Category Archives: Events

Belgian Rider Victorious in Four-Star Class in Strzegom

Tine Magnus won the 4*-S class, the highest ranked one at the season-opening Strzegom Spring Open event.

The Belgian rider, riding Dia Van Het Lichterveld Z, was 11th after the dressage and jumped up into fourth thanks to a clear showjumping round. She crossed the cross-country finish line six seconds late, with no mistakes on the obstacles, and won the competition with a total of 35 penalty points.

With a loss of only 0.2 penalties to the winner, the second place went to Christoph Wahler riding D’Accord FRH – 35.2. The final placing of the German representative was determined by his dressage score. The rider scored a clear in the jumping and rode the cross-country course in exactly the same time as Tine Magnus.

Runner-up after two trials, Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Ostholt on Dynamite Jack, with cross-country time penalties, was third on the podium with 37.

The best one in the 3*S was Calvin Böckmann from Germany with Altair de la Cense – 29.4. He took the lead after the jumping and secured with a clear inside the time in the cross-country. Second place went to Malin Asai with Maggan V – 35.4. The Swedish combination was 22nd after dressage and jumped up into second after a double clear in the jumping and cross-country trials. Third place, only 0,1 behind Asai, was taken by Australia’s Andrew Hoy with Vassily de Lassos – 35.5. The best Pole of the class was Paweł Warszawski riding the Polish-bred Hatteria II, finishing 5th with 36.6.

In the 2* class, Germany’s Sophie Leube was unbeatable, taking the two first places. With Isselhook’s Asaro she won after clear jumping and XC rounds – 26.2, and with Heda she was second with 26.4. Belgium’s Lara de Liedekerke-Meier with Quintus rounded up the Top Three with 27.9.

In the 1* Intro, the win belonged to Lara de Liedekerke-Meier with Jungle Drum 3 – 27.9, followed by Germany’s Juliane Barth with Can’t Stop Caspar – 30.8 and Polish athlete Halszka Wiktowska-Nowak with Apollo – 32.2.

In the national CNC100 class, the best one was Dutch athlete Tim Lips with Quiwi – 27.5, in the CNC100-18, Polish rider Julia Rohde with Kingston – 29.1., and in the CNC80, Daria Kobiernik from Poland with Las Vegas – 30.8.

The Strzegom Spring Open kick-started the season of international eventing competitions in Poland. Four international classes in short format and three national ones were held. Almost 320 horse-and-rider combinations representing 19 countries took part.

The next edition of the Strzegom Spring Open will take place in two weeks, from 18 to 21 April.

Online results: https://livejumping.com/ap/event/10006/competitions

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl­

Adrienne Lyle Scores Grand Prix Special Win during Final Week of AGDF

Adrienne Lyle & Lars Van De Hoenderheide © SusanJStickle.com

Saturday of the last CDI of the Wellington winter season gave team USA much to be excited about. In the CDI3* Grand Prix Special, sponsored by Beatrice Marienau Dressage, Olympic team silver medalist Adrienne Lyle (USA) opted to ride Lars Van De Hoenderheide — with whom she finished second in the qualifying grand prix, just behind her other horse Helix — and the decision proved fruitful.

On the penultimate day of the 2024 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), she and Zen Elite Equestrian Center’s 13-year-old Negro gelding, who was previously campaigned at the level by Lottie Fry (GBR) until December 2023, scored 73.192% with a solid, mistake-free performance to win the class of 14 starters.

Winners of the qualifying grand prix, Endel Ots (USA) and Zen Elite’s Bohemian — another new high-profile acquisition for owner Heidi Humphries — slotted into second in the Special with 72.49%. Their test attracted many eights, but a hop into canter at the beginning of the trot half-pass right and a miscommunication at the start of the one-time changes on the centerline quashed the score. Despite the mistakes, the 14-year-old Bordeaux gelding presented a harmonious, relaxed picture with his new rider.

The top six riders were all from the home nation, with Kasey Perry-Glass going one better than in the grand prix and finishing on the podium, in third, with Heartbeat WP. She rode the 12-year-old Charmeur gelding to 71.383% in their second ever CDI.

Lyle, who trains with Debbie McDonald, said, “I think it’s 10 weeks now that we’ve had Lars and this is the first full Special I’ve ridden through on him. I’m so incredibly happy at his energy and his honesty and his willingness. It seems like he’s starting to understand what I want and fight for me in there, which is really special in such a new relationship.

“I was really happy with his piaffe/passage tour. I got a bit braver to make the piaffe stay on the spot more and feel like I could trust that more. His canter tour is always super; he’s got super power and the changes are just a treat to ride,” she continued.

For more information and results, visit https://gdf.coth.com.

Endel Ots and Adrienne Lyle Debut New Olympic Hopefuls and Dominate in Final CDI of AGDF 2024

Endel Ots & Bohemian © SusanJStickle.com

Much-anticipated appearances by new horse-and-rider combinations — spearheaded by Endel Ots and Zen Elite’s Bohemian — were the flavor of the day on Thursday, March 28. It marked the opening day of week 12 — the final CDI of the 2024 season of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL.

In the CDI3* FEI Grand Prix, sponsored by Beatrice Marienau Dressage, Zen Elite Equestrian’s team of three new top horses filled every podium step. Owner Heidi Humphries bought the high-profile horses Bohemian, Helix, and Lars Van De Hoenderheide for the U.S. riders Endel Ots and Olympic team silver medalist Adrienne Lyle at the end of 2023, and this was the first CDI appearance for all three.

Bohemian was fourth at the Tokyo Olympics and won freestyle silver in 2021 under Denmark’s Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour, and under the saddle of Ots he once again graced the upper echelons of the scoreboard, topping the class of 24 starters with 72.761%. The pair picked up healthy helpings of eights — particularly for piaffe and passage — but the final score was suppressed by mistakes in the two-time changes, which earned twos and threes from the panel of five judges.

Lyle, who was first to go down the centerline with Lars Van De Hoenderheide, held on to third place with the 13-year-old Negro gelding, scoring 70.652% on the horse previously campaigned by Great Britain’s Lottie Fry. Lyle went one better with her second ride, the 12-year-old Apache son Helix, whom she has taken over from Sweden’s Marina Mattsson. They slotted into second with 71.065%. Ots and Lyle led a clean sweep for the home nation, with U.S. riders filling the top six places in the class, which was a qualifier for Saturday’s Grand Prix Special.

Remarkably, Ots was making his international grand prix debut with the 14-year-old by Bordeaux. Although a seasoned competitor nationally, this was the rider’s very first grand prix in a CDI. Bohemian is no stranger to AGDF, however, as his previous owner, Dong Seon Kim (KOR), campaigned him in Wellington in 2023, but this is the horse’s first win on the circuit. He was subsequently sent to Patrik Kittel to be shown in Europe and sold, before returning stateside at the beginning of the year for new owners Zen Elite Equestrian.

“It’s all very surreal,” admitted Ots, who has trained with Albrecht Heidemann since he was 18. “You always see all the famous people like Adrienne Lyle and Kasey Perry [who finished fourth with 70% on Heartbeat WP], and I am just thankful and happy to be in there with them and part of the group.”

For more information and results, visit https://gdf.coth.com.

Grand National 2024: Assessing the Leading Contenders at Aintree

Photo: Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7446990

The Grand National at Aintree Racecourse is one of the highlights of the sporting year, providing fans with one of most thrilling spectacles on the planet.

This year’s event is scheduled to be staged on Saturday, April 13, and will once again generate massive interest in global gambling industry.

Punters often strive to build up their bankroll ahead of the big race at Aintree by wagering on other major sports events and popular casino games.

There is every chance that bettors will try their luck on blackjack on PowerPlay before the Grand National in a bid to win more money to play with on the big race.

Picking the winner of the long-distance steeplechase is no easy task, and punters who achieve the feat undoubtedly deserve to give themselves a pat on the back.

With that in mind, we have scoured the 2024 Grand National entries to pick out some of the leading contenders for victory this year.

Corach Rambler

Although the 2023 Grand National winner has been well-backed to add another victory to his CV, he will have another 13lbs to carry this time around.

Corach Rambler ran a fine race on his most recent outing, finishing third behind Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and he should be firmly in the mix at Aintree.

However, the additional weight makes things much more difficult and it would be no surprise to see another horse triumph in this year’s race.

Vanillier

Vanillier came from a long way back to finish second in the National 2023 and is just 4lbs higher this year. That 9lb swing in the weights could be crucial against Corach Rambler.

However, the nine-year-old was disappointing in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last month, finishing a long way behind I Am Maximus.

A record of three wins in 21 career starts is another negative, and that slight increase in the weights could be enough to scupper his chances of victory.

I Am Maximus

The aforementioned I Am Maximus appeals as the value bet in the Grand National and he may well give top Irish trainer Willie Mullins another big race winner.

The horse broke his duck over fences in last year’s Irish Grand National, prompting talk from Mullins that he would be aimed at the Aintree showpiece in 2024.

I Am Maximus has won two graded chases this season and could be well treated with just 11st 2lbs to carry in the Grand National.

Panda Boy

Panda Boy ticks plenty of ‘key trends’ boxes in the Grand National, and has been well-backed by punters since being allocated 10st 3lbs in the race.

However, while the eight-year-old has run a couple of eye-catching trials this season, he finished seven-and-three-quarter-lengths behind I Am Maximus in the 2023 Irish Grand National.

A 4lbs weight pull is useful for the Martin Brassil-trained horse, but is unlikely to be enough to turn the tables on his Fairyhouse conqueror.

Mahler Mission

Mahler Mission will bid to defy recent statistics by coming the first horse in the 21st century to win the Grand National without a prep run in the same year.

Trainer John McConnell has opted to keep his powder dry with the eight-year-old, who finished runner-up in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury in early December.

The horse was unlucky not to win the National Hunt Challenge Cup at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, and could run his rivals ragged if allowed an easy lead in front.

Kevin Doyle – From Footballer to Racehorse Breeder

By Noah Salzman – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=126534018

Former Reading striker turned racehorse breeder Kevin Doyle compares Willie Mullins’ dominance to Sir Alex Ferguson.

Former Premier League striker Kevin Doyle has a new passion in life – breeding racehorses and his love for the sport has taken off since leaving football.

The 40-year-old revealed in an interview with BoyleSports how his life has changed and has compared the dominance of Willie Mullins in jump racing to that of Sir Alex Ferguson to Manchester United.

Willie Mullins is currently the 1/16 favourite to be this year’s top trainer, according to the latest Cheltenham odds via the bookmaker – demonstrating his superiority in the sport.

Doyle said: “I think in every sport you have dominance, whether it’s in football with Man City and, before that, Manchester United were dominant for how many years.

“For most of my childhood as a Man United fan, we were winning everything, you know, one man started leading it all in Sir Alex Ferguson.

“It just goes like that; I think it doesn’t last forever. Willie at the moment has an unbelievable setup and a team around them of people as well.”

Though Doyle is a big fan of the Irish magician’s way to train winners, he doesn’t think Willie’s dominance will last for a lifetime.

He added: “Dominance just happens in sports; it will be cyclical, it might last another 10 or 15 years, and it might annoy a lot of people, but things don’t last forever.

“But it’s just human nature; it won’t last forever. He’s got the hunger and the desire to make sure to try and prove every year and get better and better and try and make it last as long as possible.”

Doyle has also revealed how football teams can use a trip to next week’s Cheltenham Festival for team bonding, with mixed success.

The ex-Reading and Wolves striker said: “My first year at Reading in 2005/06 was my first trip to Cheltenham; we were going very well at the time. We were basically promoted to the Premier League and it was the day out to celebrate.

“It was only three days at the time, Cheltenham, from what I remember, and we have gone many years since, with Reading and different clubs.

“When things are going well, we used to go with a day out for team bonding, and when things were going poorly, it was an excuse to go to the manager and say maybe we need a day away to get a bit of team bonding to try turn the ship around, but that never seemed to usually work!”

Doyle has entered the world of horse breeding, a rarely trodden path for former footballers and has bred a number of horses, including Baby Kate for Willie Mullins. Doyle revealed how his early years as a player for Reading and Ireland set him on a path to the racing industry.

He said: “Yeah, we had plenty of players over the years with that Reading team. Plenty of lads interested.

“Stephen Hunt was one of them and has had shares and horses and syndicates, I think over the years. Shane Long was another one thinking of the Irish lads, Noel Hunt as well. We all had a dog together with the assistant manager Wally Downes which won the Puppy Derby. Bush Paddy it was called.

“With the Ireland team as well, we’ll be home with Ireland and John O’Shea was a big one to set up syndicates with the Ireland team and get a few of us involved over the years with different horses.

“With Ireland, maybe we’d get an afternoon off and we’d go to Leopardstown or the Curragh together.”

Ferguson’s main chance of a big win at next week’s Cheltenham Festival will be with either Protektorat 16/1 or Hitman 25/1 in the £375,000 Ryanair Chase.

Meanwhile, Redknapp will be hoping that his charge, Shakem Up’Arry, can win from odds of 20/1 in the Ultima Handicap Chase. British and Irish trainers will go head-to-head at the Festival, competing for the Prestbury Cup, with former Irish international Doyle revealing fond memories of trips to the Festival.

Winning the Gold Cup Would Be Life-Changing

By Carine06 from UK – Champion Hurdle, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37285214

“Winning the Gold Cup would be life-changing” – Irish trainer Shark Hanlon shares his love for £800 horse Hewick with the chance of a Cheltenham and Grand National double.

John “Shark” Hanlon has admitted it would be heartbreaking if Hewick were not able to run because of the ground conditions at Cheltenham – but insisted if his fan favourite horse won the Gold Cup, then it would be life changing for the trainer.

Hewick was a sensational winner of the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day last year, adding to successes in the bet365 Gold Cup, Galway Plate and American Grand National before reaching a career pinnacle at Kempton.

Hewick and newly-named BoyleSports ambassador Hanlon are all set to travel over to Cheltenham next week for the prestigious four-day Cheltenham Festival with Hewick a 14/1 shot, according to the latest Cheltenham Gold Cup odds from the bookmaker.

The trainer has said it would be a career-defining moment were his bargain £800 win one of the biggest prizes in racing.

“The most important thing is that the rain stops and we get good ground,” Hanlon said.

“If we don’t get good ground, we are not going to run the horse. That would be heartbreaking because we are going to a Gold Cup with a real chance. We want the sun to come out, the breeze to blow, and we want good ground on the day.

“Hewick has taken us all over the world. We were in France, went to America and will go back, maybe go to Australia later in the year.

“For us to have a horse to win the King George was a big, big day, for me, my family, and for all the staff in the yard. And also for Ireland. It gave the whole of Ireland a lift.

“I wouldn’t say that it has been life changing but it has been a big help. The Gold Cup though would be life changing and we will go for the Grand National after that. We just have to keep our fingers crossed. To win a Gold Cup which we all grow up dreaming about would be utterly amazing for a small yard like me.”

Hanlon is going up against the big boys once again in the shape of the powerhouse yards of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott from Ireland, as well as Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson in Britain.

Mullins and Elliott in particular have dominated Cheltenham in previous years and that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

“It is impossible to take on those super yards in Ireland,” Hanlon added.

“We are working with handicap horses because we can’t get graded horses. We can’t afford to buy the graded horses. That is the big thing. Gordon has Gigginstown and three or four other very good customers.  Willie has them everywhere. I just hope one of them might come to me!”

BoyleSports announced it is teaming up with John ‘Shark’ Hanlon as his Official Stable Partner and will be closely following Hewick’s journey to Prestbury Park. If Hewick is successful in his bid for the Gold Cup, BoyleSports will donate €100,000 to the Irish Injured Jockeys (IIJ) and the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) in the UK.

The Longest Horse Races in the UK

Grand National. (2024, January 18). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_National

Jumps season is now in full swing with some of the most significant dates in the National Hunt calendar just around the corner. Horse racing fans will soon be piling into racecourses around the country in the early months of 2024 as they watch jockeys and trainers test their mettle in some fierce conditions. UK horse racing fans have fallen in love with the National Hunt format over the years; some of the country’s most iconic and well attended races are National Hunts and have made the careers of several legendary jockeys and trainers. They are some of the most challenging races out there on the calendar given the arduous obstacles and taxing length and the UK boasts some of the best National Hunt tracks in the world. Here’s our look at some of the longest races the UK has to offer.

Grand National

Aintree hosts the world’s most famous National Hunt race every April when racing fans flock from the world to watch the Grand National. The iconic race originated in 1839 and is by far the longest race on this list at four miles, two and a half furlongs long. The event routinely sees record TV viewership and well over 70,000 fans come to Liverpool each year. Its popularity is largely down to the treacherous nature of the track as well as the massive number of entrants with 40 horses competing for the honour of winning the National. As if getting the better of 39 other runners wasn’t difficult enough, its iconic fences have ended the hopes and dreams of many a top jockey over the years. The ominous five foot high Becher’s Brook, Valentine’s and The Chair have all helped establish the Grand National as one of the most fearsome and prestigious races on the circuit. It’s considered a bucket list attraction for any racing fan worth their salt and 2024’s meet promises to be another enthralling affair. Corach Rambler is currently the frontrunner at 14/1 followed by Fastorslow but with the meet still several months away, it’s hard to say with any certainty whether the early favourites will make good on their billing. The CopyBet sign up offer will give you more to bet on these races.

Scottish Grand National

Sharing the same name as the iconic meet in Merseyside is the Scottish edition of the Grand National, the most prestigious race on the calendar north of the border. The racecourse in Ayr is known to be a slightly tamer edition of the National than the one Aintree serves up but there remains a large field to contend with as 30 runners compete each year. The 27 fences are not as taxing for the jockeys to navigate but by dint of taking place in Scotland in the early stages of Spring, the erratic weather can serve up some treacherous conditions to navigate often making it a thoroughly exciting and unpredictable contest. At four miles long it is the longest race in Scotland and comfortably one of the longest in the UK. 2024 will mark the 50 year anniversary of Red Rum’s victory at both Aintree and Ayr and hopes will be high amongst racing fans that this year’s edition can serve up another historic landmark for the sport.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

Widely considered to be the best National Hunt race in the UK, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is a staple of the country’s most popular horse racing event of the year in the Cheltenham Festival. The best and brightest names of the Jumps season arrive in Gloucestershire to tackle the 22 fences over a distance of three miles, two and a half furlongs. The tough downhill fences have been known to trip up plenty of riders and while the course length isn’t the longest on this list, the pressure of competing in front of 68,000 roaring fans in March has seen many of horse racing’s biggest names buckle under the pressure. It may not be the most difficult test out there for jockeys and trainers but it certainly is the most famous and the one that everyone who competes dreams of winning.

Eider Chase

Newcastle isn’t exactly renowned for its racing scene but that doesn’t mean the racecourse can’t serve up some of the most exciting meets the UK has to offer; case and point is the Eider Chase at the Newcastle racecourse. This meet takes place in February each year and features 26 fences over a distance of four miles, half a furlong with many considering it a precursor/trial to the Grand National. With a similar length and number of fences, it offers up a good indication of where the field is at coming into the famous Aintree race given the short turnaround before April and similarities between the tracks. It was first introduced in 1952 and given its significance in the buildup to the Merseyside meet, it will likely be a staple of the National Hunt schedule for years to come.

Dujardin Dances to Victory on Second Day of London International Horse Show

Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) riding Imhotep @LondonInternationalHorseShow/Ashley Neuhof

Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep set the ExCeL alight on day two of the London International Horse Show as they took the victory in the FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle to Music presented by Bret Willson Dressage International Ltd supported by Horse & Hound. The International Arena also saw action from the Extreme Driving supported by Karen and Hugh Scott-Barrett and the Yeti Under-25 British Show Jumping Championship.

Meanwhile, in the New Horizon Plastics London Arena, Showing kicked off with highlights coming from the Rising Star of Cob Type Championship, and the Rising Star of Hunter Type Championship. Spectators were also treated to the first of the LeMieux Masterclass series, ‘Dressage Unwrapped’ featuring FEI Eventing World Champion, Yasmin Ingham, Richard Davison, and Gareth and Ruby Hughes.

FABULOUS FREESTYLE

The pinnacle class of Thursday’s schedule came from the FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle to Music, which saw a packed International Arena wowed by perfect piaffes and exceptional extensions.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and the 10-year-old chestnut stallion Imhotep followed up on their Grand Prix victory, and produced a breathtakingly beautiful performance to the sheer delight of the home crowd to take the win with a score of 89.465%.

It was once again a British top three, with double FEI World Championship gold medallist Lottie Fry claiming the runner-up spot. Fry, who was last to go in the competition with the stunning black stallion Everdale took to the arena with a brand-new Freestyle routine that featured numerous highlights including their phenomenal final line. It was a father-son one-two, with the success of Everdale, the sire of Charlotte’s Imhotep, proving the strength of this bloodline.

Third place went to Becky Moody and her homebred Jagerbomb with a score of 83.675%. The combination was not only making their debut at the Show, but also in the FEI World Cup Qualifier Series. The highest placed international rider was Denise Nekeman, who scored a personal best of 77.035% to claim the fourth spot.

Speaking on her win, Dujardin stated: “This was Imhotep’s first indoor show, and it was a full house tonight; you could hear the crowd in the warm-up, which was really incredible. I was so proud of him; he has never been in that kind of atmosphere before, and so it was a great learning experience for him. Even though he was nervous, he was still with me, which is all I can ask for. He is still a young horse and has so much more to give. I am very excited for what is to come next year!”

Third placed Moody continued: “You dream about riding at this Show. It is somewhere that we all aspire to compete at. I was incredibly nervous in the buildup, and my horse is a legend. Being on the podium with Lottie Fry and Charlotte Dujardin is amazing. They both inspire me on a daily basis. They are incredible role models, and it is incredible being sat next to them. But I do have every intention of beating them in the future!”

THE STARS OF THE FUTURE

24 British pairings faced the challenging 1.45m course in the Yeti Under 25 British Show Jumping Championship. The difficulty of the course became evident as the initial three combinations encountered issues with early faults. The fourth participant, Oliver Fletcher, son of Tina Fletcher – one of Britain’s leading female riders of recent decades – rode Hello William, owned by Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, securing the first flawless performance of the competition. The second faultless round was delivered by Alexander McLean and Gino F, who wisely steadied their stride in the triple combination towards the finish, a section that posed challenges for many. The third clear round came from the winner of the 2023 Ella Popely Award, the Shane Breen-trained Lauren Caroline, riding Gait L.

By halfway – after Nicole Lockhead Anderson, with the small but mighty chestnut stallion I Am a Harley, and Jennifer Billington, with Flipper Darco Uk Z, both jumped clear rounds – it meant only those with a faultless first round score would progress to the jump-off. To take the total number of second-round contenders to eight, there were three more clears from Jessica Hewlett, followed by London International Horse Show Ambassador and the Show’s 2022 leading rider, Jodie Hall McAteer, as well as Antonia Platt and Marvin van de Waterhoeve – 2023’s Royal Windsor Horse Show Under 25 Grand Prix winners.

The eight-fence jump-off had the audience gripped to their seats, with the young riders giving their all to win. The number of strides between the penultimate and last fence proved to be the differentiating factor in overall time. Jennifer Billington and Flipper Darco Uk Z led from the outset, being the only clear with the next to follow all having four faults – often, including the likes of Oliver Fletcher, heartbreakingly at the last fence. The only other clear round came from Scotsman Alexander McLean and the meticulously careful Gino F, who, building on their intelligently crafted first round, jumped fence one on an angle, taking out one stride to the second fence, resulting in them becoming champions.

Speaking on his win, McLean said: “I am over the Moon. I didn’t think we were going to be anywhere near fast enough, but we battled hard and performed under the pressure. I’m so proud of Gino; he has done so much for me over the last two years and is the horse of a lifetime. The atmosphere at the London International Horse Show is fantastic; it’s my second time competing here and I love this show – it’s one of the best shows in Britain by far, with a great Christmas feel to it.”

STUNNING SHOWING TO START THE NEW SERIES IN THE NEW HORIZON PLASTICS LONDON ARENA
Written by Nicola Jane Swinney

It is appropriate that the Showing programme for the London International Horse Show began with the Rising Stars sections — looking forward to the New Year with some names to watch.

Sections include Hunters and Cobs, and there was plenty to like. Sarah Moreland, who won the opening class for Small and Lightweight Hunter Types, was quite overcome, kissing her beloved horse before pulling herself together to comment, admitting she was “quite emotional.”

Coulthard, a bay gelding bred in Aberdeenshire, means everything to Sarah, not least because when buying him four years ago, she had to choose between him and a car.

“He is incredible,” she said. “He does everything. He also jumps so we are doing the Working Hunter class on Saturday.”

The judges, Robert Walker and Jenny Banks, clearly agreed with Sarah’s opinion of her splendid horse, awarding him the Rising Stars Hunter Type Championship over the Middleweight and Heavyweight winner, Eleanor Liddle riding Val Doidge’s Cu Chulainn Carrabawn Rebel. A former hunt horse, Bruce — which is much easier to say — has taken to showing with aplomb, although he hasn’t always been easy. Hunt horses are not used to standing still!

Relishing the atmosphere at the London venue, Carly Chapman and Frazer Foxes Covert headed the Rising Stars Heavyweight Cob class and claimed the Championship.

“It was a fantastic experience; the ring is absolutely great and he gave me a great spin in the go-round, so I’m really delighted,” said Carly. She was enthusiastic about the new venue at the ExCel, the New Horizon Plastics London Arena, saying the atmosphere was “really buzzy.”

The Maxi Cob class and reserve went to Alex George and his six-year-old Paulines Boy, who, he says, “has done very well for a young horse, very well behaved. He’s a good boy.”

The electric atmosphere at this centre is appreciated by riders, horses, and the public alike, and the showing classes over the next few days look set to end 2023 on a high note.

More information about The London International Horse Show can be found at www.londonhorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact: Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Kent Farrington Claims Top Spot in the Trophée de Genève for the Sixth Time

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Thomas Lovelock)

The beautiful city of Geneva once again welcomed the world’s most talented horse and rider combinations to what is often considered to be the best indoor equestrian show in the world, the CHI Geneva. The show hosts the final Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of the calendar year.

In total, 48 combinations started in the feature class of the day, the coveted 1.60m Trophée De Genève. The competition also provided the first chance for riders to secure their place in the pinnacle event of the show, the Rolex Grand Prix. As is often the case at the CHI Geneva, the field was truly star-studded and included the current Olympic, World, and European individual Champions of Ben Maher, Henrik von Eckermann, and Steve Guerdat.

First to canter into the Palexpo’s iconic Geneva Arena was Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam riding the chestnut gelding, Cjoxx Z. The duo produced a faultless jumping round, but picked up an agonising time fault. Fourth to go, the in-form Vitor Bettendorf, winner of two of the classes, produced the first clear round. Next to jump, Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer, secured a jump-off after a super performance, much to the delight of the home crowd. At the halfway point, there were eight clear rounds, with faults coming throughout the masterfully designed course.

Read more here.

© 2023 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Britain’s Dressage Golden Girls in Action at London International Horse Show

Lottie Fry at London International Horse Show (London International Horse Show/Peter Nixon)

Organisers of London International Horse Show have confirmed a stellar list of international Dressage entries to this year’s edition of the Show which runs from 13-18 December at ExCeL London.

The Show will host FEI World Cup™ action in three disciplines, including the CDI5* Dressage that takes place on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 December, with a new presenting sponsor – Bret Willson Dressage International Ltd, supported by long-time sponsor Horse & Hound. Britain’s golden girls of Dressage, Charlotte Fry and Charlotte Dujardin, head the high-quality list of entries for the 2023 FEI Dressage World Cup™ competition at London International Horse Show.

2022 double FEI Dressage World Champion, Fry, will be looking to reclaim the titles that she won at the Show last year, when she took home both the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Grand Prix and the Freestyle to Music. This year, Fry – a London International Horse Show ambassador – will bring her Olympic bronze medal-winning mount Everdale, with whom she won the CDIO5* Grand Prix Freestyle to Music at Compiègne earlier this year.

Looking ahead to the Show, Fry said: “The London International Horse Show is one of my favourite shows of the year. Being able to compete at this level in front of my home fans is very special, and there is always an amazing atmosphere. The 2022 Show was incredible for me, and I hope to be able to do the same again.”

Fry’s British teammate, Dujardin, will return to the Show where she achieved her World Record breaking performances with her Olympic gold medal winning partner, Valegro. Dujardin has had an impressive season following the birth of her daughter in March. Having made a successful international comeback at Royal Windsor Horse Show, Dujardin and Imhotep – the horse she will bring to London – have gone from strength to strength, including winning team gold, individual silver in the Grand Prix, and individual bronze in the Freestyle, with a score of over 90%, at the FEI European Championships in Riesenbeck in September.

Compatriot Lewis Carrier was another to have a strong performance at Royal Windsor, and will head to London with Diego V, a KWPN warmblood he has produced himself from a four-year-old. Also achieving a podium position at Royal Windsor was Emile Faurie, who will ride Bellevue in London. Adding to the British entries and looking to impress selectors ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be Becky Moody, riding Jagerbomb – the horse she rode to victory in the CDI3* Freestyle to Music at both Hickstead and Hartpury and at the LeMieux National Dressage Championships during the summer.

The home riders will be challenged by a strong international contingent. France’s Morgan Barbançon will partner Sir Donnerhall II, a horse who recently led her to victory in the Freestyle to Music at CDI-W Wierzbna Bialy Las, and with whom Barbançon has competed at multiple championships. Fellow French rider, Alexandre Ayache, will also make the trip to London with his FEI European Championship mount Jolene.

The sole representative from Germany comes from United Kingdom based Kathleen Kröncke, whilst Caroline Chew will represent Singapore aboard Blue Hors Zatchmo, and Abigail Lyle will ride Giraldo for Ireland.

For tickets to London International Horse Show, please visit www.londonhorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com