Category Archives: Eventing/H.T.

Tokyo 2020 Team and Individual Quota Places Confirmed by FEI

Following concerns raised about FEI Jumping Events in France and Syria where Olympic and Longines Ranking points were on offer, the FEI has investigated events at both Villeneuve-Loubet (FRA) and Damascus (SYR).

The investigation into the three events at Villeneuve-Loubet in December 2019 has established that, contrary to the FEI Rules (Article 110.2.3 of the FEI General Regulations), two competitions counting for the Olympic and Longines Rankings were added at each event after the respective Definite Entries deadlines. The updated Schedules for these three events were submitted to the FEI by the French National Federation and were mistakenly approved by the FEI.

As a result, and in accordance with Article 112.3 of the FEI General Regulations, the FEI has retrospectively removed these additional competitions, meaning that athletes who participated will lose their ranking points from these competitions. The Olympic and Longines Rankings have been updated accordingly.

Additionally, the FEI has established that three of the six events at Villeneuve-Loubet in January 2020 also had two classes counting for Longines Rankings points added after the Definite Entries deadline, again contrary to the FEI Rules. As a result, these additional competitions have been removed and athletes that participated will lose their ranking points for these competitions.

The FEI also reviewed the events that took place in Damascus (SYR) between October and December 2019, and while it was clearly established that there was no breach of FEI Rules and Regulations regarding FEI Calendar entries, the event Schedules or the number of events run, the investigation revealed an irregularity with the prize money at three of the events.

The events held in Damascus on 24-27 October 2019, 31 October to 3 November 2019, and 13-17 November 2019 had total prize money that exceeded the limit for a CSI2* and the Schedules for these events were erroneously approved by the FEI. As a result, the FEI has removed one FEI competition at each of these events in order to bring the total prize money within the specified limit, but this has no impact on the Olympic Ranking for Olympic Group F.

The FEI has also reallocated one of the two Jumping team quota slots from the Olympic Jumping Qualifier for Group F in Rabat (MAR) in October 2019, following adverse analytical findings in two members of the Qatari team, Sheikh Ali Al Thani and Bassem Mohammed. Both athletes tested positive for Carboxy-THC, a metabolite of Cannabis, which is a prohibited substance under the FEI’s Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA).

The FEI Tribunal issued a partial decision regarding the disqualification of the individual results of the two Qatari athletes on 15 February 2020. As a result, Qatar loses its team quota place for Tokyo and this has been reallocated by the FEI to Morocco.

The FEI has now confirmed the team and individual quota places across the three disciplines of Dressage, Eventing, and Jumping for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with three nations – Luxembourg (Dressage individual), Pakistan (Eventing individual), and Israel (Jumping team) – qualifying for the Olympic Games for the first time. The new formats have opened the door for more nations to compete at the Games, with Jumping going up from 27 in Rio to 35 in Tokyo, Dressage increasing from 25 to 30, and Eventing rising from 24 to 30. In total, the number of flags has risen from 43 in Rio to 48 in Tokyo.

Latvia’s individual quota slot for Jumping would mean a first Games start after a 32-year absence, having last competed in Seoul 1988. The Czech Republic and Hong Kong, which have both qualified for an individual place in Eventing, are planning to return to the Games for the first time since Beijing 2008.

The deadline to achieve the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) is 1 June, after which the FEI will confirm approval of the FEI Certificates of Capability to the National Federations. The final athlete/horse combinations for the three disciplines will be announced on 6 July 2020.

The Olympic equestrian events get underway the day after the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo on 24 July. Dressage will be the first discipline to hold its competitions (July 25-29), followed by Eventing (31 July to 3 August) and then Jumping (4-8 August). The competitions will take place at the Bajikoen Equestrian Park and the Sea Forest Cross Country venue.

FEI contacts:

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

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
Vanessa.Randin@fei.org
+ 41 78 750 61 73

Arena Eventing to Star at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Top eventing stars will take part in Royal Windsor Horse Show’s first running of Arena Eventing, on Wednesday 13th May 2020, ensuring that potential team members in all three Olympic disciplines will be competing at the show ahead of Tokyo 2020.

The new competition will see international riders compete over a course that combines elements of the Showjumping and Cross-Country phases of Eventing, designed by Captain Mark Phillips.

The introduction of Arena Eventing will bring a whole new dimension to the Show, which already hosts four FEI disciplines: Dressage, Jumping, Driving, and Endurance. With Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, Royal Windsor Horse Show will be one of the last chances to see Team GBR’s hopefuls in all three disciplines together on home turf.

This year’s competition will include Olympic medalists Zara Tindall and Pippa Funnell. Zara Tindall, the former World and European Champion, has confirmed she will bring her London 2012 team silver medal-winning horse, High Kingdom. Pippa Funnell will also be a strong contender; alongside three Olympic medals, Funnell impressively became the first person to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing in 2003, an honour only ever won by one other person. Her recent victory at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in September 2019 has put her in good stead for the upcoming event.

British Olympic rider Gemma Tattersall will make her Royal Windsor Horse Show debut this May. Part of the squad that won Team Eventing gold at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, Tattersall is another GB hopeful for Tokyo 2020.  Flying the flag for the USA will be Lauren Kieffer, currently 6th in the FEI Eventing Rankings. With a formidable string of horses to pick from she will be hot contender for the class. FEI World Number five, Tom McEwen (GB), is also amongst the distinguished list of incredible talents set to compete.

Performance Director and Eventing Performance Manager, Richard Waygood, said: “The inclusion of Arena Eventing in Royal Windsor Horse Show is a great addition. The Show will not only bring eventing to new audiences but will also attract the world’s best riders to what is already an amazing event.”

Simon Brooks-Ward stated, “I am delighted to announce that Arena Eventing will be taking place at this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show. To host all three disciplines ahead of this year’s Olympic Games is hugely exciting and a fantastic new development for the Show.”

Royal Windsor Horse Show offers a great day out for equestrians and their families.  It attracts crowds of more than 55,000 each year. Alongside the international competitions are more than 120 showing and national jumping classes, plus outstanding equestrian displays from around the world. Visitors can also enjoy the shopping village with its 220 fashion, lifestyle, and equestrian boutiques and delicious food outlets. In addition, ‘Royal Windsor Live’ offers musical entertainment, Q&A sessions with equestrian stars, and numerous activities for children.

Tickets will be available from just £9 and allow general access to the showground, including unreserved seating for the daytime performances in the Castle Arena, with reserved seating available for dressage performances.

Tickets to Royal Windsor Horse Show can be booked online at www.rwhs.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0844 581 0755 from the UK and +44 (0)121 796 6100 internationally.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous Victorious in $50,000 MARS Eventing Showcase

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 9, 2020 – Victory in the $50,000 MARS Eventing Showcase went to Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous on Sunday, February 9, at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Little and RF Scandalous vaulted to the lead in the opening dressage phase on Saturday and held it through Sunday’s show jumping and cross-country phases.

From a starting field of 40 horse and rider combinations, 33 advanced to the morning’s show jumping phase, held on the beautiful grass derby field. Maintaining her lead from dressage, Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous added four faults in the show jumping phase and stood on 23.4 penalties.

With a clear round in show jumping, Buck Davidson (USA) and Carlevo moved from fourth place to second and had 28.6 penalties going into cross-country.

Six-time Olympian Phillip Dutton (USA) rode Z to a clear jumping round and sat just behind Davidson in third place following show jumping with 28.7 penalties.

Heading into the cross-country phase, which was designed by Capt. Mark Phillips, 28 combinations contested the track that included a two-stride “triple-brush arrowhead” combination, a water feature, and corners.

Little and RF Scandalous ended with 4.80 time penalties on the cross-country course, but despite that, her early lead gave her the buffer to hold onto the victory with a total of 28.20 penalties.

“I’m disappointed that the performance in the cross-country wasn’t better, but this is a three-phase event, and she also did put in two wonderful performances,” said Little. “Although she did have a rail this morning [in show jumping], the score wasn’t indicative of the performance because she’s just come so far. To me, to know what she was dealing with out there on course, I have so much respect for her.

“I wish that this afternoon had gone better, and yet, in sports sometimes we have wonderful days. We deserve to have a great placing and it doesn’t happen,” Little continued. “I was disappointed in the performance this afternoon, but the horse still deserves all of the accolades and all of the credit because her heart was so huge. It was just a rough day out there. But she still came in and she still stood in the stall very proud of herself. That is what sports are about.

“I’ve been so blessed to have the ride on a horse that just goes out there, and she tries every time,” said Little of the 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia x Lario) owned by Jacqueline B. Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders. “For me, in many ways, this is a hometown show. It’s just really one of the greatest honors of my life to ride a horse for Mrs. Mars, who I think of as one of the greatest horsewomen this country has ever known and certainly one of the greatest sportsmen and supporters of our national program. I’m so grateful that Mars Equestrian took on the sponsorship here, because I do think it’s an important event and a very meaningful one for me. I’m glad that Scandalous could be the winner of her event. It means a lot.”

For more information on the MARS Eventing Showcase and full results and scores, please visit https://pbiec.coth.com/article/50000-mars-eventing-showcase.

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous Top Dressage Phase in $50,000 MARS Eventing Showcase

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 8, 2020 – Setting the score to beat in the MARS Eventing Showcase, Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous showed their partnership is still strong on Saturday, February 8, at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Forty combinations started the dressage phase competition, but it was Little and RF Scandalous, a 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia x Lario) owned by Jacqueline B. Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders, who took the lead with 19.40 penalties.

It was a very solid test for RF Scandalous, who is back in competition form after having off in 2019.

“She was so with me from start to finish,” said Little. “She’s just a supernatural horse that way. She came back at Ocala and was very fresh in November. Today she picked up from where she left off before. Not many horses would have a break and come back better versions of themselves than before. She’s a great competitor, and she understands the sport. The fitness is a big thing for us. We’ve been pushing on this. She’s stronger, has a stronger topline.”

The riders performed the five-star B test, which will be the one used at the 2020 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Little noted, “Getting to ride the test we’re going to see in Kentucky is a huge leg up for our riders. I got some pointers from my test that I will use in the lead-up to Kentucky to know how to train this test better. There [are] still some points on the table that we hope to pick up in Kentucky.”

Little praised the program of high performance Eventing with US Equestrian. “We’re in a national program that’s really making a big effort to support the riders in every phase,” she said. “I felt an incredible amount from that today, and I think it’s working. The scores seem to be improving. Everything really went according to plan with the way that [U.S. Performance Director for Eventing] Erik [Duvander] and I had mapped it out.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to be here and be in this environment,” continued Little of being in Wellington. “As [the MARS Eventing Showcase] works its way into people’s programs, as riders we’re going to be able to use it better and better to our advantage. I hope that it sticks because it can really be a game-changer for our program.”

For more results and information on the MARS Eventing Showcase, along with ride times, live scoring, and the live stream, please visit https://pbiec.coth.com/article/50000-mars-eventing-showcase.

Strzegom Recruits Volunteers for Eventing Nations Cup and Pony European Championships

Photo by Kamila Tworkowska.

Strzegom, Poland, February 3: Do you enjoy new challenges? Are you looking for inspiration and interesting experiences? Do you want to be a part of the adventure that is the organization of international equestrian events, and to see the backstage of it all? If so, join our organizing team in Strzegom and submit your application for the volunteer programme. The recruitment starts now!

In 2020, the hippodrome in Morawa will host five international equestrian events, including the most important ones: Nations Cup in eventing and Pony European Championships. A professional organization of equestrian competitions requires not only the involvement of licensed judges. Everyone can be a part of the team and help the event run smoothly.

“Everyone over the age of 18 can become a volunteer. We invite teenagers, adults, and seniors. You don’t need to have professional knowledge about equestrian sports; we will teach you everything you need to know! During the show we have a variety of jobs to do, where we’ll need many skills – everyone is welcome to come,” explains Marta Wójcik, the coordinator of the volunteer programme of Strzegom Horse Trials.

We will need help in the show office and press office, at information desks and maintenance, with technical support, during dressage, cross country, and showjumping tests, with poster hanging and handing around leaflets, with airport transportation, and many more tasks.

All you need to do to apply is to fill out a form available on our website. The organizers provide accommodation in tents at a campsite as well as meals for the volunteers.

“The volunteer programme is becoming more and more popular. Being a part of our team is a chance for development and gaining new experiences, worth mentioning in a CV. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to meet new friends, experience a great adventure, and have fun!” says Marta Wójcik.

The recruitment for Pony European Championships and Strzegom Horse Trials starts on the 3rd of February and will be open until the 15th of June.

The regulations, timetables, and application forms can be found at the official websites of the events: www.StrzegomHorseTrials.pl, www.StrzegomPonies.pl, www.Stragona.pl.

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

Brian Moggre, Boyd Martin, and Abigail Wexner Awarded USET Foundation’s Highest Honors

(left to right) Leah Rogers Meirfeld of Hermès, Brian Moggre, USET Foundation Vice President William Weeks, and USET Foundation Chairman, President, and CEO James McNerney. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation presented the organization’s three most prestigious awards to Brian Moggre, Boyd Martin, and Abigail Wexner on January 17 at the “Take Me to Tokyo” gala in Wellington, FL.

Brian Moggre Named Recipient of Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy

Brian Moggre, 19, of Flower Mound, TX, was awarded the 2020 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy, presented annually to a junior/young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who demonstrates the team’s values of sportsmanship and horsemanship.

Riders who are awarded the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy are identified as athletes with great potential, and the list of winners who have received the award is a “who’s who” of the U.S. Equestrian Team in the Olympic disciplines – to which Moggre now adds his name.

“I am awestruck to be receiving this award,” said Moggre, who has made a name for himself as a rising show jumping star to watch after winning the both the 2019 $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Ocala CSI3*-W at Live Oak International and the $225,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W at only 18 years of age.

“It takes a huge team to make all of this happen, and that’s really what I’m thankful for,” continued Moggre after having accepted the award. “I’m so thankful to Gianna Aycock, Mike McCormick, and Tracy Fenney and my current team of Emily Smith and Ken Smith as well as my parents and Lesley Leeman, who takes care of my horses.

“I’m very honored to now have my name on a trophy with the best riders in the entire world, and it means so much to me.”

Patrick Guerrand-Hermès established the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Memorial Award in 1983 in memory of his son, Lionel, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1981 at the age of 18. Lionel trained with the United States Equestrian Team and was talented enough to be considered an Olympic hopeful. Included on the list of past winners inscribed on the perpetual trophy are such notable names as Greg Best, Chris Kappler, McLain Ward, and Buck Davidson, among many others.

Boyd Martin Wins Whitney Stone Cup

The 2020 Whitney Stone Cup was awarded to Olympic eventer Boyd Martin, identifying him as an active competitor who displays consistent excellence in international competition, as well as exemplifying high standards of sportsmanlike conduct, while serving as an ambassador for the United States and equestrian sport.

“It’s an absolute privilege and honor to receive the Whitney Stone Cup this year,” said Martin, who operates his training business, Windurra LLC, out of Cochranville, PA alongside his wife Silva, a grand prix dressage rider. “Winning this award is one of my proudest achievements. To be recognized alongside some of the past winners is truly a humbling feeling. The USET Foundation has given me every chance and every opportunity to allow me to be the best I can be and to achieve all the success I had in 2019.”

Martin is one of today’s leading event riders, having enjoyed success at the highest level of the sport and every major eventing competition in the world. He has consistently been ranked top 10 in the world since leaving Australia in 2007 and has competed on every U.S. Championship team since changing his citizenship in 2010.

Martin has represented the U.S. at two Olympic Games, three FEI World Equestrian Games, and two Pan American Games.

He has twice been the highest-placed U.S. rider at the FEI World Equestrian Games and led the U.S. to team gold at both Pan American Games appearances.

At the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Martin finished second with Tsetserleg, owned by Christine Turner, to win the USEF CCI5*-L National Championship. This result landed Martin and Tsetserleg on the Pan American Games team for Lima, where the team had to win gold or silver to qualify the U.S. for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Martin delivered under pressure to win individual gold – the first individual medal of his career – and secure team gold and Tokyo qualification.

“I really feel like I’m starting to hit top gear coming into 2020, and I’m so proud to be an American, representing the stars and stripes,” said Martin. “I can’t wait to get out there and see what this year brings.”

Abigail Wexner Awarded R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award

The USET Foundation presented Abigail Wexner with the 2020 R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award, recognizing her distinguished service to the USET Foundation Board of Trustees.

Wexner has been a member of the board for 12 years, and she has been one of the lead donors to the Campaign for Achieving Competitive Excellence, the Campaign for Continuing Our Competitive Excellence, and she is now chairing, along with Jim McNerney and Jacqueline B. Mars, the Raising the Bar Campaign. As part of the campaign, Wexner has established the Wexner Olympic Endowment as a source of support for U.S. athletes and teams in Olympic years.

Wexner is a long-time horse owner and has been partnered with top jumper rider Beezie Madden for more than 15 years. Madden has ridden Wexner’s horses on numerous Nations Cup teams, along with the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games and the 2006, 2010, and 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games. This partnership has produced for the United States two gold, three silver, and three bronze medals in Olympic and World Championships, two World Cup Finals victories, and been a part of 18 winning Nations Cup teams.

A true ambassador of the sport, Wexner’s distinguished service through excellence in leadership, philanthropy, and character has positively impacted the Foundation’s mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence, and building for the future.

A true ambassador of the sport, Wexner’s distinguished service through excellence in leadership, philanthropy, and character has positively impacted the Foundation’s mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence, and building for the future.

The R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award was established in 2015 in recognition and honor of Bruce Duchossois’s leadership, generosity, and outstanding character. Duchossois’s life was celebrated that year as the first recipient of the prestigious award, and now the legacy he created lives on in others through the award with the annual presentation to a USET Foundation Trustee who exemplifies the qualities he embodied.

The presentation of the USET Foundation’s three distinguished awards and this year’s Take Me to Tokyo gala, hosted by honorary chairmen Lou and Joan Jacobs and chairs Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, were made possible thanks to the USET Foundation’s generous donors and sponsors, including MARS Equestrian and the Take Me to Tokyo cocktail hour sponsor, NetJets.

The USET Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel, and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation. To learn more and to support the Raising the Bar campaign, please visit www.uset.org.

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