The 2017 age-group world champions have finally been revealed as the showjumping FEI-WBFSH World Breeding Championship for Young Horses concluded in Lanaken, Belgium, yesterday. Hosted since the event's creation by Studfarm Zangersheide’s world-class facilities, this year perhaps saw some surprising results. In the youngest age-group, a five-year-old grey DSP mare carried young-horse specialist Pippa Goddard (GBR) to victory. Chilli (Colestus x Colorit) produced a remarkably speedy jump-off round to finish one-tenth of a second ahead of Holsteiner stallion Quiwitino WZ (Quiwi Dream x Caretino 2) with Germany’s Felix Hassmann. Praising her mare, Goddard said, “She’s amazing, super-fast, super-careful and I can trust her to jump the fences”. She also admitted that it was the best class they’d ever won.

Columbcille Gipsy (Toulon), also a mare, gave Ireland’s Gerard O’Neill a well-deserved victory in the six-year-old final with a second-and-a-half to spare over his closest rival, Oak Grove’s Darshan (Diamant de Semilly x Baloubet du Rouet) in the hands of Harm Lahde (GER). Bred by Eamonn Murphy, Irish Sport Horse Gipsy is out of Holsteiner dam, Gipsy III (Grundyman xx) – a paternal granddaughter of KWPN’s iconic Heartbreaker.

Three champions, three studbooks, as the seven-year-old winner, Koriano van Klapscheut (Lord Z x Darco, bred by BVBA Mivaro) flew the flag for Belgian Warmblood, with a Colombian rider in his saddle. It appears the gelding may have finally found his comfort zone with Dayro Arroyave, as his jumping career passed through several pairs of hands during 2016. A maternal grandson of BWP ambassador Darco, Koriano’s impressive pedigree includes Heartbreaker, Lugano van la Roche and Ladykiller xx in his third generation. Runner-up in this age-group, Flash – a KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Indoctro – was ridden by Belgium’s Pieter Devos.

Somewhat surprising, as always, given that this is a ‘breeding’ championship – a unique concept in the world of showjumping (and not forgetting dressage and eventing) – is that breeders’ names are absent from starting lists in favour of owners’ names! An anomaly that perhaps someone will address so that breeders are given the recognition they deserve.