Stunning Day of Freestyle Rounds Off Para Dressage Championships

Italy’s Sarah Morganti. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

On the day of the “dancing horses,” The Netherlands’ Sanne Voets became the first ever non-British rider to win three gold medals in one major international championship before team-mate van der Horst put the icing on the Dutch cake by doing exactly the same. And topping off an incredible five days of competition there was a history-making moment when Japan secured its first ever Para Dressage medal at the Adequan© World Para Dressage Championships at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, USA.

Competing in the Grade V competition, and less than two years out from the Tokyo Paralympic Games, Japan’s Tomoko Nakamura and Djazz F scored 73.540 to take a surprise bronze. Nakamura said, “I was so nervous and it went so quickly and I feel so honoured to be in such a big competition.”

An imperious score of 80.150% was more than enough for Great Britain’s Sophie Wells to pick up her second gold of these Games in the grade’s Freestyle. Riding C Fatal Attraction, she finished ahead of The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar and Alphaville N.O.P. who scored 79.155% to take his second silver.

Speaking after the test, Wells said her horse was “a little bit tense today and on edge but he’s come out this week and given me everything. When you miss out on an Individual Gold [WEG 2014] after training every day it’s hard, but to achieve this after a big gap like I’ve had is amazing. That’s why Rio 2016 was so special because I missed out on the gold in London 2012 too!”

The day started with victory for Sanne Voets, and that first ever non-British triple in the Grade IV competition. Riding her beloved Demantur N.O.P. she scored 79.645% to finish ahead of Brazil’s Rodolpho Riskalla on Don Henrico who posted 77.780%.

“This horse two years ago won the first ever Paralympic gold medal for the Netherlands, and he contributed very much to our first ever team gold medal on Friday, and now he is the first one taking home triple gold for the Netherlands in the World Games. I couldn’t be happier!” — Sanne Voets (NED)

There was double joy for Team USA too, as Kate Shoemaker claimed the bronze on Solitaer with 73.230%. It was the host nation’s second medal of the Games and comes hot on the heels of their amazing fifth place in the team competition.

A stunning display of control and grace by Italy’s Sara Morganti took the freestyle gold in the Grade I competition – her second of the Games. Riding Royal Delight, her horse for the past eight years, Morganti scored 78.867 ahead of Rihards Snikus of Latvia. Snikus, a keen DJ in his spare time, rode King of the Dance to score 76.113% and pick up his first ever global medal, having broken onto international scene at the FEI European Championships in Gothenburg in 2017, where he picked up a silver and a bronze.

“It’s incredible and so big an emotion I can’t even describe it,” Morganti said after waiting for confirmation of her win. “We won three out of three [the pair had the highest score in their grade’s team test as well] and I was hoping for a medal, but I didn’t dare hope for two gold medals. It’s a dream come true and so very fantastic!”

The two wins here at WEG will help Morganti put the disappointment of Rio 2016, when her horse didn’t pass the compulsory veterinary check, behind her. “I needed to come out here with my horse and show how good she is,” she said, “and we worked so hard at home to do our best and she’s improved. The beautiful thing is she continues performing at the top of the ranking and competitions. This is even more than a gold!”

And double US joy turned to triple when Roxanne Trunnel, riding Dolton scored 75.587 to pick up her nation’s third Para Dressage medal by taking the bronze.

There was a huge squeal of delight from Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup when she saw her score in the Grade II contest. Riding Horsebo Smarties she posted 78.947%% to take the gold ahead of Austria’s Pepo Puch on Sailor’s Blue with 75.500. The Netherlands’ Nicole den Dulk took bronze on Wallace N.O.P. with 74.573 – a replay of the grade’s individual and freestyle contests.

“I don’t think there are any words for how amazing I feel. It’s been out of this world and incredible and much more than we ever hoped for. I’m really proud and really happy. I don’t know what else to say. All the years of hard work make this all meaningful.” — Stinna Tange Kaastrup (Team Country)

The Grade III freestyle rounded off the day and The Netherlands’ Rixt van der Horst joined team-mate Voets as a triple gold winner, scoring 77.437% on Findsley. Continuing the USA’s incredible run, Rebecca Hart added silver to her bronze from the individual on El Corona Texel with an impressive 73.240%. Germany’s Angelika Trabert continued her return to the sport by taking the bronze on Diamond’s Shine, with a score of 71.840%.

“It has been such an amazing year for the Netherlands. I have no words for it, both in terms of me and what the team did!” van der Horst said.

But there was high drama when Great Britain’s Paralympic Champion Natasha Baker was thrown from her horse, Mount St John Diva Dannebrog, during her test, eliminating her from the competition. “My ego was bruised and so was my backside,” she joked afterwards, “but at least I landed on the centre line!”

So at the end of a brilliant week of competition, The Netherlands sits comfortably atop the overall medal table, with five golds, two silvers and two bronzes, followed by Great Britain with two golds, and one silver. Denmark is third with two golds and a bronze, while Riskalla’s two silvers give Brazil the fourth spot. The USA sits fifth with one silver and three bronzes.

Results here.

By Rob Howell

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Orange the New Gold as Dutch Win Team Competition and Ticket to Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Team Netherlands celebrates an incredible win. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhurst)

The Netherlands has turned the established order of international Para Dressage on its head by winning the team competition at the Adequan© Para Dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon (USA). In doing so, the Dutch team not only secured the first team spot, out of three, to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, it also knocked Great Britain off the top of the podium for the very first time at European, world, and Paralympic championship level.

“I feel like I just can’t believe it. It’s been a dream since I started this job six years ago after London 2012 and the gap with Great Britain was so big.” — Joyce Heuitink, Chef d’Equipe (Team Netherlands)

“But every year the gap seemed to be getting closer so we kept working hard and just worked on everything that we can. And then you happen to have four amazing riders that do four amazing tests. But we were so nervous and thought, ‘What if they beat us by just one percent?’”

The Dutch team – Grade II’s Nicole den Dulk, Grade III’s Rixt van der Horst, Grade IV’s Sanne Voets, and Grade V’s Frank Hosmar – clinched the championship with a total score of 223.597% after van der Horst, on Findsley, scored 73.559%, the first score of the day in her grade’s team test.

That initially left the door slightly open for Great Britain to catch up and would have needed scores of 73 plus from both Natasha Baker and Erin Orford to defend their title. Baker rode first and was the highest scorer in the grade, with a personal best 74.118% on Mount St John Diva Dannebrog. Orford, competing at her first global championships on Dior, then scored 69.029%. In the end the gap between the two countries was just 0.622 of a percentage point. Heuitink added: “We watched Erin [Orford, Great Britain’s final rider] and said we would not be noisy.

“We gave her good applause and waited to be sure it was on the scoreboard that we were ahead and then her score came up and it was true. My team manager went straight to the general store to get champagne. I’ve been full of tears for the last two days and I’m afraid I will break into tears when I stand on the podium.”

With the top two spots decided in the first session of the day, the afternoon’s grade I contest turned into a battle royal between Germany and Denmark for bronze, and the final qualifying spot for Tokyo.

Denmark’s Line Munk Madsen was up first, on Hoennerups Beebob, and scored 73.179%, leaving Germany’s individual bronze medal winning Elke Philipp a target of 73.208%. Riding Fuerst Sinclair, Philipp scored 74.375 and Germany was on the way to Tokyo by just 0.150 of a percentage point.

By winning the competition, Hosmar and den Dulk picked up their first ever world gold medals. Speaking after the ceremony, Hosmar said: “It’s really nice. We worked hard for it and finally we beat the British. Every year we were closer and closer and closer and then, today, we beat them. Yeah! We have freestyle tomorrow so we won’t celebrate too much tonight, but tomorrow night I think we will.”

“First gold – that’s amazing,” added den Dulk. “We really rode as a team and there are no words for it yet. Riding here is such a big deal and being here as a team and actually doing it, that’s something else – wanting it and doing it. We’re all ecstatic.

“We rode our hearts out and the judges saw that today and yesterday – happy horses and happy athletes.”

Click here for full results.

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Swiss Stay on Top, but USA Stalking Closely Going into Jumping Team Medal-Decider

McLain Ward and Clinta. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

The Swiss held on to the lead in the Bank of America Team Jumping Championship at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA but the hosts have moved up from overnight fourth into second spot ahead of the medal-decider in which the top 10 nations will compete.

And they are dangerously close, stalking the leaders by less than a single penalty point and leaving them with absolutely no room for error. Germany is in third ahead of Sweden, The Netherlands, and Ireland, while France, Australia, Great Britain, and Canada have also made the cut.

And the individual placings got a big shake-up, with overnight leader, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, dropping to eighth following a single mistake, while Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca rocketed all the way up from ninth to pole position when producing one of just five clears over another masterful track designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. America’s McLain Ward is now in second, with individual European champion Peder Fredricson from Sweden in third, Germany’s Simone Blum in fourth, and Ireland’s Cian O’Connor in fifth place.

The Swiss looked vulnerable when pathfinder Werner Muff (Daimler) left three fences on the floor, but Janika Sprunger pulled it back when collecting just a single time penalty with Bacardi VDL. Martin Fuchs and Clooney hit the second element of the penultimate double which proved one of the trickiest places on the 14-fence track, and when Guerdat’s mare, Bianca, lowered the oxer at fence nine then Andy Kistler’s side added nine to their first-day tally but still maintained the advantage, albeit a very narrow one.

Devin Ryan kicked off the US effort with a pole down from Eddie Blue, but both Adrienne Sternlicht (Cristalline) and anchorman McLain Ward (Clinta) picked up just a single time fault so Laura Kraut’s double-error with Zeremonie could be discarded.

“I woke up this morning and had some kind of epiphany that I needed to relax, and I think that translated into my ride! It’s a really difficult course… there’s fences falling everywhere and they are massive, so I really thought about taking each fence at a time and I think that’s where my time fault came. I was more focused on jumping a clear round because that’s what our team needed.” — Adrienne Sternlicht (USA)

Germany’s Blum and DSP Alice produced the first clear of the day to set her side on the road to a rapid recovery from eighth place after the opening competition. and when team-mate Laura Klaphake followed that with a lovely clear over the poles and just one time fault things were looking very good indeed. But Klaphake wasn’t getting over-confident with two of her team-mates still to go.

“We’ve had two good rounds but sport is so hard, from one second to the other it can change, like yesterday until the fault (where her horse stopped) I had an amazing round, so we cross our fingers!” she said wisely. Maurice Tebbel and Don Diarado returned a nine-fault scoreline and then Marcus Ehning and Pret a Tout added eight more, but their final tally left them on 18.09, so less than two fences behind the Swiss at the head of affairs.

Meanwhile, the Italians crashed out, when, already reduced to a three-man side, Luca Marziani’s stallion Tokyo du Soleil decided he wouldn’t jump the wall at fence three and the pair was eliminated. However, de Luca, who competes in the uniform of the Italian air force, was determined to soldier on even though he’s only been riding the 10-year-old grey mare, Irenice Horta, since June of this year.

The man who competes for Stephan Conter’s Stephex Stables in Belgium said:

“Zoe Conter rode her before, but unluckily Zoe had an accident in Rome, she fell off, so they decided to give me the horse and this is our fifth show together! The Nations Cup in Aachen was our first big class and then we did the Nations Cup and Grand Prix in Dublin where she finished third. That was really tough but it was the same course designer, so I had a feeling I could do it here!” — Lorenzo de Luca (ITA)

The top 65 athletes go into the final competition including individuals and the 10 qualified teams who will all compete in reverse order of merit. And the Australians are still in there, lying eighth and flying their flag with honour and pride. Their performances have been exemplary, but they have sprung a really big surprise, apparently outsiders but really rising to this world championship challenge. As Irish Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa commented, “They’re doing great – and that’s the beauty of our sport!”

Results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Council to Meet Oct. 9-11 in Salt Lake City

Photo: Ginger Kathrens – Humane Advocate on National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

Come Out and Show Your Support for Our Wild Horses and Burros

BLM has announced that the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will be meeting October 9-11 at the Courtyard Marriott in Salt Lake City Downtown. As a member of the board, TCF’s Executive Director Ginger Kathrens will be in attendance. Please consider attending this meeting if you can to show your support for our wild horses and burros as well as for Ginger as she does her best to stand up for them in her capacity as the Humane Advocate on the board.

Even if you can’t attend, BLM will be accepting written public comment until October 2nd. Written comments and statements must be mailed to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Attention: Dorothea Boothe WO-260, 20 M Street SE, Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003, or emailed to: whbadvisoryboard@blm.gov by October 2, 2018, in order for the Board to consider them at the October meeting. Please include “Advisory Board Comment” in the subject line of the email.

A public comment period will be held on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (MDT). There will also be a field tour from 7am to noon on Tuesday, October 9th of the Onaqui Horse Herd Management Area. (The field tour is open to limited public attendance with advanced sign-up on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees must provide for their own transportation (high-clearance vehicle recommended) and personal needs. Field tour attendees will depart from the Courtyard Marriott at 7:00 a.m. To sign up, contact Dorothea Boothe by email at dboothe@blm.gov by September 28, 2018.)

For more details on the meeting, please refer to the full BLM notice linked here.

The Cloud Foundation
107 South 7th St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
www.thecloudfoundation.org

How to Buy Horses at Sport Horses Auction at Baborówko Horse Sale Show

The third edition of Sport Horses Auction will be held from 28th to 30th of September in Baborówko, Poland. There are 17 horses with predispositions for eventing and show jumping within the collection of Baborówko Horse Sale Show. Here is some of the most important information for those who are interested in Polish sport horses and want to take part in the bidding.

Before the start of Sport Horses Auction and bidding on Saturday evening, the buyers can check horses profiles at the online collection (http://bit.ly/Collection_BHSS2018), as well as at the event.

Before the auction:

  • possibility to look into professional veterinary examinations, including general clinical examinations with endoscopy and 14 RTG photos
  • possibility for consultation with veterinarians from Equi Vet Service Clinic, who will be available in the Show Office from Thursday
  • possibility for test rides on Thursday from (12:00PM to 6:00PM) and Friday (from 9:00AM to 6:00PM), after prior arrangement
  • official presentation of the horses before the auction at the main Hippodrome on Saturday at 4:00PM

The rules:

  • lack of bid bond
  • open character of the auction, without having to register beforehand
  • the auction will be held in PLN in the net amount, and the minimum increment is 500PLN; for selected horses an 8% VAT will be added, which will be announced by the auctioneer

After the auction:

  • obligatory signing of the sales agreement no longer than 10 minutes after the winning bid
  • three days to pay the total price
  • pickup of the horse possible only after paying the full price
  • possibility to pay the full price in EUR, enlarged by a handling charge of 1% of the full price
  • we offer the possibility of insuring the horse and to help with transport

Schedule of Sport Horses Auction at Baborówko Horse Sale Show:

Thursday – Friday, 27-28.09.2018:

Thursday 12.00 – 18.00 – test rides
Friday 9.00 – 18.00 – test rides

Saturday, 29.09.2018:

15.00 – horse presentation on Arena A
20.30 – bidding

More information on:
http://bhss.baborowko.pl/eng/

A Golden Day for the Dutch as Rixt van der Horst Enjoys Para-Dressage Glory in Tryon

Rixt van der Horst and Findsley ©Sportfot.

Netherlands star Rixt van der Horst reflected on the “amazing” feeling of winning another Gold medal after she headlined day two of Adequan® Para-Dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.

Van der Horst, who took double Gold at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in France, sealed top spot in the Grade III Individual Championship on her bay mare Findsley.

Their score of 73.735% edged long-time leader Natasha Baker, of Great Britain, into second place as she excelled with new top horse Mount St John Diva Dannebrog, while American Rebecca Hart and El Corona Texel collected Bronze to become her country’s first world Para-Dressage medalist.

“I am really thrilled,” Van der Horst said. “It is so amazing to be world champion again. During my test, I didn’t realize it was that good.

“I was just riding my test and doing what I do and it was not until afterwards that I realized it was good. In the beginning I was nervous, but I relaxed during the test and it got better and better. It’s our first international competition together and I am so proud of her.”

Baker, a mainstay of Britain’s all-conquering Para-Dressage teams in recent years, was similarly delighted with the performance of her horse in what was a major championship debut for the partnership, as it had been for Van der Horst and Findsley.

“She was amazing, so, so, good and she went in there like she owned it,” Baker said. “I am just so proud of everything that we have achieved in such a short space of time.

“It is an honor to get called up for the team, especially after such a short space of time. I’ve only had her since January, and to have done everything we have and for the selectors to have the trust in us to come and do our best is fantastic.”

Italy’s Sara Morganti came out on top in the Grade I Individual Championship, winning an anticipated head-to-head battle with Singapore’s current world number one Laurentia Tan.

The pair was drawn as the last to two to ride in Tryon Stadium, and did not disappoint, with Morganti’s score of 74.750% on Royal Delight enough for victory as Tan and Fuerst Sherlock finished on 73.750%. Germany’s Elke Philipp claimed the bronze medal aboard Fuerst Sinclair with 73.143%.

“It was wonderful,” said Morganti, who won world Individual Gold and Silver medals in 2014.

“It’s incredible. I’ve had a very difficult year because of health problems and for a moment I thought I couldn’t go on.

“My horse was amazing and I have to thank my trainers who have been with me all along the way. I am happy because I wanted to get a medal for me, but also for them.”

Tan, meanwhile, added, “It’s really important to get a medal for my country. I felt relaxed and I just had to keep going.”

Philipp could scarcely believe the scale of her achievement as she completed the medal podium.

“I can’t have any words for this,” she said. “I hoped that I would win a medal, but now I have a medal! The arena is perfect for me and my horse and I think we did a good job.”

Long Standing Partnership Catapults Sheena Bendixen to Christie’s International Real Estate Vaulting Freestyle

Denmark’s Sheena Bendixen won the Individual Female’s Freestyle of the Christie’s International Real Estate’s Vaulting competition at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Wednesday, her score of 8.539 piping Germany’s Janika Derks and Sarah Kay.

Sheena Bendixen and Klintholms Ramstein ©Sportfot

The 25-year-old Bendixen, ranked in the world’s top ten, danced to victory and credited her long-standing partnership with black gelding Klintholms Ramstein and lunger Lasse Kristensen for the success. She won her first European Bronze medal with the same duo seven years ago in 2011.

“One stand was a bit shaky, but I just continued and smiled,” Bendixen said, earning top score for the Trakehner breed horse Ramstein, owned by her groom.

“We call him the psycho mouse. He loves the arena and always says ‘Here, look at me!’ I wanted to dance my emotions at this WEG, relaxation, power, elegance, harmony – everything should be in it,” Bendixen said.

“I had warned her that there is nothing more difficult than really dancing on a horse, not only with expressive hands, but also with your feet and she did it,” Kristensen said, a former world class Vaulter himself.

Janika Derks scored 9.473 for her technique, the best of the morning. For her Freestyle she used the music “La Terre en Ciel” that had already brought a Bronze medal on ice, dancing for Germany.

“I wanted it to look easy, soft and fluffy, quite a contrast to my usual vaulting. I am a very technical and strong vaulter and to show elegance and harmony is the hardest for me,” Derks said.

“It is always the same, the easier something looks the harder it is,” Derks’ lunger Jessica Lichtenberg said.

Several female competitors managed to dance a complete story. U.S. athlete Tessa Dirks danced to the music of the movie “Little Red Riding Hood.”

“I am kind of an upbeat person and I had to pretend to be afraid which is not quite like me. The panic of the wolf is more like the panic of the vaulter of not finishing on time.”

That fear was unnecessary because she finished on rank 7, with lunger Christoph Lensing, a double WEG Silver medalist himself.

Germany’s Thomas Brüsewitz Turns In His Second Vaulting Win at Tryon 2018

Germany’s Thomas Brüsewitz won the Individual Freestyle at Christie’s International Real Estate’s Vaulting discipline at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Wednesday, duplicating his success from Tuesday’s compulsory. Vaulting for a score of 8.987, he kept France’s Lambert Leclezio and Jannis Drewell for Germany at bay.

It was fireworks in the arena when world No.3, Brüsewitz did his Freestyle following the theme of the movie “The Truman Show.”

“The person in the show is a star because he is true to himself, a real person. Our vaulting is true as well. I thought this a fitting theme for the world championship here.”

Brüsewitz did not go the limit and kept it safe, omitting one handstand.

“When I had my signature movement out of the way, the flic flac backwards, I felt I should play it safe. I will keep it up my sleeve for the final Freestyle,” the student at a sports university in Cologne, Germany said.

FEI World Cup™ winner Jannis Drewell “danced with wolves” for his Freestyle, collecting 8.924 with four scores of 9 from the judges’ panel.

“I had this theme ten years ago for my very first national youth championship and I thought it was a good moment to come up with it again. It was much better than ten years ago.”

French Lambert Leclezio was not happy with his performance, finishing on 8.832.

“Two big movements did not go to plan, but maybe people on the outside did not notice.”

Austria’s Lindner/Wacha Set to Defend Their Pairs Title in Vaulting

The sparkle of 15,000 rhinestones lit the Indoor Arena in the Christie’s International Real Estate’s Vaulting competition at Tryon 2018, when the world’s best pair met for their first round of Freestyle.

Austria’s Jasmin Lindner and Lukas Wacha look set to defend their WEG title from 2014. They scored an average of 9.138, topping their Freestyle performance at WEG 2014.

Wearing a black-and-white costume, they interpreted the theme of the literature piece Chess Novel. It was the first time the freestyle was shown in public. It has been a work in progress since they started planning it two years ago.

“It was a wonderful feeling to go out and to know it will stun everybody. When you then get it all together at the right time the feeling is just hard to describe,” said Lukaas Wacha.

Their costumes had been handcrafted by both of their grandmothers, who are tailors in Vienna and Salzburg. It had been Jasmin Linder’s job then to attach the close to 15,000 rhinestones.

“Luckily Svarovski sits in Tyrolia where those two come from,” said team chief Manfred Reber.

The world’s highest ranked pair Italy’s Lorenzo Lupacchini and Silvia Stopazzini set the tone for a great competition. Vaulting as a pair for two years, they came out first into the competition and vaulted for a 9.057, earning six scores of 9s.

Breathing down their necks, only 0.001 point behind, are Germany’s Janika Derks and Johannes Kay. Her neon pink costume stood out against horse Dark Beluga when they showed their stunning lifts and elevations, defying gravity.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Super Swiss Head the Leaderboard Going into Day 2 of Bank of America Jumping Championship

Steve Guerdat and Bianca. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

A brilliant round from Steve Guerdat (36) and the fiery mare Bianca put the 2012 Olympic champion and Team Switzerland into pole position as the Bank of America Jumping Championship got underway at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA. A colourful, testing but honest 14-fence track built by Irishman Alan Wade created spectacular sport for spectators and the 124 horse-and-rider combinations from 49 nations.

The defending world champions from The Netherlands jumped into second ahead of Brazil in third and USA in fourth. But the biggest story of the day was the stunning performance of the Australians who slotted into fifth and whose final rider, Rowan Willis (38), is lying individually third behind Brazil’s Pedro Veniss (35) in silver medal position and Guerdat at the top of the leaderboard.

France, Sweden, Germany, Colombia, and Ireland fill the remaining top-10 team places in the field of 25 nations.

Guerdat was second-last to go and raced into the lead in the individual rankings when clear in 76.33.

“It was a long day waiting; we walked the course before 9am and it was nine hours later when I got on my horse, but I was kind of confident because the course walked well. The fastest horses were not leading so I thought if I stick to my plan, I had a good chance to be in the top three today, so I actually really enjoyed my round and I can’t ask for much more!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

Veniss and his fabulous stallion Quabri de l’Isle were poetry in motion, their tight turn to the third-last fence ensuring they were really competitive against the clock as they cruised through the finish in 76.68 seconds. And Willis and his chestnut mare Blue Movie were only 0.27 seconds slower through the timers.

“She just tries so hard for me. I don’t worry about trying to go fast because she’s naturally fast, so I just have to keep my rhythm and make sure I don’t make a mistake. It was a nice day. All four of us have just got off to a brilliant start and that’s really encouraging.”

“Obviously it’s not easy for our team because half of us are based in Australia so it’s a long way to go to any shows, but those boys (Jamie Kermond and Billy Raymont) have had a good summer in Europe and Scott (Keach) and I have had a good summer over here (in North America) and it’s just brilliant that we all had a good day today. This is something I’ve dreamed of. It’s the first time I’ve represented Australia since I was about 18 at an invitational in Hong Kong!” — Rowan Willis (AUS)

The British-based rider who hails from Armidale in New South Wales made a big impression when finishing 11th in the Grand Prix at the Masters in Spruce Meadows (CAN) earlier this month.

Swiss supremacy was underpinned by great rounds from Martin Fuchs (26), who lies individually fifth behind Germany’s Marcus Ehning, and Janika Sprunger (31) who is in 16th place with Bacardi VDL. “The course suited Clooney really well. I knew I could do it and I’m glad it worked out so well. Werner (Muff) had two down so the pressure is on Steve now, but we all know that he handles pressure better than anyone else!” Fuchs said before Guerdat proved that this is absolutely true.

Sprunger was Swiss pathfinder. “I had to concentrate to open this well for my team and give confidence to myself and the rest of the others, and I know that Bacardi and I are not the fastest combination, so we just try to go as quickly as possible. Maybe a half-second or one second faster was possible but I’m very happy with the end result. I said I wanted to be on 80 seconds and we almost did it!” she said after stopping the clock on 80.26 seconds.

With only a fence separating the top three countries and less than two separating the top 10, it’s all to play for again when the action resumes with Team Belgium first into the ring ahead of Ireland, Japan, Portugal, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Germany, USA, and Mexico. Egypt will be next to go and then Venezuela, Sweden, Netherlands, France, Hungary, Australia, Brazil, and Great Britain will take their turn. Team Colombia has been drawn ahead of the Swiss and they will be followed by Argentina, Spain, and Italy so the last team into the arena will be Israel.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Stinna Steals the Show as Adequan Para-Dressage Makes Its Entry at Tryon

Stinna Tange Kaastrup and Horsebo Smarties ©Sportfot.

TRYON, NC, USA – September 18, 2018 – Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup won her first world gold medal as Adequan® Para-Dressage began in exciting fashion at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, hosted in Tryon Stadium at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).

The 24-year-old European champion, who was born without legs, continued a memorable year by taking Grade II Individual honors ahead of prolific medal-winning Austrian Pepo Puch.

Kaastrup, riding 17-year-old Horsebo Smarties, posted a score of 72.735%, and Puch – the last of nine competitors – fell just short aboard Sailor’s Blue on 72.676%, with Netherlands challenger Nicole den Dulk and Wallace N.O.P. finishing third, just under two percent behind Puch.

There was disappointment for Great Britain’s Sir Lee Pearson, though, who needs one more medal to become the most decorated Para-Dressage rider in FEI World Equestrian Games™ history, as he retired his new ride, nine-year-old mare Styletta, two-thirds of the way through his test.

Kaastrup said, “I was upset because of a mistake I made because the horse was feeling amazing and doing such a wonderful job, but still it was enough [to medal] and it didn’t matter in the end. I was so nervous looking at the scores as it was so close all the way through, and I wondered if we were going to make it. My horse is really enjoying it, and as soon as we got into the arena his ears were like ‘hey, I’m here, is everyone watching me’? He is a darling.”

The Adequan® Para-Dressage program began with a thrilling Grade IV competition that saw the three medallists separated by just 0.781%, with the Netherlands’ Sanne Voets taking gold.

Voets, who won a freestyle Gold and two Silvers at the last FEI World Equestrian Games™ in France four years ago, led from a number one draw on Demantur N.O.P. as their score of 73.927% edged out Brazil’s Rodolpho Riskalla and Don Henrico (73.366%), with Danish rider Susanne Jensby Sunesen third aboard CSK’s Que Faire (73.146%).

“Nobody wants to be the first to go, but it doesn’t change the job,” Voets said. “You just have to do what you do and do it best. I think we smashed it.”

Riskalla’s life was turned upside down in 2015 when he contracted bacterial meningitis on a trip home to Brazil from his Paris base following the death of his father, and he had to have both legs amputated below the knee, in addition to losing his right hand and two fingers on his left hand.

Reflecting on his test, Riskalla said, “It was super. His style sometimes can be super-sensitive, but he performed just like he was at home.”

Grade V action concluded the opening day, and there was a victory for Britain’s Sophie Wells, riding C Fatal Attraction.

As with Voets, 28-year-old Wells went first in her class, and she delivered a commanding performance to finish on 75.429%, beating the Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar and Alphaville N.O.P. on 73.167%, with the bronze medal going to Belgium’s Regine Mispelkamp and Look At Me Now on 71.452%.

Wells, a mainstay of Britain’s dominant Para-Dressage team, won the world individual title at Kentucky in 2010, and three medals at the 2014 Normandy FEI World Equestrian Games™ including team gold.

“I am really pleased,” she said. “I had a little bit of a blip at the beginning where he was just a bit nervous, but compared to last year at the Europeans where the first day was the individual and he was a bit nervous there, he was so much better here and came back to me and built his confidence back up.”

Vaulters Reignite Friendly Rivalry

European neighbors Switzerland, Germany and Austria are taking on the rivalry again in the Christie’s International Real Estate’s Vaulting discipline at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Vaulting team competition. The Swiss squad finished first in the compulsory, scoring 7.979. Germany ranks second on 7.794 and Austria (7.355) is third.

The score for the horses decided first and second place, with Swiss gelding Rayo de la Luz getting an average of 8.3. Germany’s Danny Boy Old collected 8.11 from two of the eight judges whose task it is to solely assess the horses’ performance.

“With four years of vaulting under his belt, we [have been] vaulting him since two years and he has developed fantastically,” said lunger Monika Winkler-Bischofberger on the 13-year-old gelding.

The U.S. team of Pacific Coast Vaulters finished fourth on their squad horse, Diva, with lunger Carolyn Bland.

“The horse and the lunger were amazing,” the vaulters raved afterwards. “That was the best it has gone all year and it is great to be on home turf.”

Fifth-placed Italy had a bad start when going over time and therefore the last movement was not scored.

“That was not our best compulsory, but we are better in the Freestyle anyway. We are Italians!” said Laura Carnabuci, lunger for former dressage horse Hot Tek Date.

The confrontation at the top of the field of eleven teams even goes down to a personal level, with Swiss lunger Monika Winkler-Bischofsberger and counterpart Patric Looser for Germany originally coming from the same club in Switzerland, in Luetisburg near the city of St. Gallen.

“It is a friendly rivalry between us, but we both treat it as a fair competition. I wished Monika lots of luck back at the stables before we started out,” said Patric Looser, who won the individual World championship title at WEG 2010 in Kentucky for Switzerland and founded the German team based in Cologne three years later. He still carries a Swiss passport.

“But I am at home there now. And vaulters are one big family anyway,” Looser said.

Austria Tops the Vaulting Female Compulsory

Austria’s Katharina Luschin scored 8.506 in the Christie’s International Real Estate’s Vaulting discipline at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Tuesday, thus topping the winning compulsory result from the previous WEG in France. All three Austrian female competitors are in the top four spots with Germany’s Kristina Boe wedged in between on second position (8.347).

“It was a super feeling to go in here. I just did my thing, but I never thought this result could be possible,” said leading Luschin after the first of three more rounds to come towards the individual title. The 26-year-old is at her second WEG, after finishing 4th individually in Normandy and taking Bronze at the previous World Championship in Le Mans 2016.

With Daniela Fritz on 8.294 in third place and 23-year-old Lisa Wild sitting fourth, Austria has set a solid foundation for their road to medal success.

“We took a risk, putting all three of them on this one horse, Fairytale, but it worked out,” said Manfred Rebel, team chief for Austria.

Germany’s Vaulting World Cup winner Kristina Boe showed extraordinary elevation in her compulsory and led the competition until Luschin took over.

“The higher the pressure, the better I do,” said the 32-year-old trauma surgeon.

The top ten female vaulters of 30 in total all scored above 8.0, showing the new class of the sport.

The placing also shows how tight the competition at the top has developed. Germany places all three female vaulters in the top ten, with Sarah Kay and Janina Derks trailing Boe in sixth and seventh place.  Switzerland has Nadja Büttiker, Marina Mohar and Ilona Haennich placed in a row up to currently rank 11th.

World’s No.1 Anna Cavallaro, silver medalist at WEG 2014, is sitting with Derks on 7th place. The medical doctor is known for her freestyle abilities.

German Thomas Brüsewitz Earns Vaulting Male Compulsory’s Top Score

Germany’s Thomas Brüsewitz took the lead in the Christie’s International Real Estate’s Individual Male Compulsory at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Tuesday. The No. 3-ranked athlete scored a 8.480 in the Individual Male Compulsory, besting compatriot Jannik Heiland on 8.468 and Lambert Leclezio (8.440) representing France.

The compulsory was the second appearance for Brüsewitz on Danny Boy Old after he had competed within the team in the morning.

“The double burden does not phase me. I am used to it. It is like that since two years,” said the 24-year-old who comes from a vaulting family. Danny Boy got out much fresher the second time and helped Thomas to a good score after he had to be on as the first vaulter this morning because he knows the horse best and could set him up for the others in the team,” said lunger Patric Looser.

Jannik Heiland, twice an FEI World Cup™ Bronze medal winner, might have lost the lead in the first part of the compulsory, he acknowledged. “The scissors could have been a bit better, but the rest went okay. I felt very well-prepared and was mentally up to it,” Heiland said

France’s Lambert Leclezio, the 21-year-old World Champion 2016, had to go out first. His 8.440 average was the lead until Brüsewitz performed.

World’s No.1 Jannis Drewell from Germany sits fourth, competing for the first time without his mother at the lunge line. He opted for Lars Hansen and experienced Feliciano 44 instead.

“We did not want to overstrain our young horse at this world championship level,” said Drewell, who serves in the German military and devotes his time professionally to vaulting.

The surprise of the day was young Juan Martin Clavijo from Colombia, scoring 8.146 and finishing within the top six vaulters out of 19 who finished above 8.0. The 18-year-old is one of only around 150 vaulters in Colombia. After he had finished school near Bogota in June, he is now preparing for a year in Switzerland and spends his time either vaulting or learning German.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Aiken Fall Festival: Week 2 Wrap-Up

Photo: Emilia and David Blake.

There was no shortage of camaraderie and competition during our second week of the Aiken Fall Festival, even with an amended schedule. Like Week 1, our specialty classes saw full fields and we want to congratulate the following horse and rider combinations:

  • $5,000 Aero-Equine Welcome Stake – Brando Du Rouet owned and ridden by Kirk Webby
  • The R. Bruce Duchoissois $25,000 Grand Prix sponsored by Jack Wetzel – Emilia, ridden by David Blake for owner Pine Hollow Farm
  • $2,500 National Derby – String of Pearls, ridden by Gavin Moylan for owner Penny Denegre

Plans are underway for our Tryon show October 10th-14th along with our Holiday Premier Show November 29th – December 2nd at Bruce’s Field. We hope to see all of you in the coming weeks.

Finally, we are elated to announce that we have been awarded the 2019 Zone 3 & 4 Children’s and Adult Hunter Championships to be held Week 2 of the 2019 Aiken Fall Festival. Stay tuned for qualifying details.

All the best,
Megan and JP Godard
Horse Show Managers, Equus Events

US Para-Driving Team Successful at FEI World Single and Para Driving Championships

Tracy Bowman (in the Marathon Course). Photo by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans, Hoefnet’s Krisztina Horvath, and Daphne White.

Kronenberg, The Netherlands – September 17, 2018 – Over six days the 2018 FEI World Driving and Para-Driving Championships for singles took place at Grandorse in Kronenberg, The Netherlands. U.S. Para-Driving Team included Driver and horse combinations Tracy Bowman and Taylormore Laurabelle in Grade 1, Bob Giles and First Lady in Grade 2, and Diane Kastama and horse Oosterwijk’s Kasper in Grade 1, with Coach Sara Schmitt and Chef d’Equipe Marcie Quist. Drivers contested the dressage, marathon, and cones courses, over the August 28 – September 2, 2018, week. The Singles and Para-driving championships were held simultaneously for the first time in the history of this equestrian sport. The top international drivers competed for the coveted title in their category: World Champion. U.S. Para-Drivers had a successful showing earning fourth in the Team competition.

“We would like to thank world class four-in-hand driver Koos De Ronde and his wife, FEI Combined Driving judge Marie De Ronde, in Zwartewaal, Netherlands for hosting the para-driving training camp at their home farm Stal De Ronde. We would also like to thank the navigators including Diane Kastama’s navigator Lila Hewitt, Tracy Bowman’s navigator Jolie Wentworth, and Bob Giles’ navigator Barbra Hewitt and everyone who so generously offered their support.  We would especially like to thank team coach Sara Schmitt, our Chef d’Equipe, Marcia Quist, Danielle d’Aamodt Single’s Chef and Thorsten Zarembowicz Singles Coach.”

Following the Championships, Para-drivers headed back to the United States where they will be cheering on the U.S. Equestrian Teams at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC and heir Dutch host and hostess Koos and Marie de Ronde who will be competing in the four-in-hand driving at the World Equestrian Games.

Results can be found on Hoefnet at: https://www.hoefnet.nl/en/kalender-uitslagen-startlijsten/wk-enkelspannen-wk-paramennen-horst/.

For more information about USA Para-Driving, please visit United States Driving for the Disabled at http://usdfd.org.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

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