Opinion

This year’s Olympia was a mixed bag for the Brits. I imagine there will be a few who were a little disappointed, but certainly not Emile Faurie.

I was in Germany in September when he did his first show on Delatio and, although you could see he had potential, he was green. Since then, the horse has improved dramatically and, by performing in the Olympia environment, he has shown us not just how talented he is, but also how good his temperament is. He looks like a real team prospect for next year if he continues to improve.

I take my hat off to Emile. It’s exciting for the sport in this country, and also for Emile to be making a bit of a comeback after not having had the best horses the past few years.

The other rider who stood out in terms of harmony and ease of riding was, of course, Patrik Kittel. He has always believed in Delaunay, but has slightly played down his aspirations for the horse, until now. And what a programme he produced; it was so difficult, but he didn’t miss a single beat and the horse looked happy and confident.

Edward Gal’s horse, Glock’s Zonik, has huge talent, although I’ve never seen Edward work so hard in a test. That said, for the horse to perform in that atmosphere aged nine, in his first year of grand prix, is remarkable. It would have been tempting for the Dutch to take Zonik on the team for the Europeans this year, but it was a good call to give the horse the extra time. I’m sure it’ll pay off.

Ref Horse & Hound; 21 December 2017