World Champions hit the ground running on day 2 of the London International Horse Show 2022. Eager to find out who rose and prospered under the glittering lights of the ExCel arena? Read on to find out more.
A double delight for Lottie
Great Britain’s double world championship winning combination, Lottie Fry and the 11-year-old black stallion Glamourdale completed another double, winning the FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle supported by Horse & Hound, to follow up on her Grand Prix victory last night. Their score of 90.995%, the best FEI World Cup score of the season so far, topped their Herning score of 90.354% and rewarded a breathtaking performance to the delight of the home fans.
Reflecting on their personal best performance, Fry said: “It was an amazing evening and to be able to end Glamourdale’s year competing here in London is just incredible. I didn’t actually realise it was the highest World Cup score so far, so that’s also really exciting. Lots of things felt better than in Herning; he has strengthened up so much and improved on many things. I am really happy with him.
The second you enter the arena, the atmosphere is incredible and the audience tonight was amazing. They really got behind me and I think they loved it as much as I did! As soon as the music started it was so much fun. I really feel as though he is getting better all the time and I think we can keep improving which is just really exciting. I can’t wait for the next few years, Paris is the goal.”
Second went to Gareth Hughes, a member of the British silver medal-winning world championship team alongside Fry, who also scored a personal best aboard Classic Briolinca. The 16-year-old mare, competing at her first indoor show, put on a masterful display of precision and athleticism to take the runner-up position. Germany’s Ingrid Klimke took third with the 14-year-old bay stallion, Franziskus FRH, to move to the top of the FEI Dressage World CupTM Western European League.
Exell in pole position
The first leg of the FEI Driving World Cup presented by Martin Collins Enterprises by Eurofip International was won by Boyd Exell, a regular winner here in London. With the fastest three from the first round going through to the second phase, the drivers took on a shortened course where the Australian’s ultra smooth turns and rapid pace meant he was over 12 seconds faster than the runner-up, Dutchman Koos de Ronde. Also, from The Netherlands, World No.3 Bram Chardon, came in in third – meaning the top three placed in the order their official FEI rankings.
Speaking after the class, Exell stated: “It was an interesting first round because I wanted to take the more challenging route. I am now planning for round two tomorrow, which is the FEI World CupTM qualifier. Today is all about securing the best placing for the running order tomorrow, so now all the focus is on Saturday. For me competing at The London International Horse Show is like driving at home, I know a lot of people in the crowd, they all come and send messages, which adds to the pressure but I love being here, it’s one of my favourite shows.”
Charles sparkles in the Champagne Taittinger Ivy Stakes
The opening 5* Jumping class, the Champagne-Taittinger Ivy Stakes, was won by Harry Charles, riding Billabong du Roumois. A total of 14 of the 34 starters jumped clear in the first round, paving the way for a scintillating jump-off, featuring some of the world’s best horse and rider combinations. Harry Charles set the standard as first to go in the jump-off, with a quick clear in a time of 30.60 seconds, putting the pressure on those to follow. The World No. 1 Under 25 rider, already a winner at the Show following his victory in the Under 25 Championship on Friday is clearly looking to retain the Leading Rider of the Show title he won in 2021.
Those who followed struggled to match Charles’ pace, picking up faults trying to emulate his tight turns. Ireland’s Connor Swail put in a good effort, posting clear in a time of 32.26 seconds, with Jack Whitaker also producing a top performance, with a clear round in 33.15 seconds to go into third with just two to go. The penultimate to go, Roger Yves Bost, gave his best shot, but his time was only good enough for eventual fourth, leaving Harry to take the victory for the second year in a row.
The London International Horse Show ambassador said: “What a great feeling to come back here, after last year, to win yesterday and then to do it again today, it’s a dream start. I’m lucky to have such a quick horse like him, he is a rocket across the ground, he’s now won two of his last three classes and was second in the other. It’s been a great start to the show, which gives me great confidence for the rest of the week.”
A close-run affair
The Christmas Pudding Speed Stakes, a 1.45m class against the clock, was a close-run affair. Bernardo Costa Cabral’s course proved challenging, with the penultimate fence, a double coming towards home, causing many combinations to accumulate faults.
World No. 3, Julien Epaillard, set the early pace, jumping an impressive clear in a time of 53.44 seconds. Kevin Staut was the next to jump without fault, making it a French one-two in the early stages. However, Ireland’s Connor Swail spoiled the French party, taking the lead at the midway point posting a time of 53.05 seconds.
Britain’s John Whitaker had the crowd on their feet as he sped to pole position, knocking 0.31 seconds off Swail’s time, however his lead was short lived, with Trevor Breen taking Ireland back to the top spot with a deceptively fast clear in a time of 52.10 seconds.
The last to go, Breen’s elder brother, Shane, pulled out all the stops and looked to make it a Breen one-two, but four faults and the penultimate fence left it to his younger sibling to take the victory aboard Jicarla T on his debut at the Show.
A delighted Breen said: “I saw a couple of the early ones to go and I knew it was going to be hard to win. My mare, she’s only eight, owned by Old Lodge Stud, she jumped fantastic for me tonight, every question I asked her she answered, and I really couldn’t be happier with her. It’s just fantastic to win at my first London International Horse Show in front of such brilliant crowd, I’m absolutely chuffed to bits.”
Military showjumping for Service riders
Earlier in the day, The London International Horse Show hosted the prestigious Services Showjumping Championships sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, for which Service riders gain qualification points over the military equestrian season. The 2022 edition went to debutante, ATpr Will Field, (AAC) and his own Graddus T, who mastered the 1.15m course with a jump-off time of 46.28 seconds, ahead of Maj Zoe Andrew in second. ATpr Field was also awarded the ‘Newcomers’ prize as the youngest in the field at the age of 18.
For more information on how to watch this year’s London International Horse Show from the comfort of your own home, visit our BBC news piece here.