Philip McGuane Guides My Lady Van De Krekel To Top in $25,000 Lövsta 7-Year-Old Developing Jumper Series Final

March 15. 2024

In an Irish clean sweep of the 2024 young horse finals at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Friday, Philip McGuane piloted the Evergate Stables owned My Lady van de Krekel to win the featured $25,000 Lövsta Future Challenge 7-Year-Old Developing Jumper Series Final. 

The Lövsta Future Challenge is a well-established Swedish concept for talent development aimed at young grand prix horses and U25 riders in both dressage and jumping. The development tour’s vision is to provide the best possible conditions to strive for the highest level of international show jumping and hosted finals during WEF’s Horseware Ireland sponsored Week 10 at Wellington International. 

Philip McGuane & My Lady van de Krekel, winners of the $25,000 Lövsta Stuteri 7-Year-Old Developing Jumper Series Final. Photo © Sportfot

Twenty-five qualified horses from the series entered the International Arena to jump courses designed by Oscar Soberon (USA). Thirteen advanced to a competitive jump-off with the lead changing hands several times. The best was saved for last, however, when Ireland’s Philip McGuane and Evergate’s Dutch Warmblood mare (Aganix du Seigneur x Numero Uno) stole the lead and the win. My Lady van de Krekel was bred by V.O.G. Bruynen in the Netherlands and purchased by the Evergate Stables team at the SLF Horse Auction in Belgium last summer.

“She's super careful, not very big but she has a lot of qualities,” said McGuane of the mare. “Harrie Smolders tried her and really liked her so we only saw the videos and ended up buying her. She came over to us in August of last year.”

Clocking in at a blistering 38.133 seconds over the short course, McGuane put My Lady van de Krekel’s foot speed to good use to bump current leader Luis Fernando Larrazabal (COL) to second on Ribery. 

Ribery, owned by Sabrina Lefebvre, won the last seven-year-old qualifier during WEF 9 and settled for the runner-up position in the Final. The young talent is a Belgian-bred Aganiz du Siegneur daughter with Diamant de Semilly on the dam’s side that Lefebvre purchased at the Youhorse Auction in 2021. 

“The feeling everytime she goes in the ring, she tries 150%,” said Lrrazabal, who stopped the clock at 40.204 seconds. “I'm very lucky to be able to ride this mare; she's so clever, so careful and she wants to do the job. As a rider, when you have a horse of this caliber, it's very fun to ride.

“The track was super, a nice 1.35m class that we’ve been jumping every Friday since the season started, but it was fun because it was in the main ring,” said Larrazabal. “Giving them that opportunity is good for them to develop. I've been doing young horses for 10 years in the U.S. and the last couple years that Lövsta has been putting the effort in, it has been incredible.”

Philip McGuane & My Lady van de Krekel are presented as winners of the $25,000 Lövsta Stuteri 7-Year-Old Developing Jumper Series Final by Antonia Ax:son Johnson and Emelie Broman Tegelberg. Photo © Sportfot

Just off the pace for second place, Mexico’s Daniel Michan settled for third with the Emerald van’t Ruytershof daughter Martine Niek (out of Fontender Niek) in 40.714 seconds. 

“My best friend from childhood owns the mare with me and we bought her in Belgium when she was five,” said Michan. “He developed her in Mexico and I got the ride maybe week three or four of this season. 

“The most she's jumped over there was 1.20m, so we took a little bit of a gamble,” admitted Michan. “It was a little the goal, but we never expected her mind to be so strong and her heart to be so good all the time. She kept getting better and improving over the circuit. This is the first time we have ever gone fast in a jump-off and we made it happen.”

McGuane’s role with Evergate Stables has been to develop their young horses. He previously rode for Swiss Olympian Beat Mändli and U.S. rider Katie Dinan. Hailing from Ireland, the development of young stock is a staple of his career. 

“Series’ like this are super important,” he said. “It's very good money, competitive, had good courses, and nice rings. The numbers are growing every year in these classes–I've been here five years now and it's doubled since. It’s more accessible in the U.S. now and we're very lucky.”

Antonia Ax:son Johnson, owner of Lövsta Stuteri congratulated the Final podium finishers and their trio of mares in celebration of the success of the developing jumper series, saying, “When we started this, we could hardly get five horses, and now this is taking off. We're doing this, of course, in Sweden, but also internationally. 

“Each year we are more excited about what is going on in Wellington,” she continued. “It was superb riding today, and what I really enjoy seeing is that you haven't pushed the horses to a level that they cannot take. Over so many weeks, they seem to grow and understand. It’s really important to give them time to develop and, for us, always thinking about the horse is at the heart of our activities and horsemanship.”

Lövsta Stuteri also sponsors a development series for dressage horses at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in Wellington. This season, $100 from every entry in the two finals will be donated to Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, a program that utilized the healing power of horses to serve people with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities of all ages in Palm Beach County.

Ninja BF and Kevin Gallagher Prove Best in North Star 6-Year-Old Jumper Final

After ten weeks of competition across the six-year-old young jumper division, the top 25 qualifying horses took to the International Arena to claim their final standings in the season’s $15,000 Final. Coming out on top was Kevin Gallager (IRL) and Ninja BF, owned by Richard Kirby. Gallagher rode the 6-year-old Canadian-bred Dutch Warmblood gelding by Chacoon Blue to victory with a double-clear in 40.724 seconds in the two-round jump-off Final. 

Ninja BF and Kevin Gallagher, winners of the $15,000 North Star 6-Year-Old Jumper Final. Photo © Sportfot

“The horse has been so consistent all season so it's brilliant that he took the win today,” said Gallagher. Gallagher was given the ride by friend and horse owner, Richard Kirby, who bought the horse at a young age from breeder John van den Bosch of Bosch Farms in Red Deer, Alberta. 

“This was the plan from the start of the season,” said Gallagher. “We looked at a lot of the Wednesday classes to try and save the horse. Many of the weeks he only jumped on Wednesday to get qualified for this. This was the main goal so it's brilliant to get it done.

“I'm used to the European system and the young horses are such a vital part of it. The amount of young horses that come from Ireland here and jump to an FEI level is incredible. Two years ago, I was here with Charlotte Jacobs and I won the five year old final. Since then in the last two years, the level of young horses has jumped incredibly. People are putting a lot more time into producing young horses and it's just great to see.” 

Following Ninja BF on the podium was Andrew Barone (USA) and Punch Line, owned by Emily Ryan. Barone rode the gelding by Arizona ODF to a second place finish with a clear jump-off time of 41.219 seconds. Finishing third in the final was Santiago VH Netehof, piloted by Cormac Hanley (IRL). Owned by Heathman Farm, LLC, the gelding by Untouchable jumped double-clear with Hanley, finishing the short course in 41.355 seconds. 

Ninja BF and Kevin Gallagher are presented as winners of the $15,000 North Star 6-Year-Old Jumper Final by Louis and Joan Jacobs. Photo © Sportfot

“It's definitely starting to change. There's a good system here,” said Gallagher of the young horse classes being introduced to the American circuit. “The young horses jump in a different arena almost every day, the height of the jumps are manageable, and it's a nice way of producing them. It’s important to keep the horses in a relaxed environment and never under pressure. They start to find more scope, they start to learn it in a very nice way throughout the season so it's a brilliant part of WEF now.”

Gallagher and his fiancé, Kelly Arani, have recently started their own farm, Marigot Bay Farm, where Ninja BF has been in program with them since the start of the season. Gallagher, a former rider for Ireland’s Greg Broderick, will continue his process of building up the young horses in his program, while also diving into the teaching side of his new business venture.  

In addition to winner’s honors, Ninja BF was presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award by Laura Fetterman. 

Daniel Kerins Rides Homebred Lisonas Gold To Win Manestream 5-Year-Old Jumper Final 

The youngest group of horses took to the International Arena on Friday for their final performance of the season. Twenty of the top qualifying horses competed in the $10,000 Manestream 5-Year-Old Jumper Final, their championship class of WEF 2024. The Final gave the young horses a chance of exposure in the International Arena, as well as experience in a classic jump-off format. 

Daniel Kerins & Lisonas Gold, winners of the $10,000 Manestream 5-Year-Old Jumper Final. Photo © Sportfot

It was a special day for 18-year-old Daniel Kerins (IRL) and his family, as their own homebred gelding, Lisonas Gold, took the final series win. The Stakkato Gold son was bred out of the Kerins Family’s own Lisona, a mare of Darragh Kerins piloted at the five-star Nations Cup level for Ireland before U.S. athlete Jessican Springsteen got the ride. 

Lisona earned Nations Cup wins for Darragh at both Dublin and Hickstead throughout their time together. The now 23-year-old mare has been the gift that keeps on giving, bringing another winner, Lisona’s Gold, into the family. 

The 5-year-old jumped a double clear performance, taking the win with a short course time of 36.409 seconds. 

“He was bred by my dad and Maarten Huygens in Ireland where my uncle Richard produced him up until his four-year-old year,” said Daniel. “Around early December last year we brought him over here, and ever since we gave him his first jump, it was just unreal how similar he was to his mother; the carefulness and the way that he was so mature and carried himself. I don’t ride too many young horses, but he's definitely one of the best ones I've ever ridden”

The gelding continued his impressive ways, not only entering the International Arena for the first time, but also entering his first jump-off with Kerins. “He did a really good job. He really rose to the challenge when I let loose because it was pretty fast,” said Daniel. 

Daniel Kerins & Lisonas Gold, with Darragh and Sarah Kerins are presented as winners of the $10,000 Manestream 5-Year-Old Jumper Final. Photo © Sportfot

Following in second was Princesse FZ, owned by Nora Keefe, and Celso Luis Camargo Ariani (BRA). The mare by Pommerol De Muze jumped double-clear, finishing the short course on a time of 37.359 seconds. USA’s Charlie Jayne and Liberty, owned by Kaneb Equine Ventures LLC, took third. The mare by Dulf van den Bisschop finished on a clear time of 37.50 seconds to close out the podium. 

“There's not many young horse classes in America so it's great that we can bring a horse over from Ireland and still have a chance to produce over here and do finals like this,” concluded Daniel. “That means so much.”

Nayel Nassar and Ivory TCS Team Up to Win $32,000 Dodd Technologies 1.50m 

Continuing and banner day for Evergate Stables on Friday, Nayel Nassar (EGY) piloted the newly-acquired 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Ivory TCS  (Falaise de Muze x Ukato), to the pinnacle position in the $32,000 Dodd Technologies 1.50m. As is often the case in the final few weeks of WEF competition, the 52 combinations came from a truly international field with over 14 countries represented in the field. 

Nayel Nassar & Ivory TCS, winners of the $32,000 Dodd Technologies 1.50m. Photo © Sportfot

Oscar Soberon (USA) designed the single-round speed which saw minimal lead changes before Nassar laid down the gauntlet as only the eighth competitor in the order. The remainder of the field hurried in their efforts to overthrow his efficient time of 63.74 seconds but none would close the gap.

“She’s been a winner for her whole career and we're just trying to keep up that trend,” Nassar stated of the mare that was previously a mount of Ireland’s Daniel Coyle. “She’s proving herself to be a winner regardless of who's on her. She's so fast and she's a little short strided, so all those lines I never have to pull and can just keep coming. She’s also quick in the air so I think it's a combination of all of those things.

“I felt like I could keep galloping the whole way around and she seems to like it,” he added. “She gets sharper the more you dare her and today was definitely her day.”

The win was part of an overall successful day for team Evergate, having earlier won the $25,000 Lövsta Future Challenge 7-year-old Developing Jumper Final. 

“I think we have a great team of people and horses, and we manage the horses well throughout the season,” Nassar described. “I was also hurt at the beginning of the year so I had a slow ramp up and it’s paid off the past few weeks coming into the end of season. The horses are still feeling fresh and the riders are fresh. It really does take a village and everyone’s been so on point this year it's starting to show in the results.”

The closest contender to Nassar was Michael Duffy (IRL), who piloted Rushy Marsh Farm LLC’s 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, RMF Cinnamo Magic Park x Avon, into second place just a second behind in 64.75 seconds. Germany’s Richard Vogel made it a truly international victory gallop as he rounded out the top three with Caroline Mawhinney’s 12-year-oldDutch Warmblood gelding, Hollywood V (MyLord Carthago*hn x Casall).