European Breeding Sales Finish & Holly Smith Wins in Spain
The main European breeding sales are completed successfully in Newmarket and Deauville. For the first time since March this year, a few spectators have been allowed back to watch racing live. Top hats are outlawed in future dressage competitions from January 1st and Holly Smith takes the main showjumping Grand Prix of the week in Spain.
Racing and Bloodstock
After a difficult year with Covid, it was with some relief for the auctioneer company Tattersalls to bring the curtain down on their sales season with the completion of the mare and filly sale. The company have conducted sixteen sales at the venue in Newmarket since the end of June, an unprecedented number. The final turnover for the mare and filly sale was £43 million. Read more on our bloodstock sales to appear later this week following the conclusion of the Arqana Sale in Deauville France which is continuing as we write this article.
More stud fees have been announced, the main one this time from the Shadwell Group. This year’s Sussex Stakes winner and first season stallion for 2021 Mohaather will stand at the Nunnery Stud at a fee of £20,000 with usual concessions. The other three stallions at the stud have all seen a reduction in fees, particularly Muhaarar who has seen a 50% reduction to £10,000. The two youngs sires, Tasleet and Eqtidaar will stand for £5,000 each. The Tally Ho Stud in Ireland have raised the fee for Mehmas from 7,000 to 25,000 euros. Mehmas has had a phenomenal year with his first season of racehorses on the track, making history as the most successful first season sire ever with 47 individual winners, four of which were group winners. Among other stallions on the stud’s roster include Kodiac, who is well proven on the track and who fee remains at 65,000 euros.
Delight was felt by racecourses and race goers alike when for the first time since the Cheltenham Meeting in March, limited crowds were allowed back to watch racing live once again. A maximum of 2000 spectators are now allowed to watch live racing under the new regulations regarding Covid came into effect last Thursday.
In Oliva in Spain,, Holly Smith took the Grand Prix 3 star riding Denver. The course designed by Janvier Trenor was a twisty complicated one with 90 degree turns and sixteen jumping efforts. In the first round, the top height was 1.50 with a time allowed of 76 seconds. From a field of 60 starters, only 18 managed a first round clear with eight of those going onto gain a double clear. David Will from Germany was in the lead for a long time on 37 seconds, but Holly Smith from Great Britain rode like a demon to win by a short margin in 36.76 seconds.
In a second FEI 3 star CSI held in Riesenbeck in Germany, Denis Lynch took the honours from 52 starters. The class was a one round class, so speed was of the essence as quite simply the fastest around the one and only round in the fewest number of faults was the winner. Denis Lynch from Ireland riding GC Chopin’s Bushi went clear in a time of 64.02 seconds a good second ahead of Maurice Tebbel from Germany in second. There were 15 clears.
One of the few remaining World Cup Qualifiers still going ahead in Leipzig in Germany have announce a postponement of the event from the weekend of the 14th January to 18th to 21st March.
The FEI have declared that from January 1st 2021, competitors cannot wear the old type top hat in competitions. They will now have to wear a recognised helmet. Some of the older riders, including world number 1 and 2 Isabel Werth have considerable disquiet about the new ruling as they have always been seen on stage wearing the traditional top hat. Other younger riders, for example Charlotte Dujardin have always worn the helmet. While it is understood that safety of riders must be paramount, the demise of the top hat is a sad day for the traditional dressage enthusiast. There have been no FEI competitions over the past week.
In Los Angeles California, the International Dressage event has been cancelled for a second year. The event was due to be held from April 29th to May 2nd next year. With Covid cases rising in the USA by a record number each day at present, the organisers felt they had no choice but to make an early announcement now.
Alarm was raised last week as the negotiations for a trade deal between the UK and Europe appeared to reach an impasse. Whatever the outcome of the ongoing talks, which may still reach some agreement, moving horses to any country between the Europe block and the UK will change on January 1st. As of now, movement of horses between the two have been relatively easy; turn up at the port with the horse and its passport, get on the ferry and go. From January 1st however, the horse will have to have been in the UK continually for 40 days, need veterinary certificates regarding health and for geldings, a negative EVA certificate. Until the conclusion of talks between the two blocks, final rules will not be known, but moving horses for breeding, competition and racing is certainly going to be more expensive and need considerably more planning. The BEF are advising everyone not to move horses during January and February to allow for the new system to be ratified whatever it may end up being. Not such a bad thing really, as all the major events until March have been cancelled across Europe anyway!