It’s (finally) the last day of eventing of WEG. There’s been abandonments galore, our chinchillas are sopping wet, and yet coverage soldiers on.
After a very wet and dramatic final horse inspection yesterday, the stage is set for the reigning European Champion to become the reigning World Champion. Ingrid Klimke has her work cut out for her though, as there are six other riders within a rail of the top placing, and every one of them is capable of jumping a clear round. They are also all capable of having a rail. Meanwhile there are a couple of excellent jumpers in the remainder of the top 10 ready to pounce. It will all come down to who can handle the pressure in this moment.
Keep in mind that the horses are show jumping after a day of rest, which will bring an extra unknown variable into play for everyone. Some horses may feel better in their body than they would have the day after cross country; others may be feeling any stiff muscles a bit more than the typically would on the final day. Horses who usually jump better after taking the edge off with cross country could revert back to being a bit tougher to ride, while others who might struggle from being a touch tired could feel an extra bit of spring.
The show jumping course designer is Ireland’s Alan Wade, who has designed at the World Cup Final and Dublin Horse Show. He is also designing the courses for pure show jumping this week at WEG.
THE FATE OF THE TOP TEN
Ingrid Klimke (GER) and SAP Hale Bob OLD
Pros: This pair has been very consistently one-or-none in the show jumping phase in the horse’s career, incurring no more than one rail in 21 of his 23 career 3/4* starts. They’ve also jumped clear in five of the horse’s eight CCI3/4* starts.
Cons: The only two times that SAP Hale Bob OLD has had more than one rail, they were both at CCIs. Their clear rate when show jumping is the final phase sits at just 47%, making it a coin flip as to whether this is a one rail day or none rail day. Her 2018 form has a rail in two of four CIC3* starts.
Ros Canter (GBR) and Allstar B
Pros: Allstar B’s four-star record is actually cleaner than his record at CCI3*, with only one rail in four CCI4* runs. He’s jumped clear in seven of his last eight show jumping rounds.
Cons: The only rail on his record over the last two years does come from Badminton this spring, which is his most recent CCI run.
Sarah Ennis (IRL) and Horseware Stellor Rebound
Pros: Horseware Stellor Rebound have a pretty incredible stadium record at the CIC3* level, jumping clear in 13 consecutive CIC3* starts. In 16 career CIC3* starts, this horse has only had one rail.
Cons: Their CCI3/4* clear jumping rate is significantly lower than their CIC3* rate, jumping clear only 57% of the time at those levels combined. They’ve also only jumped clear in one of their three CCI4* completions.
Thibaut Vallette (FRA) and Qing du Briot Ene HN
Pros: This pair have never had a stadium penalty at a CCI3/4*. Ever. That includes two European championships, the Rio Olympic Games with two jumping rounds, and Badminton.
Cons: Their 2018 form took a hit, with rails for the first time in four years, and not just one but three rails, at Chatsworth. This was followed by another rail at Bramham CIC3*. They did follow with a clear round at Aachen CICO3*, but a clear round is not quite guaranteed.
Tim Price (NZL) and Cekatinka
Pros: Cekatinka and Tim Price have only been paired up for seven 3* runs, but in the mare’s career at this level, she’s jumped clear in five of them. They’ve never had more than a rail and jumped clear at both of the CCI3*.
Cons: This is the mare’s first crack at a CCI4* height course, and while her record is very good, it isn’t perfect.
Padraig McCarthy (IRL) and Mr Chunky
Pros: Padraig McCarthy came over from the world of show jumping, which strengthened Mr Chunky’s abilities in this phase. Since taking over the ride from his wife, Padraig has produce clear rounds out of this horse in six of their seven career 3/4* starts together, and have jumped clear in each of their two CCI3/4* completions.
Cons: These two aren’t strangers to time penalties despite their ability to leave the sticks up. In their only CCI4* start, they jumped clear but picked up 3 time.
Astier Nicolas (FRA) and Vinci de la Vigne
Pros: This young horse jumped clear in both of his 2018 3* starts, including a clear in his only CCI3* run at Boekelo.
Cons: Astier and Vinci de la Vigne have not jumped a clear round this year, incurring a rail at each of three CIC3* starts.
Piggy French (GBR) and Quarrycrest Echo
Pros: Another one-or-none horse who has never incurred more than a rail, Quarrycrest Echo has jumped clear in more of his 3/4* starts than he hasn’t. At the CCI3/4* level, he’s only had one rail in three starts. He comes into WEG with clear rounds in his last three consecutive outings.
Cons: This pair splits almost perfectly evenly between one rail or none.
Lynn Symansky (USA) and Donner
Pros: This home team pair have been one-or-none for 17 of the last 18 3/4* starts they’ve had.
Cons: With nine CCI4* completions, these two have a solid history of having one down at this level. They’ve had one down in six of their nine 4* completions, two rails in two of them, and haven’t jumped a clear at the level since their 4* debut back in 2013.
Tom McEwen (GBR) and Toledo de Kerser
Pros: In four CCI4* runs, this pair have never had a penalty in the stadium. They’ve jumped clear in five of their six CCI3/4* runs. And they’ve jumped clear in 14 of 15 career 3/4* starts.
Cons: The only rail they’ve had in their 3/4* career was at a CCI3*.
Andrew Hoy (AUS) and Vassily de Lassos
Pros: This horse has two 2* and three 3* starts under Andrew Hoy and has yet to add any penalties in a stadium phase. In fact the horse has only ever had one rail in his entire international career.
Cons: The horse has only had half a year at the 3* level before coming here to tackle his first CCI4* stadium round. The big question will be if his fitness has a solid base; the day off may benefit this horse.
Tina Cook (GBR) and Billy the Red
Pros: In 19 starts at the 3/4* level together, Tina and Billy the Red have jumped clear in all but three, never incurring more than a single rail. They’ve also jumped clear in five of their six CCI3/4*.
Cons: One of the only three times they had a rail was at one of their two CCI4* completions.
Phillip Dutton (USA) and Z
Pros: This young horse has has only one rail in 12 runs at 3/4* under Phillip Dutton. He’s jumped clear in all three of his CCI3/4* starts and has jumped clear in his last eight consecutive 3/4* rounds.
Cons: He did incur the only time penalty of his 3/4* career at a CCI3*.
OTHERS OF NOTE
If horses like Virgil (Shane Rose) and Ballytiglea Vivendi (Alex Hua Tian) struggle to get a clear round early on, it’s a good indication that Alan Wade’s track will be a tougher course than average. FRH Corrida (Andreas Dibowski) and Henri Z (Raf Kooremans) will also be good indicators.