Olympic Games team bronze medallist Christopher Burton from Australia topped the six-year-old section with the KWPN Fire Fly, while team silver medallist Ingrid Klimke from Germany rode the Holsteiner mare Weisse Duene to victory in the seven-year-old category at the FEI World Breeding Federation Eventing Championships for Young Horses 2016 at Le Lion d’Angers, France.
In both age categories there were exciting new talent on show, with a total of 99 horses from a range of studbooks with the Selle Francais claiming the overall Studbook title with a score of 154.6 points.
From a field of 40 starters in the six-year-old category, the Ground Jury placed Germany’s Kai-Steffen Meier and the Trakehner stallion Painter’s Maxim (Philox/Painter’s Moon/Painter’s Row) in top position after the dressage on a score of 40.03. They were closely followed by Belgium’s Lara de Liedekerke-Mei and the Hannoverian gelding Ducati D’Arville (Diarado/Pricilla/Perpignon) on 42.3, while Britain’s Izzy Taylor and the KWPN chestnut mare Jockey Club Fleurelle (Vivaldi/Zarelle/Sydney) were in third on 43.4. Christopher Burton was close in fourth position with Fire Fly on a score of 44.2, while Switzerland’s Felix Vogg and Mathurin V/D Vogelzan sat in fifth place on 45.3 before going into the cross-country phase.
After Pierre Michelet’s fantastic cross-country track, all of the top six riders held their spots, so it all came down to the jumping round to decide the final placings. Both Felix Vogg and Christopher Burton rode great clear rounds to stay on their dressage scores, which meant they crept up the leader board.
“I am happy as there were so many good six-year-old horses with good riders,” said Christopher Burton. “I really needed all the luck for this win and I had exactly that in the jumping because my horse touched several poles that didn’t fall! ‘’
In the seven-year-old category German rider Ingrid Klimke found herself leading after the dressage with Weisse Duene (Clarimo/Esprit V/Romino) on a score of 36.9. This proved to give them a clear lead initially over Pippa Funnell and the AES gelding Billy Walk On (Billy Mexico/Shannon Line/Golden Bash) on a score of 39.0, while Austria’s Charlotte Dobretsberger slotted into third with the Hannoverian mare Vally K after receiving 45.2.
British riders dominanted the leader board in the early stages with Kitty King in fourth with the Selle Francais Vendredi Biats (Winningmood van de Arenberg/Liane Normandie/Camelia de Ruelles) on a mark of 45.4 and Gemma Tattersall in sixth with the SHBGB mare Chillis Gem (Chilli Morning/Kings Gem/Rock King) on a score of 45.9. While Frenchman Maxime Livio was in fifth place on the Selle Francais gelding Vroum D’Auzay on a score of 45.7 before going into cross-country day.
Following the cross-country and show jumping both third-placed Charlotte Dobretsberger and fourth-placed Kitty King dropped out of contention following a refusal cross-country, which allowed Maxime Livio to move up to third spot behind Pippa Funnell and Ingrid Klimke.
“My mare should be the one credited with this win” said Ingrid Klimke. “Last year her inexperience on the cross country cost us, but this year she was brilliant in the three tests and confirmed exactly what I think of her! She is definitely a mare for the future and she certainly has the potential to go to the Olympics in Tokyo in four years time!”
Seven-Year-Old Championship: GOLD - Weisse Duene (Ingrid Klimke) GER 36.9; SILVER - Billy Walk On (Pippa Funnell) GBR 39.0; BRONZE - Vroum D’Auzay (Maxime Livio) FRA. 45.7.
Six-Year-Old Championship: GOLD - Fire Fly (Christopher Burton) AUS 44.2; SILVER - Mathurin V/D Vogelzan (Felix Vogg) SUI 45.3; BRONZE - Jockey Club Fleurelle (Izzy Taylor) GBR 47.4.