Ireland's Trevor Breen came out on top in Friday's Bolesworth Puissance sponsored by Equitop Myoplast to bring the third day of the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show to a close.
Seven horse and rider combinations came forward to face the 'Famous Red Wall' in the International Arena and the opening height of 1.75m set by Course Designer Kelvin Bywater saw a full sweep of riders make it through to the first Jump Off.
As the competition progressed, previous Puissance experience came to the fore with first timer Georgie Crumley first to exit in Round 2 after Renkum Rock & Roll took a dislike to the wall.
Irish contender Derek McCoppin was another to fall victim to the 1.90m wall leaving five competitors to go forward to the second Jump-Off. The new height of 2.00m proved to be the turning point in the competition as Harriet Nutall bowed out with Dulf who took off but then had second thoughts and brought the wall crashing down. An unlucky brick out of the wall also saw Jay Halim leave the competition with Derby at this stage.
With just two possible rounds remaining, the attention was turning onto favourite Chris Megahey with Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier. The Irish combination became firm crowd favourites when they won the Puissance at the Liverpool International Horse Show last December, clearing 2.10m having previously tied with Holly Smith to clear 2.15m the Puissance at the London International Horse Show last December.
As Nigel Coupe withdrew from the third Jump-Off, the battle for the Equitop Myoplast Puissance title became an all-Irish affair, and when both Breen and Megahey cleared 2.10m, the heat was on for the final round.
Breen was first to enter the Bolesworth amphitheatre where the 2.15m wall awaited. Meeting the wall on a perfect stride, the Buckinghamshire-based rider proved the eventual victor after Chris Megahey took a single brick out in the deciding round.
It was a spectacular first Bolesworth win for Breen, who came close in 2015 when he finished runner up in the Grand Prix. 'Tonight I was riding Lord Luidam for Millie Mason who is tied up with exams at the moment' said Trevor. 'The Puissance wasn't the original plan but I went in and he just seemed to get better and better!'
'Bolesworth is going from strength to strength, year on year and all credit is owed to Nina and her organising team.'
Speaking after his Puissance win, Breen was looking forward to a busy weekend to come. 'I was fourth today in the 1.50m Jump Off class today with a mare called Bombay and hopefully she can better that in the Grand Prix on Sunday.'