Aivar Ward’s Ivar Gooden ran away with the EquiRatings Fan Nomination on social media to secure his slot as an #ERHOTY17 nominee, and as one of only two horses in 2017 to jump double clear at both Badminton and Burghley, it’s an honour well deserved. People have been talking about the form of Toledo de Kerser for awhile now but the Facebook polls left us in no doubt that the form of Ivar Gooden has not been overlooked!
Ivar Gooden was bred by Pat Coffey, by the Thoroughbred Young Convinced (just like Toddy’s Major Milestone) and arrived in the UK as a 4-year-old via the Goresbridge sales. Since then he has competed in every UK age championships, and represented Team GB at Le Lion d’Angers as a 7-year-old in 2014. Fair to say that ‘Sir Charles’ has played a major part in Imogen Murray’s rise to one of the top up-and-coming riders in Britain.
It was when he stepped up to CCI4* in 2017 that they really started turning heads. Imogen had previously completed one CCI4*, at Burghley in 2014 with her other longtime partner Wiseguy IV, and returned to four-star this spring for her first Badminton and Ivar Gooden’s first crack at the level. The aim was a top half finish. They far exceeded it. While plenty faltered on Eric Winter’s cross country course, Sir Charles took on his first four-star with grit and determination, delivering an impressive double clear to finish 21st. They came off the waitlist and finished as the highest placed Under 25 rider. Not bad.
After an easy CIC2* run at Barbury Castle to stretch his legs, where Ivar Gooden once again jumped double clear to finish 9th on 47.3, it was on to France for their Nations Cup debut at Le Pin au Haras. Imogen and Ivar Gooden extended their double clear hot streak, added just 0.8 cross country time penalties to finish in 10th individually on 52.1 as the best of the Brits, with Team GB finishing 2nd in the Nations Cup.
The Nations Cup served as their final prep run for Burghley. Just a few months after his first four-star, Ivar Gooden once again tackled the cross country with style, jumping clear with 10.8 time penalties to rocket up from 51st place after dressage to 15th, the biggest move up on the leaderboard. A clear show jumping round on the final day boosted them to a 14th place finish.
Ivar Gooden and Toledo de Kerser were the only horses in the 2017 season to jump double clear at both Badminton and Burghley. If we look at the last decade of international results, only two other horses have jumped double clear at Badminton and Burghley in the same season: S.S. Jett in 2009 and the great Lenamore in 2010 when he won Burghley. (Lenamore made it 3-in-a-row when he jumped double clear again at Badminton the following spring in 2011!)
Ivar Gooden ultimately jumped double clear in all four of his completed international runs in 2017 for a 100% double clear rate — the only one of our #ERHOTY17 nominees to hold that distinction. He is also our only nominee to have a 100% clear show jumping rate in 2017. We know he has an army of followers. Will the draw be kind to them? Voting kicks off next week!
Listen to the #ERHOTY17 episode of the Horseware Eventing Podcast to hear how we finalized the list of 12 nominees. Keep checking back to the EquiRatings blog for analysis articles on all 12: fischerRocana FST, Nereo, Arctic Soul, Horseware Hale Bob, Ballaghmor Class, Bulana, Hunter Valley II, Donner, Cekatinka, Calle 44, Ivar Gooden and Foxwood High.