Sweden’s Angelie von Essen and the “amazing” Cochella gave the crowd at the Dodson & Horrell International Horse Show (7-11 July) a spectacular end to the day’s sport with a masterclass win in the CSI3* 1.50m jump-off class.
Cochella is beautiful. There’s something about greys that means they have that little bit of extra magic, and she looks as if she could have stepped off the pages of a fairytale.
The way the pair tackled the final dogleg line from the double to the last fence, an imposing oxer at the far side of the arena, you could almost have sworn that Cochella sprouted wings. Runners-up Daniel Coyle and Legacy gave a strong chase, but a touch of the rein to rebalance the mare cost the Irishman a fraction of a second that he did not have.
“I wasn’t very happy with the first round. She jumped amazing, but it wasn’t as smooth as I would have hoped,” Angelie told H&H.
“The second round, she was a superstar. I didn’t count, but it felt like I took a stride out [to the last] – she’s like superman!
“She’s a princess – everything about her is just amazing.”
Angelie added the win was made even more special by the fact her owner, Martin Dawes, who is also a long-term owner for her partner James Davenport, was there to see his 16-year-old mare (Cartani 4 x Lord) win.
“He hasn’t seen her in the ring for about three years, so that was really nice,” she said, adding Cochella will next jump in Sunday’s grand prix.
A total of 13 combinations from the 58-strong start list ended their first round on a clean sheet to make it through to the jump-off.
Millie Allen and Daniel – another grey from the Davenport stable – threw down the target to beat, with a fast clear over Louis Konickx’s jump-off course in a time of 38.28 seconds.
The course made full use of Bolesworth’s huge international arena, with long bending dog-legs, daring riders to push on, and twisting roll-backs, testing their accuracy and control.
“She has a massive stride and she’s so careful, so I was never worried about turning, like up to the red vertical, as you know that she is going to jump,” added Angelie, who stopped the clock in 37.22 seconds.
“She’s so quick, without ever getting stressed and she never loses her jump. She’s amazing.”
Mares and stallions made up all the horses that finished on zero jumping scores, with five mares and two stallions in the top seven.
Third place went to Georgia Tame and the 10-year-old Irish sport horse stallion Z7 Ascot and early leader Millie Allen in fourth. Alex Thomson (Cathalina S) and Amy Inglis (Wishes) tied in a dead-heat for fifth, with Jackson Reed Stephenson and Cool Cash rounding off the double clears in seventh.
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