Out with the Old and Into 2020.Happy New Year

The first weekend of the New Year and decade was another expectedly quiet one as the celebrations start drawing to a close, but the last FEI sponsored event of 2019 took place in the UK featuring the final CSI 4 star event in Liverpool.; and the first of 2020 was a World Cup qualifier for the Arab region, a 4 star showjumping event in Abu Dhabi. Both great events for the Irish Showjumpers

Billy Twomey makes it a hat trick in Liverpool

This was the final show for 2019 running for 4 days with the final Grand Prix taking place on December 31st sponsored by TheraPlate. There were 31starters in this finale, mainly from Great Britain, or foreign riders based in the UK to tackle the Alan Wade built course. Billy Twomey from Ireland, continued his success at this show by winning the class for the third year running. He was riding the 10 year old Kimba Flamenco and had a double clear and took a mere 40.93 seconds to complete the jump off. The top eight, regardless of faults went in the jump off and faults from the first round, if necessary, were carried forward. There were six clears in the first round. Billy Twomey was one of only two riders to get a double clear.  Jack Whitaker took second place with a second double clear in the jump off riding Elucar VE in 42.87 seconds. Although Holly Smith, riding Hearts Destiny collected 4 faults in round one, she was third with a clear in the jump off in 39.61 seconds.

Martin Fuchs Does it at last

Martin Fuchs

Top Swiss riders swap positions in the world rankings for show jumping as the first FEI world ranking positions of the decade were announced. Martin Fuchs, finally brought the year long reign of his Swiss rival Steve Guerdat to an end after quietly eroding Guerdat’s lead over the past few months. The other rankings remained unchanged with Isabell Werth heading the dressage rankings and Oliver Townend heading the eventing.

Shane Breen has Great New Year in Abu Dhabi

This was the only World Cup qualifier with the distinction of being the first FEI competition of the decade. The 4 star Grand Prix was designed by Frank Rothenberger from Germany and he set a 12 fence 15 jumping effort course. There were 35 runners from a surprising 12 different nations, several Europeans as well as those from Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The winner was Irishman Shane Breen riding a 12 year old stallion Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker. He was one of only 3 clears in the first round, with all three getting further clears in the jump off. Shane won on the clock, just ahead of Austrian rider Gerfried Puck in 45.23 seconds. Gerfried Puck was riding Bingo du Parc and took 45.90 seconds to complete his second clear. The third spot was taken by Osama Al Zabibi from Syria riding Flash Gordon, a 15 year old Westphalian gelding.

Legend Stallion Blue Hors Don Schufro dies

We were sorry to hear that Don Schufro died this week of natural causes. He was the successful Danish stallion in competition, but more importantly he is the sire of 43 current Grand Prix horses. He was 27 years old. Currently, among top riders to have off spring sired by Don Schufro is Isabell Werth who has several daughters in competition.

German Dressage Team Trainer Not Happy

German Dressage team trainer Monica Theodorescu speaking to Dressursport Deutchsland this week revealed her thoughts on the new Grand Prix short test first competed for at the recent Olympia World Cup qualifier meeting in London. In the main, she felt that the new test was “acceptable but not for the welfare of the horse” Her concerns are that each movement the horse has to complete came far too quickly, and the horse could not have the time to settle after a transition before it had to do another. She expressed that the new test would cause considerable more stress for the horse. She did admit, that this test was an improvement on the last short Grand Prix tried, but wondered whether this test was simply making changes for the sake of change rather than for the benefit of the sport.

Thoroughbred foals start to arrive

As 2020 arrives, so do the latest thoroughbred foals, one of the first to arrive, in Kentucky, a filly by USA triple crown winner Justify, the stallion’s first off spring.

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