Two of Isabell Werth’s top horses, Don Johnson FRH and Bella Rose 2, won’t vie for a spot on the German team at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Don Johnson didn’t compete at this year’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final (Sweden) due to an injury he sustained immediately before, and Bella Rose’s last competition was the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France). There she was Germany’s highest score for team gold.
Grass Valley, a four-star horse competed by New Zealand’s Mark Todd and more recently by Brazil’s Gabriel Cury, was euthanized after breaking his feltlock on cross-country at the Belton Horse Trials CIC*** in Great Britain.
According to Horse & Hound, the 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Legal Pressure—Connaught Gold, Clover Hill), sustained the injury on a corner after a big table at fence 7ab.
Charlie Jayne’s top grand prix mount Chill RZ will now compete with young rider Eve Jobs. The 13-year-old horse, who’s been owned by Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher, and Charlie have been a team for about five years now.
A video released on social media on March 30 shows French rider Penelope Leprevost’s mount, Vagabond de la Pomme, stumbling badly during warm-up for the second-to-last round of the Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, on March 29. After his stumble, Leprevost stops him and appears to look down at his legs before booting him sharply forward.
Leprevost and the gelding went on to jump in both rounds on the last day of the final, where they finished eighth overall.
Most riders don’t agonize over photos and videos taken of an event they won. But even though Steve Guerdat topped last year’s Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final, the way he won it left him wanting more. During that final, Guerdat and Albfuehren’s Paille crashed through the final fence.
Sometimes a winning speed round looks rushed and chaotic, as riders race around the turns and take chances on their distances. Penelope Leprevost’s winning trip in the Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final speed leg was not that way. Leprevost and Vagabond de la Pomme floated their way to a deceptively fast round (63.78 seconds) over fellow French rider Simon Delestre on Qlassic Bois Margot (66.04 seconds).
There’s no Charlotte Dujardin or Valegro here, no Isabell Werth on one of her top-scoring mounts, no Edward Gal. And so, as ground jury president Susanne Baarup said at the conclusion of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final Grand Prix, “On paper, it was a very open competition.”
Hans Peter Minderhoud, on Glock’s Flirt, was champion of the day with 76.87 percent.