This weekend saw two World Cup qualifiers, one for dressage from Wellington in Florida USA and the second a showjumping qualifier from Basel in Switzerland and considerable pledges for the bush fire sufferers in Australia. Last week two horses were destroyed following the confirmation of an EVA (equine flu) out break in Hampshire in the UK.
****Latest EVA Outbreak Information****
Breaking News. Published 16.00 GMT 13.1.2020. UK
Following our normal Monday publication of news this morning, we thought it wold be helpful to add a quick update on an EVA (equine flu) outbreak in Hampshire in the UK. Last week two horses were put down following confirmation of the outbreak, but today it has been reported that two further horses were destroyed following more confirmed cases. EVA is particularly worrying as it can, and often does lead to abortion of foals. Not a good thing at this time of the year when thousands of mares, both thoroughbred and sport horses are due to foal within the next three months. Several competition centres have announced that they have cancelled all shows until further notice including Crofton E.C. (where the outbreak was first confirmed) Wellington Riding near Reading, Sparsholt College in Hampshire and other centres in Surrey and Sussex.
“It feels like the end of the world” Australian plea regarding Bush Fires.
The horrendous bush fires in Australia has galvanized many of the world’s top riders to help. A fund has been set up called Equestrian Relief Fire Australia Fund, (ERFA). The idea is not only provide some financial help to the beleaguered Australian Equestrians but also plenty of moral support. Andrew Hoy said the position was desperate for many, particularly in Victoria which is why he has enlisted the help of many well know names in our sport in Europe. Many quickly responded including: Carl Hester Charlotte Dujardin, William Fox-Pitt, Ingrid Klimke, and Australian riders based in the UK, Christopher Burton and Sam Watson. This is by no means a full list as there are many others who have also contributed, and many more are adding their names to the list all the time.
Former Swiss number one back again in Basel
The showjumping event in Basel is always one of Switzerland’s top events which is attended by many of the top world and European riders and this year was no exception. The 13 obstacle course with 16 jumping efforts designed by Frank Rothenberger was attempted by 40 starters and they all had a time allowed for the first round of 72 seconds. Fifteen of the forty went clear in the first round and therefore went through to the seven jumping efforts for the jump off. Nine of those went clear again and former Swiss number one Steve Guerdat went the quickest in 31.44 seconds riding Victorio des Frotards, a Selle Francais horse. In second was Julien Epaillard from France riding Queeletta and third was Belgian rider Pieter Devos riding Apart. Newly crowned world number one, also from Switzerland, Martin Fuchs had a pole down in the first round.
Canada’s dressage riders make a clean sweep in Florida
In the dressage event, there were fifteen who started at the Wellington venue in Florida, mainly from the USA and Canada. This was the first of four world cup qualifiers to be held at Wellington between now and the final in Las Vegas in April. Canadian riders scored a clean sweep of the prizes in both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle. In first place was Jill Irvin riding her 18 year old Hanoverian gelding Degas 12 who wo the Grand Prix with 70.391% and then went on to win the freestyle with 76.060% riding to a montage of Beatles songs. In second was Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu riding All In and third was Naima Moreira Laliberte riding an Hannoverian stallion, Statesman. All three top riders are coincidentally trained by Ashley Holzer so as Brittany said afterwards, “it was a very special result, particularly as all three are great friends.”
Unexpected further rise in yearling prices in Australia
In Australia, the Gold Coast yearling sale saw a top price of 1.9 million A$ in a buoyant sale despite the horrors of the bush fires in that country. The top price was for a son of the champion deceased sire of Japan Deep Impact out of a Redoutes Choice mare. Despite predictions to the contrary, the sale as a whole was up 4.9% on 2019 and was the third consecutive year of increases. The sales circuit now moves to New Zealand next week.
Racing minds looking to the future
In racing circles, minds were rather on the future rather than the present with many well-known top studs in Ireland showing of their stallions over the weekend. This was the sixth Irish Stallion Trail organised by the ITBA. The event was once again extremely well attended much to the pleasure of all thirty studs taking part. Among those on parade was Arc winner Waldgeist as well as top stallions from the Coolmore group, like of Galileo, Churchill and new comers Magna Grecia, (Classic winner) and Ten Sovereigns, top sprinter of 2019. Another on parade was the Irish National Stud’s leading sire Invincible Spirit, who this week it was announced will be the mate for six time Group 1 winning mare Laurens, going to stud for her first time this year..