Category Archives: Show Jumping

Introducing the First 25 Charities Selected to Participate in 2019 Great Charity Challenge

Wellington, FL – December 13, 2018 – With a strong belief that change happens through the power of united communities, the 2019 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC) is proud to introduce the first 25 Palm Beach County charities who will be taking center stage on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

With over 360 applications received for the chance to participate in the 10th Annual GCC, this year’s charity selection took place throughout Palm Beach County between Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 8, 2018. The excitement level was high to see whose names would get drawn out of the “traveling” lottery drum. At stake: a chance to share the $1+ million purse. To date, the event has distributed $12.2 million to over 230 Palm Beach County charities.

A total of 24 charities were randomly drawn throughout the week’s festivities, in addition to the Wellington Public Schools PTA/PTO/PTSA (the only automatic entry included every year).

This year’s new selection format brought the community closer and highlighted some of the individuals who make the GCC a reality. Joining Paige Bellissimo, co-founder of the GCC, were Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig and Vice Mayor Michael Drahos, as well as Village Council members Michael Napoleone, Tanya Syskind, and John McGovern; Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay; several team and corporate sponsors of the event; local news anchor Roxanne Stein; a live appearance on WPTV and a visit to Wellington’s Winterfest on Friday, September 7, 2018. To guarantee full transparency in the selection process, all drawings were posted via Facebook: www.facebook.com/greatcharitychallenge.

Paige Bellissimo, co-founder of the event, commented, “We are very excited to see such a diverse group of nonprofit organizations join us for this tenth edition. The encouragements and true camaraderie witnessed on social media, between non-profits during the selection process, was heartwarming. We hope that this year’s GCC will unite all involved, from the sponsors and riders, to the nonprofits involved and the community at large!”

Blending philanthropy and equestrian sports, the GCC is an exciting show jumping event that brings hope to Palm Beach County charities every year.

Shaw Thomas, Board President of Speak Up for Kids, commented, “For a local charity, making a direct local impact as we do through Speak Up for Kids, being selected for the GCC is a huge vote of confidence and exciting opportunity for increased impact.”

Future charity drawings will be held at random during the first weeks of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival and the final two wild card teams will be drawn the night of the GCC.

“We hold a strong belief that change happens through the power of united communities. From the amazing sponsors who make the event possible, the equestrians who donate their time, skills, and horses to compete, to the passionate and dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to better the community, attending the GCC will simply restore your faith in humanity,” mentioned Anne Caroline Valtin, Executive Director of the GCC.

For a full list of charities drawn to date (listed alphabetically), please visit: https://bit.ly/2QrMyIa.

Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), the PBIEC operating organization that oversees equestrian events at the venue throughout the year, donates the facility, staff, and infrastructure to ensure the success of the charitable event and guarantees that 100% of the funds raised are redistributed in the community.

Mark your calendars for the 2019 GCC to be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the PBIEC during WEF’s “Saturday Night Lights” series. With riders dressed up in costumes and horses adorned to match them, this year’s theme of “We Are the World” will focus on promoting unity and celebrate the cultural differences in our community. An art contest involving all 12 Wellington public schools will showcase the different causes represented that evening, from fighting hunger, to education, etc. Spectators will enjoy free general admission and parking, while supporting their favorite charity as riders compete for their nonprofit’s share of the $1+ million-dollar purse.

For more information on the Great Charity Challenge (GCC), please visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com.

Scott Brash to Retire Once-in-a-Lifetime Mare, Ursula XII, at Olympia

Olympia, The London International Horse Show is honoured to announce that one of Great Britain’s most successful ever Show Jumpers, Scott Brash MBE, has decided to officially retire his leading mare Ursula XII at the annual equestrian event, which is taking place from 17-23 December 2018.

Since forming their partnership in 2012, Brash and Ursula XII have become one of Show Jumping’s most iconic pairings, having had their fair share of prime podium positions throughout their journey together. The 17-year-old Scottish Sport Horse, owned by Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, has delivered strong performances throughout the entirety of her career. In 2016, Ursula secured an historic win for Brash in the CP International at the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters, not only making her the highest earning horse that year, but also the world’s best. The pair has gone from strength to strength, taking the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Mexico title this year.

The partnership has regularly competed at Olympia, very narrowly missing out on winning The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ at the Show in 2017, after Julien Epaillard’s jump-off denied them first place. A special retirement ceremony will take place on Sunday 23 December, after the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, commending this special horse before she enjoys a happy retirement.

Scott Brash MBE said: “Ursula is once-in-a-lifetime horse who has given me moments in my career that I will never be able to top. I don’t think I will ever ride a horse like her again; she’s one of the smallest horses in the stables but jumps round such big courses more easily than any horse I’ve ridden. It is an honour to be giving her the retirement ceremony she deserves and celebrating her incredible career. We’re thrilled to be paying tribute to her at Olympia; the atmosphere is like no other and the Show is on home-turf, making it even more special.”

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “We’re delighted to be holding the official retirement for Ursula. She’s an incredible horse and it is a privilege to be paying respects to her career, in addition to giving ticket holders the opportunity to witness this special occasion.”

Tickets can be purchased at www.olympiahorseshow.com or by telephone on 0844 995 0995.

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

US Equestrian to Recognize Georgie Green and Isabela De Sousa at Pegasus Awards

Isabela De Sousa (Shawn McMillen Photography)

Lexington, Ky. –US Equestrian is pleased to announce the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award to be acknowledged at the 2019 US Equestrian Annual Meeting at the Hilton West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Fla. Georgie Green is the winner of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, while Isabela De Sousa is the 2018 Junior Equestrian of the Year. Both Green and De Sousa will be recognized at the Pegasus Awards on Thursday, January 10, 2019, along with other prestigious award winners.

Green (Morgan Mill, Texas) has been a dedicated leader for the Morgan breed. For more than 40 years, Green and her husband, John, have owned and operated Roadshow Morgans, the largest Morgan breeding operation in Texas and one of the largest amateur operations in the country. They purchased their first Morgan horse, Funquest Paddy, in 1972 and their first breeding stallion, Showcase, in 1973, which has led to more than 100 horses with the Roadshow prefix. These top-quality horses have become world and national champions, local winners, and beloved family pets. Green’s dedication to this American horse is exemplified by her work to foster interest for pedigreed livestock in younger generations.

Green joined the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) Board of Directors in 1980. Five years later, she was named AMHA’s Woman of the Year, as well as the organization’s first female president. She served as AMHA president from 1985 to 1988 and again from 1993 to 1996. For nearly 30 years, Green served on its Board of Directors and chaired several committees, including the all-important Registry Committee. Outside of AMHA, Green served on the show committee for the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® for many years, serving as show chair three times. She also served on the USEF Board of Directors as the Morgan breed representative and currently sits on the USEF Morgan Sport Committee.

Green was honored with the National Pedigreed Livestock Council’s 2007 Distinguished Service Award for those whose dedication to their chosen breed is exhibited through extensive altruistic endeavors. Now, Green is the recipient of the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award for her undying commitment to the Morgan breed, which has elevated the sport’s excellence.

As Junior Equestrian of the Year, De Sousa (Lexington, Ky.) will be presented with the Ruth O’Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy. At the age of 17, De Sousa is already an exemplary ambassador for equestrian sport, in particular for the Thoroughbred horse. She has been riding all her life and has been retraining off-the-track Thoroughbreds for the last few years. De Sousa has found much success in the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, winning the show jumping division from 2015 to 2017. She displays her maturity as a consummate horsewoman by treating the Makeover as icing on the cake versus a hard-fought goal for the Thoroughbreds she retrains. Her ultimate goal is to provide the horses with a solid foundation and start them on a second career path that they can enjoy in their new homes.

In 2018, she retrained Cozmic One, the first foal of famed racehorse Zenyatta, and finished fifth in the Makeover show jumping division. In addition to her strong placing, De Sousa used her social media influence on the de Sousa Stables Facebook page throughout Cozmic One’s retraining process to educate fans about how Thoroughbreds can be retrained after their careers on the racetrack and the positive side of racing and the Thoroughbred industry.

De Sousa also secured top results in the show ring throughout 2018, including competing in her first equitation finals in the USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final, the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, and the ASPCA Maclay National Championship.

To learn more about US Equestrian’s 2019 Annual Meeting, visit usef.org/annual-meeting.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Sharn Wordley Wins $25k #1 Education Place Grand Prix in 2018 ESP Year End Awards

Sharn Wordley and Rye Val De Mai. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – December 12, 2018 – Sharn Wordley of Wellington, FL secured top honors in the $25,000 #1 Education Place Grand Prix at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday. Wordley took top honors riding his own Rye Val De Mai, a 2005 Selle Francais stallion (Helios Da La Cour II x Type D’Elle), dashing in at 42.222 seconds. Carlos Quinones of Wellington, FL earned second place riding Satoyama, a 2006 gelding owned by Michelle Navarro-Grau, stopping the timers in 43.581 seconds. In addition to his first-place win, Wordley captured third place with his own Gatsby, a 2004 Irish Sport Horse stallion (Simba x Cruise On), completing the course in 44.256 seconds.

Wordley remained ahead of the additional 16 competitors, who tested the course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). Wordley commented, “Both of my horses are experienced and they are both fourteen. I use them for the national Grand Prix classes and the FEI ranking classes.”

On his first-place finish, Wordley stated, “It was a good trip [for Rye Val De Mai]; he jumped really well. He’s had a bit of time off so he’s just come back. Rye could have gone a bit faster, but it wasn’t that fast of a class. He jumped great. I was really happy with him. With Rye, I wanted to make sure that I won it.

“I’ve been doing some quite fast rounds on Gatsby, so I didn’t want to go too fast on him,” Wordley said of his third-place mount. “I wanted to give him a nice round and a comfortable trip because he’s been going fast lately.”

Wordley commented of both mounts that “they’re both very careful horses and very fast horses with experience. They’ve been doing this awhile and they know the game, so this was a really nice class for them.”

For full results from the $25,000 #1 Education Place Grand Prix, click here.

For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Highlights News Film from Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final and Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

10 December 2018, Geneva, Switzerland – The Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva is one of the four equestrian Majors that form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, and is one of the most prestigious Grand Prix on the international circuit. The Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, also hosted at the CHI Geneva, is an elite competition which invites the top 10 riders to compete to be named the best among them.

Re-live the excitement from the four-day competition at one of the world’s leading venues, as the finest riders compete for the prestigious titles. Discover more on http://on.rolex.com/29ZQji4.

YouTube link

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0)7748 186 833

Tops-Alexander Makes It a Back-to-Back Double at La Coruña

Edwina Tops-Alexander with Vinchester. (FEI/ Manuel Queimadelos/Oxer Sport)

“Pretty amazing!” was how Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander (44) described her victory in the seventh leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League series in La Coruña, Spain.

For the second consecutive year she out-paced all her rivals to head the line-up at the Casas Novas Equestrian Centre where the packed stadium of spectators enjoyed a thrilling 10-horse jump-off that held them on the edges of their seats to the very end. Last year she came out on top at the same venue with the mare, California, who was just 10 years old at the time. But what made her success all the more spectacular was the fact that she was partnering a nine-year-old stallion called Vinchester who was jumping the biggest track of his entire career.

“I never would have believed that this would happen – he only jumped 1.50m for the first time earlier this week and today was his first 1.60m! If you told me he’d have a few down I wouldn’t have been surprised, so I’m a little bit taken aback!” — Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS)

Runner-up spot went to another nine-year-old, Chalou, ridden by Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano (32) while German legend, Ludger Beerbaum (55), slotted into third with his new ride Cool Feeling.

It was Beerbaum’s compatriot Christian Kukuk who set the target over Javier Trenor’s jump-off track, bringing the handsome stallion Colestus home with a smooth run in 46.85 seconds when first to go. Next in, Sweden’s Irma Karlsson looked set to seriously improve on that, but her quick 10-year-old mare Ida van de Bischop misunderstood the instructions on the approach to the remaining two elements of the triple combination and ran past the second element to put paid to their chances.

Faster rounds were then posted by Frenchman Olivier Robert (Tempo de Paban) and Belgium’s Jos Verlooy (Igor), and when both Helsinki winner Gudrun Patteet (Sea Coast Pebbles Z) and The Netherlands’ Leopold van Asten (VDL Groep Beauty) left a fence on the floor, then it was Verlooy’s 44.24 seconds that Tops-Alexander was chasing. And despite her horse’s inexperience, she set off like a rocket to produce a cracking round that demonstrated the extraordinary courage and ability of her young mount, shaving almost a full two seconds off the target time when clearing the line in 42.26 seconds.

Gaudiano gave it his best shot when breaking the beam in 43.01 with the enigmatic Chalou, whose toe-stretching jumping technique sets him apart from the rest, and when Austria’s Max Kuehner and Chardonnay hit the second fence. then only Beerbaum could steal Tops-Alexander’s thunder. The German giant has only been riding the 10-year-old gelding Cool Feeling, formerly competed by Canada’s Ben Asselin, since September, but the man who has taken four gold medals from seven Olympic Games and who has lined out in 21 FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals should never be under-estimated. Beerbaum looked well in touch all the way to the final line where a check saw him stop the clock on 43.26 seconds for third place and a considerable improvement up to 15th spot on the current standings.

This win has boosted Tops-Alexander, who also collected points at the opening leg in Oslo (NOR), to joint-fifth spot and, with 35 points, she is within easy reach of a qualifying place for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April. She’s planning to go to the next leg at Olympia, London (GBR) in two weeks’ time and to Basel in Switzerland where the Western European League will resume on 13 January.

In London her fans will get to see the amazing Vinchester whom she only started riding in August. “He was previously competed by a young French rider called Arthur Le Vot who I never met!” she explained. “He’s a horse with a lot of blood and a great mind; he wants to do everything for me and he’s very sure of himself – he’s great!”

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Marcus Ehning Wins Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, the Final Major of the Year

09 December 2018, Geneva, Switzerland – CHI Geneva welcomed 40 of the best riders in the world to compete in the most esteemed class of the show, the Rolex Grand Prix, the final Major of the year in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

A spectacular competition saw Germany’s Marcus Ehning riding Pret A Tout victorious, repeating his success from CHIO Aachen where he won the Rolex Grand Prix in July earlier this year. Second place went to Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat (SUI) riding Albfüehren’s Bianca and third place went to Darragh Kenny (IRE) riding Balou du Reventon.

Over 42,500 fans gathered over the four days for the 2018 edition of the CHI Geneva with a packed arena witnessing a thrilling two-stage Rolex Grand Prix competition between the global elite. Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash (GBR) was the first rider to go clear, later joined by his fellow equestrian Testimonees Steve Guerdat and USA’s Kent Farrington in the line-up of riders going through to the jump-off. The Swiss crowd erupted into applause as one of their home favourites, Guerdat, went clear, sailing around the challenging course.

With 11 clears in the first round, the equestrian fans were enraptured as they waited for what promised to be a breath-taking jump-off, with three Rolex Testimonees, the world number one and a previous Major winner included in the line-up. Whilst all riders gave everything, it was Marcus Ehning who prevailed with a precision performance demonstrating his exquisite horsemanship and sporting skills.

The world’s equestrian elite will now look to The Dutch Masters, the first Major of 2019, where Ehning will be travelling as the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0)7748 186 833

Washington International Horse Show Celebrates in the City

Horses on the streets of Washington D.C. Photo by Alden Corrigan Media.

The Washington International Horse Show left its mark on downtown Washington D.C. yet again in 2018 by hosting a 60th anniversary celebration like no other in the heart of the capital city. Cementing its place in the framework of North American show jumping competition and culture, the 60th anniversary of WIHS was one for the record books.

“This was a 60th celebration better than we could have imagined,” said WIHS President Vicki Lowell. “To be able to showcase top sport year after year for the fans of this event and show jumping in general is fantastic. It was quite an event, and an even better celebration. I can’t wait for the next 60!”

WIHS hopes to keep the history of this show alive and bring new competitors and spectators for another 60 years to come. Text the word HORSE to 50155 and follow the prompts to make a donation to keep horses coming to the city. Every little bit helps.

Top Sport at Capital One Arena

After a $41 million renovation that took place at Capital One Arena over the past year, WIHS welcomed some of the world’s best horses and show jumping athletes to the event with four-time U.S. Olympian Beezie Madden and Breitling LS taking home top call in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC. WIHS has hosted this prestigious international event for three years as part of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, which was live streamed worldwide through FEI TV in 2018.

Visiting riders representing Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, and Switzerland rounded out an international field all vying for points for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, to be held next April in Göteborg, Sweden. Adding to the international flavor of the event, German course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. set the tracks at WIHS.

Also highlighting the elite multi-disciplinary competition that includes hunters, jumpers, and equitation and has grown to define WIHS, 16-year-old Elli Yeager won the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals. The sought-after event featured 40 of the nation’s top young riders with two competitors appearing as Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant recipients. Ava Stearns, 17, of Chilmark, MA and Juliette Joseph, 16, of San Diego, CA were chosen to receive the grants.

“The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is proud to continue its support of the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals,” said Founder Lindsay Maxwell, philanthropist and successful amateur rider. “The Finals are a cherished benchmark for young riders, and it’s an honor to be able to support the development of the next generation of talented equestrians. The incredible quality of the applicants for the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant speaks volumes about the future of our sport.”

Taking home the win in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals was Samantha Takacs of Oldwick, NJ aboard Storyteller.

In the hunter ranks, the 2018 WIHS Grand Hunter Championship was awarded to Bastogne, ridden by Hunt Tosh and owned by Ceil Wheeler, while Scott Stewart claimed the Leading Hunter Rider Award, presented by Dr. Betsee Parker. For amateurs, the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Championship was awarded to Catch Me, ridden by Becky Gochman. Catch Me also received the inaugural Technicolor Award, donated by Lindsay Maxwell in memory of her beloved mount Technicolor. Maxwell took home the Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Championship, presented by Ernest and Betty Oare with Belgravia. Legacy and Ashley Vogel were the Grand Junior Hunter champions, while Tessa Downey rode her Anisette to Grand Pony Hunter Champion honors.

Sport, both past and present, was celebrated during WIHS with legendary horseman Joe Fargis being inducted into the WIHS Hall of Fame. A team and individual gold medalist at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, Fargis boasts five decades of involvement with WIHS as a competitor and judge as well as serving on the show’s Board of Directors. He won the President’s Cup Grand Prix at WIHS in 1984 aboard his gold-medal Olympic partner, Touch of Class.

Additionally, members of 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon gold medal-winning U.S. team, including Laura Kraut, Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, McLain Ward, and alternate Beezie Madden, were on hand to meet the fans of WIHS for an autograph signing at the Land Rover concourse booth.

Stepping into D.C.

The equine stars of the Washington International Horse Show immersed the city of Washington, D.C. in horse show culture. With horses cruising into town in Johnson Horse Transportation tractor trailers, being stabled at 7th Street and F Street NW and quite literally walking the streets of the city, the citizens of Washington, D.C. experienced horses first-hand.

Engaging the D.C. community has always been a pillar of WIHS and 2018 was no different. The return of Kids’ Day, presented and supported by WIHS Junior Committee and its presenting sponsor Signature Academics, as well as Breakfast with the Mounted Police hosted by Hotel Monaco and supported by Ride TV, brought horses to the city.

WIHS also embraced the honor and service of the U.S. military with Military Night, presented by Caterpillar Inc., which featured a win for Aaron Vale and Finou 4 in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance for the third year in a row. Together, they cleared 6’11 ½” to take the victory.

“I’ve always had a love for this class,” said Vale. “It’s about the only one left in the country, so it’s special to come do it, especially in front of such a great crowd.”

Military Night honored guests like Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, Commanding General, District of Columbia National Guard, and hosted the Armed Forces Reception presented by RBC Wealth Management to raise funds for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) in the PwC Club. In the ring, the “Jump for Taps” initiative raised $12,000. Other military honors included “Big D” and Sergeant Russell Robar, members of the Baltimore Police Mounted Unit, accepting the 6th Annual WIHS Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor and Service, presented by EQUUS Foundation and The Stephens Family.

The WIHS Military Ticket program, funded by Man O’ War Project in partnership with Columbia University Irving Medical Center, with support from Land Rover, Delta, Caterpillar, Inc., Travelers, and RBC Wealth Management, provided complimentary tickets to members of the military and their families. More than 30,000 tickets have been distributed since the program began in 2009.

Anniversary Fun

What’s a celebration without a little fun? In honor of its 60th anniversary, WIHS invited fans to join them for fierce competition, as well as exhibitions that included famed Australian horseman, entertainer, and bush poet Guy McLean, the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen, a performance by The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and appearances of the stars of Billy and Blaze, The Movie.

The biggest nod to the WIHS anniversary was historical displays throughout the Capital One Arena concourse and honorary ticket pricing. Matching the ticket price of the inaugural WIHS in 1958, tickets were only $2 on opening day and commemorative show programs were on sale for just $1.

Barn Night, presented by Barn Manager, Charles Owen, The Clothes Horse, The Equiery, The Loft at Meadowbrook, United Metro Golf Cart, Dover Saddlery, and US Equestrian, welcomed young horse enthusiasts to WIHS with contests and prizes. Riders dressed in costume for the $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class. Most notably, U.S. Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward honored the Washington Capitals hockey team by dressing as Alex Ovechkin, while The Best Costume Award was given to Andy Kocher, dressed as a pirate.

Taking place during Barn Night in conjunction with the Buck Breast Cancer Benefit, 10 clear rounds over the Buck Breast Cancer jump donated $5,000 to the Capital Breast Care Center thanks to the Tolkan Family. Also presented during Barn Night, the Laura Pickett Award for Excellence presented by Charles Ancona and Vicki Lowell was given to Beatrice VanSant and trainer Ginia Wilbrandt in memory of beloved local trainer Laura Pickett, who lost her battle with breast cancer after a five-year fight.

Whether it was a trip to the Delta Winners Circle after earning a blue ribbon and a box of signature Georgetown Cupcakes in the ring, shopping the WIHS Souvenir Store staffed by the George Washington University Riding Team, placing a bid in the WIHS Silent Auction, meeting a riding idol, or simply soaking in some horses in the city, the 60th Anniversary WIHS was one for the record books for competitors and spectators alike. WIHS will return to Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C. for a 61st season from October 22 through 27, 2019, with the best of show jumping competition, renowned entertainment, and more WIHS champions.

For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.

Steve Guerdat Riding Alamo Wins Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at CHI Geneva

07 December 2018, Geneva, Switzerland – The top 10 riders from around the globe competed in one of the most exciting classes of the year, the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, at the iconic CHI Geneva. A class where only the world’s top 10 ranked riders are invited to compete to be named the best among them. The elite roster of riders that gathered to take on this imposing course included Rolex’s equestrian Testimonees, Steve Guerdat and Martin Fuchs.

World-renowned course designer, Gérard Lachat, formulated an imposing and technically challenging course staged over two rounds, ensuring a thrilling competition for the enthralled crowd. First to enter the infamous Palexpo arena was Great Britain’s Ben Maher riding Explosion W, leaving the equestrian fans gasping as he hit the first fence in the Rolex combination and left the arena on 19 faults.

The first clear of the night came from Niels Bruynseels riding Gancia de Muze, exhibiting precision and determination as he glided around the course, finishing in 63.03 seconds, therefore setting the bar high for the forthcoming riders.

As the curtains to the arena entrance opened to unveil one of the home favourites and Rolex’s newest Testimonee Martin Fuchs, the crowd rose to their feet to witness his immaculate clear round riding in his first Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. World no.1, Harrie Smolders, came next, producing an effortless round and going clear in the second quickest time, finishing just behind Bruynseels on the leaderboard. The arena was then treated to a second Swiss rider, as Rolex Testimonee and 2010 winner Steve Guerdat contended. Guerdat has been on top form this year and the mesmerized crowd produced a deafening applause as he cleared this demanding course in a time of 63.78 seconds.

Daniel Deusser, McLain Ward, and Henrik von Eckermann also went clear, ending the first round in the competition with a total of seven clears and ensuring an exciting climax in the second round of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final.

The second round welcomed the first four riders, Peder Fredricson, Marcus Ehning, Daniel Deusser, and Steve Guerdat. Deusser put pressure on his competitors by producing a fast-paced faultless round in a time of 41.53 seconds, moving him to the top of the leaderboard. However, next to come was Steve Guerdat, electrifying the arena with his bold and precision riding, executing a perfect clear round and beating Deusser’s time by 1.78 seconds.

Fellow Swiss rider and Rolex Testimonee, Martin Fuchs, produced a beautiful clear but despite his best efforts was unable to beat Guerdat’s time. Clear rounds were also executed by Henrik von Eckermann and McLain, but neither rider could top the leaderboard. Hoping to emulate his earlier round, Harrie Smolders made a valiant attempt, but it was not to be as he exited the arena on four faults. Winner of The Dutch Masters in March this year, and last to go, was Niels Bruynseels; known as one of the fastest riders on the circuit, Bruynseels attempted to out-pace Guerdat but paid the price by bringing a fence down.

The patriotic crowd was enraptured as Guerdat riding his brilliant gelding Alamo remained unbeaten and was crowned victor of the 2018 Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. Henrik von Eckermann and McLain Ward secured second and third place.

A thrilled Guerdat commented on his victory. “I planned Alamo for the Final; he’s a nervous horse but I had a good feeling on him in the warm-up and in the first round, so I decided to go for it in the jump-off. Alamo responded beautifully to what I was asking him to do. I am very proud of him.”

Guerdat continues the successes of fellow Rolex Testimonees, Scott Brash, Kent Farrington, Eric Lamaze, and Kevin Staut, with Testimonees securing the title for five consecutive years.

The passionate fans of the equestrian world will now be eagerly awaiting the Rolex Grand Prix, taking place on Sunday. This is the last Major in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, and one of the most anticipated classes of the year.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0)7748 186 833

Daniel Deusser Wins Trophée de Genève, the First Rolex Grand Prix Qualifier of CHI Geneva

Daniel Deusser riding Calisto Blue at the Trophée de Genève (Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Kit Houghton)

The first qualifier for the Rolex Grand Prix saw nine horse and rider combinations compete in a hotly contested jump-off. Setting the bar high, Daniel Deusser riding Calisto Blue was the first to produce a clear round with a thrilling time of 37.31 seconds.

Last to go, Pieter Davos, looked on par to emulate Deusser’s clear round but was a fraction too slow and had to settle for second place, with Simon Delestre finishing in third, both excellent contenders for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday.

How did the course feel?

Daniel Deusser: The time was really tight in the first round so everybody was forced to ride forwards, and in the end the horses got quite long which accumulated a lot of faults. There were 10 combinations clear and a couple more with time faults, which is a good amount for a jump-off, but it was certainly not an easy class.

Going into the jump-off did you think you were in with a good chance?

Daniel Deusser: To be honest, I was not sure. There were a lot of fast combinations to compete against and I thought that one or two might be a little bit quicker, but I think my clear round put the pressure on and some of the horses were forced to go quicker which made them go a bit flat. I had a good round and was really pleased with my horse.

Looking ahead to the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, who do you think your biggest competition is?

Daniel Deusser: There are quite a few really good competitors here this weekend, so it is hard to say. I think McLain Ward and Clinta will go well, Steve Guerdat and Bianca are hard to beat when they are on form as well – it will be a good competition for sure.

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