FRANCE (by Jean Llewellyn/press release) From October 15-18, the Mondial du Lion this year celebrated its 30th anniversary, and has become the regular venue for the eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in the six- and seven-year-old age groups. Such is the quality of this competition, that many winners and top-placed young horses have progressed to the major leagues in eventing, including Olympic Games and World Championships. For this reason, the event also attracts a wealth of world-class riders, including William Fox-Pitt (GBR), Michael Jung (GER), Sandra Auffarth (GER), to name just a few, who use the wonderful Le Lion d’Angers turf as an ideal proving ground for their own young prospects, and this year was no exception.
With half the field of 34 six-year-olds completing their dressage test on day one, Frenchman Stanislas de Zuchowicz and Vingt Vingt took an early lead (70.61%/44.10 points) in the younger of the two championship age groups.
Six year olds
Vingt Vingt (Rubins des Bruyeres - Ohana du Gwern x Robin des Pres) is a Selle Français gelding owned by Patrick Pech. This pair made their competitive debut in July at Jardy where they finished 15th, improving to third in Pompadour just last month. Both were one-star CICYH events in France. On day two, however, the pair were overtaken by two of Germany’s eventing greats: Ingrid Klimke riding the Hanno Köehncke-bred grey Holsteiner mare Weisse Duene (Clarimo - Esprit x Romino), and Michael Jung with Fischerincantas (Ibisco xx - Ressina x Coriano) owned by the rider’s family and Sabine Fischer Ibisco is currently standing at Landgestüt Dillenburg in Hessen.
An uncharacteristic combination of jumping and time penalties relegated Klimke to 24th following the cross-country. However, a user-friendly course ensured that over two-thirds of the 29 finishers were able to romp home with time to spare. Vingt Vingt moved up into second place, now followed by The Quizmaster (Albaran xx - Zarah Maro x Casco), a KWPN gelding with Merel Blom (NED), and Poland’s Kamil Rajnert riding the Brandenburg-bred Libertina (Con Sherry [Holst] - Libra [SP] x West [Hann]). The latter two horses were bred, respectively, by R.M. Oechies from Delden (NED), and the Polish Bielin stud farm...