David McPherson and Sirocco are best Brits in the Lanaken seven-year-old final

The World Breeding Championships drew to a close on Sunday with arguably the best young horses in the world contending their respective finals.

A tough 1.45m track for the seven-year-old final – which counted for world ranking points – yielded on five initial clears. Unfortunately, David McPherson with Alan Burnell’s Sirocco (Balou Du Rouet/Guidam) wasn’t amongst them, four faults denying them a jump-off chance and dropping them into eighth. And the other British competitor Alex Thompson and Cathalina came home on 13.

Belgium’s Thierry Goffinet claimed the title on the Toulon/Cassini I mare Think Twice III Z, winning by 0.67 sec from Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca on Jeleena De Muze, a Tornedo FCS/Chin Chin mare.

Most unusually, the six-year-old final was won on the sole double clear – Ireland’s Gerard O’Neill taking the honours with the Lux Z/Cruising stallion Killossery Kaiden.

Seeing how the land lay, Gerard sensibly opted for accuracy in the nine-horse decider and it paid dividends. The Netherlands’ Julian de Boer on the Zapatero VDL gelding Fernando V was 12 sec quicker – but at the expense of a rail.

James Billington (pictured) was best Brit – also on four faults in the jump-off with Farrel VDL, a Cardento gelding.

British-based Frenchman Dan Delsart finished ninth with Ingrid and Lucy Wood’s Diamants Aurora, a Dirado/Chacco Blue mare that only started jumping last December, making this result an incredible achievement.

Tim Wilks and Kay had four faults in round one and Joe Clee returned on nine with Kandy Hof Ter Zeedycke.

One time fault proved very costly for Carron Nicol in the five-year-old final, for it kept the impressively scopey Diamant De Semilly/Sandro Boy stallion Galerius out of the jump-off and dropped them to 23 rd. They weren’t the only pairing to incur the costly penalty, two others also met the same fate.

The Netherlands’ Willem Greve was crowned champion on the Warrant/Verdi stallion Garant in a closely fought jump-off. Ireland’s Michael Pender took second and third on the Z Seven Caretina, a Coltaire Z/Caretino mare, and the Canya Makan/Cavalier Royale mare Z Seven Canya Dance.

Photos © Jumping Around