For any business professional, combining work commitments with a passion for your chosen sport and wanting to be the best you can be is never easy. Here we talk to Nina Barbour, president and founder of both the Liverpool International Horse Show and the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show about her recent success at the Longines Global Champions Tour London.
Tell us about the two horses you took to LGCT London?
I took Cushlas Reviro who is by my multi-award winning stallion, Ramiro B and AK’s Culcha Candela, an eight-year-old grey mare I have owned since February this year.
Cushlas Reviro, or Bear as he is known at home, is just a seven-year-old and went really well. His sire Ramiro B is ranked 4th Event sire in the World this year, and set to rise following the success of his progeny this year.
Bear was third and fourth in the CSI** 1.15m on the Friday and Saturday and coped really well with the atmosphere at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
AK’s Culcha Candela came from Denmark, where she was produced by young rider Konstantin Deeken, and I think she’s a bit of a superstar! I was delighted with her performance, as this was by far our biggest test to date and she was seventh in the 1.40m class on the second day, with a good round in our first 1.45 World Ranking Class on Sunday.
As an organiser and founder of two of the fastest growing international shows in Britain I know what it takes to make them a success and it was brilliant that LGCT London was so well supported over the three days. I am in awe of what Jan Tops has created, and his business and events, together with the media surrounding them, are truly an inspiration.
Life must be incredibly busy how do you fit everything in?
Riding and competing is very important to me and I still have the ambition to keep improving and learning, and to keep in touch with the Sport at every level.
Competing at International level and being fortunate enough to travel to some of the best shows in the World, is so important to make sure we don’t take our eye off the ball, and everywhere I go I try to pick up a new idea or something we could replicate at one of our events (or sometimes even something we shouldn’t do!).
I try to ride before office hours and keep quite a strict schedule that if I want to go out and compete at the highest level then the work at home has to be done, and I have a great team at Bolesworth to support this.
We are now on the countdown to the 2018 Liverpool International Horse Show – how’s it going?
We are so excited to be back on sale after a challenging year, and are planning something spectacular for this New Year, and sales are going well.
We have many of the old favourites returning including music from Rick Parfitt Junior and the RPJ Band, the Shetland Pony Grand National, Freestyle Motocross, the very best international show jumping and dressage and a soon to be announced spectacular new display, along with plenty of surprises and a stunning finish to 2018 as we see in the New Year in style!
Everyone can get up close to the action and enjoy a glass of champagne whilst watching the top horses and riders warm up pre show, and there really is something for everyone in every performance.
The Echo Arena is a unique venue located in the heart of Liverpool’s Heritage Zone, next to the Albert Dock and the famous Liver Building. If you haven’t been before I can guarantee you’ll fall in love with the city, and of course be stunned by the show that we will be putting on for you.
As the summer season draws to a close, Showjumping Ireland is delighted to welcome TopSpec as new sponsors to the Autumn Grand Prix Series. The Top Spec Autumn Grand Prix, which commences on the September 15 at The Meadows Equestrian, will no doubt attract strong competition.
In total, the series will consist of 17 legs and a final which will take place in Cavan Equestrian on December 2.
Last year’s competition was spectacular with John Floody and Jonathan Smyth creating huge excitement battling it out right to the wire leaving the final round as the decider.
Floody found victory on Bronson De Reve with Smyth taking second and third spots overall with Ping Ball and Charlton Clio.
As previously, the TopSpec Autumn Grand Prix Series will comprise of two heights, a 1.35m class and a 1.40m class. Each height class is worth different points and the leaderboards will note the winner at the end of the series.
Speaking about the sponsorship, The Chairperson of the association, Ray Buchanan commented: “I am delighted to have TopSpec coming on board this season for the Autumn Grand Prix Series. I would like to thank Katy and the team for their support and look forward to a great series. I would also like to wish all our competitors the very best of luck. We have some great venues onboard again this year and I am certain it will generate as much if not more excitement as previous years.”
Because excellent nutrition is of prime importance to TopSpec they guarantee to ‘Create without Compromise.’ Competitors can rest assured that none of their products will be compromised, ever.
Katy Mickle, Sales & Marketing Director of TopSpec expressed her enthusiasm about the series: “TopSpec is delighted to sponsor the Showjumping Ireland Autumn Grand Prix Series for 2018. The series is a great way to keep competitors active in the Autumn months and extends the season right up until December.”
The Hickstead crowd witnessed a nail biting climax to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at Hickstead with a head-to-head battle between Team Ireland and Team GBR.
The Irish team of Trevor Breen (Bombay), Richie Moloney (Freestyle De Muze), Michael Duffy (EFS Top Contender) and Anthony Condon (SFS Aristio) were on superb form to lift the Edward, Prince of Wales trophy. It was the fourth time in the history of this competition that Ireland has won, while Great Britain was denied what would have been their 37th win and their first home win since 2010.
“It’s obviously no surprise that the English and Irish were on top – the conditions were not easy but like everyone said the ground showed a lot of support and enabled us to have a good competition,” said Ireland’s chef d’equipe Rodrigo Pessoa. “In the jump-off we had the advantage of going after Great Britain and we could see what we had to do. Anthony did a superb job to bring it home.”
Britain and Ireland had been neck and neck from the start. In round one, Richie Moloney had gone clear while Trevor, Michael and Anthony each had just one fence down for Ireland. Britain had had a tougher task in round one, when pathfinder Scott Brash’s horse took aversion to the water and was eliminated after two refusals. It piled pressure on his three team mates, but Holly Smith and Amanda Derbyshire both finished on four faults apiece and William Whitaker gave Great Britain a boost when producing the home nation’s only clear in round one. Belgium were close behind on nine faults, last year’s winners Brazil tied with Sweden and the Netherlands in fourth with 16 faults while Italy sat at the bottom of the leaderboard with 17 faults.
Things unravelled for the Netherlands in the second half when Johnny Pals added 23 faults to their tally, so they retired into seventh place. Britain’s Scott Brash had no more luck getting Hello Shelby over the water in the second round, so once again Team GBR was down to three riders.
Ireland’s first two riders, Trevor and Richie, both finished on four faults while Michael went clear. Amanda Derbyshire gave Britain a clear while Holly and William both knocked one fence down, so the teams were tied on 16 faults each. Ireland’s Anthony Condon would have had to jump clear to give Ireland the win, but when he also faulted it meant the two teams would have to jump off.
Holly Smith, who has superb form at Hickstead, was elected to jump against the clock with the talented Hearts Destiny. She delivered a perfect clear in a time of 43.39sec to keep British hopes alive. But Anthony Condon and the 12-year-old SFS Aristio got home more than 2sec faster in a time of 41.29sec to give Ireland the win.
“I got to see Holly’s round, and her horse has got a big stride and is quite fast, but my horse is very fast so I had to go at his pace, and it worked,” said Anthony. “He tried his heart out and was very quick to the last but he’s very careful so I could keep going.”
Britain’s Holly Smith said: “I think if we’d had four team members all jumping we’d have won it but that’s horses – they’re unpredictable and it does happen.”
Last year’s winners Brazil had to settle for third place, although their anchorman Marlon Modola Zanotelli did win the £50,000 bonus for jumping the only double clear on Sirene De La Motte.
The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain brought Hickstead’s international season to a close. The next national fixtures are the two-day Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships (1&2 August) and the All England Jumping Championships (30 August – 2 September).
James Whitaker and Glenavadra Brilliant crowned BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup victors at Hickstead.
A tricky first round saw just four riders go clear, with James lining up alongside three lady riders – the class used to be an international class open to women only but changed in 2008 to become a national class that both men and women could enter.
Eventing Team GBR Olympian and Rolex Grand Slam winner, Pippa Funnell was the first to go in the jump-off with her husband William’s former ride, and homebred, Billy Congo. A clear in a time of 54.34sec put pressure on her rivals, before second to go Alison Barton had her hopes dashed when Roma IV picked up four faults. James and Glenavadra Brilliant were next, and he managed to use the horse’s long stride to cross the finish on 52.97sec to take the lead. The last to go was Helen Tredwell and the grey Larksong, and while they were more than 2sec faster, the final fence fell to cost them the win.
James, the son of Ian Whitaker and the nephew of legendary showjumpers John and Michael, celebrated his 21st birthday on Monday, so today he also picked up the Cindy Mead Memorial Trophy for the best placed rider under 25. He took over the ride on Glenavadra Brilliant from his elder brother William, who won the Hickstead Derby with the horse in 2016. James and Glenavadra Brilliant had a good result in their Al Shira’aa Derby debut last month, finishing fifth, but this was their first international win at Hickstead.
“He loves big grass arenas like this, and he always seems to perform well here,” said James. “When I saw Pippa go I thought there’s no way I’m going to beat that! It’s unreal – a dream come true. Winning a class like this was definitely on the bucket list.”
His brother William Whitaker came very close to winning the final class of the day, the British Speed Classic, but in the end he was relegated into second by Ireland’s Shane Breen and Can Ya Makan.
The pair came third in last month’s Al Shira’aa Derby and won the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial. "A speed class like this inspires him and keeps him keen," said Shane. "I don’t use him as a speed horse as such – he jumps Derbies, Grands Prix, teams – I love him because he’s so versatile. He’s a very good horse to have in the stable. Next year I think he’s got a great chance in the Al Shira'aa Derby and in the King George – he’s so useful.”
It was incredibly tight in this morning’s Bunn Leisure Salver, with just 0.65sec dividing the top three. The USA’s Laura Kraut (Nouvelle) was the fastest of all in 37.11sec, with Belgium’s Wilm Vermier (DM Jacqmotte) in second and Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (Isabeau De Laubry) third.
“I saw Marlon go and he’s one of the fastest riders in the world. He was so smooth and I thought I just can’t hold back,” said Laura, the partner of Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton. “Nouvelle is just wonderful – I’ve had her for about eight years and she’s just always been riddled with bizarre injuries so she’s actually fairly low mileage.”
Talked about as the world's greatest event - whether it be show jumping, dressage or eventing. Elite equestrian's flock to the world famous German venue for the CHIO fixture, with the focal point being the Rolex Grand Prix.
As the second Major of 2018, Aachen is a dream win for any competitor. This year saw a second win for home favourite Marcus Ehning riding Pret A Tout. Horse and rider produced three exceptional clear rounds in the highlight of CHIO Aachen, the Rolex Grand Prix. Second place went to Luciana Diniz (POR) riding Fit For Fun 13 and third place to Pedro Veniss (BRA) riding Quabri De l’Isle.
The sun streamed through the clouds to light up the main arena, as 40,000 passionate equestrian fans waited for the world’s top international riders to contend for the second Major of the year in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
Highly respected course designer of 40 years, Frank Rothenberger, assembled an impressive first round with 13 obstacles, reaching up to 1.70 metres. “It’s a very tough course this year, there will be two rounds with a tricky jump-off too, we have built a course almost to the maximum that we can build, so it should be very interesting”, Rothenberger commented.
The towering course appeared intimidating, and one capacity height jump certainly proved too challenging for some, however the roster of riders tackled the course with confidence, power and determination. This thrilling round resulted in 11 clears, and 18 pairs moved into round two with an enraptured crowd looking on.
Emotions were running high in the crowd, and Marcus Ehning rode out to a stampede of applause. After coming second in the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters, the first Major of the year, the patriotic home crowd were longing for him to go one step further. Ehning flew around the course in a time of 38.34 seconds and the crowd erupted to celebrate his third stunning clear round. Diniz also went clear with the fantastic support of the crowd but was unable to beat the winning time, giving Ehning the Rolex Grand Prix title.
Champion of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen for the second time, Ehning remarked, “I think I like it here now. This is the best show in the world and the course was huge, but I think it was very good. My horse gave me a lot of confidence, it was his day today.”
Show Director Frank Kemperman explains “For Marcus, his Grand Slam journey has started, he will now be able to continue it at Spruce Meadows. I would like to say a special thanks to Rolex for their support in this Grand Prix, this is the 18th Rolex Grand Prix we have hosted here, and it creates such a spectacular atmosphere.”
Eager equestrian fans will now be looking to the next equestrian Major at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in September, where Ehning will now have the chance to emulate his thrilling performance today and continue his reign as the live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.