Guy Williams delivered a shining display with chestnut stallion Golddigger to win the Levy Restaurants Snowman Stakes on day four of the London International Horse Show at Olympia.
Williams, who is from Canterbury but now based in Deauville, northern France, claimed a thrilling victory that showcased his renowned talent against the clock.
Riders were drawn into seven groups of four, with the quickest combination in each section going through to the jump-off, and Williams secured a place with a first round time of 58.79 seconds that delighted another bumper Olympia audience.
Austria’s Max Kuhner set an immediate jump-off standard by clocking a time of 34.32 seconds with Cornet Kalua, but Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Hendrik then went almost half a second quicker to up the ante before Swedish challenger Peder Fredricson and H&M Sibon registered 32.37 seconds.
Williams, though, was not to be denied as 16-year-old Golddigger made light work of the jump-off track, powering home in 31.13 seconds. The pair continued a successful start to the show for British showjumping, following Robert Whitaker’s victory on Thursday in the Porsche Cayenne Challenge.
Williams’ win was confirmed when last-to-go German rider Hans-Dieter Dreher saw his ride Callisto stop sharply after being asked to make a tight turn.
Williams said: “He (Golddigger) is difficult to ride indoors because he’s got such a massive stride. But he’s such a good horse and will do anything for you.
“I am really happy to get my show started. I knew my plan going into the jump-off, and it was a very good class.”
Williams will be a contender for further Olympia success during the next few days, such is his impressive level of consistency, with the experienced Titus being aimed at Sunday’s Longines FEI World Cup qualifier.
Image: Guy Williams and Golddigger, by Kit Houghton, courtesy of the London International horse Show at Olympia