The Dutch, Irish and Belgian Studbooks came out on top at the FEI World Jumping Championships for Young Horses at Lanaken in Belgium over the weekend where, once again, up-and-coming stars of the future got their first big chance to shine.
Huge entries and tough competition were the order of the day, and enthusiastic crowds of spectators, breeders, producers and riders enjoyed the annual spectacle which has become one of the most important dates on the international jumping calendar as studbooks compare their merit and undergo scrutiny in the showring.
Ridden To Success
The 5 Year Old title went the dark bay KWPN gelding Always There which is owned by T & L Collins and who was ridden to success by Brazil's Camilla Mazza de Benedicto. Sired by Indoctro, Always There pipped the Westphalian stallion Comme Il Faut - Cornet Obolensky x Ramiro - owned by Gestut Zhaschkow which was steered into silver medal position by Germany's Franz-Josef Dahlmann. Third place and bronze in this division went to the Holstein Cortado with Denmark's Andreas Schou on board.
There was great celebration in the Irish camp when Clement McMahon rode Brian Kenny's NLS Coole Al Clover to gold in the 6 Year Old division.
This was Ireland's first-ever FEI World Young Horse Championship victory and Alison Corbally, Director of Breeding for the national governing body Horse Sport Ireland was ecstatic with the result.
“The Irish Sport Horse studbook have been waiting 18 years to win a Gold Medal at the fiercely competitive FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses at Lanaken. The Irish Sport Horse studbook was second last year (Drumiller Lough), third in 1996 (Ringcoola Abu) and fourth in 2006 (Cavalier Andy), but the long wait makes Clem McMahon’s tremendous win all the sweeter" Corbally pointed out. The stallion - Aldatus Z x Clover Hill - was bred by the owner's son, Eamon Kenny and both father and son were at the Belgian venue to witness the triumph.
Silver here went to the Belgian-bred stallion Emerald - Diamant de Semilly x Carthago - owned by Euro Horse BVBA and ridden by Harrie Smolders, while Australia's Edwina Alexander steered the Selle Francais bay gelding Quimono de la Roque, owned by herself and Stal Tops, into bronze.
A Belgian horse and rider combined to scoop the 7 Year Old honours. The BWP gelding Equipharma Dax van Dabdijhoeve - Desir du Chateau x Clinton - was steered into pole position by Belgian rider Pieter Devos who was getting in his last ride before heading for a flight to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, USA where he will compete for his country in next week's Jumping Championship. The 24 year old rider who hails from Bekkevoort in Brabant Province was awarded Belgian Young Rider of the Year last season and continued to demonstrate his talent at the weekend when bringing his home-owned horse through the finish in the final round with almost two seconds of an advantage over Germany's Rene Tebbel and the Holsteiner Cooper - Colman x Limbus - which is owned by Hermann-Josef Sandmann.
The Irish were back in the frame here again when Greg Broderick rode his father, Austin's, Ballypatrick Mystique into bronze medal position. This chestnut mare - Heritage Fortunus x Cavalier Royale - helped to ensure the Irish celebrations went well on into Sunday night.
5 Year Old Final - 1 (Gold), Always There KWPN (Camila Mazza de Benedicto) BRA 0/0 38.24; 2 (Silver), Comme Il Faut Westf (Franz-Josef Dahlmann) GER 0/0 38.82; 3 (Bronze), Cortado Holst (Andreas Schou) DEN 0/0 38.76.
6 Year Old Final - 1 (Gold), NLS Coole Al Clover ISH (Clement McMahon) Irl 0/0 36.28; 2 (Silver), Emerald BWP (Harrie Smolders) 0/0 37.37; 3 (Bronze), Quimono de la Roque SF (Edwina Alexander) Aus 0/0 37.67.
7 Year Old Final - 1 (Gold) Equipharma Dax Van Dabdijhoeve BWP (Pieter Devos) Bel 0/0 37.37; 2 (Silver), Cooper Holst (Rene Tebbel) 0/0 39.12; 3 (Bronze), Ballypatrick Mystique ISH (Greg Broderick) Irl 0/0 40.87.
Full results at www.zangersheide.com
Facts and Figures:
220 horses started in the 5 Year Old Championship
248 horses started in the 6 Year Old Championship
186 horses started in the 7 Year Old Championship
Photo Caption: Clement McMahon and NLS Coole Al Clover took Ireland's first-ever title at the FEI World Championshp for Young Horses when topping the 6 Year Old division at the 2010 event in Lanaken, Belgium yesterday. Photo: FEI/Dirk Caremans.