When horses fly on the Derby Field CSI 3*

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

– Leonardo Da Vinci.

There is no doubt in my mind that when you get to the Grand Prix in jumping and the fences are 1.5 and 1.6 meters in height that you are flying.

Tiffany Foster riding Hamilton

Today, even before the first horse was on course, I was amazed at the size, height and breadth of the fences. The riders were just walking the course when I arrived.

The riders walk the course and discuss with their trainer or coach how best to approach the fences.

There is an element of danger in all horse sports and the jumping competitions can be dangerous. I was reminded of this by this vehicle.

Fortunately, today this vehicle was not needed.
British rider ,Amanda Derbyshire and Cornwall BH, were one of the earlier riders on course.

The first Canadian rider on course was Tiffany Foster on Hamilton. You can see a photo of her jumping above.

Tiffany had some faults (fences with poles knocked down) and time faults( the course, of 13 fences, had to be ridden in 77 seconds) so she knew she would not be going ahead to the jump off.

The next Canadian was Erynn Ballard. Erynn is a very experienced rider. The announcer told us she is at the top of the International list of Women Jump riders. She was riding Corner Pocket Z. I could see that this grey horse was full of energy. It was a cool and windy day and some of the horses were showing signs of excess energy. It was clear to me that Erynn was having to ride with all her skill.

Erynn was managing well but then Pocket Z came to a big fence and initially thought he would jump it but half way through take off he changed his mind. There is a point, on approaching a fence, in the final stride , when the rider makes the commitment to getting over the fence. If the horse does not make the same commitment the rider is destined to have a mishap. Pocket Z crashed into the fence, from above, breaking poles and Erynn came off on his right side . Neither she nor the horse were injured and both walked away but it was a nasty moment to watch it. The photo below shows the moment Pocket Z changed his mind.

The third Canadian rider was Amy Millar riding Truman.

Amy and Hamilton flew over that big fence beautifully! And they went on to a clear round.

Amy and Hamilton went on to the jump off. They finished in 3rd place with a clear round in the jump off as well. Their jump off time was 43.99 and the second place finisher Paul O’Shea of Ireland had 43.88. Ben Maher and Tic Tac, of Britain, had a time of 43.52 and was the winner. So close! The prize money for this Hygain CSI 3* competition was $140,000 which will be divided among the leading finishers.

It was a cold day with wind, so by the time I had watched Amy Miller’s clear round I decided to head home to a hot cup of tea!

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, amazing to see creatures that size getting so far off the ground and sailing through the air. Excellent photos

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Robert I appreciate your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marsha says:

    What a great post, Anne. The photography of the action is splendid and the narration helps me understand what is going on. Enjoy your tea. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Marsha. I did enjoy my cup of hot tea on that cool day!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Kunstkitchen says:

    How amazing and scry to see the fences up close in your photos! Flying is a great way to describe this event.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for this comment !😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. David says:

    This is what my daughters ride. When a height in GP is given, that is your average fence height over the course. A 1.45m GP, you can have the highest fence height at 1.65m, your lowest on average is maybe 1.35m. Your first obstacle is the easiest (lowest height too), then it gets complicated with oxer combinations. The maximum width over an oxer combination is no more than 2.0m per FEI rule. An oxer combination is always ascending. Descending combinations are not permitted since both rider and horse cannot judge heights.

    5*, Olympic and World Cup jumping, a rider is jumping a 1.65-1.75m course. Over those type of courses, your maximum fence height is 1.80m, rarely 1.85m max. Under FEI rule, you can go to 2.0m max, but rarely are fences set that high.

    Nice action shots.

    Like

    1. anne leueen says:

      My jumper days are so far in the past that it was when it was all feet and inches. 3ft 6 was my top height for shows and 4ft schooling at home. Glad you liked the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. David says:

        In the beginner ranks, we’re still in the feet and inches, even in B and C level shows. Then, it all switches to meters in A-level shows.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Hmmm….interesting. Is that the European influence?

          Like

  5. J.W.S. says:

    Scary for sure. Both horse and rider must have trust and courage.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes you are right trust and courage are necessary for horse and rider.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. J.W.S. says:

        So wonderful when we can witness real team work between humans and animals.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          Yes and you would know that with Jonah.🙂

          Like

  6. Your first picture: wow. It really does show how high the horse must jump, and how dangerous it might ultimately be. The pics are beautiful, Anne.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Sasha. They are big jumps .This is the Grand Prix level so it’s the same as the Olympics. All these riders are experienced and skilled!

      Like

      1. Love the photos. Brings back great memories and fears in jumping. My greatest joy was jumping and making the Drangon’s tooth jump down hill on a cross country ride. Only 3 feet but going down hill makes it a challenge

        Like

        1. anne leueen says:

          Great memories! Thanks for sharing.

          Like

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