Babies on Board: Entries for Le Lion Go Live

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Moonshine at Le Lion d’Angers 2018. Photo by EquusPix.

The FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships, otherwise known as Mondial du Lion, will take place next week from Oct. 17-20 at at Le Lion d’Angers. It’s a highlight of the global fall eventing calendar as future eventing superstars take centerstage.

As usual, the 6-year-olds will contest a CCIYH2*-L and 7-year-olds will contest the CCIYH3*-L. 22 different countries will be represented across the competition, ranging from eventing powerhouses such as France, Great Britain, and Ireland – who each have 15 horses competing – to ones we don’t see as often like Lithuania and Estonia. 19 countries and 40 pairs are entered in the two-star division for 6-year-olds, while 15 countries and 61 pairs will run the three-star for 7-year-olds.

One particularly notable name amongst the CCIYH2*-L entries is Piggy French, who’s having the most successful season on record. A win in the 6-year-old class with Cooley Lancer (Coeur De Nobless M X Tante Catoche Du Houssoit, by Ogano Sitte) would continue to grow her record of most international wins in a season.

The pair’s most recent outing came last weekend in the 6-year old division the British Eventing Young Horse National Championships at the Osberton International Horse Trials where they finished in second place out of 78 starters on their dressage score of 27.9. The Swiss-bred gelding hasn’t finished lower than 4th in any of his three previous 2*-S and has two Intermediate runs under his belt as well. Le Lion will be his first long-format event.

Last year’s 6-year-old champion, Cristal Fontaine (Chef Rouge x Nous Avons Gagne, by Griot de Mara) returns with rider Kitty King to try for back-to-back wins now as a 7-year-old. Though the Selle Français gelding finished 7th in the CCIYH-3*S at Osberton last weekend, he previously had not finished outside of the top three in his five internationals since Le Lion last year.

The competition will, of course, be fierce — particularly with several other top-placing 7-year-olds from the British Eventing Young Horse National Championships looking to steal the World Championship title and g us plenty of pairs to keep our eye on. William Fox-Pitt and Grafennacht (Grafenstolz X Nachtigall, by Narew), Italy’s Giovanni Ugolotti and Swirly Temptress (For Ladies Only X Betty Barclay, by Brentano 11), Willa Newton and Cock A Doodle Doo (Clarimo X unknown), Heidi Coy and Russal Z (Russell II X Violet, by Darco) all finished in the top ten at Osberton as well.

Another horse returning to Le Lion as a 7-year old is Cooley Moonshine (Cobra X Kilpatrick Duchess, by Kings Master) with sole North American representative this year, Liz Halliday-Sharp. Liz and Cooley Moonshine very nearly won the 6-year old championship last year, but the Irish Sport Horse gelding knocked a single rail in the final phase to drop them to third. Can they come out on top this year?

Cooley Moonshine will have some competition even from his own stable, however, as Liz will ride Flash Cooley (CSF Mr Kroon X Castlefield Ruby, by OBOS Quality) in the three-star for 7-year-olds as well.

Other big name riders including Oliver TownendIngrid Klimke, and Tim Price will be ones to watch aboard their 7-year-olds as well.

Click here to view entries for the 6-year-old World Championships.

Click here to view entries for the 7-year-old World Championships.

[Le Lion d’Angers Website]