The die has been cast, the first World Champion is crowned! Under a beaming sun this morning, it was the five-year-old horses who were the first to enter the ring during the final of the FEI WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championship for Young Horses 2022 with as the result Gerard O'neill and Bp Goodfellas as the new World Champions.
Course builder Eugène Mathy and his team had provided a course consisting of 13 obstacles with 16 jumps for this first final of the day, in which the obstacles at a maximum height of 1.30m. The level was again sky-high, as no fewer than 18 of the 47 combinations that qualified for this final cleared the course successfully.
In the jump-off, the competition was again at the cutting edge. O'neill was the third last combination to start with the Irish-bred gelding Bp Goodfellas (Stakkato Gold x O.B.O.S Quality) from breeder Kevin Babington and managed to outsmart the competition with a clear round in 40.12 seconds. O'neill only took the reins four weeks before this championship. BP Goodfellas' regular rider had reached the maximum of three horses (to ride in the championship) and thus O'neill was able to take off.
The ISH gelding was in good hands, as the rider had captured championship titles twice before in Lanaken. "I have nothing but admiration for this horse. He didn't need, in retrospect, to jump the double, with the speed at which I entered. But he did a great job, he is a nice horse to ride with a real winner's mentality. I also rode his mother a long time ago, so that makes a nice story. And I expect this is only the first chapter for Bp Goodfellas," said the winner.
The other podium places both went to Dutch riders with 2nd place going to Olivier van der Vaart and the 5-year-old BWP gelding Ristretto van de Heffinck (Aldo du Plessis x Cooper van de Heffinck), a breeding product of the Hamerlinck family and a son of Niels Bruynseels' former GP mare Libelle vd Heffinck. Van der Vaart and Ristretto van de Heffinck were briefly in the lead with a clear round in 40.52 seconds but had to settle for silver after O'neill and Bp Goodfellas finished their round.
Time to beat
Bronze went to Van der Vaart’s countryman Jarno van Erp with the KWPN-bred and also licensed stallion Mindset ES, a son of Aganix du Seigneur Z and Kannan bred by Egbert Schep. Van Erp and Mindset ET appeared in the jump-off as the first combination in the ring and set the time to beat with a clear round in 42.05 seconds.
Christian Ahlmann with the Zangersheide mare Ansigh de Lis Z (Aganix du Seigneur Z x Kannan - F : W.M. Lisman) and Thibaut Huyvaert with the Holstein-bred gelding Davis 17 (Diarado x Casall - F: Timm Peters) completed the top five of the standings.
Click here for the complete list of results.