Category Archives: *Featured/Spotlights

Special features, spotlights, headlines

The World No. 1 for the First 5-Star Grand Prix at Hubside Jumping

© Marco Villanti pour HUBSIDE JUMPING.

This event was eagerly awaited! The HUBSIDE JUMPING de Grimaud played host to the crème de la crème of international horses and riders for the first CSI 5* in the world since they started competing again. Judge for yourself: two thirds of the World Top 30 were present at the show organised on the initiative of Sadri Fegaier. The world hierarchy was respected on the track of the French course designer Cédric Longis, who was officiating for the first time at CSI 5*-level: Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, the World number one, triumphed with Victorio des Frotards.  Three cheers for him! He finished ahead of the young French rider Edward Levy, and Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, the current World no. 6.

“The first round went really well. Victorio had already won the three 5-star Grands Prix in which he competed this year. I knew he could do it but despite this, there were a lot of unknowns in this Grand Prix, as I didn’t jump a lot with my horses during the lockdown. He jumped really well here during the first week of the HUBSIDE JUMPING and then he went home to rest a bit last week. He jumped really well in the first big class on Thursday, but in the 1m50 class on Friday I felt he was a bit tired.  So I wasn’t sure how we would do today. Apparently, the day off really did him good, because during the first round he jumped incredibly. I think that he has never jumped as well as that! I had a great feeling in the ring when we jumped the first round. The jump-off of this Grand Prix was really fast, like all the classes that take place here, and that’s why I chose to ride Victorio. He really gave it his all for me in the jump-off and I’m really proud of him! Next week, I will be back in the ring here but without Victorio, who is going home to have a rest.”

Full results here.

All tests are transmitted live on https://grandprix.tv/fr.

The press kit can be downloaded here.

Daniel Koroloff – E-mail: daniel@blizko-communication.com

Nicolai Aldinger Wins 4-Star Class in Strzegom

Nicolai Aldinger with Newell. Photo by: Leszek Wójcik.

Nicolai Aldinger was victorious in the CCI4*-S, the most difficult class of Strzegom Summer Tour with the 12-year old Newell. Polish riders in the Top 3 in all other classes.

The German was not the favourite in the 4-star class. He was fourth after the dressage, and two knockdowns in the showjumping brought him down into the sixth. A clear round in the cross-country – and the only one inside the time – made him the winner of the class. The next two places went to riders from the Netherlands: Jordy Wilken with Burry Spirit was second, and Raf Kooremans with Dimitri N.O.P – third. Mateusz Kiempa with Lassban Radovix, the leader after showjumping, and the only one with a clear parcour, went over the time in the XC and finished fourth.

Strzegom Summer Tour was the first international eventing show in Poland after the break. They were also the first 4-star show in Europe. The event hosted over 140 horses, competing for 13 countries. The athletes competed in four short format classes.

The Top 3 in the 3-star class belonged to women. The winner was Merel Blom from the Netherlands with Ceda N.O.P. They took the lead after dressage. One knockdown in the showjumping trial and points for time in the XC were not enough to take her victory away. Second place went to Heike Jahncke from Germany riding Coco Spring. She went up from 18th place after dressage thanks to clear showjumping and cross-country. Paulina Maciejewska with Jangcy L had a similar situation – being placed as 25th after dressage, she went up to the third place after a flawless jumping and XC.

The two-star class was the most popular one, with 64 competing horses. The winner was Mateusz Kiempa riding Libertina. He took the leading position after dressage, kept it in the jumping, and even points for time on the cross-country course were not a threat to his win. Kai Steffen-Meier (GER) with Charming Ciaco was second, and Marta Dziak-Gierlicz (POL) came third.

The best rider in the one-star Intro class was Lara de Liedekerke-Meier from Belgium with Oda. Jakub Wiraszka (POL), a rider from Stragona Equestrian Centre, took the second place with Corrnero. The pair was 15th after dressage, but a clear jumping and XC rounds made him jump up into second. Third place went to Julia Stiefele (GER) with Belong to Me.

The next edition of Strzegom Summer Tour will be played out from the 16th until the 19th of July.

On-line results: https://zawodykonne.com/zawody/apc/26.

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

Eduardo Menezes and Magnolia Mystic Rose Master $37k Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3*

Eduardo Menezes and Magnolia Mystic Rose ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 2, 2020 – Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and Magnolia Mystic Rose put in a speedy 35.115 second jump-off round to take the win in Thursday’s $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Jenni McAllister (USA) piloted Escada V S, a 2007 Swedish Warmblood mare (Escudo 19 x For Feeling) owned by Viksberg Sateri AB, to second on a time of 36.743 seconds, while Beezie Madden (USA) and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt, the Abigail Wexner-owned 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Taran de la Pomme x Elanville), rounded out the podium on a time of 38.674 seconds.

Menezes and the 2008 Brazilian Sport Horse mare (Zirocco Blue VDL x Unknown) owned by RM Agronegocios Eireli, who have been partnered since the mare’s appearance in 2019’s Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, and have since collected solid placings together in Wellington, FL, were able to place themselves comfortably in the lead after speeding through the Oscar Soberon (MEX) designed track, he explained. “She’s a really good horse, and a fighter in the ring. You can always count on her!”

Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili Blaze to $37,000 Wednesday Classic CSI 3* Win

Kristen VanderVeen grabbed both ends of the podium in the $37,000 Wednesday Classic CSI 3* with Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili and Bull Run’s Almighty on Wednesday in Tryon Stadium, sailing to a 36.005 second jump-off round to take first with “Frosty” and stopping the timers aboard “Almighty,” the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Caspar x Quidam De Revel) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, in 36.51 seconds for third place. Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and Ennebel Van Het Posthuijs, the 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Numero Uno x Argentinus) he co-owns with H5 Stables, claimed second place with a time of 36.127 seconds.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit Honored as Top Three Quarter Horse Show by AQHA

Canada’s Dr. Carole Joubert Gaboury and My Precious Gab competing in 2019. Photo: Cody Parmenter.

Tampa, Fla. – July 1, 2020 – The management team behind the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit is thrilled to announce that the record-breaking 2019 event has been awarded the coveted distinction as one of the top-three Quarter Horse shows in the nation, as ranked by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). Out of countless shows from across the world, the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, the highest non-ranking cattle event, ranked third behind only the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the Arizona Sun Country Circuit, high-quality company for an event that has consistently made the top ten leaderboard for years under the direction and show management services of An Equine Production.

“We are so pleased to once again have these shows recognized as some of the best in the country by the AQHA. It truly takes a village to accomplish such a designation, and we have to thank our exhibitors, staff and supporters for all of their hard work and dedication. We are looking forward to an even greater event in 2020 and can’t wait to see everyone back in the show ring,” commented Kathy Avolt of An Equine Production.

Expanding even further in 2020, the event will include a whole host of new classes such as AQHA Ranch Trail, L2/L3 Amateur, Select and 14-18 Showmanship and Horsemanship. In addition, the 2020 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit will feature a series of amazing awards and parties, including a New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Save the date for Dec. 27-31, 2020, and then check flgoldcoastcircuit.com for schedules and forms when they become available in August.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Riders Come Back to Strzegom

Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński.

Strzegom, Poland, June 30: After weeks of uncertainty, Strzegom is starting the season of international eventing shows. The first competition will be Strzegom Summer Tour, which will be played out during two shows – on the first and third week of July.

Athletes from 13 countries will compete in international classes of various difficulty levels: CCI1*, CCI2*, CCI3*, and CCI4* this weekend with almost 140 horses.

Eventing, also called the equestrian triathlon, is one of the most difficult equestrian disciplines, where the horse and rider have to compete in three trials: dressage, cross-country, and jumping.

The show will start on Friday, when the athletes will present themselves in dressage tests. Saturday is jumping day, and the final exciting trials of XC and prizegiving ceremonies will take place on Sunday.

Due to sanitary restrictions, the event will take place without audiences and media. However, there will be a live streaming available for eventing fans on the official website of the show and Facebook: www.eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl.

Live video:

Saturday, 04.07.2020
12.00-18.00 – Showjumping

Sunday, 05.07.2020
09.00-15.00 – Cross-country

CCI Entries: http://www.eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl/images/2020/01/Entries_-_CCI_-_29.06.pdf

Programme: http://www.eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl/images/2020/01/Timetable_SST_-1st_week_-_26.06.pdf

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

Two in a Row for Maikel van der Vleuten in Grimaud – Saint-Tropez

© Marco Villanti pour HUBSIDE JUMPING.

After an initial victory last week in the HUBSIDE JUMPING’s CSI4* Grand Prix, as high-level competition resumed in Europe, the Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten was again the winner of a class comprising the greatest riders and also with the mare Dana Blue. The 15th rider in the world rankings finished ahead of Germany’s Daniel Deusser, World No. 3, with Killer Queen VDM, and Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano, World no.25 with his unmistakable Chalou.

“Dana Blue is a mare which really likes competing,” explained the winner, van der Vleuten. “She has a fighting spirit: she fights for her rider but she fights for herself too; she really loves winning!  It’s an essential quality in a jump-off like this one, faced with these types of riders: a victory depends on your mindset and your desire to win! She is also really fast naturally on the ground and that can also make all the difference.  At the beginning of the week, after her victory last weekend, she rested, with a few simple exercises on Monday and Tuesday. I rode her again on Wednesday. On Thursday we took part in an easy class, so that she could warm up. She competed in the Grand Prix today and the result speaks for itself. I need to talk to my father Eric about next week: we always talk about each show’s schedules as a family. This week, my horses each only took part in two classes, an easy one and a big one.  Despite this, I think that Beauville Z will jump in the CSI 5* Grand Prix.”

Full results here.

The press kit can be downloaded here.

Daniel Koroloff – E-mail: daniel@blizko-communication.com

Virtual Windsor Returns for Autumn and Winter Online Horse Show Series

Following the success of Virtual Windsor in May, the organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show are delighted to announce that the online Show will be returning as a new series with two editions taking place in the Autumn and Winter. The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 will be live-streamed on 25-27 September, and will feature three disciplines in which riders from all over the world can participate from their own homes.

The Show will comprise 22 Showing classes, alongside new additions in the form of International Pony Club Dressage, a Riding for the Disabled Association class and a specially designed ‘Equitation Jumping’ discipline open to all. In addition, the popular shopping section will be bringing visitors new products and offers, and there will be yard tours and masterclasses with first-class riders.

THE PONY CLUB HOME INTERNATIONAL DRESSAGE

Leading the charge for Virtual Windsor in September will be the Pony Club Home International Dressage, featuring teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. Previously held at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, the competition pits up-and-coming riders against each other, and this year will be made even more special with live judging and commentary for the audience to enjoy.

The Pony Club Home International Dressage will be a precursor to a worldwide International Dressage competition, to feature in the Virtual Windsor Winter Series later in the year, where teams from all 18 Pony Club countries will be invited to compete in a never-seen-before worldwide Pony Club event.

Marcus Capel, Pony Club Chief Executive, said: “We are hugely pleased to be able to run our Home International Dressage competition on the Virtual Windsor platform this year. The competition highlights the hard work and talent of our young riders, and we hope that by holding it online we will enable many young riders to enjoy and be inspired by the competition from their own homes.”

VIRTUAL SHOWING CLASSES RETURN

Virtual Windsor’s Showing Series returns to your screens, with Chief Judge Nigel Hollings back by popular demand. The May edition of Virtual Windsor saw over 4,000 entries to the Showing coming from as far afield as South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, included both amateur and professional riders and even Her Majesty The Queen. The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series in September will showcase 26 Showing classes, covering everything from Riding Horses and Hunters, to Show Ponies and Side Saddle, while the Winter Series – planned for later in the year – will have an international flavour including horse breeds from around the world such as Quarter Horses, Iberian Breeds, and Arabians. The classes remain free to enter for all.

Nigel Hollings will be joined on the judging panel for the Autumn Series by Julian White, Anne Leaver, and Pat Pattinson. “I am delighted to be returning as Virtual Windsor’s Chief Judge this September, having hugely enjoyed the May Show,” said Hollings. “The standard of entries was incredibly high at the last event and I really enjoy the Virtual format which gives me the opportunity to share feedback with the audience as I judge. I was particularly impressed with the number of international entries in the May edition. To be a winner at Virtual Windsor against entries from all over the world, you really do have to be the best.”

SHOW JUMPING MAKES ITS DEBUT

In addition to International Dressage and Showing, the organisers of the Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 have created a jumping discipline which allows riders from across the globe to compete. Based on Prix Caprilli, Equitation Jumping requires competitors to submit a video showing a short set test, which includes three fences of any kind with one stride between each at any height. Marks are awarded for the rider’s position, use of aids, and straightness and the technique, shape, and impulsion of the horse. Designed to be accessible to all levels of equestrian, the class is open to all and will have a Championship taking place on the Sunday of the Show.

The competition will be judged by professional judge, show jumper, and event rider Julian White, who said, “During these difficult times that we’re all facing I’ve just had the most amazing ray of light shone onto me by being asked to be a judge on the Virtual Windsor Horse Show Series which is just brilliant, I’m so excited. It is a real honour to be asked and I am looking forward to it hugely. So thank you so much, and I’m judging with Nigel Hollings who I was meant to be judging with in South Africa, so that’s also a joy and a double whammy!”

FURTHER ADDITIONS ADDED TO THE LINE-UP

In addition to the competition, a Masterclass will be streamed on each day of the three days of the Show, featuring world-class riders from around the world. Covering topics from Grand Prix Dressage to training tips, riding international courses and the thrills of top competition, the Masterclasses will be available to all through the live stream.

It has been a tough year for many exhibitors, and Virtual Windsor will continue to support tradestands and shops through its Virtual Shopping Village, where visitors will find a full list of shops selling everything equestrian, plus some “Show Week” discounts.

Royal Windsor’s Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said of Virtual Windsor: “We were so thrilled by the response to the first Virtual Windsor that it wasn’t a difficult decision to build a series of events.  Although 2020 has been a challenging year, Virtual Windsor has shown us that the equestrian community has a really positive outlook and will come together to enjoy competition and celebrate equestrianism. I cannot wait to see how the Series fares and to welcome all the international competitors and visitors to the event.”

The Virtual Windsor Autumn Series 2020 will run from 25-27 September 2020, with entries for Showing and Equitation Jumping opening in August and closing in early September. Schedules and rules for each class will be available at virtual.rwhs.co.uk from Friday 10 July.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Take Action for the Nevada Range Wild Horses

Last week we alerted you to the BLM’s plan to capture and remove all of the wild burros and over half of the wild horses in the Nevada Wild Horse Range (NWHR).

They’re doing this despite the fact that it is a specially designated sanctuary like the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.

If you’ve already taken action, thank you!

If you didn’t have time before, please take a minute today to speak up for the wild horses and burros of the Nevada Range. We’ve made it easy to click and send your comments.

Our government must hear from US, the American people. It’s the only way that things have ever changed.

Tell BLM today that you want our wild herds humanely managed on the range where they belong – not rounded up and imprisoned!

**Comments are due June 29th – don’t delay!**

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

From Wildfire to the World Stage: David Broome

David Broome and Mister Softee on their way to individual bronze at the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968. (FEI archive)

When I called David Broome last Tuesday, he had been haymaking at Mount Ballan Manor near Chepstow in South Wales which, apart from being the family farm, is also home to the hugely popular Wales and West showgrounds.

The legendary British showjumping rider is deeply rooted in his home place. His parents, Fred and Millie, moved to Mount Ballan in 1947, and all four of their children – David, Liz, Mary, and Frederick – had a passion for horses from an early age. David’s grandfather worked for a veterinary surgeon in Pembroke (Wales) and his father, Fred, was an experienced horseman and a well-known pony dealer. David recalls his introduction to the saddle and his first, very early, retirement.

“Father had me riding when I was about two years old, using a harness out of a pram with a buckle in front, a buckle behind and buckles on both sides. As time went on the buckles were removed and I became number one jockey when he was breaking Welsh Mountain ponies, but I got bucked off so often that I retired from the sport when I was five!”

However, two years later everything changed with the arrival of a pony called Beauty. “I took a fancy to her so I started again, and my career kind of went from there!” he says.

Ponies

Fred was always on the lookout for talented ponies for his children. “The ones we kept were good, like Ballan Lad who had a run of 28 clears. Every one of them cost 60 quid (GB Pounds) and I had a great career in 14.2s. There were about five shows in which I jumped three clear rounds on all three ponies in the same class. We only had one saddle, so I could have a little breather while the saddle was being changed over!”

David told his teachers at Monmouth Grammar School that he wanted to be a veterinary surgeon, but it wasn’t true. Working on the farm and riding horses was what really appealed to him but he knew they wouldn’t approve of that. “I left school when I was 17 and the horses were there and one thing seemed to follow another,” he says.

“My first year in seniors I had a couple of horses my father used to ride. And then we bought one called Wildfire from the Monmouthshire Hunt that was next door to us – also for £60. He was stopping (refusing at fences) but he had competed Eventing. We straightened him out and he was a hunter hireling in the winter and then we started jumping the following spring. I’ll always remember our first show at Glanusk, there was a triple bar away from the collecting ring and we got eliminated. If ever there was a fence to test a stopper that was it. So my father said, ‘that fellow has just one more chance’. We went to Stowell Park the following week and on the second day he won three classes out of three!”

I’m loving how this man still treasures these early achievements in a career that was nothing less than glorious.

Wildfire

I ask him to describe Wildfire. “A 16.1hh bay gelding with a swishy tail, ears pinned back, and a sour look, but he and I had a great relationship and he busted a gut for me,” David says. A rule-change worked to the advantage of the partnership because when time was introduced into the sport then Wildfire really came into his own.

“It used to be that three clear rounds decided the result, but when we started jumping against the clock I was made up. Wildfire was really sharp, a thoroughbred with plenty of speed and a beautiful bouncy canter you could adjust. Against the clock he was just heaven! He put me on the road, he was Leading Horse in Britain in 1959, and then he got me on the Olympic team until Sunsalve came along,” David explains.

His ability to get along with tricky horses is well-documented, and when I ask David about that he says he owed a lot to the experience he gained during his pony-riding years. “I had three ponies and they all went entirely differently. One galloped on and scotched up (shortened) when he got to a fence, he just couldn’t do a one-striding double in one stride so he always took two so I always had to milk my way through a combination. The second one was a very old-fashioned one, you set him up and you had three strides to get your bumph (distance) to it, and the third was a short-tailed cob called Chocolate who just went on an even keel the whole way around. I was so lucky because it trained me to ride three different ways,” he points out.

Big names

So who were the big names in showjumping when David was moving up the ladder in his career? “Pat Smythe, Harry Llewellyn, and Alan Oliver, and then I eventually ran up against Harvey (Smith) when I was 19.”

The tough Yorkshireman Harvey would become one of the most popular and colourful characters in the sport in years to come and the perfect foil to the quiet but determined Welshman. So how was it when they first met at a show in Northampton? “I felt total respect really; he was self-made, hardworking, and we became great friends outside the arena. But inside it was bloody hellfire!”

What was their rivalry like? “He made me better, and hopefully I made him better as well. With a lot of good sportsmen, you need two of them in the game at the same time so they push each other.

“He was one of best losers I ever came across because if he was having a bad time, then five minutes after he left the ring he was absolutely normal again. But when he was a winner it was a very different story because he was the biggest pain you’ve ever come across – he’d say we were all useless and that none of the rest of us could ride!” David says with big laugh.

It was a twist of fate that saw Wildfire being replaced by Sunsalve for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. “We had one of our Olympic training sessions at Ninian Park Football Club in Cardiff and Pat Smythe had just been given the ride on Sunsalve. She won the class and I think I was second, and on the way home my father said, ‘Pat won today, but that horse will never go for her again.’ It was a strange thing to say after someone has won, but he was a real horseman and he’d seen something and he was right. From there we went on a European tour to Wiesbaden (GER) and Lucerne (SUI), and Sunsalve never did go again for Pat.

Sent it back

“So the Olympic Committee said the horse was useless and sent it back to the owner, Mr Anderson in Norfolk. As it happened, in our pony trade we had a lady in Newmarket called Ann Hammond – we sold her 465 ponies over the years. And when we were at her place a couple of weeks later, my father asked if she knew Mr Anderson and she said she did. She agreed to introduce us; we borrowed her car and set off for his little farm and father and he got on like a house on fire! Mr Anderson had bred the horse and his daughter had ridden it and won the Queen’s Cup with it. In ten minutes, over a cup of tea, he had given Sunsalve to us,” David explains.

It wouldn’t be all plain sailing to begin with. “Ten days later we went to a show and he went well, but at the next event I took both Sunsalve and a little horse called Discutido and they were both eliminated in a £20 class! So my father asked if the organisers would leave the jumps up after the Musical Chairs (a novelty class always staged at the end of horse shows in those days) and we schooled both of them afterwards.

“Four days later Sunsalve won the King’s Cup (King George V Gold Cup) at the White City, the following week Discutido won the National Championship and the next week I won the Grand Prix in Dublin with Sunsalve,” David recalls.

That was followed by the Olympics in Rome where the individual competition was staged at the beautiful Piazza di Siena where David and Sunsalve clinched individual bronze while host-country heroes Raimondo and Piero d’Inzeo took gold and silver.

Team final

The team final took place at the Olympic Stadium a few days later, and Great Britain was among eight countries to be eliminated while Germany, USA, and Italy topped the podium.

David remembers that day well because he learned something he’d never forget. “When I jumped the first round in the morning there were about 8,000 spectators, but when we came back for the second round in the afternoon there were about 120,000 and I couldn’t believe it! When the bell went, I cantered down to the first fence and missed it (got the stride on approach wrong) because I was all nerves. But luckily the horse got me out of it and I pulled myself together and he went clear after that. I decided that day that nerves don’t do you any good, and apart from getting a few butterflies an hour before the King’s Cup or something like that, nerves never affected me again. I decided when you go in the ring the only thing you have to worry about is how your horse is going, nothing else will help you; the occasion has nothing to do with it. That stood with me for the rest of my career,” he says.

The King’s Cup, the Grand Prix trophy in Dublin, and the Olympic bronze medal in Rome were already in the bag when David and Sunsalve headed for the World Championships in Venice (Italy) where they also claimed individual bronze.

“I was so lucky to have Sunsalve when I had him. I was just 20 at the time and when I rode him, I let him gallop on, and the horse thought he was doing it his way. If I’d had him later in my life, I would have tried to change him and he probably wouldn’t have been a tenth of the horse that he turned out to be. I’ve ridden a lot of horses, but he was THE Olympic horse. He jumped like a deer; his jump was unbelievable,” says the Welshman.

Sports Personality

There’s a wonderful YouTube clip of David being presented with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award for his 1960 achievements in which, clearly to David’s astonishment, Sunsalve is brought into the studio and he is legged up onto the horse in front of the equally astonished audience. Showjumping was prime-time viewing in Britain at the time, and this award gave the sport an even bigger boost.

David’s CV is beyond staggering. He claimed individual bronze again at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico riding Mister Softee and World Championships individual gold with Beethoven in 1970, as well as team gold with Philco in 1978. His European Championship record includes a double of golds with Mister Softee in 1967 and 1969, team silver with Philco in 1977, team gold in 1979 riding Queensway Big Q, and team silvers again in 1983 and 1991 riding Mr Ross and Lannegan.

And then there is the coveted King George V Gold Cup which he scooped six times on six different horses. “In the ‘50s and ‘60s, it was the ultimate class to win, and it’s such a beautiful trophy,” David says. The first time he won it with Sunsalve he kept it for six months on a shelf just inside the front door of his house. But as the years went by it became near-priceless so by the time he claimed it for the final time in 1991 he handed it over to his patron, Lord Harris, “because his security was a bit better than mine!” David says.

Then and now

I ask David to compare the sport back then to the way it is now. “Jumps are nowhere near as big nowadays. We had one oxer in Mexico – the front pole was about 5ft 4ins (1.64m), it was a 6ft 6ins (2.1m) spread, and the back pole was 5ft 8ins (1.76). Only two horses jumped it in the whole of the Games. I’ve never seen a fence like it before or since! When Olaf Petersen came along, he changed the sport so it became more technical, and that saved it in a lot of ways. The only thing is we’ve now gone away from testing a horse’s bravery and I think something needs to be done about that. In showjumping the narrowest fence is 8 feet (2.43m) wide, but in eventing it’s four feet (1.2m) so why not have some narrow fences and test riders’ control of their horses,” he suggests.

David was hugely influential in the establishment of the FEI Jumping World Cup™ series. “I won the Grand Prix in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) – there were only six or eight indoor shows in those days – and I thought we need to have a final for all these indoor shows.

“We had formed the International Jumping Riders Club around that time and Prince Philip was President of the FEI and thought it was a great idea. He invited us to send two representatives every year to the Bureau Meeting at the General Assembly to air views and make suggestions which was a great breakthrough, so I went along with Eric Wauters. I spoke to Paul Schockemohle and he said I know a man that will sponsor the series, Mr Gyllenhammar from Volvo, and then Max Ammann jumped on the bandwagon and took it over and that’s how it all started,” he says.

Favourites

When asked to name some of his favourite venues and events, David replies, “I always love the day of the Aga Khan Cup (Nations Cups) in Dublin, Rome just because of where it is, Olympia (London) because it’s probably the best indoor show, but Aachen these days is the number one venue in the world. If they had the World Championships there every year, I don’t think anyone would complain!” he answers.

Who were the opponents he most admired during his career? “Well Harvey because he was always the man to try to beat because he never gave up. Alwin Schockemohle because he was the ultimate professional. He would be second-last to go in the jump-off and go into the lead, but when he came out of the ring, he’d give his horse two or three minutes settle-down work while the last horse was jumping. Everyone else would be jumping off their horse to watch the last one go and hope they didn’t beat you. But not Alwin: he’d quietly school his horse ready for tomorrow. He was a real horseman. His technique for having horses leg-to-hand, having them supple, well mannered – he was superb. I always admired him and he is the loveliest man.

“And Rodney Jenkins – I watched him warm up Idle Dice at Madison Square Gardens in New York and he trotted down to a 5ft 6ins rail and the horse just popped it. The Americans’ position in the saddle was always fantastic. We started off in our careers doing acrobatics, but the Americans were always perfectly balanced. Bill Steinkraus – his legs never moved, and you only get that style if you have the horse going correctly,” he points out.

Proudest moment

David’s proudest moment comes as a bit of a surprise, “when I won the Foxhunter (Novice Championship) with Top of the Morning jumping the only the clear round at Wembley,” he says. And what’s his advice to competitors in the sport today? “Remember that you don’t necessarily win more the more often you jump.”

In recent years David’s attention has turned to the Wales and West showground at Mount Ballan Manor which hosts many events throughout the year including a hugely popular Home Pony International. “It has been the second part of my life,” he says. “My father wanted to build the Welsh version of Hickstead, so he started about five years after Hickstead was created and I like to think we’ve been successful. We run a happy show; it’s now organised by my sons James and Matthew and they do a great job and I’m proud of them.”

Reflecting on his sparkling career, David concludes, “I was a farmer’s son and horses have taken me around the world. I’ve been lucky in so many different ways. I was very lucky to meet Lord Harris who supported me from when I was 30 onwards and I’ve had some wonderful horses and some great sporting days. For all that I can only be eternally grateful.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Kent Farrington and Kaprice Best the Field in $24,999 Osphos Grand Prix at ESP June II

Kent Farrington aboard Kaprice. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – June 15, 2020 – The ESP June Spring Series continued last week with a day of Equitation competition on Wednesday, June 10, and four days of USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition. The $24,999 Osphos® Grand Prix (plus $600 in add back money) on the Derby Field was the highlight of the weekend, with Kent Farrington of Wellington, FL clinching victory aboard Kaprice, owned by Haity McNerney. The pair crossed through the jump-off timers in 36.17 seconds, besting the field of 43 competitors and pushing Canada’s Erynn Ballard out of the top position. However, Ballard still held on to both second and third place. Capturing the red ribbon aboard Diableur, owned by Emma Waldfogel, in 38.303 seconds and the yellow rosette with Skymaster LLC’s Judge Hof Ter Zeedycke in 38.379 seconds.

Farrington and Kaprice have been competing at the Equestrian Village facility since the May Schooling Shows began and have had a positive experience amidst the ‘new normal’ of horse show competition. “These are crazy times, but I think they’re doing an amazing job here. To be honest, I think we couldn’t ask for any better,” commented Farrington after his win. “Getting to ride out on this field is great. It’s not often we get to train younger horses on a field like this. For me, I have a bunch of young horses here, so I’m just trying to maximize their time by giving them that experience. I’m very grateful for ESP’s efforts.”

As the ESP June Spring Series winds down, Farrington plans to continue working his younger horses at his home base in Wellington: “We’re taking it one step at a time. For right now, it’s too hard to say if we’ll travel for the fall season. I think we’re lucky to have nice farms down here to work out of. It’s a little hot, but all things considered it’s not too bad. Hopefully sometime in the future, the world returns more to normal.”

It was lucky number thirteen again for the number of competitors returning for the second round. Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge designed a challenging course that tested competitors around the field. Natalie Dean of Palo Alto, CA and Paul O’Shea of Wellington, FL completed the podium, finishing in fourth and fifth places, respectively.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.