This is the first Horse View UK weekly equestrian news round-up. Due to popular requests, we are going to publish a short news section each week. The idea is to give our members and readers a quick round up of what we think are the main talking points of the week regarding major competitions,(which usually take place over a weekend) and other points of interest.
The FEI World Cup Meeting at Lyon in France.
Dressage: Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) returned to the international stage with Mount St John Freestyle for the first time since her disappointing elimination at the Europeans. For the first time on this mount at international level, Charlotte won a Grand Prix with 79.978%. She beat world number one Isabell Werth (GER) riding Emilio who got 77.826%. In third place was Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl (GER) from Zaire E with 76.435%. In the Grand Prix Freestyle, Isabell Werth resumed her now common first position with 87.090% with Charlotte Dujardin coming second with what she described afterwards “as a slightly tense performance” with 83.925% Germany’s Frederick Wandres riding Duke of Britain was third with 80.015%.
The other main dressage competition of the week was the international in Germany at Oldenburg – CDI 4* event. This was taken by Hubertus Schmidt winning both the Grand Prix and GP Special riding Escolar. The minor placings went to Lara Butler GBR in second place in the Grand Prix with Mattias Bouten GER coming third. In the special, second place went to Anna Balkenhol GER and third to Laura Tomlinson GBR. She was riding her new ride for the first time in an international, Rose of Bavaria.
In Lyon, 40 starters lined up for the third qualifier World Cup Grand Prix. Seven of the starters went through to the jump off with all seven getting double clears. Martin Fuchs SUI won riding Clooney 51 in 41.27 seconds with Jessica Springstein from the USA riding RMF Zecilie in 41.85 and third was Pieter Devos from Belgium riding Claire Z in 41,95 seconds.
In Lexington in USA, another qualifier for the World Cup took place with again another 40 starters. Of these eight went through to the jump off with four of them jumping double clears. The winner was Brian Maggre USA riding Vivre le Reve on 34.22 seconds. In second was Japan’s Karen Polle riding Kino and third was David Blake from Ireland riding Keoki.
The Santa Anita Breeders Cup Meeting USA
This is always a final season’s bonanza for flat racing with runners from the whole world vying for the huge prize money on offer. Santa Anita has had problems this year with horse fatalities, and following extensive work on the track it was hoped that this would be a thing of the past. Sadly, there was one fatality though. Whether this was due to the track conditions or something else is still under consideration. Although there are several Group 1 races over the two days, the main race that everyone wants to win is The Longines Breeders Cup Turf, with the winner getting 1.73 million pounds. It was won by USA trained Bricks and Mortar who was keen but held in mid division until the final furlong when he ran out strongly. He was ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr and trained by Chad Brown. Second was United, another from the USA with very fancied Aiden O’Brian Dyke Van Dyke coming third. It is unlikely that this meeting will go down as a vintage Breeders Cup Championship. There were far fewer runners from outside the USA, particularly from Europe, who often come to this meeting in their droves.
There are plenty of other races deserving a mention no doubt, but one particular feat is worthy – Joseph O’Brian who had already broken the record for the youngest jockey ever to win a Breeders Cup race now broke the record again with him being the youngest trainer ever to train a winner at the meeting. His charge Iridessa took the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf over ten furlongs. (1 ¼ miles) The horse was ridden by Wayne Lordon from Ireland.
European Eventing Season comes to a close
The European Eventing season has now come to a close. The FEI ranked top rider of the year is Oliver Townend from Great Britain with 554 points followed by Tim Price from New Zealand with 542. Third placed ranking is Christopher Burton from Australia with 515 with the only other rider with over 500 points being Piggy French, again from Great Britain with 505 points. All the top five riders are based in the UK. The top riders from the USA are in sixth and seventh position, they being Lauren Kieffer and Boyd Martin. In the UK, Piggy French has had the most publicity with her first win of the Badminton Horse Trials and also getting married!
Dung Powers the World Cup round in Helsinki.
At the recent Helsinki World Cup show in Finland, for the fifth year in a row, the power needed for the electricity required has been generated from horse dung. While the world is looking for environmental solutions to generate power, it is claimed that dung from two horses per year would be enough to power a small family home. In Helsinki, 100 tons of manure was used to provide all the necessary power. The FEI are very aware of their responsibility to be as environmentally friendly as possible for their shows and are continually looking at ways to achieve this. Perhaps this may be a good way forward?