de Semilly x Rivage du Poncel) spoiled the French party, taking the lead at the midway point posting a time of 53.05 seconds. Britain’s John Whitaker (IRL) and Green Grass (Luidam)had the crowd on their feet as he sped to pole position, knocking 0.31 seconds off Swail’s time.
However, his lead was short lived, with Trevor Breen (IRL) aboard Jicarla T (Caretino Gold x Numero Uno) taking Ireland back to the top spot with a deceptively fast clear in a time of 52.10 seconds.
The last to go, Breen’s elder brother, Shane, pulled out all the stops and looked to make it a Breen one-two, but four faults and the penultimate fence left it to his younger sibling to take the victory on his debut at the Show.
Winner’s Circle – Trevor Breen (IRL)
A delighted Breen said: “I saw a couple of the early ones to go and I knew it was going to be hard to win. My mare, she’s only eight, owned by Old Lodge Stud, she jumped fantastic for me tonight, every question I asked her she answered, and I really couldn’t be happier with her. It’s just fantastic to win at my first London International Horse Show in front of such brilliant crowd, I’m absolutely chuffed to bits.”
Final Results – €25,500 The Christmas Pudding Speed Stakes CSI 5*-W
2) Trevor Breen (IRL) & Jicarla T – 0 – 52.10
2) JohnWhitaker (GBR) & Green Grass – 0 – 52.74
3) Conor Swail (IRL) & Vital Chance de La Roque – 0 – 53.05
Source: Press Release by Niki McEwen / Revolution World for The London International Horse Show
Photos: © LIHS / Louie Gonzalez