Is this the most beautiful cross-country course in the world? 14 photos to take your breath away

Last week (18-21 October), some of the world’s best six- and seven-year-old event horses went head-to-head at the FEI World Breeding Federation Eventing Championships for Young Horses in Lion d’Angers, France.

Britain’s Kitty King took the six-year-old title with Alex Wakeley’s Cristal Fontaine, while Piggy French was second with Tom March’s Emerald Jonny. The USA’s Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Moonshine finished third.

Ingrid Klimke headed the seven-year-old Championship with the mare Asha P, while British contender Tom Jackson was runner-up with Milly Simmie, Patricia Davenport and Sarah Webb’s Capels Hollow Drift.

The cross-country courses, designed by Pierre Michelet, for the two classes are renowned for being works of art, and this year was no exception. Here, we take a look at some of the most eye-catching fences combinations tackled…

Fence 2 in both classes: Le jardin de la ville du Lion d’Angers

Fence 4 (seven-year-olds): Les escargots [meaning snails] de l’Isle Briand

Le violon du Credit Mutuel, which was jumped in both classes

Fence 10 (six-year-olds) and fence 12 (seven-year-olds): La ferme extraordinaire de l’Anjou

Decoration at the above fence

Fence 16 (six-year-olds) and 18 (seven-year-olds): Le félin Devoucoux

Not in the course: an immaculate schooling fence

Fence 19 (six-year-olds) and 22 (seven-year-olds): L’échiquier de l’Atoll

Fence 17 (six-year-olds) and 19/20 (seven-year-olds): La mine Equithème

An incredible sculptured obstacle at fence six

The owl hole, which was not jumped through this year

A maize-themed open ditch early in the course

Fence one makes an impression…

…As does the final fence: Le coeur Mécénat chirugie cardia

Read the full report from Le Lion d’Angers in this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out on Thursday 25 October