Category Archives: FEI

Super Sport at FEI Youth Jumping Championships in Zuidwolde

(L to R) The Netherlands’ Emma Bocken (silver), Germany’s Tiara Bleicher (gold), and Bulgaria’s Aya Miteva (bronze). (FEI/Leonjo de Koster)

FEI Jumping European Championship Zuidwolde Young Riders, Juniors & Children 2019

The Netherlands and Germany claimed double-gold, while Spain and Ireland topped the podium in the remaining two Championships, as talent, courage, determination, and teamwork were all tested during a superb week of top sport.

Children

In the battle for the Children’s Team title which attracted a massive 23 countries from all across the continent, the Dutch pipped Germany while Great Britain claimed the bronze.

With The Netherlands and Germany tied on a zero score after the second team competition, it came down to a nail-biting jump-off between the two sides on Thursday. And although Thijmen Vos (Theo 149) faulted once, flawless performances from team-mates Emma Bocken (Dagma), Jorinde Dolfijn (Providence) and Finn Boerekamp (Gradini) clinched it for the host nation.

Germany’s Tiara Bleicher made her only mistake of the week with Daniels Jack S in this jump-off, but, on her Championship debut, it didn’t hold her back from claiming the Individual title which was also decided by a race against the clock two days later. The 14-year-old from Munich steered her 10-year-old gelding through the finish in 36.20 seconds when first to go and couldn’t be caught, while The Netherlands’ Emma Bocken clinched silver in 37.17 seconds.

Individual bronze went to Bulgaria’s Aya Miteva who finished fifth individually at the 2018 Balkan Children’s Championship in Zagreb (CRO). She was riding the 21-year-old stallion SIEC Caro Ass who previously served a number of top Turkish riders throughout his stellar career. Louise Ameeuw (Lover Boy Z), daughter of Christophe Ameeuw, the man behind the Longines Masters Series and Ecurie d’Ecaussines which is the European base for many of the world’s top riders, just missed out on the podium when finishing fourth.

Juniors

A total of 21 countries fielded teams in the Junior division, with Spain taking the gold ahead of Germany in silver and Ireland in bronze. Maya De La Joya Fernandez-Longoria (Un Lord du Rozel) jumped double-clear in the two-round team competition, and although her compatriots Mario Villapalos Rodriguez (Iroko vd Brouwershoeve), Theo Chulia Leduc (Farao vd Eglantierheuvel) and Diego Ramos Maneiro (Texas De Trebompe) all faulted, Spain’s final tally of 14.24 left them more than a single penalty point ahead of Germany on 15.79.

It was their slower times in the opening individual Speed event that hampered German chances, as this side added only two time faults to their tally on Nations Cup day. Matthis Westendarp (Stalido) jumped double-clear and the German side also included Hannes Ahlmann (Nerrado) whose uncle, Christian Ahlmann, has long been a German Jumping legend.

It was sweet revenge for Kate Derwin in the Junior Individual final when this time around it all came right for the 17-year-old daughter of one of Ireland’s best-known horse dealers, Jim Derwin. She finished an agonising fourth at the 2018 Junior Championships in Fontainebleau (FRA), but that only strengthened her resolve and, holding the narrowest lead going into the deciding round, she kept a cool head to claim the top step of the podium with her fifth clear performance of the week from AHG Whiterock Cruise Down.

“This year my trainer Denis Flannelly and my father put together a plan. They said last year it was left behind, but this year I was going to win a medal and not just any medal but it was going to be gold!” said the 17-year-old who proudly sang the Irish national anthem during the prizegiving with that precious medal around her neck. Spain’s De La Joya Fernandez-Longoria claimed the silver and bronze went to Belgium’s Thibeau Spits (Bellissimo Z).

Young Riders

Bas Moerings (Fosther), Veronique Morsink (Entrepeneur), Lars Kersten (H-Cassino), and Rowen van de Mheen (Q Verdi) joined forces to claim the Young Riders team title for The Netherlands. The Belgian side of Dieter Vermeiren (Kingston Town), Simon Morssinkhof (Vivolta de Gree), Zoe Conter (Univers du Vinnebus), and Gilles Thomas (Konak) had the advantage with the lowest combined scores after Wednesday’s opening Speed class, and looked set to stroll to victory when adding nothing to their scoreline with three clears in the first round of Friday’s team competition in which the Dutch added five to their tally.

However, when Vermeiren racked up a 12 second time out, then Morssinkhof’s eight had to be included, bringing the Belgian total to 12.11, which left them just over a penalty point behind the Dutch who this time kept a clean sheet.

Once again, the Individual champion came from the bronze-medal winning side, 20-year-old Philipp Schulze Topphoff from Germany pinning Spain’s Paloma Barcelo (Ines) into silver medal spot while Dutch team gold medallist, Lars Kersten, took the bronze.

Schulze Topphoff is no stranger to success, winning team gold at the European Pony Championships in Arezzo (ITA) in 2013, and team bronze at the Pony EC in Millstreet (IRL) the following year. Last summer he took team gold again at the Young Riders EC in Fontainebleau (FRA) and, just a few weeks ago, this young man and his talented nine-year-old grey mare, Concordess NRW, were members of the German side at the Official Test of Equestrian Formats for Tokyo 2020 staged in Hagen (GER).

In a new innovation this year, the fifth member of each team that made it onto the podium also received a medal. All five riders competed on the opening day before the four-member teams were named for the remainder of the week.

Results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

History Is Made as Israel Pips Poland in Mighty Battle for Tokyo 2020 Ticket in Moscow

Caption: The Israeli team of (L to R) Daniel Bluman, Dani Waldman, Ashlee Bond, and Elad Yaniv. (Photo: FEI/Maxima Stables)

In a cliff-hanger of a competition, Team Israel made history when snatching the single spot on offer at the Olympic Jumping Qualifier at Maxima Park in Moscow (RUS). This was the second of two special qualifiers for countries in Group C, the first staged in Budapest (HUN) where Ukraine came out on top.

“We were optimistic but there was a lot of pressure this afternoon. But these guys, they made it; all of them are magnificent; they’ve all done a great job and the second round was perfect! We are happy and this is historic – it’s the first time we will have Israel (Jumping team) at the Olympics!” said Amichai Alperovich, team sports manager.

However, the victory was a very narrow one, just a single fault separating the winning foursome of Daniel Bluman (29), Ashlee Bond (34), Elad Yaniv (41), and Dani G. Waldman (34) from the Polish side that consisted of only three team-members. They put up a really gutsy performance and held the lead at the halfway stage, but a single second-round fence error meant the ticket to Tokyo 2020 would go Israel’s way.

In contrast to most of Europe which has been experiencing sweltering heat this week, it has been cold, and extremely wet, in Moscow with maximum temperatures of around 8 degrees. “Yes it’s raining, but it’s the same for everyone!” said Israeli team coach and former Olympic, World, and European champion Jeroen Dubbeldam.

A total of six nations lined out and both Azerbaijan and Kyrgystan, who also sent out three-member sides, were eliminated in the first round, leaving four countries to battle on in round two. However, it was already a two-nation contest at this stage, with Poland out in front carrying 13 faults chased by Israel with 15 on the board as the action resumed. Russia was next in line with a 42-fault scoreline while Uzbekistan returned to the ring with 60 faults on their scoresheet.

The course designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. was no walk in the park, and only four horse-and-rider partnerships managed to get home inside the 78-seconds time-allowed in the first round. The oxers at fences three and six fell on numerous occasions, and the triple combination at fence seven required caution to get the distances just right. Russian chances were shaken when Vladimir Tuganov’s Tulum took a dislike to the open water at fence nine in both rounds, while the final line that began with an intimidating wall followed by a double and then a sharp left-hand turn to a liverpool proved the undoing of many.

Israeli pathfinder, double-Olympian Daniel Bluman, made it all look pretty easy when registering just a single time fault first time out with Ladriano Z, but when Ashlee Bond and Chela LS added 12 and Elad Yaniv and Alvaro du Gue also ran into trouble on the run home to finish with nine, they began to look vulnerable. Not even the hugely experienced Dani Waldman and Lizziemary escaped unscathed as they racked up five faults for a pole off the middle of the triple combination and one for time.

Poland didn’t get off to the best start when Andrzej Oplatek and Stakkatan left two on the floor, but when Jan Bobik and Chacco Amicor produced the only complete clear of the first round and the only mistake made by the anchor partnership of Krzysztof Ludwiczak and Nordwind was at the wall, with a time-fault also added, then their tally of 13 gave them a two-fault advantage over Israel as round two began.

And when Oplatek produced a brilliant clear second time out, then that piled the pressure on Israel, because Bluman once again posted a single time fault while Bond added eight more to her tally. But Yaniv rode to the rescue with a zero score and then all the pressure was on Polish shoulders once again. So when Bobik faulted just once, at the tricky oxer at fence six in an otherwise foot-perfect second run, then the result would lie in Dani Waldman’s hands.

No matter what would happen Poland could finish with no less than 17 on the board while a clear from the Waldman would see Bond’s eight faults dropped from the Israeli scoresheet when the best three results were counted, leaving them with just Bluman’s single time fault to add for a total of 16. And that’s exactly what she did, the lady who changed her surname from Goldstein to Waldman when getting married just four weeks ago steering the great chestnut mare that has carried her to the top of the sport through a fabulous round to clinch it.

Poland’s Ludwiczak wrapped up the afternoon with only the fifth clear performance of the day, but his country would miss out on that Tokyo ticket by an agonising one-fault margin.

Result: 1, Israel 16 faults; 2, Poland 17 faults; 3, Russia 54 faults; 4, Uzbekistan 119; 5, Azerbaijan and Kyrgystan elim.

Full result here (please scroll down).

by Louise Parkes

Longines Renews Long-Term Title Partnership for FEI Jumping World Cup North American League

Photo: FEI/Simon Stafford.

Longines has extended its agreement as title partner of the FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League series. Through this long-term commitment, the Swiss watchmaker extends the opportunity for continued exposure of equestrian sport and particularly of Jumping to new and emerging markets in North America and the equestrian community worldwide.

Longines became title partner of this prestigious series when it launched in 2015. The North American League, which hosts events across USA, Canada, and Mexico, is now heading into its fifth season 2019-2020. It is one of 16 leagues that form the global FEI Jumping World Cup™ series, which has been in existence since 1978.

The North American League has continued to grow in stature and, as part of the world’s premiere individual Jumping series, boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money, attracting the world’s top human and equine athletes.

With this new agreement and the evolution of the North American League comes the implementation of a new format and structure of the series. Among the planned innovations, the series will feature eight top-class events, all at a minimum 4* level, with live broadcast at each venue. The TV coverage of the series will be distributed internationally, showcasing equestrian sport at its best.

A new bidding process has been opened for the allocation of qualifiers of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League series 2020/2021 which will be approved by the FEI Board, based on the recommendations of the FEI Jumping Committee.

“This new extended agreement with Longines reinforces our joint commitment to grow the North American League series and invest in the development of sport in the region, while continuing to raise the profile of Jumping around the world,” said FEI President, Ingmar De Vos.

“With Longines as the title partner, we have the perfect brand alignment to benefit this League and the global series over the coming years. We are delighted with the ongoing confidence Longines has put in our sport.”

“We are delighted to renew our association with the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League, of which we have been the title partner, Official Timekeeper and Watch since its inception in 2015,” said Matthieu Baumgartner, Longines Vice President Marketing.

“We are committed to supporting the development and promotion of the jumping discipline across North America and are looking forward to taking part in the upcoming season comprising eight legs, each of them promising great sports performance.”

Longines is a strong supporter of equestrian sport around the world, and continues its role as FEI Top Partner, title partner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ China League and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™, and also remains Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the FEI. In 2019 Longines will act as the title partner for the Longines FEI European Championships Rotterdam (NED) and the Longines FEI Eventing Championships Luhmühlen (GER)

Media Contact:

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

Brilliant Brazilians Overwhelm the Opposition at Geesteren

Pedro Veniss and Quabri de L’Isle. (FEI/Digishots/Leanjo de Koster)

Team Brazil cruised to victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the Netherlands 2019 at Geesteren (NED). Taking command with just four faults after the first round, they sealed the result when adding just four more without calling up their final partnership on a day full of surprises and high scores.

The hosts line up second ahead of the Spanish, who pipped Germany for third place by a narrow one-fault margin. Sweden, Belgium, and Japan were next in line, separated only by time when all completed with 32 faults on the board, and Austria lined up eighth and last.

This was the perfect boost for Brazil in the lead-up to next month’s Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru. The Europe Division 1 league has provided the perfect preparation for that important Olympic qualifier, and last week they finished sixth in Sopot (POL), while at St Gallen (SUI) in early June and La Baule (FRA) in May they lined up in fifth place each time. They had it in the palm of their hands after establishing the early lead and staying rock-solid while those around them struggled to hold on.

The team members all knew that a good result would do their selection chances no harm, and Brazilian Chef d’Equipe Pedro Paulo Lacarda confirmed it: “They were all amazing today! For the Pan-American Games I still wait one week to confirm my team – but this team have a good chance!”

A fascinating track designed by Dutchman Henk Jan Drabbe asked plenty of unusual questions. Sweeping turns, long runs between fences, and distances that required absolute accuracy were the undoing of many top horse-and-rider combinations and there was only one double-clear on the day. That came from the second-line Brazilian duo of Felipe Amaral (28) and his 12-year-old stallion Germanico T.

All eyes were on German pathfinders, the 2018 world champions Simone Blum and DSP Alice, but their round came adrift when the stride from the open water at six to the flimsy vertical that followed got muddled, and the mare put down again on take-off. They were perfection second time out, but the German side that looked super-strong on paper completed with 29 faults on the board, while Spain, whose last-line partnership of Alberto Marquez Galobardes and Ucello Massuere were real eye-catchers, finished one fault ahead of them with 28.

As the second round began it looked set for a three-way tussle between Sweden, carrying 12 faults, The Netherlands with eight and the leading Brazilians on just four. But the Swedes slipped out of contention when adding 20 more, and when Brazilian pathfinder Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (31) followed up his first-round four faults with a lovely clear and Amaral and Germanico T were foot-perfect for a second time then it already looked like the writing was on the wall.

It was agonising for the Dutch whose second round began with a lovely clear from Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue, winners of Friday’s Longines Grand Prix, only for both Willem Greve with Zypria S and Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Calimero to leave one on the floor. Both looked like they had a fault-free run in the bag but Greve’s mare hit the penultimate oxer, a real bogey on the day, while the crowd groaned in horror when the front pole on the final oxer hit the dirt after Houtzager, certain he had left it in place, raised his fist in delight as he galloped through the finish.

When third-line Brazilian, Pedro Junqueira Muylaert (32), returned to the arena with C’est Dorijke he knew he could afford a fence down to seal the win and he used that leeway when too strong down to the vertical after the water, but it didn’t matter. The brilliant anchor partnership of Pedro Veniss (36) and the stallion Quabri de L’Isle, who had made it all look very elementary when clear first time out, didn’t need to go again. The top step of the podium was already secured, and when the final Dutch partnership of Jur Vrieling and VDL Glasgow vh Merelsnest retired after lowering three fences then the hosts had to settle for a final tally of 16 faults, well behind the winning team’s eight-fault total.

“I was feeling very confident coming here because we have Marlon and Pedro with Quabri and Sirene on our team, and also I felt my horse was really good in the Grand Prix,” said Amaral.  This young man, who been twice Brazilian champion and who competed in the Pan-American Games in Toronto (CAN) in 2015, is Belgian-based and has trained with both Rodrigo Pessoa and his legendary father, Nelson Pessoa.

As the Brazilian celebrations began, Pedro Veniss pointed out that team spirit played a major role in their success. “We are not just team-mates but also friends. We really support each other to make it happen and winning the biggest class in the world with your best friends is really special!” he said.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Russia Takes Tokyo 2020 Ticket at Exciting Olympic Qualifier in Moscow

Elena Sidneva and Fuhur. (Photo: Maxima Stables)

Russia will be represented by a Dressage team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after claiming the single spot on offer at the Group C Dressage qualifier staged at Maxima Park in Moscow (RUS). Group C covers Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia, embracing a total of 29 National Federations from FEI Regional Groups l, ll, and lll, and the hosts pinned Belarus into runner-up spot in an exciting contest.

“It was the first time I performed in my motherland; usually I perform in Europe where sometimes I am the only participant under the flag of Russia at the event. Here I feel great support and at the same time all of us feel a big responsibility in this tournament. I fully concentrated on my performance, and each of us did everything for the sake of this victory today!” said Russia’s Tatyana Kosterina.

And the talented team from Belarus were gracious in defeat. “We are not rivals; we are all friends here. Of course, the Russian team is very strong. I think that we also managed to perform our best. We have a very young team,” said Hanna Karasiova.

The Russians were looking good from the outset as Chef d’Equipe Anatoly Isachkin pointed out at Thursday’s team announcement. “Our riders are all fairly experienced; three of them constantly perform and live in Europe – Elena Sidneva, Tatyana Kosterina, and Evgenija Davydova. They have all been showing good results and we are optimistic – we want to win and to finally get a team to the Olympic Games!” They succeeded in doing just that when filling four of the top-five places.

Svetlana Evschik, Chef d’Equipe for Belarus, said during the teams announcement press conference that “the absolute leader of our team is Anna Karasiova and her horse Zodiac. There was a short period when she did not perform but nevertheless, she showed good results in Nizhny Novgorod World Cup leg and we hope that the same will happen now. The second strong rider of our team is Olga Safronova – a rather young rider; last year she made her debut in the Grand Prix – she doesn’t have much experience in the Grand Prix, but her horse is very interesting and bright, and represented our country at the World Cup Final in Paris. Volha Ihumentsava competed at the European Championship but her horse was injured a year ago and in April 2019 it just took its first start after recovering. The fourth rider is a young athlete who can still compete in the U-25 category – Anastasiya Dudkova,” she explained.

It was Dudkova (22) and her easy-moving 11-year-old Trakehner gelding, Hofman, who were pathfinders for Belarus, posting a score of 61.043 before Karasiova (35) and her gelding Zodiak lived up to their billing when putting the leading score of 69.804 on the board at the halfway stage. Ihumentsava (34) and the Hannoverian Ed Khardy earned a mark of 63.543 and then Safronova (27) and the impressive Sandro D’Amour rounded up the Belarus effort with 65.370.

Davydova (35), who along with Kosterina and Sidneva was a member of the Russian team that finished tenth at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA, threw down the Russian challenge with a highly competitive score of 69.022 from her dark-bay KWPN mare, Awakening. And when Kosterina (41) backed that up with 69.087 from her mare Diavolessa VA, then the hosts were already looking very confident.

The Swedish spectators fell in love with Regina Isachkina’s (48) fabulous black stallion, Sun of May Life, at this year’s FEI Dressage World Cup Final in Gothenburg (SWE) where they finished 15th. And although the pair didn’t show the same level of harmony here, their score of 67.022 had already secured that treasured Tokyo qualifying slot even before Sidneva (54) entered the ring.

Last to go, this lady whose career highlights include the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, three FEI World Equestrian Games, five FEI Dressage World Cup Finals, and six European Championships produced an effortless performance from the 10-year-old gelding Fuhur who, with the utmost composure, presented fabulous passage, piaffe, and tempi changes to top the individual scoreboard with 72.022.

The final team scoreline showed Russia on a total of 210.130 and Belarus with 198.717.

Full result here (please scroll down).

by Louise Parkes

Countries Line Up to Host FEI World Championships in 2022

A total of 10 countries have put in formal bids to host the FEI World Championships 2022, including two proposals to host the multi-discipline FEI World Equestrian Games™. Bidding countries are Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.

More than 20 years after Rome stepped in as host city of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 1998 following Ireland’s late withdrawal, the Italians are looking to once again host the full Games. The Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh is also in the running having put forward an all-discipline bid for 2022.

“The number of formal bids that we’ve received for single and multi-discipline FEI World Championships and full Games is an excellent indication that the interest in the World Championships is as strong if not stronger than ever,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “We knew that some of the countries that put in expressions of interest back in February were just dipping their toes in the water, but these formal bids are a great validation of the new bidding process and show that we have a really strong product.”

The FEI initiated a bidding process for individual World Championships in all disciplines for 2022 after the FEI General Assembly in Manama (BRN) in November 2018.

The FEI Board decided that multi-discipline bids would be given preference, and that Dressage and Para Dressage should be combined. The World Championships in 2022 in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines will serve as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The new bid process allows for the sustainable and cost-effective use of existing equestrian sports facilities, and was put in place to provide the opportunity for the FEI to partner with National Federations that may have hesitated to put forward multi-discipline bids in the past.

In a key change to the bid procedure, the FEI hosted an interactive workshop at the end of March 2019 in Lausanne for all National Federations/Organising Committees that had submitted an expression of interest.

The workshop provided interested parties with detailed information of the structure, opportunities, and minimum requirements for hosting the FEI World Championships 2022. By working more closely with the National Federations and Organising Committees from the outset, the FEI and its stakeholders can establish an achievable set of goals and work towards a unified vision for 2022.

All bids will be fully evaluated over the summer and allocation of FEI World Championships 2022 will be made at the in-person Board meeting during the FEI General Assembly in Moscow (RUS) in November this year.

All Disciplines

  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) & Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA), World Equestrian Games
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA), World Equestrian Games

Multi-Discipline

  • Dubai Equestrian Club (UAE), Jumping & Endurance
  • Herning (DEN), Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage
  • WestWorld of Scottsdale, Arizona (USA), Reining & Vaulting

Jumping

  • Dubai Equestrian Club (UAE) – part of a multi-discipline bid
  • Herning (DEN) – part of a multi-discipline bid
  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) & Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA) – part of a WEG bid
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA) – part of a WEG bid

Endurance

  • Jazdecký Klub Napoli, Samorin (SVK)
  • Stichting Endurancesport, Ermelo (NED)
  • Padise Equestrian Centre (EST)
  • Dubai Equestrian Club (UAE) – part of a multi-discipline bid
  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) & Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA) – part of a WEG bid
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA) – part of a WEG bid

Driving

  • National Stud of Szilvásvárad (HUN)
  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) & Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA) – part of a WEG bid
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA) – part of a WEG bid

Dressage

  • Herning (DEN) – part of a multi-discipline bid
  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) & Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA) – part of a WEG bid
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA) – part of a WEG bid

Para Dressage

  • Herning (DEN) – part of a multi-discipline bid
  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) & Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA) – part of a WEG bid
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA) – part of a WEG bid

Eventing

  • Millstreet Equestrian Services, Millstreet (IRL)
  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) & Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA) – part of a WEG bid
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA) – part of a WEG bid

Reining

  • WestWorld of Scottsdale, Arizona (USA) – part of a multi-discipline bid
  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) & Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA) – part of a WEG bid
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA) – part of a WEG bid

Vaulting

  • WestWorld of Scottsdale, Arizona (USA) – part of a multi-discipline bid
  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) & Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA) – part of a WEG bid
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA) – part of a WEG bid

FEI contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
Vanessa.Randin@fei.org
+ 41 78 750 61 73

Equestrian Sport Boosted with Allocation of Major Events through 2021

Photo: FEI/Richard Juillart.

The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) has allocated host cities for 13 FEI Championships for the next two years and nine FEI Driving World Cup™ legs for the 2019/2020 season.

Budapest (HUN) will lead the way as host of the FEI Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, Driving, and Vaulting European Championships in August 2021. This will be the first time that the Hungarian capital, which has a long tradition in equestrian sport, will host a multi-discipline FEI European Championships. The event will mark the 50th anniversary of the first FEI Driving European Championships, which were held at the same venue – Kincsem Park in the heart of the city – in 1971.

Two other major Championships were also allocated for 2021, with the FEI Eventing European Championships going to Haras du Pin (FRA) and the FEI Endurance European Championships to Ermelo (NED).

“The FEI European Championships are among the FEI’s most important events, attracting top class athletes and horses for over six decades,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “During the next two years equestrian fans will have the opportunity to enjoy thrilling sport in some of Europe’s biggest cities. The allocation of the FEI Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, Driving, and Vaulting European Championships to Budapest will further promote horse sport in Hungary, which already has a remarkable equestrian history.”

The FEI Board also allocated nine legs of the FEI Driving World Cup™ series for the 2020-2021 season. This is the first time that the FEI has launched a bidding process for the FEI Driving World Cup™ legs, as previously only the FEI Driving World Cup™ Final was open for bids.

“This bidding process reinforces the FEI’s policy of transparency and fairness,” the FEI President commented. “It is a key step forward in harmonising the bidding for all FEI Championships, Finals, and Series.”

The allocations were made by the FEI Board, the body responsible for the general direction of equestrian sport’s global governing authority, at its in-person meeting at FEI Headquarters in the Olympic Capital, Lausanne (SUI).

The FEI Driving World Cup™ Final 2021 which will take place from 4-7 February was allocated to Bordeaux (FRA) by the FEI Board in March 2019.

The FEI Board decided to re-open the bid process for a multi-year allocation for the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in the disciplines of Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing for the years 2021, 2022, and 2023. Allocations will be made at the FEI Board meeting in November 2019 at the FEI General Assembly in Moscow.

Championships

The full list of Championships allocated at the FEI Board meeting at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) is:

2020

  • FEI Dressage European Championships U25 – Pilisjászfalu (HUN), July or August (dates to be confirmed)
  • FEI Dressage European Championships for Children – Pilisjászfalu (HUN) July or August (dates to be confirmed)

2021

  • FEI European Championships – Jumping, Dressage & Para Dressage, Driving, Vaulting – Budapest (HUN), 9-22 August or 16-29 August (dates to be confirmed)
  • FEI Jumping European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors & Children – Oliva, Valencia (ESP), 19-25 July
  • FEI Jumping European Championships for Veterans – Le Mans (FRA), July or August (date to be confirmed)
  • FEI Dressage European Championships U25 – Donaueschingen (GER), 12-15 August
  • FEI Eventing European Championships for Young Riders & Juniors – Segersjö (SWE), 26-29 August
  • FEI Eventing European Championships – Haras du Pin (FRA), 11-15 August
  • FEI Driving World Championships for Ponies, Four-in-Hand, Pairs, Singles – Haras du Pin (FRA), 16-19 September
  • FEI Endurance World Championships for Young Riders & Juniors – Ermelo (NED), 6-11 September
  • FEI Endurance European Championships – Ermelo (NED) 6-11 September
  • FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Horses – Arbore, Sardinia (ITA), 15-19 September
  • FEI Vaulting World Championship for Juniors – Le Mans (FRA), July – August (date to be confirmed)

FEI Driving World Cup™ series legs

The legs of the FEI Driving World Cup™ series for the 2019-2020 season were allocated as follows:

  • Lyon (FRA) 30 October – 3 November 2019
  • Maastricht (NED) 8-10 November 2019
  • Stuttgart (GER) 13-17 November 2019
  • Stockholm (SWE) 28 November – 1 December 2019
  • Budapest (HUN) 30 November – 1 December 2019
  • Geneva (SUI) 12-15 December 2019
  • London (GBR)         16-22 December 2019
  • Mechelen (BEL) 26-30 December 2019
  • Leipzig (GER) 16-19 January 2020

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Belgians Best Irish in Thrilling Sopot Showdown

Pieter Devos and Apart. (FEI/Lucasz Kowalski)

Belgium posted a back-to-back double when coming out on top in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Poland 2019 staged at the popular seaside town of Sopot (POL). The team included two members of last year’s winning side, Pieter Devos (33) and Niels Bruynseels (35), who were joined by Gudrun Patteet (34) and Yves Vanderhasselt (40) to do it all over again.

But the roller-coaster competition went right down to the wire, the result decided in a tense third-round jump-off against Ireland in which Devos’ chestnut gelding, Apart, rattled a few poles but left all the fences standing to bring it home for the 2018 series champions.

He had only just sealed the jump-off slot in round two when Belgian Chef d’Equipe, Peter Weinberg, asked Devos to take on Ireland’s Paul O’Shea in the third-round showdown.

“I said OK, I’ll do it, and normally Apart is very, very fast, but today he got a bit stressed when we had to go back into the ring almost straight away. But he always gives me everything and hey, everyone is very happy if you are last to go and you win it for your country!” — Pieter Devos (BEL)

It was a very different story at the halfway stage when the Dutch seemed to already have it in the bag after three effortless clears. Belgium, France, and Ireland were all chasing with four-fault scorelines, and Team Germany were close behind with just five on the board, but the French were hampered by the withdrawal of pathfinder Simon Delestre as round two began. So despite clears from Olivier Robert (Tempo de Paban) and Roger Yves Bost (Sangria du Coty), they were obliged to add the four collected by Alexis Deroubaix and Timon d’Aure at the final Longines planks and that saw them lose their grip.

Meanwhile, Dutch domination collapsed when Willem Greve (Zypria S) also hit the last, Bart Bles (Israel vd Dennehoeve) and Doron Kuipers (Charley) both faulted at the open water and Kevin Jochems (Cristello) lowered fence 10 on the course designed by Poland’s Szymon Tarant who was making his debut at 5-Star level.

In contrast, the Irish stood firm with double-clears from Paul O’Shea (Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu) and Shane Sweetnam (Alejandro) backed up by a second-round clear from Peter Moloney (Chianti’s Champion), which meant that Bertram Allen (Harley vd Bisschop) didn’t need to return to the ring.

The Belgians didn’t have such an easy run of it when Vanderhasselt’s mare, Jeunesse, hit the second element of the penultimate triple combination. Bruynseels and Delux van T&L had been foot-perfect second time out and Patteet and Sea Coast Valdelamadre Clooney posted the second part of a brilliant double-clear, but if Devos couldn’t leave all the poles in place then he would be handing the top step of the podium to their Irish rivals. Typically, however, he didn’t flinch, and a jump-off was now on the agenda.

You could hear a pin drop as O’Shea led the way against the clock for Ireland, but his 12-year-old gelding hit the first fence before coming home to break the beam in 46.97 seconds. It seemed Devos would just walk away with it now, but the normally fully focused Apart seemed uncharacteristically lacking in concentration and hit the top pole at the first element of the penultimate double really hard, only for it to roll back into place. They crossed the line three seconds off O’Shea’s target time, but their zero score would seal it for Belgium.

Devos was delighted with Apart’s performance: “He has done a lot of great things, and has won many 5-Star Grand Prix and World Cup classes, but this is his very first Nations Cup and to go double-clear and then win it in the jump-off is very special!

“My wife (Caroline Poels) rode him up to 5-Star level and then I took over – he’s a fantastic horse with a great character. When he’s in the ring he gives me everything!” Devos added.

A total of 10 countries are contesting Europe Division 1 this season, and following this third round of the series, Belgium has moved into second place behind the leaders from France. Each country has been allocated four points-earning opportunities throughout the seven-leg league, and Sweden, the only country that has not collected points to date, will be making their seasonal debut at Geesteren (NED) where the Dutch will be hoping for better luck on home ground.

Only the top seven nations in Europe Division 1 will qualify for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2019 Final in Barcelona (ESP) in October where there will also be one last remaining Olympic qualifying spot up for grabs.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Foutrier Seals It for France in Swiss Thriller

A champagne celebration for the French team after victory at St Gallen (SUI). (FEI/Richard Juillart)

The reigning Olympic champions from France gritted their teeth and galloped to victory in the edge-of-the-seat Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Switzerland at St Gallen (SUI), where a feisty Italian foursome claimed runner-up spot and the host nation, clear favourites at the outset, had to settle for third.

This second leg of the Europe Division 1 series came down to a nail-biting three-way jump-off in which Guillaume Foutrier (42) and his 10-year-old gelding Valdocco des Caps clinched it when second to go against the clock. And Swiss hearts were broken when once again their own Nations Cup title slipped from their grasp. It has been a long wait since their last St Gallen success back in 1996, but once again it wasn’t to be, despite a titanic effort from the crack side fielded by Andy Kistler.

“In France we love to win – this was a great day!” said French anchorman Kevin Staut whose team was already home and hosed with three clears in the first round before he took his turn with his new ride Calevo 2 who lowered only the final oxer. Italy also completed round one on a zero scoreline, but the leading nations were closely stalked by Switzerland, carrying just four faults as round two began.

Swiss course designer Gerard Lachat presented a superb 12-fence test that required accuracy, balance, and control. The double of uprights at the second-last proved pivotal for many, and it was at the first of these that Swiss pathfinder and world individual silver medallist Martin Fuchs faulted with Chaplin. So when Niklaus Rutschi and Cardano CH hit the middle element of the triple combination then there were definitely going to be four Swiss faults on the board.

Clears from Fuchs, Rutschi, and Paul Estermann riding Lord Pepsi changed everything second time out, however. Last-line rider and World No 1, Steve Guerdat, didn’t need to return to the ring because the Swiss result couldn’t be improved. But his day wasn’t over, because Guerdat and his great mare, Albufuehrens Bianca, would be called up for a third-round jump-off when both France and Italy completed the second round also with four faults on the board.

Double-clears from Penelope Leprevost and Vancouver de Lanlore and Nicolas Delmotte with Urvoso du Roch set the French up nicely, but Foutrier misjudged his take-off at the open water and when Staut’s inexperienced gelding hit the following oxer then that settled France onto a two-round four fault total.

Riccardo Pisani’s stallion, Chacclot, hit the first element of the now-infamous double at the end of the track, but if anchorman Luca Marziani and Tokyo du Soleil could produce his team’s third double-clear of the afternoon, following foot-perfect runs from Giulia Martinengo Marquet with Elzas and Paolo Paini with Ottava Meraviglia Di Ca’ San G, then it would be an Italian victory. An uncharacteristic foot in the water meant it would go to a three-way battle against the clock, as there was nothing to separate the three sides.

The Swiss crowd held its breath as Guerdat led the way into the third and final round. He had no choice but to throw down a super-fast target time, but, running strongly down to the remaining two elements of the triple combination, Bianca clipped the front bar with her hind feet for four faults in 43.46 seconds.

Chef d’Equipe, Thierry Pomel, selected Foutrier to fight for the French. And although his time was slower than Guerdat’s, he left all the poles in place when breaking the beam in 44.09 and Italy’s Martinengo Marquet couldn’t better that when crossing the line almost a half-second slower. She still had plenty to celebrate, having racked up three fabulous clear rounds with her lovely 10-year-old gelding.

“Like in every Nations Cup there was a lot of pressure, but it’s a nice story, especially when it ends like this!” said Staut. Talking about Foutrier’s winning ride, the Olympic team gold medallist pointed out, “Guillaume has been a really tough rider for a long time. He’s very consistent and he has this horse for two years now. Today he handled the pressure and was really focused on bringing home something great in the jump-off. When Steve had one down, he went for a safe, fast clear round because we knew Julia’s horse is not the fastest.”

Once again there was new shining star in the British team that finished fourth, as 24-year-old James Wilson steered Imagine de Muze to one of the six double-clears posted on the day. Team Brazil finished fifth despite elimination for last-line rider Stephan Freitas Barcha who took a fall from Artois D’Avillon at the final element of the combination in the second round. The competition was suspended while he received medical attention in the arena. A statement confirmed that “he was always conscious and responsive, but was taken to hospital for further examinations. The horse remained unharmed.”

The Europe Division 1 series now moves on to Sopot (POL) in two weeks’ time.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Canadians Prove Untouchable on Home Ground at Langley

Nicole Walker and Falco van Spieveld. (FEI/Rebecca Berry)

There was plenty to celebrate when the hosts posted an emphatic victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley (CAN), where Ireland finished second and USA slotted into third ahead of Mexico in fourth and Israel in fifth place.

However, despite his side’s overwhelming success, Canadian Chef d’Equipe Mark Laskin said, “It was a bit bittersweet. It’s great to win here, especially on our home field, but there were two parts to this equation. The first part we took care of, but the second part we just missed.”

He was of course referring to the fact that Canada has finished third, and last, in the 2019 North/Central America & Caribbean League from which only two of the three competing nations can qualify for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP) in September. Those two places go to Mexico, winners of the previous two legs of the series, and to USA who have pipped the Canadians for the second spot by a narrow margin of just 10 points.

There is no denying the new energy and excitement in the Canadian side, however. With three first-round clears they grabbed the advantage, and they held on so firmly that anchorman, Mario Deslauriers, didn’t have to ride again in the second round because the win was already in the bag.

Ireland, USA, and Mexico were all sharing second place with eight faults apiece going into round two, and when the Irish added nothing more they would be runners-up while USA had to count four more faults to finish third on 12. Mexico finished another fence further adrift, on 16 faults despite a superb double-clear from Salvador Onate and his fabulous gelding Big Red who produced one of five foot-perfect performances on the day.

When both pathfinder Lisa Carlsen and her busy bay mare Parette and second-line rider Nicole Walker with the super-cool Falco van Spieveld each put a second clear round on the board, the Canadians were already looking like runaway winners. And although Tiffany Foster picked up her second four faults of the afternoon with her promising nine-year-old Figor when next to go, that was still good enough to clinch it.

When asked afterwards if she knew when she was riding into the arena that a clear or four fault result would seal the win, Foster said with a laugh, “I’m not great at math but I figured that one out! When I was coming down the last line, I had Mario in mind – I was thinking, he’s going to kill me if I have another one down and he has to jump, so we held it together!”

Walker said she was “super-delighted for everyone” on her team and with the “spectacular” performance of her horse. She wasn’t wrong about the latter as Falco van Spieveld made it all look like a training exercise. “He’s the best partner I could possibly ask for – in the barn he’s super easy and he’s a bit lazy at home, but when he goes in the ring he’s so reliable,” said the 25-year-old who works in the family business with the Stronach Group, and who trains with Irish rider Cian O’Connor on a regular basis.

Reflecting on where the result leaves Team Canada, she concluded, “We would have liked to make it to the Final in Barcelona, but the cards didn’t fall in order for us today; that’s the way it goes. Now our big plan is the Pan Ams where we will be looking for Olympic qualification.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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