Freddie Vasquez Jr. is an equestrian owner, trainer, and entrepreneur in this elite industry. In the following article, Freddie Vasquez equestrian reviews the highlights of the showjumping arena.
The elite showjumping world is certainly one of the most exciting equestrian events to partake in for horse lovers and riders around the world. Whether watching, training, or competing, it’s a fast-paced environment filled with excitement, adrenalin-pumping action, and truly breathtaking horse-and-rider combinations.
Freddie Vasquez Jr. reports that with competitions already kicking off in the early stages of 2023, this roundup looks at the highlights from past and present competitions.
Harry Charles Rides into Showjumping’s Elite
Harry Charles competed at the Tokyo Olympics and has risen to showjumping stardom seemingly quicker than one of his jaw-dropping clear rounds. The young British Olympian swept everyone off their feet from Birmingham to Barcelona in 2022, confirming his well-deserved place among elite showjumpers.
But he certainly isn’t content — he set out to chase the sport’s World Cup final title, following in the footsteps of John Whitaker and Nick Skelton (the only other British riders to take that title in its 41 occurrences).
Freddie Vasquez Jr. reports that Charles’ father, Peter, took his GB showjumping team to the gold at the London 2012 Olympics. And it seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Charles headed to the Tokyo Olympics a mere eight years after.
The event acted as his springboard; he jumped double-clear at the Barcelona FEI Nations Cup final, earning a £42,000 bonus, and was crowned the Horse of the Year Show grand prix champion after that.
With many successes behind him, Charles knew the World Cup win was within arm’s reach. However, Freddie Vasquez Jr. explains that the 2022 FEI World Cup Finals, held in Leipzig, Germany, didn’t quite turn out the way he hoped — Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs ended up pipping him and every other rider to the post, nabbing the title.
Despite that, Charles will undoubtedly be back to wow the crowds again with his incredible equestrianism.
Recent Showjumping Study Highlights Where Most Common Faults Happen
Early 2022 saw researchers determine that showjumping faults aren’t randomly distributed. Instead, they occur more often depending on the fence type and course placement explains Freddie Vasquez Jr.
The study analyzed data from 222 horses and 144 riders in elite showjumping events during the first round and jump-off. The researchers collected 9,114 jumping efforts over 320 obstacles, including triple bars, verticals, walls, verticals with water, oxers, and oxers with water.
Overall, the fault rate (i.e., refusal or fence down) was 7.85, with the probability increasing with the fence’s rank. And with that, researchers discovered that the highest fault probability was on a vertical obstacle with water, and the lowest was on the wall and triple bar.
In both rounds, Freddie Vasquez Jr. says that more faults occurred on the fences within combinations. The first or second fence represented the highest fault probability of double combinations.
On top of that, the team concluded that riders’ ability to estimate jump efforts, adapt to courses, and with a better seat experienced faults less often than others — a fact that won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has ridden before.
Since speed isn’t constant throughout the competition, the overall speed isn’t necessarily directly related to the actual speed upon approaching the obstacle. Thus, more research into this factor should be conducted.
Joe Whitaker Earns the Win at the Longines Diamond Tour FEI Jumping World Cup Grand Prix
Joe Whitaker had an incredible start to the year when he earned his biggest win yet at the Al Shira’aa Longines Diamond Tour FEI Jumping World Cup grand prix on Sunday, January 15, 2023. The event was held at the CSI4* W Al Shira’aa International in Abu Dhabi, and Whitaker rode the 11-year-old Hulahupe JR in an 11-strong jump-off 1.5 seconds quicker than Billy Twomey, runner-up.
During an interview following the brilliant title win, Whitaker praised Hulahupe saying, “he’s an incredible horse and has a lion’s heart.” Following this statement, he confessed that Hulahupe wanted to jump more than he did throughout the day!
Freddie Vasquez Jr. says that after watching Twomey’s pedal-to-the-metal approach to the cause, Whitaker knew he had to pull something out of the bag at the pesky number two fence — and he did just that.
His focus clearly paid off; his horsemanship glowed as he and Hulahupe navigated that tricky turn. It was a true marvel to watch, and fans are delighted that he rocketed to the biggest win of his career. What a way to start the new year off!