Champions Crowned at Al Shira'aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships

The sun again shone brightly on the horses, riders and spectators at the fourth day of the 2022 Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships, which brought another excellent day of top-level showjumping.

Today was the first of the Young Horse Championships finals, with the 4yo and 5yo horses taking to the ring. Both classes included an impressive roll call of riders with equally impressive young horse showjumping stars of the future.

First out on the Young Horse Championships stage was the Ashdale Sports Horses Ltd 4 yo Final. Fifty riders lined up for the class that showcases the youngest competitors and gives them the chance of experiencing the big ring.

Chris Smith was dominant with Neil Fiddes’ stallion Inkitho Z. Paul Simms on Ashdale Casino and Vicky Lovegrove with Do it Rollebeek Z were joint second.

Said Paul; “You can’t put a price on being able to compete with young horses at a venue like this. Whether the horse does, or doesn’t go well, they learn a huge amount just from being here.

“My fiancée Nicola (Barry) and I had three four olds in this class and each one has learnt something this week. It’s so valuable as, when you bring them back as five-year-olds, they’ve already had experience of the atmosphere and competing at this level.

“I’m pretty sure Inkitho Z enjoyed it. I’ve never met a stallion so laid back and, already, I can picture him as an eight-year-old – there’s a lot of good things to come from him.”

Top three:

1. Christopher Smith, GBR, Inkitho Z

2. Paul Simms, GBR, Ashdale Casino

2. Vicky Lovegrove, GBR, Do it Rollebeek Z

Laura Mantel was on fire in the Dallamires Stables 5yo Final. She put in a superfast time of 35.72 with John Renwick’s gelding Michelob in the jump off and was never matched. She was over a second quicker than the next placed pairing of Drew Walton/Solid Gold HS Z, then topped off a busy afternoon by rounding out the podium with another of John Renwick’s horses, stallion NFS Gem Twister. The top four from this final will now be offered a place to jump at the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Championships at Lanaken.

Said Laura; Michelob is an incredible horse. She gave me a lot of confidence and I’m really looking into see how she comes into her own as a five year-old.”

Top three:

1. Laura Mantel, GBR, Michelob

2. Drew Walton, GBR, Solid Gold HS Z

3. Laura Mantel, GBR, NFS Gem Twister

A nail-biting climax to the EVetDrug Ltd CSI2* 1.35m saw super-smooth Louise Saywell storm into the lead with Carlina d’Argouges. She edged Kerry Brennan by just 500th of a second.

Top three:

1. Louise Saywell, GBR, Carlina d'Argouges

2. Kerry Brennan, GBR, Wellington M

3. Annabel Shields, GBR, Creevagh Carisma

There was plenty of action elsewhere at the Al Shira’aa Young Horse Championships today, the top three of which are:

NexGen CSI2* 1.30m

1. Joseph Clayton, GBR, Belinda

2. Christopher Smith, GBR, Holympic Blue

3. Danielle Farnsworth, GBR, Jarley VL

LeMieux CSI1* 1.05m

1. Phoebe Powell, GBR, Kellys Lad

2. Maia Loia, GBR, Hiro Della Rivabella

3. Danielle Johns, GBR, Lourdes

Hunter Woodshaving CSI1* 1.25m

1. Abdalla Hamad Ali Al Kirbi, UAE, Doklahoma VDL

2. John Garton-Pope, GBR, Cicoly D

3. Olivia Mae Davison, GBR, Rubin VHS

The final day of the 2022 Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Championships returns tomorrow, Sunday, the 14th of August, with several big-hitting classes on the timetable; the Al Shira’aa 7yo final, Windmill Farm Estate 6yo Final and culminates with the Old Lodge Stud Grand Prix.

Entry to the show is free to spectators.

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