Category Archives: Show Jumping

Two Horses and Two CCI4*-S Phases in the Bag for Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp at The Fork

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night. ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Tryon, NC – April 6, 2019 – Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) retained control over the first and second-place slots in CCI 4*-S competition at The Fork at TIEC presented by Lucky Clays Farm hosted at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), walking away from the Show Jumping phase adding four faults to her score on Fernhill By Night for 28.80 points, and putting in a clear round aboard Deniro Z to maintain her score of 30.10. In third, Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine Turner, are no longer tied for the spot, also going clear and under the time to bring a score of 30.20 into Cross-Country competition on Sunday.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Radolin x Argentinus) owned by Deborah Halliday could afford the rail down on the USA’s Chris Barnard-designed course to keep the lead, she allowed, but would rather have saved the cushion for the Cross-Country course.

“Blackie [Fernhill By Night] jumped out of his skin and I thought I had it in the bag,” she explained. “He was my first ride of [three] and I just kind of rolled down the last fence. I had a little bit of turn on him still, and he just twisted the tiniest bit into his left shoulder in the air, which is very rare for Blackie. It was probably my fault; maybe I was a little too casual about it because I thought I had it done – and I know better – but the horse jumped amazing, so it’s not his fault.”

With Deniro Z, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero VDL x French Buffet XX) owned by the Deniro Syndicate & Ocala Horse Properties, Halliday-Sharp was thrilled with his performance on the day and looked ahead to her Cross-Country round with Kentucky in mind, saying, “Deniro [Z] really needs a good prep run for Kentucky. I don’t plan to run him slow because I don’t think that would suit him. I need to get him a little bit more with me; he was a bit of an animal Carolina. He’s like an airplane now; he’s so strong and has so much power and I just need to make sure he’s sort of listening to me and that I can put him in the same place looking ahead to Kentucky, so that will be my goal with him.

“With Blackie, I’m gonna have a damn good crack and try and make the time and try and take him to the win,” Halliday-Sharp elaborated. “I think it’s a stronger track than Carolina, in my opinion, and I think there’s a lot more to do than there was at Carolina, so it will take some riding for sure, especially if you’re going fast. I’m just gonna go out and try to give them a really great run and lots of confidence and kick on,” she concluded.

“I had an up and down day,” said Martin. “The two horses I was worried about having tough rounds on jumped like bunny rabbits. Contestor and Tsetserleg, they were fantastic. My two reliable jumping horses were a little bit spooky today!”

Martin detailed that Tsetserleg can be a little bit tricky in the combinations, so the morning’s preparation included “popping him through a couple small, sort of novice-like combinations over and over again, and it just got him thinking, waiting, and slow. And then the two combinations [on course] and here arched really well. I was pleased that he jumped not only clear, but in good fashion. I think leading into Kentucky it’s not so much the result, but the feeling they’re giving you when you ride them.”

Martin is hoping to carry that good feeling into the competition, which seems to be overshadowed by one obstacle that didn’t go well for Martin during the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 at the venue last year, he noted. “It’s a very weird thing. Last year’s [WEG] was just a horrible memory here and it was only one jump. It’s a very weird sport because one jump can just destroy emotion or feeling and everyone’s moral for months and months and months, so it’s good to be back here, to be honest.

“Obviously, [for] the boat in the water, I really want to give him a good ride there. I’ve probably gone over that jump [in my mind] more times, you know, what I did wrong, or what could have happened differently than any other jump I’ve ever jumped, so [I’m] looking forward to going in there and riding that in a better way,” Martin remarked.

The obstacle looming in his mind is not the only thing Martin needs to pay attention to while on course, he continued. “Then, [in light of] the horses going to Kentucky, I think giving them a slightly quicker round because the ground will be good, and make sure that they’re thinking good. Sometimes if you ride them real fast, the next time you ride them, they’re a bit out of control, so I’ll try and give them a good blow out here – a good fitness run – but then also schooling them a little bit so that they’re waiting and thinking for you. It’s a catch 22,” he concluded.

Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection Rise above Competition in Advanced Show Jumping ahead of Cross-Country

Lynn Symansky improved her ranking to first in the Advanced Division following Show Jumping aboard Under Suspection, adding four faults to bring a score of 31.20 into Cross-Country competition going forward. Second place after two phases belongs to Ariel Grald aboard Leamore Master Plan, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Master IMP IHR x Cavalier Royale) owned by Anne W. Eldridge, on a score of 31.40, while Boyd Martin and Long Island T sit in third with a score of 32.50, adding eight time faults to score for the 2006 Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding (Ludwig Von Bayern x Heraldik XX) owned by The Long Island T Syndicate. Martin also holds fourth place aboard Contestor, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contango x Killer Jer) owned by Denise Lahey, on 34.30 points.

Symansky and the 2004 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Exorbitant XX) owned by Mary Ann Ghadban were slated to sit in second before Will Faudree and Pfun withdrew from competition, but now enjoy a top placing that Symansky said wasn’t really her focus, but is nice to have.

“She was good. I totally take credit for the rail we had down – she jumped really well; I just didn’t ride across the back rail of that oxer. But yeah, she tried really hard. It was good to get in a little bit more atmosphere because she’s been to places that were a little bit quieter, so it was good to get in here and practice in a venue that really prepares you for Kentucky,” she commented.

“The plan tomorrow would be to have a good run that prepares her for Kentucky. I don’t really have the clock in mind; the chips kind of fall where they do. I’m excited to ride around the track tomorrow – I rode it on a horse I knew very well last year, and this is one I’ve had the ride on for about a year now. The venue looks great, too – the ground is great and the courses look awesome.”

About the venue in particular, Symansky mentioned, “This place prepares you so much. Especially for young horses to come see this kind of venue, and the courses and the footing are really good, with jumper classes going on at the same time so you could even bring young horses or students, too. It’s really is a fantastic venue for all levels and experience.”

Grald was pleased with her mount’s performance on the day, saying, “My horse jumps super and is very careful. He gets a little strong, but I’m lucky that he really tries over the fences. There’s a lot of atmosphere in that arena, but I thought it was a great course that challenged accuracy,” she recalled. “I didn’t give him the best ride going into the final line, but he took care of himself and dealt with the mistakes. He jumped really well.”

Heading into the Cross-Country competition, a favorite phase for both Grald and Leamore Master Plan, she noted the course contains both size and accuracy-related questions to tackle. “I’m looking forward to going out and getting galloping. There’s a lot of big jumps out there that are going to be fun, but there are some good accuracy questions, too. He’s really good at Cross-Country. He loves to gallop and he’s brave. I think it’s going to be a great set up for future spring events, too,” Grald concluded.

“I had two good rounds,” Martin recapped. “Contestor is pretty green and he went in there as the first horse of the day and jumped like a bunny rabbit. I was thrilled with him because it’s been a bit tough in show jumping for him in the past.”

He continued, “Long Island T was really good in there; I was very happy with him. He did have two poles down, but he just nicked them. One was the back rail of the triple bar, which I set up a bit too early, so that one was my fault and then he knocked an oxer right at the end. I felt like he was making a really good show; he was trying. It doesn’t look that good on the score board, but he gave me a good feel. I’ve still got a bit of homework to do with him before Kentucky if we take him there, but all in all, I was happy with both.

“The rain yesterday is going to make the turf sensational,” Martin predicted of the Cross-Country course. “It’s a real test, but we’re gonna have to ride every stride of the course.”

The CCI 3*-S Division leading pair remains unchanged after a clear Jumping round for Doug Payne (USA) and Starr Witness, sitting on a score of 27.60 to maintain first position. Will Faudree (USA) and Caeleste continue to hold second with 29.60 points, while Therese Evans (USA) and Clover Joe are third with 31.50.

The CCI 2*-S Division saw Courtney Cooper (USA) aboard Excel Star If Never in first with a score of 36.30, while Dasha Ivandaeva (CAN) jumped to second aboard Kingcarra Cooley Diamond to remain on a score of 36.70, and third place stands with Ryan Wood (AUS) riding Ruby, sitting on 37.00 points ahead of Cross-Country.

Click here to follow along with live results from The Fork at TIEC.

Graves Takes Second in FEI Dressage World Cup Final Grand Prix

Laura Graves and Verdades (Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Gothenburg, Sweden – In an exciting day of competition, U.S. dressage and jumping combinations found their rhythm at the FEI World Cup™ Finals. Laura Graves and Verdades earned second in the FEI Dressage World Cup Final Grand Prix, while Beezie Madden and Breitling LS advanced to fourth after the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final II.

With poise and grace, the U.S. dressage combinations trotted down centerline on Friday ready to represent American dressage. Their hard work and dedication paid off, resulting in all three combinations placing in the top eight in the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final Grand Prix. Laura Graves and Verdades led the way for the U.S., placing second on 80.109% closely behind Germany’s Isabel Werth.

Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own and Curt Maes’s 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding found their rhythm in the large Scandinavium Arena in front of a knowledgeable Swedish audience.

“I thought [feeling super]. He was super rideable today,” said Graves. “I think tomorrow will be an interesting competition for everyone, and, hopefully, my horse gives me the same great feeling that he did today… I feel really, really confident in how we have prepared him for this competition.”

Madden Moves Up, Tied for Fourth after Round II of Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final

With ground to cover, the U.S. combinations headed into Friday evening’s Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final II looking to improve their positions in the second round of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final. Round II saw a shift in the leaderboard, and Madden and Breitling LS jumped a commanding and nearly flawless round to place fifth in the class and fourth overall.

After jumping a clear round on a time of 76.41 seconds, Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion headed into the jump-off with seven other top combinations. Their jump-off time of 34.75 seconds was the fastest of the round but a rail at the final jump cost them the double-clear. Sitting on just three penalties, and tied for fourth with Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels and Olivier Philippaerts, as well as Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs, Madden and Breitling LS sit less than one rail from the current leader headed into Sunday’s final.

By US Equestrian Communications Department

Spain’s Alvarez Aznar Jumps into Lead, but Sweden’s Fredricson Steals the Show

Peder Fredricson and Catch Me Not. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

When the first-round winner, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, said the second competition at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2019 in Gothenburg (SWE) would shake up the leaderboard, he wasn’t wrong. A single mistake tonight sees him go into Sunday’s two-round title-decider lying third on the leaderboard, but only two points behind Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar at the head of affairs and a single point behind Peder Fredricson who set the Swedish crowd alight with a sensational home victory this evening.

Defending champions, America’s Beezie Madden and Breitling, posted by far the quickest time in the eight-horse jump-off but, like many others, fell victim to the turn the very last. She has moved right into contention, however, up from tenth to equal-fourth place in the overall rankings alongside Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels and Olivier Philippaerts and Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs. And there’s only a single fence between Poland’s Jaroslaw Skrzyczynski and the top of the leaderboard. It’s really tight and all to play for going into the finale which is guaranteed to be a thriller.

Yesterday Fredricson looked forlorn as he sat at the post-competition press conference as best Swedish rider after finishing in eleventh place with H&M All in, but what a difference a day makes. Tonight’s victory with the aptly-named grey, Catch Me Not, has changed everything.

“I was so disappointed yesterday and was not expecting to win today, so I’m really happy tonight!” said Fredricson.

Austria’s Max Kuhner and Chardonnay led the way against the clock and set a sensible target when clear in 39.44 seconds. “First to go is never easy. As my horse is not really a naturally fast horse the strategy was to be fast enough and clear,” he explained. Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum and Cool Feeling hit the first fence when next to go but Frenchman Olivier Robert made it all the way to the last before faulting there.

Skrzyczynski’s 10-year-old mare, Chacclana, was foot-perfect in a time of 39.68 before Fredricson nearly lifted the roof off the Scandinavium Arena when scorching in to take the lead in 37.94 seconds. Madden was almost three seconds quicker coming to the last, only for that to fall and when Bruynseels suffered the same fate with Delux an T&L; only Alvarez Aznar was left to threaten Fredricson for the win.

“Going into the jump-off I felt it was safer to be in the top places for the final on Sunday so I didn’t risk all,” he explained afterwards, but his time of 37.97 was still plenty good enough for runner-up spot ahead of Kuhner in third and Skrzyczynski in fourth place. “I was not expecting to be leading tonight but to have a good round. My horse is not the fastest, but he is very consistent,” said the modest Spanish rider who finished sixth at last year’s Longines Final in Paris (FRA) and who now has the best of the draw for Sunday’s finale.

“I want to be on the podium of a Championship and I am now in a good position, but I have to stay focused and have a good ride on Sunday,” he added.

His compatriot, course-designer Santiago Varela, pointed out that the game is far from over yet.

“I want to say congratulations to the riders; they did a great job tonight. Today was a new day but a lot can change on Sunday because we have two more rounds. We are only half-way through this evening – there’s a lot more jumping to do,” he warned.

Result here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Guerdat Seizes Early Advantage with Alamo

Steve Guerdat with Alamo. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Former double-champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (36), scorched into the lead as the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019 Final kicked off at the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg (SWE). Before he cantered into the ring, third-last to go with Alamo, the leaderboard looked like a Belgian whitewash with Pieter Devos (33), Olivier Philippaerts (25), and Francois Mathy Jr (48) holding the top three places after brilliant runs over the 13-fence course set by ace Spanish course designer Santiago Varela.

Defending champions, America’s Beezie Madden (55) and her 13-year-old stallion Breitling LS, had just dropped the very last fence, so with three seconds added to their super-fast time of 60.74 seconds would have to settle for tenth spot at the end of the day. But Guerdat cut a completely clean path to break the timers in 61.28 seconds for the win, squeezing Devos and his gelding, Apart, out of pole position by just three-hundredths of a seconds.

It was the perfect beginning to the seasonal finale that brings together riders from all around the globe, some making a very career-defining debut at the top end of the sport after qualifying from their regional series. So Varela’s challenge was to build a track that not only tested Guerdat, confirmed this week as World No. 1 rider for the fourth month in a row, but also suitable for others much further down the order including Chile’s Rodrigo Carrasco, who is ranked 1,465 but who returned with his brave grey, Acapulco FZ, with just six seconds to add to their tally.

The action began with a dramatic dismount for Guerdat’s good friend and team-mate Beat Mandli who tried a very difficult turn inside the first fence on the approach to the planks at fence 11. His 11-year-old mare Dsarie just couldn’t make it and stopped, unshipping her rider. Guerdat admitted that he had been tempted to take that turn too, but after Mandli’s elimination decided against it. “It was really bad luck for Beät. I felt sorry for him and it killed a bit of the options. And I didn’t need to do it,” he pointed out.

His decision to bring the less-experienced Alamo to these Finals instead of his top ride, Albfuehrens Bianca, wasn’t an easy one to make.

“Bianca is my number one choice for the (Olympic) Games next year, so I thought maybe on the way to there she doesn’t need to do all the Championships. I thought if I have a slightly small chance with Alamo, I will take it!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

Alamo proved he is made of the right stuff, presenting his rider with a lot more than a small chance.

“I’m very happy; he jumped well. I had a fast round without taking too much out of the horse. I know that this horse does not go as fast as my other horses, but I know he is quite quick, so I just tried to stay focussed on my plan and what I wanted to do. I didn’t think too much about the others were doing,” he said.

The London 2012 individual Olympic champion has won the coveted Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title twice before, first under the bright lights of Las Vegas (USA) in 2015 and then again the following year in Gothenburg. His recollection is that he was lying “fourth or fifth” after the first competition on those occasions, but he modestly insisted that holding the top spot going into the second competition may prove irrelevant.

“We can expect a lot of places to move around; it always changes a lot on the second day,” he pointed out. “I think a mistake is much more important tomorrow than today. Everything looks good today, but everything can look much different tomorrow!” said the man who is hoping to make his 13th Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final another winning one.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Watch the Action of the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* on NBC Sports Network

Relive the excitement of the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* hosted during the final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Tune in at midnight EST on Friday, April 5 and at 6:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, April 9th to NBC Sports Network for a special broadcast of the event.

The $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* is the premier event of the 12-week WEF season, featuring many of the world’s top horse and rider combinations competing against each other for the top prize of the circuit.

Watch live or set your DVR and check your local listings or click here to find NBC Sports Network.

To learn more about the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), please visit www.pbiec.com.

Nicky Galligan and Javas Miss Jordan Win $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Stake

Nicky Galligan and Javas Miss Jordan.  ©Bailey Beck.

Mill Spring, NC – April 2, 2019 – Nicky Galligan (Keswick, VA) and Javas Miss Jordan galloped to victory in Sunday’s $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Stake with a time of 32.362 seconds. David O’Brien (Lexington, KY) and Dayla 6 owned by Cleveland Equestrian claimed second place with a time of 32.759 seconds. Doug Payne (Aiken, SC) and Quintessence owned by Jane Dudinsky claimed the yellow rosette for third after stopping the jump-off timers in 33.21 seconds.

Among 17 entries in the course set by J. P. Godard (Aiken, SC), Galligan remained ahead of the competition after first setting sight on the venue last week during Tryon Welcome 1. “This is my first time here. I’m really, really impressed,” he remarked.

“Normally, I’d be in Florida for the winter, and this year we did a little restructuring and didn’t go. So last week was actually my first show, too.” Galligan relayed that his favorite aspect of grounds is “fantastic facilities – the footing is top-class. “[It’s] really, really impressive – for me to jump the horses two weeks, three days each week and no worries about feet is incredible. I’m very happy to be here.”

On the course, Galligan commented, “It felt really nice. We were here last week, too, and today felt like a little step up [in difficulty] from last week. It was a little more technical in the lines, playing with the adjustability of the horse, shortening and then lengthening over the oxers, and a really nice day. It was a really nice job with the courses both weeks – I brought some young horses, as well, and they got fantastic experience.

“This is a very special horse to me and my family, actually,” Galligan revealed. “She’s part of the reason why we’re in the States. I’ve had her since she was four years old, and I was the first person to sit on her back. I bought her directly from the breeder and have been nurturing her quite slowly. She actually hasn’t been at a show since last August until last week, so this was just some shows to get her a little fit and jumping some rounds again. She will go home now for a couple weeks in the paddock, do a couple more shows and we will aim to come back here for the 3* show in May.”

Though the mare’s schedule has been slow so far, there was nothing slow about the jump-off round the pair produced to take the win. His strategy was “no pressure,” Galligan elaborated. “It was more about giving the horse experience in the jump-off, because she hasn’t jumped a lot of Grand Prixs, and had to warm up a second time and go back into the ring. So really, I was just thinking about giving her that experience of taking a breather, chilling out, warming up again and coming back in.”

Galligan continued, “After jumping our classes last week and this week I thought we could have a little bit of fun today. She’s a naturally fast horse, so we had a little bit of fun. No pressure on her, just let her do her job, and she came up good. It was a lot of fun.”

Though impressed with TIEC’s rings, Galligan attributed the mare’s strong build to the fact that he prefers to get the horses out of the ring as much as possible: “I guess we pay a lot of attention to detail in our strength and conditioning, and the soundness of our horses, and try to keep them happy,” he said. “We’re lucky to live in Virginia with a lot of natural hills, so I don’t spend a lot of time in the ring – I spend a lot of time in nature keeping them fit and strong. She just loves her job, too. She’s a very simple horse and loves to show.”

Click here to view full results from the $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Stake.

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

Turf Tour Crowns Kenny & Tynan in Final Show of 2019

Darragh Kenny and Sweet Tricia (Photo courtesy of Equinium)

Wellington, FL (April 1, 2019) – Friday at Black Watch Farm wrapped up one of the most successful seasons of Turf Tour competition yet, with more than 50 horses competing in the $18,000 Turf Tour Finale Grand Prix and the Leading Open Rider driving away in a new custom golf cart courtesy of Iron Horse Transit. The day’s competition featured two arenas and full divisions, including .80m – 1.40m, Junior/Amateur Owner/Amateur, High Child/Adult, and Low Child Adult classes, in addition to the weekly Turf Tour Grand Prix and Rising Star Classic. Founded and designed by Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio, the Turf Tour’s vision to provide picturesque show jumping for all levels of riders was epitomized in the 2019 Finale. For those looking for one more event during the 2019 Florida season, The Ridge at Wellington will host a final Schooling Show at their home farm April 6-7.

The Finale Grand Prix was a fitting testament to the Turf Tour’s goals of preparing horses and riders for the next level of competition. Designed by Jamie Morillo of Ecuador, the 17-obstacle course featured a number of questions to test both horse and rider, including S bending lines, a triple combination, a triple bar to a skinny vertical, and tight turns to long gallops in the jump-off. The Finale’s roster included such international and Olympic stars as Martin Fuchs, Laura Kraut, Hardin Towell, Sam Walker, Molly Ashe-Cawley, Ilan Bluman, and Conor Swail, with 11 first round clears and three double clear efforts. International Irish show jumper Darragh Kenny and SHL Sweet Tricia were the ultimate victors, with an early in the class jump off time of 45.270 that couldn’t be touched. Hardin Towell and Dubai held second for the majority of the class on 46.574 seconds, but eventually relinquished the runner up spot to Jenn Serek and Wicked, whose quick jump-off resulted in a time of 45.965. Serek was also awarded the Leading Lady Rider, and was presented with a selection of equestrian skincare products from Equestria Pro Sportif.

With multiple 2019 Turf Tour victories to his name, including back to back wins in the Grand Prix and Rising Star, Willie Tynan was crowned the 2019 Turf Tour Leading Open Rider for his accumulated points. His prize: a custom golf cart outfitted with his new title and presented by Iron Horse Transit, the official horse carrier of the 2019 Turf Tour. Tynan, who had a fantastic year with his two main horses, KEC Kris Kringle and KEC City Limits, said the Iron Horse golf cart was just the icing on the cake: “It really has been a wonderful season, and this prize is just an added bonus. I couldn’t be more impressed with my horses and the effort they put in this year, and thankful to my team, Nona and George, and Iron Horse Transit for their tremendous support of our sport and offering to provide such wonderful options for riders and horses during our time in Florida.”

For full results, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

El Primero Is Number One Again with Victoria Colvin in $50k USHJA International Hunter Derby

Victoria Colvin and El Primero. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — March 31, 2019 — On the final day of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Sunday, March 31, the top 25 hunter combinations returned to the Derby Field at Equestrian Village to contest for the winning honors in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Victoria Colvin led the all-female podium followed by Kelley Farmer in second and Liza Boyd in third as the trio once again demonstrated why they are household names in the hunter industry. The second round of the derby is the pinnacle event for hunter riders to close out the winter circuit and only invited the top-scoring competitors from round one of the event.

Ken Krome once again designed a beautiful track on the turf that included three high options and a rollback to a trot fence following fence two. The two panels of judges, consisting of Danny Robertshaw and Robert Crandall for panel one and Scott Williamson and Rob Bielefeld for panel two, had the ability to award extra points for handiness ranging from zero to 10.

Laura Chapot and Chandon Blue Conclude WEF 2019 with Fourth Major Win within Five Weeks

Laura Chapot and Chandon Blue topped the $50,000 Puissance America Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday, March 31, to claim the final Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) grand prix victory of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival season, marking the pair’s fourth win within the past five weeks at PBIEC.

Forty-five entries contested the final FEI-sanctioned class of the 12-week circuit, with 11 entries navigating the Guilherme Jorge-designed track without fault to advance to the jump-off.

When Chapot entered the ring as the eighth rider to return, the time to beat had been set at 38.05 seconds by Carly Anthony (USA) and Chacco. However, Chapot and Chandon Blue again showcased the speed and accuracy that have become their signature, tripping the timers in a clear 36.30 seconds to take over the top of the leaderboard.

Lillie Keenan Caps WEF 2019 with $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Grand Prix Victory

USA’s Lillie Keenan capitalized on only three months of experience with her mount Fasther, owned by Chansonette Farm, LLC, to top the final class of the 2019 WEF in the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors National Grand Prix in the International Arena.

Guilherme Jorge built a track for 48 starters and welcomed six through to the jump-off. Keenan qualified two mounts and returned first and last over the short course. She set an early pace with a clear trip in 39.649 seconds riding Chaccolette for owner Chansonette Farm, LLC. She was sitting second when she re-entered the ring aboard Fasther and the gelding lived up to his namesake by stopping the clock at 36.688 seconds for the win.

Keenan settled for third on Chaccolette behind Brazil’s Fabio Leivas ds Costa riding Tosca de l’Esque, who posted a time of 38.580 seconds. Spanish rider Diego Perez Bilboa took fourth riding Orso del Terriccio in 39.649 seconds for owner Victoria Vargas d’Agostino. Kent Farrington (USA) rounded out the top five aboard Kaprice, a horse he owns together with Tanma Corp., on a time of 46.954 seconds.

For full results, please visit pbiec.coth.com.

Victory in $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* Goes to McLain Ward and HH Azur

McLain Ward and HH Azur. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – The highlight event of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, was held as the final “Saturday Night Lights” class on Saturday, March 30. Topping the ultimate test at WEF were McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur in a thrilling eight-horse jump-off.

In a field of 40 entries, some of the best horses and riders in the world vied for the chance to take home the top prize money of the circuit. They were riding over a course set by 2016 Rio Olympic Games designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil.

There were eight that found the key to a clear round to advance to the jump-off.

Sophia and Madison Mitchell Take Top Honors in Week 12 Alessandro Albanese 15-17 Equitation Division

In the final days of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Sophia Mitchell and Madison Mitchell added their names to the list of champions for the Alessandro Albanese Equitation 15-17 division. The Week 12 class saw 49 horse-and-rider combinations and therefore was held in a California split format which allowed for two champions and two reserve champions.

Sophia Mitchell piloted Lily Walton’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Contendo I x Anytime), Callahan, to an impressive total of 30 points to receive the title of section A champion.

Madison Mitchell, a working student for Don Stewart, picked up the section B champion title with Damon, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Massimo x Dubertha) owned by Cleopatra Georgiades.

For full results, please visit pbiec.coth.com.

It’s Not Going to Be Easy for Beezie in Gothenburg

Beezie Madden secured her second Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ victory in 2018 riding Breitling, and she goes for a hat-trick at next week’s 2019 Final in Gothenburg (SWE). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

She’s going for a hat-trick of titles and America’s 12th when the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2019 gets underway in Gothenburg (SWE) next week. However, US superstar Beezie Madden will be under no illusions about what lies ahead of her. She may have double Olympic gold, World Championship team and individual silver and two World Cup titles under her belt, but the world no. 8 rider knows that there is a host of European rivals determined to stand in her way. And amongst them is a rock-solid and on-form German contingent.

Although the USA held the advantage over the early years, Germany became the most dominant nation in the Jumping World Cup series in more recent times, with Daniel Deusser posting his country’s tenth victory in Lyon (FRA) in 2014. But McLain Ward put the USA on level pegging when coming out on top in 2017 and last season’s win by Madden pushed her country out in front. Deusser, however, has had a stormer of a season in the 2018/2019 Western European League qualifiers, with three sensational wins backed up by several other great performances to leave him with a massive 99 points at the head of the league table. He’s a force to be reckoned with right now.

And cementing the German strength, fellow-countryman Christian Ahlmann, champion with Taloubet in 2011, finished second in this series. He brings one of the most exciting horses you can expect to see next week, the gorgeous 10-year-old grey Clintrexo Z, who showed spectacular athleticism when clinching a last-to-go victory at Mechelen (BEL) in December. This stallion’s confidence, balance, and turning skills will play a big role as rideability, courage, and quick decision-making will be key to success over the courses designed by Spain’s Santiago Varela in the tight confines of the Scandinavium Arena. Rounding up the German contingent is 1993 champion, Ludger Beerbaum.

The host nation is also well-armed with reigning European champion Peder Fredricson, the talented Irma Karlson and Henrik von Eckermann all flying the flag. And Von Eckermann has a score to settle. He might have forced Madden into a jump-off for the title at last year’s Final in Paris (FRA) but for a last-minute mistake which dropped him to third. But he brings out the brilliant Toveks Mary Lou once again, and on current form they are a very significant threat.

The star-studded line-up includes so many of the top names, and it’s difficult to look past Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and Martin Fuchs, but the Final is also about seeing new faces from far-flung places along with the developing younger generation.

Gothenburg is the end of a very long journey for South Africa’s Lisa Williams and her horse Campbell. They’ve experienced a series of incredible complications since leaving their home country to travel to the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon (USA) last year, but they overcame them all and deserve a very special welcome when they ride into the ring next week. They qualified for this Final two years ago, and Sweden is the end of the line before the 52-year-old rider heads back home.

America’s Eve Jobs (20) and Kelli Cruciotti (21) will be two of the youngest riders in action, and the five-strong US line-up is completed by Georgina Bloomberg and last year’s runner-up, Devin Ryan. Americans filled three of the top four places in 2018, so nobody is taking them for granted this time around and American ladies have an exceptional record.

Only five female athletes have taken the title in the history of this prestigious series that every rider wants to win, and they all have one thing in common. Melanie Smith (1983), Leslie Burr Lenehan (1986), and Katharine Burdsall (1987) all flew the American flag, while three-time winner Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum from Germany (2005, 2008, 2009) was born in Los Angeles, California. Madden became the fifth lady champion when pipping Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat in a thrilling jump-off back in 2013 and she will be flying the US flag with her 2018 winner, Breitling LS, when the action gets underway next week.

She’ll have to go like the wind in Thursday’s (4 April) first competition and then jump big and clean again on Friday (5 April) to qualify for Sunday’s (7 April) title-deciding showdown.

Full details here.

Gothenburg Horse Show website here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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