Young Horses Impress at the Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships - Bolesworth British Young Horse Championship

Continuing with a second day of elite sport, the well-supported schedule at the Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships offered riders the opportunity to contest the young horse classes in pursuit of the highly sought-after qualification tickets for the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken (BEL). The competitive programme of the day also included the Horseware Ireland CSI2* 1.30m and the Hunter Woodshavings CSI1* 1.25m, before closing the day with the impressive Al Shira’aa CSI2* 1.40m.

Emerging victorious in the International Arena in a strong Al Shira’aa 7-Year-Old Qualifier (1) was Joss Williams aboard Fourfields Darc Maxim (Vdl Douglas x Maxim Clearance), finishing clear of the field with just under two seconds in hand. The sixteen placed combinations included Sally Goding (GBR) on her home-bred mare Spring Willow, Jack Ryan (IRL) on Operette Van De Koeboek, followed by Humaid Abdulla Khalifa Al Muhairi (UAE) with Al Shira’aa’s own Chalina 9.

The Ashdale Sports Horse 4-Year-Old Final saw a fair test in the International Arena with ninety-four participants piloting an impressive field of future young talent at the beginning of promising careers. This now completes the qualifying stage of both 4-Year-Old classes with clear rounds going forward to Saturday’s final.

Ridden to perfection and proving hard to beat, leading lady Laura Renwick and her home-bred mare, Symphony held the lead from the start finishing triumphant in the Horseware Ireland CSI2* 1.30m, set in the Castle Arena. Continuing in fine form, the 8-year-old by Parco adds this win to her impressive record. Finishing in second place was James Smith and his relatively new ride Kung Fu Van’T Heike, followed by Christopher Smith and the Indoctro mare Filandria in third.

The second Dallamires Stables 5-Year-Old Qualifier proved once again fruitful for John Renwick’s breeding program with his own Nfs Valentina (Arko x Dollar De La Pierre) winning in style with Megan James, followed by John Crippen on Science Supplements Bennys Kelly, and Laura Renwick in third with Nfs Angelina, also bred and owned by John Renwick and out of the iconic stallion Arko III.

Based with Laura and John Renwick, winner Megan said, “Nfs Valentina is naturally quick and super competitive, she’s on great form, fresh from winning the Pyecombe 5-Year-Old Championship. She’s the loveliest, easiest mare, bred to be a super star of the future”.  

In the Castle Arena, teamwork made the dreamwork for 16-year-old Madison Heath and her relatively new ride Bouncer, taking the top spot in the Hunter Woodshavings CSI1* 1.25m. The ground covering gelding, owned by George O’Shea, continued his winning ways at Bolesworth following on from his victory with Madison at the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show earlier in the year.

Trained by Geoff Billington and supported by top groom and Dad, Graham, Madison commented, “He’s very quick across the ground and happy to come on any line as long as I stay confident. We were against a lot of fast professionals today so needed to push for the lines, keep going and hope for the best, he’s got a heart of gold and helps me out a lot”.

The Al Shira’aa CSI2* 1.40m class brought power and precision to the International Arena, with top riders Laura Renwick, Anthony Condon and Angelie Von Essen all in the mix. Proving unbeatable against the clock was Irish rider Anthony Condon with John Hales’ prolific mare Zira vh Kapelhof Z. Closely followed in second place was Ava Vernon with Jolie Fleur Van De Noordheuvel, with third awarded to the on-form Laura Renwick with Jess Dimmock’s Haitske.

Consistently placed in the last four Grand Prix classes at Bolesworth, Anthony commented on his winning mare, “Zira vh Kapelhof Z is naturally fast and ultra careful, literally doesn’t want to touch the jumps.  She’s fighting for the win as much as I am which is such a quality, she’s a natural athlete who wants to win”.

A proven performer in her own right, Anthony Condon’s ride Zira vh Kapelhof Z is the dam of Lot 3 SFS Arizona, by Anthony’s 1.60m stallion, SFS Aristio. The promising bay colt with exceptional parentage is available in the Science Supplements Bolesworth Elite Foal and Embryo Auction on Friday 20th August.

The evening’s official auction preview in the International Arena provided spectators and competitors an exclusive opportunity to view the outstanding collection of foals on offer this year. The sterling line up of future talent, hand-picked for their highly coveted breeding, strong damlines, natural athleticism and potential for top sport offers buyers the chance to secure a very special young prospect for the future. Headlining the best collection yet is Lot 13, Arkola, by the legendary Arko III and out of top performing 1.60m dam of Lauren Hough’s, Ohlala. The line-up also includes two chances to purchase a foal out of top mare and former ride of Michael Whitaker, the outstanding Wild Rose. The first, Lot 2 Wild Life HF, a striking bay colt by 2016 Olympic Individual Gold Medallist Big Star, the second Lot 17 Wild Flower HF, an athletic bay filly by the incredible Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve.

Nina Barbour, Managing Director of Bolesworth, said: “It’s been a pleasure to see so many combinations on great form here at Bolesworth, serving as the perfect showcase for the incredible level of talent we have in this country, particularly from British bred horses.

“The Foal and Embryo Auction Preview, which took place in the International Arena this evening offered a flavour for tomorrow’s live auction. The Science Supplements Bolesworth Elite Auctions team have hand-picked our best collect yet, and we’re really proud to be able to offer an opportunity to acquire a foal or embryo with seriously impressive pedigrees and highly desirable damlines. There’s still time to register to bid and secure a spectacular young horse for the future.”

The entire collection of Lots in Friday’s Science Supplements Bolesworth Elite Foal and Embryo Auction is available to view online at www.boleswortheliteauctions.com. Prospective online bidders must register to bid online or book hospitality for the evening of Friday 20th August at the Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships to bid live. The auction will commence at 8.45pm on Friday 20th August. Please email auctions@bolesworth.com with any queries, to arrange a telephone bid or to arrange a call to discuss your individual requirements. 

General admission tickets are available to purchase at £15.00 for adults and £7.50 for children, which includes free parking. Children under three can enter for free and well-behaved dogs are welcome too.  Pre-booking is advised to avoid disappointment, however limited tickets will be available to purchase on the day and will incur an additional £5 parking fee. For British Showjumping Members, a discounted rate ticket price of £10.00 is available on pre-booked adult tickets. Spectate in style from the comfort of hospitality, visit https://www.bolesworthyounghorse.com/hospitality/ to book.