The long list of horses and riders for the Young Rider squad who will represent Great Britain at the 2017 FEI Young Rider European Championships in Millstreet, Ireland, (19th – 23rd July 2017) have been announced.
The combinations, in alphabetical order, are as follows:
Lizzie Baugh, 19 from Nottinghamshire, and her own nine year old gelding Quarry Man
Tintin Belsham, 21 from Oxfordshire, on her own 11 year old gelding Riverside Vision
Katie Bleloch, 20 from Warwickshire, with her own 11 year old gelding Bulano
Felicity Collins, 19 from East Sussex, and Ms Vicky Collins, Mrs Avrina Milton’s eight year old gelding RSH Contend Or
Taggy Forester-Bennet, 20 from Devon, on her own 17 year old mare Bonza Moorabinda
Kristina Hall-Jackson, 20 from West Yorkshire, with her own nine year old gelding Slaney Cruise
Emily King, 21 from Devon, and Jane Del Missier’s 13 year old mare Walitze f Vejgard
Chelsea Pearce, 18 from Wiltshire, with her own 12 year old gelding Albert VI
Francesca Sargent, 19 from Warwickshire, on Mrs Maggie Sargent’s 10 year old gelding Nankin W
Libby Seed, 19 from Wiltshire, with Carolyn Bate’s 11 year old stallion Philanderer II
James Stocker, 19 from Wiltshire, and his own 10 year old gelding Rudy Valentino
Ella Woodhead, 21 Staffordshire, on her own 16 year old Westwood Mariner
From the long list six combinations will be selected to compete for Great Britain in Ireland later this year, but please note that this is a living list and horses and riders may be added or removed in the build up to squad selection later this year.
Funding and Support
British Eventing are grateful to the Horse Trials Support Group (HTSG) for their unerring support and fundraising efforts for the youth eventing teams.
As part of the British Eventing Commercial Strategy to bring the sport to a wider audience, BETV, the online video channel from British Eventing and publishers Archant Dialogue, will be presenting free to view cross country livestream feed from this year’s Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials (8 – 11 June 2017).
The livestream from this popular Yorkshire event airs on Saturday 10 June from 9:20 am on BETV (www.britisheventing.tv) and will show live cross country footage throughout the day from all three cross country sections of the event. The feature Equi-Trek CCI3* kicks off the cross country action over Ian Stark’s challenge which is then followed by the stars of the future in the Bishop Burton College under 25 CCI3*. The day rounds off with the British Equestrian Trade Association CIC3* where the winner will be crowned as the final rider passes through the finish.
Presented by Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes, the stream will also feature live scoring and include expert commentary from event rider and equestrian journalist Ellie Kelly as well as experienced international eventer and commentator, Angus Smales.
How to watch
The stream is available for anyone to watch, whether in the UK or overseas, BE member or eventing fan free of charge. The livestream will be available from 09:20 am via www.britisheventing.tvthroughout the day.
If you can’t watch live or want to see an amazing round once more, a ‘watch again’ service of the cross country rounds also be available on BETV soon after the day’s action has finished.
A highlights show from the Equi-Trek CCI3* feature class at Bramham will premiere on the Horse & Country TV Network on Saturday 17 June at 8pm (GMT) in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Australia.
Head to Bramham
If you’ve never been to Bramham in person and Saturday’s livestream whets your appetite to head to the event on Sunday (11 June), find out more at www.bramham-horse.co.uk – here you can also find full information regarding the event’s entertainment and tradestand listings.
Discounted pre-event tickets are available via the online box office by midnight 4 June. After that, cash ticket and parking sales will be available on the entry gate.
David O’Connor has stepped down from the position of U.S. Eventing Technical Advisor to focus on advancing safety and global risk management in eventing, US Equestrian has just announced.
David commented: “It was a very difficult decision for me to step away from this group of riders, owners, support personnel, and sponsors, but the structural changes made with the newly created technical advisor position don’t allow me to do what I felt has always been my mainstay. That is, helping to drive the necessary changes for eventing that are in the best interests of the athlete, horse, and owner.
“I have lived by these constructs through my time as a competitor, through to my current role as Technical Advisor and they will continue to guide me going forward. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served such a dedicated and focused group and will remain committed to assist all of the devoted stakeholders through this time of transition as our riders prepare for WEG 2018.”
Murray Kessler, president of US Equestrian, added: “Over many years, David has been a leader for US Equestrian as a whole and for eventing in particular. We reluctantly accept David’s resignation and support his desire to focus on chairing the Fédération Equestre International (FEI) Risk Management committee to help design programs that mitigate risk for the sport and promote horse welfare.
“It is reassuring to know that David will remain a leader in our sport, continue to provide input to our programs and that our mutual interests will remain intertwined. We thank him for everything he has done.”
David plans to continue working as a personal trainer to U.S. eventing riders and will continue to chair the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group.
US Equestrian confirmed that “detailed discussions will take place immediately” to find a replacement Chef d’Equipe for Team USA ahead of the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games.
Michael Jung (GER) and Sam secure second, and now lead the FEI Classics™ standings, with Tim Price (NZL) and Xavier Faer moving up to take third
Fellow competitors erupted in spontaneous cheering as the brilliant New Zealand horseman Andrew Nicholson, 55, at last won the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics™ after a record 37 attempts over 33 years.
"Of course I knew I would win Badminton one day – I just didn’t know when!"
Andrew Nicholson (NZL)
It was a jumping finale full of surprises as Nicholson, third after cross-country, pulled off a stunning clear round on the 17-year-old Nereo to leave the two German Olympians ahead of him – Michael Jung and overnight leader Ingrid Klimke – no room for manoeuvre.
Jung’s La Biosthetique Sam, also a veteran 17-year-old, hit the back rail of the sixth fence, so the defending champion had to settle for the runner-up spot, but he now leads the FEI Classics™ series leaderboard. Then, to gasps from the fascinated crowd, Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob hit the same fence and Klimke’s problems were compounded with a refusal at the treble, which dropped her to ninth.
"I’m a bit unhappy about the mistake and it was, for sure, my mistake, but Sam has been superb all weekend."
Michael Jung (GER)
New Zealanders Tim Price (Xavier Faer) and Sir Mark Todd with both his horses, NZB Campino and Leonidas ll, capitalised on clear jumping rounds and moved up to third, fourth and sixth.
There was a new British name in fifth place, 31-year-old Rosalind Canter, who had a superb Badminton debut on Allstar B. Gemma Tattersall (GBR) was delighted to jump clear for sixth place on Arctic Soul and Kristina Cook was at her vintage best in 10th place on Billy the Red.
Completing the international flavour was Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa, whose long-term aim of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will have been enhanced by eighth place on The Duke of Cavan, a horse that was sourced by Uptown Eventing.
A total of 46 completed the competition with 20 clear jumping rounds. There was disappointment for the British when Alexander Bragg’s Zagreb, eighth after a great cross-country, was withdrawn from the holding box at the final horse inspection.
Nicholson first rode at Badminton in 1984; he has since completed more times than any other rider, and has finished second, on Lord Killinghurst in 2004, and third, on Libby Sellar’s Spanish-bred chestnut gelding Nereo in 2013. He was in the lead on Nereo in 2015, but it all went wrong in the final phase.
His win is even more of a fairytale considering he broke his neck in a fall 18 months ago – the prospect of competing Avebury, his three-time Burghley winner, and Nereo was, he says, a strong motivation during his recovery.
"I’ve been in all sorts of places at Badminton and not won, so it has been hard, but I am lucky that I’ve been able to keep the dream alive and keep coming back."
Andrew Nicholson (NZL)
Nicholson’s spectacular victory puts him into third place in the FEI Classics™, behind Pau winner Maxime Livio (FRA) and last year’s series champion Jung, who leads going into his home 4* at Luhmühlen next month.
Michael Jung (GER) and Sam move up to second ahead of Andrew Nicholson (NZL) and Nereo with just 0.8 between the top three
German Olympic rider Ingrid Klimke rode an exhilarating cross country round on Horseware Hale Bob at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics™, and holds a slim 0.4 penalty lead over defending champions Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam who were outstanding to finish on their dressage score at the end of a thrilling day’s 4* competition.
"I walked the course with Andrew [Nicholson] and I watched Michi [Jung] and I hoped to do as well as them. It was a difficult course - there certainly wasn’t time to wave to the crowd – but Bobby was so full of himself and was pure pleasure to ride."
Ingrid Klimke (GER)
Brilliant Kiwi rider Andrew Nicholson, who was last on course on Nereo, brought the day to a nail-biting climax and is now in third place, just 0.8 behind Klimke.
New course-designer Eric Winter’s track proved as influential as anticipated. Dressage leader Christopher Burton (AUS) on Graf Liberty had a surprising refusal at the third log element of the Hildon Water Pond (fence 15) and third-placed Irishman Jonty Evans (Cooley Rorkes Drift) was going brilliantly when he had a disappointing run-out at the second corner at fence 21.
"Sport’s all about confidence and I’m going to try and take some confidence from it. We made one little mistake, which was my fault, but we’re going home to reboot and aim for the Europeans."
Jonty Evans (IRL), Fourth-placed Belgian rider Karin Donckers (Fletcha Van ‘T Verahof) and eighth-placed Bettina Hoy from Germany (Designer 10) both retired after refusals and, under the new FEI rule, Sam Griffiths (AUS), 11th on Paulank Brockagh was awarded 50 penalties for missing a flag.
There were 32 clear rounds and 49 finishers from the 81 starters. Only two were inside the time of 11 minutes 34 seconds: Jung and New Zealander Tim Price, who has leapt 30 places to fourth on Xavier Faer. Sir Mark Todd (NZL) has two horses inside the top 10, NZB Campino, fifth, and Leonidas, ninth.
‘You couldn’t be casual and lollop along. Perhaps it’s my age, but I don’t think I’ve ever concentrated so hard!’
Andrew Nicholson (NZL)
The home crowd had little to cheer about after the dressage, but strong clears by British first-timers Ros Canter (Allstar B) and farrier Alexander Bragg (Zagreb) have moved them up significantly to sixth and eighth places; Oliver Townend shot up from 47th to sixth on ODT Ghareeb and Gemma Tattersall from 67th to 12th on the ex-racehorse Arctic Soul.
Tomorrow’s jumping phase promises to be an absolute thriller with 0.8 of a penalty separating three greats in the sport. The action starts at 11.30am local time.
BY KATE GREEN
Ingrid Klimke (GER) and Horseware Hale Bob close second ahead of Jonty Evans (IRL) and Cooley Rorkes Drift in third
Australia’s Christopher Burton produced a typically elegant display to lead the dressage phase at the 4* Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics™, with the outstanding mark of 32.9 on the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse Graf Liberty.
The only riders to have bettered Burton’s score in Badminton’s 68-year history are fellow Aussie Andrew Hoy with Darien Powers in 2000 and Britain’s Pippa Funnell on Supreme Rock in 2002.
"I’m so proud of my horse. I can’t believe it. I deliberately didn’t push him too much at the start of the week – I didn’t even get on the horse until Wednesday afternoon – as I have been known to overdo it on him before, but he worked in better and better and to come out of the arena with a 32.9 is fantastic. I’m so happy."
Christopher Burton (AUS)
‘Burto’, winner of Burghley and an Olympic team bronze medallist last year, leads the 2015 runners-up Ingrid Klimke (GER) on Horseware Hale Bob by 3.5 penalties.
"There was so much atmosphere but as soon as we went into the arena, he felt safe. He is such a sweet horse. I’m looking forward to the cross-country – it’s a mix of big bold fences and accuracy tests and you have to concentrate, but I have ridden some difficult courses in my time and I feel my horse is in good shape."
Ingrid Klimke (GER)
Irishman Jonty Evans, back at Badminton for the first time in 10 years, broke down in tears on hearing his mark of 37.2, which puts him in third place, and pointed emphatically to Cooley Rorkes Drift, the horse that took him to ninth place at the Rio Olympics last year. The last Irish rider to win Badminton was Eddie Boylan (Durlas Eile) in 1965 and the last top-three finisher was Jessica Harrington, who was third with Amoy in 1983.
"He is my horse of a lifetime. We have trained so hard and I've wanted to get under 40 for so long. It's unbelievable, very special. I'd like to think the cross country will suit my horse – he doesn’t look big because I’m so lanky, but he’s got a long stride.Finishing on my dressage score is the aim!"
Jonty Evans (IRL)
Belgium’s Karin Donckers (Fletcha Van ‘T De Verahof, 37.3), the USA’s Lauren Kieffer (Veronica, 38.0) and New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson (Nereo, 38.0), who has completed Badminton more times than any other rider (35), have now overtaken first-day leader Thibaut Vallette (FRA) and are in fourth and equal fifth. Defending champion Michael Jung (GER) is now ninth on La Biosthetique Sam but cannot be ruled out.
Riders are looking forward to tomorrow’s cross country course, variously described as ‘massive’, ‘imposing’ and ‘needing total concentration’ with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Britain’s Izzy Taylor sums it up: ‘Eric [Winter, designer] has handed the responsibility to the rider, which is the right direction. I think we’ll be looking at some different results tomorrow.”
Cross country starts tomorrow from 11:30 am local time.
image; Jon Stroud
Germany’s Bettina Hoy and Designer 10 a close second ahead of defending champions Michael Jung and Sam
Thibaut Vallette, 43, a member of France’s victorious Olympic team in Rio last year and an instructor at the legendary Cadre Noir in Saumur, has made a brilliant debut at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, fourth leg of the FEI Classics™. He leads the scoreboard after the first day of dressage at the 4* event on the 13-year-old Qing du Briot ENE HN, his only ride at this level, on a mark of 38.7, with the second half of the field competing tomorrow.
‘I didn’t expect to do this well, so I am very happy. Coming here is a dream for any eventer. This is the best dressage test the horse has done this year, as we had some difficulties after Rio - the experience made him very tense. But it’s not going to be a dressage competition!’
Thibaut Vallette (FRA)
The next four placed riders have years of experience and four-star wins under their belt. Veteran German team member Bettina Hoy, who is now the Dutch team trainer, was thrilled to be just 0.5 of a penalty behind in second place on her only top horse, Designer 10.
Defending champion Michael Jung, fresh from victory in Kentucky last weekend and currently second on the FEI Classics™ series leaderboard, admitted that he was feeling some pressure, and his test with the 17-year-old La Biosthetique Sam FBW did contain some tension, but they scored 40.0 penalties and are in third place.
However, all riders who have observed the handiwork of new course-designer Eric Winter agree that it will not be a dressage competition. There are only five combinations on the track, but there are plenty of old-fashioned big fences and some difficult lines designed to slow riders and test the strength of their partnerships with their horses.
‘I am happy my horse is full of energy as that will be good for the cross-country and he is brilliant at that. The conditions are perfect and I’m feeling motivated and looking forward to it.’
Michael Jung (GER)
Vallette’s Olympic team mate Astier Nicolas, who many people have tipped to be only the second Frenchman to win Badminton (following Nicolas Touzaint in 2008), is in close contention in fourth place with his 2015 Pau winner Piaf de Bneville on 41.5.
Four-time Badminton winner Sir Mark Todd, 61, was thrilled with the performance of the 13-year-old Leonidas ll, currently in fifth on 42.9 after a mistake in the final halt.
Tomorrow, the second half of the field of 82 riders will perform their dressage tests, with strong performances anticipated from Karin Donckers (BEL) on Fletcha Van’T Verahof, Izzy Taylor (GBR) on KBIS Briarlands Matilda, Ingrid Klimke (GER) on Horseware Hale Bob OLD, Christopher Burton (AUS) on Graf Liberty and both Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson (NZL) on their second horses.
BY KATE GREEN
Germany’s Michael Jung smashed yet another record when winning the Kentucky Three-Day Event for the third year running on the 12-year-old FischerRocana, a mare that may not have the biggest movement but certainly has the biggest heart.
Jung did have a jumping fence down, but his supremacy in the dressage and cross-country meant he could afford it and is second in the FEI Classics™ after three out of six legs behind the superbly talented Frenchman Maxime Livio (FRA), who finished runner-up at Kentucky on Qalao Des Mers with a clear jumping round.
“She is a really wonderful horse, a top fighting girl. She jumped wonderfully and was only a bit spooky at the white fence. I really like Kentucky – and not just because I win here! - but because I feel very welcome. You can train the horse for every phase and it’s why I like it and why I come back.”
Michael Jung (GER)
With one FEI Classics™ win each, and a second place each, Livio and Jung both have their sights firmly on the 2016/17 series title. However only Jung is competing at Badminton next weekend, fourth leg of the series, which could be his opportunity to step up to top the leaderboard.
Images; Rebecca Berry/FEI
Both Livio and Zara Tindall, the only British athlete in the field, finished on their dressage scores. Tindall was ecstatic with her third place after a beautiful clear round on High Kingdom and it must have laid the ghost of the disappointment two years when she had to withdraw before dressage when the horse suffered a freak injury.
Matthew Brown (USA) slipped from fourth to sixth after hitting the very first rail with BCF Super Socks, so it was the super-consistent Phillip Dutton (USA), who has now completed Kentucky an amazing 40 times, who captured yet another national title as highest placed USA rider, as he moved up to fourth with a clear round on the 18-year-old Mr Medicott, a horse having his last four-star run after an illustrious career. Hannah Sue Burnett (USA) was fifth on Under Suspection.
The Kentucky three-peat was Jung’s 10th four-star win – William Fox-Pitt holds the record with 14 – and the German Olympic champion, who is only 34, looks to be catching up with the Briton. Just hours after his triumph on American soil Jung was catching a flight to England en route to defending his title at Badminton next weekend.
A record number of spectators watched the 4* Eventing action this year at Kentucky, with 34’000 attending cross country and 24000 at the jumping finale.
By Kate Green