Who do you consider to be the best event horses in the world?
Equestrian data analytics company EquiRatings has released a list of the best event horses in the world, according to their Elo last month. The Elo is a ranking methodology originally developed for chess and now used in a number of sports.
The EquiRatings Elo is based on the principle of horses starting with 300 points. Every time a horse finishes ahead of other horses in a competition, it takes points from the horses it beat. This means successful horses which are consistently beating good horses will grow their ranking, while those who generally finish down the placings will lose points.
The nature of the Elo system is that change in the rankings is gradual and a horse won’t shoot to the top of the rankings by winning one big competition. Neither the current Olympic champion Amande De B’Neville nor the European champion JL Dublin appear in the top 10 by Elo. Both are younger horses who have not yet had time to build a really strong Elo ranking. All the horses who appear in this top 10 are at least 13 years old and have been competing at CCI4*-L level since 2018 or earlier.
So, let’s check out the current best event horses in the world by Elo…
1. FischerChipmunk FRH (pictured above, Elo 884)
FischerChipmunk FRH, who has been ridden by German supremo Michael Jung since 2019, won four of his five international eventing runs last year and finished eighth at the Olympics, denied an individual gold by a broken frangible device on the cross-country. He is also the 2019 European individual silver medallist. He belongs to Klaus and Savine Fischer, Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff and the German Olympic committee for equestrian sport.
2. SAP Hale Bob OLD (Elo 852)
Now 18 years old, SAP Hale Bob OLD is the winner of six championship medals for Germany with his owner Ingrid Klimke, including two European individual golds. He has had huge success during his long career, including landing a five-star title at Pau Horse Trials in 2014.
3. Ballaghmor Class (Elo 843)
The highest rated British-ridden horse on the list, Oliver Townend’s mount Ballaghmor Class is an Olympic team gold medallist and a double five-star winner, having triumphed at Burghley Horse Trials in 2017 and Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2021. He has run six times at five-star and never been out of the top six. Ballaghmor Class belongs to Karyn Shuter, Angela Hislop and Val Ryan.
4. Toledo De Kerser (Elo 827)
Another member of Britain’s gold medal-winning team from the Tokyo Olympics and also the individual silver medallist, Toledo De Kerser landed his first medal when he took a world team gold medal at Tryon 2018. His five-star successes include winning at Pau Horse Trials in 2019. He is owned by Fred and Penny Barker, Jane Inns and Ali McEwen, mother of his rider Tom McEwen.
5. Vassily De Lassos (Elo 814)
Owned by Paula and David Evans and his rider, Australia’s Andrew Hoy, Vassily De Lassos claimed individual bronze and team silver at the Tokyo Olympics, where he was the only horse to finish on his dressage score.
6. Classic Moet (Elo 791)
The 2018 Badminton Horse Trials winner, Classic Moet has also finished in the top 10 at four other five-stars and was fourth individually at the 2014 World Championships. She is the top mare on this list and is owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and her rider, New Zealand’s Jonelle Price.
7. Balmoral Sensation (Elo 788)
Balmoral Sensation was retired in May 2021, but appears on this list by virtue of his performances up to that point. Ridden by Clarke Johnstone, he represented New Zealand at the 2016 Olympics, finishing sixth individually, and his 16 international career wins included the five-star at Adelaide in 2017.
8. Vanir Kamira (Elo 778)
Trevor Dickens’ five-star specialist won Badminton Horse Trials in 2019 with Piggy March and they have been in the top five at the top level on four other occasions, including most recently at the one-off five-star at Bicton Horse Trials in 2021.
9th equal. London 52 (Elo 774)
Laura Collett and London 52 won Pau five-star in 2020 and went on to be members of Britain’s gold medal-winning team at the Tokyo Olympics the following season. The horse belongs to Keith Scott, Karen Bartlett and his rider.
9th equal. Virgil (Elo 774)
Another Tokyo Olympic medallist, but this time for Australia. Virgil was on the team that took silver and has been in the top 10 at five-star three times. He is ridden by Shane Rose and owned by Shane, his wife Niki and Michelle Hasibar.
Pictures by Peter Nixon, Amy Katherine Dragoo, Lucy Merrell, Corbis via Getty Images, Alamy Stock Photo and Sportsfile via Getty Images
- Who would you rate as number one in a list of best event horses in the world? Write to us at email@example.com and we might print your views in a future issue of the magazine. Please include your nearest town and county.
You might also be interested in:
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.