Category Archives: FEI

FEI President Welcomes Speedy Decision on Rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Dates

The FEI President has welcomed the announcement of the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will run from 23 July to 8 August, and for the Paralympic Games from 24 August until 5 September 2021.

“While it was of course demoralising for everyone that the Games had to be postponed from their original dates in 2020, the decision was absolutely right in the current terrible global pandemic, but it is really good to have the new dates agreed so soon,” Ingmar De Vos said.

“The decision was taken in full consultation with all the International Federations, including the FEI, and we all had the opportunity to voice our opinions. Now, once the Covid-19 crisis is over, our athletes across both Games can get their training back on track with confidence, knowing exactly when they and their horses need to be at their peaks.

“We are conscious of the fact that this has been a very complex decision for the IOC to make, with multiple factors to be taken into consideration. The athletes’ health and well-being across both Games not just for equestrian sport has to be the top priority, and we have all the protocols in place to protect our athletes – both human and equine – and help them to optimise their performance in the challenging climate we can expect in Tokyo.

“Of course, there will be an impact on the international Calendar across all sports, and from an FEI perspective this includes four major European Championships, but we are already looking at ways we can minimise that impact. The remit for our discipline-specific task forces that are evaluating the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 Calendar has now been expanded to cover 2021 and now we have confirmed dates for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We need to explore possible alternatives for a number of major FEI Events, notably the European Championships in Jumping, Dressage, and Para Dressage in Budapest and the European Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin, France. This process will be started immediately.”

The five-discipline European Championships in Budapest (HUN), which also include Driving and Vaulting, are currently due to run from 23-30 August 2021 and the Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin (FRA) from 11-15 August.

“We need to also look at deadlines for obtaining minimum eligibility requirements and extending the deadline for registration of ownership for Olympic horses and will announce those as soon as possible, but we have had confirmation from both the IOC and IPC that National Olympic and Paralympic Committees which have been allocated Olympic or Paralympic quota places will retain them despite the postponement of the Games to next year.”

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

FEI to Create Task Forces to Deal with Impact of Covid-19

Lausanne (SUI), 25 March 2020 – The FEI is to create a series of discipline-specific task forces to evaluate the impact on the FEI Calendar of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in multiple Event cancellations and the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games until 2021.

The FEI Board approved the creation of the task forces during its monthly teleconference 24 March. The task forces, each of which will focus on a single discipline, will remain in place until any further decision by the Board.

The FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, who has overall responsibility for the FEI Calendar, will chair each task force. The FEI Vice Presidents Mark Samuel (CAN) and Jack Huang (TPE) will be members of each task force together with the European Equestrian Federation President Theo Ploegmakers (NED) and the President of the International Equestrian Organisers Association Peter Bollen (BEL). The FEI Calendar Administrator and a representative from both the FEI IT and FEI Legal departments will sit on each of the task forces.

The individual task forces, which will also include the Chair of the relevant Technical Committee, a representative of the Athletes, and the FEI Sports Director of the specific discipline, will review all FEI Calendar related issues caused by the Covid-19 virus and make recommendations to the FEI on ways to address them.

The FEI President will be kept fully updated by each of the task forces, and will attend meetings when necessary in order to assist in finalising proposals for solutions to be put forward to the FEI Board for approval.

Following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the FEI has already received assurances from the IOC that it will work in tandem with all the International Federations to find the best solutions for all issues that arise, including the dates for rescheduling and the impact that will have on the international calendar for all sports.

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

Steffen Peters Extends Unbeaten Run to 11 with Nations Cup Freestyle Gold in Week 10 of AGDF

Steffen Peters (USA) and Suppenkasper. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 13, 2020 – Steffen Peters (USA) conjured yet another winning performance from his blossoming partner, Suppenkasper, to claim the gold in the Nations Cup™ FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm. This takes his tally of wins to 11 from 11 starts in the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), held at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The pair scored 81.535%, their second plus-80% freestyle score of the year. The 10th week of AGDF continues through Sunday, March 15, which is also the conclusion of the 2020 season, a decision announced earlier today due to the Coronavirus.

Right behind Peters, personal bests abounded on the podium. The Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos de Muñiz smashed her previous best by 2% to land an emphatic 78.91% and the silver medal on her 15-year-old mare Aquamarijn, by United. Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu (CAN) also pulled off a career high, riding All In, a 15-year-old gelding by Tango to 78.72% and the bronze.

Watch Steffen Peters’ winning test in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.

Benjamin Ebeling Crowns a Winning Week with Third U-25 Nations Cup Gold Medal

In the under-25 Nations Cup division, Benjamin Ebeling (USA) fist-pumped the air at the final halt of the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIOU25, presented by Diamante Farms.

He was right to celebrate: his energetic ride on Illuster Van De Kampert, which he’d finished with a piaffe fan in both directions, was rewarded with 75.13%. It was their best ever score at the level and earned the gold medal — their third of the week.

Freestyle silver went to Canada’s Camille Carier Bergeron, who moved up a place from the previous day, riding Gilles Bergeron’s 13-year-old Acordelli gelding, Acoeur. Natalie Pai (USA) scooped bronze, adding to her team silver from the opening day of week 10. All three podium finishers rode to music put together by Karen Robinson.

For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

FEI World Cup Finals 2020 in Las Vegas Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

Lausanne (SUI), 13 March 2020 – The International Equestrian Federation (FEI), United States Equestrian (USEF), and Las Vegas Events have announced the force majeure cancellation of the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2020 in Las Vegas. The annual equestrian competition, featuring the Olympic disciplines of Jumping and Dressage, was scheduled for 15-19 April at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“It is very regrettable that next month’s FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas have had to be cancelled, but the decision was out of our hands,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“Since the FEI World Cup series began in 1978 for Jumping and in 1985 for Dressage, the Finals have never had to be cancelled before, but the global concerns about the spread of the virus and the travel restrictions imposed by the US Government have meant that the Finals are one of many major sporting events impacted by this outbreak.

“Like everyone in our community, we are disappointed, not only for the athletes who have qualified for the Finals, but also for Las Vegas Events and US Equestrian, and of course our top partner Longines, but the health, well-being, and safety of our athletes, officials, and our fans has to be our top priority. We hope we can alleviate that disappointment by returning to Las Vegas for a wonderful FEI World Cup Finals in the future.”

All ticket buyers and exhibitors will be issued full refunds. The Las Vegas Events ticket office will contact all ticket holders on the process starting the week of 16 March.

Further information on the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2020 in Las Vegas can be found at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Strong Entries and Flying Flags Highlight Nations Cup Week at AGDF

The teams competing in the 2020 FEI Nations Cup CDIO3*. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – March 10, 2020 – The 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) will host the second largest CDI of its nine-year history this week with 150 horses jogging to compete in week 10 on March 11-15 at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The week will include the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm and the Nations Cup CDIO-U25 presented by Diamante Farms.

This is the eighth edition of the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3*. This year’s event welcomes teams from the USA, Canada, Denmark, Israel, and Japan, along with individuals from Spain and the Dominican Republic. The event is part of the FEI Nations Cup™ Dressage Series.

This Nations Cup marks an historic event as it includes the first ever international-level dressage team fielded for Israel.

Team medals for the FEI Nations Cup™ CDIO3* are decided after the FEI Grand Prix/FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Grand Prix Special/FEI Intermediaire-1 competition on Wednesday and Thursday. Individual medals will be presented after Friday’s FEI I-1 Freestyle and FEI Grand Prix Freestyle competition.

In addition to the full schedule of large and small tour competition throughout the week, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3* will be a feature event as part of the “Friday Night Lights” series on Friday, March 13.

The Nations Cup CDIO-U25 debuted in 2017 and this year will welcome teams from USA and Canada along with individuals from Canada, Colombia, Spain, and USA. Team medals will be decided with the CDIO-U25 Intermediaire-2 on Wednesday, while individual medals will be given for the CDIO-U25 Grand Prix on Thursday and the CDIO-U25 Grand Prix Freestyle on Friday evening.

For more information, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Verdades to Appear at 2020 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas

Photo Credit: Shannon Brinkman Photography.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Las Vegas, Nev. – Verdades, one of the most popular and beloved horses in dressage history, will make two public appearances at the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, April 15-19. “Diddy” will headline the Devoucoux Dressage Showcase on Friday afternoon, April 17, and then have his official retirement ceremony on Saturday evening.

Laura Graves, Verdades’s owner and rider, announced the 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding’s retirement in January, leading to an outpouring of love and support from his many followers around the world. That spurred a plan to give his fans a chance to see the legendary superstar at the FEI World Cup™ Final.

“Diddy has so many fans and I wanted to give as many of them as possible a chance to see him before his retirement,” said Graves, who purchased Verdades as a yearling and is the only rider he has ever known. “He has performed on the world’s biggest stages and there really is no bigger stage than the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, so this is really the perfect place for his formal retirement.”

Graves and Verdades will appear during the Final’s Devoucoux Dressage Showcase on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday evening when his official retirement ceremony will be held during the intermission of the Grand Prix Freestyle, the event determining the 2020 FEI World Cup™ champion.

As part of the special occasion, a drawing will be held to select 16 individuals among those in attendance at the Devoucoux Dressage Showcase to meet the legendary horse later that day. In addition, Graves will appear that afternoon in the Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds to meet guests in the World Cup’s VIP club.

Verdades first caught the world’s attention when he carried Graves to the Reserve Championship in the 2014 The Dutta Corp./USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship and then followed that by finishing fifth in the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, the top U.S. finish.

To order tickets, or for further information on the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, please visit the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

Coyle Bookends 2019/2020 North American League with Wins in Ocala

Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Farrel. (FEI/Shannon Brinkman)

Daniel Coyle (IRL) finished the 2019/2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League the same way he started it — with a victory.

After beginning the season with a win in Vancouver (CAN), Coyle rode Farrel to the top of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala (USA), besting an eight-horse jump-off. The duo crossed the timers of Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) shortened course in 37.05 seconds. Margie Engle (USA) and Dicas finished second with a 37.37-second time, while Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Cristalline finished third in 37.96 seconds.

“I think everything was going really well until the last turn. I had a little slip there, and I thought everything was going great until that point. I thought, ‘Have I lost it?’” Coyle detailed. “When I went through the finish and [saw] that I was able to catch the [leaders] — both of them have fantastic horses and are fantastic riders as well — I was delighted to beat them!”

Last to go and Engle to beat, Coyle executed a very different plan than the then-leader. Engle used Dicas’ massive stride to her advantage, while Coyle relied on Farrel’s swift turning, along with a sheer will to win.

“[Farrel] is a very small horse. He doesn’t have as big a jump as most horses, but he just believes he’s one of the best. Belief always overdoes talent, and he obviously has loads of that as well, but it’s his way, and he can do things that other horses can’t do.” — Daniel Coyle (IRL)

The victory secured Coyle a place in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, which will take place in Las Vegas (USA), 15-19 April 2020. The appearance would mark Coyle’s first in a championship.

“In the middle of last year, [my team] decided to try and aim for the [Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final]. Until today, it seemed we didn’t have enough points. It’ll be my first World Cup Final, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Sternlicht finishes the season atop the east coast standings with 61 points, one more than Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden (USA) with 60 points. Brian Moggre (USA) is third in the standings with 56 points.

Karl Cook (USA) sits atop the west coast standings with 59 points. Jenni McAllister (USA), who finished seventh in Ocala, moved into second with 40 points, one ahead of Alex Granato (USA), who has 39 points.

FULL RESULTS

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Look Who’s Qualified to Ride in Las Vegas

The 14th and final leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League took place over the weekend in Gothenburg, Sweden, and now we know who is qualified for the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup ™ Final in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center on April 15-19. Continue reading.

Las Vegas Events/FEI World Cup™ Finals Statement about COVID-19

Las Vegas Events, the Local Organizing Committee for the FEI World Cup™ Finals, and the Thomas & Mack Center, along with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and our resort partners continue to monitor COVID-19 and communicate with our local health officials. Continue reading.

Stay up to date on all news by joining the World Cup Club. Join now by clicking here.

Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final and FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final
April 15-19, 2020 • Thomas & Mack Center • Las Vegas, Nevada
www.worldcuplasvegas.com

Kiwis Make It an Historic Double in Abu Dhabi

Tom Tarver-Priebe, Bruce Goodin, Daniel Meech, and Richard Gardner of New Zealand. (©FEI/Helen Cruden)

UAE and Syria Qualify for Final

New Zealand claimed the honours in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi (UAE) for the second time in two years when pinning Egypt into runner-up spot and the host-nation into third.

It was another piece of Kiwi equestrian history in the making as anchorman, Daniel Meech, explained: “This is only the second time a New Zealand team has ever won a Nations Cup – our first was here in Abu Dhabi in 2018, so this is a really special place for us!” said the 46-year-old rider who was also a member of that first-time winning side and who helped clinch today’s victory with the only double-clear of the competition.

This second round of the 11-leg Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2020 series was the single qualifying competition for teams in the Middle East region. And after a spirited battle filled with plenty of drama, the UAE and Syria have made the cut to the Final in Barcelona (ESP) next October. Only three countries fought that particular battle, and it was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who lost out when finishing last of the six competing nations.

At the halfway stage New Zealand and the UAE shared the lead on a zero score despite elimination for second-line Kiwi rider Richard Gardner who took a fall at the first fence with his 12-year-old gelding Calisto. The United Arab Emirates team looked very comfortable indeed, not requiring the services of their anchor partnership of Mohammed Al Kumeiti and Dalida van de Zuuthoeve when Abdullah Mohd Al Marri (James VD Oude Heihoef), Hamad Ali Al Kirbi (Quel Cadans Z), and Mohammed Ahmed Al Owais (Uto Kerved) all jumped clear.

But Spanish course designer Santiago Varela, the man who will build the tracks at the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, upped the pressure second time out by replacing deeper cups with flat ones and raising a few poles. There were eight clears in the first round, including a particularly gutsy one from Saudi Arabia’s Dalma Rushdi Malhas and Impero Delle Schiave, but Meech produced the only clear of the second round to leave his team on the winning score of just eight faults.

The Egyptians were lying third, carrying just five faults as the second round began despite elimination for their pathfinders Mouda Zeyada and Morocco who won Friday’s President of the UAE Grand Prix in which Egyptian riders filled three of the top ten placings. The innocuous-looking oxer at fence one put paid to Zeyada’s first-round effort when his 12-year-old stallion slammed on the anchors there, and when the pair collected eight faults second time out that was the team discount score as Mohd Osama El Borai (Quintero), Mohamed Talaat (Darshan), and Abdel Said (Arpege du Ru) each had a fence down to bring their final total to 17.

However, they found themselves neck-and-neck with the UAE at the end of the day when a single mistake from Al Marri, double-errors from Al Kirbi and Al Owais, and five for Al Kumeiti second time out saw UAE also complete on a score of 17 faults. And when the combined times of the best three riders from each team were taken into account, an agonising 2.12 seconds separated the two sides with the hosts dropping to third while Egypt clinched runner-up position.

The three-man German team lined up in fourth with 37 faults while Syria finished fifth with 44. The Syrians collected just 11 faults first time out but their second-line rider, 19-year-old Osama Al Zabibi, was eliminated for a fall in round two while the rest of the team added 33 more. However, they are on their way to the 2020 Barcelona Final.

In the end the Kiwi victory was clean and clear even though they were reduced to a team of three when Gardener didn’t return to the ring. Four-time Olympian Bruce Goodin and Backatrops Danny V lowered only the first element of the penultimate double second time out while Tom Tarver-Priebe, in only his second-ever Nations Cup outing, hit the same fence with Popeye. So when double-Olympian Meech made no mistake it was all done and dusted, and it was another great moment for New Zealand sport.

Talking about the ups and downs of the day, Meech said afterwards, “It was disappointing for Richard (Gardner) because he aimed his horse for this class, but you get used to performing in adversity in this game and we put our heads down and ground out the win!”

His lovely 11-year-old grey mare, Cinca, a daughter of Casall, was very impressive and with Tokyo 2020 selection very much in his mind, Meech was happy with her performance.

“She’s really nice. I felt she jumped even better in the second round when a few of the fences went up. She’s quite green at this level and it was amazing how she just walked in and did it so easy. She’s really grown into herself this year,” he added.

The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2020 series next moves to Coapexpan in Mexico for the second leg of the North/Central America and Caribbean League in early May.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Gulliksen Posts Career-Defining Victory in Gothenburg

Geir Gulliksen riding VDL Groep Quatro. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

Norway’s Geir Gulliksen posted the first World Cup victory of his long and successful career in the thrilling 14th and last qualifier of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League (WEL) in Gothenburg, Sweden where he pinned young Swiss star Bryan Balsiger into second place and French Olympic gold medallist, Kevin Staut, into third.

But, not satisfied with having stolen the show with the ride of his life on his brave little gelding VDL Groep Quatro, Gulliksen added even more drama when taking a tumble from the horse during the prizegiving.

“I feel fine actually – except for my arse! I wouldn’t change anything that happened today. This crowd – of all the shows in the whole world there is no crowd like this. Even to fall off it doesn’t matter; I couldn’t be happier. This is definitely the highlight of my career!” said the 60-year-old rider afterwards.

The result saw him rocket up to 10th place in the WEL rankings so he’s now well-qualified for the much-anticipated Longines 2020 Final in Las Vegas, USA next April where current league leader, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, will defend his title for the fourth time. A total of 18 riders from the Western European League, apart from the defending champion, have now booked their tickets to the showdown in the Nevada desert, and Balsiger claimed his spot by moving into 15th place while Staut was already guaranteed a place, finishing fourth on the final leaderboard after a great run over the winter months.

The contours of the Scandinavium Arena always ensure a strong challenge, and only five of the 32 starters found the key to Peter Lundstrom’s tough 14-fence first-round track. The spectators groaned loudest when their own Henrik von Eckermann (Peter Pan) and Peder Fredricson (H&M Christian K) made it all the way to the very last fence only to pick up a fault there, but their long-time hero Rolf-Goran Bengtsson saved the day when making the cut with the big grey, Cassilano Jmen.

He was first to go against the clock with this relatively new ride and left the door open with two fences on the floor in 48.52 seconds. Gulliksen was next into the ring, and his little 14-year-old gelding gave him everything he had to come home clear in 45.75 seconds to put it up to the remaining three.

Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts looked set to knock the Norwegian off his pedestal until H&M Legend of Love hit the first element of the double halfway around the new track, and Staut looked really threatening with the super-fast For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC who raced home in the quickest time of 44.51 seconds, but lowered the vertical third fence along the way.

Now only Balsiger could stop Gulliksen from taking the win, and this talented 22-year-old who won the opening leg of the series in Oslo last October made no mistake, bringing the 13-year-old mare Twenytwo Des Biches home in 46.45 seconds which slotted him into second place. It would a glorious day for Gulliksen, and despite his sore bottom he was in flying form during the post-competition press conference.

“I’ve been coming to this show for 27 or 28 years and I always hoped for a day like this!” he said. And he talked about the courageous little VDL Groep Quatro who carried him to glory.

“I bought him from (Dutch rider) Mikael van de Vleuten and I think no one thought he would jump like he jumped today.

“He doesn’t have all the scope, but he is so athletic and he believes he’s just as good as any other horse! There was no place on the course today where I thought he would struggle – he just makes it happen. He’s a bit like a pony, and he never stops – he amazes me more and more!” — Geir Gulliksen (NOR)

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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