In only his second ever seven-year-old class, Lucy Sugden’s promising young horse Zorro B scored a win to land The Howden Way-supported 7-year-old title at Richmond Horse Trials.
The pair added just 2.8 time penalties cross country to their 32.5 dressage to finish on a total score of 35.3. The gelding by Loumira (Green Grass) also finished second at Belsay International in the CCI-L 2* and fourth in the 7- year-old class at Alnwick Ford international (1).
“I bought him as a four-year-old from Paul Barker who bred him, as a project coming out of covid,” said Lucy. “He wasn’t really that special as a young horse, but I thought I’d have a bit of fun doing the young horse classes on him and then sell him, but he’s ended up being one of the nicest horses I’ve ever sat on.”
Richmond is Lucy’s local event, being only 40 minutes away.
“It was a good course at Richmond and a nice stepping up track but for him – he is fabulous cross country,” Lucy explained. “They always build a big show jumping track there and he likes a decent fence. The time cross country was really tough and won or lost the competition.”
Zorro B is on The Howden Way Young Horse Academy, which Lucy says has been instrumental to their success.
“It’s been brilliant,” said Lucy. “The training camps and zoom meetings with different people have been really useful, and it’s great always having someone at the end of the phone for help. They gave us mentors and paid for me to have lessons with Nicola Wilson. I’m only just setting out on my own, so to have that level of support is amazing.
I’m hoping he’ll get selected on the 7-year-old programme too. He’ll now do Burgham 3*, then Frickley and the 7-year-old champs at Cornbury.”
Second was Lucinda Atkinson and Twice Proved who earned a 32.5 dressage, had four faults show jumping and added 0.8 cross country time penalties to finish on 37.7
Third was Charlotte Donald and Maplevalleys Concorde who scored 37.5 in the dressage, and added four faults show jumping to finish on 41.5.
The Young Horse leagues are a great way to expose promising event horses to bigger atmospheres, while benchmarking them against others of the same age, while offering recognition for the highest performing horses in these classes.
Supported by The Howden Way, the top three in each class receive an additional £250, £150, £100 respectively on top of the prize money already generated and awarded by the prize money calculator.
The Young Horse classes take place throughout the spring and summer in some of BE’s most stunning venues, with the 6-year-old classes running at novice level, while the 7-year-old classes is run at intermediate level.
For dates of the young horse classes this year, please click here
Alongside these classes, the performance of young horses competing with British Eventing is acknowledged within The Howden Way Young Horse Leagues which can be found here. There are four leagues which cover the ages of 5 years, 6 years, 7 years and then the ages of 8 & 9 combined. The leagues display the average of a horse’s three best finishing scores via a Power Based Average score which highlights the ability to repeatedly finish on a low score.
The 2023 Young Horse Championships take place at Cornbury House Horse Trials in Oxfordshire between 7-10 September. The classes will also benefit those aiming their young horses at the FEI World Breeding Championships at Le Lion d’Angers, which hosts a CCI2*-L World Championship for 6-year-olds and a CCI3*-L World Championship for 7-year-olds.