Category Archives: Show Jumping

Kevin Staut Gets Off to a Flying Start in Lyon

Image copyright PSV.

Kevin Staut is clearly one of the fans’ favourite riders in Lyon. So, when he completed his second clear round in a record time of 36”15 with Urhelia Lutterbach, during a spectacular jump-off with 16 of the best riders in the world, all the spectators in the grandstands around the main arena stood to applaud him. Riding at the end of the class, neither the current world number one Steve Guerdat nor the German champion Marcus Ehning managed to dislodge the Frenchman from the top step of the podium for this Longines Grand Prix at 1.60m.

This was Kevin Staut’s first win in a 5* Grand Prix with Urhelia Lutterbach, the former horse of Grégory Cottard. “It’s a wonderful story. Gregory used to ride the horse and had achieved some great things with her. I started riding her back in June. I felt comfortable riding her right from the beginning. She jumped a lot of clear rounds. Gregory always told me that she jumped well indoors, that she was more focused. She certainly proved it tonight,” said the Frenchman, clearly moved and delighted with the win.

France even managed a one-two in this class. Alexis Deroubaix and Timon d’Aure – regulars in the French team – managed to complete a double clear round in a time of 36”85 and took a fine second place. The Swiss European champion Martin Fuchs took third place on the podium with Silver Shine (37”42). In total, only 5 of the 16 riders in the jump-off managed to complete their second round without incurring a penalty in this Longines Grand Prix.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Young Riders Take Up the Family Reins at Olympia

Young riders are coming through the ranks at the 2019 edition of Olympia, The London International Horse Show. The Show, which has a vivid history of hosting the biggest names in sport, will this year see a new generation with famous family names at the fore.

The Whitaker family, one of several show jumping clans who have dominated the sport in the last four decades, will be represented by Robert, son of 64-year-old Olympic silver medalist John. He won’t be the only Whitaker competing as 18-year-old Jack, son of John’s brother Michael, has once again qualified for the prestigious Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship. The Whitaker family will be chasing the glory of the 2018 Show, when John and Michael’s nephew, 30-year-old William, captured the FEI Jumping World Cup at Olympia aboard Utamaro d’Ecaussinnes in the biggest win of his career to date.

As the younger generation come through, the current qualifiers for the 2019 Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship show a dominance of riders with exceptionally strong show jumping pedigrees. Leading the way are the Fletcher family, with both 16-year-old Oliver and 20-year-old William qualified. The brothers, sons of Olympic silver medalist Graham and GBR Championship rider Tina, will be going head to head in the competition, which stages its finals during the Sunday evening performance.

Both Oliver and William have already achieved a lot in their short careers, with the former becoming the youngest ever winner of an Area Trial when he was just 15, before following up with an individual silver medal and the Junior European Championships the same year. William, who has represented Great Britain at Senior Nations Cup level, as well as winning Team Gold in the Young Rider European Championships in 2018, last year won the Ella Popely Mentorship Award at Olympia, in recognition of his position as one of the most promising young riders in the sport.

Also qualified for the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship is Joe Stockdale, son of the late Tim Stockdale who was a regular winner over the years at Olympia and a dominant force on the British national team, whom he represented at not just the World and European Championships but the Olympics. Joe will be looking to improve on his eighth place in the same class at last year’s Olympia. 2019 has been extremely fruitful for Joe, who took his first world ranking class earlier in the year and won the Under 25 class at Royal Windsor Horse Show in May, prompting him to be selected for the Young Rider Junior European Championships.

Also appearing at this year’s competition will be 17-year-old Sienna Charles, the youngest of three children following in the footsteps of their father, the Olympic team gold medalist Peter Charles MBE. Sienna will be hoping to go one better than her brother Harry, who in 2018 was the runner-up in the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship at Olympia and has since gone on to represent Great Britain at senior level. The Charles family dynasty looks set to continue, as sister Scarlett also makes a name for herself on the show jumping circuit.

Nephew of double Olympic gold medalist Nick Skelton CBE, Charlie Jones, secured his place at Olympia with a great performance in the Aintree International Equestrian Centre qualifier, setting up a dream trip to the prestigious Show. “Riding at Olympia is something that I’ve always dreamed of and I’m so excited to have qualified!” said Jones. “I’ve grown up watching the world’s best riders there and that I will be amongst them this year is just amazing!”

Matt Tarrant, from Voltaire Design, sponsor of the Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship at Olympia, is delighted that such a high calibre of competitor is poised to take to the Olympia Grand, “It’s fantastic to see so many recognisable names already qualified for Olympia, with another qualifier at Addington still to come. The class is a stepping stone for the next generation of show jumping, taking place at one of the most prestigious shows in the world, so it seems fitting that names such as Whitaker, Charles and Stockdale are competing.”

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championships Final commences at Olympia, The London International Horse Show on Friday 20th December, with a Championship for the top ten qualifying combinations on Sunday 22nd December.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

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

Darragh Kenny Wins $36k Free x Rein Int’l Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4* Costume Class at NHS

Darragh Kenny on Billy Dorito.

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 30, 2019 – Donning festive costumes to celebrate the Halloween season, 57 horse-and-rider partnerships representing 10 nations tested their footspeed Wednesday evening in the $36,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, the first show jumping class of the 2019 National Horse Show. Ranked No. 9 in the world based on the Longines FEI standings, Darragh Kenny (IRL) proved why he deserves that distinction with a rapid navigation of the course with the reins on Vlock Show Stables LLC’s Billy Dorito, besting a field comprised of riders in guises such as the Flintstones, Toy Story characters and the Joker, among many other inventive outfits.

Operating under a one-round speed format, the class challenged exhibitors to be quick and careful over designer Ken Krome’s (USA) 13-effort track, which ultimately only saw a total of 26 clear rounds from the initial start list. Riding first in the order, Katie Dinan (USA) and Brego R’N B wasted no time as the first pair to successfully tackle the course without incurring any faults, serving as the trailblazers and setting the standard at 72.46 seconds. Just a few trips later still early in the order of go, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) substantially improved upon his peer’s time, slicing across the course and tripping the timers in 64.11 seconds aboard Karlin Van’t Vennehof to propel themselves to the early lead.

Amazingly trimming even more time off the clock, Daniel Coyle (IRL) and CHS Krooze maneuvered the pattern at a breakneck pace, galloping across the finish line almost ten full seconds faster in 53.80 seconds. Their time would not hold for long though, as fellow Irishman Kenny jockeyed Billy Dorito to the slightly faster time of 53.74 seconds, capturing the lead by mere milliseconds as the 16th duo in the order. More than 40 subsequent contenders, which featured costumes such as jockeys, a judge, Mario and Luigi, multiple generations of Madonna and more, chased down the frontrunners over the remainder of the class, but the swift speed put forth by Kenny and Billy Dorito proved uncatchable, solidifying the Irish partnership as the 2019 winners of the $36,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*. Dressed as a skeleton, Coyle retained second position with his own CHS Krooze, and Andy Kocher (USA) jumped to the final podium spot aboard Eye Candy Jumpers’ Fashion V, breaking the beam in 54.070 seconds as Freddie Mercury and his golden steed.

Appropriately outfitted for the Kentucky crowd, Sloane Coles (USA) dressed as a bottle of bourbon for her ride aboard Calisto 26. Going all out with a body suit and cut-out photos of the famous Kentucky liquor, she was awarded the Best Costume Award for her creative efforts.

Scott Stewart and Becky Gochman Reign Supreme

Wednesday morning at the 136th annual National Horse Show brought top hunter horse-and-rider combinations to the Alltech Arena of the Kentucky Horse Park. As the oldest indoor horse show in the United States, the National Horse Show has earned a permanent spot on the calendars of many elite professionals and amateurs who make the trip from far and wide to vie for the titles and perpetual trophies up for grabs each year. Following Tuesday’s start to the hunter divisions, the first round of championship honors was awarded for the 2019 National Horse Show on Wednesday. Of the contenders, it was Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador, piloted by Scott Stewart, who received the Grand Champion Professional Hunter title. Stewart also went on to claim the Leading Hunter Rider trophy for his 13th time, while Becky Gochman and Catch Me earned the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter trophy, walking away with the iconic black cooler embroidered with the National Horse Show historic emblem.

Stewart and Lucador have a long-standing history of excellence together. After years of accumulating tricolor ribbons across the nation, the pair earned their final Grand Champion Professional Hunter title in their last show together. Stewart and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding earned their points in the High Performance Hunter division, taking top three placings in all of the over fences classes and first in the under saddle class over the course of the two days, resulting in their championship honors in the division. Lucador’s name is already etched on the Grand Champion Hunter Trophy four times, adding his name once again to the coveted centerpiece in 2019 for the fifth time. The talented horse will go on to compete in the Junior 3’3” Hunters 15 and Under with Maddie Tosh, a transition that is bittersweet for Stewart as their successful partnership comes to a close.

During the awards ceremony, Stewart was once again invited back to the arena for the Meralex Farm Leading Hunter Rider Award for the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy. Phenomenally, this was Stewart’s thirteenth time placing his name on the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy, which was originally donated by Mr. and the late Mrs. Kenneth Wheeler. The well-known hunter rider accumulated his points towards the trophy with a whopping seven horses, including Everwonder, Cabrio, Critics’ Choice, Lucador, Private Life, Catch Me, and Cameo.

Also returning competitors to the National Horse Show, Gochman and Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, clinched the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter title for the “Ruxton & Scot To Do” Challenge Trophy. The pair made a clean sweep in the Amateur Owner 3’6” Hunter 36+ division, winning every single class for a perfect 40 points. This is Gochman and the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding’s second year in a row securing the Ellen Van Dyke-donated trophy. With “Snoopy,” Gochman has found much success in the Amateur divisions across the country, most recently taking Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Champion at the Washington International Horse show.

To learn more about the National Horse Show, click here.

Pablo Barrios Captures $25,000 CCTV Agent Grand Prix aboard Elana 22 during ESP Fall III

Pablo Barrios & Elana 22. ©Anne Gittens Photography

Wellington, FL – October 29, 2019 – ESP Fall III competition was hosted this weekend at Equestrian Village with exciting National A and Jumper 3* action. The first $25,000 National Grand Prix of the Fall series saw an impressive turnout in both exhibitors and spectators on Sunday afternoon. Pablo Barrios of Wellington, FL and his Elana 22 ultimately captured the blue ribbon in the $25,000 CCTV Agent Grand Prix after completing the jump-off in just 36.674 seconds. Alberto Michan of Wellington, FL piloted Loribri, owned by Marie Antonette Leviste, to a second-place finish after a 37.242-second jump-off. Very close behind, with a 37.286-second jump-off, was Theo Genn of Lebanon, OH and Eduardo Leon’s Firewall to claim third. Other notable finishes included Taylor St Jacques of Glen Allen, VA and her entry, Upsilon De La Liniere, with a 39.066-second jump-off and Maria Brugal of Wellington, FL with her mount, Aragorn Van Schuttershof, putting in a 39.311-second jump-off to take home fourth and fifth place, respectively.

A total of 19 trips were seen in the first round of the Grand Prix, with 12 returning for the jump-off, hosted in the VanKampen covered arena due to rain. Course designer Hector Loyola built the track on Sunday as well as the qualifying $10,000 CCTV Agent 1.40m Open Stake that took place on Friday afternoon on the Derby Field. Luis Larrazabal of Wellington, FL and Esperanza Mia, owned by Carlos Enrique Morstadt, bested the field of 21 competitors with a jump-off lasting only 39.462 seconds, while Santiago Lambre of Wellington, FL rode Doloris to second place in 41.177 seconds. Kim Farlinger of Wellington, FL and Keren Halperin-Guy’s Feestje B. crossed through the timers at 41.545 seconds to claim third place.

“It was a bit of an adjustment today to jump in the covered arena since we were on the grass on Friday, but honestly, I think my mare jumped a little better indoors than she did outdoors so it worked in our favor,” said Barrios after his win on Sunday. When asked about the jump-off and how he prepares, Barrios stated that he prefers Sunday’s format (2a) versus the 2b format that was used during the Open Stake: “Specifically, with a horse like this that is very hot, when it’s the back-to-back format, I don’t have time to make her calm down and reset after the first round, so [today’s format] worked in my favor too.” Barrios will return with Elana 22 next week to compete in the $25,000 National Grand Prix set to take place on the Derby Field.

To learn more about the ESP Fall Series and PBIEC, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Richie Moloney and Merqusio Master the $25,000 American Standard Grand Prix at TIEC

Richie Moloney and Merqusio ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC — October 27, 2019 — It was Richie Moloney (IRL) aboard Merqusio to win Sunday’s $25,000 American Standard Grand Prix to conclude Tryon Fall 6 competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with a fault-free effort in a time of 43.623 seconds. Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Apple, a 2011 Danish Warmblood mare (Favorit Ask x Willemoes) owned by MTM Farm, retired in the jump-off to finish second, while fastest four-faulter Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) and Dena Sienne, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Van Gogh x Animo) owned by Waldman Horses BV, claimed third-place honors after completing the first round in 75.697 seconds.

Anthony D’Ambrosio’s (USA) course saw 22 entries test the first round, with only two returning for the jump-off. Moloney explained that he thought it was the triple combination in the first round that seemed to cause the most trouble, but “apart from that it was a really fair course.

“I went first in the jump-off, so I just wanted to be quick and put some pressure on her [Tracy Fenney]. I knew her horse is really fast, so it was important for me to leave all the jumps up,” detailed Moloney of his second-round strategy.

Moloney and the Equinimity LLC-owned 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cicero Z x Flamenco De Semilly) have been a team for a couple years, shared Moloney. “He’s been competing at the 1.45m and 1.50m level and he has done some FEI Grand Prix as well. He’s a good horse and is very careful.

“Last Sunday I had really good results and then yesterday I was second in the Grand Prix and today I had a win, so it’s a nice way to finish up,” Moloney said. “We’re going to Wellington on Tuesday but Equinimity, whom I work for, has a farm ten minutes away so I’ll be back in April.”

Hunter Kay and Alright Rise to the Top in the $20,000 Open Hunter Classic 3’-4’ 

Friday’s $20,000 Open Hunter Classic 3’-4’ at TIEC saw Hunter Kay (Columbia, SC) and Alright score a two-round total of 176.25 to win the blue rosette. Dorothy Douglas and Abigail Davenport’s MTM Exceptional, the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Casall Ask x Unknown), earned second after receiving a two-round score of 173, while Jacqueline McQueen piloted Quadrolino, the 2011 Bradenberg gelding (Quadroneur x Unknown) owned by Holly Calantoni Houser, to a third-place finish after receiving scores of 172.5.

Twenty-six horse-and-rider pairs tested the Archer “Skip” Bailey course in the first round, with Kay qualifying for the handy on three different mounts. “I liked the course. There were a lot of broken lines, a couple of combinations, and not a lot of direct distances or numbers so you could just do what you wanted and show off with different things.

“He felt really good in this class,” Kay said of Ann Rice Ervin’s 2011 Warmblood gelding with unknown breeding. “I think the big ring got his attention and he was able to gallop. I thought he might be a little tired since he also competed in the 3’9” division this week, but he jumped great. We love the big ring!

“I had just a little bit of a bobble in the first round, so I wanted to correct that. We picked up a good canter from the start and just tried to maintain the same pace and have a nice gallop at the last one,” shared Kay of his handy-round strategy.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Whitaker Clinches First-Ever World Cup Win in Nail-Biter at Helsinki

Robert Whitaker with Catwalk IV. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

Britain’s Robert Whitaker posted a sensational victory in the second leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League at Helsinki in Finland with his long-time ride, Catwalk IV.

In a competition that had spectators on the edges of their seats from start to finish, the pair pinned Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and his super-talented young horse Jet Run into second place while Belgium’s Celine Schoonbroodt de Azevedo (Cheppetta) and Germany’s Christian Kukuk (Quintino) lined up in third and fourth.

It’s not often that a single fence plays such a major role in the outcome of any competition, but the big blue wall presented by Brazilian course designer, Guilherme Jorge, proved pivotal. The tenth obstacle on the 13-fence track, it was built on a curving line and approached off a tight left-hand turn, and in both rounds it put paid to the chances of some of the best horse-and-rider combinations in the business. Not the 36-year-old Briton and his feisty 16-year-old gelding, however. They took it on with gusto both times out to give Whitaker a career-defining first-ever World Cup win.

The close confines of the Ice Hall in Helsinki wouldn’t be to every horse’s liking, but Catwalk, it seems, is in his element there.

“He just likes arenas like this – he has a lot of power and he can easily jump big fences off a turn, although today to be honest he was unbelievable!” said the son of the legendary John Whitaker who was a back-to-back winner of the coveted FEI World Cup™ trophy with the great Milton back in 1990 and 1991.

One of the most surprising victims of the wall in the first round was World No. 1, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat partnering Alamo, the horse with which he claimed his third Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title last April. The 11-year-old gelding seemed totally taken aback when seeing the big blue edifice as he swung around to it, and he ducked out to the left, jumping it at the second time of asking but collecting five faults which left this duo out of contention. And another rock-solid citizen, Francois Mathy Jr’s Uno de le Roque, also made a big mistake here and then stopped at the next for elimination.

However, a total of nine made it through to the jump-off in which Irishman Eoin McMahon was pathfinder, clipping the top of the wall which was now three from home to set the target at four faults in 40.97 seconds. Next in, Spain’s Moya and his fabulous nine-year-old Jet Run, heroes of the host nation’s victory in the Challenge Cup at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP) earlier this month, really put it up to the rest of them with a blistering run that saw them through the timers to take the lead in 39.81 seconds.

Schoonbroodt de Azevedo wasn’t intimidated, throwing down a great run in 40.09, and although the phenomenal Swede, Peder Fredricson, broke the beam in 37.96 there were eight faults on the board when he galloped through the finish with H&M Christian K who was brave to continue after a big mistake at the wall. Whitaker and Catwalk were foot-perfect, looking full of confidence as they galloped home in 38.13 seconds to reset the target and really pile on the pressure. But they weren’t quite home and dried yet because Frenchman Kevin Staut was yet to go and he’s always to be feared against the clock.

But once again it all went wrong at the wall, Staut parting company with For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC when they got into a scramble to gasps of disbelief of the crowd. So when Kukuk opted for a safe clear then he was guaranteed fourth place and it was Whitaker’s moment to shine.

Whitaker and Catwalk finished 19th at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris in 2018 and the pair was in flying form in Helsinki, winning the Grand Prix before coming out to steal all the glory once again.

“He hasn’t been over-jumped recently so he was fit enough to go well in both classes here – I just think when he jumps good he’s as good as any!” said the rider who now has his sights set on the 2020 Longines Final in Las Vegas (USA) next April.

So does Alvarez Moya who was delighted with his second-place finish with the nine-year-old Jet Run, a horse he has only had for four months and which he has only competed at 10 shows so far. “I didn’t expect him to be as good and as quick today!” he said. “The more he jumps the better he gets – I would like to go to Stuttgart and try to qualify for the Final before Christmas,” he pointed out.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Daniel Coyle and Legacy Shine in the $72,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 2*

Daniel Coyle and Legacy ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 26, 2019 – Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Legacy claimed the $72,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, stopping the jump-off timers in a time of 35.34 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC’s Rocksy Music, a 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Diamond Serpent), sped around the short course in a time of 36.024 seconds to earn second, with Mark Bluman (COL) and Cartouche, a 2007 Silla Argentina stallion (unknown x unknown) owned by Daniel Bluman and Over the Top Stables LLC, rounding out the podium on a time of 36.374 seconds.

The Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) course design saw 56 pairs contest the first round, with 15 entries challenging the jump-off. “It was a very good course. It was challenging enough, and it wasn’t very simple,” Coyle detailed. “There were lots of places to make errors, and it was a good track. Although there were lots of clear rounds, it didn’t walk that way, and I didn’t think it would have that many.

“I watched the first few go in the jump-off, and I had already planned seven strides from one to two, which was far away and very big, but she has a very big stride,” Coyle said of the 2010 Zangersheide mare (Chippendale Z x Bon Ami) owned by Ariel Grange. “You didn’t want to be too tight back to the liverpool, and then the last three jumps were really just off your eye, so it was the beginning of the course and the related distances where I probably made up the most time.”

Although Legacy is still green, Coyle shared that he has very high hopes for her and has been bringing her along to the higher levels this year. “This horse is very, very special and I think she’s a real contender for the Olympics next year. Ariel [Grange] and I made the decision a few years ago to buy her for the top, top level, and every time we ask her to do something, she proves herself. Next year we’re hoping is going to be a big year for her.”

The pair has had success at Spruce Meadows and in young horse competition at Dublin, and Coyle noted that he’s been “saving her” for fall and winter competition culminating in her win in Tryon Stadium:

“She hasn’t done much this year – our biggest achievement was jumping at The Masters at Spruce Meadows as my second horse, but still, that’s very big jumping there! She didn’t do much since then until now, but we’ve been saving her a little bit for next year. I don’t want to do too much this year. Every time we ask her to do it, she does it,” Coyle emphasized. “Next year is a big year, and we’re going to ask her to step up to a big level. We’ll start doing bigger classes and CSI 5*s in Florida this winter. But I’m happy we’ve given her this time this year to produce and come to this level on her own.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Kraut Wins Match Race for FEI Jumping World Cup Victory in Washington

Laura Kraut and Fleurette (FEI/Ashley Neuhof)

Laura Kraut (USA) is an Olympic gold medalist, a World Equestrian Games Champion and a fixture in U.S. show jumping, but until Saturday night in downtown, D.C. (USA), she hadn’t won a World Cup in Washington.

Kraut won the $136,300 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington for the first time in her decorated career, topping a two-horse match race of a jump-off over Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) shortened course. Her winning mount was a relatively new partner, the 10-year-old mare, Fleurette; they finished the jump-off with 4 faults in 40.99 seconds. Andrew Welles (USA) and Primo Troy, pathfinders in the jump-off, finished second with 12 faults and a 45.69-second time. Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) completed an all-USA podium with a third-place finish aboard Viva Columbia. That duo had just a single time fault in the first round.

“This has been a class I’ve wanted to win for many, many years. I’ve had quite a few seconds, thirds, and fourths, but a win always seemed to elude me. At the beginning of the week, I said, ‘This is going to be my week.’ I felt good about it. [Fleurette] jumped really well [all week]. It’s very special.”– Laura Kraut (USA)

The packed crowd on hand was forced to wait in hopeful anticipation for a jump-off to be guaranteed. Welles posted his first round clear before the competition’s halfway point, and Kraut didn’t replicate his performance until the bitter end. She was the last to jump in the first round.

“I didn’t change my strategy [in the first round], but I watched [Welles] go,” Kraut said. “When he came out, I said to him, ‘You rode that perfectly.’ He rode it right on. He and I had sort of walked the course at the same time and talked about it. That was the plan we had. I just thought I would do that. [Fleurette] lets you ride her, and she’s really good at letting you place her to the jumps. It was just a matter of making sure I stuck to it!”

In the jump-off, Welles started with a bold pace, but a refusal at the second fence led to his 12 faults. That took the pressure off Kraut, who clinched the win with a single rail.

“For sure, when you know [your competitor] had 12 faults, it allows you to take a breather, but I didn’t want to muck it up! It’s a bummer that happened for him, but it was good for me!” Kraut exclaimed.

Kraut and Fleurette have only been paired since June, and the mare flew in from Europe specifically to compete in Washington.

“She has so many strengths,” Kraut said. “It’s fantastic. I think she’s got all the jump, all the scope; she’s careful, brave, and sensible, and she lets you ride her. The only thing missing is mileage at this level. My goal would be [the Olympic Games in] Tokyo for her.”

At the conclusion of the competition, the east coast sub league standings of the North American League still had a commanding leader in Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden, who boasts 48 points. Welles moved into second in the standings with 26 points, having also posted a top 10 finish in World Cup competition in Vancouver to start the season. Devin Ryan (USA) sits third in the standings with 21 points.

The North American League continues in Lexington, KY (USA) on Saturday, 2 November 2019.

FULL RESULTS

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Sydney Shulman Makes It Two in a Row at WIHS

Sydney Shulman and Villamoura. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

The 61st Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday, October 25, with thrilling displays of speed and power. Israeli rider Sydney Shulman of Greenwich, CT topped the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final on Villamoura, while Aaron Vale and Schuyler Riley of the United States shared victory in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance. The classes were part of a full schedule of exciting competition and entertaining exhibitions during Military Night, presented by Caterpillar, Inc.

Shulman, 24, came to WIHS to jump in the international jumper division for the first time with a pretty specific goal. “I came here with the plan to do just these two speed classes and hopefully be in the top five, with all these elite riders in the classes,” she said.

She ended up winning both of them. Shulman rode Villamoura, a 10-year-old Selle Français mare by Diamant de Semilly and owned by Jill Shulman, to the blue in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, adding her name to the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by the late Arthur J. Morris. The night before, she and Villamoura won the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class.

“I’m definitely in shock!” Shulman said.

Aaron Vale and Schuyler Riley Share the Win in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance

The win in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance came down to a battle between a three-time WIHS puissance-winning horse and a horse contesting the class for the first time. In the end, they tied for the win, with both Aaron Vale and Finou 4 and Schuyler Riley on Very Chic Du Tillard clearing the 6’9″ height.

Vale and Finou 4, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by For Pleasure owned by Thinks Like A Horse, had won the class the last three consecutive years and were hot favorites. Five other horse/rider combinations joined them on the starting list. “There was a good group of horses and riders tonight, so it was a little tougher class than maybe the last few years,” Vale said. “You never go in thinking you’re going to win.”

Riley described E2 Show Jumpers’ Very Chic Du Tillard, a 10-year-old Selle Francais by Diamant de Semilly, as a horse with the experience level of younger horse. He was jumping in his first Puissance class and has spent the majority of his show experience at the 1.45m level. “I knew he has the scope and the talent, but I knew he’d never done one before, so I sort of expected to go in there and jump one or maybe two and then come out, but he jumped it so easily,” Riley said.

All six riders started over the wall set at 5’9″, and it was subsequently raised to 6’3″, 6’5″, and 6’9″. Only Riley and Vale cleared the 6’9″ height, and both returned to attempt 6’11”. When they both knocked blocks off at that height, the class ended in a tie between them.

The Puissance is a favorite event for Vale, of Williston, FL, who has now won the class six times. His first win came in 1996 with Big Joe. “In America, we don’t have great crowds too often, and this night is one of the best crowds of the year for the Puissance here,” he said.

For more information and results, please visit www.wihs.org.

Jos Verlooy Victorious in $50,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake

Jos Verlooy and Varoune. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

The international show jumpers took center stage on Thursday, October 24, at the 61st annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) for their first two competitions of the week during Barn Night. In the $50,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, Jos Verlooy of Belgium rode Varoune to victory, while Israel’s Sydney Shulman topped the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class.

Verlooy, who has competed at WIHS in years past and won the Puissance class in 2015, made a daring turn between fences 3 and 4 in the second round to slice seconds off his time. “In a jump-off you have to take a few risks, and the risk paid off for me tonight,” he said. He finished with a time of 41.62 seconds, relegating U.S. rider Alex Granato and Carlchen W to second.

Sydney Shulman Goes Like Lightning to Win $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class

Sydney Shulman, who rides for Israel, just couldn’t stop grinning after picking up the blue ribbon in the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class in her first year of competing in the international open jumper division at WIHS. She topped the class riding Villamoura as the fastest round of the nine riders who picked up 65 points over the jumps, finishing in 41.04 seconds.

“I looked at the list of riders and I had dreamed to be in a class with these people, let alone to beat them,” Shulman, 24, said. “So I’m going to really remember this! It’s special to be here.”

The first through ninth place riders all collected 65 points, which meant they cleared all 10 jumps on course, including the final “joker” fence worth 20 points. There was also a special Washington Nationals World Series-themed fence on course, and Irish rider Shane Sweetnam dressed up as Nationals shortstop Trea Turner in honor of the baseball team’s World Series appearance the same week as WIHS.

With nine riders out of the 24 starters on the same score, the class results came down to speed. “I watched some horses go, and after Adrienne [Sternlicht] went, I thought, ‘There’s no way I can be faster,’ but I had to try!” Shulman said. “My horse doesn’t have nearly the size of stride that she does. I had to think about being faster in the turns and across the ground. I added [strides] in two places that she left a stride out, but for my horse that’s what works.”

For more information and results, please visit www.wihs.org.