British 2012 Olympic gold medallist returns to the ring and Ben Maher wins on new horse

  • All roads led to Barcelona this week for the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final, where some of the best teams in the world battled it out for the coveted title, as well as an all-important ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics. British chef d’equipe Di Lampard revealed her fifth-placed squad of young riders “did their country proud”, although you had to feel for poor Joe Stockdale, who said he was “absolutely gutted” to tip the final fence in round two and miss out on a share of the €100,000 double-clear bonus.

    Elsewhere in Spain, two of our Olympic riders debuted some exciting new horsepower and London gold medallist Peter Charles made a welcome return to the international ring. Meanwhile, on home soil, the Keysoe CSI2* grand prix attracted a strong field, so congratulations to Laura Stephenson and her 20-year-old partner Catherston Connor for their success.

    Here is your weekly round-up of international action from the world of showjumping over the past week.

    Ben Maher makes winning debut on new horse

    The reigning Olympic champion Ben Maher has some top-class new horses in his string and, in week one of the Autumn Mediterranean Equestrian Tour CSI2* at Oliva Nova, Spain, he made a winning debut with Exit Remo (main image, above), an outstanding five-star horse for Dutch rider Patrick Lemmen. Ben and the 13-year-old jumped the only double clear to win Saturday’s 1.45m jump-off class, but he was also in action on Helwell Du Chabus for Holger Hetzel, and the nine-year-old mare Dallas Vegas Batilly, a great contender for French team rider Nicolas Delmotte until recently. Scott Brash also made his competitive debut on the seven-year-old Keswichtime HV. This week’s grand prix was won by US rider Michael Hughes with the Stephex Stables’ 15-year-old Calisto Blue, once the ride of Michael Whitaker and more recently with Daniel Deusser. The bronze tour final resulted in a British victory for the in-form Joanne McGlory riding G Zara Zing while sisters Sienna and Scarlett Charles were placed in the silver tour equivalent.

    Showjumping results from Autumn MET Tour

    Belgium triumphs and young British team “make their country proud” in Nations Cup Final

    In Barcelona, Spain, Belgium took the coveted title in the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final, as well as securing Olympic qualification for Paris 2024. Great Britain’s young squad of Ellen Whitaker (Equine America Spacecake), Lily Attwood (Cor-Leon VD Vlierbeek Z), Jodie Hall McAteer (Salt’N Peppa) and Joe Stockdale (Equine America Cacharel) finished fifth, and chef d’equipe Di Lampard said: “I was so proud because Barcelona is no giveaway – it’s a sudden-death championship.”

    “We went straight through [to Sunday’s final], by the skin of our teeth!” she added. “This was Lily’s first time into the team at five-star level, a massive step up for a 20-year-old, and Jodie is getting much better at the level, while Joe has shown his maturity – that last fence was cruel though!” she said, of his faults at the final oxer, which denied him a share of the €100,000 double-clear bonus.

    “Ellen’s rounds were fantastic – to lead us out, and to lead everyone out on the last day. My goodness can she ride in that ring! The spirit with this young group of riders is brilliant, I was so proud of the way they came back. They did the country proud and what a season to look forward to next year.”

    Nations Cup Final standings

    Peter Charles makes a welcome return to the international ring

    With his daughters Sienna and Scarlett Charles in action on the Autumn MET Tour, Peter decided to don his white breeches and competition jacket to make a welcome return to the showjumping ring in the CSI2* classes. It had been three years since the 2012 Olympic team gold medallist made his last international appearance and four years since he was last competing regularly. Riding the nine-year-old ABC Caruso, 62-year-old Peter’s best result in Spain came in Sunday’s 1.40m two-phase class where he just collected four penalties in the second phase.

    “I always ride and school at home, but we had new horses and we were a rider short here so I jumped him myself – but don’t worry, it’s nothing big, I won’t be aiming for Paris or anything like that!” said Peter. “It’s part of our business – schooling the horses behind the scenes is what I do anyway and I can easily pull one around for the team, so all that was different this weekend was that I had to put on a shirt and tie!”

    Results from the CSI2* two-phase in Oliva Nova, Spain

    20-year-old gelding triumphs

    Only two riders managed to produce double clears in Keysoe’s CSI2* grand prix, and victory went to Laura Stephenson riding the 20-year-old Catherston Connor. Taking the runner-up spot was Joe Trunkfield with the great campaigner Grennanstown Sarco Lux. Don’t miss the full report in next week’s issue of H&H, in the shops on Thursday 13 October.

    Keysoe grand prix results.

    Landmark first grand prix

    At the CSI3* Lugano Diamonds Split Rock Jumping Tour at the Kentucky Horse Park, 21-year-old US rider Tanner Korotkin landed his first international grand prix aboard Rupert Winkelmann’s Quinn 33, who he’s only been riding for a couple of months.

    “He’s just an awesome, fast, super careful horse and he’s really fun to ride,” he said.

    Split Rock grand prix results

    You may also like to read…

    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.

    You may like...