WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Not Gold, but Solid Gold Z!
Both the course and the level were sky-high in the final of the World Championship for 7-year-old horses today! Eleven of the 40 combinations qualified for the jump-off in which Christian Ahlmann immediately set the time-to-beat. With his stallion Solid Gold Z, bred by A. Sprehe, he finished the jump-off in 38.34 seconds. With the son of Stakkato Gold the German had already won in Chantilly, Bordeaux and Leipzig this year and ended their season perfectly by becoming World Champion in Lanaken today!
Willem Greve also impressed with Grandorado TN. He arrived at the finish in 39.49 seconds with his brown stallion and thus claimed silver. This son of Eldorado van de Zeshoek was bred by Mts. Rietberg & D.J. Verhoeven who happily came to collect their breeding premium.
Gudrun Patteet was the best lady rider and also the last double clear combination with Sea Coast Crystal de l’Eau. With the careful daughter of Clapton, the Belgian clocked off in 39.50 seconds, earning them a third place. Breeder Hof Ter Leeuwe was more than satisfied afterwards with the bronze medal and of course the extra check.
“It is already special to win in front of your own family and friends, but doing that at home with your own stallion makes it something else”, Ahlmann starts his story. “Especially when you look at how tough this class is … I would definitely compare it to a CSI2* Grand Prix! But if you look at how many horses have been on stage here and afterwards confirmed in the big sport, then I think this World Cup is a very good indicator for a horse his quality. It is true that Solid Gold Z has already had a very good season, but it still has to happen here at the right moment and at the right time… On the first day there were 203 horses that participated in this World Championship for 7-year-old horses which makes it already quite an achievement to make it to the final. Before the jump-off I felt that Solid Gold Z was getting a bit tired, but his exceptional attitude and willpower make sure he never disappoints!”
Willem Greve also has a special world championship.. He also rode Eldorado van de Zeshoek, Grandorado’s sire. “Eldorado and Grandorado are similar in many things. They have a lot of scope, sharpness, quality… The big difference is that I have been riding Grandorado since he is 3,5 years, which makes us a real combination. I know him very well. Eldorado was already 11 years old when I got him, so that makes the sport different,” says a satisfied Willem.
Gudrun Patteet already knew in advance that the victory would not be for her. “I had already put my money on Ahlmann and Solid Gold Z before the jump-off. I saw his stallion jumping phenomenally this winter and I know what they are capable of. That’s why I wanted to go for a smooth clear round without shocking my mare. I am very happy that we still earned the bronze medal! A few years ago I became World Champion of the 7-year old horses, then with Sea Coast Atlantic and this is my second medal. I only ride Crystal for half a year, so I think I can be more than satisfied!” Gudrun concludes.
Belgian World Champion in Final for 6-year-old horses
Unbelievably fast … That’s how the jump-off in the World Championship final for 6-year-old horses went… For a long time it seemed that Donald Whitaker would become the new world champion! He stopped the clock in a lightning fast time of 33.95 seconds with Chilli. This daughter of Colestus is bred by Erich Schoch and already became World Champion last year as a 5-year old, then under the saddle of Pippa Goddard. However in the end it was one of the last riders, Jeroen De Winter, who managed to dive under Whitaker’s time. He brought Mystic van ‘t Hoogeinde to the finish in 33.01 seconds and thus claimed the title of World Champion. This daughter of Echo van ‘t Spieveld was bred by Rony Thys who was more than pleased to collect his breeder premium on top! Thiago Ribas da Costa earned bronze with Mano Negra van de Bucxtale. This daughter of Mylord Carthago is a half-sister of the new Belgian Champion Kannabis van de Bucxtale and bred by Els Boterdale. They reached the finish in 35.17 seconds.
The World Champion of last year, Gerard O’Neill, just landed beside the podium. He stopped the clock in 26.03 seconds with Cuffesgrange Cavadora, a daughter of Z Wellie 72 bred by Clare Hughes. Angelique Rüsen closed the top five. This German lady stopped the chrono in 36.66 seconds with Mandato van de Neerheide (Emerald van ‘t Ruytershof – Breeder: Eric van Giel).
Elle van ‘t Ameldonk Z was the best Zangersheide horse. This daughter of Emerald van ‘t Ruytershof bred by BVBA Ameldonk gained an eighth place under the saddle of Walter Lelie.
For Jeroen de Winter, this victory was not really planned … “I submitted my applications to the Belgian federation three months ago. Mainly with the goal to compete in the 7-year olds horses class with Leandro VG (Gitano from Berkenbroeck) and L’Innocence van ‘t Meulenhof (Diamant de Semilly). A few weeks ago we became 6th at the Belgian Championship and when I looked at Equibel, I saw that I was also selected with Mystic for this World Championship. It was not really my plan, so I briefly consulted with my coach Dirk Demeersman. He said that I had to try it for sure and here I am… “ Mystic van ‘t Hoogeinde entered Jeroen’s stable a 4-year old horse and is still half owned by breeder Rony Thys. “Her eldest offspring is now two years old, so I hope I’ll be back in a few years.” Jeroen laughs.
Donald Whitaker was also very happy with his title of vice World Champion. “I actually thought and hoped that I had won…” he says. “I have her under the saddle since the beginning of this year and this mare is truly exceptional. We already won the Finals of the Global Future Champions in Valkenswaard this year and I was really looking forward to my first participation in the World Championship! To be able to debut with a second place is nothing short of fantastic! ”
Thiago Riba da Costa was also very happy with his Mano Negro van de Bucxtale. “I bought her together with Fabrice Galdini as a 4-year-old. She is very sensitive and special but that is her quality. I had a kick on my leg here on Thursday at the competition so I have a lot of pain and even while I could not give leg, the mare continued jumping fantastic. It’s a good weekend, knowing that her half-brother became Belgian champion yesterday! ”
Ireland on top in Finals for 5-year-old horses..
A complete Irish podium at the finals of the World Championship for 5 year old horses in Lanaken today. Richard Howley and Uppercourt Cappucino already took the lead halfway through the jump-off with a time of 35.17 seconds. This Irish bred son of Pacino saw the light of day at Paul O’Byrne’s and may now be called nothing less than World Champion. The 22-year old Darragh Ryan was however the first to note a super fast time in the jump-off. He stopped the clock in 35.34 seconds with CSF Sir George and thus won silver. This son of Sir Shutterfly was bred by Shane Connolly. The barely 18-year old Michael Pender was the last to join the podium. He finished his jump-off in 35.75 seconds with HHS Vancouver earning him bronze. This Indoctro-son is bred by Marion Hughes, who was more than happy to collect her breeders bonus!
Piet Raijmakers Jr was the last rider in the jump-off and it looked like the Dutchman would perform a real stunt with his Zangersheide bred I’m Specialized Z… Unfortunately in the end, his chrono of 35.80 secondes, with the son of I’m Special de Muze bred by R. Das, just came 5 hundredths of a second to short for a place on the stage. The British Laura Robinson closed the top five. She finished her jump-off in 38.55 seconds with the OS-bred Millfield Colette (Cornet Obolensky – Breeder: Sue Jagger).
For Richard Howley it was his first World Championship, but the 26-year-old clearly had one goal: “I only took Uppercourt Cappucino to this World Championship. It’s a goal I’ve set at the beginning of the year, and I’m very pleased that all went according to plan,” says Howley, who won the CSIO5* Grand Prix of Gijon two weeks ago.
Darragh Ryan was already ninth in 2016 with Lackamore Storm. Back then, they had the last fence down in the jump-off. Also last year Ryan and Lackamore Storm were present in the finals, earning them a place in the jump-off once more… This year they qualified for the finals for the third year in a row and they are looking forward to their performance later on this day!
Also Michael Pender is becoming a regular customer for the stage in Lanaken… He already earned silver and bronze in the Finals for five-year-old horses in 2016!
The Irish chef d’équipe John Ledingham was more than satisfied with the result… “We get five starting places for the World Championship per age category via the Irish Studbook. Ofcourse these starting places are supplemented with riders who apply for a Wildcard themselves. We select these five horses over 8 competitions in Ireland, where the five-year-olds never jump against the clock. After these 8 selection competitions, the best 5-year-olds jump in Dublin on Saturday at the Irish Championship. Those who jump clear there qualify for Sunday. The number 1 and 2 of this final are automatically selected for the World Championship, while the other places are filled in based on FEI and SJI results, supplemented by other important competitions”, Ledignham reveals about the secret of Irish success.