Always a difficult class to win, it demands precision and speed with fitness and versatility, as short sharp turns alternate with long gallops between obstacles. Banks, ditches and angles add further variety to the clever design.
The Hickstead specialists generally prevail at this level, and John Whitaker on Virtual Village Hunter's Level and Captain John Ledingham on his three times past winner, Castlepollard, both attracted betting money.
But the 26-year-old Renwick has a remarkable record at Hickstead, having won championships here for ponies and horses. He also became the Young Rider Champion and is hoping that Raphaella will be the one to make his name in the senior ranks. Bought and broken three years ago after she had bred two foals, this German Hanoverian mare was fourth in the Speed Derby last year.
This time they had to go clear to beat Bunn, daughter of the Hickstead supremo Douglas Bunn, who sped round on Citi Dancer in just 95.57 seconds, only to drop the final pole for a five second penalty. No-one could better this time, and both Whitaker and Ledingham lowered one fence apiece in trying to beat the winning target of Renwick at 99.4sec. They finished third and fourth with William Funnell fifth on the Whitaker's Barry Bug.
Bunn was delighted to achieve her best-ever result on home ground but regretted her last-fence mistake. "I should have taken a pull," she said. Bunn has owned the dun mare Citi Dancer for three years and will rest her this winter when she hopes to receive further show-jumping training from the Brazilian Nelson Pessoa before going on to her studies at Cambridge University.
The British Junior Dressage Team won their first-ever medal when finishing in bronze position behind Holland and Germany in the junior European Dressage Championships.
The all-girls team of Charlotte Edmonds (daughter of the television presenter, Noel), Jodie Lister, Sarah Millis and Becky Moody gave strong performances in coming third of 12 to raise morale and hopes for the future.Reuse content