The fact that Irish riders should always be taken into account during the finals of the FEI WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championship for Young Horses became evident once again during a particularly exciting final for the six-year-old horses. It was Ethan Ahearne who again managed to secure an Irish World title with the fantastic ride of ABC Saving Grace.
A total of 40 combinations managed to qualify for this final in the past few days and, just like with the five-year-olds, the level was also very high. Of those 40 combinations, 14 were able to go clear in the first round of course desinger Eugène Mathy and his team and qualified for the jump-off.
It was Ireland once again thanks to Ethen Ahearne and the Irish-bred mare ABC Saving Grace, a daughter of Kannan and Cruising who was bred by Patrick Kehoe and is a half-sister of the GP horses ABC Quantum Cruise (Quality) and ABC Private JET (Je t'Aime Flamenco). Ahearne and ABC Saving Grace appeared in the ring halfway in the jump-off and eventually secured the gold medal with a clear round in 36.74 seconds.
“I got ABS Saving Grace in November when I started my own stable and competed with her for the first time in February or March. But so far she has only jumped at national level and last month in Dublin we were able to qualify for this World Championship. So this was actually the first time we competed at international level and it was also my first time participating in the World Championships (laughs).”
The silver medal went to the French rider Valentin Pacaud with the SF-bred mare Garance de Vains (Diamant de Semilly x Ogano Sitte) from breeder Christian Bihl. Pecaud and Garance de Vains entered the ring as the third last combination and managed to set a time of 37.13 seconds on their last round together. “After the World Championship I will change my job and Garance de Vains will therefore end up with another rider. So it's fantastic that we can finish our last round in this way."
The British rider Alex David Gill had two horses in the jump-off and eventually secured the bronze with KWPN-bred gelding Lacoste VDL (VDL Zirocco Blue x Indoctro) from VDL Stud's breeding farm. David Gill and Lacoste VDL came first in the jump-off and sped through the finish line in 37.83 seconds.
The fourth place went to the Italian rider Giorgio Sacco with the BWP-bred stallion Qionno van 't Merelsnest (Kannan x Nabab de Rêve – B: Walter Van Bunder – Stud Merelsnest) while the fifth place went to lady rider Astrid Rooms with the also BWP-bred mare Queen B van 't Paradijs (Elvis Ter Putte x Bamako de Muze – B: Johan Rooms- Van Den Branden).
Click here for the result.