Mondial du Lion, or the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships at Le Lion d’Angers, may have THE single most un-catchy name of any competition in the world, but it’s a seriously hot entry in the autumn calendar.
The invitation-only event hosts a six-year-old championship and a seven-year-old championship, and honestly, if you want to spot the Next Big Thing, this is the place to do it. Past winners include Laura Collett’s Mr Bass — he won the seven-year-old championship in 2015, beating actual verifiable unicorn Upsilon — and Ingrid Klimke’s Weisse Duene, who won last year’s seven-year-old championship.
2014’s top 10 in the seven-year-olds is enough to give any eventing nerd minor heart palpitations: Tom McEwen’s Toledo de Kerser in second, The Terminator and FischerTakinou in fourth, and EquiRatings’ 2016 Horse of the Year Don Geniro in eighth with Alex Hua Tian. Rounding out the top 10 was Oliver Townend’s 2017 Europeans mount Cooley SRS, followed by Kitty King’s phenomenal Ceylor LAN and does anyone else need a bit of a sit down now or is it just me? Basically, guys, this is one you’ll want to follow — and we’ll be bringing you the juiciest of updates as they happen, as always.
We’ve got four North American combinations fighting the good fight this year: Tiana Coudray with G and Liz Halliday-Sharp with Cooley Quicksilver will fly the stars and stripes in the six-year-old championship, while Mike Winter and Center will represent Canada. In the seven-year-old championship, Madison Penfound will ride for Canada aboard QEH Ocean Voyage.
Forty-seven combinations from 20 countries will contest the CCI1* for six-year-olds, while 62 combinations from 15 countries line up for the CCI2*. Notable entries include William Fox-Pitt, who makes his return to Le Lion after his nearly catastrophic accident at the competition in 2015. He rides his mother Marietta’s homebred Yes I Can in the CCI2*.
France’s Tom Carlile has an entry in each class, and will definitely be one to keep an eye on: In the last four years he has competed here eight times and has finished on his dressage score every time. Consistent AND pretty dreamy — these are the sort of odds we can get behind.