Ben Maher Wins Third L.G.C.T – Scandinavian Dressage Riders Win. King Charles Reduces Racehorse String

Ben Maher with Faltic HB takes his third Longines Global Championship in Riyadh while the World Cup Qualifiers start in earnest in Europe for both showjumping and dressage. King Charles is to start to reduce The Late Queen’s string of race horses and breeding stock starting this autumn.

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Champion Ben Maher wins his third LGCT

The weekend saw the final round of the Longines Global Champions Tour in Riyadh. There which there were 35 starters to jump the course set by Uliano Vezzani which was made up of 13 obstacles with 16 jumping efforts with two water jumps and with a time allowed of 80 seconds. The top height and spreads of the jumps was 1.60 m. Only four of the combinations jumped clear in the first round to qualify for the jump off. The first to take the stage for the second round was Jur Vrieling from the Netherlands riding Long John Silver 3. He made it a double clear in a time of 38.83 seconds. He was also the first to go in the first round. Two horses later, the class looked as if there would be a dozen or so clear as Harrie Smolders, also from the Netherlands took another clear round riding Monaco NOP. In his second clear round in the jump off, Smolders took the lead riding round in 36.68 seconds. In the first round there was then some considerable time before another clear round was achieved. This was from Michael Pender from Ireland riding HHS Calais.  In the jump off, the Pender rode a great round to go clear with a time of 36.78 seconds. The final one to go in the jump off was Malin Bayard-Johnsson riding H & M Indiana. She would have to jump clear and quickly to win this final round. In the event, she did go quick enough, going round in 35.17 seconds, but she also took out a pole, giving her 4 faults. The winner was Michael Pender with Harrie Smolders in second and Jur Vrieling in third.

Michael Pender takes his second win of the tour

Despite Michael Pender winning two rounds of the Longines Global Champions Tour, in Riyadh and the Netherlands, he came well down the leader board for the final standings as he only rode in six of the fifteen rounds whereas most of the riders above him in the standings rode in eight. In fact he and Christian Alhmann were the two only riders this year to take two rounds. Christian Ahlmann, the long-time leader of the standings ended up in third place. He won the German and Swedish rounds and was third in the final standings. Malin Bayard-Johnsson ended in fourth place having won the round in France and running well in the other seven rounds she entered. She finished the competition on 227 points. Jur Vrieling, third in Riyadh was just behind Bayard-Johnsson in the final standing on 220 points and therefore in fifth. Although there or there abouts, Vrieling did not actually win any of the rounds. As mentioned, Christian Ahlmann finish in third with 238 points. The second in the final standings was Pieter Devos from Belgium. He won the round in London and was second in New York as well as being near the top for each of the eight rounds in which he participated and finished with 244 points. The Champion for 2022 was Ben Maher from Great Britain. He didn’t actually win any of the rounds, but his consistent standings near the top of each round he entered, gave him his third Championship for the Longines Global Championship Tour. He won with 255 points. His best performance was in Rome where he was second. He was third in Cannes, fourth in Stockholm and sixth in both New York and Miami. He rode Faltic HB in all the rounds.

Other News

King Charles has announced that he is to slip down the breeding and racing operation of The late Queen Elizabeth. He will sell 14 horses at Tattersalls in Newmarket in the forthcoming breeding sales later next month. It is not unusual for Royal horses to be sold at this time of the year as The Late Queen always had a few in the sales every year from The Royal Stud. However, the number being sold this year is more than usual.

Rosalind Canter – one of the successful quartet for the Eventing Nations Cup

In the Eventing Nations Cup in 2022, there were eight rounds in which four riders would compete as a team. Like dressage and showjumping, the worst score of each team was a discard score. The winners of the Nations Cup for 2022 was Great Britain with their four female riders; Laura Collett, Ros Canter, Kirsty Chabert and Sarah Bullimore. They collectively scored 380 points after competing in five of the eight rounds. Most teams sent teams to between five and three rounds. Italy were second with 360 points having been to six rounds and Sweden, who also went for five rounds were third with 330 points.

The Badminton Horse Trials in 2023 have been put back one day to allow for King Charles III coronation on May 6th 2023. The first day of the dressage will now take place on 5th May with the second day of dressage on May 6th, but early in the day to allow for spectators to watch the coronation on big screen at the venue. The cross country day will now be on Sunday 7th May with the showjumping a day later.

World Cup Qualifiers

In Finland, there was a World Cup qualifying round in Helsinki. In the Grand Prix sponsored by Longines, there were 37 starters of which ten went clear in the Brazilian course designer – Guilherm Jorge’s 16 jumping effort course. Of those, just five went clear in the jump off round. The top was very tight in terms of time with all ten getting close to the 35 second mark in the jump off, but inevitably, some had a fence or two down. Belgium’s Gille Thomas was the slowest of the five clears, taking his time to be sure of a clear in 36.08 seconds. Irishman Thomas Ryan filled the fourth spot in 35.62 seconds. In third was Janne Meyer-Zimmermann for Germany on 35.44 seconds riding Beuttner’s Minimax. The second was fellow German rider Gerrit Neiburg riding Blues Aveline CH in 35.16 seconds. The winner was the fastest by some margin in this class, winning a clear in 34.13 seconds – Angelica Augustsson – Zanotelli riding Kalinka van de Nachtegaele riding for Sweden. After just two rounds of the Western European leg of the World Cup Qualifiers, Victoria Guilliksen is in the lead on the standing having run in both of the two qualifiers to date, here in Helsinki and recently in Oslo. The second standing is Bryan Balsiger from Switzerland and Angelica Augustsson – Zanotelli in third. There are currently just 8 points between them.

Dressage

In the Finish dressage leg of the World Cup, only eight came forward for the Grand Prix. Sweden took the first two places with Jeanna Hogberg riding Astoria winning with 70.717% and in second, Jennie Larson riding Bonafide with 68.565%. Elisabet Ehrnrooth was third for the home nation. In the Freestyle to music, Jeanna Hogberg won with 75.555% with Jennie Larsson in second on 74.700% and Maria Pyykonen riding Furst Wild S in third for Finland. This was the first dressage qualifier for the World Cup series of 2022/23.

In Aarhus in Denmark, the home team took the first four places in the dressage Grand Prix. Of the eighteen combinations to come forward, Carina Cassoe Kruth riding Heiline’s Danciera won with 77.079 %. In second stood Nanna Merrald Rasmussen riding Blue Hors St Schufro with 74.605% and third was Andreas Helgstrand with 74.579% riding Jovian. In the Freestyle to Music, the first two in the Grand Prix stood in the same positions with Daniel Bachmann Andersen in third riding Zippo MI. The winner was given 85.925% by the five judges with the second awarded 82.610%. Bachmann Andersen and Andreas Helgstrand, who was fourth both obtained the magic 80% plus.

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