The PonyWorld Weekly

The PonyWorld Weekly

June 25, 2018


Andy Kocher Bids Farewell to Navalo

Tragically, Andy Kocher's longtime mount, Navalo, suffered a broken leg while on course in the Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby on Sunday and had to be put down. On Instagram, Kocher reflected on the events of the weekend (you can read the full post here) and paid tribute to his beloved friend. Our hearts go out to Andy and his entire team at this difficult time. 

Quote of the Week

“We’ve done a bit of practice to make sure he’d come down the Bank. Last year, I wondered if I’d wasted a clear round because they don’t come round here very often, so it’s nice to get another one...”

—Great Britain's William Funnell reflecting after his win in the 2018 Al Shira'aa Hickstead Derby. With this victory, Funnell joins an illustrious list of four-time Hickstead Derby winners (he previously won in 2006, 2008, and 2009 with Cortaflex Mondriaa).

William Funnell & Billy Buckingham (c) Hickstead

    Belgium Takes the European Division 1 Lead in the FEI Nations Cup Series

    What happened?

    #TeamBelgium has taken over the lead in the European Division 1 standings in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup series, defeating chief rival Switzerland on Sunday at CHIO Rotterdam during the Nations Cup of Netherlands 2018.

    Tell Me More

    When it comes to Nations Cup competition, you can’t do better than a zero score, which is just what Team Belgium pulled off in Rotterdam ahead of anchor rider Pieter Devos’ final round. The squad, comprised of Nicola Philippaerts (H&M Chilli Willi), Niels Bruynseels (Cas de Liberte), Jos Verlooy (Igor), and Devos (Espoir), defeated Germany on four and a three-way tie for third between the U.S.A., the Netherlands, and Switzerland on 12.

    PonyWorld Take

    What a month it’s been for Belgium, who also took home the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Poland at Sopot last weekend. Once again at Rotterdam, Bruynseels and Devos made strong showings for their team, while new members (Nicola) Philippaerts and Verlooy both pulled off double-clears. Of special note is Philippaerts—fresh off his win in the LGCT Grand Prix of Cascais with H&M Harley—who looks to be one of summer’s breakout stars. Watch for him to shine on the GCL Tour, where Nicola (along with brother Olivier) is a key member of the London Knights, which currently sits first in the League standings.

    The Week’s Big Drama

    (c) Lauren Maudlin/Plaid Horse
    Do riders need a better work ethic—or better mentorship?
    Hallie Davis weighs in on this timely question posed by a highly regarded trainer on social media. According to Davis, if students aren't meeting expectations in regard to horsemanship and management, that’s on their trainers to rectify—and better education is the first step. “We all need to rethink what our roles as mentors, trainers, and role models mean when it comes to improving and growing our sport,” she says.

    **Watch This Space** 

    Jennifer Gates to train with Harrie Smolders.

    Recent Stanford University grad and Under 21 rider Jennifer Gates plans to take a year off to concentrate full-time on her riding before entering medical school, and she’s found just the coach to help her do it. This summer, Gates and her Evergate Stables operation plan to partner with World #1 Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands. “I am eager to learn everything I can from him,” Gates said.


    Jonty Evans & Cooley Rorkes Drift a the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (c) Stephen McCarthy/Getty Images

    Eventer Jonty Evans remains in serious condition after a fall at Tattersalls.

    Ireland's Jonty Evans is still unconscious and in the hospital following a fall from his crowd-funded Olympic horse, Cooley Rorkes Drift, during the Tattersalls CIC3* on June 3. Evans remains in "stable but serious condition" following a traumatic brain injury, which was sustained on cross-country during the event. Cooley Rorkes Drift was uninjured in the fall.

    This Just In…

    Your horse can read your facial expression and your tone of voice.
    Research published from a 2016 study in Tokyo indicates that not only can your horse tell if you're happy or angry from your facial expression—he also understands if that expression doesn’t match your tone of voice. According to the study, 19 horses were shown pictures of people expressing either joy or anger, and then played recordings of human voices that were either gentle or scolding. When the voice didn’t match the emotion shown in the picture—a smiling face with an angry voice, for instance—the horses looked at the images for a “significantly longer” period of time than when they did. Pretty cool, huh?


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