Ireland’s Trevor Breen kept it in the family on Saturday when he took out the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hickstead, repeating his brother Shane’s 2013 win in the same competition.
Riding Adventure de Kannan, who has overcome the loss of an eye to continue competing at the very top level of show jumping, Breen added the win to a list of triumphs at the English five-star arena.
Last month Trevor Breen and Adventure de Kannan won the Equestrian.com Derby at Hickstead, a class he’d repeatedly come very close to winning, and the pair has also been victorious in the British Speed Derby (2009), the Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix (2012), the All England Grand Prix (2012) and now the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup. It is a record that no other horse has come close to matching at Hickstead.
The only one of Hickstead’s premier classes that the pair has yet to win is the Longines King George V Gold Cup, which they competed in as part of Ireland’s FEI Nations Cup team in 2013, finishing 12th. But now there’s a new ambition on Breen’s wishlist. “If he does manage to win the King’s Cup, that would just be the final piece of the puzzle. Hopefully we’ll be back for the King’s next year,” he added.
“He’s a phenomenal horse, he loves this place and the International Arena,” said Breen, who lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife, Caroline, and their daughter, Mia.
There were six clear rounds in the first round of the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup, with two other Derby winning riders among them – Guy Williams (Casper De Muze) and Phillip Miller (Basic). They were joined in round two by Laura Kraut (Nouvelle), David Simpson (Hermione V) and Robert Whitaker (USA Today). Whitaker set the pace, finishing on 43.21sec, and though Kraut and Miller also went double clear, they were more than 3 seconds slower. David Simpson incurred eight faults, before Breen managed to shave just 0.05sec off Whitaker’s time to take the lead, and while speed expert Guy Williams set off in hot pursuit, he had one fence down.
While most riders cut inside the water jump in the jump-off, Breen went the long route. “I assumed, wrongly, that everyone else went round the water!” he said. “Obviously Addy has his right eye missing so it’s on his blind side, and as he didn’t jump the double particularly well in the first round, I thought it would upset my rhythm to turn inside.”
Trevor is the younger brother of Hickstead-based Shane Breen, who has won the Queen’s Cup twice since 2008, when the class was first opened up to male riders. He won in 2013 on Zarnita.
• It was a superb day for the Whitaker family, with Robert winning the morning’s Bunn Leisure Salver with Catwalk, while cousin William won the afternoon’s British Speed Classic with Upperclass.
Robert was relieved to return to form after a disappointing 12 faults in each round of Friday’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup. “I don’t know if he was just a bit off colour yesterday – that was the worst result I’ve ever had with him. It’s just one of those things, that’s horses for you. It’s nice to get the win today.”
William was surprised by his win in the £21,500 speed class, which brought Saturday’s action to a close. “I’m amazed really. He’s a really quick horse across the ground, a bit of pace suits the way he jumps, but to win by such a margin is a surprise.”
In the showing classes, Newmarket-based Simon Charlesworth won the Alexanders Horseboxes Supreme Hack Championship for the second year in a row with the prolific Pearly King. The pair have now booked their place in Sunday’s Supreme Horse Championship, the title they won last year.