Category Archives: FEI

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
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+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

Golds for Belgium, France, Germany and Italy at European and World Reining Championships

Bernard Fonck riding Smart N Sparkin. (Andrea Bonaga)

Bernard Fonck captures first ever gold for Belgium

Team Belgium is no stranger to the highest step of the podium in FEI competition, yet a Belgian rider had never clinched the coveted individual gold medal until Bernard Fonck (BEL) dominated the competition in Givrins, Switzerland. Riding the athletic American Quarter Horse stallion Smart N Sparkin, owned by Golden Paint Ranch, Fonck performed an outstanding pattern which led to a 225 score.

“I’ve had this horse ever since he was a two-year-old and have won quite a few major titles in the reining circuit with him. Since I knew that the competition here was tough and the level high, I was aiming for the podium but was not sure if we would be able to claim the gold. After the first part of the pattern, I felt that we could actually make it. I asked and he delivered and am thrilled for this very first individual gold medal for Belgium.” — Team and Individual gold medallist Bernard Fonck (BEL)

Germany claimed both the silver and bronze medals thanks to the 222 posted by Dominik Reminder (GER) and Dun It with a Splash, owned by Manuela Moser, and to the 221 scored by Julia Schumacher (GER) riding Coeurs Little Tyke for owner Georg Holzwarth.  Both riders were part of the German team, silver medalist in the team competition, with team bronze going to the previous title holders Italy.

France and Germany claim the gold in inaugural FEI World Reining Championship for Juniors and Young Riders

Once again the ‘dream team’ made up of Gina Schumacher (GER) and her Gotta Nifty Gun scored a winning run in the Young Riders competition. The German athlete reined her blue-eyed companion to an amazing 224.5 to take the individual gold medal. The duo had also secured the gold for Germany in the team competition and once again lit up the public stands by performing a superb demonstration of reining at its very best.

“I love my horse. We understand and take care of each other every single time we compete and he always gives me all he has. Whenever I’m nervous, he calms me down and vice versa!” — Germany’s double gold medallist, Gina Schumacher

It took a run-off to determine who would wear the silver and bronze medals. Nico Sicuro (ITA) riding Iam Sailors Brother and Dino Lulli (ITA) riding Sun Dreamin Star both posted a 219.5. The two fellow countrymen went back to the show arena and, once the last maneuver was performed, Sicuro and the 11-year-old stallion’s run was worth a 219. Lulli and his mount also gave all they had, but their final 217.5 score put them behind and they settled for the silver medal.

Last to go in the Junior individual competition, Axel Pesek (FRA) and Uncle Sparky performed an incredible pattern #9. They lit up the arena, had the crowd cheering, and rode to the gold medal thanks to their high score of 221.5. In the Junior team competition, the 16-year-old French rider’s performance had secured the bronze medal for Team France.  Taking the silver medal with a 218.5 score was Matteo Bonzano (ITA) riding his High Point Reiner. The bronze also went back to Italy thanks to Gabriele Landi’s performance aboard Spirit Spanish. The duo closed with a 217.5 score. Once the curtain fell on the stage of the inaugural FEI World Reining Championship for Juniors and Young Riders, seven medals were conquered by Italy.

By Simona Diale

FEI Press contact:

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

Isabelle Lapierre Has Breakout Moment in Bromont

Isabelle Lapierre and Cescha M. (FEI/ Tom von Kapherr)

It was a day of firsts for Canadian Isabelle Lapierre, as the 38 year old rode her own Cescha M to her first World Cup qualifier victory and her mount’s World Cup qualifier debut at the opening leg of the 2017/2018 season of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League at Bromont (CAN).

In front of a hometown crowd, the Quebec native vanquished a six horse jump off. Jennifer Serek and Wicked took runner-up honors, and Heather Caristo-Williams and Qui Vive des Songes Z were third.

“She had a very good year, and she’s always trying to win. We built her up, and she’s just improving every year.” — Isabelle Lapierre (CAN)

Third to return over the shortened track designed by Belgium’s Luc Musette, Lapierre took over the lead briefly set by Serek, crossing the timers in 43.39 seconds, and held through to the end, as neither Ali Ramsay (CAN) nor Charlie Jacobs (USA), riding his 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final partner Cassinja S, could jump cleanly or catch her time.

“Every time I jump here, I feel the crowd is jumping with me,” she added. “I think that’s why I went faster than Jen. The crowd was pushing me. I had an advantage.”

The first World Cup qualifier of the 2017/2018 season in Bromont (CAN) kicked off the east coast sub league of the North American League. The west coast sub league begins at Langley on Sunday 27 August 2017.

Isabelle Lapierre (CAN) – 1st: “I think this event was very amazing. They gave everything for horse and rider to have perfect conditions. They work hard, and the course designer was fantastic and the crowd amazing.”

“The whole year, we planned the shows where we wanted to be ready for here to see what she would do. Now, we have to think differently, because we know she can do that next step. Now, the plan will be built around doing the next step.”

Jennifer Serek (CAN) – 2nd: “This is the first World Cup Qualifier [Wicked] has ever done. I knew there were fast riders behind me, and I gave it my best shot, but I just missed out a little bit.”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

European Vaulting Championships for Seniors: Triple Gold for Germany, Italy Takes Pas de Deux

Germany aboard Danny Boy 25 (FEI/Liz Gregg)

First ever Championship titles for German individuals Kristina Boe and Erik Oese and Italian pair Stopazzini and Lupacchini

The FEI European Vaulting Championships for Seniors, hosted in Ebreichsdorf, Austria, once again showed Germany’s dominance in the sport winning three out of the four gold medals on offer, Team gold, individual female for Kristina Boe and Erik Oese winning the individual male, whilst Silvia Stopazzini as Lorenzo Lupacchini made history for Italy with the pas de deux gold.

Kristina Boe put on a dominant display throughout the competition winning her first ever Championship gold medal, and a title which has evaded Germany in the senior female category for almost 10 years. Together with Winnie Schlüter and Don de la Mar, Kristina performed her freestyle interpretation of Rey from Star Wars to great applause from the crowd.  Kristina, a doctor by occupation, couldn’t hide her disbelief as she dismounted from her near faultless 2nd round freestyle, giving her a total score of 8,398. The silver medal went to fellow German Sarah Kay who, alongside Sir Valentin 5 & lunger Dina Menke scored 8,121, proving she is firmly back at the top of the sport after returning from injury, having last medalled in 2012. Switzerland’s Nadja Büttiker won the compulsory round and, with horse Keep Cool and Monika Winkler-Bischofsberger, showed great creative flair throughout her freestyle and technical test to take the bronze medal on 8,090. FEI World Cup 2017 winner Anna Cavallaro (ITA) just missed out on the medals finishing 4th (7,947).

Erik Oese fought off tough competition in the highly competitive individual male category to win another gold for Germany on 8,232. Together with his long time team of lunger Andras Bässler and Calvador 5, he lead throughout the first round and,  after a tricky technical test he performed a dramatic rendition of his final freestyle to win his first ever Championship title. 2015 European Champion Jannis Drewell (GER) alongside Diabolus 3 and his mother Simone Drewell on the lunge fought back from a fall in his first round freestyle to perform an incredible technical test and final freestyle winning him the silver medal (8,148). France’s Clément Taillez won his first ever individual medal, taking bronze (8,078) on Dyronn lunged by Cedric Cottin Holzberger.

2017 World Cup winners Silvia Stopazzini and Lorenzo Lupacchini from Italy brought the party to the Championships as they danced the Samba on the back of Rosenstolz 99 with Laura Carnabuci on the lunge.  Impressing with their intense choreography and creative flair they scored 8,840 to take the gold medal, the first time Italy has ever won an FEI pas de deux senior medal.  European Champions from 2011 Theresa- Sophie Bresch and Torben Jacobs alongside Picardo 13 and Alexandra Knauf scored 8,606 for their seamless Bonnie and Clyde pas de deux earning them the silver medal.  Whilst the young German pairing of Timo Gerdes and Jolina Ossenberg-Engels rectified their first round mistakes to perform an outstanding 2nd freestyle placing them 3rd (8,210) on Caram OE lunged by Claudia Doller-Ossenberg.

The FEI European Championships ended in spectacular fashion with the team competition.  Team Germany who was 3rd after the compulsory round with Danny Boy 25 and Patric Looser on the lunge fought back with two energetic freestyles that highlighted their incredible athleticism. The team consisting of previous individual and pas de deux medallists drew on all their experience to perform an outstanding final freestyle scoring 8,419. Team Switzerland, who had held the lead following an unbelievable compulsory round, narrowly missed out on the gold medal with their new horse Rayo de la Luz and Monika Winkler-Bishcofsberger; they finished a close 2nd on 8,407. Team Austria delighted the home crowd to win the bronze medal with Maria Lehrmann and Alessio L’Amabile (8,164).

FEI Media Contacts:

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

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

FEI World Vaulting Championship for Juniors: Gold for Colombia, Austria and Germany

Juan Martin Clavijo with Quiece D Aunis (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Colombia’s vaulting star Juan Martin Clavijo dominated the junior male individual class defending the title he won two years ago at the first ever FEI Junior World Championships.  Alongside Sandra Tronchet and Quiece D’Obliche, Juan performed a final freestyle master class of his interpretation of Jared Leto’s ‘The Joker’ scoring an incredible 8,889 for the round – a score which would challenge in the senior division. Germany’s Gregor Klehe put on a strong show as he performed his Zorro freestyle to take the silver medal on Adlon lunged by Alexander Hartl (7,945).  Philipp Stippel (GER) together with Sir Valentin 5 and Dina Menke rounded off the podium winning bronze (7,817). Jannik Liersch (GER) finished just outside the medals in 4th (7,755). The standard of the Junior male category over the past few years has seen a dramatic increase and with competitors from Switzerland, Italy, Russia, Austria,  USA, Hungary, France, Slovakia Great Britain, Germany and Colombia all making the final 15 – it was truly an international affair.

Nicole Brabec (AUT) captivated the audience at the Magna Racino in Ebreichsdrof, with her ‘Rio’ freestyle. Together with lunger Manuela Barosch on the experienced Royal Salut she took gold in the highly competitive junior female individual class scoring 7,990.  Germany’s Franziska Peitzmeier with lunger Anna Brinkmann and Dorian Grey SN showed great strength to win her 3rd consecutive junior individual silver medal narrowly missing out on the top spot (7,910). Johanna Lindberg together with lunger Dusan Barci and Real Easy made history for Sweden winning them their first ever junior medal (7,831), and their first medal since they won bronze at the World Equestrian Games in team in 2002.

In the Junior Pas de Deux class it was extremely tight at the top which resulted in a nail biting final.  Austria’s Anna Krippl and Viktoria Feldhofer performed an outstanding Pas de deux to win the first gold medal of the Championships.  Together with lunger Eva Maria Kreiner and horse Le Grand Chevalier they scored 7,938, receiving rapturous applause from the home crowd.   Last year’s European Pas De Deux champion Julian Kogl teamed up with new partner Ronja Kahler on Daytona lunged by Lars Hansen. They pushed the Austrians to the very end eventually taking the silver medal on 7,824. The USA pairing of Janie Salisbury and Bridget Kiernan with horse Diva 506 and Carolyn Bland, delighted audiences with their rendition of ‘Singing in the Rain’ to finish 3rd (7,750).

Junior Team Germany was untouchable in the squad competition leading throughout all three rounds. The team performed their Samba inspired routine to much appreciation from the audience and judges alike and together with Humphrey Bogart 6 and Andrea Blatz they finished on an astonishing total score of 8,130. The reigning Junior World Champions, team Austria, put on three great performances but were unable to match the seamlessness of their German rivals. Alongside Darwin and Karen Asmera they scored 7,579 to take the silver medal with Junior team Switzerland on Isabella IV and lunger Corinne Bosshard taking bronze on 7,555.

FEI Media Contacts:

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

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

Brilliant Brazilians Post Historic Victory at Hickstead

Marlon Zanotelli, Pedro Veniss, Yuri Mansur and Pedro Junqueira Muylaert (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Debut for winning nation at iconic British venue: runner-up spot promotes Dutch to second on Division 1 league table

Brazil’s Marlon Zanotelli, Pedro Veniss, Yuri Mansur and Pedro Junqueira Muylaert made sporting history when winning the seventh leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 series at Hickstead (GBR).

According to Veniss, this was the first Brazilian team ever to compete at the world-famous British showground, and the first time for each of the four horses and riders to tackle the notoriously difficult Hickstead fences. And on a truly tough afternoon when wet and windy weather led to Kelvin Bywater’s 12-fence track being relocated for the second round in order to ensure better ground, they didn’t just come out on top but they did it emphatically.

Adding nothing to their first-round score of just four faults they overtook the Germans who fell apart in the closing stages to finish a full 10 faults ahead of the eventual runners-up from The Netherlands, while Switzerland and Ireland filled the next two places when posting 16 and 17 faults apiece.

“We are definitely going to celebrate tonight, because tomorrow is a whole new day and it’s not often that you can win a competition as big as this, so we have to be happy when it happens!” — Marlon Zanotelli (Brazil)

There were six Division 1 teams in action along with the Brazilians who compete in the South America League and the hosts from Great Britain who have been fighting hard since relegated to Europe Division 2 last season.

It was anchorman Pedro Junqueira Muylaert’s (31) single error with Prince Royal Z at the very last fence that Brazil carried into the second round after Zanotelli’s mare Sirene de la Motte and Veniss’ mare For Felicila both jumped brilliantly clear. Yuri Mansur’s Babylotte had three fences down, but this pair turned that all around at their second attempt so Junqueira Muylaert didn’t have to jump again because double-clears from Zanotelli (29) and Veniss (34) ensured Brazil already had the victory in the bag.

Dutch chances seemed dim after collecting 14 first-round faults for sixth place at the end of the first round, but when they added no more that would prove good enough for second spot at the end of a day of mixed fortunes for many. Harrie Smolders’ second clear with Don VHP Z was followed by fault-free runs from both Ruben Romp and Audi’s Teavanta ll who posted just a single time fault first time out, and Jur Vrieling whose stallion VDL Glasgow vh Merelsnet threw in an objection to the open water in round one but then popped it like a puddle in round two.

Marlon Zanotelli – Brazil (winners): “This was my first Nations Cup since we started our own business and it’s great to be back on the team. I have my mare (Sirena de la Motte) since the end of last year and it was a huge thing to go in the team as first rider today but I know her very well and she was so confident on the track; she jumped amazing! I worked for Enda Carroll for six years and had a fantastic time so it was a difficult decision to go out on my own. Enda gave me everything, but my wife and I started on our own and we didn’t expect that this year we would be back so quickly so I have to thank my fantastic horse-owners!”

Pedro Veniss – Brazil: “The weather was not the best today so the course designer made a good decision to move the jumps in the second round. I believe this is the first time a Brazilian team has competed here in Hickstead in a Nations Cup and this was the first Nations Cup for my horse (For Felicila). Cabri (Cabri des Isles, his Rio Olympic horse) was in Aachen so we changed the plan and it has worked out really great, especially for our Chef d’Equipe (Pedro Luz Lacerda) who came all the way from Brazil on Monday!”

By Louise Parkes

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Ruth Grundy
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