Check out the impressive alumni from Le Lion d’Angers – Sponsored by MD Barnmaster

Photo via Haras national le Lion d'angers Facebook page.

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Check out the impressive alumni from Le Lion d’Angers – Sponsored by MD Barnmaster

A couple of weekends ago, some of the most talented young event horses in the world faced off in France at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses at Le Lion d’Angers. This event features some of the best eventers in the world on their top youngsters and garners much attention around the world. I was curious to see where the horses that have competed at this event are now.

Le Lion d’Angers stringent qualifications:
This event is where the top young horses in Europe compete against one another. The qualifications demand stellar performances even at the required qualifying events:

  1. CCI1* 6-year-old class: Requires 1 CIC1* + 1 CNC1*
  2. CCI2* 7-year-old class: Requires 1 CCI1* + 1 CIC2*

Qualifying events require: zero obstacle penalties on Cross-country and a maximum of four penalties on obstacles (max one rail down) in the Jumping test

2013-2016 Alumni
In the last four years, Le Lion D’Angers has run four times and between the two classes, there have been 24 top three finishes. Did these promising youngsters continue their winning ways or had they hit their career highs? Interestingly, the majority of this group are actually enjoying flourishing careers. Take a look at these impressive milestones from the graduates of Le Lion D’Angers over the last five years:

Major games horses:

  • Bart L JRA – Team gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics and team bronze medalist at the 2015 Blair Castle European Championships with Mathieu Lemoine (FRA).
  • Sirocco du Gers – Team bronze at the 2015 Blair Castle European Championships with Thomas Carlile (FRA).
  • Banderas – Competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2013 Strzegom European Championships with Pawel Spisak (POL).

CCI4* horses:

  • Toledo de Kerser – Finished 4th at the 2017 Burghley CCI4* with Tom McEwen (GBR).
  • Pamero 4 – Competed at the 2016 Pau CCI4* with Laura Collett (GBR).
  • Jet Set – Competed at the 2017 Pau CCI4* with Andrew Nicolson (NZL).
  • Fernhill Adventure – Competed at the 2017 Pau CCI4* with Aofie Clark (IRL)

FEI winners 
An impressive 10 out of the 24 top three finishers won FEI events afterwards. FEI wins are no easy feat so a top result at Le Lion d’Angers appears to be a pretty reliable indicator of success in the future.

Three-star winners: 

  • Mr Bass – 2017 Burgham CIC3*,  2017 Ballindenisk CIC3* with Laura Collett (GBR)
  • Upsilon – 2017 Barbury Castle CIC3*, 2016 Blenheim Palace CIC3* with Thomas Carlile (FRA)
  • Sirocco du Gers – 2014 Boekelo CCI3*, 2014 Jardy CIC3* with Thomas Carlile (FRA)
  • Bart L JRA –  2015 Samur CCI3* with Mathieu Lemoine (FRA)
  • Star Connection – 2017 Jardy CIC3* with Michael Jung (GER)
  • Jet Set – 2016 Bramham CCI3* with Andrew Nicholson (NZL)

Two-star winners:

  • Cooley Dream – 2016 Ocala Jockey Club CCI2*, 2016 Virginia CIC2* with Hannah Sue Burnett (USA).
  • Banderas –  2015 Sopot CIC2* with Pawel Spisak (POL)

One-star winners:

 

 

Few part with successful horses 
Only five of the 24 horses are now competing with a new rider:

  • Tenareze – Competed with Thomas Carlile (FRA) at Le Lion and now with Harry Meade (GBR).
  • Pamero 4 – Competed with Laura Collett (GBR) at Le Lion and now with Gemma Tattersall (GBR).
  • Bart L JRA – Competed with Mathieu Lemoine (FRA) at Le Lion, then went to Aurelie Riedweg (FRA) and now with Yoshiaka Oiwa (JPN).
  • Mathurin VD Vogelzang – Competed with Felix Vogg (SUI) at Le Lion and now with Joëlle Bruni (SUI).
  • Cooley Dream – Competed with Piggy French at Le Lion and now with Hannah Sue Burnett (USA).

Out of these five horses, only two (Cooley Dream and Bart L JRA) have won events with their new riders.

Develop talent not false hope
Next year the World Equestrian Games are taking place and some upper-level riders are likely scouting out potential team horses. But it looks like the horses that were dominating as six-year-olds continue to do so throughout their careers and rarely come up for sale. Horses who start on top are likely to stay on top. If you aspire to be competitive on the international stage, you need to be sitting on blatantly talented youngsters, not average ones.

Upcoming opportunity to acquire some talented young horses:

 

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