Peter Charles collected the record British prize of £50,000 yesterday, when he rode the sole clear jump-off round on Murkas Pall Mall to win the Longines King George V Gold Cup on the closing day of the Royal International Horse Show.
In the process Charles ended the dearth of British wins in this long-established classic, recording the first home victory since Nick Skelton triumphed in 1999. For good measure two other Britons – Tim Stockdale on Fresh Direct Corlato and Ben Maher on Robin Hood – filled the next two places with the fastest of five four-fault rounds in the jump-off.
"It means a lot. I had my first international win at Hickstead," said 49-year-old Charles, who has been competing here for more than 20 years.
The British success will have given a timely fillip to chef d'equipe Derek Ricketts, after the disappointment of Friday's Nations Cup when his team failed to climb out of second-last place on the Meydan series. He is expected to name these three riders for the quartet that competes in the Dublin Nations Cup show in 10 days time.
Royal International Horse Show (Hickstead, West Sussex): Old Lodge Queen Elizabeth II Cup 1 Limelight de Breve (L Renwick, GB) clear, 43.27sec; 2 Murkas Rubert (P Charles, Irl) clear, 43.89; 3 Cruisings Micky Finn (A Condon, Irl) 45.92.
Sky Sports Speed Classic 1 Jovis de Ravel (R-Y Bost, Fr) 68.31sec; 2 Beluga (L Renwick, GB) 69.88; 3 Little Lefanie (G Luckett, GB) 70.86. Longines King George V Gold Cup 1 Murkas Pall Mall (P Charles, GB) clear, 53.50sec; 2 Fresh Direct Corlato (T Stockdale, GB) 4 faults, 53.14; 3 Robin Hood (B Maher, GB) 4 faults, 53.19.