Some horses have really impressed at the beginning of the year, and here is a selection of which horses to watch out for in 2014 as the first big shows have been jumped. We start with one of the horses that looks set to be one of this year's super stars; VDL Groep Zidane ridden by Leopold van Asten. The 10 year old KWPN gelding by Heartbreaker x Calando I jumped amazing in the Grand Prix in Amsterdam, and would have won if it was not for the last oxer falling to the ground. Zidane already impressed at the end of last year by winning a five star 1.55 class in La Coruna, and is definitely one we will see a lot more of! All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.
What a horse Jan Wernke has in Forry Deluxe! The German rider has been riding the nine year old stallion by For Pleasure x Landadel since he was a four year old, and the horse belongs to Jan's grandmother. Forry Deluxe got everbody's attention when he ended third in the Championat in Leipzig in January. There is for sure a lot more to come from this horse.
This horse is amazing; the nine year old gelding Ryan des Hayettes has been on lots of lips for a long time, and he keeps on doing his job extraordinary well. In January, Ryan and his rider Simon Delestre won a five star 1.45 class in Basel, and the pair was also fourth in a five star 1.50 class in Leipzig. At the end of 2013 they also won in Mechelen.
Daniel Neilson has brought up another star to top level; this time the nine year old stallion Coco Bongo by Caretino x Calido. The pair jumped into the spotlight in Leipzig when being clear in the first round of the World Cup. Neilson for sure has another great one in this horse!
Jeroen Dubbeldam is one of the world's best riders, and filling the shoes of Utascha SFN seems to be no problem for Zenith SFN with this Dutch jockey on his back. The pair has gone from strength to strength the last months; it started with a third place in the three star Grand Prix in Frankfurt in December, before they ended fourth in a 1.40-1.60 class in Mechelen at the end of the year. Then the 10 year old gelding by Rash R x Fuego du Prelet went on to be clear in both his classes in Amsterdam including the Grand Prix were he ended eight.
This is Daniel Deusser's next super star: Fyloe vh Clayssenhof. The nine year old gelding by Burggraaf x Heartbreaker is something special, and won already in September last year - taking home the Championat of Vienna. He has already been clear in some big 1.50 and 1.55 classes, and jumped last weekend's Grand Prix in Treffen in a very convicing way.
VDL Groep Arera C is a nine year old mare by Indoctro x Voltaire. She has impressed hugely under Maikel van der Vleuten, and in Amsterdam she was third in Friday's 1.50 class. Arera also jumped some amazing clear rounds in the big classes as the end of 2013, and we think this will be one to watch in 2014.
The nine year old gelding Living The Dream by Toulon x Flamenco De Semilly can not be left out, after going from strength to strength at the end of 2013 - before he had one time fault in the three star Grand Prix in Drachten at the beginning of 2014 and then went on to be third with his rider Alex Duffy in the four star Grand Prix in Amsterdam. For sure Robert Splaine has an extra eye on this couple, and we think this is a pair for the five star Nations Cups in 2014.
Shane Breen always has a new good one coming up, and Farao van't Vennehof is no exception. The nine year old by Triumphe de Muze x Sun Light van de Zuuthoeve has jumped clear rounds at the five star events in Basel and Zürich at the beginning of 2014, and also ended second in a 1.50 class in Zürich. Keep an eye on this one!