Hollie Doyle, Matt Sampson and Felix Vogg All on Fine Form Over Weekend

After the excitement of the Royal Meeting last week, there were other international sport horse events of note in Luhmuhlen for the eventers, and at Stockholm and Spruce Meadows for show jumping. At Chantilly, in France, Hollie Doyle rode the winner of the Prix de Diane the French Oaks, her first classic success.

In Luhmuhlen in Germany, the crowds were back to witness the 5 star eventing festival, one of only a few 5 star horse trial events in the world. The turnout for this was very disappointing with only 36 starters for the dressage, the first phase of competition. The first day saw the first 15 complete their dressage with Tom McEwen riding Braveheart B as the trail blazer who ended with 31.6 penalties. The top of the leader board was fellow British rider Bubby Upton riding Cannavaro with 24.9. Lauran Nicholson riding Vermiculus for the United States was in second on 26.7 and third was Lea Seigl from Austria riding Cupido P on 30.8. The second day saw the final 21 riders at the end of which the top two from the first day maintained their leader board status. The third place after the dressage was Tim Price for New Zealand riding Vitali with 27.1 penalties and in fourth was Switzerland’s Felix Vogg riding Colero with 29.0. In the cross country, three of the riders retired and a further eight were eliminated with Michael Ryan withdrawing TR Kaygraff before the phase began.

The cross country day ended with dramatic changes to the leader board going into the final day’ showjumping phase. Swiss rider Felix Vogg took the lead with no further penalties to add to his dressage of 29.0. Bubby Upton was eliminated after failing to ride fence 16a. Lauran Nicholson slipped to seventh place after collecting 11.13 penalties taking her total to 31.9. Tim Price took over the second place after getting just 2 time penalties taking him to 29.1 and Oliver Townend was third on 29.6 riding Dreamliner for Great Britain.

Birthday Boy Felix Vogg wins at Luhmuhlen for Switerland

In the showjumping, Felix Vogg ended on his dressage score of 29.0 points to win the competition outright. Tm Price dropped down after knocking two down and getting a time fault, ending up in ninth place. Oliver Townened also had two poles down and so dropped to eighth. Britain’s Kirsty Chabert riding Classic VI rode a clear showjumping round which put in second place behind Vogg on 31,1 penalties. Finishing on 32.0 and jumping from sixth place after the cross country was Jonelle Price riding Faerie Dianimo ending in third. Lauran Nicholson went back up to fourth position. It was a very tight and exciting showjumping phase with many would think ended with a surprising winner. It was the first 5 star event that Filex Vogg won and furthermore, it was his birthday. What a great birthday present!  It was disappointing however, that some more of the usual candidates at 5 star level were not present at this year’s Luhmuhlen event.


Christian Ahlmann wins the Grand Prix in Stockholm

In Stockholm, the Longines Global Champions Tour continued worth 334,000 euros for the Grand Prix. Thirty five started for this prize pot for the Uliana Vezzani designed course of the 16 jumping efforts required in a time allowed of 80 seconds. There were riders for eleven nations with a strong contingent from Sweden as one would expect. The first round ended in clears for only six riders. The top four all had very tight times in a pulsating jump off. The fourth place was secured by Ben Maher riding his Explosion W ending with a double clear and a time of 37.16 seconds. In third, also with a clear double round was Germany’s Marcus Ehning riding Stargold in 35.87 seconds. With just 700 hundredths of a second between Henrik Von Eckermann from the home nation took second place riding his gorgeous King Edward. Germany  provided the winner with again only a tiny margin of time to spare; Christian Ahlmann riding his now well-known and respected Dominator 2000, coming home in 35.69 seconds.

Matt Sampson takes his first 5 star Grand Prix

In Spruce Meadows, The Rolex Grand Prix of Canada was taken by Mathew Sampson of Great Britain riding Fabrice DN, his own horse. Conor Swail from Ireland was second with Count Me In and Erynn Ballard was third riding Gakir from Canada. There were 32 starters and only six managed a clear in the first round. In the jump off, only three of those, the top three gained double clears. Matt Sampson was the fastest on 38.93 seconds with Conor on 39.14 seconds and finally, Erynn on 42.04 seconds. Mathew has spent some time over the past few months honing his showjumping skills in the USA and Canada, and after his win, his first at 5 star Grand Prix level, a very emotional Matt said “It’s my first 5* Grand Prix win and for it to be at Spruce Meadows – it’s a dream come true.” I grew up watching the greats (Michael Whitaker, John Whitaker and Nick Skelton) compete here, it’s what I worked for.” The course was set by Anthony D’Ambrosio, a tricky course with a time allowed of just 81 seconds, which for many proved too quick to complete in time.


Hollie Doyle – wins her first ever classic Image courtesy Racing Post

We may have seen enough of racing on this blog in the past week, but mention has to go to Hollie Doyle riding Nashwa for John and Thady Gosden in Paris on Sunday. Hollie was riding on the Prix de Diane, the French Oaks and Hollie won the 17 runner contest by 4 ½ lengths in scintillating style. It was her first classic winner. She is the first female ever to win a classic race in France. Our congratulations.

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