Category Archives: Show Jumping

Blum Breezes into Jumping History Books When Clinching Individual Title at Tryon

Simone Blum celebrates winning the Bank of America Individual Jumping title. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

Germany’s Simone Blum (29) etched her name into the record books when becoming the first woman in the 28-year history of the FEI World Equestrian Games™, and only the second female athlete in the 65-year history of the World Jumping Championships, to take the individual title when coming out on top in the Bank of America Championship at Tryon, USA.

In a finale that kept spectators on the edges of their seats she produced two more fantastic clear rounds with the extraordinary mare, DSP Alice, to put the result beyond doubt. And it was a super day for the Swiss when Martin Fuchs (26) claimed silver with Clooney and Steve Guerdat (36) and Bianca bagged the bronze.

“This was a perfect day. Alice jumped great for the whole week; she had no fault in five rounds of competition; she was unbelievable! And she’s so careful… she has the biggest heart and I think this week she knew that she could win the hearts of all of the sport… she really wanted this win today!” — Simone Blum (GER)

In pole position as the action began, Blum made Alan Wade’s first-round course, that caught out so many of the other 25 starters, look like a walk in the park. Guerdat was one place off the medal podium in fourth spot and just over a fence off the leader. And he was on fire today with the mare Bianca, never putting a foot wrong but unable to overtake compatriot Martin Fuchs who collected two time faults in an otherwise blissful tour of the track.

When Austria’s Max Kuhner slipped out of silver medal spot with two fences on the floor from Chardonnay then Blum had a fence in hand and Fuchs and Guerdat were now stalking her. She couldn’t afford both a fence and a time fault, however, but she wasn’t quite clear about that going into the US Trust arena for the last time. “Actually, when I came into the course I was so focused that I wondered, ‘can I have one down or not?’ Maybe I should try to ride a clear round!” and that’s exactly what she did, never looking in any danger as the incredible Alice soared high and wide before galloping through the finish with just a single time-fault to add.

Going last and keeping her head is all in a day’s work for the rider who, during her early career, was often specifically chosen as anchor rider on teams because of her coolness. And although this was her very first major Championship, she was selected for Tryon because she has shown incredible form at top level in recent years, winning the German Ladies title in 2016 and then coming out to top the 2017 German Men’s Championship in which the best German ladies are also entitled to compete.

The sense of achievement of all three who were presented with their medals by IOC President Thomas Bach and FEI President Ingmar De Vos was tangible. For Fuchs it was particularly special moment because his 12-year-old gelding Clooney underwent colic surgery this spring, but has made a tremendous recovery.

And 2012 Olympic champion, Steve Guerdat, was elated – hardly surprising as Bianca produced two breathtaking tours of two enormous tracks.

“My biggest pride today is for my horse. We had a few championships where I think she jumped better than any other horse, but we kept just having one down and I always went home a bit disappointed because I really wanted to give her the medal that she really deserves. And I thought it was going to go the same again this year – she was jumping amazing since the beginning of the week; she touched two fences all week… so I tried to get it together today and I’m so proud of her and so happy that today the world can see how special she really is!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

When asked if it felt special to have two Swiss riders on the podium, he replied, “Yes, but to have like another brother is even more special! I think everybody knows that I’m the son of Philippe Guerdat and I have an amazing family and I have an amazing brother, but everyone also knows how special Family Fuchs is to me. We train together, we are neighbours, we talk every day. They are like my second family and they treat me like I’m their third son so that makes it as special as it gets!”

For Blum, who also collected team gold on Friday, there is now another very big day ahead. She said she owes her success to her fiancée, Hansi Goskowitz, because “he found Alice, and he is the most wonderful man for me in the world and it’s just because of him I am sitting here! I will marry him in the next four weeks – he will become Mr Blum!”

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Tears of Triumph as USA Wins Bank of America Team Jumping Title on Home Turf

McLain Ward and Clinta. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

Team USA won the Bank of America Team Jumping Championship at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA, but they were chased all the way to the line by a brilliant Swedish side that took silver, while Germany claimed the bronze. It was an epic battle on this final day of the team event, and nothing came easy.

“It was unbelievable! First off, the odds were miniscule that there would be a jump-off for first place… it wasn’t what we were looking for, but the sport doesn’t get any better than this!” — Robert Ridland (Team USA Chef d’Equipe)

Out in front as the action began, the Swiss lost their grip when Werner Muff’s 13-fault round with Daimler was followed by elimination for Janika Sprunger when Bacardi VDL crashed through the first fence and then refused to tackle the second on the 14-obstacle course. With six Olympic qualifying places also up for grabs all eyes were also on the minor placings, and in the end the Swiss booked their ticket to Tokyo 2020 when finishing fourth ahead of The Netherlands in fifth and the astonishing Australians who pipped the reigning European champions from Ireland for that coveted sixth spot.

It was a roller-coaster ride from start to finish, and the Swedes, lying fourth as the action began, piled on the pressure when adding nothing to their previous day’s scoreline of 20.59 when Henrik von Eckermann (Toveks Mary Lou), Malin Baryard-Johnsson (H&M Indiana), and Fredrik Jonsson (Cold Play) posted three brilliant clears. This was enough to overtake the Germans whose total rose to 22.09 despite foot-perfect runs from Simone Blue (DSP Alice) and Marcus Ehning (Pret a Tout), four faults from Laura Klaphake (Catch Me If You Can) having to be taken into account when Maurice Tebbel (Don Diarado) picked up five.

And although American hopes were high, the result was hanging in the balance right to the very end. Devin Ryan opened the host nation account with a single mistake at the second-last fence and when Adrienne Sternlicht and Cristalline picked up five then the Swedes were out in front. But Laura Kraut rode to the rescue as only she can, steering Zeremonie home with a clean sheet to a great roar from the crowd. If McLain Ward could follow that with another clear the job was done and the gold would be in American hands. But the Olympic double-gold medallist faulted at fence seven and suddenly everything changed once again. The USA and Sweden were tied on 20.59 penalties and it would take a jump-off to separate them.

“McLain made us all work a little harder – he could have made it a whole lot easier!” joked his team manager.

But in the end, it was Ward who won it for them too, with a scorching last-to-go run with the grey mare Clinta. Both teams produced three clear rounds against the clock but Ward’s gallop through the timers saw USA post an accumulated time of 100.67 while the Swedes were two seconds slower.

Youngest team member Adrienne Sternlicht (25) was overcome with emotion at the post-competition press conference, and she wasn’t the only one to shed a tear.

“My best friends and family are here and I’m just thinking – what just happened?! You really don’t want to be woken up from this dream!” — Adrienne Sternlicht (Team USA)

“I love my horse so much. McLain has been the most unbelievable mentor for me, such an important part of my life; for me it’s been a battle of overcoming my own mind and I’m so grateful that Robert trusted me and trusted McLain enough to put me on this team and to be with Laura and Devin and McLain, three riders I’ve honestly looked up to my entire life. I’m so grateful for this opportunity – it’s been a wonderful day!” she said.

Results here.

Media contact:

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

Swiss Stay on Top, but USA Stalking Closely Going into Jumping Team Medal-Decider

McLain Ward and Clinta. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

The Swiss held on to the lead in the Bank of America Team Jumping Championship at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA but the hosts have moved up from overnight fourth into second spot ahead of the medal-decider in which the top 10 nations will compete.

And they are dangerously close, stalking the leaders by less than a single penalty point and leaving them with absolutely no room for error. Germany is in third ahead of Sweden, The Netherlands, and Ireland, while France, Australia, Great Britain, and Canada have also made the cut.

And the individual placings got a big shake-up, with overnight leader, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, dropping to eighth following a single mistake, while Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca rocketed all the way up from ninth to pole position when producing one of just five clears over another masterful track designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. America’s McLain Ward is now in second, with individual European champion Peder Fredricson from Sweden in third, Germany’s Simone Blum in fourth, and Ireland’s Cian O’Connor in fifth place.

The Swiss looked vulnerable when pathfinder Werner Muff (Daimler) left three fences on the floor, but Janika Sprunger pulled it back when collecting just a single time penalty with Bacardi VDL. Martin Fuchs and Clooney hit the second element of the penultimate double which proved one of the trickiest places on the 14-fence track, and when Guerdat’s mare, Bianca, lowered the oxer at fence nine then Andy Kistler’s side added nine to their first-day tally but still maintained the advantage, albeit a very narrow one.

Devin Ryan kicked off the US effort with a pole down from Eddie Blue, but both Adrienne Sternlicht (Cristalline) and anchorman McLain Ward (Clinta) picked up just a single time fault so Laura Kraut’s double-error with Zeremonie could be discarded.

“I woke up this morning and had some kind of epiphany that I needed to relax, and I think that translated into my ride! It’s a really difficult course… there’s fences falling everywhere and they are massive, so I really thought about taking each fence at a time and I think that’s where my time fault came. I was more focused on jumping a clear round because that’s what our team needed.” — Adrienne Sternlicht (USA)

Germany’s Blum and DSP Alice produced the first clear of the day to set her side on the road to a rapid recovery from eighth place after the opening competition. and when team-mate Laura Klaphake followed that with a lovely clear over the poles and just one time fault things were looking very good indeed. But Klaphake wasn’t getting over-confident with two of her team-mates still to go.

“We’ve had two good rounds but sport is so hard, from one second to the other it can change, like yesterday until the fault (where her horse stopped) I had an amazing round, so we cross our fingers!” she said wisely. Maurice Tebbel and Don Diarado returned a nine-fault scoreline and then Marcus Ehning and Pret a Tout added eight more, but their final tally left them on 18.09, so less than two fences behind the Swiss at the head of affairs.

Meanwhile, the Italians crashed out, when, already reduced to a three-man side, Luca Marziani’s stallion Tokyo du Soleil decided he wouldn’t jump the wall at fence three and the pair was eliminated. However, de Luca, who competes in the uniform of the Italian air force, was determined to soldier on even though he’s only been riding the 10-year-old grey mare, Irenice Horta, since June of this year.

The man who competes for Stephan Conter’s Stephex Stables in Belgium said:

“Zoe Conter rode her before, but unluckily Zoe had an accident in Rome, she fell off, so they decided to give me the horse and this is our fifth show together! The Nations Cup in Aachen was our first big class and then we did the Nations Cup and Grand Prix in Dublin where she finished third. That was really tough but it was the same course designer, so I had a feeling I could do it here!” — Lorenzo de Luca (ITA)

The top 65 athletes go into the final competition including individuals and the 10 qualified teams who will all compete in reverse order of merit. And the Australians are still in there, lying eighth and flying their flag with honour and pride. Their performances have been exemplary, but they have sprung a really big surprise, apparently outsiders but really rising to this world championship challenge. As Irish Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa commented, “They’re doing great – and that’s the beauty of our sport!”

Results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

How to Buy Horses at Sport Horses Auction at Baborówko Horse Sale Show

The third edition of Sport Horses Auction will be held from 28th to 30th of September in Baborówko, Poland. There are 17 horses with predispositions for eventing and show jumping within the collection of Baborówko Horse Sale Show. Here is some of the most important information for those who are interested in Polish sport horses and want to take part in the bidding.

Before the start of Sport Horses Auction and bidding on Saturday evening, the buyers can check horses profiles at the online collection (http://bit.ly/Collection_BHSS2018), as well as at the event.

Before the auction:

  • possibility to look into professional veterinary examinations, including general clinical examinations with endoscopy and 14 RTG photos
  • possibility for consultation with veterinarians from Equi Vet Service Clinic, who will be available in the Show Office from Thursday
  • possibility for test rides on Thursday from (12:00PM to 6:00PM) and Friday (from 9:00AM to 6:00PM), after prior arrangement
  • official presentation of the horses before the auction at the main Hippodrome on Saturday at 4:00PM

The rules:

  • lack of bid bond
  • open character of the auction, without having to register beforehand
  • the auction will be held in PLN in the net amount, and the minimum increment is 500PLN; for selected horses an 8% VAT will be added, which will be announced by the auctioneer

After the auction:

  • obligatory signing of the sales agreement no longer than 10 minutes after the winning bid
  • three days to pay the total price
  • pickup of the horse possible only after paying the full price
  • possibility to pay the full price in EUR, enlarged by a handling charge of 1% of the full price
  • we offer the possibility of insuring the horse and to help with transport

Schedule of Sport Horses Auction at Baborówko Horse Sale Show:

Thursday – Friday, 27-28.09.2018:

Thursday 12.00 – 18.00 – test rides
Friday 9.00 – 18.00 – test rides

Saturday, 29.09.2018:

15.00 – horse presentation on Arena A
20.30 – bidding

More information on:
http://bhss.baborowko.pl/eng/

Super Swiss Head the Leaderboard Going into Day 2 of Bank of America Jumping Championship

Steve Guerdat and Bianca. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

A brilliant round from Steve Guerdat (36) and the fiery mare Bianca put the 2012 Olympic champion and Team Switzerland into pole position as the Bank of America Jumping Championship got underway at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA. A colourful, testing but honest 14-fence track built by Irishman Alan Wade created spectacular sport for spectators and the 124 horse-and-rider combinations from 49 nations.

The defending world champions from The Netherlands jumped into second ahead of Brazil in third and USA in fourth. But the biggest story of the day was the stunning performance of the Australians who slotted into fifth and whose final rider, Rowan Willis (38), is lying individually third behind Brazil’s Pedro Veniss (35) in silver medal position and Guerdat at the top of the leaderboard.

France, Sweden, Germany, Colombia, and Ireland fill the remaining top-10 team places in the field of 25 nations.

Guerdat was second-last to go and raced into the lead in the individual rankings when clear in 76.33.

“It was a long day waiting; we walked the course before 9am and it was nine hours later when I got on my horse, but I was kind of confident because the course walked well. The fastest horses were not leading so I thought if I stick to my plan, I had a good chance to be in the top three today, so I actually really enjoyed my round and I can’t ask for much more!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

Veniss and his fabulous stallion Quabri de l’Isle were poetry in motion, their tight turn to the third-last fence ensuring they were really competitive against the clock as they cruised through the finish in 76.68 seconds. And Willis and his chestnut mare Blue Movie were only 0.27 seconds slower through the timers.

“She just tries so hard for me. I don’t worry about trying to go fast because she’s naturally fast, so I just have to keep my rhythm and make sure I don’t make a mistake. It was a nice day. All four of us have just got off to a brilliant start and that’s really encouraging.”

“Obviously it’s not easy for our team because half of us are based in Australia so it’s a long way to go to any shows, but those boys (Jamie Kermond and Billy Raymont) have had a good summer in Europe and Scott (Keach) and I have had a good summer over here (in North America) and it’s just brilliant that we all had a good day today. This is something I’ve dreamed of. It’s the first time I’ve represented Australia since I was about 18 at an invitational in Hong Kong!” — Rowan Willis (AUS)

The British-based rider who hails from Armidale in New South Wales made a big impression when finishing 11th in the Grand Prix at the Masters in Spruce Meadows (CAN) earlier this month.

Swiss supremacy was underpinned by great rounds from Martin Fuchs (26), who lies individually fifth behind Germany’s Marcus Ehning, and Janika Sprunger (31) who is in 16th place with Bacardi VDL. “The course suited Clooney really well. I knew I could do it and I’m glad it worked out so well. Werner (Muff) had two down so the pressure is on Steve now, but we all know that he handles pressure better than anyone else!” Fuchs said before Guerdat proved that this is absolutely true.

Sprunger was Swiss pathfinder. “I had to concentrate to open this well for my team and give confidence to myself and the rest of the others, and I know that Bacardi and I are not the fastest combination, so we just try to go as quickly as possible. Maybe a half-second or one second faster was possible but I’m very happy with the end result. I said I wanted to be on 80 seconds and we almost did it!” she said after stopping the clock on 80.26 seconds.

With only a fence separating the top three countries and less than two separating the top 10, it’s all to play for again when the action resumes with Team Belgium first into the ring ahead of Ireland, Japan, Portugal, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Germany, USA, and Mexico. Egypt will be next to go and then Venezuela, Sweden, Netherlands, France, Hungary, Australia, Brazil, and Great Britain will take their turn. Team Colombia has been drawn ahead of the Swiss and they will be followed by Argentina, Spain, and Italy so the last team into the arena will be Israel.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Aiken Fall Festival: Week 2 Wrap-Up

Photo: Emilia and David Blake.

There was no shortage of camaraderie and competition during our second week of the Aiken Fall Festival, even with an amended schedule. Like Week 1, our specialty classes saw full fields and we want to congratulate the following horse and rider combinations:

  • $5,000 Aero-Equine Welcome Stake – Brando Du Rouet owned and ridden by Kirk Webby
  • The R. Bruce Duchoissois $25,000 Grand Prix sponsored by Jack Wetzel – Emilia, ridden by David Blake for owner Pine Hollow Farm
  • $2,500 National Derby – String of Pearls, ridden by Gavin Moylan for owner Penny Denegre

Plans are underway for our Tryon show October 10th-14th along with our Holiday Premier Show November 29th – December 2nd at Bruce’s Field. We hope to see all of you in the coming weeks.

Finally, we are elated to announce that we have been awarded the 2019 Zone 3 & 4 Children’s and Adult Hunter Championships to be held Week 2 of the 2019 Aiken Fall Festival. Stay tuned for qualifying details.

All the best,
Megan and JP Godard
Horse Show Managers, Equus Events

It’s a Golden Glow for British Eventers as They Win Team Title in Tryon

Ros Canter and Allstar B. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Tryon, NC USA – September 17, 2018 – Great Britain’s eventers claimed a golden double on an unforgettable day of action at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG). Rosalind Canter not only led the British team to glory – their first world Gold medal since 2010 – but she also won the Individual title with her brilliant 13-year-old gelding, Allstar B.

It is the first time Britain has won both competitions in one single FEI World Equestrian Games™, and 32-year-old Canter is the first British Individual Gold medalist since Zara Tindall 12 years ago in Aachen, Germany.

A breath-taking finish to both events in the Mars, Inc. Eventing saw Canter enter the U.S. Trust Arena knowing that she could afford to have one jumping fence down and Britain would still beat eventual runners-up Ireland to top spot.

She looked as though she was the coolest customer on show, delivering an immaculate clear round, and also retained the second spot individually before leader after Cross-Country, Germany’s Ingrid Klimke, with SAP Hale Bob OLD, had the last fence down and dropped from first to third behind Canter and Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy, on Mr. Chunky.

Current Olympic champions France finished third, with Britain adding the team world title to their European crown won in Poland last September.

First British rider Gemma Tattersall had three fences down with Arctic Soul, with Tom McEwen (Toledo de Kerser) and Piggy French (Quarrycrest Echo) each accumulating four faults before Canter took centre-stage.

Canter remarked, “Allstar B was absolutely amazing. He was an absolute hero.

“I had an amazing experience in there,” she said. “I kept saying to myself just let him do his job and I am so proud. He is just phenomenal. There were quite a few tears when I found out, which isn’t normal for me. It’s just incredible for me and the whole support team behind Team Great Britain. It’s just the most incredible feeling, and a very surreal day.”

British Eventing Performance Manager Richard Waygood added, “It’s been an amazing day in the office, really great team work. They all pulled together. They all went in there for the team and stuck to the system. It was close at the end, but even before Ros jumped the last fence, I knew she had it. Our primary objective coming here was qualifying for Tokyo (2020 Olympic Games), and our next objective was to win as many medals as possible, and we’ve achieved both goals.”

The Irish quartet of McCarthy, Sarah Ennis, Cathal Daniels and Sam Watson secured Ireland’s first major championship Eventing medal in more than 20 years, finishing 6.8 penalties ahead of reigning Olympic champions France in third, with Japan fourth, Germany fifth, Australia sixth and New Zealand seventh.

All top seven finishers, including 2020 Olympics host nation Japan, cleared the qualification hurdle for the highly anticipated competition in two more years’ time.

Ireland Chef d’Equipe Sally Corscadden said, “This is huge for us. We are making history today. I had belief that we could be competitive here, and we just stuck to our goal.”

But while Ireland might have been the surprise package, 2014 World Champions Germany and their team of Klimke, Julia Krajewski, Kai Ruder and Andreas Dibowski had to settle for a finish comfortably outside of the medals.

Inspired by their coaching mastermind to London 2012 Olympic Gold medal glory, Chris Bartle, Germany could only look on as Bartle achieved his latest triumph – as coach of the British team.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and to view start lists and results, please visit www.Tryon2018.com.

Double Gold for Team GB and a Ticket to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Eventing fans at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 were treated to one of the thrilling afternoons of sport as four days of compelling competition came down to the very final show jumping fence.

Ultimately, it was Great Britain’s Rosalind Canter, riding Allstar B, who proved to be the star of a spectacular show with her double clear round proving critical in securing her individual gold and giving Great Britain the world title to go with their 2017 European crown.

Ireland, led by individual silver medallist Padraig McCarthy, broke records all over the place. The country’s team silver was their first team medal at a world championships since the inaugural event in 1966, while McCarthy’s individual success was the nation’s first since John Watson – father of current team member Sam Watson – finished second 40 years ago.

“There were quite a few tears which really isn’t very normal for me. It’s absolutely incredible,” said Canter, who entered the arena with Team GB just 0.20 points ahead of Ireland, after poles down for both Tom McEwen and Piggy French. “In the back of my mind I did know (the team situation) but I was just focused on my horse and my warm-up. You have to try and block that out.”

Canter, who won European team gold with Great Britain in 2017, was quick to praise legendary eventing coach Chris Bartle, emphasising how the 66 year old has made her “less intense” since he joined the team at the end of 2016.

Ireland, who started the day a significant 8.20 points behind the British, was in rampant form throughout, highlighted by the confident McCarthy on Mr Chunky.

“In a previous life I used to be a show jumper, so it gave me a lot of confidence,” McCarthy said, before confirming medals have long been on his mind. “I have dreamt about it for the last six months, at least. With a horse like this you have to dream big.”

With joy for some came heartache for others. Germany’s Ingrid Klimke seemed destined to add the ultimate sparkle to her glittering career with a first ever individual world championship gold right up until the moment she and mount SAP Hale Bob OLD flicked the last fence and handed the glory to Canter.

“If somebody had told me before I would come here and get individual bronze I would have been very happy,” said the WEG 2014 team gold medallist. “It was very close, last fence, last rail, for sure the first moment I was disappointed, but it was the only mistake that we did on the whole weekend.”

Reigning Olympic team champions France took team bronze, although their celebrations were tinged with regret as Lieutenant Colonel Thibaut Vallette and Astier Nicolas, lying fourth and fifth respectively after the cross country, both knocked a pole down to ruin hopes of climbing onto the individual podium.

Team Japan produced a stunning display to finish fourth overall, suggesting that the home nation could be one to watch come the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

With hosts Japan already guaranteed a place at the 2020 Games, Germany and Australia booked their tickets by finishing fifth and sixth respectively before New Zealand, buoyed by Burghley 2018 winner Tim Price’s eighth place overall, snatched the final qualification spot.

Click here for full results.

By Luke Norman

Media contact:

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

Aiken Fall Festival: Week 1 Highlights

Photo: Erin McGuire and Kasarr, Winners of the $5,000 Welcome Stake.

The Aiken Fall Festival, Week 1, was the place to be this past week. With over 400 horses competing in full divisions there was not a quiet moment and the buzz of our busy show resulted in two features on the local news.

Beyond the great competition, we had many new faces taking part in our horse show and getting to know Aiken for the first time.

When they weren’t riding, David Jennings and Freddie Vazquez jumped in as Aiken ambassadors, sharing their excitement for Bruce’s Field as first-time competitors in local press interviews.

Kyle Dewar and Clever Van De Helle came out of the gate with a win in the Saturday night American Standard Grand Prix sponsored by Aiken Saddlery and Gavin Moylan made the trek down from Upperville looking to get his young jumpers some positive miles in their first Grand Prix. Mission accomplished!

Classic Winners from the week include:

  • Lindsay Maxwell and Precedent, A/O Hunter Classic
  • Maggie Hill and Cassanto, Junior Hunter Classic
  • Chloe Watrous and Casual, Children’s Hunter Classic
  • Maddie Tosh and Love Me Tender, Pony Hunter Classic
  • Haley Gassel and Werner 61, 1.30 A/O Jumper Classic
  • Christina Webb and Lalainy, 1.20 A/O Jumper Classic
  • Stephanie King and Co-Starr, High Child/Adult Jumper Classic

We will continue to have exhibitor parties each night, with Friday night set aside for the 7th Annual Bridles & Birdies fundraiser. Tickets can be bought in the show office or by clicking here.

Hurricane Florence Update

We are continuing to monitor the ever changing track of Hurricane Florence. The safety and wellness of all of our animals, competitors, and staff is of the upmost importance. At the request of our competitors who will be staying with us through the weekend, we are planning to run a consolidated two day schedule for the Aiken Fall Festival II, starting Thursday and ending Friday.

We encourage those who plan to show to enter as soon as possible. The more information we have from our competitors, the more ability we’ll have to tailor a schedule that effectively addresses the challenges we are facing.

At this time, our team is sorting through stabling. Once all of the horses are resettled, we anticipate having the ability to offer additional stabling to evacuees. Please contact our office at 803-266-8410. We will remain on site throughout the weekend to assist with any feed and bedding orders that our guests might have, as well as to provide hospitality each day.

We know that our competitors are saddened and frustrated about these circumstances, and we share those sentiments. With that in mind, we now turn our focus to making the best of a difficult situation and providing any assistance we can offer to those who may need it.

Thanks to all for your patience and understanding.

Megan & JP Godard,
Horse Show Managers, Equus Events

A First Major Victory for Sameh El Dahan, Winner of the CP ‘International’

Sameh El Dahan winning the CP ‘International’ (Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk)

After some light mid-morning rain, the Calgary skies cleared and 38 of the world’s most talented horse and rider partnerships accepted Venezuelan course designer Leopoldo Palacios’s challenge to jump his huge 1.70m course in the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex.

Third in the first round’s starting order, Germany’s Andre Thieme and his 10-year-old bay gelding, Aretino 13 produced a faultless display in a time of 88.84 s. However, not one of the next 30 riders to follow were able to produce a clear round, which was testament to the immensity of the contest the field was up against. It was Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan who broke the drought, piloting Suma’s Zorro, his 14-year-old mare, to the second clear round of the competition. Palacios’s course continued to be ruthless, claiming the scalps of some big-name horse and rider pairings, and just five further clear rounds were recorded.

The second round proved too tough for 10 of the 12 combinations that progressed from round one, and in the end, it was just The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan, who produced double clears, and in doing so set up a nail-biting jump-off. Van der Vleuten was first to go, going clear and setting a quick time of 42.98 s. El Dahan confidently entered the tense International Ring and breezed the course, going clear and triumphing over the Dutchman in a time of 42.21 s, thereby being crowned the new live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

So Sameh, what does winning a Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major mean to you?

I’m delighted and absolutely over the moon. When I looked up at the big screen, because I wasn’t sure of the time, and I saw first place, it was a very difficult feeling to explain. To be a winner of one of the four prestigious Grands Prix, as part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, is something I think every rider in the world dreams of.

Tell us a little bit about Suma’s Zorro.

Suma’s Zorro was bought as a foal by Joanne Sloan Allen and Sycamore Stables. When she was brought to the yard she jumped a five-bar gate when she was just six months old, so they knew they had a jumper on their hands. Joanne did an amazing job building her up until she was about seven years old, and then I also started riding her. Today Joanne does most of the riding, and I only jump her, so she’s done a great job.

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