Louise Saywell – British National Showjumping Champion 2020
At last sport horse competition is gathering momentum. In the UK the last week, and it’s still continuing, British Showjumping have been staging their annual but greatly enlarged National Championships. In dressage, there have been a handful of FEI 3 star CDIs. Racing has quietened down a touch with fewer major races throughout the world.
The British Showjumping National Championships has been re-organised and for the first time has been held at the beautiful International Bolesworth Arena. The show started on August3rd and is set to continue until tomorrow, August 11th. There have been several additions to the normal schedule as several of the championship classes from the abandoned April Spring Championships have also now been run. We will be commenting further on this show after it has finished. However, the British National Champion has been decided and congratulations go to Louise Saywell riding PLS Halo Diamond who had two clears and was the fastest in the jump off beating Holly Smith who had three in the seventeen clears from 68starters.
The FEI World Cup in Sacramento, due in September has been cancelled and so sadly has the European Nations Cup for 2020. Meanwhile a CSI 3 star was held in Traverse City in the USA and Opglabbeek in Belgium, both countries with worryingly high covid cases at present. The Grand Prix in Sacramento was won by Alex Granato riding Carchen W from the USA with Daniel Bluman from Israel coming second. In Opglabbeek, the winner of the Grand Prix was Marc Delasser from France riding the ten year old gelding Arioto du Grevres with fellow Frenchman Edward Levy coming second riding Uno de Cerisy. Peter Clemens from Belgium was the only other rider from the 53 starters to get double clears and he came third. Finally, we wish the speedy recovery of Laura Kraut, who rides for the USA but resides in the UK after a nasty fall earlier last week while competing at a summer show in the Netherlands.
The European Children and Junior Games in Hungary have got underway, but the Spanish Team were turned back at the boarder and sent home, so did not compete. The games, which run from August 8th for a week saw the first competition for Juniors, taken by German rider Clara Paschertz on 83.869%. There were a massive 45 starters. In Spain at Segovia, The CDI 3 star Grand Prix was won by Jose Garcia Mene for Spain riding Sorento. He also won the Grand Prix Kur, but on a different horse, Cuba Libra. The class was attended by only Spanish and Portuguese combinations.
The well-known Dressage at Hickstead, which has run since 1993 is to cease being a venue. The European Championships of 2003 was staged at the venue and was the only venue in the UK to stage a five star dressage FEI competitions. Dane Rawlins who has run all the events at Hickstead Dressage independently from the show jumping since its inception said that he could no longer afford to run the events there with both the long term effect of Covid 19 and the sad loss of the biggest benefactor for the events, Dr Bechtolsheimer, who ied suddenly earlier this year.
There were five Group 1 races contested this weekend – three in the USA in Saratoga and one in France and Ireland a piece. In Ireland, one of the top two ear old races was run over 6 furlongs – The Phoenix Stakes. It was won by Lucky Vega ridden by Shane Foley and trained by Jessica Harrington. The race endured a stewards inquiry after which the horse who came second, Aloha Star was disqualified and demoted to third with The Lir Jet promoted to second. In Deauville, France, the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest for six furlongs was won by Charlie Appleby trained Space Blues with William Buick in the saddle. Recent Royal Ascot winner, Hello Youmzain was second. There were 11 runners. Barclay Tagg provided the winner for the main Group 1 in Saratoga, the Runhappy Travers Stakes over 1 mile 2 furlongs on the dirt with Tiz The Law with Manuel Franco riding. Both of the other two Group 1’s at Saratoga were over seven furlongs and were both run on the dirt. The winner of the Ballerina Stakes was Serengeti Express and the Longines Test Stakes was taken by Gamine trained by Bob Baffert.