Why lungeing is like equine yoga for Lily Attwood’s ‘stressy’ London Global Champions Tour winner

Lily Attwood triumphs on the opening day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of London in a fantastic first day for British riders

  • Prolific winner Lily Attwood made it a Great Britain hat-trick in the CSI2* showjumping classes on the opening day of the Longines London Global Champions Tour at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London on Friday (13 August).

    The 19-year-old rode a cracking round with her super consistent partner Cor-Leon V. Vlierbeek Z to head the 1.40m two-phase presented by GCTV. But while their round was an absolute masterclass in speed jumping and precision, behind the scenes the 11-year-old son of Calvaro Z requires careful management to temper his “stressy” attributes.

    “He’s very sharp and hot-headed and he gets lunged quite a lot because he’s the kind of horse that even if you work him for an hour, he won’t calm down,” explained Lily. “Lungeing really helps with his brain, it really mentally calms him down, so I tend to lunge him every morning – not too much, just low and long and nice. Then in the warm-up it’s all about keeping him calm and not jumping him too big, not doing too much.

    “He’s stressy in the stable too, he cribs and he whinnies a lot – he never really just relaxes himself. But that’s what makes him such a fighter in the ring.”

    Cor-Leon has been an outstanding winning ride for Lily since they first teamed up two years ago. The gelding had previously been ridden by Belgian showjumper Jos Verlooy.

    “He’s a prolific winner, his record is amazing, and I can always bring him out to a show and know I can win at least one class, because he’s so careful and so fast,” said Lily, who also rode at the London Global Champions Tour in 2019.

    “That was also really fast – there’s always very good people and horses here,” said Lily. “It’s a beautiful venue so it always attracts the best, even for the two-star, so it’s always going to be a difficult competition to win. It was a very fast class but he’s a seriously fast horse.

    “He’s so cool,” added Lily. “I was early to go on my first horse [Calvaro’s Up To Date, with whom she took the lead but finished fourth] and a few people were faster in the end, but naturally he [Cor-Leon] is a bit quicker than her, so I knew that if I just stuck to my same lines he’d be a bit quicker. In the air and across the ground, he’s naturally very fast.

    “He jumped fantastic and I’m so pleased – that’s a great first day.”

    Lily will jump Cor-Leon again in Sunday’s two-star grand prix on the final day of the London Global Champions Tour.

    “My trainer Guy Williams doesn’t like going slow so he’ll probably just tell me to go for it again!” she said.

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