Would you like to see eventing’s next equine stars competing this year?
Check out four horse trials where you will see fantastic young horses in 2015 — and see if you can pick medallists for the 2016 Olympics, 2017 European Championships and beyond…
1. Dassett Eventing eight- and nine-year-old advanced class at Horsezone Aston-le-Walls (3)
Date: 24-26 July
What is it? A special advanced section for eight- and nine-year-old horses at this popular Aston-le-Walls fixture. The class was conceived by sponsors Dassett Eventing to showcase young horses and as a suitable pre-run for Blenheim’s eight- and nine-year-old CIC3*.
More info: British Eventing or www.aston-le-walls.co.uk
2014 winner: Shearwater Insurance’s Shearwater Touchingwood, ridden by Oliver Townend
Famous alumni: none yet, as this class has only been running a couple of years
2. Eight- and nine-year-old CIC3* at Blenheim
Date: 17-20 September
What is it? Now in its seventh year, this class is effectively Britain’s championship for this age category and a fantastic pointer to horses who should be exciting four-star prospects in the next few years. Blenheim celebrates its 25th birthday in 2015 and is a beautiful event for spectators to enjoy
More info: www.blenheimhorse.co.uk
2014 winner: Trisha Rickards’ and Jacky Green’s Faerie Dianimo, ridden by Jonelle Price
Famous alumni: NZB Land Vision, ridden by Mark Todd (2010 winner, 2011 Badminton CCI4* winner); Oslo, ridden by William Fox-Pitt (2011 winner, 2011 Pau CCI4* winner); Quimbo, ridden by Andrew Nicholson (2012 winner, 2013 Kentucky CCI4* winner)
3. KBIS British Eventing Young Horse Championships at Osberton
Date: 1-4 October
What is it? Championships classes for four- and five-year-olds (which they qualify for through the year), plus a six-year-old CIC* and seven-year-old CIC2*. The championship ran at Tweseldown until moving to Osberton in 2010, which was also when the sections for older horses started running as international classes
More info: British Eventing or www.bede-events.co.uk/osberton
2014 winners: Susan Grindal’s Jolie Lark, ridden by Ginny Turnbull, and Ballycanu, owned and ridden by Sophie Jenman (four-year-old); Camilla Harries’ Emirati Nightsky, ridden by Emily Llewellyn (five-year-old); the Hon Teresa Stopford Sackville and Catherine Butler’s Reinstated, ridden by William Fox-Pitt (six-year-old); Jacqueline Owen, Diana Bown and Samantha Wilson’s Ceylor LAN, ridden by Kitty King (seven-year-old).
Famous alumni: Redesigned (pictured), ridden by Pippa Funnell (2007 six-year-old winner, Bramham CCI3* winner and fifth World Equestrian Games 2010); Borough Pennyz, ridden by Vittoria Panizzon (2010 seven-year-old winner, 11th 2012 Olympics, seventh Badminton and eighth European Championships 2013)
4. Le Lion d’Angers young event horse World Championships
Date: 15-18 October
What is it? If you fancy a French trip in the autumn, this is the place to go. The best young horses in the world — or at least in Europe — gather here each year to take the prestigious six- and seven-year-old titles and numerous future championship horses have passed through Le Lion
More info: www.mondialdulion.com
2014 winners: Tenareze (seven-year-old), ridden by Thomas Carlile, since sold for Harry Meade to ride; Star Connection (six-year-old), ridden by Michael Jung
Famous alumni: Sleep Late, ridden by Ingrid Klimke (1998 seven-year-old winner, 2005 European individual bronze medallist, second at Badminton and world team gold medallist 2006); Primmore’s Pride, ridden by Pippa Funnell (2000 seven-year-old winner, triple four-star winner, individual bronze and team silver medallist 2004 Olympics); Galan De Sauvagère, ridden by Nicolas Touzaint (2000 six-year-old and 2001 seven-year-old winner, double European champion); Hildago De L’Ile (2002 seven-year-old winner, 2007 Pau CCI4* winner, 2008 Badminton CCI4* winner); Mister Pooh, ridden by Niklas Lindback (2006 six-year-old winner, 2013 European team silver medallist); Oslo, ridden by William Fox-Pitt (2008 six-year-old winner, 2011 Pau CCI4* winner); Mrs Medicott, later renamed Reality 69, ridden by Sara Algotsson-Ostholt (2010 six-year-old winner, 2013 European team silver medallist); Rocana FST, ridden by Michael Jung (2011 six-year-old winner, world individual silver medallist 2014); Sirocco Du Gers, ridden by Thomas Carlile (2013 seven-year-old winner, Boekelo CCI3* winner 2014)
Read more about the British-ridden horses who finished on the podium at Le Lion in 2014 in the February issue of Eventing magazine, out Saturday, 24 January.