Goosen strikes gold on Carat

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The Independent Online
Guy Goosen was an appropriate winner at The Royal International Horse Show yesterday when he rode Carat, one of the horses he purchased from Paul Schockemohle, to victory.

Schockemohle became the saviour of this show when it was threatened with cancellation this year, so the success of one of his former horses was welcome. The 23-year-old Goosen has a further connection with the German entrepreneur and former European show jumping champion: his sister, Mandy, has been riding Schockemohle's young horses for the past two and a half years.

Goosen was last but one to jump in the Royal International Chase and he succeeded, by just 0.11sec, in defeating the time set by Germany's Heinrich Engemann on Edgar.

Schockemohle's new connection with Hickstead has brought a tangible sense of optimism for this - and future - shows. "Paul is such a professional person, everything he touches turns to gold," Goosen said.

Douglas Bunn, the owner of Hickstead, will be hoping that these words are prophetic. He and his new German partner expect to run two shows here next year, the Royal International and the British Jumping Derby.

"We will probably have the Nations Cup back," Schockemohle said of the team contest, which was held at the Royal Windsor Horse Show this year. "We will have to try to find a friendly way to have this class at the Royal International." Negotiations may, however, be less than friendly since the Windsor committee expect to retain the Nations Cup.

The Hickstead organisers have experienced the havoc caused by the loss of a major sponsor (in particular Silk Cut who pulled out last December), so they will be aiming to attract a number of supporting firms for each meeting. Bunn is also hoping that the Sports Council will at last support his splendid showground which, according to Schockemohle, "has a charisma you find nowhere else".

Whereas Goosen won by a split second, Peter Charles (Ireland's reigning European champion) had a commanding advantage of 6.92sec when he won the later Royal International July Stakes on the French-bred T'Aime.