Ward Retires Clinta

Show jumper McLain Ward (USA) has retired Clinta, his 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (North Carolina) partner where they won team gold.

“It’s with some disappointment that I have to announce that after a year of great efforts to bring Clinta back from an injury to the sport again the decision has been made with her very supportive owners, the Sweeneys and Susan Heller, to retire her,” Ward wrote in a Facebook post. “It’s a decision not filled with sadness, just disappointment as she is healthy and sound but we feel is unable to physically take on the stresses of the highest level of competitions. Clinta is without question the highest quality athlete I have ever ridden and has a heart and competitive spirit to match.”

The 14-year-old grey Oldenburg mare (Clinton—Last Flight, Lord Pezi) who placed third in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Geneva in 2018, will be directed toward a breeding career.

“Her owners and myself are looking forward with great anticipation to breeding her in the coming spring,” he wrote. “With much of the breeding world following the current trend of new technology to produce higher numbers of foals we have jointly made a decision to take an old-school approach and breed Clinta naturally and have her carry and raise her offspring. We hope her competitive spirit and giant heart will come through in her foals and believe that also will provide for a happy and healthy retirement for the mare who has given us so much of herself.”

Jumping Mechelen Cancelled

The highly-anticipated 40th Anniversary of Jumping Mechelen, which traditionally takes place between Christmas and New Years (December 26-30) in the Nekkerhal in Brussels North, Belgium, has been cancelled for the second year in a row.

The organizing committee said in a statement, “Jumping Mechelen 2021 will not take place. We can no longer ignore the cry for help of the hospitals and also for us the health of everyone in our society is the priority. Moreover, within the current COVID-19 measures, our event does not get the necessary oxygen to continue. Jumping Mechelen is a very diverse event, but is primarily considered an indoor sports event. No visitors are allowed there at the moment. And without our enthusiastic public, Jumping Mechelen simply cannot continue.

“We will meet in 2022 in the Nekkerhal, for the most unforgettable Jumping Mechelen ever. So that we can finally blow out those 40 candles.”

Hickstead is Back with a Bang

Tickets are on sale for 2022’s Hickstead’s international shows, with the organisers looking forward to a full return to competition for next summer.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of both the Derby Meeting and the five-star Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain for two years running. But now, following the return of crowds at large sporting events, the organisers are excited to announce that their premier fixtures will be running as usual.

“The past two years have been incredibly challenging, with our main events being cancelled,” says Hickstead’s executive director, Lizzie Bunn. “We were fortunate that we could run some events behind closed doors or in a reduced format, but we did miss our large-scale shows and especially our iconic classes. Now we are busy planning a spectacular return for both our international fixtures, starting off with the celebrations of the 60th running of the Al Shira’aa Derby.”

With few events running in 2020 and restrictions still applying last summer, it was decided to postpone the 60th Derby until 2022. The Al Shira’aa will take place at the Hickstead Derby Meeting which runs from June 23–26.

The following month, Hickstead will welcome the return of five-star international competition with the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup at the Longines Royal International Horse Show, July 26-31.