Breen secures rare double
Published 02/08/2014 | 17:10
Trevor Breen completed one of British showjumping's rarest doubles as he won the Templant Events Queen Elizabeth II Cup just five weeks after being crowned Hickstead Derby champion.
The feat has been achieved just once before in the same season at Hickstead - by Alison Dawes and Mr Banbury 41 years ago - but Irish rider Breen added his name to that roll of honour with Adventure de Kannan.
The horse had an eye removed last year due to a long-standing condition, but it has not affected his performance, as illustrated by another blistering display.
Six combinations from 25 starters made the jump-off, with British Nations Cup rider Robert Whitaker setting a scorching pace on USA Today by clocking a time of 43.25 seconds.
Neither Phillip Miller nor Laura Kraut threatened Whitaker's time, while both Guy Williams and David Simpson had fences down, but Breen pipped Whitaker by five-hundredths of a second to land the £4,000 top prize.
It also meant he emulated his brother Shane, who won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup with Zarnita last year.
"I am over the moon," Breen said. "When I won the Derby a few weeks ago I said then that I wanted to win this class today.
"He is a phenomenal horse. He obviously loves the Hickstead arena, and he has done it all for me. Every time he gives it his best, and it is usually enough.
"He has all the attributes, and when you have got such an array of talent at your disposal it makes winning these classes that little bit easier. He is exceptionally good.
"You want to win everything you can while you can, so it is another tick in the box."
Whitaker had to remain content with second place, yet it continued a profitable day as he returned to the podium just a few hours after winning the Bunn Leisure Salver.
The 31-year-old Yorkshireman was back in action on Catwalk IV following a forgettable performance during Friday's Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup when he collected 12 faults in each round as Britain finished equal sixth.
Those mistakes probably put paid to Whitaker's hopes of gaining World Equestrian Games selection - the British team will be announced later this month - but he showed considerable poise to bounce back so quickly from his Nations Cup misery.
"The horse felt a lot more springy today than yesterday," Whitaker said. "Maybe he was feeling a bit off on Friday.
"He has got a big stride, and the jump-off really suited him today because the distances were long."
Whitaker collected just over £7,000 after a time of 44.16 seconds kept a high-class field at bay. His Nations Cup team-mate Guy Williams finished just behind him on Golddigger, with Ireland's Thomas Ryan (Cruise On Clover) third.