Germany’s Andreas Dibowski dominated the 25th World Eventing Championship for Young Horses, staged at the Haras Nationaux du Lion d’Angers, France from 21 to 24 October.
The German Olympian and his much-admired stallion Mighty Magic (Mytens XX/Heraldik XX) which finished second in last year’s 6 year-old class, returned to take the coveted 7 year-old title with a convincing victory. For good measure a clear round in the final jumping phase secured second place with Butts Avedon, who like Dibowski’s 2010 Badminton runner-up ride Euroridings Butts Leon is also sired by the WBFSH top ranked stallion Heraldik XX. This was a dream result for the 44-year-old from Dohle in Lower Saxony.
“Although I have prepared hard for this competition and had victory in mind, first and second was not a thought. When I was younger I was a fan of Andrew Nicholson and today I was privileged to be standing on the podium with him,” Dibowski said, referring to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ bronze medallist whose double clear with Quimbo earned third place. New Zealand veteran, Nicholson, was also 16th with Qwanza, another by the Holstein stallion Lacros, and bred by Pedro Beca in Spain.
Third to go on the opening day of dressage, Dibowski and Mighty Magic, which is owned by breeder Horst-Henning Lienau and Ira Denkhaus, impressed the Ground jury of Pascal Laurencon (FRA), Dr. Ernst Topp (GER) and Sue Baxter (GBR). The German duo were the only combination of the 66 starters to break the 70% barrier and, having established their lead, they never faltered. Former Le Lions champion, Great Britain’s Pippa Funnell, was the closest challenger in the dressage phase with the mare Billy Shannon (Kannan SF/Golden Bash ISH).
Pierre Michelet’s renowned and well presented cross-country course, this year running right-handed, presented few problems for the high-class field. The three-quarter bred Mighty Magic, already a popular breeding stallion, was one of 44 horses to come home with a clean sheet, his rider’s perfect judgement stopping the clock on the optimum time of 9min and 30 sec. As last year, the biggest challenge proved to be The Cottage (Fence 20a&b) – an impressive drop with five downhill strides to a skinny brush which resulted in ten run-outs and elimination after a rider fall for Frenchman Brice Luda, one of seven who failed to complete.
The remaining 59 all went forward to the jumping which has always proved an influential phase at this venue. While there were 22 clear rounds, faults proved expensive. The most prominent casualty was seventh placed former world Champion Jean Teulere (FRA), eliminated after a fall from the Anglo-Arab stallion Obelix, while 12 faults dropped sixth placed Beeke Kaack (GER) and Schoensgreen Hanni 15 places further down the leadeboard. Dramatic improvers included British rider Louisa Lockwood (Ballyferris Flight) who rose from 21st to 7th and joint-24th placed Australian Sam Griffiths (Paulank Brockagh) and Italian Victoria Panizzon (Borough Pennyz) whose double clears sent them rocketing up to 8th & 9th places respectively.
Rolling a pole at the final fence proved expensive for second-placed Pippa Funnell and Billy Shannon who dropped to fifth and gave Dibowski the luxury of a fence in-hand.
SIX YEAR OLD CHAMPIONSHIP
In an unusual turn of events, mares took the top three places in the 6 year-old championship which was led from the outset by German-based Swede, Sara Algotsson-Ostholt and the Hanoverian Mrs Medicott. British riders Nicola Wilson (Annie Clover), a member of the gold medal winning team at the recent Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky and former British Young Rider team member Kitty King (Zidante) were second and third.
Dressage proved influential and the top three places remained unchanged throughout. Wilson and Annie Clover, by the Irish-based Hanoverian Newmarket Venture, took the lead on the first day of dressage but were headed by Algotsson-Ostholt and Mrs Medicott by just one penalty the following afternoon. The winners were one of seven combinations in the top ten to finish on their dressage score.
The cross country proved a happy experience for the majority in this division – over 70% jumped clear and Mrs Medicott (Rabino/Prince Thatch XX), which is not related to Frank Ostholt’s Saumur winner Mr Medicott nor his seven year old contender Sir Medicott, was one of the 20 clear inside the time. Le Lions first-timer, 21-year-old Franziska Haunhorst (GER) and the Trakehner stallion Songline 2, which with Haunhorst’s boss Andreas Dibowski was this year’s Bundeschampion, was one of the disappointed. Equal third after dressage the young pair had a refusal at the penultimate fence, the familiar keyhole of The Owl, which as an imposing island fence on the home run proved extremely influential. They were one of six to add 20 penalties to their score here, while Pawel Warszawski (POL) and Huzar were eliminated for a rider fall.
Karin Donkers (BEL) and the homebred Unique – by Vigo D’Arsouilles which so memorably helped secure the individual Jumping world title for Belgium’s Philippe Le Jeune in Kentucky two weeks ago – put pressure on the top six with a clear round over the coloured poles but all followed suit with consecutive clears to leave the top standings unchanged. “I was extremely happy just to have qualified my mare for the World Championship and I just wanted to ride as well as possible – to win is incredible!” said Algotsson-Ostholt. Wilson was also delighted with her mare, a consistent performer this season. “I brought her here so that she could gain experience and she has a learnt a great deal. Today, she did not pay any attention to the crowds and she remained focused and jumped magnificently. The objective for next year will be to return for the 7 year-old championship” the rider explained.
“This is the best event to prepare young horses for the future,” commented Dibowski. “The ground is good, the fences are well prepared and at the combination fences there is always an option. Every year it is my aim to bring my young horses here” he added.
The Irish Sport Horse Stud Book won the WBFSH Stud Book Championship, assisted by the success of British riders Pippa Funnel (Billy Shannon) and World silver medallist William Fox-Pitt, who was fourth and sixth in the 7 year-old class with Fernhill Highlight (High Roller/Ginger Dick) and Bay My Hero (Cult Hero XX/Tomgar Power Crest). Irish-bred horses took five of the top eight places in the 7 year-old category and second spot in the 6 year-olds.
7 Year Old Championship:
1. Mighty Magic (Andreas Dibowski) GER 43.50;
2. FRH Butts Avedon (Andreas Dibowski) GER 48.30;
3. Quimbo (Andrew Nicholson) NZL 50.00;
4. Fernhill Highlight (William Fox-Pitt) GBR 50.60;
5. Billy Shannon (Pippa Funnell) GBR 51.20;
6. Bay My Hero (William Fox-Pitt) GBR 51.70;
7.Ballyfarris Flight (Louisa Lockwood) GBR 54.10;
8. Paulank Brockagh (Sam Griffiths) AUS 55.00;
9. Borough Pennyz (Vittoria Panizzon) ITA 55.00;
10. Pacific Barbotiere (Aurelien Kahn) FRA 56.00.
6 Year Old Championship:
1. Mrs Medicott (Sara Algotsson-Ostholt) SWE 41.70;
2. Annie Clover (Nicola Wilson) GBR 42.70;
3. Zidante (Kitty King) GBR 46.00;
4. Mr Sydney Rocks (Clayton Fredericks) AUS 47.30;
5. Designer 10 (Bettina Hoy) GER 47.90;
6. Unique (Karin Donckers) BEL 48.30;
7. Ulano de Slozen (Marc Rigouts) BEL 49.20;
8. Rose d’Ankor (Eric Vigeanel) GRA 53.80;
9. Zamira (Justin Maarse) NED 55.50;
10. Mocca SE (Therese Viklund) SWE 55.90.
Facts and Figures
Seven year old championship
14 completed on dressage score
44 clear rounds cross country
31 inside the optimum time
6 eliminated cross country, 1 retired
22 clear rounds show jumping
1 eliminated show jumping
Six year old championship
9 completed on dressage score
28 clear rounds cross country
20 clear rounds inside the optimum time
5 eliminated cross country
1 withdrawn before show jumping
13 clear rounds show jumping
1 eliminated show jumping inspection
Horse Sport Ireland’s Director of Breeding and Programmes Alison Corbally, commenting on the success of the Irish Sport Horse Stud Book – “This a great boost for Irish breeding and it is a great credit to the breeders who bred these horses. This shows that there is a new generation of talented young Irish-bred event horses coming through”.
For full results: http://www.mondialdulion.com/2010/a-la-une-listes-et-classements-fr.php