Hickstead named “Best Horse” in show jumping at WEG

Hickstead and Eric Lamaze at the World Equestrian Games
Hickstead, ridden here by Eric Lamaze, shows the jumping ability that cemented his title of "Best Horse" at the World Equestrian Games.

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.


6 thoughts on “Hickstead named “Best Horse” in show jumping at WEG

  1. Abdullah Al Sharbattly was still appearing to have a heck of a time stopping Hickstead after the course – sitting way back, despite the combination bit! (not that I could ride the horse, but just wondering was that too much hand and not enough leg?)
    Yes, horse hugging expression was moving!

  2. Those knees! Good heavens, I don’t think I’ve ever seen knees that tightly drawn up and together. And the triple. Ahhhhhhh….
    Well deserved, it seems to me. Congratulations Hickstead!

  3. I was thrilled to see Eric ride so well and I pesonally am so proud to have him represent his sport and his country with such class and distinction. What can we say about Hickstead except perfection in every respect! Canada is so lucky to have such a fantastic horse represent us around the world. I just wanted to say thank you to both Hickstead and Eric-WELL DONE!!!!

  4. Just wanted to make one quick comment on the ride of Abdulla Al Shabattly’s ride on Hickstead. I couldn’t take my eyes off of his eyes, he looked terrified and at the end a complete look of relief that he survived. He did a great job but did appear to have the greatest difficultly stopping this great horse. Very enjoyable viewing though.

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