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Eventing young-horse champions in Lion d’Angers

Happy Boy/Tim Price (NZL)

By Jean Llewellyn/WBFSH news
Photography: Hippo Foto/Dirk Caremans

From October 17-20, the FEI-WBFSH World Breeding Championship for Young Horses in eventing was hosted as usual around the stunning grounds of the l’Isle-Briand park in Lion d’Angers, organized as the Mondial du Lion. Once again, talented six- and seven-year-old horses demonstrated their qualities, but it was the SF riders that delivered a studbook victory to Selle Français, ahead of Irish Sport Horse and KWPN.

Although the event is a celebration of young horses, a name on everyone’s lips was that of a 22-year-old Norwegian rider, Yasmin Nathalie Olsson Sandersson, who has never before ridden in such a major show. Based in the UK, she claimed a dressage lead in the six-year-old championship, with her lovely KWPN gelding, Inchello (Chello III VDL x Montreal), and remained ahead of her fellow competitors during a fault-free cross-country round.
After a very wet Saturday night the grass arena became very slippery, and was challenging for the showjumping phase which saw many of the top podium candidates incurring penalties. Sandersson, however, managed a four-fault round which earned the bronze medal.
Sixth after the cross, Frenchman Thomas Carlile took silver aboard his Selle Francais Dartagnan de Beliard (Quite Easy x Diamant de Semilly), with a clear showjumping round for second place, behind Britain’s Piggy French and Cooley Lancer (Coeur Nobless M x Ogano Sitte), who secured the gold medal and six-year-old title. It was French’s 15th appearance at this young horse world championship, competing with Cooley Farm’s ZVCH mare who was bred in Switzerland by Eliano Moroni.
Only four horses out of 42 six-year-old entries failed to  complete the competition (90.5% success).
In the larger seven-year-old age group, 51 horses conquered the three phases out of a starting field of 67, including a previous winner, Ingrid Klimke who retired  her own Equistros Siena Just Do It (Sempi Fi - Wanda x Weltrat) following a refusal at cross country fence 19.
Second after dressage and in the lead after the cross country, Britain’s Tom McEwen and the grey ISH gelding Brookfield Benjamin B (Nazar x Grange Bouncer) had one costly showjumping error which relegated them into the bronze medal position.
However, American rider Elizabeth Halliday-Sharp and her ISH gelding Cooley Moonshine (Cobra x Kings Master) slowly crept through the rankings, ninth after dressage, 13th  after the cross country, but among very few seven-year-olds to complete a clear showjumping round which elevated them onto the podium as championship runners-up and the silver medal.
Another combination that recorded a brilliant fault-free showjumping round was New Zealand’s Tim Price. Riding the black KWPN gelding Happy Boy (Indoctro x Odermuser), the pair moved from 13th to eighth, and finally onto the top step on the podium. They were, in fact, the only pair to finish the cham-pionship on their dressage score.

Breeding analysis

From the six-year-old entries, Irish Sport Horses had the most representatives (nine), followed by Selle Français and Holsteiner with three apiece. Altogether, 19 studbooks were represented, with one Thoroughbred.
Two horses in the seven-year-old top ten were sired by Quite Easy: runner-up Dartagnan de Beliard with Thomas Carlile (FRA), bred by SCEA de Beliard; and fourth-placed Demoiselle Platine HDC (out of Platine du Rouet x Robin II Z) ridden by Nicolas Touzaint (FRA), bred by Emmanuele Peron Pette at Haras des Coudrettes.
Horses representing 16 studbooks completed the seven-year-old age-group (76% of the total field), with Irish Sport Horse and Selle Français leading the entries, respectively, with 15 and 12 horses, ahead of KWPN with six.
In a repeat of the six-year-old result, one sire was represented by two descendants in the top 10 – this time the Trakehner Grafenstolz (Polarion - Gipsy Lady x Camelot) – with SHBGB gelding Lordships Graffalo (out of Cornish Queen x Rock King), ridden by Tom McEwan (GBR),  and the Oldenburg mare Graffennacht (out of Nachtigall x Narew), ridden by William Fox-Pitt (GBR) – sadly, both horses with unrecorded breeder’s names.