Hickstead, England – July 29, 2023 – Eight combinations out of the 28 starters jumped clear in the first round, but it wasn’t until the final three riders – all former winners of the Queen’s Cup – that the jump-off really took flight. Two-time winner David Simpson (IRL) came in on new ride Flashback VL and shaved more than 2 seconds off Sammie-Jo Coffin’s leading time. But David knew he was going to be followed by two extremely quick riders in Shane Breen (IRL) on Haya and Harriet Biddick (GBR) with Night of Glory O.L., and when Shane duly produced an effortlessly quick round in 37.42 seconds it looked very hard to beat.
Harriet, who had won the class in 2017 on Galway Bay Jed, was last to go with Night of Glory O.L, who has been on excellent form of late with wins in both the International Trial and the Stairway at the New Forest show. Today, they produced a relentless pace round the course – but they had to settle for the runner-up spot after crossing the finish in a time of 38.49 seconds.
Since the class changed from being an international Grand Prix for ladies only to being a national final open to men and women in 2008, Shane has now lifted the Queen Elizabeth II Cup four times in total – 2008, 2013, 2022 and now 2023. He now hopes to equal the late Liz Edgar’s record of five wins in total.
Shane gave tribute to his winning ride, who is owned by Old Lodge Stud. “This one’s maybe better, because it’s Haya’s second time winning,” said Shane. “I thought it’d be nice if she could do the double, and that’s why I chose to keep her for this class. I have a great respect for her – she’s such a nice mare, in every way. She’s so careful, and just an incredible horse to have.”
Harriet Biddick (GBR), always a consistent performer at the All England Jumping Course, gave the Old Lodge Stud a one-two thanks to the 13-year-old mare Night of Glory OL. “I’m very pleased with her. I knew it was going to be a hard target to beat, but she jumped another great clear,” she said.
David Simpson (IRL) has only been riding Flashback VL for a few months. “He’s not naturally the quickest horse, especially when you’ve got these two behind you. I wanted to put the clear up and hope they’d make a slip up, but they both delivered, so I ended up third,” he said.
Final Results – €12,000 The Breen Equestrian Queen Elizabeth Cup CSIO 5*– 1.50m
1) Shane Breen (IRL) & Haya – 0 / 0 – 37.42
2) Harriet Biddick (GBR) & Night of Glory O.L. – 0 / 0 – 38.49
3) David Simpson (IRL) & Flashback VL – 0 / 0 – 40.18
Source: Press Release from Hickstead Press Office for the AEJC – All England Jumping Course – Hickstead
Photos: © AEJC / Elli Birch / Bootsandhooves Photography