Cian O’Connor, Jack Whitaker and Bryan Balsiger


  • The return of the Longines FEI World Cup leaping collection in Europe alerts that winter is drawing in, and Jack Whitaker secured an incredible profitable double within the five-star lessons on the season opener in Norway. Conversely, it’s nonetheless shorts-and-T-shirt climate for these extending the out of doors season on the varied leaping excursions in Portugal and Spain, the place Cian O’Connor and Kilkenny secured a notable grand prix victory.

    Right here is H&H’s weekly round-up of worldwide motion over the previous week, plus showjumping outcomes.

    Kilkenny exhibits star high quality – and there’s an thrilling new experience for O’Connor

    The Andalucia October Tour in Spain kicked off with an attention-grabbing grand prix victory for Irish showjumper Cian O’Connor driving Susan Magnier’s 10-year-old Kilkenny. The pair skipped around the 1.50m observe, taking out a stride to the double and executing an outstanding turnback to the penultimate fence within the jump-off earlier than hovering residence clear, greater than half a second faster than nearest rivals Laura Kraut with Baloutinue for USA in an thrilling 10-way jump-off.

    “Kilkenny is a particular horse,” mentioned Cian. “He was clear within the 1.45m right here the opposite day and he was incredible within the grand prix. He’s not a horse I’m going terribly competitively on loads, I maintain him for the larger days.”

    Cian mentioned he was “delighted” for Susan Magnier, proprietor of the Irish-bred son of Cardento 933.

    “We put a whole lot of effort in to have him match for Dublin, which was very particular leaping double clear to assist the group safe the win [in the Nations Cup],” Cian instructed H&H. “Over the previous couple of weeks I’ve been busy travelling, promoting horses, on the lookout for horses, all sides of the enterprise, so we determined to begin him up right here once more for the winter marketing campaign and he felt nice. The distinction between good horses and the actually particular ones is you don’t must practise, and also you don’t want to show Kilkenny something – he hasn’t gone towards the clock for over a 12 months but he can simply go in and take out a stride and do a turnback like that. It’s humorous while you realise simply how totally different he’s to most different animals, he has a really particular mind.”

    “These lessons are all the time aggressive, there are not any straightforward wins these days, however it’s a phenomenal grass area, the organisers do an excellent job right here and the fences have been very spectacular and sufficiently big,” added Cian, pictured under. “It was a great begin.”

    Showjumping results: Cian O'Connor and Kilkenny winning the CSI3* grand prix

    Cian additionally debuted one other new experience for Susan Magnier, the nine-year-old stallion Rock Of Cashel – beforehand often known as Icoon VDL when ridden by Hessel Hoekstra till not too long ago. Cian hopes this stylish prospect may very well be his European Championship experience in 2023.

    “He’s a stunning horse, it’s early days and we’ve solely carried out small lessons right here, however we’re aiming to step him as much as the grand prix subsequent week,” mentioned Cian, who was impressed by the son of VDL Bubalu’s latest performances along with his earlier rider; they completed third within the grand prix of Falsterbo and jumped clear in Rotterdam.

    “He’s solely 9 years outdated and has all these good outcomes behind him so I assumed he was price . His earlier rider Hessel has carried out an amazing job and his former proprietor is in contact, which is good as a result of if you happen to don’t have all of the keys with a brand new horse, it’s a must to begin from scratch, whereas in the event that they assist you with the horse, you get the guide with them.”

    Suzuki grand prix showjumping outcomes

    Nippy mare helps Whitaker to a five-star double

    Jack Whitaker and the tremendous mare Scenletha discovered the profitable system not as soon as, however twice, on the Kingsland Oslo Horse Present in Norway, scorching to victory in Friday’s CSI5* 1.50m pace class and following up in Sunday’s jump-off contest.

    “She’s in unbelievable type and it felt just like the extra we jumped the higher she bought, she feels tip-top,” mentioned Jack, who beat sturdy performances from second-placed Daniel Deusser with Kiana Van Het Herdershof and third-placed Lily Attwood (Karibou Horta) within the 45-starter class.

    Showjumping results: Jack Whitaker and Scenletha

    In Sunday’s World Cup qualifier, Jack and Equine America Valmy De La Lande completed with 4 faults.

    “We had the second-last fence down, which was only a regular vertical off a nook, so a very comfortable fence to have down, particularly when Valmy is often an unbelievable vertical jumper,” mentioned Jack. “I used to be actually proud of the way in which he jumped, so it was disappointing to have that one down – if he jumped it one other 100 instances I’m certain he wouldn’t have knocked it. However each he and Scenletha are fairly good indoors, so hopefully we’ll have one other probability after we go to Helsinki this week.”

    Oslo Horse Present outcomes

    ‘An adrenaline kick like I by no means skilled in my entire life!’

    Following up on his 2019 success, 25-year-old Swiss rider Bryan Balsiger landed the opening leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Western European League in Oslo, Norway, this time driving the thrilling mare Dubai Du Bois Pinchet (pictured under).

    His victory got here after a extremely aggressive 11-way jump-off, holding off the problem of second-placed Victoria Gulliksen on Equine America Papa Roach, with jump-off pathfinder Eire’s Eoin McMahon third driving Ludger Beerbaum’s Chakra.

    “Because the starting of the 12 months, Dubai has been the primary horse in my steady and we’ve been having good outcomes collectively,” mentioned Bryan. “I knew we may do extra and I used to be ready for an enormous win, so I’m over the moon along with her! She has a whole lot of temperament however I do know her effectively and he or she offers me all the things – and extra.

    Showjumping results: Bryan Balsiger winning the Oslo leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup

    “After we plan go to a World Cup qualifier, I all the time have my horses prepared as a result of it’s a large alternative to experience on your nation at this stage and I simply need to do my greatest,” he mentioned. “I wanted luck right this moment, however after three years you know the way troublesome it’s to win at World Cup exhibits. It doesn’t occur each weekend and it’s an excellent achievement that may solely occur with the assistance of my nice horse and all of my group, my sponsor and coach and my groom – I’m so grateful to all of them for believing in me and my horses.”

    This 12 months’s demanding observe within the compact Telenor Enviornment was set by Swedish course-designer Peter Lundstrom and requested loads of questions as horses got here indoors after a summer time competing exterior.

    Runner-up Victoria Gulliksen, 30, mentioned: “It was a loopy feeling, an adrenaline kick like I by no means skilled in my entire life! With out that horse I’d by no means have jumped clear. I used to be lacking completely to the final fence however he jumped it.”

    The Norwegian rider added: “He does all the things for me as a result of he loves me and I really like him, and he simply knew he needed to bounce clear right this moment and he was actually working for it. I couldn’t be extra completely satisfied to have a transparent spherical for the primary time within the World Cup on residence soil!”

    The World Cup rolls into Helsinki, Finland, subsequent Sunday.

    Longines FEI Leaping World Cup of Oslo introduced by Kingsland outcomes

    Showjumping results: Matt Sampson and Fabrice DN win

    A profitable double for Matt Sampson

    The British showjumper Matt Sampson has returned to Europe and this week contested the CSI3* Andalucia October Tour, the place he instantly resumed his profitable methods, touchdown a brace of lessons on consecutive days, with Fabrice TN (pictured above) and Curraghgraigue Obos Flight amongst a string of excellent placings. His win with the latter got here in a aggressive 1.45m two-phase the place he beat Holly Smith with Poden Farms’ Don Vito into second place, with an in-form Niamh McEvoy third on Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick. Among the many different British winners in Spain have been Kayleigh Watts (Whisper Of Pleasure), Ellie Corridor McAteer (Billy Penny), her sister Jodie (Kimosa Van Het Kritrahof) and Will Edwards (Magic Chanti).

    Andalucia October Tour showjumping outcomes

    Riders on type

    On the CSI4* Fall Tour at Hubside Leaping Grimaud, St Tropez. France, latest Horse Of The 12 months Present (HOYS) puissance winner Commandant Geoff Curran landed a 1.50m two-phase driving the 10-year-old Tempo Manor, and his fellow Irishman Darragh Kenny secured a 1.45m victory towards the clock on Cicomein VDL. This week’s grand prix winner was world quantity three Julien Epaillard of France with the nine-year-old Donatello D’Auge.

    Hubside Leaping Grimaud outcomes

    Grand prix goes to Aston

    British showjumper Chloe Aston landed the CSI3* grand prix on the Villamoura Champions Tour in Portugal. She and the 11-year-old mare Flavie Van De Helle soared residence quickest in a nine-way jump-off to land the €12,825 high prize. James Smith took a notable win with the Castrado seven-year-old Depraved’s Vancouver, additionally leaping to victory on Laura Renwick’s Arkuga in Thursday’s 1.40m two-phase whereas Philip Spivey landed Friday’s 1.40m pace class on the nine-year-old Billy Pearl. Laura Renwick described James’s success as a “fabulous begin to our Vilamoura Champions Tour”.

    Villamoura Champions Tour outcomes

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