July 16: The PonyWorld Weekly

July 15, 2018

Quote of the Week

“In the seconds it takes you to fly off your horse there is a collective gasp, followed by silence from the crowd. The seconds that follow are even worse…”

—‘Professional faller-offer’ Vyla Carter explains how she’s learned to take the sport’s occasional hard knocks with a smile.

On Their Way Up: The Dutch Ride to Victory in Falsterbo 

 The Dutch team (c) FEI

What Happened?

This weekend, the Netherlands earned their first victory of the European Division 1 FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping season in Falsterbo, Sweden in dramatic style.

Tell Me More...

Sunday’s edge-of-your-seat FEI Nations Cup competition featured an early disqualification when Dutch rider Michael Hendrix (Baileys) was eliminated after two stops and a fall. Hence, the pressure was on remaining teammates Maikel van der Vleuten (IDI Utopia), Johnny Pals (Chat Botte du Ruisseau Z), and anchor rider Jur Vrieling (VDL Glasgow van 't Merelsnest) to carry on in flawless style. They didn’t disappoint.

Michael Hendrix & Baileys (c) FEI 

After the first round on the lengthy, derby-style course, the Dutch were part of a three-way tie on four faults with Sweden and Italy, with the Irish team ahead on zero (Great Britain had 5; Denmark 9; and Spain trailed with 20). In the second round, van der Vleuten, Pals, and Vrieling all jumped clear, bringing the Dutch forward on 4 alongside Sweden and Italy, also clear. A rail down by Ireland’s Bertram Allen (Gin Chin van het Lindenhof) evened the odds, bringing the Irish up to a total of four.

The final, four-way jump-off round made for exceptional Nations Cup excitement, with Pals selected to represent the Dutch against Ireland’s Daniel Coyle (Cita), Sweden’s Henrick von Eckermann (Toveks Mary Lou), and Italy’s Luca Marziani (Tokyo du Soleil). All four riders posted clear rounds, with third-to-go Pals making a daring turn back to the planks, a decision that gave him an ultimately unbeatable time of 39.33, securing the win for the Dutch. 

(c) FEI 

PonyWorld Take

As we’ve previously reported, Belgium is the new leader in the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping European Division 1 standings, taking over from hot-on-their-heels Switzerland last month. Just 20 points separate the top two, with only one more competition (Hickstead for Belgium; Dublin for Switzerland) left for each to earn coveted, final points in the division. Meanwhile, the Netherlands—also the reigning 2017 FEI Nations Cup Champions—are still very much in the mix, with both Hickstead and Dublin left in their season to contest. Could we see one more shake-up in the Division 1 standings before the Nations Cup season ends?

The Week’s Big Drama…

Is your helmet really as safe as you think it is?

A new, independent study by the Swedish organization, Folksam, has revealed that 15 popular helmets tested in their research offered poor side-impact protection. The helmet models, selected for both children and adults, ranged in price and popularity, though all met with current CE safety standards. Brands included Charles Owen, Samshield, and KEP, among others, and how they fared might surprise you. 

If You Can Only Watch One Round… 

Watch Nicola Philippaerts go two for two in Chantilly.

Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts spent a lot of time on the podium on Saturday, first by taking home the GCL Chantilly win as part of the London Knights team alongside fellow wunderkind, Ben Maher, and then climbing the stairs for a second time after his victory in the LGCT Grand Prix of Chantilly—both with H&M Chilli Willi. This is Philippaerts’ second major win of the LGCT season, having also won the LGCT Grand Prix of Cascais/Estoril in Portugal with H&M Harley. You can watch his picture-perfect jump-off round below. 


In the Headlines

New research confirms that snorting is a sign of contentment in horses.

Though this information hardly comes as a surprise to most horse people, new French research published in the journal PLOS ONE and then in The New York Times has confirmed that snorting is, in fact, an indicator of positive emotion in horses. Doctoral student Mathilde Stomp measured a total of 560 “snorts” occurring from 1 to 13 times an hour in 48, privately owned horses. Here’s what she discovered.

Pony Social

Learning from the long spot.

Sometimes your distance is spot-on, and other times… well… you get this kind of situation, gamely illustrated by show jumper Sandra Dalman. What separates the two? “Experience,” Dalman writes, and you only get that from making the “wrong decisions” every once and while. Well said!



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