Robert Murphy is top in the Squibb Group pony Foxhunter final


Executing an amazing, virtually impossible, ultra-tight inside turn from one to two earned Robert Murphy the Squibb Group pony Foxhunter championship on Uncanny.

Robert was the first rider to tackle the inside line – and only one to negotiate it cleanly. International rider William Funnell was credited with the route following a telephone tip.

“William rang my dad [Britain's Eventing showjumping coach Peter] and told him I had to do that line to win,” said Robert, who had two ponies in the jump-off. “I was unsure, and it didn’t feel right on my first pony, so second time round I took the first fence at a better angle.”

It proved necessary, the 12-strong jump-off was hot. Alana Hood set the standard with Miami Sandyman but was immediately relegated by Ffion Roberts and Kantjes Bozzy – who had enjoyed his own lap of honour – several laps, in fact, after jumping clear in round one and unceremoniously depositing Ffion and happily lapping the arena for five minutes.

They were demoted in turn by Nicole Kershaw with ultra-tight turns on Miami Moonbeam, but Robert’s shorter route cut their time by 0.37 sec.

Robert was handed the ride on the eight-year-old by previous rider and owner Renae Moore in June.

“He was jumping mainly newcomers and some Foxhunter classes, this was a step up,” said Robert, 15, who used the pre-HOYS show at Addington to move the inexperienced pony against the clock – “We knew to win at HOYS we had to be fast.”

Uncanny will now go to new rider Libby Hounslow.

Nicole and Miami Moonbeam had to settle for second spot.

Oli Fletcher claimed third with The Bobster, 0.80 sec behind Nicole. Ffion and Bozzy took fourth with Alana and Sandyman fifth and Serena Kullich on Kilcurry Dawn in sixth. A quick four faults on Optomist handed Robert seventh and Drew Walton aboard Trevoulter Ladies Man took eighth.

Photos © Jumping Around

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