Stuttgart and Adelaide have Weekend Five Stars
As the first snows arrive and flooding seems rife throughout Europe, never mind the fires burning out of control in Australia, the equine world continues. Firstly, Stuttgart in Germany provided the venue for the fifth European World Cup series and in Australia the final five star FEI eventing competition of the year took place.
Stuttgart German Round of the World Cup.
The fifth round of the FEI World Cup took place at Stuttgart over the weekend. As usual, the dressage Grand Prix started things off, and there were only 16 starters. While this was a good quality select field, it was surprising there were not more in the running, particularly as this was the German qualifier with all their wealth of excellent riders in the sport. However, in the Grand Prix, the first six places were occupied by the six Germans competing. Isobel Werth riding Weihegold, was the winner (another Grand Prix horse in her string) with Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl riding TSF Dalera BB in second and Dorothee Schneider on Sammy Davis Jr in third. In the Grand Prix Freestyle, the judges were in agreement that the usual crisp accurate artistic performance from Isabel Werth was not quite there and therefore her German rival Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl was awarded the top spot with 88.440%. Isabel Werth second with 87.240%. In third place was another German, Helen Langehanenberg riding Damsey FRH 83.725%. Judy Reynolds, from Ireland produced another eye-catching performance being the best non German in both Grand Prix line ups. She was riding Vancouver K.
In the showjumping with the highest jump allowed on course of 1.85m, there was another exciting competition. Thirty nine starters from the major showjumping nations of Europe took on the 16 jump course designed by Christa Jung from Germany and Louis Konickx from The Netherlands. There were only four combinations to jump double clears with a further six jumping clears in the first round to qualify for the jump off. The winner was Pieter Devos riding Apart from Belgium taking 45.35 seconds to complete the jump off round with Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat taking second on Venard de Cerisy in 45.87 seconds. Scott Brash from Great Britain was third riding Hello Senator in 46.07 seconds with another Swiss, Pius Schwizer being the only other double clear combination in fourth. The best of the German’s was Philipp Weishaupt who rode a clear in round one but just tipped a pole off in the jump off, but had the fastest round with 43.63 seconds. He ended in fifth place.
Australia Final FEI 5 star 3 day event for the year
There were only 20 starters in this final 5 star event held in Adelaide in Australia, and all were from either Australia or New Zealand. The senior judge was Susan Baxter from Great Britain. At the end of the dressage day, Emma Bishop from New South Wales was in the lead with 30.30 penalties with her fellow countryman Hazel Shannon in second with 30.70. In the cross country, 19 of the 20 dressage starters went over the Mike Etherington Smith designed course. Dressage leader Emma Bishop was sadly eliminated in the cross country and so on a final score after her cross country, Hazel Shannon riding Willingapark Clifford took the lead with 30.70 penalties, her original dressage score. In second came Amanda Pottinger riding Just Kidding moving up from 7th in the dressage. These two were the only two to get round without having any further penalties added to their scores. In third after the cross country was Diane Gilder riding Your Attorney. Amanda and Diane, both from New Zealand finished the second part of this competition on 34.10 and 38.60 respectively. In the final part, the show jumping, 14 of the original riders jumped. None of them managed a clear round which made for a tense finish to the event. The overnight third, Diane Gilder ended up with 16 faults and finished in sixth place, Hamish Cargil came from 12th to 5th place finishing on 54.95 points, just 05 ahead of Diane. In fourth was Amanda Pottinger from New Zealand riding Jusr Kidding on 48.10 with Laura Brown going into third on Sky’s Da Limit with 47.40. In second was fellow Australian Stuart Tinney riding Leporis with 54.90 penalties. He rose from 8th after the cross country. Finally Hazel Shannon collected 8 faults in the show jumping, but managed to retain her lead finishing with a total of 38.70 penalties riding Willingapark Clifford riding for Australia.
Cartier Daily Telegraph Racing Awards
Pat Smullen, the brilliant Irish jockey, winner of the Irish jockey’s championships no less than nine times had his achievements recognized at the Cartier Awards ceremony in London last week with the Award of Merit. Pat retired from racing earlier this year after he was sadly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has won many of the top races in Ireland and England including several classic races on both sides of the Irish Sea, including the Epsom Derby on Hazzard in 2016. Since his diagnosis, Pat has raised millions of pounds for cancer research and relief. Pat said “I’ve been so fortunate all through my life to have done something that I truly loved,”
At the same awards, Enable once again won the horse of the year award. Too Darn Hot won the three year old horse of the year and Pinatubo, the new wonder horse and favourite for next year’s classics won the two year old trophy.
USA to ban Metroxyprogesterone in competition
The USA, whose various equine authorities have recently been looking into the allowed drugs for use during competition have agreed that Metroxyprogesterone, a hormone replacement drug, will be banned in competition horses from December 1st. This brings them into line with the FEI regulations. The drug has been used for mares to help control their cycle as well as geldings with more stallion tendencies than are desired shall we say? The Panel in the USA declared after three years of deliberation and research that the drug does not necessarily control the oestrus cycle of a mare as originally claimed. It may help in certain cases, but in many other cases there is evidence that the drug does more harm than good.