Until Friday morning, Chartraine Pre Noir wasn’t going to compete in that evening’s 2023 WIHS $78,000 Speed Final. The class was at the 2023 Washington International Horse Show at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. But then rider Beat Mändli (SUI) decided to put her in it.
The strategy paid off with the 11-year-old Selle Français mare winning the class by less than a second. “She’s super chilled. She’s super nice. She’s basically a perfect horse. I know we always say this, but, really, she’s a perfect horse,” Mändli said. “She’s nice for everything. She just likes to do her job.”
The pair beat 19 other combinations for the win. They went clean in a time of 51.06. Conor Swail (IRL) and Casturano, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, placed second with a speed of 51.67. And Katie Dinan (USA) and Atika des Hauts Vents, a 13-year-old Selle Français mare, placed third with a speed of 52.89.
Mändli originally thought to ride “Sherry” in Saturday night’s $450,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier. But then his No. 1 horse, Dsarie, was feeling easy in Thursday night’s Welcome Stake. She was “fresh” Friday morning, so he decided to save her for the Saturday highlight.
The Speed Final
For Sherry’s ride in the Friday night Speed Final, Mändli “was hoping not to go too fast. It was basically I warmed her up with a nice class, and everything showed up nicely. I would have never thought I would have won the class, to be honest, but sometimes it works out.”
“When we walked, I thought it looked a bit bigger than normal,” Mändli continued about the course. “It wasn’t just a speed class, really. There were also some lines and the jumps were big enough. Obviously when you go fast, the chance to knock one down is higher. It was a tough class. It was nice, and obviously when you win it, it’s even better.
Mändli, who won the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier in Washington, says he’s aiming to qualify for the 2024 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in April in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, though he’s just getting started riding in the qualifiers. In addition to Saturday night’s Washington qualifier, he plans to ride in qualifiers in Lexington, Kentucky, and Toronto, Canada, next month.
Mändli’s Training Routine
Mändli, who won the 2007 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas, Nevada, said that he has his all of his horses on a similar training program. “We did a little more pole work before the first indoor, because everything is a bit tighter. We worked a bit on the rideability and their response to waiting. I always go back to the roots. A little bit of pole work. Keeping the horse happy. Make sure when you put the leg on, they go forward. When you hold, they have to wait and listen to you,” he said.
“Especially now when we do three shows in a row, we try to keep them as fresh as possible with all the traveling so they’re not already deflated when the indoors start. That’s probably why they were a little fresh yesterday . But it’s OK. I like them a little better like this.”
The Top Three in Photos
Thanks to Cosequin® for our coverage of the 2023 Washington International Horse Show, including competition reports, photos, videos and more.