Monday, 16 August 2010

WEG2010 Eventing: Hartpury - Silence Of The Lambs

I didn't manage to get to Hartpury this weekend, and I wish I had as the entry list looked like a who's who of UK based World Equestrian Games contenders. So as I can't offer you a bucket load of superlatives about how well presented the course was or how lovely so-and-so's dressage test was, but here's a few observations from looking at the results and a few people I've managed to talk to:

Yogi Breisner - Very Pleased
Yogi Breisner is feeling pretty good right now, he had most of the GBR WEG team at Hartpury (William, Pippa, Piggy, Tina), all of them producing good Dressage Scores, with Piggy delivering the best of the lot and winning one of the CIC*** sections. Showjumping wasn't a disaster with just 3 rails and two clear rounds, and so with bigger prizes on offer next month at WEG, they justifiably didn't push it out on the cross country, except Piggy of course, who stood to win a Mitsubishi 4x4 (and she did). This I hope has silenced the bleating lambs who have questioned her inclusion in the team, because of the lack of form of her horse, Jakata.

Interestingly this horse and Mark Todd's Grass Valley, have both been through the hands of Alberto Giugni, an Italian rider based in Baydon, near Lambourn. Possibly a good place to go shopping.

Personally I think she's as deserving as anyone. I'd even go as far to say she has an outside chance of an individual medal, although I don't think it'll do the image of the sport any good to have a world champion called Piggy!

The New Zealander's on the other hand had a less successful time over all. Andrew Nicholson was the only gilt edge, winning one CIC*** class and coming second in the other with two of his selection list horses. Whilst Mark Todd won the CCI** , he must be getting a little nervous about team selection, having posted another less than perfect dressage score (55.6) on NZB Grass Valley. I would still send him to WEG though, as in a major championship or top 4* this man really can deliver. He took Grass Valley round Badminton like an experienced horse (he's only 10), and he won Badminton on a horse he'd barely sat on (Horton Point in 1994, and drawn 1st). The rest of his qualifications are legendary, and leaving him out would be like leaving Beckham out of the World Cup Squad. Caroline Powell did OK on Mac Macdonald and for me, she's done enough to go to WEG, but I wouldn't say the same for Black Drum (Annabel Wigley).

Meyer - Has he already done enough?
Joe Meyer ran one horse in the CCI**, and managed a respectable 11th place after some last minute cross country schooling on the way to Hartpury, but interestingly didn't compete either of his WEG short listed horses, even though Snip was entered, and was on the lorry having been to the team training day. Is this an indication he's been given the nod? or there was a problem with the horse? Both Snip & Clifton Lush are entered for Highclere though, so this may be just all part of a master plan.

It was a mixed bag for the Aussie's too. Badminton winner, Paul Tapner delivered an OK test on Inonothing scoring 50.2 and rolling a rail, whilst Sam Griffiths produced a best Dressage score (41.2), but brought down 2 rails and clocked up enough time penalties for Tapner to finish in front of him.

Alex Hua Tin - Moving up the ranks
Other points of interest from Hartpury include Alex Hau Tin clocking up a top 10 placing, this guy has class and experience beyond his years. Kitty King has picked up a fab little horse (High Havoc) previously ridden by Eliza Sangster, grand-daughter of the famous racehorse owner, Robert Sangster, and still owned by Eliza's mother Lucy Sangster. Bill Levett is still a man in form, the more I see this guy in action the more I'm convinced he should be a team contender, with a dressage score of 44 and clear show jumping he could easily have hit the gas cross country to win, but as he says on his blog, he planned to take it easy as it was One Two Many NJ's first 3*. Good for him!


  1. Thanks for the report, Monty. I agree wholeheartedly about Alex HT and Bill Levett. Also I saw Jonathan Paget was riding Clifton Promise, lovely gelding he had at Rolex in the spring, and was originally going to stay in the US for the summer with Boyd Martin so as to be handy for the WEG...I also think you're spot on about Mark Todd, and Piggy French is probably one of the most stylish and effective young riders competing today, and easily one of the best show jumpers. Wish I could have been there too, but looking forward to WEG, what a competition it's shaping up to be. Good luck next week and thanks for your blog.

  2. Thanks for the report.

    I followed Hartpury from Australia. Would have been great if they were posting up to the minute results.

    I have read in a few places over the last 24 hours that Joe Myer's "Snip" is out with a fractured hock (or something along those lines) so he will not make it to WEG or Burghley.
    I agree about Mark Todd I think he should definately get a ticket to Hong Kong. If they can choose from Caroline Powell, Jonathen Paget, Clarke Johnstone and Mark Todd who, on paper look like they will all put up similar performances, why not choose the one who is by far the most experienced.
    A great weekend for Andrew Nicholson - but know it has me thinking who will he take. I think its out of Nereo or Mr Cruise Control or worst case scenario Avebury (however 2009 Samur CCI*** winner is a very fancy worst case scenario prospect).
    Since the British selection was announced, the idea of Piggy French and Jakata has really grown on me and I think she may have made many doubters eat their words last weekend. However, that said, a 4 star and a championship is a big step up and it is a relatively new combination. still I say go for it Piggy.
    Bill Levett and One Two Many NJ sound like a classy combination and the horse is only an 8 year old. Bill seems to have produced him fantastically and hopefully he will be ready for 2012 (alongside Hippolyte).
    On paper, the Australian's (Sam and Paul's) results are a little dissapointing, but then again it's not the end of the world. although Sam Griffith's dressage score auger's well for his selection.

    Can't wait for final team announcements

  3. Highclere is going to be another cracking weekend! Very sad about Snip, I will try and get some video of Clifton Lush at Highclere. I also have a few video interviews lined up over the next few weeks with Aussie and Kiwi selections.

    Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz seem to be going north to Blair Castle for their WEG warm up, and Mary King is entered for Highclere.

    I can hardly contain myself!