The world’s top riders and their mounts are all at the Domaine de Sers in Pau, Southwest France until this Sunday to battle it out in the five-star, the highest level of eventing competition in equestrian sport. The first phase of the competition, dressage, ended with the victory of British rider Laura Collett on her mount London 52 (Landos x Vernante), her own, Keith Scott, and Karen Bartlett's 11-year-old Holstiner gelding.
Australian Christopher Burton was in the lead of the provisional ranking yesterday evening with Jill Martin and David Webster's 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Graf Liberty (Limmerick x Lisheen Star) on a score of 22.0, but in the end, it was the 2015 Young Horses World Champion, Collett, who won the competition this morning. She finishes the event with 21.3 penalty points. Collett is currently 49th in the world rankings, but she also took 10th place in the event with Mr Bass (Carrico x K-Jeunesse), her own, Nick How, and Keith Scott's 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, on a score of 26.2.
Close behind, Burton and Piggy March remain in second and third place, respectively. Although six of the 10 top scores were taken by British riders, Tim Price (NZL), who ranks second in the world, took fourth place with a dressage score of 23.0 penalty points with Wesko (Karandasj x Kolien), his own and the Windrush Equestrian Foundation's 17-year-old KWPN gelding. German rider Christopher Wahler also made it to the top 10 with Carjatan S (Clearway x Kajenna), his own and Lena Thoenies's 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding. The last French rider to take off this morning, Maxime Livio scored 32.4 penalty points to stand in 31st place.
"I am very happy with both my horses!" commented Collett at the completion of dressage. "This is the first CCI5* eventing competition for London 52. He was a bit nervous when he entered the track but then he was well focused throughout the test! Of course, the event is not over yet and the cross-country tomorrow will undoubtedly shake up the ranking, but I have confidence in my horses. Mr Bass is experienced at this level of competition and is a very good cross-country horse. London is less experienced but he is in great shape this weekend and I can't wait to see how he will perform tomorrow! We are very lucky to be here this weekend and I am very happy to be able to compete with these two outstanding horses."
Tomorrow's event will be the breathtaking cross-country competition. Horse and rider will set off on the 6.3-kilometer course, with an array of 31 impressive natural obstacles. An event which promises many twists and turns in the rankings and a good dose of adrenaline for the public!
As they hiked through the Galway Irish countryside, Shelley Bridges and John Whelpley soon found themselves amid a herd of curious Irish Draught mares grazing calmly around them. Bridges, an endurance rider extraordinaire with a well-known, educated eye for all things horse, noticed one of the mares in particular and said, “What about that one?” and our unlikely story began.
With the holiday spirit in full swing and the New Year just around the corner, it’s time to get ready for the 2024 eventing season. From paperwork to packing, there’s quite a bit to do before you’re ready to get out there and enjoy the season with your horse. Check out these tips from the team at STRIDER, and get your 2024 season kicked off in the most organized way possible.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation is pleased to announce the Eventing Pathway Program Lists for 2024, including the Elite, Pre-Elite, Development, and Emerging Programs. In addition to these Eventing Pathway Program updates, several opportunities will be available in 2024 for both Program and non-Program athletes.
The United States Eventing Associations’ (USEA) Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) is pleased to announce the dates and location of the upcoming 2024 ECP Symposium. The annual ECP Symposium, which is held in the southeast to accommodate the migration of eventers for the winter season, will be hosted at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Florida, on Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, 2024. This three-day immersive educational experience is recommended for anyone who is interested in learning more about eventing coaching, including current coaches, riders, parents, owners or avid supporters. Click here to download the registration form today!