Champions Crowned at the Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships - Bolesworth British Young Horse Championship

The climax of the Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships delivered spectators the opportunity to view the stars of today and tomorrow, in all their glory. The five-day show concluded with highlights featuring a thrilling World Ranking Al Shira’aa Grand Prix battle, and impressive young horse Championship Finals with the Windmill Farm Estates 6-year-old and Al Shira’aa 7 -year-old 2021 Champions crowned. 

The 6-year-old Championship provided all the questions required of a demanding yet encouraging Final. The competitive first round saw fifty-nine combinations brought forward from the week’s qualifying classes with the opportunity to not only take the title but secure a ticket to the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken (BEL), plus take a share of the bonus.

A fast paced, thrilling jump off saw three worthy combinations deliver faultless rounds with the ever-competitive Ronnie Jones and prolific mare Kaleche taking the Windmill Farm Estate 6-year-old Championship title. No stranger to Championship wins, the F One Usa x Nassau mare owned by Ruth Dowie of Runningwell Sport Horses adds the 6-year-old crown to an impressive record having taken the Bolesworth Young Horse Championship titles as a 4, 5 and now 6-year-old, as well as the British Showjumping Big Star Championship.  Showing exceptional talent with scope for an international career, the F One Usa mare Kaleche can also add ‘Working Mum’ to her list of accolades, now boasting promising youngstock by Invictus on the ground via recipient mares. 

British bred horses closely followed with Joseph Trunkfield taking second with his own Rsh Deal Breaker (Action Breaker x Lux Z) and Lucy Townley on Billy Marionette (Cevin Z x Billy Congo), owned by the Billy Stud, finishing third. All three riders posted faultless rounds all week, benefitting from a three-way split of the £4,000 bonus pot.

A delighted Ronnie Jones praised his horse: “I’ve never ridden a horse quite like Kaleche, she’s so laid back at home, but when you come to the first fence in a jump off and ask her to go up ten gears, she’s at the end of the rein ready. We are simply over the moon with her. The age championships have really suited her, asking enough and giving us something to work towards”.

The highly anticipated Al Shira’aa Seven year old Championship brought an exciting promise of future talent. With fifty-four coming forward from the qualifying rounds the highly competitive class produced fourteen clears to go through to the second round against the clock. Asking all the questions worthy of a Championship Final the fourteen riders included William Whitaker riding Harthill Magician, a former graduate of the Science Supplements Bolesworth Elite Auctions, as well as Al Shira’aa’s own Chalina 9 ridden by Humaid Abdulla Khalifa Al Muhairi.

Perfectly judged with focus and determination, Jack Ryan (IRL) rode Operette Van De Koekoek to victory, finishing in pole position to take the Al Shira’aa 7-year-old Championship title.

An exciting new ride for Jack under Breen Equestrian, the Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve x Skippy Ii mare has previously been ridden by Michael Duffy up to 1.40m, notably with a successful double clear at Royal Windsor and placed earlier this year at the Bolesworth CSIYH1*.

Arriving at Breen Equestrian just two weeks before the show, Jack commented: “The mare (Operette Van De Koekoek) has been fantastic, this was my first show on her and to be clear in every class and go on to win the Championship is great. Her previous rider Michael (Duffy) is a fantastic jockey and has been really encouraging this show, he wanted the mare to do well”.

With late changes to the leader board the results finally settled with Trevor Breen (IRL) and Jicarla T (Caretino Gold x Numero Uno) finishing second and Bethanie Knight (GBR) riding Julius (Action Breaker x Cantos) in third. Foot perfect all week and with faultless rounds across both qualifying classes and the Championship, the bonus pot was divided between three riders Jack Ryan, Jessica Burke and Graham Gillespie. 

Last to take to the International Arena, the formidable Al Shira’aa CSI2* 1.45m World Ranking Grand Prix, was always going to be fast and furious with competitors giving just a taste of their capabilities in the qualifying rounds. An influential track with fences coming thick and fast, the testing course was a true Grand Prix finale course. Following the first round, thirteen were taken forward to the second round against the clock, ten of which were carrying their faults joining the 3 with clear rounds.

Living up to his name, Simply Splendid fought for every stride, fast from the start and taking all the turns to finish first victorious in the Al Shira’aa CSI2* Grand Prix Championship. Expertly ridden by James Smith, the thrilling conclusion to the class delivered two faultless double clears, the winning round from James Smith and Simply Splendid followed by Ireland’s Jenny Rankin and Carmela Z. Third place was taken by William Whitaker and Galtur finishing with just one time fault carried forward from the first round.

James Smith on his win: “Simon (Simply Splendid) can be quite opinionated, but the more you do the better he goes, he’s back from a short break and on great form. It was a technical course, not massive but with all the questions you’d expect, it’s a great end to the show”.

In the Voltaire Design CSI2* 1.35m, Derek Morton ended his week of jumping with a win on Kbs High Quality, Ella Quigley and Horinde H finished in second and Phillip Miller with Don Royale in third.

Derek Morton commented “It’s a great end to the week, we’re happy, the owners are happy, everybody’s happy! Back from a month off Liam’s (Kbs High Quality) got a real spring in his step”.   

Blazing form continued for Tabitha Kyle in both the Pony of the Year Show 148cm, winning with the prolific winner Gangnam Style Ii before picking up her second win of the week in the Bloomfields Horseboxes 138cm class aboard Playboy Van De Zoetewei.

Sami Kettle, Sponsorship Coordinator for Al Shira’aa, said: “We’re thrilled with the success of this year’s Young Horse Championships and are so pleased to be back at Bolesworth. It’s a real highlight in our competition calendar and the perfect opportunity to prepare our horses for the Arab league, which starts in November. We have enjoyed showcasing our young horses across all the age classes, as well as featuring Tsunami De Hus, Chacco Bay and SS Pegasus in Friday’s Stallion Parade. Our stables have achieved many top ten placings this week, with one of our best stallions Tsunami De Hus finishing 4th in Friday’s CSI2*. For us, Al Shira’aa and the Bolesworth Young Horse Championships share a common vision, to support and promote British breeding and young sport horse development. We are so pleased with our horse’s performances this week and feel privileged to support Nina and the team deliver such an important fixture in the sporting calendar”.

Nina Barbour, Managing Director of Bolesworth, said: “It’s been a privilege and a joy to watch these young horses grow in confidence and really get to show off their talent in a setting like Bolesworth. These rounds jumped here will serve as a solid foundation for future success, it’s lovely to be a part of these horse’s development and help them lay the foundations for the future.”

“Working closely with our show sponsors, Al Shira’aa, we’ve been able to continue to build, progress and celebrate the strength of British breeding, both through the age classes here and the record-breaking sales at the Science Supplements Bolesworth Elite Foal and Embryo Auction. The future really is looking bright for the future of British breeding.”

With the age champions decided and the WBFSH tickets secured, another excellent display of future sport horse talent at the Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships closes for another year. The equestrian calendar at Bolesworth now continues with the ultimate New Year’s celebration, the Voltaire Design Liverpool International Horse Show. Set in the heart of the city at the M&S Bank Arena, the Voltaire Design Liverpool International Horse Show will host an action packed, adrenaline fuelled schedule including world-class showjumping and crowd favourites the Shetland Grand National, Puissance and the ‘International Cossacks’ Stunt Show. Secure the best seats in the house, general admission tickets and hospitality tickets are now on sale at www.liverpoolhorseshow.com. Aside from the world-class equestrian calendar, Bolesworth Estate also hosts a number of other events, including new for 2021, the Christmas Light Trail taking place 26th November – 24th December 2021. Full details can be found at www.bolesworth.com.