A team of British first-timers strike gold, a year-long recovery and King Edward joins the ranks of Milton and Shutterfly

  • The future of British showjumping looks brighter than ever judging by the wealth of talent on show from the victorious Nations Cup pony team in France at the weekend. At the other end of the scale, we were left in awe after global superstars Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward made showjumping news headlines by producing a swathe of faultless performances to be crowned World Cup winners for the second year in a row.

    It’s all happening in this week’s round-up of international showjumping news and results.

    Showjumping news: British pony team first-timers strike gold

    Great Britain fielded a high-calibre quartet, the majority of whom were team debutants, for the pony competition at the FEI Nations Cup Youth in Compiegne, France, where they struck gold, winning on a zero score. Hollie Gerkin with Galaxy V, Sophia Rogers (Neil 55), Cate Kerr on Cindy and Aimee Paxton riding Las Vegas topped the podium ahead of Switzerland on a score of six, with Ireland’s James Derwin (Rincoola Babog), Lauren Adams (Slieve Bloom Bella Rose), Annie Boland (K-Little Hero) and Charlie Flynn (HK Zero) in third.

    “They are all team first-timers, and they rode and coped very well,” said Great Britain’s chef d’equipe Clare Whitaker. “It is looking promising for the European Championships this year with a depth of choice.”

    British riders filled five of the top seven placings in the grand pix with 15-year-old Aimee Paxton finishing second to Mathilda Hansson (Helga TH O), and team-mate Sophia Rogers in third.

    Ireland’s children-on-horses squad of Charlie Flynn (Elia), Ted Fagan on Consol, Robbie Sheehan riding Fubalia and Sam Widger (Jerenice Dysenbeeck Z) won the Nations Cup, where Great Britain’s quartet of Rosie Smith (Fruselli), Honey Bowes on Javas El Cid, Ted Bastian-Mason (Chacco Bay) and Lottie Adams with Khaleesi OL finished equal second.

    Henry Squibb (Kimba Kasino), Ella Spencer (Gilton Des Islots) and Rosie Smith on Azolette also flew the British flag with individual victories.

    FEI Nations Cup Youth results

    Up there with Milton and Shutterfly

    Henrik von Eckermann’s superstar partner King Edward was elevated to the ranks of such legends as Milton and Shutterfly when he became the first horse for 25 years to win back-to-back World Cup Finals.

    “To be here winning two times is something I could never have dreamed of when I was younger,” said the world number one.

    Read the full report from the World Cup Finals in this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, in the shops 25 April.

    FEI World Cup Finals results

    Showjumping news: King Edward (Henrik von Eckermann) joins the ranks of Milton and Shutterfly as the first horse for 25 years to win back-to-back World Cup Finals.

    The brilliant King Edward (Henrik von Eckermann) joins the ranks of Milton and Shutterfly as the first horse for 25 years to win back-to-back World Cup Finals.

    Showjumping news: back in the winner’s enclosure after a year-long recovery

    Ireland’s Jordan Coyle won the $32,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals CSI3* 1.45m speed class on the grass Derby field at the Equestrian Village at the Wellington International, Florida, USA – a welcome comeback after a year-long recovery from injury for the mare.

    “We’d had Costa for about 10 months with quite high expectations when she got an injury,” said Jordan of the 12-year-old Componist Champblanc x Allegreto mare owned by Elan Farm, who sustained damage to her deep digital flexor tendon.

    “Unfortunately, that was it for us. It’s taken exactly one year to get her back to the show ring,” said Jordan of the months of rest, hand-walks and a slow push back to fitness under the watchful eyes of Elan Farm grooms Marketa Churova and Miša Honzova.

    “I have to give them 90% of the credit because they did most of the work to get her back and it was a serious job.

    “She’s quite easy, so building her back was just about taking our time,” he added. “We did a 1.20m, then a 1.30m and then a 1.40m. I would almost say that she’s a better horse now than she was when we got her.

    “We have taken our time because I think she’s a very good horse; she’s mostly careful, but also easy to ride and has enough scope. It’s great to have her back and now we are going to have a bit of fun and not put her under too much pressure.”

    Just one Cornetta

    And finally in this week’s international showjumping news round-up, we move closer to home and Ireland’s Mikey Pender made his first visit to Chard Equestrian Centre in Somerset a winning one, lifting the CSI2* grand prix with nine-year-old Irish sport horse HHS Cornetta. He beat William Whitaker on Chacco’s Lando into second, with Britain-based Frenchman Gaspard Maksud third on Ballypatrick Tiberius.

    “She’s a very talented mare, who wants to do the job as much as I do,” said Mikey.

    You can read the full report from the CSI2* Chard in next week’s Horse & Hound magazine.

    CSI2* Chard results

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