Hickstead, West Sussex, England – June 24, 2023 – A total of 48 partnerships came forward for the £24,400 Agria Hickstead Master’s Trophy CSI 4* Saturday afternoon, and just eight of those would nab an elusive clear round and qualify for the jump-off.
For a significant chunk of the class, it looked as though the old adage, where there’s a will, there’s a way, might come true: William Whitaker (GBR), William Funnell (GBR), and Will Edwards (GBR) each delivered the goods to sit at the business end of the leaderboard, with two of those – Whitaker and Edwards – logging the exact same jump-off speed, 46.21 seconds.
But you can never discount the Irish at Hickstead, and two of them came in to break up the run of Wills. The first of those was Shane Breen (IRL), who snuck in with Scarteen behind then-leader William Funnell (GBR) – and then it was the turn of Dermott Lennon (IRL).
Riding Bronte Stables Ltd and Harry Marshall’s Millview Cicero, Dermott cantered into the ring fully aware of the standard the three Wills had set. “I knew the boys were quick, and it was very close, so there was no room for error,” said Dermott, who threw down an extraordinarily quick jump-off time of 42.75 seconds to win by more than three seconds. “We like to try to beat the English on home ground! My horse was jumping super, and so it was easier to go fast – and for once, the jumps came to me in the right place.”
Now the Irishman is looking ahead to a bright future with the nine-year-old, who he bought as a five-year-old from breeder Harry Marshall in Northern Ireland.
“I’ve always believed he can do the very biggest stuff, and he’s doing some lovely things along the way to that. He’s jumped every day here and he’s gotten better every day, so I’m delighted with him. He makes me look better! The horse has a very easy scope, and he’s careful, so you can really ride him at the jumps. He’s brave, too – sometimes, the horses come to these big arenas for the first time and with so much going on, they can be a little bit intimidated, but he’s gone right in and taken it all on.”
Final Results – £24,400 Agria Hickstead Master’s Trophy CSI 4*
1) Dermott Lennon (IRL) & Millview Cicero – 0 / 0 – 42.75
2) William Funnell (GBR) & Equine America Billy Picador– 0 / 0 – 45.93
3) Shane Breen (IRL) & Scarteen – 0 / 0 – 46.05
Source: Press Release from Hickstead – The All England Jumping Course (AEJC)
Photo: © Hickstead – AEJC / Elli Birch / Boots and Hooves Photography