Hickstead, the mount of defending Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, was named “Best Horse” after the showjumping finals at WEG.
Known for his explosive jumping style and his somewhat unorthodox combo bit (so what kind of bit is Hickstead wearing), he is considered to be a difficult ride. However, Hickstead treated the top four riders, Lamaze (Canada), Philippe Le Jeune (Belgium), Rodrigo Pessoa (Brazil) and Abdullah Al Sharbatly (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) to clear rounds, giving him the title.
The show jumping championships is unusual in that the top four riders ride each of the four horses. It’s a grueling day for the horses. In addition to the rides coming up to the finals, each jumps four courses of fences that are 5’2″ in height.
The best video I can find of Philippe Le Jeune is narrated in German but you don’t need to understand the words to be impressed by Hickstead’s jumping ability. The 14 year old Dutch Warmblood stallion is only 16h but he jumps like he has springs on his hooves, even in his last round!
Here are the other riders — I like these videos because they show them warming up. Rodrigo Pessoa look pretty cool and collected, like he’s ridden this horse before.
Abdullah Al Sharbatly looks a bit nervous in the warm up on Hickstead but he did a very credible (if fast) round.
And here’s Eric Lamaze riding Philippe Le Jeune’s handsome stallion Vigo D’Arsouilles. He’s quite a magnificent horse although totally different from Hickstead.