Category Archives: Show Jumping

Rider Watch: CHI Geneva 2022

(Photo: Rolex / Ashley Neuhof)

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping returns to CHI Geneva from 7-11 December 2022 with an action-packed schedule, including the 21st running of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final on Friday evening and pinnacle class, the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon.

Held in the impressive Palexpo in Geneva, the world’s elite horse and rider combinations will tackle some of the toughest tracks of the year at is what is often considered the sport’s leading indoor show jumping venue. Taking part in this year’s show is a spectacular line-up of athletes including 17 of the top 20 riders, as well as 17 riders representing the home nation.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Rider Watch

After his sensational win at in the CP ‘International’ at The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament, Germany’s Daniel Deusser will be looking to continue his impressive form in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Majors, having won two of out the last three Grands Prix. Deusser will be aiming to continue his quest to become only the second person to have ever won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, following Scott Brash’s triumph in 2015. Deusser will also be joined by fellow countryman Gerrit Nieberg, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix held at CHIO Aachen earlier this year.

Home favourite and defending champion, Martin Fuchs, will be the one that everyone has their eyes on. Having won the last two editions of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, the World No. 2 understands the precision, bravery, and athleticism required by horse and rider to be successful in this prestigious competition. Joining Fuchs is compatriot and three-time winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at this iconic venue, Steve Guerdat, as well as FEI World Championship teammates Edouard Schmitz and Pius Schwizer.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Lumière Horses Wraps Up 2022 with Success in Tyron and Aiken

Reutter and Here I Am Z.

Mill Spring, NC (November 23, 2022) – Chilean show jumper Gabriela Reutter of Lumière Horses wrapped up her stellar 2022 show season in North Carolina this fall, jumping her three-horse string to multiple top finishes. In her final competitive appearances of the year, Reutter focused on clean rounds and bolstering the horses’ FEI experience while her top Grand Prix mount, Maharees Rock, rested after the pair’s Bronze Medal win at the South American Games in September. After North Carolina, Reutter plans to move south to Wellington, Florida in preparation for the new year at the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival.

Reutter began the end of her fall season in Tryon, North Carolina, competing in the 2022 Tryon Fall Finale I, held November 3-6. Sales horses Joselinde L.A.T, Here I Am Z, and Billy Lincoln jumped in the 1.30-1.35m divisions, with multiple in the ribbons finishes. Joselinde L.A.T, a.k.a. Jojo, took 2nd in the $2,000 1.30m Open Stake and 5th in the 1.30m Open. Here I Am Z, a.k.a. Hero, finished 6th in the $3,000 1.35m Open Stake, while Billy Lincoln finished 5th in the 1.35m Open.

The following week in Aiken, all three horses were once again finishing in the ribbons. At the Split Rock Aiken CSI2, held November 9-13, Reutter rode Billy Lincoln to a 6th place finish in the $10,000 1.40m CSI 2 and Hero to the win in the 1.30m. Hero also finished 11th overall in the $20,000 1.35m Grand Prix, while Jojo took 3rd and 12th in the 1.30m.

In addition to her competitive accolades, the hard work of Reutter’s groom Anthony Chavez was highlighted at Split Rock. Billy Lincoln was awarded the Hyaluronex Best Turned Out in the FEI Jog and Chavez received the Annie Goodwin Rising Star Fund Grooms Award.

Reutter’s passion for equestrian sport began at a young age, and has since taken her to the upper echelons of show jumping. Combining talent, horsemanship, and dedication to her dreams, she rides with the aspiration of representing Chile at the pinnacle of show jumping sport. Born in Santiago, Chile, Gaby began riding at only four years old. At 17, she moved to the United States to pursue a professional show jumping career. Since 2014, she has ridden under the guidance of Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist Chris Kappler, and completed her undergraduate degree in Economics and Business Studies at NYU.

To date, Gaby is currently the #1 female Chilean show jumper, and her most recent career highlight was a Bronze Medal finish at the 2022 South American Games in Paraguay with Maharees Rock. She also has multiple top finishes in international FEI classes, including her Nations Cup accomplishments, European tour, the U25 Grand Prix divisions, and victory in an FEI 4-star event. She currently campaigns her anchor show jumper, Maharees Rock (a.k.a. Rocky) and a string of sales horses. Her international equestrian CV also includes Spruce Meadows, The Hampton Classic, and several junior/young rider South American Games. She and Rocky were in the top 3 during this July’s Tryon Summer 5 $75,000 Grand Prix CSI2-star, out of 50 entries and top 3 in the $138,600 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel CSI3* Grand Prix during the 2022 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. In 2018, Reutter received her certificate of capability for the Pan American Games following a top 3 finish in the FEI 3-star 1.50m Captive One Classic, and has her sights set on representing Chile internationally this winter.

For more information on Reutter, her horses, and Lumière, visit www.LumiereHorses.com.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Meet the Next Gen: Thibaut Keller

(Photo: Hippofoto)

What are your plans, dreams, and ambitions for 2023?

My ambition and plan for 2023 is to achieve a podium during the European Championships at Riesenbeck International in September.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

The proudest moment of my career so far was when I received the gold medal during the 2020 Junior Swiss Championships at Chalet-à-Gobet. The horse I rode was called Cosby, and I was very proud of our performance, as we did not touch one bar throughout the whole tournament.

How much are you looking forward to CHI Geneva and how confident are you feeling?

I hope to win the prestigious Land Rover U25 Grand Prix at CHI Geneva. However, as the world’s elite attend the event, I would be very happy if I made the top three, so a podium in my age category would be amazing.

When did your love for show jumping start, and who has inspired you the most throughout your career?

I first got into horse riding and show jumping when I was 10 years old. My inspiration was the Dutch show jumper Jeroen Dubbeldam.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Meet the Next Gen: Gilles Thomas

(Photo: Rolex / Ashley Neuhof)

You have had a great year; what has been your highlight?

I have an such an amazing year; it is hard for me to pick just one highlight! I had my first 5* victory in the King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead in July, which was amazing, and then coming third in the CP ‘International’ at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament was a fantastic result. Most recently being on the Belgium team and winning the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final was incredible for me. I don’t think I can choose just one of those moments!

What are you hoping to achieve between now and the end of the year?

I am hoping to ride at CHI Geneva – that would be amazing. Then in Belgium we have the have a 5* show which includes a FEI Jumping World Cup™, in Mechelen, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This show is always very important to Belgian riders, and my family are involved in the organisation of it, so I really hope I can have a good result in the FEI Jumping World Cup™ there.

What are your hopes and ambitions for 2023 and beyond?

My ultimate dream is to compete at CHIO Aachen; in my opinion, it is the best show in the world and the Rolex Grand Prix there is one of the most prestigious classes in the calendar. I am also aiming to compete in a Belgium senior team at a big championship. I have competed in Junior and Young Rider teams, but to be part of the Belgium team at the FEI World Championships or the Olympic Games and win a medal would be a dream come true.

After your great performance in the CP ‘International’, how will you prepare for CHI Geneva?

I’m not totally sure whether I will be competing there yet, but I hope that I will. They are two very different shows, but I would still take Aretino 13, as even though the arena at CHI Geneva is indoors, it is still very big. If I go to CHI Geneva, it will be the only indoor show that Aretino 13 competes in because he is a big horse and needs more space, so he suits outdoor arenas better. CHI Geneva is such an amazing show and so I will plan to take my three best horses if I go.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Gabriela Reutter Highest Ranking Female Rider at South American Games

Reutter and Maharees Rock.

Asunción, Paraguay (October 25, 2022) – Bronze for Chile: international show jumper Gabriela Reutter and Maharees (OBOS Quality x Ballysimon) joined teammates Samuel Parot, Alexandr Imschenetzky, and Ricardo Luttecke Langdon on the podium during the 2022 South American Games (Odesur) held this October in Asunción, Paraguay to claim Bronze for their home country of Chile. Reutter, who was one of the youngest riders in the Games and the only female on the medal podium for the Team Final, also marked the event as her first Senior Games competition and a major steppingstone towards her career goals.

Reutter and Maharees Rock, known around the barn as Rocky, kicked off their first senior international Games with a few rails in the Table C, but persevered to finish 7th individually on the final day and 14th overall. Rocky’s international career has been nurtured for the past three years by Reutter, who was immediately drawn to the mare’s scope and personality. With a major international Games under their belt and a Bronze Medal for Chile, Reutter and Rocky are setting their sights high for more international results in the coming months and years.

“Overall, the South American Games were an amazing experience,” said Reutter. “My teammates were incredible and it was so exciting to help them bring in a Medal for Chile. On the first day Rocky and I were really over focused and it cost us a few rails in the Table C, but she went on to show true staying power and skill over highly technical courses. I’m so happy with how she jumped; she really proved she is ready for a championship. Our team had two very experienced competitors and two who were relatively new to the international stage, so it was a great mix and a great way to learn the ropes of competing at this level.”

The South American games are usually used as a qualifying competition for the following Pan American Games, but as the 2023 Pan Am Games are being held in Santiago, Chile, the home team is guaranteed a spot. Reutter and her teammates look forward to the chance to bring home another medal on their home turf.

Reutter’s passion for equestrian sport began at a young age, and has since taken her to the upper echelons of show jumping. Combining talent, horsemanship, and dedication to her dreams, she rides with the aspiration of representing Chile at the pinnacle of show jumping sport. Born in Santiago, Chile, Gaby began riding at only four years old. At 17, she moved to the United States to pursue a professional show jumping career. Since 2014, she has ridden under the guidance of Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist Chris Kappler, and completed her undergraduate degree in Economics and Business Studies at NYU.

To date, Gaby is currently the #1 female Chilean show jumper, and has multiple top finishes in international FEI classes, including her Nations Cup accomplishments, European tour, the U25 Grand Prix divisions, and victory in an FEI 4-star event. She currently campaigns her anchor show jumper, Maharees Rock (a.k.a. Rocky) and a string of sales horses. Her international equestrian CV also includes Spruce Meadows, The Hampton Classic, and several junior/young rider South American Games. She and Rocky were in the top 3 during this July’s Tryon Summer 5 $75,000 Grand Prix CSI2-star, out of 50 entries and top 3 in the $138,600 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel CSI3* Grand Prix during the 2022 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. In 2018, Reutter received her certificate of capability for the Pan American Games following a top 3 finish in the FEI 3-star 1.50m Captive One Classic, and has her sights set on representing Chile internationally this fall and winter.

For more information on Reutter, her horses, and Lumière, visit www.LumiereHorses.com.

Media contact:
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Kent Farrington and Orafina Finesse $139k Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*

Kent Farrington and Orafina ©Lisa Thomas Dufresne for TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – October 22, 2022 – Kent Farrington (USA) and Kent Farrington LLC’s Orafina were victorious in the $139,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* with a time of 39.06 seconds. Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA) and Eurohorse BVBA’s Nashville (Diamant De Semilly x Darco), the 2013 Belgian Warmblood gelding, took the second place position with a time of 39.39 seconds. Rounding out the podium was Maria Gabriela Brugal Gasso (DOM) and BG Stables LLC’s J’Adore Flamenco, the 2012 Anglo-Arab gelding (Je T’aime Flamenco x Corofino 2), with a time of 41.69 seconds.

Thirty-three entries contested Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) course, with seven pairs advancing to the short course. Farrington and the 2012 Dutch Warmblood mare Orafina (For Fashion x Canturo) were able to produce a round that couldn’t be bested, despite some communication issues in the first round, he recapped.

“I tried a new bridle today. It felt great in the practice class, and then as soon as I went over number one, I knew that I was in trouble and it was going to be a long way around the ring. We managed to get through the first round, and then I changed the equipment a little bit for the jump off, and it was so much better.

“She’s an incredible horse,” Farrington described. “She’s lightning fast and she’s unbelievably careful. The hardest part is just the control, so that’s my limitation right now. If I can get the control, I think she will be a top horse in the world. Right now I’m still managing the controls, so I have been moving up and down in my classes. We’ll see how far I get, but on days when she’s good, it feels great.”

Orafina and Farrington have been quite a winning combination, currently ranking 6th in the FEI World Rankings as a pair. “I got her from Leon Thijssen. I’ve done business with him for over 20 years. He said, ‘I think this horse could be great, but she is very difficult, and she needs a particular ride and will be hard to train. But if you can make her go well, I think she can be exceptional.'”

Farrington has competed at TIEC consistently for the past few years, saying, “The facility here is great, especially with the upgraded footing a couple years ago. In terms of a showjumping venue, I think it’s great.”

Leading Lady Maria Gabriela Brugal Gasso was given the Leading Lady Award, presented by Marthaler Jewelers, as the highest-placing female rider in the Grand Prix. With a young – and somewhat nervous – horse beneath her, Brugal Gasso was thrilled to reach the podium and even more overwhelmed at the gift she received from the presenting sponsors.

“I have no words. I don’t know what to say! I’m just very thankful,” Brugal Gasso emphasized. “In my eyes, my horse was the best one in there. We gave it our best shot. And today, it was good enough for a lot of things. This is his last show of the season, so I think he knew it mattered. I love my horse!”

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

Melissa Strawser and Darwin De Mars Master $20,000 HITS Open Prix at Culpeper Finals

Melissa Strawser and Darwin De Mars. Photo by: Alison Hartwell.

Culpeper, Va. – October 2, 2022 – On Sunday, Melissa Strawser celebrated her one-year anniversary with Darwin De Mars in winning style, earning the victory in the $20,000 HITS Open Prix at the Culpeper Finals. Their partnership began at the same competition last year, and together they have become a dominating force – besting Sunday’s three-horse jump-off after also winning Friday’s $10,000 Open Prix to close out the season at HITS Culpeper.

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North Shore Nabs $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby Win with Isabella Bertozzi

Hunter competition took center stage on Saturday during the HITS Culpeper Finals at Commonwealth Park. Once again, Isabella Bertozzi claimed the winning title in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, this time aboard her veteran partner North Shore. Although it was Bertozzi’s first Hunt & Go Derby, she stayed smooth under pressure to lead the class from start to finish with her talented mount.

Read more.

For more results and information, visit HitsShows.com.

Highlights News Film from the CP ‘International’ at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Geneva, Switzerland, 12 September 2022 – The 2022 CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex at The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament was won by Daniel Deusser from Germany riding Killer Queen VDM.

The 2022 CP ‘International’ at The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament in Canada was the third equestrian Major of 2022, which together with the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters, CHIO Aachen, and CHI Geneva form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, considered to be the sport’s most demanding challenge.

The highlights film can be seen here:

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 and Killer Queen VDM Win the CP ‘International’

(Photo: Spruce Meadows Media / Dave Chidley)

A typically enormous and challenging Leopoldo Palacios-designed course awaited 40 of some of the world’s finest horse and rider combinations, as they contested the pinnacle class of ‘Masters’ week, the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, part of the Rolex Grand Slam series, in Spruce Meadows’ iconic International Ring.

In the opening round, no clears after the first 20 starters and a string of DNFs was testament to the gravity of the test that the partnerships faced, with the triple combination after the water jump just one of the obstacles catching lots out. However, 24-year-old Gilles Thomas from Belgium and his 14-year-old gelding Aretino 13 soon proved that Venezuelan Palacios’ course was rideable, after confidently clearing the 14 obstacles fault-free in a time of 84.72. Despite accruing four faults, Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender Gerrit Nieberg and his partner in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen in July, Ben 431, jumped fluently and remained very much in contention. Shortly afterwards, McLain Ward demonstrated his and his superstar mare HH Azur’s class and harmony, notching up the second clear of the round in 83.73 seconds.

Swiss Steve Guerdat and his 13-year-old gelding Venard De Cerisy looked inspired, recording the day’s third clear in a time of 85.53 seconds. After exceeding the 86-second limit, a time fault for Dutchman Harrie Smolders and his 2019 CP ‘International’ winning horse, Darry Lou, blemished what was an otherwise flawless round. 2021 CHIO Aachen Major-winning Daniel Deusser recorded the fourth clear of the day and the final one of the first round. Six further combinations progressing to the second round, included Mexicans Eugenio Garza Perez and Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane, Swede Peder Fredricson, Martin Fuchs of Switzerland, Irishman Paul O’Shea, and Brazil’s Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa.

The top 12-placed horses and riders from the first round faced a second round comprising even taller fences over a slightly shortened course, with a time limit of 72 seconds. Fifth to go, Martin Fuchs and his 10-year-old grey gelding looked pure class, breezing the course without fault in 69.80 seconds, the first of three consecutive clears with bringing four faults from the first round, which also included Gerrit Nieberg and Eugenio Garza Perez and his 11-year-old stallion, Contago. However, their hopes were short-lived after 2021’s winning duo of the CP ‘International’, Steve Guerdat and Venard De Cerisy, was the first pair to go double clear. Current world number 39-ranked rider Gilles Thomas went next and, much to the delight of the Calgarian crowd, also went clear, meaning a jump-off was triggered. Daniel “Double D” Deusser and his 12-year-old mare Killer Queen VDM made it three in jump-off. And it appeared that Friday’s winner of the Tourmaline Oil Cup, McLain Ward, would make it four, but agonisingly rolled the first of the double Liverpool. A wide-open third round jump-off was set and the knowledgeable crowd waited in anticipation.

First up, Steve Guerdat put down the first of the double, crossing the finish line with four faults in 41.70 seconds. Next to go, Gilles Thomas nudged and rolled the CP fence and put the final fence down, crossing the line with eight faults in 42.31 seconds. Daniel Deusser calmly entered the International Ring and meticulously navigated the eight-fence jump-off, crossing the finish line within the time limit, thereby winning the 2022 CP ‘International’ and becoming the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender.

On winning the CP ‘International’, Deusser said: “It is an historic Grand Prix here; it’s a class that I’ve followed since I was very, very small. I watched it on television, and I still have VHS cassettes at home that have the Grand Prix here. I’ve watched it over and over again, and I could never imagine to be here, so to win the CP ‘International’ here in Spruce Meadows is a fantastic feeling.”

Thrilled with his mare Killer Queen VDM, Deusser commented: “She had a fantastic week, to be honest. I started the first day with a small class and I was doubting to jump her in a big competition, but in the end, I jumped her in the big class on Friday, just because she has never been here in the International Ring. I think it was a good decision today; she jumped three fantastic clear rounds and she will definitely have a big, big dinner tonight and some carrots and sweets!”

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Tom Struzzieri Steps Down as CEO of HITS LLC

Saugerties, NY – September 8, 2022 – HITS LLC announced that as planned, founder Tom Struzzieri will be stepping away from his role as Chief Executive Officer at the end of the 2022 season, after more than 40 years at the helm of HITS LLC. Under Struzzieri’s leadership, HITS has become the premier brand known for producing world-class hunter/jumper competitions in the United States. HITS LLC will be led by their world class management team, while the Company actively engages in a search for a new CEO.

Struzzieri will remain a part owner and Director of HITS LLC, and will continue to provide strategic consulting to the Company as well as significant involvement in the launch of the Del Mar, California Showpark in 2023.

Struzzieri commented: “I have been extremely fortunate over the 4 decades of running HITS to have a terrific group of employees who have been by my side through some very hard climbs as we together have grown the company. I remain committed to those people and will be in constant touch as a consultant as we face the next challenges together. On a parallel course, I have also been blessed to have very loyal clients, and because of that loyalty they too can continue to count on me as a liaison to all things HITS related. The future of HITS is bright and I plan on doing what I can behind the scenes to help it shine.”

“It has been a pleasure to witness the industry through Tom’s eyes. He has been, and will continue to be, a guide and advisor to us all,” said Mortimer Singer, Managing Partner of Traub Capital Partners.  “Tom has built a great business and we look forward to continuing our work together as partners.”

With six locations in New York, Florida, Vermont, Illinois, Virginia, and now California, HITS will continue its mission of providing top quality competitions for riders at every level, while improving its facilities, technology and overall customer experience. Exhibitors can expect exciting new developments at the beginning of 2023 as the HITS Ocala Winter Show Series kicks off at Post Time Farm, as well as at Del Mar Showpark, where teams are already in place to begin renovations.

As Struzzieri steps away from his role as CEO, he is fulfilling his life-long goal of cycling across the United States, and will be supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) with Team Alpha. If you would like to consider making a donation, you can do so here: https://www.alphabikeride.com/team.

For more information, visit HitsShows.com.