“The pictures are obscene actually. She will go to a show and win three out of four classes like that.”
That was Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) describing the “ridiculous” jumping style of Bellefleur PS Z, the nine-year-old Zangersheide mare he’s won three out of three classes at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida in the 2018 season. (So far.)
It’s a fitting description. Bellefleur’s textbook technique and extreme aversion to rails is the modern day equivalent to show jumping porn—that is, designed to elicit horse lust and envy in equal measure.
Take this one.
In it we see Bellefleur gleefully clear a 1.45m oxer by a foot (or more) with seeming ease in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers, Week 2 of WEF. Hussy.
Or how about this one.
In which the perfectly proportioned equine model jumps out of her skin to win the $35,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic CSI5* on Week 5 of WEF.
And, last but not least, this.
A photo from last Sunday’s $70,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Classic CSI 5* (which she won) where Bellefleur displays a knee tuck so tight she’s getting carpet burns from her feet. All the while looking delighted about it.
But what’s even more impressive than her explicitly spectacular photos is Bellefleur’s FEI record. Over the course of three years and 35 FEI starts, the mare has incurred a rail in a mere eight classes. (To date, she’s only had one eight fault performance in an FEI class—ever.) That’s an astounding 77% clear round rate.
Which brings us to Ward’s face in the photos—the most telling feature of all. Bellefleur is the only horse to consistently inspire the typically steely-faced Olympian to crack a smile in the ring.
If that’s not an equine Pin Up Girl, we don’t know what is.
[Editor’s note: please forward any complaints about the content of the post to McLain Ward.]