What an angle! An influential fence, a British five-star win and 10-time Olympian leads Nations Cup victory

  • In this week’s international showjumping news, we watched Great Britain’s Jodie Hall McAteer swoop to victory in a CSI5* speed class in the Longines Global Champions Tour season opener in Doha, Qatar, where an inexperienced mare also posted an “unexpected” grand prix victory.

    We were also wowed by one horse-and-rider combination’s daring angles en route to victory in Ocala, Florida, and a 10-time Olympian leading his Nations Cup squad to glory. This is what the sport’s all about! Here is our weekly round-up of international showjumping news and results.

    Intricate fan is make or break fence

    Course-designer Alan Wade was at his brilliant best at the World Equestrian Centre in Ocala, Florida, with this intricate fan fence (main image, top) in particular testing horses and riders in the $40,000 1.4m CSI3* two-phase. Victory went to speedy US rider Aaron Vale with Lori Osterstock’s I Adermie R4, who scythed over this obstacle at a breathtaking angle to set an unbeatable time.

    “Alan Wade is a world-class course-designer and he has been creating great courses all week,” said Aaron. “The first phase let you jump around a bit, then the second phase had some fun elements. There was a hard inside turn from the Wheels Up jump to the fan vertical. It was hard to get inside to that fence smoothly because it was a tough angle.

    “I didn’t get there as smoothly as I wanted, but Adermie is quick-footed enough that she kept it up,” he added of the 10-year-old Den Ham Blue R x Namelus R mare. “Then I found the rest [of the course] forward and to my advantage as Adermie is the type of horse that the faster you go, the better she jumps.”

    Jodie Hall McAteer riding Kimosa Van Het Kitrahof winning the CSI5* speed class in Doha, Qatar

    Jodie Hall McAteer of Great Britain riding Kimosa Van Het Kitrahof to victory in the CSI5* speed class in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Longines Global Champions Tour

    Kimosa is the speed queen

    THE 2023 edition of the Longines Global Champions Tour kicked off in Doha, Qatar, where there was plenty to celebrate for young British rider Jodie Hall McAteer, who swooped home fastest in Saturday’s 1.50m speed class riding the 13-year-old mare Kimosa Van Het Kitrahof.

    She beat leading Swedish riders Malin Baryard-Johnsson on Harley Davidson and Henrik von Eckermann riding Hollywood V by nearly 2sec.

    “I’d had a bit of an unlucky show but Kimosa’s been in great form recently. We’ve not actually had a big win for a while, although we’ve come close a few times, so it was really nice to get one finally,” said Jodie, who also represented New York Empire in the GCL competition. “I didn’t see Malin and Henrik’s rounds, I just made my own plan and stuck with it. Kimosa is a naturally very fast horse so I never really have to ride her too quick, she naturally covers the ground and she’s like a little pony, with a very fast pace. She’s always very competitive when I leave the fences up.”

    Amongst the other winners in Doha was Ireland’s Denis Lynch, who topped the opening five-star two-phase on Cornet’s Iberio.

    Inexperienced mare posts ‘unexpected’ CSI5* grand prix victory

    Philipp Weishaupt (Just Be Gentle) and his co-rider from Ludger Beerbaum‘s stables, Christian Kukuk (Nice Van’t Zorgvliet) filled the top two positions on the LGCT grand prix podium in Doha, Qatar, separated by just 0.05sec. Remarkably, both riders teamed up the previous day to win the Global Champions League representing new team Riesenbeck International while team manager Ludger was in hospital recovering from surgery on a broken leg. Taking third in the grand prix was speedy French rider Simon Delestre on Dexter Fontenis Z after a 12-way jump-off.

    It had been 11 years since Philipp’s last LGCT grand prix win and this was the mare’s first ever attempt at a grand prix, at only her fourth show at the top level.

    “This is a very very special moment,” said Philipp, who earned a ticket to the Super Grand Prix in November for this victory on the inexperienced nine-year-old mare Just Be Gentle. “Winning a Longines Global Champions Tour grand prix is special but even more so with this young mare. I was never expecting to jump clear, let alone win. These unexpected wins are the nicest ones so I am over the moon right now.”

    Daniel Coyle and Ivory TCS winning the 4* grand prix at Wellington International, Florida

    Daniel Coyle and Ivory TCS, winners of the $226,000 JTWG CSIO4* Grand Prix. Photo © Sportfot

    ‘I’m delighted she hasn’t been sold!’

    A mare who was brought in to be sold won the $226,000 CSIO4* grand prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Florida, under Irish rider Daniel Coyle.

    Ivory TCS is a 10-year-old Falaise De Muze mare whom the 28-year-old rider owns with Ariel Grange’s Lothlorien Farm. She was bought at the 2020 WEF Sport Horse Auction as a seven-year-old, with the original plan to sell her. Instead, she has climbed the ranks with her rider, and grand prix victory at the weekend was secured after a four-way jump-off.

    “I think I was beatable, but there wasn’t much of a gap, which was my plan,” said Daniel, who was drawn second of the quartet. “Ivory is a very fast horse in every jump-off. She might take two extra strides than a big horse, but that doesn’t mean she’s necessarily slower, because she does it so fast. I tried to use that today because there were no related distances – it was single fences, then turn back and gallop halfway across the track, so I tried to use the quickness that she naturally has to my advantage.

    “She was bought to be sold and I’ve had a few people try her, but I have to say I’m delighted that she has not gone yet,” added Daniel, who was also awarded as the top money-earning Irish rider during CSIO week at WEF.

    Ten-time Olympian leads Nations Cup victory

    Canada, led for the first time by 10-time Olympian chef d’equipe Ian Millar, won the CSIO4* Nations Cup at Wellington International. The quartet of Erynn Ballard (Gakhir), Mario Deslauriers (Emerson), Tiffany Foster (Hamilton) and Beth Underhill (Nikka VD Bisschop) fought off some fierce competition from the remaining 10 teams, with Brazil finishing second and Ireland in third, represented by David Blake (Claude), Cian O’Connor (Berlux Z), Shane Sweetnam (Namaste Van Het Eyckeveld) and Max Wachman (Kilkenny).

    “I think we had great confidence and we really wanted to give it a good shot for a win, especially with our new leader, Ian Millar,” said Beth. “I think all of us together are friends and have been for many years, so there’s been this great synergy and strength among us.”

    Irish chef d’equipe Michael Blake said: “We knew Canada had a strong team and I’d like to congratulate them on their performance. We had some very strong performances tonight and some unlucky faults. As always, I would like to thank the owners of our Irish team horses who make competing in Nations Cups and successes like tonight possible. And to our team sponsors – thank you.”

    Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza (OO Seven De L’Equipe), Sam Hutton (Verona 13), Grace Debney (Agadance Van’t Gelutt Z) and Amanda Derbyshire (Cornwall BH) took seventh.

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