Category Archives: Eventing/H.T.

Best New Year’s Resolution Ever: Support Your Olympians

It’s an Olympic year. That means Olympic hopefuls from around the globe will come to LRK3DE 2020 to vie for a spot on their Olympic team.

If you haven’t bought yours yet, get your tickets now to watch the best of the best dance, splash, and jump their way into the Olympics.

The “Best Weekend All Year” returns to the Kentucky Horse Park April 23-26, 2020.

It’s the highest level of Eventing in the Americas. Make it your new year’s resolution to come cheer on your favorite competitors.

© 2020 Kentucky Three-Day Event
PO Box 12110
Lexington, KY 40580-2110

Who Are the Most Famous Dressage and Equestrian Competitors?

If you are a fan of dressage and equestrian, there is certainly a few names that really catch your attention. Like all sports, dressage has its elite competitors that are the most sought-after in the sport. The world of dressage and equestrian stops when these elite names compete. Fans of dressage are gearing up for the 2020 Olympics in Japan, but before the excitement of the Summer Games begin, fans can play the PA lottery and enjoy the fun before the horses take to the arena.

So, who are the top performers in dressage and equestrian? If you are a fan of the sport, you surely know most of these famous names.

Charlotte Dujardin

Charlotte Dujardin started her career at an early age after first learning to ride horses at the age of two. Since those early years of riding, Dujardin has become the most successful dressage rider in the history of British equestrian. Due to starting at such a young age, Dujardin has been riding horses for 32 years. She is only 34! Dujardin won gold in team and individual dressage at the 2012 Olympics and individual dressage gold four years later in Rio. Fans of equestrian are gearing up for the end of the 2019 season and can use the latest racing codes to wager on the horses and riders they believe will win the next big event.

Anky van Grunsven

Anky van Grunsven has lifted the Dressage World Cup on nine different occasions during her illustrious career. Van Grunsven began riding at the age of 12 and in 1999, after years of success, Van Grunsven began a dressage and equestrian clothing line due to the lack of performance gear available to riders. Van Grunsven won individual dressage gold at the Olympics in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

Valentina Truppa

Italian rider Valentina Truppa suffered a devasting head injury while competing in 2015. She rebounded from the fall and has since continued her sparkling dressage career. Truppa hasn’t had the Olympic success of Dujardin nor van Grunsven, but could turn that all around in 2020 in Japan. Truppa competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games but failed to place.

Jill Henselwood

Jill Henselwood is one of Canada’s top show jumpers. Henselwood was a part of team Canada’s silver medal win in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics. Henselwood made her national showjumping team debut in 1991, a mere two years after making her debut at the Grand Prix. Voted the 1992 Rookie of the Year, Henselwood has appeared in a number of major events on the back of her horse, Special Ed.

Amy Tryon

Olympic eventer Amy Tryon passed away in 2012, but her memory as a top Olympic eventer is long-lasting. Tryon won bronze at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens in Team Eventing. She appeared at the World Equestrian Games, winning gold in 2002 in Team Eventing and bronze in 2006 in the individual category. Tryon was unable to continue her success in 2008 at the Summer Olympics; however, her reputation as a top performer was set before the Beijing games.

Multiple Olympian Klimke Takes FEI Best Athlete Award in Moscow

(left to right): Ingrid Klimke, Uno Yxklinten, Madeleine Broek, Semmieke Rothenberger, Zuxian Li, and Yaofeng Li.

Double Olympic team gold medallist and five-time Olympian Ingrid Klimke was announced as winner of the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete award at the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Moscow (RUS).

The glittering gala awards ceremony, which took place in the splendid surrounds of the Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital, was attended by more than 400 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, National Federations, FEI partners, and stakeholders.

The award is the latest in a series of accolades for German Eventing legend Klimke, who was also nominated for the Best Athlete honour in 2015 and 2017. Klimke received the award from Peden Bloodstock’s Managing Director Martin Atock.

In September, the 51-year-old successfully defended her title at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships on home turf in Luhmühlen with SAP Hale Bob OLD, becoming only the second person in European history to win back-to-back titles on the same horse. Klimke’s stunning performance in Luhmühlen also led Germany to team gold.

Klimke is the third German female to win the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete award, following in the footsteps of six-time Dressage Olympic gold medallist Isabell Werth in 2017 and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Jumping champion Simone Blum in 2018.

“I’m really proud that after Isabell Werth and Simone Blum, I’m now winning,” Klimke said. “It’s three women from Germany from three different disciplines. I’m very proud to be here and to win the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete Award.”

The evening saw Semmieke Rothenberger also flying the flag high for Germany when she took home this year’s Longines FEI Rising Star Award. The 20-year-old has won 22 FEI European Championship medals ranging from ponies category through to Young Riders.

“To win the Longines FEI Rising Star Award it’s really special for me as it sums up this year perfectly,” Rothenberger said. “What makes it really special is that my brother has won it before. So now we’ve got two people in this family who’ve won the Rising Star award. That just makes me very, very happy. My future goal, after following in the footsteps of my brother, is to compete in the Olympic Games. Now that’s a very big goal but it would be a nice thing to work towards.”

Rothenberger received her award from Longines Vice President of Marketing Matthieu Baumgartner. “This award celebrates youth, talent, determination, and the stars of tomorrow,” Baumgartner said. “The work ethic and drive that you see in rising stars like Semmieke is closely aligned with our brand values and one of the main reasons why Longines supports this award. We are proud to be part of this journey in such a talented young athlete’s life.”

The Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award was presented to Madeleine Broek (NED) in recognition of her tireless efforts behind the scenes for Dutch Olympian and Jumping star Marc Houtzager. The award, presented by Cavalor’s Founder and Managing Director Peter Bollen, is given each year to grooms who work behind the scenes providing the best possible care for their equine athletes.

“It’s not really a job but a way of living and you get so much back from the horse, so that’s why it will never be a boring day or a boring week,” Broek said. “Winning the Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award means a lot to me because you feel really appreciated for everything you do. It’s a lot of work and I feel really appreciated.”

This year’s FEI Solidarity Award went to Uno Yxklinten (SWE), the Educational Leader of the first Farriers’ training programme in Zambia, set up with the aim of increasing the know-how of farriers in order to improve the well-being of horses in the African country.

Presented by Russian National Federation President Marina Sechina, the award is given each year to an equestrian development project or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication, and energy in expanding equestrian sport. “Winning the FEI Solidarity Award 2019 is of course something big,” Yxklinten said. “I’m humbled and I’m so happy that we actually got this prize. It makes a difference in Zambia for many people.”

Taking the FEI Against All Odds Award was Zhenqiang Li (CHN) who started riding at the age of 27 and became a professional athlete just two years later. He was the first Chinese equestrian athlete to obtain the minimum eligibility requirements for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Sadly, in 2009, his horse Jumpy passed away from cancer leaving Zhenqiang without his beloved equine partner and in financial trouble. Zhenqiang recovered from those difficult times, setting up an equestrian centre in Guangzhou.

“I hope that other Chinese riders will now follow the title of this award, Against All Odds, to work together to overcome the challenges of developing Chinese equestrianism,” Li said. “Thank you to the FEI for supporting the sport in China and for all the people who voted for me at home and abroad. Your support and encouragement will inspire other Chinese riders to reach their goals.”

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez presented the award to Li’s children Yaofeng Li and Zuxian Li who were in the Russian capital on their father’s behalf. Zhenqiang Li competed with his son Yoafeng Li, a former Youth Olympic Games athlete, to earn China’s qualification earlier this year for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The FEI Against All Odds Award is for someone who has pursued their equestrian ambitions despite a physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.

“Each year we receive a high calibre of nominees for the FEI Awards,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “Our winners this evening are perfect examples of the excellence, commitment, dedication, and courage that are required in equestrian sport.

“When my predecessor HRH Princess Haya introduced these awards 11 years ago, our hope was to celebrate not just sporting achievement but also the unsung champions of our sport. This evening’s winners have inspired everyone at tonight’s gala here in Moscow as well as a new generation of athletes who need heroes to emulate.”

For the second year running, Paralympic gold medalist Natasha Baker (GBR) and Dressage ace Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) took to the stage to emcee the Awards ceremony.

The winners of the five awards were decided by combining 50% of a public vote and 50% of the judges’ vote for the final result. There were 130,000 online votes cast this year for the nominees.

FEI media contacts:

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

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

FEI Publishes Tokyo Horse Monitoring Research Project Findings

Michael Jung (GER) with Fischerwild Wave. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

The results of a major research study commissioned by the FEI, aimed at identifying best practices and management of horses training and competing in hot and humid environments, have been published.

Conducted at the Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event in August 2019, and led by the FEI’s climate expert Dr David Marlin, the study monitored the combined effects of long travelling times and distances, time zone disruptions, and heat and humidity on competing horses.

Horses were monitored before and during the test event, including how they adapted to the challenging climate in Tokyo. Central to the report is data collected on-course and post-competition, which allowed for detailed analysis of the cross-country test.

The study findings show that horses generally coped extremely well with the conditions and remained in good health for the duration of the test event, held at the same time of year as the Games in 2020, despite the fact that conditions were thermally challenging, with Wet Bulb Globe Thermometer* (WBGT) Index readings frequently in the region of 32-33°C.

The report confirms that on cross country day (13 August), the high WBGT Index, steep initial climb, and sharp turns on the course produced a significant challenge for competing horses. Heart rates during cross country, and blood lactate, heart rate, and rectal temperature after cross country indicated that horses were working at close to maximal capacity.

A new heart rate monitor that also displays the ECG plus infra-red thermal imaging to provide a rapid and accurate estimate of horses’ temperature were key pieces of technology used in data collection for the study.

The report highlights that “all possibilities must be explored to mitigate the effects of the likely climatic conditions, including reduction in distance appropriate for the conditions and bringing the cross country start time forward to avoid the highest WBGT conditions that would normally peak between late morning and mid-afternoon.”

Following discussions between the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG), the IOC, and the FEI, consensus has been reached on advancing the cross country start time to either 07.30 or 08.00 on 2 August 2020 as part of the heat countermeasures. A final decision on the move, which is fully supported by the findings in the Marlin report, will be made by the IOC Executive Board.

“We have worked very closely with TOCOG to put in place the best possible heat countermeasures for both our equine and human athletes for Tokyo 2020, and the findings in this important research study will play a crucial role in guiding final decisions on appropriate facilities and support,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström said. “The report will also be a valuable tool for athletes and National Federations as they prepare their horses in the build-up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Heat countermeasures that are already in place for horses include air conditioned stables at both equestrian venues (Bajikoen and Sea Forest), early morning and evening training and competition sessions under floodlights, constant and close monitoring by a world class veterinary team, and multiple cooling facilities including the provision of shade tents, cooling fans, ice and water, and mobile cooling units.

The FEI has been working on optimising equine performance in challenging climates with Dr Marlin since before the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. Dr Marlin has been working with the FEI for the past three years specifically on Tokyo, reviewing historical climate records, analysing data collected at the main venue at Bajikoen (EQP) and at the cross-country course at Sea Forest (SFC), and leading the test event research project.

The findings from the research project have been sent to TOCOG, the IOC, all National Olympic and Paralympic Committees with athletes competing in equestrian sport, and all National Federations affiliated to the FEI.

The full report is available here.

*The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index is used to measure heat, humidity, solar radiation, and wind factor.

FEI media contacts:

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

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

Indoor Eventing and Dressage Derby Dazzle at 2019 Royal Horse Show

Jessica Phoenix. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Indoor eventing and a dressage derby are two of the unique events highlighting the schedule during the 10-day Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, from November 1 through 10, 2019, at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, ON.

The $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge headlines events in the Coca-Cola Coliseum on the evenings of Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2. The thrilling concept of tackling cross-country obstacles and conventional show jumping fences, all against the clock, is a spectator favourite on opening weekend of the Royal Horse Show. Olympic team gold medalist Mark Phillips of Great Britain will once again design the intricate tracks for a roster of top eventing athletes.

Dana Cooke, Colleen Loach, Jessica Phoenix, and Karl Slezak, all members of Canada’s bronze medal team at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, have confirmed their attendance.

“It’s so fun to demonstrate this incredible sport in front of so many spectators, which is something that we don’t often get to do,” said Phoenix, who hails from Cannington, ON. “For this event you want a horse that’s super careful. If you have that, you’ve got a good chance of finishing in the top three.”

Traveling from Ireland to make his Horseware Indoor Evening Challenge debut is 2018 World Equestrian Games™ team silver medalist Sam Watson. Additional competitors include Canadian athletes Lindsay Beer, Diana Burnett, Lisa Marie Fergusson, Kendal Lehari, Brandon McMechan, and Holly Jacks-Smither.

From the fast-paced thrills of indoor eventing to the intricate artistry of dressage, the Royal Horse Show has it all. Returning for the second year is the Royal Dressage Derby, which will see four riders go head to head riding borrowed horses in a ‘knock-out’ format. But there’s a twist! This year, Canadian eventing and dressage athletes will face off against one another.

2019 Pan American Games dressage team gold medalists Lindsay Kellock and Naima Moreira Laliberte will each perform a Prix St. Georges test on the same horse. Representing the eventers, Phoenix and Cook will put their dressage skills to the test riding another horse at Third Level. The winner of each ‘knock-out round’ will move forward to a second round, where they will ride a new horse, in the hopes of being crowned the Royal Dressage Derby Champion. To level the playing field, riders compete on borrowed horses and have only minutes to get to know their mounts before performing their tests.

Highlighting a theme of Canadian pride that defines The Royal, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride will perform during all ticketed Royal Horse Show performances from November 1 to 3. The epitome of Canadian tradition, the RCMP Musical Ride dates back to 1876, and was created to showcase riding ability and entertain the local community. The full troop of 32 riders on horseback performs intricate figures and drills choreographed to music, displaying the riders’ precision and coordination.

The equestrian entertainment at this year’s Royal Horse Show continues with horsewoman Sylvia Zerbini delivering mesmerizing Grande Liberté performances with her string of breathtaking Arabian horses from November 5 through 9.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit royalfair.org/horse-show.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

Tom McEwen Still in the Lead after Cross-Country at Pau 5-Star Event

Image copyright Nicolas Hodys.

Elated after the semi-finals of the rugby World Cup, the English can also be delighted with the performance of their riders on the cross-country riders in the CCI 5*-L at the Pau 5-Star eventing competition, one of the six most demanding of its kind in the world. Already in first place after the dressage test in the equestrian triathlon, British rider Tom McEwen on his French mount Toledo de Kerser maintained his lead, with just 0.8 penalty points on the cross-country course for overshooting the authorized time. He rode home ahead of his compatriot Alexander Bragg on Zagreb, the only horse-rider pair to complete the course without a single mistake and within the authorized time. Australian rider Christopher Burton on Quality Purdey came in third with 2 penalty points. The highest-ranking French rider after two out of three tests, Olympic team champion Mathieu Lemoine, ranks ninth on Tzinga d’Auzay. It’s the young mare’s first CCI 5*-L competition, at the highest level in the international eventing competition classes defined by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Since 2015, victory has always gone to a French rider: Astier Nicolas (Piaf de B’Neville) in 2015, Maxime Livio (Qalao des mers) in 2016, Gwendolen Fer (Romantic Love) in 2017, and Thibault Fournier (Siniani de Lathus) last year.

Tom McEwen (GBR):

“The course rode exactly as I expected it to when I walked it yesterday: very technical at the start, with lots of turns. The next section was more fluid and I really enjoyed riding the course. For the show-jumping competition tomorrow, I wouldn’t want any other horse: Toledo is a great jumper and it’s up to me to make sure I don’t make any mistakes.

“You had to be concentrated from start to finish when riding the course, because there were potential incidents all the way along. There were some imposing obstacles and sizeable jumps to negotiate at several different points, and there was nowhere really to make up lost time.”

Alexander Bragg (GBR):

“Zagreb is a big horse but hasn’t really got that big a stride. I had to be firmly in control and negotiate the combination fences without slowing him down too much or changing pace. It was a very fluid ride, and I really enjoyed it, especially as it’s the first time here in Pau that I finished within the authorized time.  He’s a great jumper too and in general he responds really well to the sunny French climate, the surface here and the crowds. So it’s going to be a nail-biting competition right up to the end.

“It was a perfect course, a course for riders who make decisive choices and totally assume them.  There was no room for half-choices, and that’s a sign of an intelligently designed course, a fair course for both horses and riders, but which can cause incidents as we saw today.”

Christopher Burton (AUS):

“I’d like to congratulate course designer Pierre Michelet who did an incredible job today. The course was amazing to ride, because it was difficult to ride home while the clock was still green. My horse was great today too, and we’ll do our best tomorrow too. She’s a good mare, but we know that here in Pau, the courses can be extremely technical so we’re crossing our fingers that everything will go well on Sunday.

“When riders have walked the course, I think they come away thinking that everything is feasible and it doesn’t look that difficult, but in the end, there were incidents on almost all the fences, which is a sign of a well-designed course, and an incredibly intelligent course designer.”

Mathieu Lemoine (FRA):

“Tzinga was tired at the end of the course, but I’m really pleased with her performance today. It was a demanding 5-star cross-country course and it was the first time she has competed at this level. As it is her first 5-Star event, I don’t know how she’ll recover before the show-jumping competition tomorrow, and it’s not easy to make a clean round on a show-jumping course with her. Anything could happen, but I’m really delighted with the way she rode today.”

Pierre Michelet (course designer):

“I knew that the first part of the course was going to slow the horses down. Then in the second part, where the riders can gallop through the training centre, the combination fences also slowed the pace. The surface was very soft as it has rained a lot over the last few days. If the surface had been dry, perhaps it would have been easier for the riders to complete the course within the authorized time and we would have had a few more zero penalty rides. Some of the riders perhaps underestimated the course and there were more difficulties than they first thought, like the water in the middle of the track, that looks simple, but caused a few incidents, just as I thought it would.”

Pascal Sayous (Organiser of the Pau 5-Star eventing competition):

“Pau is historically a very English town, and they proved it today before the record crowds we had here today, probably the highest attendance rate we’ve ever had at the Pau 5-Star event. It’s a real honour to work with a course designer like Pierre Michelet and when I ask him to set the difficulty at a certain level, he sets it exactly where I want it.”

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Tom McEwen Takes First Place after Dressage at the Pau 5-Star Event

Image copyright Nicolas Hodys.

British rider Tom McEwen, currently ranked world no. 12, takes first place at the top of the provisional leaderboard after dressage on Toledo de Kerser (24.0), just ahead of the New Zealander Tim Price, ranked world no. 3, riding Wesko (25.6). The highest-ranking French horse-rider pair, Arnaud Boiteau on Quoriano*ENE HN, comes in fifteenth place in the provisional rankings before the cross-country event (33.2).

Quote from Tom McEwen (GBR)

“I’m delighted to be in first place on the provisional leaderboard after the dressage test.  I could tell that my performance was very smooth, and I think that’s what the judges were looking for today. There’s a lot of good competition in the CCI 5*-L Pau 5-Star event, and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s cross-country event.”

On the cross-country course: “I really came here expecting a twisty track. But now I’ve walked it, it is tricky, but in general a really fluent track with some big fences and positive lines. I wouldn’t say that there are difficulties in one specific area: there are some really big questions all along the track. Perhaps the first water, with the sequence of five very close jumps in sequences: it’s a bit like doing Spring Garden at home, so you need to keep some energy for the end of the course. Then there’s a really big final fence with a difficult corner. The last water is perhaps also a difficulty.”

On Toledo de Kerser: “He’s a really great horse! The start and finish sections of the course are fairly twisty at the start and finish, but there are some really open stretches in the middle where you can make up time. Toledo knows how to handle it all so I’m feeling confident about tomorrow.”

You will find all the results here: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/les-5-etoiles-de-pau-2019-265/schedule.html

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Pau 5* Eventing Competition: Tim Price Heads Provisional Leaderboard after First Half of Dressage

Image copyright Nicolas Hodys.

The 5* eventing competition is well underway! The first fourteen riders on the starting list for the CCI-L 5* competition in the Pau 5-Star event performed their individual tests at the Domaine de Sers. One of the riders to watch in this competition is New Zealander Tim Price, current world number 3 and winner of Le Lion d’Angers World Breeding Eventing championship last weekend in the seven-year-old category. He currently leads the provisional ranking here in Pau, riding his eleven-year-old mare, Ascona M. Ensemble. This year Price and Ascona already won the Lumühlen CCI-L 5*, one of the six most prestigious eventing competitions in the world, an elite circle in which the Pau 5-Star event has its rightful place.

In the French camp, the two riders on the starting list for the dressage tests ranked sixth, Arnaud Boiteau with Quoriano*ENE HN, and tenth, Régis Prud’hon, riding Vanda du Plessis.

You will find all the results here: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/les-5-etoiles-de-pau-2019-265/schedule.html.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Selle Français Takes Studbook Title

Tim Price with the KWPN Happy Boy. (FEI/Libby Law)

The Selle Français Studbook won the overall title at the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses 2019 at the Haras National at l‘Isle de Briand in Le Lion d’Angers (FRA).

The title is decided by the best three scores of each Studbook in both categories. So when Dartagnan de Beliard ridden by Thomas Carlile and Demoiselle Platine HDC partnered by fellow-countryman Nicolas Touzaint from France finished second and fourth respectively in the 6-year-old division, and then last year’s 6-year-old champion Cristal Fontaine lined up sixth for Britain’s Kitty King in the 7-year-old division, that clinched it. The combined total scores came to 93.8, but it was a narrow win over the Irish Sport Horse Studbook with their total of 95.1, while the Dutch KWPN was close behind in third with 97.7.

6-year-olds

Great Britain’s Piggy French steered her eventual champion, Cooley Lancer, into third in the opening Dressage phase with a score of 26.7. It was Norway’s Yasmin Nathalie Sanderson and the KWPN Inchello DHI who took the early lead on a mark of 26.3 ahead of Germany’s Sophie Leube and the Trekehner, Sweetwaters Ziethen, who were just fractionally behind on 26.6. And lining up in fourth, fifth, and sixth were Germany’s Kai-Steffen Meier with the Rheinlander QC Rock and Roll (27.1), Australia’s Samantha Birch with the SHBGB Faerie Magnifico (27.6), and Carlile with the French-bred Dartagnan (28.3).

A total of 42 horse-and-rider combinations from 19 countries started in Dressage and 38 completed Saturday’s cross-country phase, 23 going clear within the optimum time of 8 minutes 48 seconds.

And with all of the leading group keeping a clean sheet over Pierre Michelet’s beautifully designed course, there were only 2.0 points separating the top six going into the final Jumping phase so there was absolutely no room for error.

Mistakes by the leading two riders proved very costly, a pole down dropping Sanderson from gold medal position to bronze and 5.6 faults demoting Leube from silver to fifth place. This allowed Touzaint to climb from eighth to fourth with Demoiselle Platine HDC, and Carlile to improve from sixth to silver medal spot with the stallion Dartagnan de Beliard.

Piggy French, winner at Badminton (GBR), second at Burghley (GBR), first and third at Blenheim (GBR), and a member of Great Britain’s silver medal-winning team at the Longines FEI European Championships in Luhmuehlen (GER) has already enjoyed an incredible year, and added yet another accolade with a foot-perfect run that moved her up from bronze to gold.

Her new champion, Cooley Lancer, is registered with the Warmblood Studbook of Ireland and is a son of Coeur de Nobless M, bred by Eliano Meroni and owned by Cooley Farm.

7-year-olds

It was a very different story in the 7-year-old category in which New Zealand’s Tim Price rocketed up from 13th after Dressage to seal the title with the Dutch-bred Happy Boy when both of the jumping phases proved highly influential.

This was the biggest leap up the leaderboard in the history of these Young Horse Championships, and the soft ground conditions appeared to be very much to the liking of this black horse who has a strong showjumping pedigree.

Germany’s Josephine Schnaufer held the lead after Dressage on a score of 26.7 with the Westphalian Viktor 107 ahead of Great Britain’s Tom McEwen and the ISH Brookfield Benjamin B in second (27.2) and Australia’s Christopher Burton in third (27.4) with the Selle Français Coup de Coeur Dudevin. Another Irish Sport Horse, Miss Cooley, claimed fourth spot (27.7) at this early stage for another Briton, Oliver Townend, while The Netherlands’ Tim Lips and the KWPN Herby slotted into fifth (28.0) and Frenchman Astier Nicolas was in sixth (28.5) with the ZFDP Lumberton.

However, only 17 of the 68 starters managed to avoid cross-country time penalties as the optimum time of 9 minutes 15 seconds proved difficult for many to get. When Schnaufer collected 3.6 she plummeted from first to 10th, but McEwen, Burton, and Townend all kept a clean sheet to take over the top three medal placings going into the final day, while Nicolas leap-frogged Lips to go into fourth when the Dutchman picked up 1.6 for time.

But only seven of the 56 remaining contenders managed to jump a clear round. There were 15 within four penalty points of McEwen in gold medal position and only two managed to keep a clean sheet. America’s Liz Halliday-Sharp was one of those, partnering the ISH Cooley Moonshine with which she finished third in last year’s 6-year-old category. The pair was lying ninth after Dressage and the addition of 1.6 for time dropped them to 13th after cross-country, but the fault-free run over the coloured poles put them well in contention on their final tally of 30.5.

Price and Happy Boy, which was bred by A Rijma and is owned by Susan Lamb and Therese Miller, had improved from 13th after Dressage to eighth after cross-country. And this son of Indoctro made light work of the final phase so they completed on 30.1 and now it was all down to McEwen for the title. A mistake and it would be the Kiwi rider in gold and the American in silver, and that’s how it turned out when the British rider’s grey clipped a pole down the final line for four additional faults, his final tally of 31.2 however still good enough to clinch the bronze.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

CCI-L 5*: The Champions Are Back

The Pau 5-Star event is part of the very select club of 5-Star eventing competitions. Only six events worldwide are qualified at the highest level and in France, only the Pau 5-Star event has the much sought-after label. The champions will be back again this year, from 24th to 27th October.

The Domaine de Sers in Pau will once again welcome the elite of international eventing. No less than seven riders from the world top 20, an Olympic Champion, and three World Champions are expected to compete here in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region, but despite the impressive track record of the riders on the star-studded start list, lesser-known riders have surprised us in the past by galloping to victory in Pau. Even though a large delegation is arriving from Great Britain, the flagship nation in this equestrian discipline, victory could come from elsewhere. And why not from France, just like last year?

The top riders have confirmed their participation
Top of the bill for the 2019 edition of the Pau 5-Star event, the Australian and New Zealand riders are tipped as the favourites in a competition where they haven’t always shined in the past. The last time one of these riders galloped home to first place in Pau dates back to Andrew Nicholson’s victory on Nereo in 2012. This year, New-Zealander Tim Price, ranked world no.3, on Ascona M or Wescko and the Australian Chris Burton, no.5, on Quality Purdey will be determined to add their names to the honours list for the prestigious competition in Pau. The road to victory will not be an easy one as the British Armada will be landing in Pau with four of its current leading ambassadors on board. Flying the colours of the Union are World Champions Gemma Tattersall (Chilli Knight or Jalapeno), world no.7, Tom McEwen (Figaro vh Broekxhof or Toledo de Kerser), no. 12, and Rosalind Canter (Zenshera) will be accompanied by Izzy Taylor (Call me Maggie May), ranked world no.17.  Other names in the world top 20 are Swiss rider Ludwig Svennerstal (Balham Mist, El Kazir SP or Salunette), ranked no.13, and Japanese rider Kazuma Tomoto riding Tacoma d’Horset, no.15, will doubtless make their presence felt.

The French cohort led by Olympic Champion Mathieu Lemoine
Perhaps the reason why victory has not smiled upon the Commonwealth riders at the Pau 5-Star event in recent years is because the French are so determined to be at their best on their home turf, in the only national 5* CCI-L.  Since 2015, the highest step on the podium has been always been occupied by a French rider: Astier Nicolas (Piaf de B’Neville) in 2015, Maxime Livio (Qalao des mers) in 2016, Gwendolen Fer (Romantic Love) in 2017, and Thibault Fournier (Siniani de Lathus) last year. In 2019, the tricolour delegation will be led by Mathieu Lemoine, 2016 Olympic Champion in the team event, and this year he has chosen to ride Tzinga d’Auzay. Earlier this year in May, horse and rider came in eighth at the CCI-L 4* in Saumur.  Alongside Lemoine, Arnaud Boiteau will be riding Quoriano*ENE HN, fourth in Lignières just a few weeks ago, Benjamin Massie riding Ungaro de Kreisker, second in the CCIO-S 4* at Pratoni del Vivaro in June, Rémi Pillot riding Tol Chik du Levant, fifth in the 3* Long at Lignières, and Regis Prud’hon riding Tarastro or Vanad du Plessis. Last year in Pau, Siniani de Lathus competed in his first CCI 4* competition (the highest level on the International Equestrian Federation’s competition scale, before the reform of 1st January 2019, which introduced a 5* level). Everyone knows what happened next… so even if the French horses will be competing at 5* level for the first time in Pau, anything is possible!

A new headliner on the starting list of the CCI-L 5* competition in Pau

German Rider Andreas Dibowski confirmed that he would be participating in the Pau 5-Star competition.  He will be riding FRH Butts Avedon, who took him to second place in the Lion d’Angers World Championship in 2010. Currently ranked World 35th, Andreas Dibowski is an experienced team rider and won the European Eventing Championships with the German team this year. His victories with the team include an Olympic Gold medal at the Tokyo / Hong Kong Olympic Games in 2008.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com