Category Archives: FEI

Deusser Wins Electrifying Opening Leg in Oslo

Photo: Daniel Deusser and Cornet. (FEI/Mette Sattrup)

Germany’s Daniel Deusser (36) and the unusually-coloured gelding Cornet produced a spectacular winning round at the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League in Oslo, Norway. Second-last to go in the seven-horse jump-off, the pair pinned Rio Olympic team gold medallist Kevin Staut from France (36) into runner-up spot with For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC while Australian wonder-woman, Edwina Tops-Alexander (43), clinched third with the mare California, just 11 weeks after giving birth to her baby daughter, Chloe.

Deusser was delighted with his new horse which was previously competed by America’s Lauren Hough.

“He’s very sensitive; you have to get to know him a little bit but he has great character – he wants to help you in the end; he wants to win and he has a great instinct in the ring!” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

The move from outdoor shows to the confinement of an indoor arena for the first time this season tested reflexes, control and accuracy, and even some of the biggest star partnerships of the past summer found it difficult to leave all the timber intact over the 13-fence first-round track designed by Britain’s Bob Ellis. It was Tops-Alexander who set the early target in the jump-off with her fiery 10-year-old mare that was formerly competed by Egypt’s Abdel Said when galloping through the timers in 38.22 seconds, and recently-crowned individual European champion, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, was just 0.2 seconds shy of that with H&M Christian K when fourth to go.

Staut blew the competition wide open with a breath-taking run from his 12-year-old gelding, putting his foot on the accelerator from the very start and racing through the finish in 36.96 seconds to really raise the bar. He thought he’d done a pretty good job.

“I had a plan, and I wasn’t expecting anyone to be faster!” — Kevin Staut (FRA)

But Deusser also had a strategy, and his worked out even better.

“I didn’t see Kevin go, but I did see the first two (Douglas Lindelow SWE and Mark McAuley IRL) and I realised it would be easy to get too deep to the second-last. I thought maybe if I just stayed in the same canter stride I might get a better jump there and then really go for it to the last.” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

And that was exactly how he clinched it, with a flowing run and a super-fast finish in 36.83 seconds that couldn’t be bettered by last man in, Ireland’s Bertram Allen, who faulted at the penultimate oxer.

Deusser took the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping title with his great Cornet d’Amour, also by the stallion Cornet Obolensky, back in 2014 in Lyon (FRA) and his victory has set him on the path to the 2018 Final in Paris (FRA) next April. This was his first indoor show with Cornet whose colour scheme seems to suggest he has splashes of black ink on his grey coat. And he’s excited about his future with the horse which came his way from Hough, who, as the tall German rider explained at the press conference, “is an American rider with an American way of riding – and she’s half my size so there’s been a period of adjustment! Lauren asked me to help her a little bit with him in July and it worked out good so my owners, Stephex Stables, bought him for me to ride and I’m really happy with him.” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

Deusser is now targeting more qualifying points at the second leg of the Western European League in Helsinki (FIN).

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Porter Records Emotional Longines Victory in Sacramento

Mandy Porter and Milano (FEI/Kristin Lee Photography)

Mandy Porter couldn’t help but hold back tears as she stood for the American national anthem after winning the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifier at Sacramento with Milano.

Porter (USA), a Northern California native, and Abigail Weese’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were the only double-clear performers on the evening. Jenni McAllister (USA) and Legis Touch the Sun were second, and Richard Spooner and new mount Chatinus (USA) finished third.

“Milano was so in-form tonight. I couldn’t have asked him to do anything better. As long as I stay out of his way, he’s unbelievable. He just rose to the occasion. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be nervous with the crowd, but in reality, he thrived on it. In the jump-off, he felt solid, not nervous. He basically was saying, ‘Don’t mess this up for me today!’”– Mandy Porter (USA)

Only four riders were able to navigate Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) course without fault in the first round, and when returning for the shortened course, Porter was in the disadvantageous position of having to go first. Not only were she and her mount the only ones to keep all the jumps up, but their blazing time of 39.16 seconds was also good enough to win even if her competitors would have also jumped cleanly.

“Milano is quite fast, and in all honestly, my strategy was not to get too excited rolling back to the vertical [at fence seven],” Porter explained. “I have a tendency to get a little excited, and I wanted to give him the chance to see [the fence] and jump it and be balanced. After that, it was a galloping game.”

Porter’s finish moves her up to fourth place in the standings for the west coast sub league of the North American League with 22 points. The League continues with another west coast stop in Del Mar (USA) on Saturday 21 October 2017.

Mandy Porter (USA) -1st: “We’ll go home [from here], and [Milano] will have a little bit of an easy week next week, and then we’ll be at Del Mar for the [Longines FEI World Cup Jumping™ Del Mar]. Then, we’ll definitely make it out to Las Vegas. I don’t know if we’ll make it out to Calgary, but we’re going to keep plugging away one [show] at a time. This is still new for Milano, too – the indoor shows.”

Jenni McAllister (USA) – 2nd: “[Legis Touch the Sun] is growing up. He’s just turning 11, which is still pretty young, and he’s a very big horse. He’s maturing, and every year he learns one more thing. Every year, he just takes that next step. I tried to sneak inside a fence to the in-and-out [in the jump-off], and it didn’t work out for me. I knew I had to be extra fast [to catch Porter].”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Dutch Are Simply the Best in Barcelona

It was a clear-cut victory for The Netherlands on a thrilling night at the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Final at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona (ESP) where a fused floodlight failed to spoil the party. Finishing with just a single time fault, the new champions pinned Team USA into runner-up spot while Belgium, who also finished on a four-fault scoreline, lined up third when combined times were taken into account.

It was almost two hours after the scheduled start-time when the action got underway with the lighting fully restored. But the man who clinched victory for his country, Harrie Smolders (37), said it didn’t matter.

“In Spain everything is always later. They start later in the morning, and they finish later in the evening – we wanted to win anyway.” — Harrie Smolders (Team Netherlands)

Another masterful course designed by Santiago Varela ensured that it came down to the last-line riders to decide the result of this 2017 title-decider, and it was cliff-hanger until Smolders sealed it with a copybook round from his European individual silver medal-winning ride Don VHP. Jur Vrieling (48) set the stage with a similarly impressive run with the fabulous stallion, VDL Glasgow V. Merelsnest and the only fault they would count would come from Michel Hendrix (30) and Baileys who went just over the time-allowed of 81 seconds. Third-line rider Marc Houtzager was the only one to post a single error, with Sterrehof’s Calimero, at the first element of the double at fence five for the discount score.

“Barcelona is wonderful and the Final of the Nations Cup is always thrilling. It’s very difficult already on the first day, you start with 15 countries and separating the teams is very hard. We saw that by what happened to Ireland who were the gold medal winners at Gothenburg (Longines FEI European Championships staged in August), but that is the jumping sport and that is what makes it exciting.” — Rob Ehrens (Team Netherlands)

Chef d’Equipe, Rob Ehrens, was delighted with the performances of all his team members and their horses.

“Jur is experienced but Glasgow is quite green; this year is his first time in a Championship and he was extremely good this week. That’s a horse for me to keep over the winter season because I think this should be a combination for the World Equestrian Games next year. Michel Hendrix is an up-and-coming rider, very talented; he produced this horse himself. And Harrie is in brilliant form this year; he’s in the flow. I’m very happy for him and also for the country. He is a top jockey and an unbelievably good team player.” — Rob Ehrens (Team Netherlands)

Smolders was delighted to bring it home for The Netherlands, but admitted that it took a bit of an effort.

“I felt he (Don VHP) started to get a little tired and that I had to carry him around a bit in the second round today, but he gave everything. He gets a rest now that he really deserves. I’m super confident this season because he jumps clear after clear, but still you have to do it, and it was a big track today, a big challenge; the time was really tight so I couldn’t afford to leave it somewhere. I had to be really on it, but my horse was incredible.” — Harrie Smolders (Team Netherlands)

Rob Ehrens is an exceptional team manager, leading the Dutch to a series of brilliant results in recent years and now adding the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 title to his long list of spectacular achievements. With typical humour, however, he said that the success has little to do with him but was all down to his team.

“The only thing I have to do is tell them what time to get out of bed, what time to get into bed and what time to walk the course. I have an easy job and I’m a happy coach.” — Rob Ehrens (Team Netherlands)

Rob Ehrens – Team Netherlands Chef d’Equipe (winners): “This formula in the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Final is excellent and very exciting. Also when we had a little struggle starting tonight, a yes, a no, lights on, lights out, they are professionals and they finished the job really well so we are very, very happy. This is a bit of a new team, new horses, and they were in a good shape already at the European Championships, although we had a little bit of a slow start there. But we had a good feeling and here on the first day on Thursday the horses also jumped very nicely; they were fit to compete, the riders were motivated and today again they showed that they can do what they have to do.”

Lauren Hough – Team USA (2nd), talking about her brilliant mare, Ohlala, and the performance of the US team: “She’s been amazing this week. I’m so proud of her double clear. There was a lot of waiting obviously; being the first rider I think I got on three times to do that round so under the circumstances I’m absolutely thrilled and so proud to be part of such an extraordinary team. Everyone performed brilliantly; both Laura and Beezie are on younger horses, but they are incredible riders and they kinda held their horses’ hands and we are thrilled with the result today.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Ryan Sees Plenty of “Blue” with Longines Win in New York

Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue (FEI/Rebecca Berry)

Devin Ryan entered the jump-off for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York with an eight-year-old rookie and left with a World Cup qualifier Champion.

Devin Ryan (USA) and LL Show Jumper’s Eddie Blue topped a five horse jump off at Old Salem Farm (NY) to claim the blue ribbon and the first World Cup qualifier victory of their respective careers. They did so by defeating reigning World Cup Final Champion McLain Ward (USA) and new mount HH Callas, the only other pair to put forth a double clear performance on the day. Jack Towell (USA) and Lucifer V finished third.

“I knew going into it that I had a great horse, and I knew that there was a great field out there. I was the least experienced of the jump-off riders out there, and I’ve been watching them all year. I went out there and rode my plan.” — Devin Ryan (USA)

Ryan began the North American League at Bromont aboard the 10-year-old Cooper, but he saw New York as the ideal place to test his younger mount in tougher waters, a decision for which he was rewarded. Eddie Blue excelled over the testing track set by course designer Alan Wade (IRL); less than 13 percent of the 39 competitors advanced to the shortened course.

“I’ve slowly brought him along throughout the season and used him as second horse in ranking classes,” Ryan explained. “I built him up, and he’s been going so strong. A field like this suits him with his brig stride and big scope, and it gives us time to organize. The field fits the horse, and I thought it was a great place to step up and see what he brought.”

Ryan plans to compete in the next World Cup qualifier on the east coast sub league, which will take place in Washington, D.C. (USA) on Saturday 28 October 2017. The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League resumes with the west coast sub league at Sacramento (USA) on Saturday 7 October 2017.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Werth Wins Ferocious Battle for Dressage Freestyle Gold

L to R: Sonke Rothenberger GER (silver), Isabell Werth GER (gold), Cathrine Dufour DEN (bronze). (FEI/Richard Juillart)

Isabell Werth (45) secured her third Dressage gold medal of the week when topping the individual Freestyle at the Longines FEI European Championships 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden. But she had to pull out all the stops to pin German team-mate Sonke Rothenberger (22) into silver medal position while, mirroring the result of the Grand Prix Special, Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour (25) took bronze.

Multi-medalled Werth was under no illusions about the quality of the performance she needed to produce.

“We all pushed each other today. When I went in, both Weihe and I knew there was no little mini-mistake allowed, and that made it very exciting!” — Isabell Werth GER

That’s because Rothenberger is on the rise, producing stunning rides from his 10-year-old gelding Cosmo all week, joining Werth to take team gold, and then chasing her home in the Grand Prix Special to finish just over a mark behind. Sweden’s Therese Nilshagen produced the first over-80% score with the stunning stallion Dante Weltino before Britain’s Carl Hester and Nip Tuck fractionally improved on that to change the lead. But when Dufour, third-last to go, posted 84.560 with Atterupgaards Cassidy, the real battle commenced.

Rothenberger is a young man on a mission, oozing confidence and pizazz. Mastering the most difficult movements with the greatest of ease, he marched down the final centreline to throw down a massive score of 90.614 which really put it up to his compatriot.

But Werth thrives under pressure, and she had her game face on as her Freestyle music began. Weihegold listened to her all the way, producing a flawless performance that the crowd really enjoyed. But the tension on the German rider’s face as she waited for her mark to light up the scoreboard said it all. She knew it was going to be dangerously close.

“I was really hoping it would be good enough because Weihe was a good as she could be; it was her best test so I was happy and hoping it would be enough – and it was!” she said, having edged ahead by just 0.368 marks. In fact all three medallists produced personal-best Freestyle scores.

Werth, who also steered Weihegold to victory at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Omaha (USA) in April, couldn’t hold back the tears on the medal podium. “I was full of adrenaline when I went in to ride, so it’s a mixture of all the emotions you have during the week – I’m really grateful and thankful for what this week has brought me,” said the lady who has experienced more golden moments in her extraordinary career than any other athlete in the history of equestrian sport.

Rothenberger looks like a real threat to her supremacy, however. Holding his silver medal he said with a smile, “If you look closely, it’s silver with a golden edge!” — Sonke Rothenberger GER

However, Werth remains the queen of all she surveys, her latest golden haul still just another good week at the office. It’s exactly 10 years since she first took European Freestyle gold at La Mandria (ITA). That was with another of her super-star rides and, looking at her final medal of the week, she said, “Satchmo would be proud!”

Sonke Rothenberger GER (silver), talking about his attitude to competition and his horse, Cosmo: “I don’t go into a test thinking of what others can do and then try to be better. I go into the test trying to show in the ring everything we practice outside and today was really a day where we made a plan and we trained outside in the warm-up, and today was a day when he gave me back exactly what I was asking for and that’s just what I do it for. He is a character of a horse and I just love him the way he is; he has this shiny edge and with his ears to the front he does the most difficult movement and I get goosebumps every time!”

Replying to a question about the Dutch connection in his family: “Maybe there’s a slight touch of orange to this medal!”

Cathrine Dufour DEN (bronze): “Cassidy was more calm today he really did everything he could, and I knew I had to be no 1 when I left the arena because I knew these two were coming. So I was really happy when I saw my score at the bit-check, and I knew these two would really ride for their lives and I’m very very happy!”

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

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

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Double-Gold for Werth and Weihegold as They Win Dressage Grand Prix Special

Photo: Germany’s Sonke Rothenberger (silver) and Isabell Werth (gold), along with Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour (bronze) (FEI/Richard Juillart)

Germany’s Isabell Werth (45) and her lovely mare Weihegold waltzed their way to gold in the Grand Prix Special at the Longines FEI European Championships 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden. But the doyenne of world Dressage was chased to the line by compatriot, Sonke Rothenberger (22), who joined her on the top step of the team podium, while Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour (25) produced a brilliant performance to claim bronze.

This was Werth’s third FEI European Championships Grand Prix Special title, her first claimed with Gigolo when the Special was introduced at Donaueschingen (GER) in 1991 and the next three years later in Lipica (SLO). Team-mate Rothenberger joked afterwards that his age combined with Dufour’s matched Werth’s, but youth had to wait for its day once again as the most medalled athlete in the history of international equestrian sport reigned supreme once more.

“Weihe is in the best form ever! It was a clear test without mistakes and with a lot of precision, so I’m completely happy. For me the challenge was to take enough risk but not too much because I knew the rest behind me want to make me angry!” — Isabell Werth GER

Weihe translates from German as “ordains”, and so far this week that is exactly what the super mare and her extraordinary rider have done, dictating the destination of team gold with the only over-80% score two days ago and putting the biggest mark of 82.613 on the board. But Rothenberger took silver with 82.479 and looks a serious future threat. “I watch the best riders and I steal with my eyes!” he said earlier in the week. It looks like it won’t be long before he’ll be stealing their limelight too. He’s confident and ambitious, and rightly so.

“I know my horse (Cosmo) can do it, and I never doubted from the first day I sat on him that he could beat anybody if things work out the way I would want, but it’s always a different story to bring it on the day, which is what Isabell is so good at… doing it on the day, on the spot when you need it and that’s what we try to work on, and that’s what we train for every day. We are getting closer and closer, but we are not quite there yet!” — Sonke Rothenberger GER

Dufour, meanwhile, is also in sparkling form with the 14-year-old Atterupgaards Cassidy who has been with her through “a journey from Juniors seven years ago”. Posting 79.762 she pinned Sweden’s Therese Nilshagen (34) into fourth with the stallion Dante Weltino, who like Rothenberger’s Cosmo is an exceptional talent at just 10 years old, and who earned a mark of 78.585 for an exquisitely elegant test.

Sonke Rothenberger GER (silver), talking about talking about his family and his relationship with his horse: “We can’t think of a life without horses! I always thought when you have a jumping horse and you jump a 1.60m obstacle you get goosebumps and the feeling of being on a roller-coaster that you can’t have that on a dressage horse – until I sat on Cosmo, and then I realised he gives me that feeling as well!”

Francis Verbeek van Rooy (NED), Judge at C: “It’s very exciting; the other two (Rothenberger and Dufour) are so young and they are the future of our sport – there are now so many young people on top level world-wide.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

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

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Great Britain and Dynamic Danes Share Honours as Para Dressage Draws to a Close

Photo: Stinna Tange Kaastrupd with Horsebo Smarties (FEI/Liz Gregg)

For the second day running Denmark went head-to-head with Para-Equestrian Dressage powerhouse Great Britain as the two nations dominated a compelling final day of Freestyle to Music action in Gothenburg’s Heden Arena at the Longines FEI European Championships 2017.

Once again Great Britain edged ahead of the Scandinavians at the finish, a bold ride from serial winner Sophie Wells (GBR) on C Fatal Attraction giving them a third Freestyle gold of the day, one clear of Denmark’s haul.

It has been another glorious Championships for the Brits who, despite fielding three debutants, take home six of the 11 gold medals on offer. But Denmark will be proud of how far they pushed their illustrious rivals on day two and three, with their dynamic mixture of teenage talent and seasoned know-how promising much for the future.

The first of Great Britain’s triple Championship gold medal-winning newcomers, Suzanna Hext, kicked off proceedings riding Abira in the Grade III finale. The individual and team champion responded to the imposing marker of 76.173% set by Germany’s Steffen Zeibig and Feel Good with a confident ride to edge another gold, this time by 0.233%.

“Coming to my first Championships is enough; winning three gold medals is insane!” — European Grade III Freestyle champion Suzanna Hext (GBR)

Teenager Tobias Joergensen (DEN) on Bruunhiolms Caribian opened up Denmark’s account for the day with bronze behind Zeibig. The 17-year-old hails from a fine line of Para Dressage athletes, as his mother Line Joergensen (DEN) competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Inevitably, Great Britain’s Julie Payne was not going to let a day go past at these Championships without producing a huge score and grabbing another gold in Grade I. The 55-year- old and her incomparable mare Athene Lindebjerg showed the virtues of doing the simple things to perfection as they strutted to 80.393%, comfortably the highest mark of the week.

Three rides, three gold medals and the three highest scores of the Championship.

“I’ve certainly had more than my 15 minutes of fame,” said the ever-modest Payne, who, in case anyone should forget, was making her Championship bow.

Rihards Snikus (LAT) on King of the Dance and Elke Philipp (GER) on Regaliz swapped places from Monday’s individual test, taking silver and bronze in the Freestyle, respectively.

In the fourth category of the day, Denmark hit back once again with Susanne Sunesen levelling the tally at two gold medals each. The Dane broke the home crowd’s hearts on the way by snatching gold from Louise Jakobsson and Zernard with the final ride of Grade IV. Sunesen has a wonderfully symbiotic relationship with her horse CSK’s Que Faire.

“Before I got my injury (a farm accident in 2006 left her with incomplete paraplegia) I was riding her, until she was six years old, then she had a foal, then I got my injury and I rode her a little bit after. And then I had a foal (her daughter Sara was in the Heden Arena crowd) and she had another foal and then I started riding her again.” — Grade IV Freestyle gold medallist Susanne Sunesen (DEN)

A disappointed Sanne Voets (NED), riding Demantur, took Grade IV bronze.

And then it was the moment for two-time Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Wells (GBR) to shine in the final test of the Para Dressage Championships. She and C Fatal Attraction knew what they had to beat: Frank Hosmar (NED) and Alphaville N.O.P.’s impressive 76.955%.

“I had no idea what I was going to get out there, but he pulled it out of the bag when it mattered.” — Grade V Freestyle champion Sophie Wells said referring to her spooky horse C Fatal Attraction

The duo stormed to a Championship closing gold with 78.350%. Switzerland’s Nicole Geiger picked up her second bronze of the week with Phal de Lafayette.

By Luke Norman

FEI Media Contacts:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

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

Gold Rush for GB and Dutch as Para Dressage Starts with a Flourish

Photo: Pepo Puch (Europeans/ Claes Jakobsson)

Great Britain and the Netherlands flexed their considerable muscles and claimed two gold medals apiece in the Para-Equestrian Dressage on a glorious, sun-drenched first day of the FEI European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE).

Julie Payne (GBR) led the charge in Grade I, posting a huge 77.642% score to leave the competition trailing far behind.

“That is one of the best feelings I have ever had. It’s the best test I have done on her; she was just so in my hand; if I asked her to correct she was just answering.” — Julie Payne (GBR)

The 55-year-old was riding Athene Lindebjerg, the mare who won triple gold at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with former rider Sophie Christiansen (GBR). Remarkably, Payne and her new mount have only been together for three months, with the newly-crowned European champion grateful that they “just clicked”.

Grade I is for the most severely impaired athletes, with Payne describing her multiple system atrophy (MSA) as like combining motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and chronic fatigue syndrome into one.

German Elke Philipp was delighted to take silver with 73.428%, while Rihards Snikus (LAT) held off the challenge of current freestyle world champion Sara Morganti (ITA) to snatch bronze.

Great Britain’s Suzanna Hext, a debutant on the team like compatriot Payne, edged a tight battle for Grade III glory with a score of 71.588%. She was “over the moon” with her horse Abira’s performance.

“He loves a party, loves to show off and that’s exactly what he did today. He is a horse of a lifetime.” — Suzanna Hext (GBR)

Claudia Schmidt (GER) won a second silver for Germany, with a score of 70.617% placing her just ahead of Hext’s teammate, Erin Orford (GBR).

In Grade V, defending European individual champion Frank Hosmar (NED) pushed his long-time rival Sophie Wells (GBR) into silver.

“To beat them is always what gets me out of bed,” said Hosmar of his battles with Wells and Rio 2016 freestyle gold medal winner Michele George (BEL), who finished a surprising fifth.

“We see each other in the stables, say hello and kiss-kiss; it’s not like we hate each other, but it’s fun to beat each other.” — Frank Hosmar (NED)

Compatriot Sanne Voets (NED) revealed some timely pre-competition motivation made all the difference for her gold medal-winning routine in Grade IV.

“Yesterday in the familiarisation he got really tense and today in the warm-up he was a little tense too, but I said to him ‘c’mon boy, we can do this’ and I’m really, really proud of the way he handled everything,” Voets said after scoring 72.353%.

Belgium’s Manon Claeys claimed silver with a mark of 71.560% and Louise Etzner Jakobsson (SWE) delighted the home crowd by claiming bronze.

“I am proud to be a Swede in the Championships here,” Jakobsson said. “I always try to ride like I am home, wherever I am.”

Veteran Pepo Puch (AUT), a former international three-day eventer, defended his European title in Grade II, triumphing with 73.382%, ahead of Nicole de Dulk (NED) and Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup.

By Luke Norman

FEI Media Contacts:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

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

World Eventing Record Total Puts Germans Out in Front after Dressage in Strzegom

Photo: Michael Jung on fischerRocana. (FEI/Jon Stroud)

France and Great Britain locked in battle for silver and bronze

Germany, winners of the last three FEI European Eventing Championships, have risen to new heights with a record team score of 87.7 penalties after dressage at Strzegom (POL). The defending champions have an incredible 24.1-penalty lead over France, with Great Britain breathing down their necks just 0.1 behind the French in bronze medal position.

Bettina Hoy (GER) riding Seigneur Medicott is still out in front with a 5.7-penalty lead over her team mate Ingrid Klimke (GER), who scored 30.3 on Horseware Hale Bob. Jung is third on 32.8 with fischerRocana FST, the mare visibly relaxing after a slightly nervous start.

“It’s an unbelievable start for the team, but tomorrow (cross country) is a strong day and we’ll have to concentrate. You’ve got to focus on yourself and not worry too much what’s happening to other people because it’ll be a long day.” — Michael Jung (GER), defending champion

British individual rider Gemma Tattersall interrupts German domination with a personal best score of 33.1 on the attractive grey mare Quicklook V for fourth place ahead of Sara Algotsson-Ostholt (SWE) on Reality 39 with 34.2, which puts the Swedish team into fourth place at this stage.

Fifteen riders have scored below the 40-penalty mark. Thomas Carlile is still the highest placed French team member in sixth place on Upsilon, with teammate Lt Thibaut Vallette in eighth on Qing du Briot, members of the French gold medal team in Rio.

“Team GB wanted me to ride as an individual so I could fight for myself and get a medal, which is my dream. It’s incredible pressure, but I’ll be trying my absolute best.” — Gemma Tattersall (GBR), fourth after dressage on Quicklook V

Nicola Wilson heads the British team in seventh place on another mare, Bulana, with Kristina Cook 12th on Billy the Red and Ros Canter 15th on Allstar B.

Attention now turns to Rüdiger Schwarz’s cross-country track and, although the Germans have the luxury of such a strong lead, riders predict that his course will be influential with a tight time and a number of accuracy questions which will require full focus from both horse and rider.

“Riders like Ingrid and Michi will make it look easy, but I think it’s a clever course in that the time will be difficult but many riders will complete. We’re all very much looking forward to it.” — Bettina Hoy (GER), dressage leader

Follow live scoring on www.strzegom2017.pl.

By Kate Green

FEI Press contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Bettina Hoy Puts Germany in Control at Eventing Championships in Strzegom

Bettina Hoy with Seigneur Medicott. (FEI/Jon Stroud)

Bettina Hoy (GER), competing at her 10th FEI European Eventing Championships, set the standard for the rest of the field with a flawless display of dressage and has now set up a commanding lead after the first day’s competition at Strzegom (POL).

Hoy, 54, who took the title 20 years ago with Watermill Stream at Burghley (GBR), scored two 10s for her riding and set a European Championship record with her mark of 24.6 penalties which will significantly boost Germany’s chances of a fourth successive team gold.

“’Micky’ is a pleasure to ride, which makes my job easier. The team is feeling very positive. We are lucky to have such a good system of training riders in Germany and we all motivate each other.” — Bettina Hoy (GER), current Dressage leader

The defending champions are well ahead at this early stage, with Luhmühlen winner Julia Krajewski, who takes the team pathfinder role for the first time, in third place on her brilliant little Selle Francais gelding Samourai du Thot with a score of 36.3.

Thomas Carlile of France had the unenviable job of following Hoy into the arena, but he is currently in second place on 34.4 penalties with the impeccably behaved nine-year-old grey stallion Upsilon, already the sire of around 380 foals.

“Bettina is a super rider to watch. I expected to be behind her, but perhaps not quite so far behind! Upsilon is mature for his age and very precise, so I was able to put the pressure on myself, but in a good way.” — Thomas Carlile (FRA), currently in second place

The atmospheric arena at Strzegom has brought out the best in others too, as three more combinations have scored below 40 penalties. Swiss team member Felix Vogg, who works part time for his father’s real estate company, is in fourth place with Onfire with 37.2; Sweden’s Louise Svensson-Jahde (Wieloch’s Utah Sun) is fifth; and Ros Canter (GBR), making her senior team debut, is sixth on Allstar B with a personal best of 38.6.

Defending champion Michael Jung’s (GER) pupil Pawel Spisak, a member of the host team, Poland, is currently 11th on the former racehorse Banderas with the excellent score of 43.4.

“Team GB is lucky to have Chris Bartle as trainer, we are missing him,” Bettina Hoy said, but commented that the Germans are delighted to have Badminton 2017 winner Andrew Nicholson as their new cross country advisor. The Kiwi master has already walked Rüdiger Schwarz’s (GER) accuracy-testing track several times and has pronounced it “strong but fair”.

Follow live scoring on www.strzegom2017.pl.

By Kate Green

FEI Press contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38