While most equestrian competition has been decimated this year, a new competition in the UK finished yesterday – The Nexgen Young Horse series which has been open to young horses of four, five and six years old for dressage, showjumping and eventing. There have been nine qualifying rounds around the UK with the final at The All England Jumping site at Hickstead this week. Four people initiated this competition, eventer Rachel Wakefield, Victoria Wright and another event rider Julia Dungworth and German dressage rider Martin Schleicher. Martin was keen to replicate, so far as possible, the German Bundeschampionat which emphasises the importance for the breeding and actual sport in that country. The dressage and eventing sections were sponsored by Elite Stallions and the showjumping section by Coldstream. Every class was open to stallions, mares and geldings for their appropriate age group.
At Hickstead, the dressage young horses strutted their stuff and in total there were sixty four horses forward for the three classes available. They were all judged by Emile Faurie and Richard Baldwin.
In the four year old section, there were 24 horses forward. Elle Darling riding Lestingdale, a black stallion by Glamourdale took the winning ticket with a total of 7.96 points. The judges were particularly impressed with his canter phase, giving him 8.8 for that section.
Jezz Palmer took the five year old class which had 19 starters. He rode King, a black KWPN stallion by Governor, winning with 8.48 points. Jezz also took the second place in the 4 year olds.
In the six year olds there was only 1 stallion forward, but there were another 19 either mares or geldings to complete the class. The winner was Jaguar 1 ridden by Sadie Smith, a gelding by Lord Leatherdale. It was a close contest with the winner getting 8.28 points. The class also required the riders to perform flying changes both ways as well as the usual walk, trot and canter. In second was Darren Hicks riding a Hanoverian gelding Woodcroft Django Mon Ami, finishing on a total mark of 8.24.
The Eventing young horse section saw large entry of 97 competing. These classes were judged by Nick Burton and Tina Cook. Each horse had to do a short piece of flat work – dressage simple steps followed by immediately going on to jump 8 show jumps before leaving that arena to go straight into the one next door where they had to jump a further eight cross country type jumps, including a small water feature and steps together with a variety of roll top fences.
In the four year old class, there were 31 forward. The winner was a British warmblood registered gelding Cathmor Fusion ridden by Virginia Turnbull. She won with a total of 82.5 points. Cathmor Fusion was by Cathmor Florian out of a Kelvin mare.
The five year old class saw 37 coming forward. The winner was JP Sheffield riding Special K, a grey gelding by Up To Date out of a Astrello mare with a final score of 88.0. The second, but only by merit that the gelding got a lower individual score in the showjumping section, was Kadans ridden by Vicky Tuffs, also finishing on a final score of 88.0. This is a KWPN horse by Emir R. Vicky also took third with another KWPN horse, a mare by Connect with a final score of 84.5.
The final class for the eventers was the six year old Young Horse class. There were 23 forward for the judge’s appraisal. The winner was Eliza Stoddart riding her own gelding Codebreaker scoring well throughout ending on 89.5 from the two judges. The bay gelding was by Cody out of a Don Rico mare. In second was Laura Collett on Outback 11 and third, Gemma Tattersall riding Johan Some, both horses, geldings.
In the showjumping sections, the two judges were Andrew Saywell and Stuart Harvey, As well as the 4,5 and 6 year olds, an extra class for 7 year olds was also available. Each horse was required to make 14 jumping efforts with no extra flatwork, but they were also marked on ease of going, jumping ability and rideability.
In the first of the classes for four year olds, Lottie Tutt to the honours riding Billy Mafusa, a mare by Billy Mexico out of a Billy Congo mare registered with the AES stud book. She ended up with 49.5 points. In second was another mare, this time a KWPN bred horse ridden by Charlotte Foreman – Ladoselli with 48.7 points. There were 19 starters.
The five year olds had to jump to rounds in which the riders were scored on both. The second and final had round had 11 starters with Jessica Hewitt taking the top spot with a final score of 105.6. She was riding Diatender TW, a gelding by Nintender out of a Diarado mare. Eight of those forward jumped clear.
The six year old final saw 23 coming forward. This was a normal jump off round, again with marks for style etc. The winner was Nicola Pavitt riding Es Coco Kan, a mare by Kannan out of an Acrobat mare. She achieved two clear rounds in the fastest time There were 38 starters with 10 others who also went double clear but in slower times. Laura Renwick was second riding Cottee with Abbe Burchmore Eames in third.
The final class for the seven year olds attracted 13 participants of which only 4 went clear in the first round. The class was run on the same lines as the six year old class. Philip Miller won riding The Brendon Stud’s Klaris Yee Haa, a mare by Don VHP out of a Caretino Glory. The time didn’t matter as she was the only one in the class with two clear rounds. Alex Bishop was second with 4 faults riding Thomascourt Emirates and third was Shane Breen riding Ivan with 8 faults, both geldings.
This new young horse series was deemed a great success and it is planned to be run again in 2021.
The editor Bernard Simpson has been involved with horses and the industry for over 40 years. Together with his wife, he bred many flat racehorses including some which were Royal Ascot winners. He is also experienced in equine media using video, photography and journalism. Bernard currently lives in Wiltshire. He and guest authors now present this blog and hope you like our articles.
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