USA (by Judy Wardrope) The Finals started off on a positive note when all the World Cup horses passed the vet inspection. However, there were anxious moments and some excitement when Painted Black, the senior dressage horse, ‘escaped’ during the jog. The 18-year-old stallion was soon recaptured and his rider, Morgan Barancon Mestre, was able to lead him out of the arena without further incident. Flexible, however, the senior equine amongst the jumpers at age 19, was a perfect gentleman for Rich Fellers during the inspection!
Whereas the subjective nature of dressage scores often raises the hackles of riders, spectators and media alike, it was the showjumping course designer who bore the brunt of negative criticism on this occasion.
The roster for the opening speed round consisted of 23 geldings, 10 stallions and eight mares. Here are the top 20 finishers, in order, after four rounds, plus one honourable mention, focusing primarily on bloodline analysis rather than a blow-by-blow competition report. Results tables can be found on pages 7 and 8 in this issue, accompanied by a World Cup historical breeding perspective.
• Albführen’s Paille – Selle Francais, but by KWPN stal- lion Kannan (Voltaire x Nim- merdor x Le Mexico), sire of Molly Malone V and her rider Steve Guerdat’s Olympic gold-medalist, Nino des Buissonnets. Paille’s dam traces to such notables as Dollar du Mûrier (Jalisco B x Uriel), Nankin and Rantzau xx. Guerdat refers to her as a fighter when it comes to jumping clear. (‘Briefs’ on page 4 for SF report.)
• Vagabond de la Pomme – By Vigo d’Arsouilles (a Nabab de Reve son) of 2010 World Equestrian Games fame and out of a mare by For Pleasure (Furioso II x Grannus). If you recall the recent conformation article on the descendants of Qerly Chin in this magazine, you will find her daughter, Narcotique de Muze, is the second dam of Vagabond de la Pomme...