Category Archives: FEI

Isabell Werth and Weihegold Old Back to Top FEI Dressage World Rankings

Isabell Werth (GER) and Weihegold Old. (FEI/ Leanjo de Koster)

Olympic silver individual and gold team medallist duo, Isabell Werth and Weihegold Old, have topped the FEI Dressage World Rankings once again (2742 points), following their win in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music at the Sweden International Horse Show (“Saab Top Ten Dressage 2018”) in Stockholm (SWE). The famous combination, who were number one for almost two years, from November 2016, only sat in second place for a couple of months behind Laura Graves and Verdades (USA). The American duo now drop back to second place again with 2714 points.

Dressage Queen Isabell Werth can be found three times in the top four of the ranking list, as she holds the third place with Bella Rose 2 (2690 points) and the fourth place with Emilio 107 (2658 points).

A number of other combinations moved up in the rankings, thanks to the Saab Top Ten Dressage 2018 and the FEI Dressage World Cup™ qualifier in Madrid (ESP) on 23-25 November 2018. Patrik Kittel with Delaunay Old (SWE) moved from the 97th to the 11th place (2280 points), whilst Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Blue Hors Zepter (DEN) jumped from the 175th to the 33rd place (2030 points). Claudio Castilla Ruiz and Alcaide (ESP) also made an enormous leap from the 118th to the 43rd place (1923 points).

With the FEI Dressage World Cup™ season continuing over the next few months there will certainly be more impressive changes in the ranking list.

FEI Media Contact:

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

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

World Jumping Champion Simone Blum Takes Fosun Best Athlete at FEI Awards 2018

FEI Awards winners (L to R): Philip Wong (CHN), Lee McKeever (USA), Simone Blum (GER), Alex Hua Tian (CHN), FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibanez (SUI), Victor Levecque (FRA), FEI President Ingmar De Vos (BEL), Leila Malki (PLE), Juan Carlos Capelli Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Natasha Baker (GBR), Juan Matute Guimon (ESP). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Manama (BRN), 20 November 2018 — Germany’s golden girl Simone Blum (29) has undoubtedly had the best year of her career to date, and she added another accolade to the list, taking home the Fosun Best Athlete Award at the FEI Awards 2018 presented by Longines in Manama (BRN).

Crowned individual world champion and winner of a team bronze medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (USA) in September, she became the first woman in the 28-year history of the Games and only the second female athlete in 65 years of the World Jumping championship to win individual gold.

“I am very proud to be the Fosun best athlete. I think it’s a dream of every rider,” Simone Blum said. “A lot of really good riders got it before and to the people I want to say thank you a lot; it was a pleasure for me and I have the best fans and supporters. Thank you.”

Hosts for the gala evening were five-time Paralympic gold medallist and multi world and European title holder, Natasha Baker (GBR), and Spain’s rising star, Juan Matute Guimon, FEI Dressage European Junior champion in 2015 and at 20, one of the youngest Dressage athletes at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.

Presenting the winners of the five categories, in front of more than 300 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, equestrian fans, National Federations, FEI partners and stakeholders, these awards celebrate outstanding achievements within the equestrian community, tapping into the sporting excellence and celebrating the champions, the unsung heroes and the incredible individuals and organisations backstage making it all happen.

Groom to four-time Olympian McLain Ward, the USA’s Lee McKeever, took the award for FEI Best Groom. After 30 years working with McLain, he is still as dedicated about his work as when he started, going above and beyond to ensure the best possible care for his horses, and always willing to help others in the sport working tirelessly behind the scenes. McLain and Lee’s shared victories include the recent FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 team gold medal with Clinta, the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title with HH Azur in Omaha (USA), individual gold medal with Rothchild at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto (CAN), and team gold medals at the Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games with Sapphire.

French Eventing athlete Victor Levecque was presented with the Longines Rising Star Award by Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Juan-Carlos Capelli. This award highlights the achievements of athletes between the ages of 14 and 21 who demonstrate outstanding equestrian sporting talent. At the age of 20, Victor is already multiple winner, with 10 European medals, including two gold medals and five French national champion titles to his name.

“For a second consecutive year the online public vote has become very popular and a peer to peer recognition is one of the most powerful,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The influence of one’s peers and the recognition of talent and hard work is a testament to the strengths and development of the growth of the sport.

“Development, like youth, is key to our future and has been a strong focus throughout 2018 as we can see here tonight in the results of the youth of our sport shining through. With our top partner Longines, and their ever-increasing support, their commitment to these awards and equestrian sport globally, and for the first time to celebrate the Fosun Best Athlete award, we are delighted to be here in Bahrain to reward these fantastic achievements.”

Alex Hua Tian and Philip Wong of China accepted the FEI Solidarity award for the Horsemanship charity programme in China. Ten years ago, Alex won the Rising Star Award and he was here as part of the team working to communicate the core value of “Equestrianism as Horsemanship” to the world’s fastest growing equestrian market.

Leila Malki from Palestine was presented with the Against All Odds award. Her dedication to equestrian sport and her passion have made her a role model for young women in Palestine through her encouragement of girls and women to become involved in equestrian sport in her country.

“As FEI’s Top Partner, Longines is very proud to take part in the 2018 FEI Awards Ceremony in Manama,” Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, said.

“Our connection with the equestrian world dates back 150 years, and we attach great importance to supporting events that are aligned with our core values of tradition, elegance and performance. We are particularly delighted to present the Longines Rising Star award, acknowledging our commitment in supporting new generations of athletes in each sport that we are involved in.”

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

FEI’s Adoption of Global Reporting Initiative Pushes Sustainability to the Fore

Proud to Jump Green at the Helsinki International Horse Show where Gudrun Patteet (BEL) and Sea Coast Pebbles Z won their first ever Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League qualifier in October. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

Lausanne (SUI), 7 November 2018 – From supporting the use of horse manure to generate electricity to implementing equestrian-specific reporting indexes and creating a comprehensive guide book for event organisers across the world, the FEI is leading the way in ensuring sustainability is at the heart of its sport.

On the day the International Federation (IF) Sustainability Forum was held in Lausanne (SUI), the FEI was already working behind the scenes on sustainability initiatives, including its adoption earlier this year of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and is now well on the way to adapting each of the GRI indicators to fit the unique world of equestrian sport.

Crucially, this will allow equestrian event organisers across the globe to effectively implement and measure the impact of their sustainability initiatives. And sustainability has been a part of the equestrian sport’s landscape for some time.

The organising committee for last month’s Helsinki International Horse Show (HIHS) has already put in place a wide range of sustainability initiatives. Feedback from the show is currently being incorporated into an updated version of the FEI’s flagship Sustainability Handbook.

This 36-page guide, originally published in 2014 and now being updated in line with the GRI, serves to aid and encourage event organisers to implement sustainability initiatives that will create positive social and economic legacies while reducing negative environmental impacts.

The HIHS itself is a great example of the innovation and application being displayed by organisers of equestrian events across the world.

The 2018 edition of the show didn’t just generate enough sustainable energy to power its own event, it managed to produce a surplus of 36 MWh – enough energy to propel an electric car 288,000km or heat 36 Finnish apartments for a month.

And it all came from horse manure!

Finnish company Fortum HorsePower – partner of the HIHS since 2015 – provided almost 600 bales of shavings to ensure comfy bedding for all 235 horses competing at this year’s show. In return, the animals produced 112 tons of manure, which was gleefully transformed into 168MWh of energy at local plant, Fortum Jarvenpaa.

While it’s a clear win-win for all concerned, energy production was far from the whole story at the HIHS in 2018. In fact, everywhere you looked, green initiatives were taking hold.

As part of the event-wide ‘HIHS Jumps Green’ project, the organising committee reduced overall paper usage by an impressive 64%, employed electric and bicycle-powered transport wherever possible, significantly increased recycling and reuse efforts across the venue and massively reduced food waste and single-use plastics.

Equestrian sport fans – and there were more than 50,000 of them across the five-day event – got involved too, posting their best environmentally-friendly initiatives on the event’s social media platforms. One lucky participant even received free tickets for the 2019 show in return.

And visitors to the show in 2019 will be greeted by even more green initiatives, with the organising committee having already revealed its intention to introduce a Green Partner project with Fortum.

These are just the kind of efforts the FEI happily promotes but, like all good leaders, the governing body knows the hard work must start at home. So the FEI’s headquarters in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne (SUI) have become the centre of a Green Office project.

Although the HQ of horse sport is already a Minergie certified building – a Swiss standard indicating low energy use – the FEI is asking more of itself. Following an external audit, employees from top to bottom are reducing the organisation and building’s environmental impact still further by such actions as eliminating disposable cutlery and cups, improving recycling efforts through increased segregation and avoiding waste types by eliminating their sources.

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

FEI Bureau Sets Up Temporary Committee to Create Roadmap for Future of Endurance

Lausanne (SUI), 22 October 2018 — The FEI Bureau has set up a Temporary Committee with a remit to urgently assess the issues currently affecting the sport of Endurance and carry out an in-depth review of the rules in order to identify the most effective way of bringing the discipline back to its original roots of Endurance riding as opposed to Endurance racing, with horse welfare and horsemanship at its core, while still maintaining the competitive aspect of the sport.

The Temporary Committee, which has been established under Article 36.1 of the FEI Statutes*, will be chaired by Dr Sarah Coombs (GBR), a top FEI Endurance veterinarian who has many years’ experience of officiating at FEI Endurance events. Dr Coombs was formerly the British Endurance team vet, is a Trustee of the global equine charity World Horse Welfare and is also chair of its Veterinary Advisory Committee.

The members are Tarek Taher (KSA), an international Endurance athlete and recently-elected by his peers as a member of the FEI Athletes’ Committee; Pieter Wiersinga (NED), Chef d’Equipe of the Dutch Endurance team, a Police Commissioner and former Head of the Mounted Police in the Netherlands; Dr Margaret (Meg) Sleeper (USA), who has competed in FEI Endurance since 2005 and is also a trainer, official veterinarian and veterinary cardiologist; and Dr Tim Parkin (GBR), who heads up the scientific research conducted at the University of Glasgow as part of the FEI’s Global Endurance injuries Study (GEIS) and is a candidate for election as a member of the FEI Veterinary Committee.

In order to underline the importance of this discipline review and to facilitate communication between the Temporary Committee and the FEI Bureau, FEI 2nd Vice President Mark Samuel (CAN) will also be involved in the work of the Temporary Committee.

“We need to bring the discipline back to the principles of the FEI where welfare of the horse and horsemanship prevail,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The Temporary Committee will conduct a thorough review of the discipline with the aim of getting back to real Endurance riding with the focus on horsemanship and the partnership between horse and human.

“The sport has evolved and there needs to be a recognition of that, but the essence of the sport must remain the same. What we need are rules that place greater emphasis on completion of the event, rather than the ‘win at all costs’ mentality that is more and more threatening our sport.

“We have a strong Chair in Dr Sarah Coombs, who has a long-standing and in-depth understanding of the sport, particularly the horse welfare and veterinary aspects. With this new role she will be helping steer this crucial next step by leading a committee of extremely knowledgeable members that is focused on regulatory change driven by science with horse welfare at its heart.”

Prior to the creation of the new Temporary Committee, the FEI Bureau had received and accepted the resignation of Dr Brian Sheahan (AUS) as Chair of the Endurance Technical Committee due to ill health. His eight-year term in office was due to expire in 2020. The President has thanked Dr Sheahan for his dedication and passion for the sport and wished him a speedy recovery.

In a further development, the Bureau has provisionally relieved Ignasi Casas Vaque (ESP) of his rights and duties as Deputy Chair and Member of the Endurance Committee due to pending legal proceedings for alleged incorrect behaviour at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018.

The FEI Legal Department last week initiated a disciplinary action against Dr Casas Vaque, based on evidence provided to the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit during its investigation into the cancelled Endurance event in Tryon (USA) on 12 September 2018. Any additional disciplinary actions against other individuals involved in events at Tryon last month will be announced in due course.

Due to the resignation of the Chair and the pending legal proceedings involving the Deputy Chair, the Endurance Committee is currently unable to function as a full committee. However, the remaining members of the Endurance Committee – Shanie Bosch-Fourie (NAM) (2014-2018), Rocio Echeverri (CRC) (2015-2019) and Stéphane Chazel (FRA) (2016-2020) – will remain as members for their terms and until further notice. The Temporary Committee will be asked to consult with them to ensure their expertise is not lost during the review process.

The Temporary Committee will start work as soon as possible, with the plan to hold a session dedicated on Endurance at the FEI Sports Forum 2019 allowing the Temporary Committee to provide an update to delegates.

*FEI Statutes, Article 36. Other Committees and Sub-Committees

36.1 The Bureau may establish Temporary Committees for particular purposes. The Bureau shall appoint the Chair and members, define the terms of reference and decide the date when any such Committee shall make its report. Any such Committee shall consist of not more than five (5) and not less than three (3) members, including the Chair. A Bureau member who is appointed to any such Committee shall automatically become the Chair of such Committee.

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 46

Giacomo Casadei Claims Individual Gold in Fantastic Five Way Jump Off

Giacomo Casadei (ITA) with his mount Darna Z (FEI / Liz Gregg)

A day of fantastic sport capped off the equestrian events of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 with a last decisive dash for the individual medals in a five-way jump off.

Having produced clears all week, Giacomo Casadei (ITA) sailed through the six fences of the jump off and did so at an impressive pace to claim gold, followed by UAE’s Omar Almarzooqi and La Corina Lala producing the only other clear of the jump off in silver. The bronze went to Pedro Espinosa from Honduras riding Llavaneras Genquina who was quickest of them all, but picked up four faults on his way around.

Five-way jump-off

USA’s Mattie Hatcher was first to enter the arena for the jump-off, as she set out an impressive pace with her mare Santa Rosa Valery but knocked two fences along the way. Next into the arena was the UAE’s Omar Almarzooqi, who successfully produced the first clear at a very reasonable pace of 34.37s to pick up silver, followed by Italy’s Giacomo Casadei, who went and produced the second and final clear round of the jump-off beating Almarzooqi’s time by nearly three seconds at 31.79. The pressure was on for Argentina’s home-grown hero Richard Kierkegaard as he entered the arena to huge acclaim, and under pressure to secure a clear and fast round. It was unfortunately not to be for the local hero, with a refusal and two fences down, but the crowds nonetheless gave him a standing ovation as he exited the arena, knowing they would see him again soon. Last to enter the arena, team gold medallist Pedro Espinosa gave it all he had, producing the fastest round but knocking one rail down and picking up four faults to claim the bronze.

Click here to view the final results.

About the new Youth Olympic Games gold medallist

When speaking to Giacomo via an interpreter, he explained that he did not expect to win at all, and it was clearly the highlight of his equestrian career so far. Having won team silver and individual gold, he clearly exceeded all his expectations. From an equestrian family, Giacomo lives in Bologna, Italy and started riding at four years of age under the watchful eye of his father who is a riding instructor. Before the Youth Olympic Games competitions began, we asked Giacomo what his strengths were, and he said “against the clock competitions,” which clearly is true, and he went on to say he sincerely hoped one day to compete at the senior “Olympic Games,” so Giacomo Casadei is one to watch.

National champions

Both UAE’s Omar Almarzooqi with his individual silver and Pedro Espinosa from Honduras with his team gold and individual bronze are currently the sole medallists for their nations at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

They have also secured the first ever equestrian medals at the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games.

Click here to view video highlights throughout the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

For more information, go to: www.buenosaires2018.com.

FEI Media Contact:

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

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

Historic Gold for Team North America at Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018

USA’s Mattie Hatcher on Santa Rosa Valery. (FEI / Liz Gregg)

Round 2 of the equestrian team competitions at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 had everyone on the edge of their seats, as Team North America and Team Europe battled for the gold medal in a nail-biting jump off, whilst Team Africa settled for the bronze.  Full results can be found here.

Victory was no easy feat, with both teams fighting and producing the three clear rounds, which would count towards their final score of 0. It was all down to the speed with which the five riders from each team tackled the jump-off course. Both teams showed tremendous calm under pressure, but at the end of the day Team North America made the difference with some very speedy and precise performances, relegating Team Europe into a very respectable second place.

The five nations making up the North American team – Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and USA – were clearly over the moon. On the one hand, they had won gold, and on the other, this was the first time North America claimed the team gold following consecutive wins from Team Europe in 2010 and 2014. For Haiti and Honduras, this was their very first gold medal ever won at Olympic and Youth Olympic level across all sports since the reinstatement of the modern Olympic Games in 1896!

For USA’s Mattie Hatcher, the YOG experience so far is second to none with her horse Santa Rosa Valery delivering everything and more:

“Well you know we only had 4 days (to get to know each other) but it went really well. She was easy to click with and she was so willing with everything, so great.”

In silver medal position, and literally seconds behind Team North America, the all-male Team Europe put on a great performance. For Great Britain’s Jack Whitaker, who was also celebrating his 17th birthday, this silver medal came 34 years after his father Michael Whitaker won team silver at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games alongside his uncle John Whitaker. A family affair which clearly keeps on giving.

Team Africa was delighted with their bronze medal on 1 penalty point. Chance would have it that Zimbabwe’s Youth Olympic Games Young Change Maker Yara Hansen was nominated to hand out the gifts to the bronze medal winning team. Yara had been in their very shoes eight years prior, when Team Africa had won the equestrian bronze team medal at the Youth Olympic Games Singapore 2010.

All in all, it was a wonderful day of sport: exciting, full of suspense, and impressive! But beyond the sport in the field, what was truly remarkable was the team spirit around the field. The teams – which are made up of five separate nations brought together by the pure coincidence of qualification and geography – have clearly bonded. Athletes, coaches, parents, and all the accompanying persons have built relationships in a matter of days. Everybody has come together for a unique experience and unique Games here in Buenos Aires.

For more information, go to: www.buenosaires2018.com.

FEI Media Contact:

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

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

Vote Today for Your Equestrian Heroes in the FEI Awards 2018

The public vote for the FEI Awards 2018 is now open! For a second consecutive year the public gets to vote and celebrate its equestrian heroes following publication of the shortlisted nominees.

A record of outstanding achievements on the field of play, horsemanship, commitment and behind-the-scenes dedication are just some of the qualities of the 20 nominees selected across the five categories.

The shortlisted nominees for the FEI Awards 2018 are:

Longines Rising Star – for the young stars aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

  • Felix Koller (AUT), Jumping
  • Esmee Donkers (NED), Dressage
  • Victor Levecque (FRA), Eventing
  • Bunty Howard (ZAM), Jumping

Best Athlete – paying tribute to some incredible performances during the year, notably at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and the Asian Games, which took the sport to a new level.

  • Simone Blum (GER), Jumping
  • Yoshiaki Oiwa (JPN), Eventing
  • Lambert Leclezio (FRA), Vaulting
  • Stinna Kaastrup (DEN), Para Dressage

Best Groom – for the behind-the-scenes hero who ensures the horses he or she looks after are given the best possible care.

  • Lucy Miles (NZL), Eventing, groom for Jonelle and Tim Price
  • Alex Tyler-Morris (GBR), Jumping, groom for Harrie Smolders
  • Lee McKeever (USA), Jumping, groom for McLain Ward
  • Steffi Wiegard (GER), Dressage, head groom for Isabell Werth

Against All Odds – for an inspiring individual who has pursued their equestrian ambitions and overcome challenges and obstacles along the way.

  • Sammie Fritz (USA), Dressage
  • Leila Malki (PLE), Jumping
  • Sara Morganti (ITA), Para Dressage
  • Kate Shoemaker (USA), Para Dressage

FEI Solidarity – for an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding the sport.

  • Julie Battams and Equine Pathways (AUS)
  • The Horsemanship charity programme (CHN)
  • Riders of Hope (BIH)
  • Mercedes Campdera (MEX)

Make sure you have your say and vote here!

The online public vote will be open from 5 to 15 October and will count for 50%, with a panel of expert judges deciding the remaining 50%.

The winners will be announced at the FEI Awards 2018 Gala presented by Longines in Manama, Bahrain on 20 November. Presenters on the night of this prestigious ceremony will be five-time Paralympic gold medallist Natasha Baker (GBR) and young Dressage star Juan Matute Guimón (ESP). “I am beyond excited and honoured to have been asked to host the awards with Juan!” Natasha Baker said. “I can’t wait to meet all of the deserving award winners and hear their stories and celebrate our fantastic sport.”

Vote for your equestrian heroes and stay tuned to learn everything about the FEI Awards 2018 on fei.org.

FEI Media Contact:

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

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

Laura Graves and Verdades First Americans to Top FEI Dressage World Rankings

Photo: Laura Graves (FEI / Martin Dokoupil)

Lausanne (SUI), 1 October 2018 — Olympic bronze medallist duo and American sweethearts, Laura Graves and Verdades (a.k.a. Diddy), have topped the FEI World Dressage rankings thanks to their double silver medal placings last month at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon. The famous combination has become the first American partnership to be ranked world number 1, as they took home silver in the Grand Prix Special and the Grand Prix competitions, boosting their ranking points to 2714 points, and placing them one point ahead of Germany’s Isabel Werth and Weihegold Old.

Isabel Werth (GER) and Weihegold OLD have held the number one position for almost two years, when they took over from fellow German Kristina Bröring-Sprehe in November 2016. This ground-breaking change to the top spot has now pushed them back to second place with a total of 2713 points. Isabel Werth can be found in three more positions in the ranking list, at the third with Emilio 107 (2680 points, previously ranked 2nd), at the fourth with Bella Rose 2 (2586 points, previously ranked 51st) and at the 11th with Don Johnson FRH (2291 points, previously ranked 8).

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ were an opportunity for several combinations to move up in the rankings, with Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Mount St John Freestyle moving from 10th to 6th place (2416 points), whilst Kasey Perry-Glass (USA) and Goerklintgaards Dublet jumped from the 20th to the 14th position (2267 points).

A number of other well-known combinations have soared into higher ranking positions this month, with Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl (GER) and TSF Dalera BB moving from the 53rd to 22nd position (2148 points) and Great Britain’s Carl Hester and his mount Hawtins Delicato made an enormous leap from the 130th to 23rd spot (2145 points). Hans Peter Minderhoud (NED) with Glock’s Dream Boy N.O.P. previously ranked 211th managed to get to 41st place (1891 points), and Sönke Rothenberger (GER) with Cosmo 59 jumping to 43rd place from 256th (1884 points).

As the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Western European League starts on 17 October in Herning (DEN), we will no doubt see some dramatic changes throughout the season, as these top international Dressage riders give good chase and maintain their world ranking positions.

The FEI Dressage World Ranking list can be found here.

Back-to-Back Win for Brilliant Belgians Puts Them Top of Division 1

Photo: Pieter Devos and Espoir. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

Germany finishes second in classic contest at Rotterdam; hosts share third place with USA and Switzerland

On a day of doubles, Team Belgium posted a back-to-back win in Europe Division 1 when coming out on top in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of The Netherlands in Rotterdam. There were seven double-clears in the gripping competition over a really testing course set by Ireland’s Alan Wade. And the man who clinched it for the Belgian side, 22-year-old Jos Verlooy riding Igor, had already scooped the honours in Friday’s Longines Grand Prix with his other top horse Caracas.

However, perhaps the most important double of all was the fact that this was only the second time in the 70-year history of CSIO Rotterdam for a Belgian side to take the Nations Cup honours. Their only previous victory was back in 1950, and they did it in great style, under pressure in front of a packed stadium, and under the watchful eye of Dutch royal family member, and former Queen, Princess Beatrix, when posting a zero scoreline.

The Belgians are the form team right now, and they know it. “Our horses and riders are very strong this year – we are working towards the WEG (FEI World Equestrian Games) in September and I think we can produce a great result there!” said Verlooy. And his Chef d’Equipe Peter Weinberg was thinking even further down the line, to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2018 Final in Barcelona (ESP) in October.

“I have a team of unbelievable fighters and we are high on the points table now so we are looking good for the final!” — Peter Weinberg (Chef d’Equipe Team Belgium)

Alan Wade will be course designer at the WEG and the world’s best are very happy to get experience over his tracks. As always it was built to maximum height and he tested riders more than horses, demanding straightness, balance, control and complete concentration from start to finish.

Belgium and Germany shared the lead on a zero score at the end of the first round, with Switzerland and USA close behind each carrying just four faults and the hosts and Great Britain next in line with eight apiece. Sweden couldn’t recover from a 15-fault first-round effort, but although the French completed with 16 they, like the British, showed evidence of the development of a very exciting string of newcomers.

Mistakes from Marcus Ehning (Comme Il Faut) and Markus Beerbaum (Cool Hand Luke) undermined German chances, but a double-clear from pathfinder Nicola Philippaerts (24) with H&M Chilli Willi got the Belgians off to a great start in the second round. Niels Bruynseels’ (34) lovely mare Cas de Liberte was one of several horses to misinterpret the triple bar at fence three in round one, and they went on to collect an uncharacteristic 13 faults. But second time out they were pure perfection, so when Verlooy also left the course fully intact it was game over and Belgium’s second win in a week following success in Sopot (POL) last Sunday. Pieter Devos (32) who had stepped in to rescue the situation with a brilliant first-round clear from Espoir didn’t have to jump again.

Verlooy was thrilled to have been the one to seal this historic success and was quick to thank his long-time trainer and current world no. 1 rider, Dutchman Harrie Smolders.  “Harrie told me: don’t think about the result; think about jumping every fence correctly and only look at the result when you are over the finish line – stay focused on what you are doing all the way!” Verlooy explained.

Belgium has now overtaken Switzerland on the Europe Division 1 leaderboard with Germany in third, France in fourth, Spain in fifth and Sweden in sixth place. Italy, Ireland, Great Britain and Netherlands are sitting at the bottom of the table but they all have three more chances to dramatically improve their positions at the remaining Europe Division 1 legs in Falsterbo (SWE) and Hickstead (GBR) next month and in Dublin (IRL) where the last qualifier will take place on 10 August.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

FEI Tribunal Issues Final Decisions on Autumn Crocus Cases

The FEI Tribunal has issued Final Decisions in two cases involving the prohibited substance Demecolcine after hearing that the presence of this substance can be the result of contamination due to the ingestion of the flower Colchicum Autumnale, commonly known as autumn crocus.

These cases involve the horses Inception 2 (FEI ID 105CF31) ridden by German athlete Felix Etzel (FEI ID 10031843) at the CCI1* in Wiener Neustadt, Milak (AUT) and Finest Quality V&K (FEI ID 105DG03) ridden by Lebanese athlete Emile Karim Fares (FEI ID 10005907) at the CSI3* in Eindhoven (NED). Samples were taken from both horses in May 2017.

Demecolcine, which was previously a Banned Substance* on the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List, was reclassified as a Specified Substances** on 1 January 2018. There is no known use for Demecolcine in veterinary medicine and the alkaloids of the autumn crocus are all highly toxic.

The athletes were able to prove to the FEI Tribunal that the substance had entered the horses’ systems through ingesting hay that had been contaminated by autumn crocus.

The athletes also established that they bore no fault or negligence for the rule violation and, as a result, the Tribunal ruled that no further sanctions should be imposed, other than the automatic disqualification of the horse and athlete from the competitions.

The athletes have 21 days to appeal these decisions to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from the date of notification, 20 July 2018.

FEI Prohibited Substances

The FEI’s Prohibited Substances List is divided into two sections – Controlled Medication and *Banned Substances. Controlled Medication substances are those that are regularly used to treat horses, but which must have been cleared from the horse’s system by the time of competition.

Banned (doping) Substances should never be found in the body of the horse. In the case of an adverse analytical finding for a Banned Substance, the Person Responsible (PR) is automatically provisionally suspended from the date of notification. The horse is suspended for two months.

**Specified Substances

The FEI introduced the concept of Specified Substances in 2016. Specified Substances should not in any way be considered less important or less dangerous than other Prohibited Substances. Rather, they are simply substances which are more likely to have been ingested by horses for a purpose other than the enhancement of sport performance, for example, through a contaminated food substance. In the case of a positive for a Specified Substance, provisional suspension is not automatic.

FEI Media Contacts:

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

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145