John Whitaker ‘never gets used to winning’, Bosty takes a sideways approach and Scott Brash wins a cake

  • This week, we enjoyed five-star showjumping as far afield as Mexico City, where the Longines Global Champions Tour rolled into town, and there were sombreros galore. Meanwhile back on home soil, some of Great Britain’s top riders gathered to contest the CSI2* show at Chard, Somerset.

    Flying Frenchman Roger Yves Bost performed his trademark acrobatics to win a grand prix on home soil and Scott Brash was last seen digging into a chocolate cake won in a five-star class. Here is your weekly round-up of all the international showjumping news highlights and results from across the world.

    ‘He’s going faster by the day’

    Leading French showjumper Roger Yves Bost won the GL Events grand prix at the CSI4* Fontainebleau with the 13-year-old Cassius Clay VDV Z, who he describes as “13 years old but getting faster by the day!” “Bosty” topped the 1.55m 14-strong jump-off by well over a second, performing his trademark acrobatics in the saddle – appearing to almost ride sideways over the towering vertical (pictured top) – to slice the shortest route home in front of a thrilled home crowd. “Cassius has been in good form over the past few shows, but it is not often he goes so fast in a jump-off,” he said of their first win together.

    Win your cake and eat it

    At the 5* Longines Global Champions Tour of Mexico, British rider Scott Brash won a competitive 1.50m two-phase on Lady Harris’ and Lady Kirkham’s 14-year-old Hello Mr President. As well as the  €13,050 prize-money he picked up for his success, Scott was presented with a fabulous equine-themed cake back at the hotel.

    John Whitaker and Equine America Unick Du Francport winning in Fontainebleau, credit: PSV - J.Morel

    John Whitaker and Equine America Unick Du Francport winning in Fontainebleau, credit: PSV – J.Morel

    ‘You never get too used to winning’

    British jumping legend John Whitaker, who turns 68 this year, won the Prix CWD 1.50m jump-off class at the CSI4* Fontainebleau on his great campaigner Equine America Unick Du Francport, who is back from a break. “Despite my age, you never get too used to winning, because in this sport, you lose more often than you win,” said John, who was first to go against the clock in a six-way jump-off. “Today’s course was tough – only six combinations finished clear out of 70 starters, which is not very many. It was a technical course, which also had to be completed in a short time, which means you have to take risks.

    “It’s quite difficult to win from first position, so I had a plan in my mind but I was worried about [second-placed] Max Kuhner because he’s been in top form this year. But it was one of those rounds where everything went to plan; it was smooth, quick and controlled. It’s a nice feeling when it goes to plan!”

    When asked if he’d made plans around next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, John said: “I don’t know yet. This year I’m 68 and if someone had told me 10 years ago that I still had the chance to go to the Olympics, I wouldn’t have believed it. So it’s not really in my mind. But if the horse is jumping like today, then anything is possible!”

    Grand prix glory for Sienna Charles

    At the CSI2* grand prix at Chard, Somerset, Sienna Charles topped a mammoth 23-strong jump-off with the 14-year-old gelding Valkiry De Zance. You can read the full report from the show in next week’s magazine, in the shops Thursday 4 May.

    The Mexico City LGCT grand prix podium featuring David Will, Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Laura Kraut

    The Mexico City LGCT grand prix podium featuring David Will, Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Laura Kraut

    First LGCT grand prix for David Will

    German showjumper David Will landed his first Longines Global Champions Tour grand prix in Mexico City aboard My Prins Van Dorperheide. Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Indiana cannoned home for second place, just ahead of US rider Laura Kraut on Baloutinue.

    “My horse made it easy for me today, he jumped unbelievable in front of this incredible crowd,” said David, who picked up the series’ third golden ticket for the Super Grand Prix in November. “The horse already deserved to win last week in Miami, but I made a mistake to the last fence in the jump-off so I am thrilled I made up for it today.”

    Laura Kraut said her Olympic silver medal-winning partner Baloutinue “is a winner to me.”

    “I am very happy there were two women on the podium, that’s important to me for people to realise the women are just as strong as the men,” she said.

    Malin now leads the LGCT championship on 99 points, with Maikel van der Vleuten holding onto second with 94 points and Abdel Saïd catapaulting up the rankings to third on 79 points.

    Howley soars to grand prix victory

    And finally in this week’s showjumping news, Irish rider Richard Howley landed the Spring MET IV 2023 concluding CSI3* grand prix aboard rising star Consulent De Prelet Z.

    “He’s a naturally quick horse, he is very careful so you can really trust him at the jumps,” said Richard, who also won a two-phase this week with the eight-year-old stallion Kolwa . “Consulent was in super shape and it felt like he could give a good result, so we had a go and the jump-off went our way.

    “He is a very good horse and I plan to do some big things with him this year.”

    William Funnell continued his good form at the show, finishing fifth on Equine America Billy Diamo, having earlier won a speed class with the 10-year-old Equine America Billy Marmite.

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