At Last – Dressage and Showjumping Stutter Back to Life

As the world of equestrianism stutters back to life, the weekend saw the running of two Group 1 races in Ireland, The Irish Derby and The Pretty Polly Stakes. In dressage the first 3 star CDI took place in Hungary and in France the first 4 star CSI Grand Prix for showjumping also took place.


Nicolas Wagner – double winner in Hungary

At Mariakalnok in Hungary, Nicolas Wagner riding Quater Back Junior FRH won both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special for Luxembourg. He won the Grand Prix with 73.413% and the Special with 73.894% on his 11 year old Hanoverian gelding. It was the first time the pair had competed for seven months. Simone Pearce was second riding for Australia with a trio of German riders taking the next three places.

After the enforced cancellation of the Junior and Young Rider European Championships this year at Hartpury Equestrian in the UK this year, the FEI announced last week that they have re-scheduled the venue to stage the event in 2022.

Regarding the World Cup qualifiers later this year, Denmark will hold its qualifying round at Vilhelmsborg instead of Herning as originally planned and confirmation that the Madrid leg of the qualifiers has been confirmed.

We are saddened to hear that Tony Pidgley, huge supported of British Dressage over the past couple of decades, passed away suddenly on Friday. As chairman and founder of the high-end house building company Berkeley Homes, he went to work as usual on Thursday, but became ill and was taken to hospital. He was 72.  We send our condolences to Sarah, a former Grand Prix rider and now FEI 4 star dressage judge, and the rest of his family.


The two Group 1 races held at The Curragh in Ireland over the weekend were both won by trainer Aiden O’Brien. The Irish Derby which was run in dreadful conditions was won by Santiago ridden by Seamus Heffernan. The horse ended as an easy winner on the ‘yielding’ ground. Aiden O’Brien was also responsible for the second, third and fourth home. He sent six of the fourteen runners to the start. Santiago is by Authorized out of a Cape Cross mare. In rather better conditions, the following day (Sunday) the Pretty Polly Stakes over 1 mile 2 furlongs was an easy win for the five year old Galileo mare Magical making all. None of the other four runners were able to get a look in as the winner was simply a different class to them. Magical won doing not much more than a hack canter! She was ridden by Seamus Heffernan.

Show jumping

In France, there were 48 combinations took their chance in the first CSI 4 star since the easing of lock down at St Tropez. The winner was Maikel Van de Vleuten for The Netherlands riding her grey KWPN 8 year old mare, Dana Blue. She was the fastest in the jump off which had 16 runners with 37.66 seconds. There were 9 double clear rounds. In second was Germany’s Daniel Deusser and third was Emanuele Gaudiano from Italy.

It has been alleged by a French publication that American showjumping rider Andy Kosher has been cited for using electronic spurs during FEI competitions. If this is true, there can be no excuses for such behaviour and this publication thinks that the rider should be given a lifetime ban. This is not the first time that the rider has been reported to the FEI. Last year, he was heavily criticized for running a horse on consecutive days in Grand Prix classes when the horse was clearly tried and in some stress. The FEI are looking into both incidents.

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