Britain’s top eventing potential gathered at Tweseldown last Tuesday to battle it out in the PAVO Breeding Championships.
The series has run throughout the season, with qualifiers for each age group – four, five and six. The four-year-old class is run over an intro course, the five-year-old over a pre-novice course, and the six-year-old class over an intermediate novice course.
Dan Jocelyn rode Opposition Heracles to victory in the six-year-old class. This is a repeat performance for the combination, who won the five-year-old class at the British Eventing’s Young Horse Championships last October. The stallion has been having a cracking season on the eventing circuit this year, and has already accumulated 32 BE points.
“I definitely expected him to win this championship,” said Dan Jocelyn. “And I’ll be hoping for a competitive performance at Le Lion d’Angers six-year-old championships.
“He’s been going very well at intermediate, and he’ll definitely go on to advanced. I would certainly hope that there’s a top class horse in him, but you can never tell until you get there,” he added.
Irish Jester ridden and produced by Angela Tucker was once again a star of the juvenile eventing talent, carrying off the laurels in the five-year-old class.
The horse was brought over from Ireland by Jane Wilson early last summer, with the idea of doing some work with him and then selling him. He caught the eye of Angela Tucker, who lives close by, and qualified for the Burghley Young Event Horse four-year-old final by the skin of his teeth.
“I didn’t think that he would fare very well as he was looking a bit fat and babyish, but he gallops very well, and Ginny pulled him in because she said he looked like Priceless,” explained Angela. “When Jane Holderness-Roddam then told me that he reminded her of Warrior, I was delighted!”
Last year’s success was only the beginning. Irish Jester once again triumphed in the Burghley Young Event Horse series, taking the five-year-old title at the beginning of this month. Added to his victory on his novice debut, and his most recent win at the PAVO Championships, Angela’s confidence in the youngster has been further fuelled.
“He could definitely go all the way. He can really gallop and he is very light on his feet.
“I’ll turn him away now for a couple of months – and then come back next year to do some more novices and possibly some intermediates. I’ll go on riding him as long as I feel I’m not holding him back, and then I hope Polly Williamson (who has done a couple of events on him already) will take over. She knows I’ll prepare him well, and I know that she is careful, and although competitive, would never do anything detrimental to a young horse.”
The four-year-old class was won by Antoni Nabozny’s Bonza Chit Chat, ridden by Marie Ryan. Out of Talk Talk by Riva Marquee, the young gelding had only had one previous qualifying outing, but he has already given a good indication of potential yet to be realised.