The annual clash of Young Horse champions produced more sensational winners today as the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses 2013 drew to a thrilling close at Lanaken in Belgium. The host country’s Royal Belgian Sports Horse Society, better known as the SBS, claimed gold in the 7-Year-Old category while the Dutch Riding Horse and Pony Studbook (NRPS) reigned supreme in the 6-Year-Old division. And there were big cheers in the Irish camp when the Irish Sport Horse Studbook (ISH) clinched the coveted 5-Year-Old title.
Despite some poor weather earlier in the week, the event attracted another enormous crowd of enthusiastic breeders, producers, riders, trainers, owners and experts from around the globe who thoroughly enjoyed their annual reunion on Belgian soil. These Championships have long been recognised as the perfect place to share ideas, and compare the merit, development, innovation and success of the studbooks, old and new, which produce the latest stars of our modern sport of Jumping.
There was an unusually large number through to today’s Five-Year-Old Final competition. A total of 63 started in the class and 25 jumped clear to go into a second-round jump-off against the clock.
The gold-medal-winning partnership of Greg Broderick and the ISH Arraghbeg Clover were eighteenth to go, and they set an unmerciful target when breaking the beam in 39.72 seconds after a scorching round in which the Tipperary rider took every risk. This mare, by Captain Clover who is a son of the legendary Irish stallion Clover Hill, has a mix of breeding that combines the toughness of the Irish horse with the quality of the thoroughbred, Bonnie Prince, on his dam’s side and with the Dutch influence of Animo.
Broderick said, “the first qualifier for the Five-Year-Olds was very, very tough. It was technical and the time was short and my mare had a big week, but she just kept fighting on”. The rider, who celebrated his 28th birthday yesterday, is a prolific producer of good Irish horses and Arraghbeg Clover has earned €19,000 in prizemoney in the last few months having won the Irish Sport Horse Studbook 5-Year-Old League and the Breeders Classic, while also finishing third in her age category at Dublin Horse Show in August. Arraghbeg Clover - Captain Clover x Bonnie Prince - is jointly-owned by her rider and Declan Orpen.
It was fellow-Irishman, the prodigiously talented 18-year-old Bertram Allen, who clinched silver medal spot with the KWPN gelding Castlefield Denver - Quasimodo Z x Ulft - owned by Ballywalter Farms. They broke the beam in 40.86 seconds while French rider, Guillaume Batillat took the bronze with the BWP mare Invisible Star - Winningmood van de Arenberg x Skippy ll - which competed for Les Ecuries d’Ecaussinnes and was less than two seconds slower in the timed round.
Allen went one better when steering Ballywalter Farm’s bay stallion, Barnike - Baldwin B x Animo - to victory for the NRPS Studbook in the Six-Year-Old division. Just 12 of the 40 starters qualified for the second round of this Final, and just six went double-clear.
The winning horse was purchased from Enda Carroll at Ashford Farm in Belgium a few months ago and had only competed at three shows with his new rider. “We never jumped higher than 1.10m or 1.15m before. The two qualifying classes were not too difficult, but the Final was really big so I didn’t know what to expect today. As it turned out, he just has so much scope!” Allen pointed out after his big win.
KWPN horses, ridden by Dutch riders, took silver and bronze. The bay mare Calimera - Van Gogh x Perion - owned by M. Willems and Stal Ger Poels, clinched the silver with Marcel Willems on board. “It seems I’m always second with this horse!” Willems said. “We were second in the Dutch Young Horse Championship this year as well!”.
The bronze medal went to the bay stallion Cidane - Heartbreaker x G. Ramiro Z - ridden by Kristian Houwen for owners J.C Boekee and Houwen Sporthorses BV. “I did everything I could, but I couldn’t have gone any faster’ said Houwen of his ride against the clock. “Bertram went for it from the beginning to the very end, and he never took a pull with his horse” he added.
Two different Dutch studbooks took gold and silver in the Seven-Year-Old division while the Zangersheide Studbook claimed the bronze. And Belgian riders Gudrun Patteet and Jos Lansink stood on the top two steps of the podium when producing the only double-clear performances.
Riding the SBS gelding, Sea Coast Atlantic - Schilling x Aramis de la Cense - Patteet was undisputed in the race against the clock when breaking the beam in 40.76 and leaving the full course intact. The 28-year-old rider talked about the chestnut horse which is owned by Sea Coast Horses - “we bought him a year ago and a lot of people didn’t believe in him. He’s not beautiful but he has a lot of quality and he even helped me on the course today when I had a wrong distance in the jump-off - he just went for it!” Patteet explained.
Lansink was delighted with the silver medal won by VDL Stud’s stallion Bacardi VDL - Corland x Kannan - representing the KWPN Studbook. “I saw this horse as a five-year-old and wanted to buy him, but eventually VDL sent him to my stable instead. This is a horse that will do very big classes later in his career, but I didn’t go for it in the jump-off today. He still spends too much time in the air and he wasn’t ready for it, so I went for a nice clear round instead” pointed out the 2006 World Champion. The chestnut Bacardi VDL is an approved stallion but has not yet been used for breeding. Lansink said he expects he will begin breeding next year following his great result today.
Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa steered Gustavo Mirabal’s chestnut mare, GC Atlanta Z - Andiamo Z x Heartbreaker - into bronze for the Zangersheide Studbook. This pair produced the quickest time in the jump-off when clearing the line in 37.66 seconds, but they left one fence on the floor. The FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses are the brainchild of Leon Melchior of Zangersheide Stud where the event takes place, so it is particularly satisfying when horses carrying the stud’s world-famous banner take a spot on the medal podium as they have done many times before.
GC Atlanta Z was bought at an auction in Lummen, Belgium and produced many good results in Wellington, Florida, USA early this year. “She’s very fast and she’s really careful, not a 1.60m horse but she’ll be a real winner at 1.40m and 1.50m” Pessoa said. “She has the character of a chestnut mare, sometimes you have to do what she wants, although I tell her she also has to listen to me a little - she has great quality, and she’s a fighter” the rider added. The mare will now return to the USA and will take a break before being prepared for the Florida circuit once again this winter.
Five-Year-Old Final: GOLD - Arraghbeg Clover (Studbook ISH) Greg Broderick IRL 0/0 39.72; SILVER - Castlefield Denver (Studbook KWPN) Bertram Allen IRL 0/0 40.88; BRONZE - Invisible Star (Studbook BWP) Guillaume Batillat FRA 0/0 42.40.
Six-Year-Old Final: GOLD - Barnike (Studbook NRPS) Bertram Allen IRL 0/0 37.71; SILVER - Calimera (Studbook KWPN) Marcel Willems NED 0/0 39.22; BRONZE - Cidane (Studbook KWPN) Kristian Houwen NED 0/0 39.28.
Seven-Year-Old Final: GOLD - Sea Coast Atlantic (Studbook SBS) Gudrun Patteet BEL 0/0 40.76; SILVER - Bacardi VDL (Studbook KWPN) Jos Lansink BEL; BRONZE - GC Atlanta Z (Studbook ZANG) Rodrigo Pessoa BRA 0/4 37.66.
Full results at http://www.scgvisual.com/