Lanaken, Belgium – September 24, 2021 – Every year the unfolding of the Sires of the World Grand Prix is spectacular at the FEI WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championship for Young Horses in Zangersheide. But the 2021 edition will be remembered untill the end of time. Koen Vereecke (GER) and Kasanova de la Pomme lead the way with Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Dominator Z hot on their heels. Gilles Thomas completed the top three with Feromas van Beek Z. Each just one-hundredth of a second apart.
In the 1.50m Sires of the World Grand Prix timing has never been so important. The official timekeeper of the event, Longines, recorded history in the making and an unprecedented time difference between the top three riders. In the jump-off these three riders made everyone in the crowd hold their breath and shout out loud after they crossed the finish line. Fourteen of the fifty horse-and-rider combinations got to return in the Ratina Z arena for the jump- off. The efforts in the jump-off were all of top-level with the speed and competitiveness rising towards the end.
‘He is a player’
Koen Vereecke (BEL) and Kasanova de la Pomme shot out of the starting blocks as the fourth last combination to go. The Belgian rider is known for his winner-instinct and set out to battle with his eleven-year-old BWP-stallion by Bamako de Muze. “His name Kasanova suits him well. He is a bit of a player. I had my hands full in the first round with him bucking towards the water jump. But his manners are also what make him a very special and talented horse. I was not sure if our efforts were good enough for the win. I thought that if Christian would leave one stride out to the final fence he could win. But luckily, he did not leave a stride out”, the winner says with a wink to the runner-up.
‘Formula 1-like finish’
The second last rider to go had the pressure of winning on home soil on his shoulders. Christian Ahlmann and Z-stallion Dominator 2000 Z (by Diamant de Semilly) jumped an equally impressive round and going towards the last fence it looked like the win would stay in Zangersheide. But just 0,01 seconds kept the German rider and his eleven-year-old stallion from the top position. “After a small break Dominator feels back on track again. Both in the first course and the jump-off he did exactly what I asked of him, and we did really try to win. I like to win, not just at home but anywhere. But our efforts today were just good enough for second place. I must be honest I’ve never seen a finish this close together before. It is a bit like Formula-1”, the runner up says with a smile.
‘Definitely a breeding stallion’
The final rider who could make a difference was Gilles Thomas (BEL). The young Belgian rider had not one but two stallions in the jump-off. He scored the best time with Feromas van Beek Z. The nine-year old son of Fantomas de Muze finished with 0,02 more on the timer. This result will put his stallion in the spotlight, something Thomas was aiming for. “I had quite a few people come up to me and ask if he is available for breeding. I wanted to get the word out there. So, I thought if I compete with him here and we do well, I will not have to keep telling people he is a breeding stallion”, the number three of the class laughs.
Cadiz Z has the best story of the six-year-olds
The six-year-old winner almost hadn’t made it to FEI WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championship for Young Horses. His rider and breeder Emily Sage explains. “We bred Cadiz out of a mare that I bought when I was fifteen years old. She was one of my best horses but really really sharp. We started breeding with her and Cadiz is her first offspring. We chose the stallion, Corydon van T&L, on the off chance. The then-owner of the stallion owed me some money and we struck a deal.”
“But I nearly put Cadiz down when he was a three-year-old because he was so dangerous. Even though I bred and handled him he was a lot to take on. I learned how to work with him and use his warrior-spirit to his and my own advantage. He is incredibly sharp, has lots of blood and I believe he will go a long way. I just hope we’ve done enough to get to the final, because I did not do so well on him yesterday and we had two rails down in the second phase”, the winner concludes.
256 horses competed in the six-year-olds, but Cadiz Z and his British rider were the only duo that finished in a time under 61 seconds (60,69). Irishman Richard Howley (IRL) steered KWPN-mare Kaatje AD (by Emir R) to the second place in 61,29. And Alexa Stais (RSA), riding for the Republic of South Africa, jumped Hannover-gelding Sohn der Erde K (by Salz der Erde) to the third position in 61,56.
Richard Vogel is unstoppable in the seven-year-olds
There is no stopping Richard Vogel in the FEI WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championship for Young Horses. Yesterday the German rider made his debut and finished first and second with two of his seven-year-olds. Today he showed that the third seven-year-old horse he brought is equally as competitive. With almost two seconds to spare he placed first again, this time with Holsteiner-mare Charisma HS (by Uriko).
For Italy Giampiero Garofalo (ITA) settled in second place with Irish Sport Horse Valanna (by Valent) and in hot pursuit Marcus Westergren (SWE) finished third with Holsteiner Crunch Air (by Crunch 3)
Final Results – €25,500 Grand Prix FEI Zangersheide Sires of the World for approved stallion
1) Koen Vereecke (BEL) & Kasanova de la Pomme – 0 / 0 – 34.14
2) Christian Ahlmann (GER) & Dominator 2000 Z – 0 / 0 – 34.15
3) Gilles Thomas (BEL) & Feromas van Beek Z – 0 / 0 – 34.16
Source: Press Release Lanaken Zangersheide
Photos: © Zangersheide