1. Gareth Hughes starts World Champs campaign in style
Classic Briolinca made an outstanding return to international competition over the weekend, ridden by Gareth Hughes to win the CDI3* grand prix for special with 76.52% at Compiègne CDIO5* in France. The 16-year-old Trento B mare was best of the Brits at the 2019 European Championships, finishing seventh in the special, but sustained a front leg injury early in 2021, just as Gareth was gearing up for the postponed Tokyo Olympics. While Gareth travelled to Tokyo as team alternate with his younger horse, Sintano Van Hof Olympia, Briolinca was given 12 months to recover at home. Now, Gareth is hoping she will be his ride at this summer’s dressage World Championships, in Herning, Denmark.
“With the way the shows fall this year, and campaigning for the worlds, I had to do this one. Compiègne is a big event, but she was amazing; as the test went on I felt her relax into it, and she felt really comfortable,” Gareth told H&H. “I’m so pleased for her c0-owner Julia Hornig, and must give special mention to my groom, Steph Sharples, who has been unbelievable in bringing her back.”
Britain’s Lottie Fry was third to Gareth on Dark Legend (73.54%) and Charlotte Dujardin finished fourth on Imhotep with 72.8%, on what was the nine-year-old Everdale gelding’s international grand prix debut.
2. The eventer having a crack at Hickstead
Olympic eventer Gemma Tattersall is aiming for one of the highlights of the showjumping calendar this year – the Hickstead speed Derby – with her talented eight-year-old event horse Johan-Some. “Johan-Some is a real talent and has been jumping some 1.40m showjumping classes, so he combines the experience of eventing with an amazing jump, and a brilliant brain – he’s just not fazed by anything,” said Gemma, who combines her top-level eventing career with plenty of success in pure showjumping and was seventh with the gelding in his first four-star at Chatsworth last weekend
The pair will jump in Thursday’s qualifier at the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby meeting (23-26 June), from which the top 25 combinations go through to the British speed Derby on Saturday.
3. The job title ‘groom’
In a recent column for H&H, Graham Fletcher asked for ideas for a new job title, speaking of his appreciation for and the importance of grooms, and questioning whether changing the name of their job would, among other things, sell the profession better, especially to non-horsey parents of potential staff. Now Lucy Katan, who set up both the British Grooms Association and the Equestrian Employers Association, as well as the International Grooms Association, says changing the job title “groom” is “not the right tactic for seeking an improvement in the recognition, respect, recruitment and retention issues in our industry”.
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