Category Archives: Competitions

McCutcheon Steals the Show as United States Retains Reining Team Title

Cade McCutcheon and Custom Made Gun. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 12, 2018 – The United States underlined their domination of Johnson Controls Reining competition by taking Team Gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Wednesday, September 12. The American team, led by the brilliant 18-year-old Cade McCutcheon on his grandfather’s horse, Custom Made Gun, claimed a comprehensive victory from Belgium in second and third-placed Germany. It was Team USA’s third successive FEI World Equestrian Games™ Gold medal triumph as they claimed the Johnson Controls Reining crown on a team score of 681 points.

Belgium, meanwhile, completed a hat trick of silver medals, while Germany’s bronze was a Reining first for them at WEG.

For Cade, who was joined in the team by Casey Deary, Daniel L Huss and Jordan Larson, it continued the family’s remarkable connection to WEG success, given that his father won Individual Gold in 2010 and his mother Mandy claimed silver four years ago.

“I was real nervous, but all the guys really helped me and that made a huge difference,” Cade said. “My grandfather owns my horse and he’s trained it as well. He is a pretty good owner to work for.”

And Deary added, “Cade did an amazing job. He showed all that he had and we are all extremely proud of the job he did.”

Reflecting on another second-placed finish, Belgium’s Bernard Fonck said, “I think everybody did everything that they could do with their horses and although it was a strong competition, I think Belgium was also pretty strong.”

With the crowd adding to a memorable atmosphere by getting fully involved in the action, there was also plenty for Germany to celebrate as they completed the podium places.

“This is the fifth WEG I have been a competitor at,” said Grischa Ludwig. “All the other competitions we’ve always been fourth and fifth, we’ve been beaten so many times by a half point and one point and now we’ve beaten the others (Austria) by a half point, which makes this feel even sweeter.”

“I did not think that it takes five FEI World Equestrian Games to get a medal! But, in the end, we really deserve it. This team really deserved it. We’ve been consistent. We had no low score and we were really fighting for the medal.”

Endurance Competition Canceled

Competition for the discipline of Endurance at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon was cancelled on Wednesday.

Equestrian sport’s governing body, Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), said in a statement that the decision was made “due to a potentially dangerously high combination of heat and humidity, and the conditions out on the trail following heavy rain this afternoon.”

“The decision to cancel, which is in accordance with FEI General Regulations, Article 109.12 was unanimous between the President of the Ground Jury, Technical Delegate and President of the Veterinary Commission, and the Organizing Committee.”

Earlier in the day, the event was reduced from its original 100-mile (160 kilometers) distance to 74 miles (120 kilometers) – and from five course loops to four – after it was announced that some teams had been “unfortunately misdirected” at the 6:30 am EST start.

The competition was stopped at the first Vet Gate inspection and each horse underwent a vet check before the race could restart. No substitution of horses was allowed.

A restart took place 45 minutes after the last horse was inspected and a statement released on behalf of the FEI read: “As there is no possibility to reschedule the ride tomorrow, the President of the Ground Jury, the President of the Veterinary Commission, Foreign Veterinary Delegate and the Organizing Committee agreed that this was the only pragmatic solution.”

The FEI said the cancellation decision “was also in line with the FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse, which states ‘extreme weather – competitions must not take place in extreme weather conditions that may compromise welfare or safety of the horse’.”

President of the Veterinary Commission, Thomas Timmons, said: “This was a difficult decision to make, but it was done with horse and athlete welfare in mind as the conditions this afternoon after the rain resulted in extremely high levels of humidity and combined with rising heat, it was deemed unsafe to continue the ride.”

British scientist Dr. David Marlin, who has been working on heat and humidity studies for the FEI for more than 20 years, provided the Ground Jury with data from the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index which showed a reading of 31. Anything over 25 is monitored very closely, and the officials agreed unanimously that 31 presented an unacceptable risk to horse welfare for the sport of Endurance.

The decision was backed by Netherlands Chef d’Equipe Pieter Wiersinga, who said: “The race was stopped, and I was asked as the Chef d’Equipe if I was okay with the decision.

“I spoke to my veterinary (team) and asked them what they thought. They said that in terms of it [race] continuing that for horse welfare it might be a problem and then I told them I was okay with that. It was the right decision. For horse welfare, yes, always,” he concluded.

In an update, meanwhile, on events in the morning, the FEI said: “Following this morning’s false start, the FEI has tasked the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU), which is onsite here at Tryon, to do a full investigation into the circumstances that resulted in some horse/athlete combinations being misdirected.

“The investigation will include interviews with the officials, volunteers, Organizing Committee and all other relevant personnel to provide a full picture of what happened.

“The findings will be presented to the FEI Bureau and the conclusions will then be made.”

Germany Marking the Territory for Team Gold in Helgstrand Dressage

Team Germany is reaching out for the next medal in their collection by building up a strong lead in the Helgstrand Dressage discipline at FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018. After two riders out on the first day of competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center, the current champions sit on 76.677%, aiming to complete their medal dozen. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl leads the individual ranking and Dorothee Schneider currently sits in third place with a 75.062%.

Sweden came out as the day’s surprise when veteran Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Juliette Ramel both turned in top performances for ranking their team second on 75.248%. Ramel squeezed in between the favorites on silver position individually, presenting her gelding Buriel K.H. in a much improved way. “Most of that is my trainer’s doing. Patrik Kittel gives me a lot of confidence and he believes in us. That makes me stronger,” Ramel explained.

Adrienne Lyle and Steffen Peters brought the U.S. team to third position. Lyle’s score of 74.581 % has her and stallion Salvino sit fourth individually. “I was really pleased with him, especially considering we warmed up in a downpour and then it’s blazing hot the next second. Fitness is a big factor – he’s a big dark horse and I’ve done my best to get him fit, and I’m glad that I did, because it took every ounce of fitness today,” Lyle beamed.

It was rain and shine at the opening of the Helgstrand Dressage competition, not only because of changing weather. Isabel Cool from Belgium had to retire when her stallion Aranco V quit following her aids, leaving her team without a scratch result.

But, for Australian Alexis Hellyer, day one of the competition already felt like an unexpectedly happy end. The first-timer at WEG had to present her horse Bluefields Floreno for re-inspection only in the morning of the competition and was relieved to find that the stallion was considered fit to compete. “His infection in the foot got better at the last minute. If I am called into the team ever again, I hope it is a little smoother,” she said, placing 23rd in Wednesday’s ranking.

Will the Price Be Right for New Zealand Eventing Couple?

Husband and wife dream team Tim and Jonelle Price will turn their attention to possible world domination of Eventing at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG).

The New Zealand riders have enjoyed a stellar season, with Jonelle claiming her first Badminton Horse Trials title in May before Tim landed the United Kingdom’s other major four-star event – the Burghley Horse Trials – in early September.

Now they are part of a New Zealand team that also features double Olympic champion Mark Todd and twice World individual gold medalist Blyth Tait, as they chase a third WEG crown in the Mars, Inc. Eventing.

“It is obviously a different situation here than Burghley,” Tim Price said. “But it was only a couple of weeks ago of being out there with a bit of pressure, and I will keep reminding myself of Burghley.

“But this is very much a team effort, and it is not going to be about one single individual performance.”

Lining up alongside them, though, are a host of teams and riders with serious gold medal aspirations in both the team and individual competitions.

Defending world champions Germany might be without the genial reigning Olympic champion Michael Jung, but it says everything about their remarkable strength that the team still features current world champion Sandra Auffarth and 2017 European Individual Gold medal winner Ingrid Klimke, who was part of German World Equestrian Games-winning teams in 2006 and 2014.

“I am really happy to be here with my horse,” Klimke said. “We are ready for the next adventure. We have a wonderful venue and I am very proud to be here and be a part of it all.”

Great Britain, world title winners in 1994 and 2010, might have seen a major selection surprise with current world number one Oliver Townend not making their team, but few can doubt claims to a podium finish, given the presence of multiple major championship medalist Tina Cook, world number three Ros Canter and 2011 Olympic Test event winner Piggy French.

And the quality is further emphasized by France fielding two members of their Rio 2016 gold medal-winning team in Thibaut Vallette and Astier Nicolas, the United States being led by Rio individual Bronze medalist Phillip Dutton and Australia featuring Andrew Hoy, a three-time Olympic team gold medal winner.

Considerable interest, too, will surround a Japanese team led by the highly experienced and reigning Asian Games champion Yoshiaki Oiwa two years out from the Tokyo Olympics.

A total of 83 combinations from 23 countries were presented at Wednesday’s first horse inspection in front of judges Anne-Mette Binder (Denmark), Jane Hamlin (USA) and Andrew Bennie (New Zealand), with all being accepted.

Belgium’s Joris Vanspringel with Imperial van de Holtakkers was held, but then passed on re-inspection, along with the Netherlands’ Merel Blom and Rumour Has It N.O.P, but they also passed after being held.

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

Germans Flex Their Mighty Muscles as Team Dressage Gets Underway

Dorothee Schneider with Sammy Davis Jr. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Germany took the lead after the first day of Team Dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, but the defending champions have only a narrow lead over Sweden in silver and the USA in bronze medal position when the battle resumes. This halfway result is based on the best individual score for each team in the Grand Prix, so there is plenty of room for dramatic change before the podium places are decided.

German domination was underpinned by the best performance of the day from Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (32) and the 11-year-old mare TSF Dalera BB whose mark of 76.77 gives her side a 1.4 point advantage over the Swedes.

A personal-best score of 75.248 from Juliette Ramel (31) and Buriel K saw them slot into second and dramatically boost Swedish chances. A total of 38 horse-and-rider combinations took their turn, and another 39 will strut their stuff before the 2018 champions are crowned.

The mighty Germans are chasing down their 12th world championship team title, and Von Bredow-Werndl has put them on track to achieve just that on her own world championship debut.

“I watched the first two horses from up in the stand with my brother Benni and I suddenly got the shivers and felt motivated because I realised how many other people would like to be in my shoes! So I went in there feeling full of power and Delera was just brilliant!” — Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER)

Ramel and Buriel KH were in the Swedish team that finished fifth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where they were hugely impressive. An accident while competing in Aachen (GER) last summer, however, put the horse out of action for quite some time. But the rider, who initially trained with The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud and who is now coached by Swedish star Patrick Kittel, has made an impressive comeback with the 12-year-old gelding this season when producing consistently good results, particularly in the Grand Prix Special. The top 30 combinations in the team event will qualify for individual medals in Friday’s Special, so Ramel will be one to look out for over the coming days.

The host nation snatched third place at this halfway stage of the team event when Adrienne Lyle finished individually fourth with Salvino.

“I’m especially pleased with him since we warmed up in a complete downpour and then it was blazing hot the next second – fitness is a big factor here. He’s a big dark horse and I did my best to get him as fit as I could, and I’m glad I did because it took every ounce of the fitness he had out there in that heat!” Lyle said.

It’s far from over, however, with the British threatening strongly in fourth place just 0.3 behind the Americans and looking set to rocket up the leaderboard when Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato and Charlotte Dujardin riding Mount St John Freestyle take to the arena floor.

The Netherlands holds fifth place, Spain is in sixth, and Denmark lies seventh of the 15 competing nations.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Stars from across the Globe Fly the Flag at World Equestrian Games Opening Ceremony

Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 11, 2018 – The FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 were officially opened with a stylish two-hour ceremony at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.

Some of equestrian sport’s most famous names took a central role for their countries during the traditional parade of flags that highlighted proceedings at a packed Tryon Stadium before a crowd of athletes, grooms, National Federation staff, and spectators. Rising country musician Joe Lasher opened for Grammy-nominated artist Hunter Hayes, while athlete representatives were welcomed into Tryon Stadium to officially commence the start of competition.

Carrying the American flag was dressage sensation Laura Graves, who said, “Tonight is really special for me. It is September 11, so getting the chance to raise this flag was very emotional.

“I am looking forward to a really great next few days of competition. It is going to be exciting for us in Dressage and it looks like all the horses have a terrific venue and great facilities. We are ready to get going,” she continued.

Triple Olympic Team Eventing Gold medalist Andrew Hoy had the honor for Australia and he said, “Last time I rode in a World Eventing Championship in America it was in 1978, so it is absolutely wonderful to be back.

“It is a great honor to be a flag-bearer for my country. I’m looking forward to getting out there and the competition starting.”

Dressage rider Julio Mendoza, who represents Ecuador, but lives relatively locally to the venue, added, “I’m really excited to be here in Tryon. This is my first FEI World Equestrian Games and I am beyond happy to be here representing my country and to have such a great opportunity. To be in the same ring with such amazing athletes and great horses is so exciting and I can’t wait for the competition to get started,” he concluded.

Eventing icon Ingrid Klimke (GER), a winner of numerous major championship medals, did the honors for Germany and she commented, “I am really happy to be here with my horse. We are ready for the next adventure. We have a wonderful venue and I am very proud to be here and be a part of it all.”

China’s Alex Hua Tian is also set to be among the field when Eventing gets under way on Thursday.

“I am here in the U.S. for the first time ever, competing in my second FEI World Equestrian Games. It’s the largest equestrian festival in the world, so to fly the flag for China for the first time ever in Eventing is a wonderful thing.”

Meydan Endurance Set to Launch Competition

Meydan Endurance will have the honor of launching the eighth FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) on Wednesday, September 12. Eight different equestrian disciplines governed by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) will be showcased throughout the duration of the two-week event, which will conclude on Sunday, September 23.

The discipline of Endurance takes center stage from before sunrise, beginning at 6:30 a.m. EST, when competitors tackle a course of 100 miles (160 kilometers) that will traverse through the states of both North and South Carolina.

More than 100 athletes from 40 countries will head into the countryside with the winner expected to return home and across the finish line later in the evening.

The long-distance competition, viewed as the ultimate test of the partnership between horse and rider, is against the clock and tests speed and stamina of both horse and rider, challenging each combination to ensure an effective use of pace and navigational skills of undulating terrains. Mandatory veterinary inspections are required following each course loop, where horses are cooled, their heart rates monitored, and jogged for soundness in order to further continue. Rest periods are also a key aspect of the competition, ensuring horse and rider welfare throughout the 100-mile test.

The Tryon 2018 track will feature the region’s natural and spectacular terrain, starting and finishing on the main TIEC property.

The horse inspection took place on Tuesday afternoon, with a bumper nominated entry list being highlighted by defending champion HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum from the UAE, who won the world title in Normandy four years ago.

A strong finish is also expected of Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs, who starred when his country won 2010 Team Endurance Gold and is aiming for a top finish in this year’s competition.

Host Nation Aiming to Rein In Their Rivals

It should come as no surprise whatsoever that the United States remains Johnson Controls Reining’s dominant force.  Other countries have barely had a look-in since the WEG first welcomed the discipline of Reining during the early 1990s. The United States has won a remarkable seven titles, with only Canada breaking that sequence 12 years ago.

Reining originates from the working movements of horses and riders when herding cattle and is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of ranch-type horses in an arena setting.

With large fast circles, flying lead changes, 360-degree spins and sliding stops all required within individual performances, Reining is a truly thrilling spectacle. It is also the only western discipline showcased at WEG.

There is also considerable crowd involvement, with the audience clapping and cheering loudly at every turn as competitors go through their paces. Team USA newcomer Cade McCutcheon, a first time WEG competitor, comes from a long lineage of top Reining competitors, and will take center stage at the international event.

Dark Horses Face Each Other in First Day of Helgstrand Dressage Competition

Dressage is predictable, people say, but it won’t be at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.

Horses from 31 countries were declared fit to compete on Tuesday following their jog inspection. Discipline competition opens with the Grand Prix over two days and deciding the medals for teams, to be handed out on Thursday. The top 30 move on to the Grand Prix Special on Friday with the top 15 showing their Grand Prix Freestyle to music on “Super Sunday” on September 16, concluding the first week of WEG.

Isabell Werth from Germany might add more gold to the already incredible seven WEG medals she already holds. Werth stunned insiders by her decision not to bring her top horse Weihegold OLD, instead opting to bring her favorite mount, Bella Rose, who has recently returned from a long-term illness.

One of Werth’s strongest contenders will be one of her own teammates. The scores for Sönke Rothenberger and Cosmo have been rising since they were members of the winning 2017 European Championship team for Germany.

The United States’ has hopes set on Laura Graves and her ride Verdades, breathing down the current necks of both Werth and Rothenberger since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where they finished fourth, followed by a second-place finish at the FEI World Cup™ Finals in early 2018.

Adding to this roster of elite riders, the defending champion from the WEG in Normandy, France, as Charlotte Dujardin and her new partner, Mount St John Freestyle will represent Great Britain. The mare is only nine and the “dark horse” of the competition. “I’m not sure what to expect, but she’s felt brilliant this far and taken everything on board, so we’ll see what the next few days bring,” Dujardin said confidently.

Team Germany won their 11th World Championship Gold medal in Normandy 2014 and brings a strong squad to Tryon, to complete the dozen. Fourteen other teams will attempt to prevent that, with the USA, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden set to be the most optimistic for a medal.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Horse & Country TV’s Coverage of World Equestrian Games Begins on Thursday

Left to right: Patrice Delaveau (FRA), Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) and Beezie Madden (USA) on the podium at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Photo: Arnd Bronkhorst.

London, U.K. – Sept. 11, 2018 – As the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) officially kicks off, Horse & Country TV (H&C TV) is gearing up to bring exclusive, in-depth coverage of the prestigious championship straight to its viewers with its Daily Review and highlight shows.

Don’t miss a minute of the action! Cheer on your team and join H&C TV today to watch all of the competition from WEG here.

H&C TV will be showing daily one-hour recaps throughout the games in addition to coverage of all Olympic and non-Olympic events.

WEG is held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle and is one of the biggest events on the equestrian calendar. It features a total of eight equestrian disciplines: show jumping, dressage, para-dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining. It is the major global championship of 2018.

The 2018 games are being held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina, Sept. 11-23.

With a new episode broadcasting each day throughout WEG, Daily Reviews will premiere at 1 p.m. EST and will replay at 5 p.m. EST and 8 p.m. EST each day they air. The first Daily Review will premiere on Thursday, Sept. 13.

In addition, viewers can watch highlights from each discipline at the following schedule (all times EST):

  • Team dressage: Thursday, Sept. 20, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Dressage Grand Prix Special: Friday, Sept. 21, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Endurance: Friday, Sept. 21, at 10:30 p.m.
  • Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle: Saturday, Sept. 22, at 9:30 p.m.
  • Reining: Saturday, Sept. 22, at 10:30 p.m.
  • Eventing: Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m.
  • Team jumping: Saturday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m.
  • Para-dressage: Monday, Oct. 1, at 8 p.m.
  • Vaulting: Monday, Oct. 1, at 8:30 p.m.
  • Driving: Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Individual jumping: Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m.

H&C TV broadcasts in Europe, Australia and in the United States on cable, satellite and broadband television, including Roku, and online at www.horseandcountrytv.us.

A First Major Victory for Sameh El Dahan, Winner of the CP ‘International’

Sameh El Dahan winning the CP ‘International’ (Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk)

After some light mid-morning rain, the Calgary skies cleared and 38 of the world’s most talented horse and rider partnerships accepted Venezuelan course designer Leopoldo Palacios’s challenge to jump his huge 1.70m course in the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex.

Third in the first round’s starting order, Germany’s Andre Thieme and his 10-year-old bay gelding, Aretino 13 produced a faultless display in a time of 88.84 s. However, not one of the next 30 riders to follow were able to produce a clear round, which was testament to the immensity of the contest the field was up against. It was Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan who broke the drought, piloting Suma’s Zorro, his 14-year-old mare, to the second clear round of the competition. Palacios’s course continued to be ruthless, claiming the scalps of some big-name horse and rider pairings, and just five further clear rounds were recorded.

The second round proved too tough for 10 of the 12 combinations that progressed from round one, and in the end, it was just The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan, who produced double clears, and in doing so set up a nail-biting jump-off. Van der Vleuten was first to go, going clear and setting a quick time of 42.98 s. El Dahan confidently entered the tense International Ring and breezed the course, going clear and triumphing over the Dutchman in a time of 42.21 s, thereby being crowned the new live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

So Sameh, what does winning a Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major mean to you?

I’m delighted and absolutely over the moon. When I looked up at the big screen, because I wasn’t sure of the time, and I saw first place, it was a very difficult feeling to explain. To be a winner of one of the four prestigious Grands Prix, as part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, is something I think every rider in the world dreams of.

Tell us a little bit about Suma’s Zorro.

Suma’s Zorro was bought as a foal by Joanne Sloan Allen and Sycamore Stables. When she was brought to the yard she jumped a five-bar gate when she was just six months old, so they knew they had a jumper on their hands. Joanne did an amazing job building her up until she was about seven years old, and then I also started riding her. Today Joanne does most of the riding, and I only jump her, so she’s done a great job.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Youth Shines Bright as Israel’s Sternbach Grabs the Gold in Tashkent

Nadav Sternbach and Aragon (FEI/Yong Teck Lim).

Israel’s Nadav Sternbach (18) scooped the FEI World Jumping Challenge Final 2018 title in a nail-biting jump-off in Tashkent (UZB). It came down to a head-to-head against Argentina’s Richard Kierkegaard (15), and there was little between the two of them in the end.

“I came to just have fun, but this is really exciting!” said Sternbach who left 19 competitors from 15 countries in his wake as he seized the crown at this 17th edition of the event which moved to Central Asia for the very first time this year.

All the competing athletes qualified in 2017 when the Challenge was also used by 44 countries as the official qualifier for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires (ARG). A total of 23 out of 30 athletes who are on the way to the YOG have made the cut through the Challenge series, and six of those used this week’s fixture as the perfect final run, because, just like at the YOG, the biggest test of all is that they must ride a horse they’ve never sat on before.

The flags of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Israel, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay, Senegal, South Africa, Uzbekistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all flew high as the Warm-up class got underway on Thursday when the host nation’s Abdushukur Sobirjonov (16) steered Rejayna into the winner’s enclosure. The age range of riders varied from 16 to 55, but it was the younger generation that dominated from start to finish, Turgunboev topping the line-up in Friday’s First Qualifier and Kyrgyzstan’s Kamil Sabitov, who turns 18 next week, pinning Guatemala’s Jose Ignacio Rosal (23) into runner-up spot in the Second Qualifier in which Sternbach finished third.

There were nine starters in the Farewell class for those who didn’t make it through to the medal-decider, and victory went to Bolivia’s Gonzalo Bedoya Aguilar (18) who produced the only clear round with Coupette. There was great excitement when Hamoudi Kazoun (35), Senegal’s first-ever entry for this event, finished second with just a single time penalty while the next two places went to Zimbabwe’s Brianagh Clark (17) and Zambia’s Anna Bunty Howard (16) whose next stop is the YOG.

All 10 of those qualified for the Final started again on a zero score, but although five managed to stay clear in the first round, only Sternbach and Kierkegaard kept a clean sheet second time out over the course designed by Australia’s John Vallance. The hosts were already happy, because Turgunboev, riding Ambassador, had secured the third step of the podium for Uzbekistan before Kierkegaard led the way into the jump-off against the clock. And when he lowered the second fence, the young Argentinian, who claimed Children’s team gold at the FEI South American Championships in both 2015 and again in 2016, galloped on to put in the quickest possible time on the board.

So, last into the arena, Sternbach knew that he had four faults in 64.8 seconds to beat. But his confidence took a major blow when he hit the very first fence.

“I meant to go in and jump a slow, nice clear and then the fence fell – luckily it was number one, so I had the time to catch up, but I was super-stressed trying to make it home as quick as I could!” Sternbach said after posting the faster time of 61.87 for the win.

He knew he was fortunate to be partnered with the 15-year-old gelding Aragon, who is normally ridden by Uzbekistan’s Timus Sadikov. “He’s a really nice horse but it took a little bit of time to get used to him. In the Warm-up class we had 13 faults but that was a bit of a wake-up call and we got a lot better after that! He’s very strong and has a very big stride and the courses were built on short distances which was not to my advantage, but he’s a really good jumper and he’s very careful, and as the competition went on we connected really well. He really helped me, especially in that jump-off!” Sternbach said.

Result

FEI World Jumping Challenge Final 2018: Gold – Aragon (Nadav Sternbach) ISR 0/0 61.87; Silver – Ramiro (Richard Kierkegaard) ARG 0/0 64.8; Bronze – Ambassador (Saidamirkhon Turgenboev) UZB 0/1.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Sameh El Dahan Riding Suma’s Zorro Wins CP ‘International’ at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

09 September 2018, Spruce Meadows, Canada – The CP ‘International’ presented by Rolex has been won by Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’. Second place went to Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) riding Verdi TN and Beezie Madden (USA) riding Coach came in third.

An overcast day with cooler temperatures than the preceding week welcomed over 71,000 fans to the hallowed Spruce Meadows venue for the third equestrian Major of the year. Widely regarded as one of the toughest Grands Prix on the show jumping calendar, course designer Leopoldo Palacios did not disappoint and built it to capacity, to test the world’s best on this famous stage. Towering fences, tough combinations and technically exacting lines were created for the 42nd edition of this Grand Prix.

Prior to the start of the class, Palacios affirmed, “The course is challenging and tough – it’s for the biggest prize in the world. I’ve built two Olympics and [the course for] this class is tougher than the finals there.”

With the CP ‘International’ defending champion, Philipp Weishaupt (GER), the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Marcus Ehning (GER) and Rolex Testimonees Eric Lamaze, Kent Farrington and Steve Guerdat (world number five, eight, and nine, respectively), the competition was set to be an exhilarating one. All eyes would be focused on Ehning to see if he could continue his Rolex Grand Slam journey.

From the very start of this two-round class (and a jump-off if scores permit), the course lived up to expectations. With one clear from the first 20 riders, the crowd was witness to a multitude of falling poles and time faults, as Palacios tested the horse and rider combinations to their very limit.

Last year’s winner, Weishaupt, was unable to repeat his 2017 performance with two rails down, taking him out of contention and halting further progress in the class. Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat (SUI) displayed courage, determination and precision as he expertly guided Hannah over the 17 jumping efforts, confirming his place in the second round. Joining Guerdat was Canada’s much-loved Eric Lamaze aboard the incomparable Fine Lady 5, who once again highlighted why he is a force to be reckoned with in the sport of show jumping.

Former world number one and Rolex Testimonee, Kent Farrington (USA), chose to retire his mount Creedance after an uncharacteristic 12 faults. Similarly, it was not to be for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Ehning, as he retired Cornado NRW. After a dramatic first round there were seven clears, and a total of 12 riders progressing through to the second stage of this enthralling competition.

The morning clouds cleared and sun welcomed the start of the second round. A revised course of 15 jumping efforts was presented to the riders, with an imposing triple on the final line, to be completed within the time allowed of 67 seconds. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), who picked up four faults in the first round, led the way and set the bar high, with a faultless round.

Maikel van der Vleuten riding Verdi TN produced the first double clear of the day, putting even more pressure on the remaining first round clear riders. Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat was unable to contend with van der Vleuten and left the International Ring with nine faults. Sameh El Dahan also rose to the occasion, ensuring the enthralled crowds would be treated to a jump-off.

Lamaze rode out to a stampede of applause, as the patriotic home crowd willed for another clear. Fans rode every stride and every fence with the famous pairing; however, Fine Lady 5 was unable to leave the last two jumping efforts standing.

Two riders awaited their chance to enter the International Ring for the third and final time to tackle the jump-off. First to go was van der Vleuten, who impressively navigated the imposing arena leaving all the fences standing and crossing the finish line in a time of 42.98 seconds. The closing rider of the day, El Dahan, kept the crowd on the edge of their seats as he cut marginally tighter corners and sped around the course, jumping the last fence and crossing the finish line in a time of 42.21 seconds, beating van der Vleuten in the narrowest of margins and being crowned the new live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Speaking after his win, El Dahan said, “This is one of the biggest achievements of my career. The feeling is indescribable. I need a few days to make sure everything sinks in and believe that it actually happened. Going forward, the four Majors which make up the Rolex Grand Slam will be at the top of my list to compete at.”

The next leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping continues in December at CHI Geneva and the show jumping world will be focused on El Dahan to see if he can continue his journey.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0) 22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0) 7748 186 833

Team Silver for Vade Mecum Interagro in North American Youth Championships

Vade Mecum Interagro and Annika Tedlund (Photo courtesy of Annika Tedlund)

North Salem, New York (September 7, 2018) – Winning Team Silver on a silver horse was a dream come true for Annika Tedlund: in her first ever Junior/Young Rider Championship effort, Tedlund and the 17-year-old Lusitano gelding put in strong scores at the USDF North American Young Rider Dressage Team Championship, held during the 2018 Adequan/FEI North American Youth Championships in North Salem, New York. With scores through 67%+, Tedlund was the second highest scoring of her four team members for the combined team of US Regions 4 and 7.

Tedlund began her relationship with Vade Mecum three years prior. After trying him on her birthday in Wellington, she stated that he was different from any horse he had ridden before and he was purchased by her mother, Linnea Tedlund, for Annika to campaign with the goal of qualifying for and competing in the Juniors and Young Riders. Bred and trained by Interagro Lusitanos in Itapira, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Vade Mecum Interagro is by Noblissimo Interagro and out of Pecunia Interagro. Noblissimo Interagro is by the celebrated Lusitano stallion Xique-Xique (CI) and maintains a legacy of successful sport competition and highly decorated offspring. With wins at the FEI level in Brazil and the US, Vade Mecum was no exception to this legacy.

Tedlund, with the help of her trainer Alison Sader Larson, began the long road of perfecting the Young Rider test and earning qualifying scores. Working on Vade’s fitness, as well as Tedlund’s execution, the pair progressed quickly and Tedlund notes that Vade’s exceptional temperament, willingness, and ride ability were major factors in their success, including their own personal best score of 67.029%. “Vade felt amazing at the show, and every day he got better and better,” said Tedlund. “Getting Team Silver was incredibly exciting, and Vade was really excited to be in the arena but stayed focus on his job! After two days we were ranked in the top 18 so we were able to do our Freestyle, which I wasn’t expecting as it was my first time at the Championships. We had a few little mistakes, but I’m thrilled with Vade and our results. He really gave it all he had the whole week.”

While Vade is all business in the ring, Tedlund also noted his wonderful personality in the barn as well as under saddle. “Every single time I hop on him just gets better,” she said. “He tries so hard to do everything right and loves to show off. He’s very supple, and the lateral movements come easy for him, which made it easy for us to up the degree of difficulty in our Freestyle. He also collects very well and his piaffe is exceptional. His intelligence makes training him very easy for me; we do an exercise once. He never acts up at the show, likes to go hacking even after being inside all winter, and is a total goof around the barn. He just loves being with people and enjoys grooming time. He loves to be pampered. Vade also gets very attached to his rider, and I think this contributes to him trying so hard in training and at shows.”

Naturally Tedlund’s goals with him are to move up the levels, with the ultimate goal of competing in the Grand Prix, but she also thinks another trip to the Young Rider Championships isn’t out of the question: “[The Championships] were an amazing experience. Being part of a team was something I really enjoyed and would like to do again. I loved being with riders my age that were competing at the same level as me, and who were all so skilled and talented. The horses were amazing to watch, and riding in front of 5 judges was really a unique experience. It definitely left me craving for more, and I’d also like to show in Wellington. I can’t thank my trainer enough for her guidance; her time and effort helped us come so far and reach my goals. With her help I achieved beyond what I ever could have expected at our first big show. I’m very lucky to have such a great horse, a great trainer, and supportive parents.”

With over 40 years of experience breeding, training, and exporting Lusitanos, Interagro’s mission is to preserve the exceptional bloodlines and qualities of the breed while showcasing their talent, beauty, and intelligence, especially in the FEI and sport horse disciplines. Established in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga, Interagro’s initial vision was to preserve and restore the original foundational Lusitano bloodlines and lineages, many of which were in danger of extinction following the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. Through meticulous breeding, exceptional care, and world-class training, the Interagro Lusitanos of today continue that legacy as they compete across four continents.

For more information on Interagro Lusitanos, Interagro’s horses for sale, or the Lusitano bloodlines, visit Interagro’s website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’: SUNCOR Winning Round 1.50m

Philipp Weishaupt (Photo: Spruce Meadows Media / Mike Sturk)

29 horse and rider combinations navigated the Leopoldo Palacios-designed course in Spruce Meadows’ iconic International Ring, each hoping to take home the spoils in the SUNCOR Winning Round at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’.

Local favourites Eric Lamaze and his 22-year-old prodigy, Kara Chad, wowed the excited spectators in the arena’s packed stands, both going clear and posting impressive times of 71.10 s with Chacco Kid and 71.45 s with Viva, respectively, well within Palacios’s 74-second limit. Also progressing to the second round was Calgarian Jim Ifko and his 10-year-old bay stallion, Un Diamant des Forets, who went clear in a time of 71.80 s. Seven further riders from six nations successfully negotiated the Venezuelan course designer’s tough challenge to set up a 10-pairing showdown in the Winning Round, with notable top-class riders including The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt.

First to go was Ireland’s Connor Swail, setting the early pace after going clear in a time of 54.38 s. Five-time Major winner Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid demonstrated the strength of their bond by going double clear, while Lamaze’s mentee, Kara Chad, piloted Viva superbly before clipping the final rail. France’s Edward Levy, Ireland’s Daniel Coyle, and Australia’s Rowan Willis all put rails down to finish below Chad in the final standings. Jim Ifko notched up a double clear, fractionally beating Lamaze’s time. Philipp Weishaupt and Solitaer 41 entered the Ring looking sharp and impressively knocked Swail off top spot in a time of 53.25 s. Last to go was Maikel van der Vleuten, but his best wasn’t good enough to deny Weishaupt a well-deserved victory.

Weishaupt – who has had a memorable week after securing victory aboard Sansibar 89 in Thursday’s CANA Cup – etched his and his 10-year-old grey gelding Solitaer 41’s names on to the SUNCOR Winning Round trophy after a jumping display of the highest order.

Having won the CP ‘International’ in 2017 aboard LB Convall, the duo heads into Sunday’s $3 million blue ribbon class full of confidence and are sure to push the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender and Weishaupt’s fellow countryman Marcus Ehning all the way.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

EQUUS Film Festival to Showcase a Host of Equestrian Films at World Equestrian Games

Tryon, NC – September 4, 2018 – The World Equine Expo™ (WEE) and the EQUUS Film Festival (EFF) presented by Mustang Leadership Partners are working together to bring a new experience for those attending this year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018 from September 11-23 at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Western North Carolina.

For the first time ever, equestrian-themed movies will be added into the mix of entertainment and activities at WEG, giving those from near and far the opportunity to watch films they may never have had the chance to see, ranging from documentaries to feature-length productions. From noon until 5:00 p.m. EST every day, beginning on the 11th and continuing through the 23rd, a variety of films, many related to the eight FEI disciplines showcased at WEG, will be featured in the all new EQUUS Theater located near Legends Plaza as part of the World Equine Expo™, thanks to presenting sponsor, Mustang Leadership Partners.

Evening programs will run from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. EST on all days except for September 11, 17, and 23.

A Sampling of the Films

The EFF will offer the opportunity for spectators and attendees a chance to not only see the top competitors vie for medals at this prestigious event, but enjoy a variety of movies about horses from all around the world.

Endurance riders will be featured in All the Wild Horses, highlighting an intense cross-country race that takes place in Mongolia. Enthusiasts of the sport of Driving will appreciate The Caravan, showcasing the journey of a five-month carriage trek across America. Dressage fans will enjoy learning the true story of Totilas, following this iconic athlete’s journey after his 2010 WEG Gold medal victory.

For those interested in Reining and Para-Dressage, It’s Reining and Para Reining will give an insider’s view of these fascinating and heart-warming disciplines. Eventers will want to see Riding High, which dives into the robust history of Eventing in Australia. Vaulters will love The Horse Dancer, a feature-film about the discipline Vaulting, starring two of the Canadian Vaulting team horses.

Harry and Snowman has become an instant classic and will be a thrill for fans of Jumping, as the story about the horse who after being saved from the slaughterhouse became a world champion, and Desert Flight, a love letter to the sport.

There will also be films for polo fans, because The Four Horsemen will get to the heart of the sport.

While this is only a sampling of the many films being shown, it doesn’t matter what discipline you enjoy because the 100+ films in 84 hours over the 13 days will appeal to any audience.

Thinking outside the Box

With the goal of creating a unique experience at a World Equestrian Games, leadership is thinking outside the box and incorporating new and different opportunities. Knowing that the six-year-old EQUUS Film Festival is all about national and international horse films, they invited founder, Lisa Diersen, and Co-Organizer, Diana De Rosa, to map out a plan to include horse films designed to entertain an audience that will be coming from all over the world.

Not only will those attending have the opportunity to witness fabulous films but also get a chance to meet over 35 of the filmmakers and equine movie stars up close and personal. In addition to the films, there will be filmmaker and Q&A panels on the Coca-Cola Stage and meet & greets outside the theater. Some of those attending will also be doing demonstrations.

“Misty was the first horse movie I fell in love with as a child and my love for horse films has never stopped. I feel honored to be able to share my passion with the world at this amazing event. Our filmmakers work tirelessly creating the wonderful films that we have in the EQUUS Film Festival collection. By bringing our equine movie star horses along with EFF authors and artists to the world stage in Tryon, the dream of sharing horse movies with the world is coming true! I’m grateful for my amazing EFF Co-Organizer Diana De Rosa and our EFF team; thank you all for helping to make this happen,” commented Diersen.

“As an equine journalist, I’ve covered eight Olympic Games and every World Equestrian Games and this will be my ninth. I join Lisa noting how excited we are for the over half million expected attendees to have the chance to see so many wonderful horse films,” added De Rosa.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the EQUUS Film Festival to the programming of the World Equine Expo during the inaugural year,” said Paige Bellissimo, Director of the World Equine Expo™. “The films and stories are inspirational and moving, aligning perfectly with what we’re showcasing at Tryon International Equestrian Center during the World Equine Expo as well as during the FEI World Equestrian Games. There’s an element to film that people are passionate about and integrating the love for horses and equestrian sport will be a welcomed addition to what we anticipate will be a fantastic Expo.”

Presenting Sponsor Mustang Leadership Partners

With the support of presenting sponsor, Mustang Leadership Partners, films at the ninth World Equestrian Games have become a reality, as they will be the key sponsor for the building of the EQUUS Theater where the films will be shown.

The Mustang Leadership Partners is part of the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Tennessee’s first all-girls public charter school, which Sue Anne Wells founded in 2009. Realizing the powerful leadership lessons that mustangs can provide, Wells decided to launch an equestrian program. The students meet two hours each week and are challenged to make connections between their work with mustangs and their own lives. Wells will be at WEG with four mustangs and ten girls from the Academy.

Wells made the decision to become presenting sponsor after her film, When the Dust Settles, was shown at the Festival in 2017 where it won both the Wild Horse Full Length Documentary and Best of Festival about Wild Horses WINNIE Awards. This film shows the parallel struggles and triumphs that mustangs and disadvantaged girls from inner city Chattanooga have faced in their lives. It gave Wells a chance to realize that not only did she have a wonderful platform to showcase her film, but so did all the other hardworking filmmakers.

“Horses have become such a meaningful and essential part of these girls’ lives; seeing films that honor these animals will be life changing for them,” remarked Wells. “We all will enthusiastically celebrate the filmmakers who come from parts unknown to share their films with the World Equestrian Games’ audience.”

It’s Not Too Late to Watch World Class Competition and See a Host of Horse Films

If you haven’t already put this year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on your schedule, here’s your chance to not only watch the top equestrians in the world but also be entertained by some of the best horsemen. And in between be sure to stop at the EQUUS Theater to not only enjoy excellent films but to support the passionate work of the many filmmakers. Knowing you are taking the time to watch their film makes all the long hours and hard work worth it.

For a complete list of films being shown, the filmmakers and talent coming to support their films and those doing demonstrations, go to www.equusfilmfestival.net. For more about the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018, visit www.Tryon2018.com and http://www.fei.org/tryon-2018.

ABOUT THE EQUUS FILM FESTIVAL

Founded in 2013 by director Lisa Diersen and adding Diana De Rosa as co-organizer in 2015, the EQUUS Film Festival has grown into the “don’t miss” equestrian film industry event. In 2017, over 80 films were shown with the opportunity to win coveted WINNIE Awards for being the best in the herd, including Equestrian Art Film, Director, Documentary, Commercial, International, Music Video, People’s Choice and Best of Festival. EQUUS has also created WINNIE Award categories for Literature and Art, which has rounded out its commitment to being the home to the storytellers of the horse world.

Contact: Press Link
Phone: 516-848-4867
Email: dderosa1@optonline.net