As Aaron Vale and Dress Balou jumped the first few jumps of the final round of the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix, people at the in-gate watching sucked in their breath. I heard a few “Wows.” Dress Balou cantered up to the jumps, then fired off the ground with a round, stylish jump that inspired comment.
Todd Minikus wasn’t quite sure how to handle the jump-off for the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix. He’s used to going all out in jump-offs, and there are few riders faster than him. On top of that, Quality Girl is a speedster herself, with a lot of zing to her step.
But all Minikus had to do was jump clear. The only other jump-off contender, Quentin Judge, had gone first and had a rail.
Sam Griffiths of Australia and Happy Times have made their way to the top of the leaderboard after the first day of dressage at the Land Rover Burghley CCI**** in on a score of 40.2.
U.S. pair Allison Springer and Arthur are right in the hunt, though, lying third. “This was probably his best performance here to date,” said Allison. “We made an uncharacteristic mistake with our timing in the first flying change, but luckily one of the judges didn’t notice.”
As the first half of the speed leg finished up, a 19-year-old Irish teenager sat on top of the standings.
Bertram Allen, competing in his first senior international championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, came into the ring early in the order of go with his charming gray mare Molly Malone and just laid down the round to beat.
In August, U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland joked that he wished he could send two teams to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, because he was so thrilled with how each of the riders on the 10-name short list had performed.
When the Belgian Equestrian Federation named their team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on Aug. 18, they named Pieter Devos on Dream of India Greenfield, Jos Lansink on Ensor de Litrange LXII, Olivier Philippaerts on Cabrio de Heffinck, Gregory Wathelet on Conrad de Hus and alternate Jos Verlooy on Domino.
But on Aug. 21, 20-year-old rider Constant van Paesschen and Alain Van Campenhoudt, the owner of the Citizenguard horses, filed legal action protesting van Paesschen’s omission from the team.