When French artistry meets XC

Most of you probably aren’t as Young Event Horse obsessed as I am, so you may or may not have followed the goings-on from Mondial du Lion this past weekend… also known as the 6yo (CCI1*) and 7yo (CCI2*) World Championships for eventing. If you didn’t see at least some of it, no fear, I’m here to show you the best part.

Mighty Magic on his way to a win in the 7yo class in 2010

But first, for the data geeks that were asking about numbers and predictability after my post about the USEA YEH Championships, the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses has actually collected some data about Mondial du Lion and how good of a predictor it is for future upper level success. Not quite applicable to our YEH program here in this country (yet) but a very interesting read, if you’re into that kind of thing. Some of the names of past participants might ring a few bells…


If you don’t want to read the whole thing, basic summary is that the 6yo rankings don’t seem to be a very reliable indicator of future success, but the 7yo results certainly do:


There are probably several reasons for that, if we really delve down into it, but enough nerding for today, let’s get on to the best part: Lion’s XC course. Leave it to the French to make something super cool and interesting and artistic like this. If you want to see pictures of the full 6yo course, go here, and there’s helmet cam video of the 7yo course here, otherwise I’ve pulled out some of my favorite pictures of the different fences from both courses below.

Dragons, anyone?


Or fallen chess pieces


Or a cutout heart (next to a tree with hearts, of course)


Just a horse jumping a violin, nbd



Giant spider = nope



The giant watering can is friendlier-looking


Giant human form, which definitely looks a lot more like art than a XC fence



And of course, we can’t forget this one from last year:


Congrats to YEH graduates Fleecework’s Royal and Betawave on their completions in the 7yo class. The fact that our US-bred horses can hold their own against the very best young eventers in Europe says a lot about the quality of horse that we’re producing here.

29 thoughts on “When French artistry meets XC

  1. I’ve seen Tamie Smith and Fleeceworks Royal at the HPNJ, and have been following Tamie for a few years now. I LOVE “Rory” and think Tamie is such a classy rider, and it was great to see them do so well over the weekend at the YEH Championships.


  2. But I liiiiiike nerding out! It’s cool that even though the 6 yo results weren’t significant, they had a definite trend. Obviously with all the caveats of owner/rider/money, it definitely sounds like a place to keep an eye out for the next super star eventer.

    Also I had no idea that Fischer Takinou was by Jaguar Mail but that makes me really happy!


  3. All of these look like art and not real fences! For some reason I can’t get into it, even though it looks cool. That Might Magic GIF is neat though, he’s classy


    1. I like that the course isn’t just giant table after giant table after skinny after skinny. It’s more creative and uses terrain really well… definitely rewards a bold, forward-thinking young horse without being trappy.


  4. That’s a pretty badass xc course! I am convinced Halo would truly believe that last bank’s mouth would open and swallow him.


  5. Those jumps are just so much nope for me. Lol. They’re incredible, but what kind of horse canters up to a jump that is actually teeth coming up out of the ground? I suppose starting them young makes them braver, but wow. Those are some pretty cool horses to rock around a course like that! Those jumps definitely make for a much more interesting course compared to a lot of our courses.


    1. I’m pretty sure mine would jump it. I don’t think it would read any different to them than a sharks tooth type fence. They don’t compute that as being a giant monster face the way a human would! 😉


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