Robert Murphy added another title to his Horse of the Year Show collection when he won the Squibb Group Pony Foxhunter Championship on day four at the NEC in Birmingham.
And the 15-year-old revealed that a telephone tip from Great Britain international rider Will Funnell during the jump-off had proved key.
Eventual runner-up Nicole Kershaw set a scorching pace with Miami Moonbeam, clocking 31.03 seconds, but Robert edged inside it by 37 hundredths of a second after his round was highlighted by a brilliant turn on eight-year-old bay gelding Uncanny between the first and second fences.
Third place went to Oliver Fletcher, son of former international showjumper Graham Fletcher, who posted a time of 31.83 seconds with The Bobster.
Robert was crowned leading pony showjumper of the year at HOYS in 2015, and his latest triumph proved another notable success on what is his last year of competitive pony riding.
“I am very pleased,” he said. “I haven’t had the pony for too long, so I am thrilled he has come so far with me.
“William Funnell rang my dad (Great Britain’s eventing squad showjumping coach Peter Murphy) and said the only way to beat Nicole was if I did that turn between fences one and two. She had set a very good time.
“It was quite tricky to do that turn smoothly, but I just tried my best. The pony has come on a lot.
“We had seen him around and we really thought he had potential, so we were happy to take him on board.
“It means a lot to win here. It’s a special occasion, and it is my last year on ponies as well.”
Image: Events Through A Lens
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