When Switzerland’s Jane Richard Philips rode Dieudonne de Guldenboom into the lead of the $132,500 Longines Speed Challenge midway through the class, she didn’t stop biting her nails till the last rider cleared the last fence—literally.
Five days of competition, nine rounds of jumping, and in the end the individual championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games came down to the smallest of margins.
Just a single time fault separated gold from silver, with the Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam getting the top spot on the podium and hometown favorite Patrice Delaveau looking up at him. Beezie Madden helped the U.S. team win bronze earlier in the week, and she added another bronze from this year’s Games to her collection.
The ground jury accepted all 29 show jumpers presented at this morning’s veterinary inspection for the third competition. Sören Pedersen’s Third-ranked Tailormade Esperanza de Rebel was held initially, then passed on reinspection.
Four qualified entries, Kent Farrington, Christian Ahlmann, Ludger Beerbaum and Yann Candele, opted not to continue in the competition, leaving room for a few show jumpers further down the list to join the order of go.
Costa Rican rider Claudia Romero Chacon, who was injured in a fall on Aug. 28 during the endurance competition at the Alltech FEI World Games, underwent surgery for fractures and internal injuries on the day of the accident. She is recovering in hospital and is expected she will be discharged within a week. Her husband Juan Diego has recorded an audio message from his wife thanking everyone for their thoughts and prayers.
We met Lucie Aguila at the Normandy Regional Equitation Committee stand in the Games Village, among the most popular stops for the youngest equestrians at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Aguila was helping children get some hands on experience, helping them brush a pony on hand, learn about different kinds of feed and Velcro the correct name of part of a horse onto a board.
On Day 1 of eventing dressage, we met a group of British fans at the Alltech Kentucky Bar at the Alltech Games Village. They were watching the dressage on a huge screen set up outside and drinking exactly one beer an hour each as they followed the competition and jokingly critiqued the riders’ top hats (William Fox-Pitts: elegant and proper; one of the Swedes: far too tall, Tim Price: just right.) We caught up with Lucy Allison, her husband Shaun Allison and their daughter Sophie, as well as Sophie’s student, Jacqui Vaughan.
Marlon Módolo Zanotelli knows he’s one of the luckiest riders out there. The 26-year-old Brazilian got the ride on Clouwni, his partner at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, thanks to a bout of unexpected patriotism, and he’s taking full advantage of the opportunity, sitting 11th after three days of competition.
What do you get when you put together a crabby miniature stallion, a patient trainer and a whole lot of creativity? An amazing act that’s enchanted spectators across Europe. Experienced circus trainer Mélie Philippot dresses Luna as a lion, complete with a mane and ears, a braided tail and a nose-shaped muzzle. Dressed as a gladiator, Philippot shows off Luna the Lion’s impressive liberty work, including airs above the ground, jumping through a ring of “fire” and a variety of tricks.