The opening CSI5* class at the London leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour was won by Swedish rider Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli, chased home by two members of the British squad for last week’s World Showjumping Championships, Joe Stockdale and John Whitaker, taking second and third respectively.
Tiny fractions separated the leading contenders, who accelerated and twisted round the snaking 1.45m track for Friday’s opening two-phase, and the top three were all drawn late, making for a thrilling finale to the competition.
Joe Stockdale took a late lead with the 12-year-old Kannan gelding, Equine America Kandleford, who was bred by David Broome, only to see his time beaten by 0.25sec by the Swedish athlete on the 10-year-old mare Danna RJ.
An ambitious challenge from John Whitaker with Old Lodge’s 13-year-old Sharid stopped the clock 0.33sec behind to slot into third.
“It feels amazing – it’s always nice to start the week in this way,” said Angelica (pictured below) who was competing at the London LGCT for the first time, fresh from seeing her husband Marlon Modolo Zanotelli representing Brazil at the World Showjumping Championships in Herning, Denmark, last week, where she could also cheer home double gold medal-winning Swedish rider Henrik von Eckermann.
Danna RJ is Brazilian-bred by Quiz Time.
“We bought Danna RJ at the start of her seven-year-old year – it’s always special when you bring them from young horses up to this level,” said Angelica. “When they are young you are always hoping, so to have done it with her makes me very proud.
“What makes her special is that she’s a real fighter. She wants to win so much when she goes in the ring and I know she will always do her best, that’s what’s so important.”
London LGCT: ‘He has his own way of doing things’ says Joe Stockdale
Joe Stockdale, fresh from collecting his team bronze medal at the World Showjumping Championships on Equine America Cacharel, coaxed an electric round from the Colin Garrett-owned 12-year-old Equine America Kandleford, whom he describes as a “real personality”.
“I thought he wouldn’t be far away from winning that, so I’m a bit gutted to finish second, but he jumped fantastic,” said Joe. “He’s feeling very fresh – he hasn’t had a round since he jumped at Hickstead [Royal International Horse Show] a couple of weeks ago because I’ve been away, so he’s a bit short of rounds coming here. But he took it all in his stride which is lovely.
“He’s really improved this year – he was green and he took a bit of time to learn the job. He’s got his own way of doing things and he’s not everyone’s cup of tea – he’s strong and he’s blood at the same time. But he’s found his own way of doing it and he’s been pretty successful. He has a real personality – he doesn’t know he’s a horse! He’s a home-bred from David Broome’s so he’s very people-friendly, loves attention and he’s a friendly character – he’s a nice one to have in the stable.”
Joe revealed that his newly acquired bronze medal already has pride of place on a shelf at home and he’s been inundated with messages since taking to the podium at the World Showjumping Championships last week.
“I can’t keep track of them all at the moment!” he said.
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Credit: Ph. Ljuba Buzzola