Category Archives: Show Jumping

Inside the CHI Geneva: The Elite Contenders for the Rolex Grand Prix

Steve Guerdat riding Alamo (Photo: Rolex / Ashley Neuhof)

From 6-9 December 2018, more than 40,000 spectators are set to flock to the Swiss city for the 58th edition of the CHI Geneva, the final Major of the year. Taking place in the Palexpo, which at 5,200 m2 is the largest indoor arena in world, visitors can expect to be thoroughly entertained at an event that has won the Best Equestrian Sports Show Worldwide award no less than nine times.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

With several prolific horse and rider combinations set to compete in the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva, there are a whole host of contenders who will undoubtedly be among the discussion as to who will be crowned champion in this historic Rolex Major.

A hot favourite to claim the title this year is the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Sameh El Dahan. The Egyptian rider clinched victory at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Calgary riding Suma’s Zorro, and will be tipped by many to continue his fine form in Switzerland. With a potential €500,000 bonus for winning two Majors successfully, Sameh will be doing his utmost to repeat his performance in Canada.

Never far from success is Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat, who currently sits at second in the World Official Jumping Rankings. Being a Swiss rider competing in Geneva, Guerdat is likely to be well supported, and when combined with his unquestioned ability, it would be a surprise if he is not one of the top performers in the competition, especially given that he has already won the Rolex Grand Prix on three occasions.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Live TV Coverage of Olympia Set to Feature Heavily over Christmas Period

Taking place from Monday 17 to Sunday 23 December 2018, Olympia, The International London Horse Show will be available to homes across the UK, with extensive coverage from the BBC starting with the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Freestyle to Music at 19:20 on the evening of Tuesday 18 December.

The BBC coverage, which will total almost 14 hours over the course of the week, cements Olympia’s position as the most important indoor equestrian event in the UK and will showcase the world-class competitive equestrian sport that is on offer.

BBC televised highlights include FEI World Cup™ Jumping, in which, last year, seven of the top 10 world-ranked show jumpers featured, including British Olympic gold medallists Ben Maher and Scott Brash. The FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound will also be televised this year and is set to welcome Charlotte Dujardin OBE, who will unveil a new freestyle routine. The three-time Olympic gold medallist, who has not competed in London since setting a new world record in 2015, will bring her rising star Mount St John Freestyle, with whom she won team and individual bronze at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon earlier this year.

Show director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Working with the BBC is always a pleasure and the coverage of Olympia provides a massive platform for equestrian sport. Its coverage is not only important for Olympia but also for equestrianism in general, given that it is broadcasting world-class competition to an incredibly diverse audience. Its importance really can’t be overstated.”

Coverage will also include international classes, such as the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix and the Cayenne Puissance, which last year was won by Britain’s leading lady rider, Laura Renwick, in what proved to be a closely contested affair.

Friday night, also known as ‘Race Night’, will be televised in its entirety and will undoubtedly be a highlight, featuring fan-favourites such as: the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, an exhilarating and competitive event between young and up-and-coming jockeys, along with the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, in which racing legend Sir AP McCoy will be keen to defend his title.

Further coverage includes international displays from La Garde Républicaine and its famous cavalry regiment along with the Azerbaijan ‘Land of Fire,’ a highly-skilled fusion of gymnastics and equestrianism that is bound to get viewers out of their armchairs. For those interested in other four-legged competition, the Kennel Club Dog Agility competition brings the UK’s best canine partnerships to screens as they battle it out for the biggest title of their careers.

International live coverage of the Dressage, Jumping, and Driving FEI World Cup™ competitions will be available on FEI TV and additional post-event coverage will be broadcast on Horse & Country TV and will be accessible from January.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show may be viewed online and on TV. The day-by-day coverage listing is as follows*:

Tuesday 18 December
• FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound
19:20-22:15 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV, and FEI TV

Wednesday 19 December
• The Cayenne Puissance
21:15-22:15 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV

Friday 21 December
• FEI Driving World Cup™ presented By Dobson & Horrell
12:45-13:40 – FEI Facebook Live & FEI YouTube
• The Entire Evening Performance
18:45-22:30 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV
Featuring The Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund and The Longines Christmas Cracker

Saturday 22 December
• FEI World Cup™ Show Jumping
13:15-16:30 – LIVE on BBC Two HD, BBC Online & connected TV
14.30-16.30 – LIVE on FEI TV
18.40-19.25 – LIVE on FEI TV

Sunday 23 December
• The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix
18:00-20:00 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV, FEI Facebook & FEI YouTube

Monday 24 December
• Recorded Highlights
10:00-11:00 – BBC Two HD, BBC Online & connected TV

Horse & Country TV will feature Olympia highlights including the FEI World Cup™ Dressage, Driving, and Show Jumping competitions, along with the Cayenne Puissance, the Longines Christmas Cracker, and the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix.

Horse & Country TV is available on Sky Channel 253, H&C Play, and Amazon Video.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins gjenkins@revolutionworld.com +44(0)7717 776928

Alex Granato Wins $35,000 Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital 1.50m Qualifier CSI 4*

Alex Granato and Carlchen W. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 29, 2018 – Alex Granato (USA) rode home with blue in the $35,000 Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital 1.50m Qualifier CSI 4* with Carlchen W at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Granato dashed through the jump-off in 37.454 seconds to secure the win aboard the 2008 Mecklenburger gelding (Celline x Continue) owned by Page Tredennick. Jumping in close behind, Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA) secured second place in 37.477 seconds riding Collin, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Oberlina x Amethist) owned by Santa Cecilia Stables. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) clinched third place aboard Bull Run’s Almighty, a 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Queen x Quidam De Revel) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, with a jump-off time of 37.849 seconds.

Among 45 pairs, Granato remained victorious with his tidy turns in the course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). “I was really happy with him today. He felt super. He is a naturally quick horse and with going first, I wanted to be prompt and efficient and just let him carry his own motor and now have to ask for a whole lot extra since we have another big class this week,” he commented.

“It was a pretty nice course and it was smooth. I was more focused on rideability early in the first turn, because [from fence] one to two was a pretty big gallop across the ring, and in one of the tight turnbacks from the second jump back to the liverpool oxer. I just wanted to keep him pretty focused there so that he had a tidy turn and was rideable. He did that really well – he galloped to the vertical and then really sat down and rolled back well. From there, I just wanted to keep it smooth and stay tidy to be as efficient as we could,” stated Granato.

Granato relayed his plans for the upcoming week, saying, “Today was our warm-up for the Grand Prix on Saturday. Tomorrow will be a relaxing day for him. He’s a naturally hot-blooded horse, so tomorrow we’ll do a long, relaxing flat to just get his focus and his rideability back and hopefully he comes out Saturday ready to jump the same way.”

Samantha Cohen Collects $10,000 USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship Class 1 aboard Carmen

Samantha Cohen (New York, NY) piloted her own Carmen to victory in Thursday’s $10,000 USEF U25 Show Jumping National Championship Class 1, slicing the 2007 Dutch Warmblood mare (Whitesnake x Wanado) through the timers in 66.35 seconds to best the field. Abigail McArdle claimed the second-place rosette, hailing from Barrington, IL and riding the Victorio Equine Group LLC entry, Victorio 5, a 2006 Hanoverian stallion (Uccello x Graefin). Rounding out the podium in third, Mattias Tromp (North Salem, NY) and Eyecatcher, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Ninewood) owned by Beyaert Farm Inc., cleared the course in 66.89 seconds.

In the single-round, faults-converted competition boasting 16 of the division’s best young riders to test the course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), Cohen and Carmen were able to save time on every turn to take the win. She explained, “Carmen is awesome at the speed – she’s kind of just kick and turn, and she’s always right there for me. I went late in the order and since it was faults converted, I thought I would go in and just give it my best shot and it worked out well. There were a few turns where I was really kicking on and she really helped me, so I couldn’t be happier.”

Cohen and her “horse of a lifetime” have competed together from the High Juniors to international Grand Prix classes. She elaborated: “I cannot say enough good things about her. It’s just been an amazing year and a half with her. I started with her in the High Juniors and she’s taken me up to the U25. I’ve gotten to do some 2* and 3* with her and she really is the most perfect horse you could ask for at home. She’s a little bit quirky,” Cohen continued. “She looks around the ring and is a bit of a mare at home, but she would never put a foot wrong at the show and has the biggest heart.”

Cohen’s victory on Thursday kicked off the USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship week at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), which will continue through Sunday, December 2. Cohen praised the U25 division for its importance to up-and-coming riders, stating, “The U25 circuit has prepared me really well for international classes. Last season was my first year competing on the U25 circuit and it was definitely a learning experience. It was nice because in Europe the classes are so big and competitive with lots of professionals, so this division has done amazing things for me in terms of bridging the gap from the High Juniors to the bigger FEI Grand Prix competitions,” she elaborated. “I predict throughout the week it’ll keep getting bigger and more technical. I think this division is great and I look forward to doing it and learning from it for a few more years.”

For more information on PBIEC and the ESP Holiday Series, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Shane Sweetnam Sweeps $35,000 Dover Saddlery Holiday & Horses Opener CSI 4*

Shane Sweetnam and Palina De L’Escaut. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 28, 2018 – Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Palina De L’Escaut produced a double clear in the $35,000 Dover Saddlery Holiday & Horses Opener CSI 4* to begin 2018 Holiday & Horses competition at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), conquering their first FEI-level class together with ease and stopping the second-round timers in 30.499 seconds. Samuel Parot (CHI) rode his own Thriller P, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Lucky Light), to second and double clear in 30.59 seconds, while Daniel Bluman (ISR) rounded out the podium in 31.327 seconds on the speed portion aboard Cartouche, a 2007 stallion, owned by Bluman and Over the Top Stables, LLC.

Forty-five entries tested the course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), and Sweetnam remarked that the 2009 Hanoverian mare (Perigueux x Gottard), owned by Sweetnam, Paul Tracy, and Spy Coast Farm, LLC, proved herself quite capable of answering the questions posed to the course’s challengers, despite the fact that it was their first FEI class.

“I’ve had her since the end of the summer and she’s a bit green still,” Sweetnam explained. “I knew from the courses I’ve done on her that she’s quite nifty at turning and she’s very careful, so I knew she could do that turn, though I wasn’t sure it would be enough to win the class. It definitely worked out in my favor.”

In particular, the manner in which Palina De L’Escaut attacked said turn made a significant difference in the speed portion of the class. Sweetnam elaborated: “The second half in the speed part, there was an option with a turn that obviously not everybody did and that made a big difference for the win. I think naturally she covers the ground and is quite a quick horse, but I do think she saved two seconds when she turned the way she did, because she literally came off the jump before, turned and looked, and we went straight for it. She zoned in on it perfectly.”

Sweetnam stated that he has been trying horses in Europe frequently throughout the year and first partnered with the mare in Belgium. Right away, he noticed some qualities that he liked. “Honestly, she gives a great feel and she’s very sensitive, but at that stage she was still quite raw,” he admitted. “And she still has little things to learn, but she’s a very quick learner and she’s picking up everything very fast.

“This week, since I’m still getting to know her, she’ll do the [$35,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Classic] class Friday and hopefully she can do a lot more in Florida this year. I definitely think she’ll do a couple Grand Prix classes, but I’m not sure yet [what she’ll do this winter]. When the timing is right, I’m sure she’ll let me know if she’s ready or not,” Sweetnam concluded.

Up-and-Coming Athletes Set for $100,000 USEF U25 Show Jumping National Championship at Holiday & Horses Show

The $100,000 USEF U25 Show Jumping National Championship is ready to begin at the Holiday & Horses Show in the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s International Arena. The championship’s fourth edition will run from November 29 to December 2. Athletes between the ages of 16 and 25 will compete in three competitions with fences up to 1.50 meters in height in hopes of claiming top honors.

The $10,000 faults-converted competition will kick off the championship on Thursday, followed by a $15,000 jump-off competition on Friday. The championship will be decided after the $25,000 two-round competition on Sunday. The champion will be the competitor with the lowest number of penalties after the three phases of the championship, with $50,000 in prize money awarded to the top-10 overall.

Twenty-four-year-old Abigail McArdle (Barrington, Ill.) claimed individual bronze with Adamo in 2016 and Chuck Berry 8 in 2017. She started a partnership with Victorio 5, Victorio Equine Group, LLC’s 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion, earlier this year and aims for a top performance in the championship. McArdle and Victorio 5 earned three top-six finishes at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in October as they continue to develop as a team.

Several competitors from this summer’s Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships presented by Gotham North (NAYC) are stepping up to this championship to further their education with the challenging competition format. Seventeen-year-old Samantha Cohen, young rider team gold and individual silver medalist, and 18-year-old McKayla Langmeier, young rider individual bronze medalist, bring their NAYC mounts, Carmen and Durosa W, respectively. Cohen (New York, N.Y.) and Langmeier (East Granby, Conn.) were also teammates on the U.S. team in the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Youth Final held in Opglabbeek, Belgium, in September.

For more information on PBIEC and the ESP Holiday Series, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Deusser Makes It a Double in Madrid

Daniel Deusser (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Germany’s Daniel Deusser (37) rocketed up to third on the Western European League leaderboard and booked his ticket to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April when posting his second win of the 2018/2019 qualifying season at Madrid in Spain. He topped the line-up with Calisto Blue in Verona, Italy last month, and in this sixth round of the 13-leg series he steered Tobago Z to the quickest time in a tension-filled 10-horse jump-off to take maximum points once again.

Runner-up was World No. 2, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (36), who has now forged a significant lead on the league table, and third place went to Irma Karlsson (25), one of three Swedish riders to make it into the timed round.

Karlsson led the way against the clock with a beautifully-ridden, fast and accurate ride on the lovely 10-year-old mare Ida Bisschop to set a strong target in 48.28 seconds. But it was like watching a piece of precision engineering as Deusser’s handsome Zangersheide stallion shaved 1.55 seconds off that with effortless ease when fifth to go.

“We found a good rhythm from the first to the second, and it lasted to the very end of the course. Tobago is very careful and very scopey, and he’s not a hot horse so that really helps in the jump-off because he never rushes even when he’s under pressure – you get the same jump whether you are going fast or slow.” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

Having set the standard at 46.73 seconds, the 2014 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion then had to sit it out as the remaining five took their turn over Javier Trenor’s shortened track. Niels Bruynseels slotted in behind Karlsson when clear with his exciting nine-year-old Delux van T&L in 48.42, and when both his Belgian compatriot Pieter Devos (Claire Z), winner at last weekend’s leg in Stuttgart, and Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (Toveks Mary Lou) left a pole on the floor, it was still all to play for with two left to run.

Guerdat looked well set to challenge for the lead with his 10-year-old mare Ulysse des Forets. However, a wider turn to the double three from home may have cost valuable fractions of seconds, so when the pair broke the beam in 47.12 then only the reigning European individual champion, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, stood between Deusser and his second success of the season.

Fredricson was fully focused as he set sail with H&M Christian K, but an unscheduled stop at the third fence put paid to his chances and when the pair completed with a total of 16 faults, they lined up in tenth place. Deusser, currently world no. 7, was really pleased with his horse’s performance.

“Tobago has developed very well this year. His first World Cup was in Bordeaux in February and he has done a few Grand Prix classes and is showing a lot of promise for the future,” he said. He intends taking either Tobago or Calisto Blue to Gothenburg – “You ride your best at the Final!”

With 40 points now on the board he looks set to be inside the top-18 who make the cut from the Western European League for the Longines 2019 Final, even though there are another seven legs left to go. Pieter Devos has 49 so is also well on his way, while double-champion Guerdat, who has collected points at all six legs to date while riding four different horses, is in full command at the top of the table with a big tally of 58.

The action stays in Spain for the next leg of the Western European League, with the port city of La Coruña in Galicia playing host next weekend.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Lecuona Leaps to Victory in $25k Equine Tack & Nutritionals Grand Prix to Conclude ESP Fall Series

Manuel Lecuona and Noche De Ronda. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 19, 2018 – Manuel Lecuona of Wellington, FL rode to victory in the $25,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals in the 2018 ESP Pre-Charity show aboard Noche De Ronda at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Lecuona flew through the jump-off in 46.784 seconds the 2009 Oldenburg mare (Quintender x Lovis Corinth) to secure the win. Following close behind, fellow Wellington resident Santiago Lambre claimed second place riding Dingeman, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Nintender x Darnels) owned by Integrated Services Florida LLC, completing the course in 47.812 seconds. Third place was awarded to Carlos Quinones, also of Wellington, FL, with Satoyama, a 2006 gelding, owned by Michelle Navarro-Grau, with a time of 49.749 seconds.

Only six pairs moved forward to contest the jump-off of 24 original entries and Lecuona remained on top in the course set by Hector Loyola of Wellington, FL. “It was a really nice course. It was very well built. There were difficulties all over, which was nice because they weren’t just in one place. I think that makes it better for us and the horses. We get challenged all over the course,” Lecuona remarked.

“My horse was amazing. It’s been a difficult year for us. I had to stop showing her because we went to Mexico for my wife. She’s a dressage rider, so we went to Mexico for the summer. This was [Noche De Ronda]’s first weekend back and she was amazing. She’s an incredible horse. I’ve had her since she was four and now she’s nine. I think she’s ready to step up to the international classes.”

Regarding his future plans with Noche De Ronda, Lecuona stated, “I want to do some pre-season shows and then some Grand Prix classes. I also want to try do some FEI classes and aim for the trial of the Pan-Am Games. I really think she’s a horse who can compete at that level,” he concluded.

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

World Jumping Champion Simone Blum Takes Fosun Best Athlete at FEI Awards 2018

FEI Awards winners (L to R): Philip Wong (CHN), Lee McKeever (USA), Simone Blum (GER), Alex Hua Tian (CHN), FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibanez (SUI), Victor Levecque (FRA), FEI President Ingmar De Vos (BEL), Leila Malki (PLE), Juan Carlos Capelli Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Natasha Baker (GBR), Juan Matute Guimon (ESP). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Manama (BRN), 20 November 2018 — Germany’s golden girl Simone Blum (29) has undoubtedly had the best year of her career to date, and she added another accolade to the list, taking home the Fosun Best Athlete Award at the FEI Awards 2018 presented by Longines in Manama (BRN).

Crowned individual world champion and winner of a team bronze medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (USA) in September, she became the first woman in the 28-year history of the Games and only the second female athlete in 65 years of the World Jumping championship to win individual gold.

“I am very proud to be the Fosun best athlete. I think it’s a dream of every rider,” Simone Blum said. “A lot of really good riders got it before and to the people I want to say thank you a lot; it was a pleasure for me and I have the best fans and supporters. Thank you.”

Hosts for the gala evening were five-time Paralympic gold medallist and multi world and European title holder, Natasha Baker (GBR), and Spain’s rising star, Juan Matute Guimon, FEI Dressage European Junior champion in 2015 and at 20, one of the youngest Dressage athletes at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.

Presenting the winners of the five categories, in front of more than 300 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, equestrian fans, National Federations, FEI partners and stakeholders, these awards celebrate outstanding achievements within the equestrian community, tapping into the sporting excellence and celebrating the champions, the unsung heroes and the incredible individuals and organisations backstage making it all happen.

Groom to four-time Olympian McLain Ward, the USA’s Lee McKeever, took the award for FEI Best Groom. After 30 years working with McLain, he is still as dedicated about his work as when he started, going above and beyond to ensure the best possible care for his horses, and always willing to help others in the sport working tirelessly behind the scenes. McLain and Lee’s shared victories include the recent FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 team gold medal with Clinta, the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title with HH Azur in Omaha (USA), individual gold medal with Rothchild at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto (CAN), and team gold medals at the Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games with Sapphire.

French Eventing athlete Victor Levecque was presented with the Longines Rising Star Award by Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Juan-Carlos Capelli. This award highlights the achievements of athletes between the ages of 14 and 21 who demonstrate outstanding equestrian sporting talent. At the age of 20, Victor is already multiple winner, with 10 European medals, including two gold medals and five French national champion titles to his name.

“For a second consecutive year the online public vote has become very popular and a peer to peer recognition is one of the most powerful,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The influence of one’s peers and the recognition of talent and hard work is a testament to the strengths and development of the growth of the sport.

“Development, like youth, is key to our future and has been a strong focus throughout 2018 as we can see here tonight in the results of the youth of our sport shining through. With our top partner Longines, and their ever-increasing support, their commitment to these awards and equestrian sport globally, and for the first time to celebrate the Fosun Best Athlete award, we are delighted to be here in Bahrain to reward these fantastic achievements.”

Alex Hua Tian and Philip Wong of China accepted the FEI Solidarity award for the Horsemanship charity programme in China. Ten years ago, Alex won the Rising Star Award and he was here as part of the team working to communicate the core value of “Equestrianism as Horsemanship” to the world’s fastest growing equestrian market.

Leila Malki from Palestine was presented with the Against All Odds award. Her dedication to equestrian sport and her passion have made her a role model for young women in Palestine through her encouragement of girls and women to become involved in equestrian sport in her country.

“As FEI’s Top Partner, Longines is very proud to take part in the 2018 FEI Awards Ceremony in Manama,” Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, said.

“Our connection with the equestrian world dates back 150 years, and we attach great importance to supporting events that are aligned with our core values of tradition, elegance and performance. We are particularly delighted to present the Longines Rising Star award, acknowledging our commitment in supporting new generations of athletes in each sport that we are involved in.”

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

Atlanta Fall Classic Wraps Up with Big Numbers and Big Winners

Ricardo Villa Pilots Cludy to Victory in the $15,000 Classic

The $15,000 Jumper Classic saw twenty-seven horse and rider teams tackle the course designed by Paul Jewell of Lambertville, New Jersey in the Olympic Arena Saturday. Only four advanced to the jump off round and Ricardo Villa of Campobello, South Carolina in the irons of Arianna Tucker, LLC’s Cludy won the class with a clear jump off round in 46.567 seconds.

“I think the course was very technical which is why we didn’t have more clears. I have a new horse and only had him for 2 weeks. I didn’t know how fast he was, but he has a huge stride and is really sensitive and turns quickly. I wanted to go a little fast and of course clear. I got to put a little pressure on those other girls and it worked – it was fast enough,” said Villa.

“Arianna [Tucker] owns him [Cludy] and she also rides with me. She’s been with me a couple of months and asked me to ride him for a month. I jumped him at home for a week and he was good and then I took him to Atlanta. I did the 1.20 m and won it, then we did the 1.20 Welcome and had just one rail down. I called her the day before the Classic and suggested that instead of doing the 1.20 on Sunday, we should do the Classic,” he said. “She agreed with me and that turned out to be an excellent decision,” he added.

Second place finisher, Stella Swarr of New Orleans, Louisiana, aboard High Hopes Farm, LLC’s Anos Veros went clear in the jump off round in a time of 47.581 seconds.

Last to go in the jump off order was Shanna Beyer of Collierville, Tennessee and her own Invictus who earned one time fault in their jump off round with a time of 48.020 seconds and a third place ribbon. Welcome winner, junior rider Olivia Epple and Livhaven Stables’ Itile Horta, placed fourth with one time fault in the jump off round with their time of 44.351 seconds.

Fifth place was awarded to Paul Macrae and Maarten Hygens’ Casquino for their first-round performance which earned them one time fault for their time of 75.435 seconds.

Heather Steinman and Elisabeth Yaeger’s Hot Spot earned a sixth for their four fault first round in a time of 66.243 seconds, and seventh was awarded to Madeleine Reich and Booth Parker’s Nomination Hastik for their four fault first round in a time of 67.038 seconds.

Eighth place finisher J. F. Gagne and Lyons Creek Sport Horses’ Lyons Creek Dragon Bleu posted a four fault first round in a time of 68.591 seconds, and Casey Charles in the irons of Double C Sporthorses’ CC Kolaborant earned a ninth place for their four fault first round in a time of 69.002 seconds.

Freestyle 3, owned and ridden by Greer Campbell of Charlotte, North Carolina, placed tenth for their four fault first round in a time of 65.910 seconds, and Aide Sanchez Long of and Eliza Lehrman’s Mr. DW took home an eleventh placing after posting a four fault first round in a time of 72.036 seconds. Mary Meghann Huitt and her own The Stig wrapped the class up with a twelfth-place ribbon after posting a four fault first round time in 73.455 seconds.

Fifteen-Year-Old Olivia Epple and Itile Horta Win the $5,000 Welcome

Week II of the Atlanta Fall Classic again saw big numbers in the jumper rings. The week kicked off with twenty-five horse and rider teams competing for the blue ribbon in the $5,000 Welcome Thursday over a course designed by Paul Jewel.

Set in the famous Olympic arena, the first round was designed with a time allowed of 80 seconds and second round of 45 seconds.

Livhaven Stables’ Itile Horta, ridden by fifteen-year-old Olivia Epple of Woodstock, Georgia, took home the blue ribbon in lightning fast double clear rounds in times of 70.785 seconds and 36.399 seconds, respectively, beating twenty-four horse and rider teams, including her trainer Heather Steinman.

“I know a lot of the folks I was riding against, and a lot were from my barn. And I just have to say, I have the best barn family!” commented the high school Junior.

“The course was great! It was challenging and just fun. I loved the lights in the big arena; it’s so cool when it gets really quiet when you start and well; you just get into a zone when you start going,” she said. “I just went for it. It is so much fun and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. I love to go fast and really love the tight turns.

“My mare is amazing. There was one turn where you had to turn back left. I haven’t don’t that often and I thought it was kind of cool. My mare is scopey; I enjoy going fast and pushing limits. The distance really turned up there for us,” she said of the course.

“I’ve had her [Horta] a couple of months. I got her from Maartin Huygens. This is a new partnership and she’s something special. We’ve jumped up pretty quickly and she is very forward thinking,” she said of her mount. “We did a bunch of 1.25 m and played a little in the 1.30 in Brownland, but this kind of a bigger step it for us. Horta is 11 and has done bigger heights and grand prix and this was our first time showing at Conyers. I feel like on this mare I can jump anything and I’m really excited about showing her in Gulfport this winter,” she said.

Casey Charles of Birmingham, Alabama and Double C Sporthorses’ CC Kolaborant earned a second-place ribbon for their double fault free rounds in times of 78.968 seconds and 36.950 seconds, respectively.

Elisabeth Yeager’s Hot Spot, ridden by Heather Steinman of Canton, Georgia, earned a third-place ribbon for their double clear rounds in times of 75.511 and 36.961 seconds.

Caroline Monahan of Birmingham, Alabama piloted her own Sevani to a fourth place with double clear rounds in times of 75.362 and 37.556 seconds, and Camille Maddrix of Leeds, Alabama in the irons of Ellie Miller’s Zathura earned fifth with their clear rounds in times of 74.195 and 38.191 seconds, respectively. Maddrix returned for a sixth aboard Caroline Michele Dugas’ Skyfall for their double clear rounds in 75.276 and 38.388 seconds, and J. F. Gagne of Columbus, South Carolina and Lyons Creek Sporthorses, Ltd.’s Lyons Creek Dragon Bleu placed seventh. Eighth was awarded to Madeline Reich of Mountain Brook, Alabama and Booth Parker’s Nomination Hastak.

Sydney Crenshaw and Camera Ready Honor Cathey Coffey with Double Wins in Barry Lane Jumper Classics

The third installment of the $5,000 Barry Lane Classic Saturday welcomed 24 horse and rider teams to the 1.10 m course in the Olympic Arena and it was Sydney Crenshaw of Canton, Georgia and Fit to Print Farm’s Camera Ready who won the class with lightning fast rounds. The pair was first to go and turned in double clear rounds in times of 67.772 seconds and 29488 seconds, well within the 75 and 45 seconds time allowed. No one touched their new time to beat.

“Thinking back on the weekend, we wanted to honor Cathy [Coffey]. She used to own Carmen [Camera Ready]. I’ve known Cathy since I was about 12 and she was a really special lady to me. She made dreams come true for me that I didn’t even know I had at that time. I remember when I got the call January that she had died, I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to call Cathy and ask her if it was true.

“Looking back on Facebook on my way home, I realized I had won that class with Carmen [Camera Ready] in 2014 and 2015 and then back to back this weekend. It was really weird doing the class on Saturday. We finished the jump off and to not have Cathy there to celebrate; it was so strange. She was always there cheering us on, wanting to celebrate us, telling us what a great job we did. She loved the Barry Lane Classics and always wanted us to ride in it. It was a great way to honor her and winning both days was just amazing. I thought about Cathy the entire weekend,” said Crenshaw.

“Carmen is the nicest horse in the world and it was a perfect weekend – my perfect horse and just perfect weather. It’s funny – we always joke that Carmen’s name is Camera Ready, because she is anything but that! She cannot stand still ever!“

Alexandra Doyle, also of Canton, Georgia, and her own Wrozbita earned a second place for their double clear rounds in times of 70.0006 and 31.353 seconds and then picked up a fourth-place ribbon with her other mount, Carto’s Star, after posting a four fault second round in a time of 29.147 seconds.

Third place finisher, Cameron Parke of Marietta, Georgia, and her own Santa Rosa C posted double clear rounds in times of 73.501 and 33.277 seconds, respectively.

Falcon Ridge Stables’ Captivate and Annie Parsons of Atlanta, Georgia earned fifth place with their four fault second round in a time of 29.648 seconds. Jesca Henning of Milton, Georgia and Maarten Huygens’ Zaander VD Veoldekensho Eve Z placed sixth for their four fault second round in a time of 35.34, and seventh was awarded to Lauren Lemaster of Austell, Georgia and her own Lancelot Quainton, who finished their second round with four faults in a time of 36.190 seconds. Eighth was awarded to Chasm Z, owned by Madison Akins and ridden by Isabelle Blackstone of Monroe, Georgia, and Christian Currey of Franklin, Tennessee picked up ninth place with his own Vigaro. Courtney Kelling of Marietta, Georgia and her own Finnegan placed tenth, and Caliente, owned by Kate O’Grady and ridden by Sally Nicholas of Smyrna, Georgia, wrapped up the class in twelfth place.

For complete results, please visit horseshowsonline.com.

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Next Generation of British Show Jumping Talent Set to Compete at Olympia

Taking place from 17-23 December 2018, Olympia, The London International Horse Show is set to welcome the next generation of British Show Jumping talent, who will compete in front of the 90,000 visitors expected to attend. These leading junior equestrians will feature in three classes: a 128cm class, The Voltaire Design 148cm class, and The Voltaire Design Under-25 British Championship, the last of which will be held on the morning of Friday 21 December. 24 riders have been invited to take part in the Under-25 class, who will battle it out for the Championship Title in Olympia’s impressive Grand Hall.

Although still young, the Under-25 riders have already achieved a remarkable amount in their relatively short Show Jumping careers. And none more so than Jessica Mendoza, who, in 2016, at the age of 20, became the youngest competitor in 40 years to join the Team GBR Show Jumping squad, in which she was travelling reserve for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Some of these youthful equestrians benefit from receiving an incredibly high level of training. 17-year-old Robert Murphy worked in close quarters with the legendary British Show Jumper Nick Skelton at Olympian Laura Kraut’s stables in Florida, USA. Skelton became the British equestrian story of the Rio Games when he won individual gold at the ripe old age of 58. This followed his Olympic team gold four years before in London. It appears some of his success is rubbing off on Murphy who, in 2014, claimed a gold medal at the Children, Junior and Young Rider European Championships as a 13-year-old.

Fans of the sport will certainly recognise some of the surnames competing this year, including Jack Whitaker and Oliver Fletcher, who will both be attempting to emulate their parents’ many successes. Fletcher is the son of former Show Jumping Olympian, Graham Fletcher, whose wife was also a London 2012 reserve rider. In an unlikely turn of events, Whitaker – on his 17th birthday – imitated his father Michael’s phenomenal 1984 Los Angeles Olympics silver medal by claiming a Youth Olympics team silver medal in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The 128cm class has the makings of being a tightly fought contest and will see the three top-placed riders from the 128cm class at British Show Jumping National Championships 2018 go head-to-head once again. The eventual National 128cm champion, Tabitha Kyle, will compete at Olympia alongside Noora Von Bulow and Poppy Deakin, who finished in second and third place, respectively.

Meanwhile, in The Voltaire Design 148cm class, Hannah Barker is representing the third generation of successful riders in her family. Her uncle, Paul Barker, won three international and two national grand prix classes, while her grandfather, David Barker, was a member of Great Britain’s Nations Cup Team in the 1960s and represented his country at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964.

The 148cm class will also feature several members of the team that won gold at the European Pony Championship earlier this year, who will now be competing against each other. Perdita Digby, Nicole Lockhead Anderson, Shaunie Greig, and Claudia Moore will all have to put friendships to one side, as they contest for the title in what will undoubtedly be a competitive yet good-natured affair.

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

Devos Delivers a Strategic Win at Stuttgart

Pieter Devos and Apart (FEI/Leanjo de Koster)

Belgian star pips Austria’s Kuehner in extraordinary 10-horse jump-off

Belgium’s Pieter Devos (32) and Austria’s Max Kuehner (44) put paid to the myth that men don’t multi-task when taking the top two places in the fifth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League on a fascinating afternoon in Stuttgart, Germany.

Unlike the majority of their opponents, they both divide their time between top-class showjumping and full-scale commitments in the business world. And they put their business-brains to work in an extraordinary 10-horse jump-off that took everyone by surprise.

“There were some options in the jump-off that were not easy to do, and there were a lot of misunderstandings from the horses so it wasn’t fluid; riders were trying everything they could, but it was not working out well. I decided I would go for a clear round, but I knew I had to keep my head and stay concentrated!” said Devos after pipping Kuehner by almost eight seconds when last to go against the clock with the chestnut gelding Apart.

The big blue wall at fence three had already created plenty of excitement in the first round, with two eliminations and several refusals, but it came as a bit of a shock when jump-off pathfinder, Germany’s Christian Kukuk with Colestus, ground to a halt in front of it this time out. German course designer, Christa Jung, had set them a track full of twists and turns, and both Sweden’s Stephanie Holmen (Flip’s Little Sparrow) and Germany’s Maurice Tebbel (Don Diarado) lost their chances on the sharp roll-back to the second and third elements of the double before Kuehner set off with PSG Final.

The Austrian, who finished a superb sixth individually with his top ride Chardonnay at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ two months ago and who manages a leasing company when not in the saddle, wasn’t taking any risks with his lovely eight-year-old gelding who is showing massive potential. He steered him home for the first double-clear of the competition, although their slow time of 56.62 seconds looked to have left the door wide open for the six yet to go.

However, Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt (Asathir) knocked a brick out of the bogey wall, Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts (H&M Legend of Love) slipped on the approach to the second-last which hit the floor, and 2012 Olympic champion Steven Guerdat from Switzerland (Alamo) faulted at the second fence. So when Germany’s Christian Ahlmann (Tokyo) decided to take a leisurely tour with his inexperienced horse, posting a clear in 57.68 seconds, then Kuehner was, even to his own obvious amazement, still out in front.

Last in, Devos knew what he had to do. “I could see I could go six or seven seconds quicker but I also knew if I knocked a fence then I would be nowhere anymore. But Apart jumped really well, he already won a lot of classes for me but never anything as big as this, so I’m really happy for him!” said the Belgian after stopping the clock in the winning time of 49.05 seconds.

He talked about the challenge of mixing his business and sporting careers and says it has just become a way of life.

“Everyone asks me how I do it and I don’t have the answer because I ask myself that sometimes too! My brother and I inherited a big fruit company from our parents when I was 17 or 18… it’s a second-generation business and I’m Commercial Director. I’ve grown up doing both jobs, the fruit business and the horse business, and it works because I have a great team on both sides!” — Pieter Devos (BEL)

Devos, now 16th in the world rankings, is lying second on the Western European League table with 39 points and is only a whisper away from qualifying for the Longines Final in Gothenburg (SWE) next April.

“I will go to Madrid (ESP) next week and then Mechelen (BEL) in December. After that I’ll make a plan for the second half of the season, but I don’t need too many more points now which is great!” he added.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
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