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Final for 7-year-olds: Andreas Dibowski hits hard


Mighty Magic, the stallion of the German rider Andreas Dibowski, is the new World Champion for 7-year-old horses, after a show jumping test which was full of surprises and developments.
by Alison Drummond for Mondial du Lion

Andreas Dibowski / Mighty Magic (Photo:
Andreas Dibowski / Mighty Magic (Photo:
What a day! The outcome of this 25th edition of the Lion World Championships was equal to the event. Because if in the 6-year-old World Championship, the show jumping test did not change the order of the top of the provisional line-up, it was a completely different matter for the 7-year-olds.
Earlier on in the morning, the veterinary inspection did not have any unpleasant surprises in store, since all of the horses presented were accepted by the jury.
So 59 rider and horse pairs were able to take part in the show jumping test on Sunday afternoon. This proved to be a tough test for many of these young horses which were still tired from the cross country course the previous day. Only 22 rider and horse pairs managed to have a clear round. The others were less lucky and just one down could cost riders at the top of the line-up very dearly.
The most unfortunate of these was without a doubt Jean Teulère. His Anglo-Arabian Obélix threw him off on fence number 3. The 2002 World Champion flew threw the air above the poles of the fence and was eliminated.
As for William Fox-Pitt, he had two super clear rounds with Fernhill Highlight and Bay My Hero. The Vice-World Champion, moved up into 4th and 6th place with his Irish horses.
On the other hand, Aurélien Kahn and his Selle Français Pacific Barbotière saw their hopes of getting on the podium disappear in smoke after two down and eight jumping faults. The French rider and horse pair went down from the 3rd to the 10th place. Pippa Funnell certainly looked peeved when she left the arena with Billy Shannon. Everything was going well until her mare knocked down a pole on the very last fence! This tiny mistake cost her the 2nd place. The British rider and horse pair finished 5th.
Andreas Dibowski / Mighty Magic (Photo:
Andreas Dibowski / Mighty Magic (Photo:
Two great champions were able to take advantage of this series of jumping faults. The rider from New Zealand Andrew Nicholson was the first of them. The bronze medal winner at the World Equestrian Games had a magnificent clear round with his bay Spanish horse Quimbo. This wonderful performance allowed the rider and horse pair to move up from the 8th to the 3rd place, thanks to the under achievements of the other competitors.
But the happiest rider of all was the one who left the arena with his arms in the air to express his joy, the German Andreas Dibowski. Not only had he won the 2010 World Championship for 7-year-old horses with Mighty Magic masterfully after a clear round, but he was also 2nd with FRH Butts Avedon, with whom he was also clear and was in 5th place after the cross country test.
“What a weekend!” exclaimed the Olympic Champion when he got down from his horse.
“Naturally, when I arrived here, I had thought that I might win the competition, but I had not imagined that I would finish 1st and 2nd!

Andreas Dibowski / Mighty Magic (Photo:
Andreas Dibowski / Mighty Magic (Photo:
I prepared my horses to be at their best for this competition, but even when you train them and try to plan everything, sometimes you have an unpleasant surprise. In Lexington for example, on the cross country course, my horse, (Euroridings Butts Leon, Editor’s note), stopped in front of a fence on which he had never a problem in the past; so with young horses, it is even more unsure, we can never forecast how they will react…”
Andreas continues: “I was really under pressure here with Butts Avedon. When I came out of the arena clear, I began to relax a bit, and then I quickly refocused on Mighty’s warm-up. I followed what was happening for the others from afar, without imagining that I was going to move up quite so much in the line-up with Avedon. I only knew that I had four faults up my sleeve with Mighty after Pippa had one down. And then when I went over the finish line with Mighty, I looked at the scoreboard and then I saw that I was 1st and 2nd! It was an incredible feeling!”
Andreas Dibowski looks forwards to seeing us in 2011 at the Lion World Championships with a new young horse full of promise.

Link to the official website Le Mondial du Lion 2010 HERE.