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Irish Sport Horses and riders rule in Lanaken championships

Leah Stack and ISH mare Laurina won the 6yo silver medal

By Jo de Roo
Photography: FEI-Hippo Foto/Dirk Caremans

The winners of the World Championship for five-, six- and seven-year-old young horses are known, the gold, silver, and bronze have been distributed, with Irish Sport Horses winning four of the nine medals, and five Irish riders duly awarded during prizegiving ceremonies.

Overall, there was a total of 119 finalists: 39 five-year-olds, 40 six-year-olds, and 40 seven-year-olds. An analysis of the sires yields the following results: Cornet Obolensky/ex Windows van het Costersveld, was the main supplier with eight offspring, followed by Comme il faut (six) and Kannan (six). Four stallions were represented by four offspring in the finals: Stakkato Gold, Dominator 2000 Z, Aganix du Seigneur, and Emerald van’t Ruytershof. Three stallions each had three finalists: Diaron, Luidam, and Mosito van het Hellehof.

A 5yo all-Irish podium

In total 39 five-year-old showjumpers qualified for the final, 11 left the arena faultlessly and within the maximum time allowed. Six of the 11 riders were Irish and, subsequently, they occupied every step of the podium with gold, silver, and bronze medals. The gold, bronze and silver medals were won by Irish riders, each riding an Irish Sport Horse. Michael ‘Mikey’ Pender claimed victory with HHS Ocala, a son of Urano de Cartigny out of Hera van’t Roosakker. Hera competed at 1m40 level, in partnership with Teoline Bella, and her dam was the world-famous Centoia van’t Roosakker – better known in sport as Cella. For several years, under the saddle of Ben Maher, Cella excelled with Cella at the highest level in the international showjumping, some highlights being victory in the CSI5*-W Wellington World Cup class; winner of the three-star 1m60 Wellington GP, team medal at the European Championships in Herning and team gold in Dublin five-star; winner of the five-star 1m60 GP GCT in London; second in the five-star 1m60 GP in Hamburg; individual silver in Herning, etc. Centoia is by Cento out of Usha van’t Roosakker, the legendary foundation dam of BWP dam line 100. Bravo Hughes Ltd bred and owns HHS Ocala.
Mikey Pender had already collected two silvers and a bronze from previous editions of the WBCYH, and this year added gold to his collection saying during the press conference that “It’s amazing to win. I had already knocked on the door a few times, so I’m happy that everything came together today. I would like to thank my entire team at home for producing this horse. I didn’t ride Ocala very much, so it’s a massive win for everybody at home. It is just an incredible day. HHS Ocala is a very careful horse, very competitive.”
The rising Irish star Niamh McEvoy took home the silver medal. This 19-year-old talented rider was a member of the Irish team that won team gold at the Young Rider European Championship in Gorla Minore, Italy. In Lanaken she piloted the stallion Boleybawn Alvaro, preliminary approved for the Irish Sport Horse Studbook. Boleybawn Alvaro is by Dominator 2000 Z out of Arina (Crown Z - Cantate Z x Calvin)... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber