‘It’s like wearing a down comforter on my head’ — Israeli rider and her flying hair feathers claim big win

  • With her trademark feathers woven into her hair, Israeli showjumper Danielle Goldstein certainly catches the eye on the international circuit, especially when she’s in winning form.

    On Saturday (4 May) Danielle flew round the jump-off track on the fantastic British-bred and produced mare Lizziemary to take top spot in the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Grand Prix of Shanghai.

    According to Danielle, she changes the colour of the feathers every four months or so and can have over 1,000 feathers woven in at any time.

    “It’s like wearing a down comforter on my head!” admitted Danielle.

    She pocketed over 200,000 euros (£171,000) for her win in China’s capital city — her second career win on the LGCT circuit. She and the 13-year-old daughter of Cabri D’Elle, previously ridden to great success by Billy Twomey and Emma-Jo Slater, took out a daring stride to the final fence in a nine-strong jump-off to take the title by just 0.08sec.

    “Lizziemary is like a rocket ship underneath you, she’s full of raw power and she tries her heart out for you,” said Danielle.

    “Sometimes you have a horse on whom you’re happy to be in the top three but sometimes it’s a privilege and an honour to have one you can have a shot to win with. It’s amazing to ride a horse like Lizziemary and today it worked out.”

    Victory for Danielle means she has qualified for this year’s LGCT Super Grand Prix in Prague in November alongside this season’s grand prix winners Pieter Devos, Jerome Guery and Julien Epaillard.

    Continues below…

    Just missing out in Shanghai was Ireland’s Darragh Kenny, who had to settle for the runner-up spot on the Cornet Obolensky stallion Balou du Reventon.

    “Dani did one less stride to the last fence and that made a huge difference,” said Darragh. “I’ve been aiming my horse for this for two months now and it’s a great show.”

    Don’t miss the full report from the fourth leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour and a full international round-up in this week’s bumper issue of Horse & Hound, out Thursday 9 May.

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