Not only did Guy Williams (GBR) break a course record in the June 27 British Speed Derby at Hickstead, he also became the first rider to win the prestigious title on four separate occasions.
There were 30 horses entered in the Speed class, and the course included several of Hickstead’s permanent obstacles including the road crossing, the Irish bank and the less steep side of the Derby bank. The goal in the Speed Derby isn’t just to run fast, but to run fast and jump clear, as any knockdowns would add a whopping four seconds to a competitor’s time.
Guy’s 13-year-old Belgium Warmblood Casper De Muze – who already has a gaggle of wins on his record this year – looked keen. Guy hardly took a pull and had a solid plan to shave as many milliseconds off their time as possible by taking the most efficient routes.
Their bravery paid off when they finished 0.43 seconds faster than second place Harriet Nuttall and Silver Lift and set a course record of 91.95 seconds. “Casper is unbelievably fast,” Guy said after his win. “He just doesn’t even have to try, and he deserves to win.”