Category Archives: Show Jumping

Steve Guerdat and Venard de Cerisy Win the CP ‘International’

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

2021’s edition of the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ culminated with the week’s pinnacle class, the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex. The second Major of the year, as part of the revered Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, welcomed 28 horse and rider combinations, who would go head-to-head in their individual quests to become the Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender. Austrian Max Kühner had his sights set on retaining his Live Contender status after winning the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters in April.

The ultimate show jumping test for horse and rider, the Leopoldo Palacios-designed course would be contested over 14 demanding obstacles within the confines of Spruce Meadows’ imposing International Ring. With the competition watched on by 2,000 excited and knowledgeable spectators – the maximum allowed under COVID-19 restrictions – and with just 12 pairings progressing to Round 2, the stakes were high, with the riders all too aware that there was very little margin for error.

Australian Rowan Willis, a familiar face at Spruce Meadows, set the early Round 1 pace with his 15-year-old mare, Blue Movie, jumping fault-free in 80.99s. Home favourite Mario Deslauriers confidently progressed to Round 2 with his 12-year-old mare, Bardolina 2, crossing the line in 83.00s without a penalty. Swiss Steve Guerdat and Australian Hilary Scott were the only other riders to navigate the Round 1 course without picking up any penalties. The eight riders also advancing to Round 2 included Egypt’s Nayel Nassar, Canadian Erynn Ballard, Kent Farrington, McLain Ward, Will Simpson, and Natalie Dean from America, Mexico’s Carlos Hank Guerreiro, and Briton Scott Brash.

In a change of fortunes, American duo, Kent Farrington and McLain Ward, faultlessly steered their equestrian partners around the second round course, after each put a fence down in the first. Hot on the American pair’s heels was reigning Rolex Grand Slam champion, Scott Brash, who added just four penalty points to his first round score. However, it was former world number one Steve Guerdat who was to assume top spot after he effortlessly guided his prodigious 12-year-old gelding, Venard de Cerisy, around the 14-fence course. Following Guerdat’s performance, the final two riders to go were Deslauriers and Willis; however, neither were able to match their first round scores, meaning the three-time World Cup winner (2015, 2016, 2019) and 2012 Olympic Individual jumping champion won the CP ‘International’, and in doing so was crowned the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Live Contender.

The only rider to compete at each of the Majors since the inception of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Guerdat commented: “I’ve been dreaming of winning these classes since I’ve been a little kid. Since I can remember, Calgary and Aachen have always been the shows that I want to win. I’ve been lucky enough to win Geneva a couple of times, but Aachen and Calgary have been missing. I’m not going to quit until I win them – I have one of them now, and I’m going to aim for the other one very soon. This is what drives us riders, I guess.

“Venard is a very strong, brave, and powerful horse. He has a lot of blood and energy in his jump. He doesn’t have the best of techniques, but because of his power and will to do good all the time, we’ve had the chance to understand each other over the years. He’s a very sensitive horse – he’s very difficult to get on and off, you can’t move him, and he’s a little bit shy with everything. But once he sees a jump, he just wants to jump it.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Tiffany Foster and Brighton Win the Suncor Winning Round

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

Twenty-five combinations contested Saturday’s 1m50 Suncor Winning Round in a wet International Ring following overnight and early morning rain. However, spectators’ spirits were not in the slightest bit dampened, as they were treated to some world-class performances from not only Canada’s finest equestrian athletes, but also a number of leading riders from eight other nations, who descended on Calgary for the 2021 edition of the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’.

Round 1’s proceedings were dominated by the home nation, with four Canadian riders amongst the 10 who eventually progressed to Round 2, including Tiffany Foster and her 15-year-old gelding, Brighton, Amy Millar and her 11-year-old gelding, Christiano, and the experienced duo of Eric Lamaze and Jim Ifko, who were partnered by 11-year-old gelding, Kino, and the 12-year-old La Silla-bred mare, Celine Ls La Silla, respectively. The Irish trio of Jordan Coyle (Centriko Volo), Daniel Coyle (Ivory TCS), and Conor Swail also made the top-10 cut, and were joined in the Winning Round by the talented 23-year-old Belgian, Zoe Conter (Dawa De Greenbay Z), the in-form Egyptian, Nayel Nassar (Igor Van De Wittemoere), and British rider, Matthew Sampson (Geneve R).

But in the end, it was Tiffany Foster’s day to shine in front of an enthralled crowd, after she and the brilliant Brighton did enough to see off a late challenge from Conor Swail, beating him to top spot by three tenths of a second, with the current world number 59-ranked rider, Nayel Nassar, slotting into third place.

Delighted with her long-time partner, Brighton, Foster commented: “The Suncor Winning Round here at Spruce Meadows is a kind of unique event, as you know you don’t carry your faults, which means you’ve got to get into that top 10, so it’s always better to carry a little bit of rhythm. Brighton seems to love this class, so I just ride my round. The good thing about him is he’s super-fast, so even if I happen to have one down, I’m usually in with a shout, but he’s clear more than not!”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

McLain Ward Wins the Tourmaline Oil Cup

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

On a breezy and autumnal Calgarian afternoon, 28 horse and rider combinations representing 12 nations contested Friday’s feature class at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, the 1.55m Tourmaline Oil Cup. Legendary course designer Leopoldo Palacios set the pairings – which included three out of the world’s current top 10-ranked riders – 12 testing obstacles, with the Venezuelan and his team of assistants making full use of the vast and iconic International Ring.

American McLain Ward set the early pace with his 15-year-old bay mare, HH Azur, going clear in a time of 72.51s, within the 75-second time limit. Compatriot Kent Farrington and his 14-year-old gelding, Creedance, looked to be on imperious form, breezing around the course fault-free. In a show of American domination, winner of 2019’s CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, Beezie Madden and her 15-year-old La Silla-bred Stallion, Breitling LS, also made light work of the 15-fence course. Much to the delight of the crowd, home favourites Tiffany Foster and Erynn Ballard progressed to the shoot-out, both aboard their talented 10-year-olds, Hamilton and Gakhir, respectively. In-form Nayel Nassar from Egypt and his veteran 19-year-old gelding, Coronado, was joined in the jump-off by Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes and his stallion H5 Chagauns and Australia’s Rowan Willis partnered by his grey stallion Ashton Dakota.

First to go in the jump-off was recent Olympic Team silver medallist, McLain Ward, who set a blistering time of 37.38s, which looked hard to beat, after the next seven riders – Rowan Willis, Kent Farrington, Eduardo Menezes, Erynn Ballard, Beezie Madden, and Tiffany Foster – all failed to navigate the eight-fence jump-off without penalties. Last to go, it was apparent that Nayel Nassar was playing it safe, with his sights set on second spot, eventually crossing the line without a fault and finishing runner-up behind deserved winner, Ward.

On his victory and his mare HH Azur’s stunning performance, the two-time Olympic Team gold medallist commented: “I don’t know if I particularly did it better than any of the other riders; she just jumped it better! I actually wasn’t upset by my position in the jump-off. I was just going to ride my plan. I know what her strengths and weaknesses are at this point, and I thought if I put a little bit of pressure on, there might be some mistakes and that played out.

“HH Azur is going to jump the Nations Cup tomorrow for our team, and then Casper, a stallion I’ve been kind of bringing along, who’s a phenomenal jumper and has had a strong summer in Europe, is the horse I’m aiming towards the big Grand Prix on Sunday.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Who to Look Out For at the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters 2021

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

The CSIO 5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ returns from 8-12 September 2021, and will play host to the second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of the year: the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, which will be staged in the impressive International Arena on the final day of the competition.

After winning the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in April – and in doing so becoming the live contender – Austrian Max Kühner has confirmed his attendance, alongside a stellar list of competitors, including five out of the current top 20-ranked riders in the world, and five Rolex Testimonees. As ever, the five-day competition promises to be a truly international affair, with 15 nations represented, with the hosts welcoming no fewer than 42 of its very own home-grown athletes.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Rider Watch

Current world number three Martin Fuchs travels to Calgary brimming with confidence, following Switzerland’s win in the team jumping competition at the European Championships, which he and his gelding, Leone Jei, played a crucial role in. The 29-year-old will be accompanied at Spruce Meadows by his talented 10-year-old gelding, Conner Jei, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at the Jumping International de Dinard.

British rider Scott Brash returns to Spruce Meadows, where he was crowned the first ever Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping champion in 2015 with his legendary gelding, Hello Sanctos. The current world number four brings Hello Vincent to Calgary, with whom he finished a very credible fourth in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique in June.

Fuchs’ compatriot and the current world number 10-ranked rider, Steve Guerdat, has also added the Team European champion accolade to his impressive list of titles. The three-time World Cup champion (2015, 2016, 2019) will compete at Spruce Meadows with his dependable 12-year-old gelding, Venard De Cerisy, who he took to this year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where the duo finished fifth in the Team competition.

Rio 2016 Olympic Team silver medallist Kent Farrington leads the charge of athletes from the United States, and in a clear demonstration of intent, brings seven horses with him to Spruce Meadows. Of note, the current world number 13 will compete with his 15-year-old mare, Gazelle, 14-year-old gelding, Creedance, and nine-year-old hot prospect, Orafina.

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Takes Centre Stage for 2nd Leg of Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday 7 September 2021 – The prestigious showgrounds of Spruce Meadows in Canada will once again welcome the world’s top horse and rider combinations for the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex. The esteemed 5* competition, which forms part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, will take place on Sunday 12 September 2021, providing a spectacular finale to the five-day CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament.

Staged in the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, the event is widely regarded as the leading equestrian event in North America. Rolex’s affiliation with Spruce Meadows dates back to 1989 and is part of its long-standing support for the sport. For more than six decades, the brand has forged close relationships with elite international events and athletes who share its commitment to perpetual excellence.

Launched in 2013, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the most coveted prize in equestrianism, rewarding the rider who wins the Grand Prix at three of the four Majors in succession. To date, Scotland’s Scott Brash is the only competitor to achieve the feat, having done so in 2014-2015 with Hello Sanctos.

To aspire to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping requires a unique harmony between horse and rider, a special bond crafted over years with infinite patience, care, and expertise. Once trust and communication have been established, a pairing can push the boundaries and confront all obstacles placed before them. The bar is almost impossibly high, which is why only the finest riders keep rising to it.

The CP ‘International’ is the Grand Slam’s second Grand Prix of 2021. Max Kühner will head to the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament as the Rolex Grand Slam live contender following his victory at The Dutch Masters in April.

As the winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in 2019, World No. 3 and recent European Championship team gold and individual silver medallist Martin Fuchs travels to Canada with the opportunity to claim a bonus for winning two of the past four Rolex Grand Slam events. He will be joined by compatriot Steve Guerdat, who will be looking to add this title to his long list of honours, which includes individual gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Rolex Grand Prix victories at CHI Geneva and CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Scott Brash, the current World No. 4, is a two-time Grand Prix winner at this venue, including in 2015 when he completed the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. He will return full of confidence following excellent recent results, including a victory in the Netherlands on the eve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where he finished equal seventh in the individual jumping competition.

Canada’s Eric Lamaze will also be seeking his third Grand Prix title, at an event where he has enjoyed so much success, and Kent Farrington will join in taking on the testing course designed by Leopoldo Palacios. Farrington heads to the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in top form following a successful week at the CSI Spruce Meadows ‘National’, culminating in victory in the RBC Grand Prix of Canada with his exceptional 15-year-old mare, Gazelle.

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0) 22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0) 7748 186 833

Jad Dana and After Eight Jump to Victory in $25k Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix

Jad Dana (LBN) and After Eight. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – Sept. 5, 2021 – The ESP Labor Day horse show concluded with a second victory from the week going to Lebanon’s Jad Dana. Dana and After Eight edged out the competition in the $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix to capture the lead spot in the victory gallop. The partnership mastered two tracks designed by Oscar Soberón (USA) as the fastest of five double-clear duos.

Early in the morning on Friday, Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Boheme de Fleyres, owned by Ashlee Bond Show Jumping, hit the ground running to take the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake. Only the fourth in the order, Bond and Boheme de Fleyres turned in a quick fault-free time of 38.74 seconds in the immediate jump-off to solidify themselves as the frontrunners and eventual winners.

In the Perfect Products 1.35m Stake on Saturday morning, Dana and Fleur-de-Lis’ Cherie, owned by Kathleen Gannon-Ledsome, ran away with the class as the clear-cut winners. Never letting up on the gas, Dana and Fleur de Lis’ Cherie went midway through the pack and tripped their jump-off timers without faults in a blazing 39.13 seconds. No other competitors were able to come close, giving Dana and his mount the first prize by nearly four seconds.

Sunday morning saw the Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Equiline, challenge a field of horses and riders on the Derby Field. In the end, only three-hundredths of a second separated the top two finishers, with the victory going to Caroline Drummond of Wellington, FL on her own Tsunami with a double-clear time of 40.66 seconds.

Alejandro Karolyi Makes Winning Hunter Debut with Karma AB in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

In his first hunter class ever, Alejandro Karolyi of Wellington, FL rode Emily Cherney’s Karma AB straight to the top of the leaderboard in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline. The partnership concluded the class as the clear victors after earning back-to-back scores of 86 for a final tally of 172, which included all four high-option bonus points from both the classic and handy rounds. A decorated jumper rider, Karolyi gave the hunters a shot for the very first time on Friday, and he proved to be a solid match for Karma AB, the 10-year-old mare that is making the switch from jumpers to the hunter ring.

The combined Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter/Junior 3’3” Hunter divisions, presented by Vita Flex, saw Adrienne Marciano of Collegeville, PA and her own Cooper ride to the championship rosette. Marciano and Cooper were the standout pair in the division after capturing four first-place finishes and a single second-place result to emerge as the clear leaders.

In the Pony Hunter division, presented by Dover Saddlery, Competition Farm LLC’s Skip Day carried Chase Spranklin of Weston, FL to the championship honors. The duo earned two first-place finishes, as well as two third-place results and a fourth-place ribbon to earn enough points to capture the overall title.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Competition at 2021 Southeast Medal Finals Concludes with Day of Championship Crownings

Mckenzie Clayton and Bea Ready.

Tampa, Fla. – Sept. 5, 2021 – Competition at the 2021 Southeast Medal Finals (SEMF) came to a close on Sunday, Sept. 5 featuring a packed schedule. With riders of all levels and ages vying for championship titles, Mckenzie Clayton and Bea Ready were the first duo to claim top honors in the Junior Medal Finals presented by The Clothes Horse, while Lexie Kate Crumbaker and My Way topped the field in the Pony Medal Finals. Top Show Jumping competition also came to a head featuring the largest purse of the weekend in the $25,000 Dr. Eli Farri Memorial Day Grand Prix presented by The Adams Group eXperience of eXp Realty, where Callan Solem and Essenar Crixus emerged victorious, wrapping up competition at the 2021 Southeast Medal Finals for the 5th anniversary at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.

Top junior riders were eager to show off their textbook skills and effortless style in the Junior Medal Finals presented by The Clothes Horse. Following a tight first round, 12 of the riders were invited back for an over-fences work-off. Riders contested over the shortened course and were asked to display the counter canter and a posting trot without stirrup irons. The second round could lend any of the top three riders the leading title, but ultimately it was North Carolina junior rider, Clayton, that impressed the judges the most to move up and earn first place aboard brand new mount, Bea Ready. Madison Ramsey and Maguro would finish the class in second place, with Kate Neily and First Verdi rounding out the top three.

Clayton, who showed Bea Ready for the first time just this week at the 2021 SEMF, walked away with the unexpected win aboard Kristen Bond’s 9-year-old KWPN mare. Having only ever ridden the mare three times prior to entering the Teco Indoor Arena for the Junior Medal Finals, Clayton was just hoping to get a better feel for the mare heading into indoor finals season where she will compete in the ASPCA Maclay and USEF Medal Finals. With the help of her good luck charm necklace, in addition to her cool and composed demeanor, Clayton not only produced two smooth trips but also nailed the counter canter, having never practiced the movement on her newest mount.

The youngest equitation riders took to the Gene Mische Ring for the Pony Medal Finals where Crumbaker impressed the judges with her style and finesse aboard her own 18-year-old Welsh Pony Cross gelding, My Way, taking home the first-place ribbon. Second place was ultimately awarded to Elizabeth Dorward riding Show And Tell. Rebecca Holcomb and Mi’Amore rounded out the top three.

34 top horse-and-rider combinations took the Grand Prix Ring for one last class at the 2021 Southeast Medal Finals for the feature event of the week, the $25,000 Dr. Eli Farri Memorial Day Grand Prix presented by The Adams Group eXperience of eXp Realty. The large field of competitors provided an exciting display of show jumping as 9 riders moved into the jump-off. In a nail-biting finish, it was ultimately Solem who was last to take to the ring who bested Catalina Peralta’s 39.999 by a half of a second with a time of 39.428 seconds. Sarah Gordon and Castella closed out the podium with a third-place finish.

Solem and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Elan Farm secured their first grand prix win together Sunday afternoon out of a competitive field of 34 athletes. The newly partnered duo plans to compete on the winter circuit at The World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida later this year.

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

Individual Gold for Thieme on a Magnificent Day of Sport

Andre Thieme. (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Individual glory for Germany’s Andre Thieme and his lovely mare DSP Chakaria brought the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship 2021 to the perfect close at Riesenbeck (GER). On an afternoon of spectacular sport, the 46-year-old rider rose from overnight silver into gold medal position in the first of two final rounds. Once there, he held on tight, pinning Friday’s team gold medallists, Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei, into silver while Sweden’s Olympic team gold and individual silver medallist Peder Fredricson and Catch Me Not took bronze.

And the new champion wasn’t holding back. At a press conference filled with joy, relief, reflection, and laughter, Thieme said, “I’m just as much in love with that horse as I am with my wife – and she accepts that!” before turning his attention to Fuchs.

The Swiss rider had teased him by calling Thieme “one of the happy ones!” when he met him in the aftermath of Friday’s team competition, in which the hosts had to settle for silver. But the German rider pointed out that the result had been very close. “And he looked at me and said, ‘Did you really think you guys could beat us? He really said that!” Thieme said with a laugh, very pleased that he had managed to turn the tables on the 29-year-old defending champion, who had to settle for runner-up spot this time around.

Vintage

It was vintage stuff from start to finish and course designer, Germany’s Frank Rothenberger, played a big part in ensuring drama and excitement all the way.

Fuchs was in the lead as the action began, but there was less than a fence between the first seven and less than two fences between the top 12 in the opening round in which the top-24 started. And when the Swiss rider’s fabulous nine-year-old, Leone Jei, hit the oxer after the water at fence nine, then he opened the door for his German rival whose mare made it look pretty easy as she posted a clear to take the lead.

Only the top 12 returned for the second-round medal-decider, and Fuchs was lying fourth on a score of 5.31 this time out, with the sensational partnership of Ioli Mytillneou and Levis de Muze from Greece in third on 4.64 and Sweden’s Fredricson now in silver medal spot, just over two points behind Thieme.

So when the Swiss star lowered the first element of the triple combination in the final round, it seemed his chance was gone. But that fence caused multiple problems and when Mytillneou and her brilliant stallion met it all wrong, she decided to retire. At 24 years old, and with relatively little experience compared to those she was competing against, it was a mature decision as Show President Ludger Beerbaum pointed out later in the day.

So that let Fuchs into bronze medal spot, and when Fredricson’s grey gelding hit the second fence, Fuchs moved up into silver. Thieme could now afford one fence down but no more, and at the bogey triple combination he used up all his luck. But he kept his nerve to bring it home to the delight of the home crowd who roared their approval.

Challenge

The new champion talked about the challenge of that second course: “Walking it you could see that triple combination was going to be very difficult for everybody. The course designer was just very smart.

“From fence three to four he gave us a floating forward six strides to a big oxer with bushes underneath, so you arrived with a lot of impulsion and then it was a bit downhill coming into those two tall verticals. So you had to ride it perfect, and even then there was a chance to have it down,” he explained.

“I got there (to the first part of the triple combination) exactly the way I wanted to, and then boom! I hit the front rail and I thought we have a long way to go. So I tried to stay calm, and she stayed calm with me and I don’t know how many times I can say it, but I’m very blessed with that horse! It’s something very special. Tokyo (Olympic Games) came too early for us; we thought we could do it and then we paid our price, but she learned something in Tokyo and I learned something in Tokyo and I’m glad it came out this way!” he added.

Show President, Ludger Beerbaum, paid tribute to Mytillneou, whose copybook clear rounds throughout the week put her well in contention until things didn’t go right for her. “She showed us how a trusting relationship between a rider and horse can make such difficult courses look easy. And the way her horse jumps, your heart starts smiling by watching it…. I’m absolutely sure we will see this pair again in the top classes, and some day probably on the podium!” he said.

Fuchs admitted that playing second fiddle doesn’t come easy for him. “For the first few minutes I was disappointed about the result, that it wasn’t good enough for gold, but now I’m really happy with silver! I’ll go home with two medals, one gold (team) one silver (individual). Andre was just better than me today and I hope one day I’ll be better than him!” said the 2019 champion.

Fredricson blamed himself for the mistake with Catch Me Not made at the second fence, after he changed his original plan on how to ride that line. And as he said, his time fault was also expensive. “But I think the course designer built in a really clever way: questions all the way around, time just tight enough. Like Martin, at first I was really disappointed with the choice I made, but 45 minutes later I feel happy for my bronze medal,” he said.

Huge task

Multiple champion Ludger Beerbaum admitted that he took on a huge task when he offered to step in and run this Championship at Riesenbeck after it was cancelled last year. But he was happy and relieved.

“I couldn’t be more happy or grateful for having the opportunity to host such an event. It was a brave decision, and the whole team knows what we had to deal with, and it was a tough job, no question. But once we decided to go ahead with it, we had a lot of support and positive energy from everyone. You have to be fortunate to get two weeks weather like this and we are thankful. We’ve seen great, great sport, a super podium, and an unbelievable winner – and I’m also really pleased with number 4 Christian Kukuk who was really close. I’m delighted and well done to everyone!” he said.

He wasn’t the only one feeling grateful after an amazing week at his fabulous venue surrounded by the Surenberg Forest.

Speaking on behalf of all the riders who competed at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championship 2021, silver medallist Martin Fuchs said, “Ludger, thank you very much for organising this. We have seen many shows that have years and years of putting on a show; you didn’t have that and for all of us riders, you are one of the most inspiring people in the sport. We call you the legend behind your back!

“And now that you start to do even more for our sport and that you hold this European Championship during these difficult times, everybody really appreciates it. Everyone has great things to say about the whole organisation and the competition, and I think this deserves a big and warm thank you from all of us!”

No-one was disagreeing with that.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Southeast Medal Finals Penultimate Day of Competition Focuses on Fun

Stephanie Cook and Vulco Monaco.

Tampa, Fla. – Sep. 4, 2021 – The penultimate day of competition at the 2021 Southeast Medal Finals focused on fun as horse-and-rider combinations took to their respective rings for unique feature classes prior to the highly anticipated Finals Sunday, September 5. Show jumping riders dashed for the cash hoping to pocket the largest portion of the prize in the $2,000 Gambler’s Choice, presented by The Adams Group eXperience of eXp Realty. Stephanie Cook and Lord Arthur 1916 turned and burned in the Grand Prix Ring claiming the top prize, while Gretchen Swanson, Macie Sousa, and Mina Godden put forth their best collective efforts to win the Equitation Team Challenge, presented by Tenney’s Custom Saddlery.

Eager horse-and-rider pairs lined up at the Grand Prix Ring in hopes of gathering the most points to win the $2,000 purse. Open to riders of all ages and levels, competitors were allotted 50 seconds to forge their own path around the course with the goal of racking up the most points. With each fence assigned a point value based on the degree of difficulty, riders were able to jump a fence no more than twice and in either direction. It was ultimately Cook who took home the grand prize aboard one of her three mounts entered in the class, Lord Arthur 1916, Lionsway Farm’s 13-year-old Holsteiner stallion.

With the advantage of planning and executing multiple courses, Cook’s first trip aboard Vulco Monaco briefly held the lead with a score of 990. The Tennessee native laid down her winning round as the middle of the three trips with Lord Arthur 1916, scoring a whopping 1260. Her final round aboard Augusto produced a score of 1110, which would be good enough to take fourth place. The highly competitive amateur is a frequent competitor on the East Coast circuit and has racked up countless wins. Cook most recently pocketed two blue ribbons at Camp Encour in the $1,000 .95 Mini Prix and the $1,000 .95 Back To The Beach Welcome.

The race for second and third place came down to just a 20-point difference as Juliet Johansson and her own 16-year-old Warmblood gelding, TH Magic, rocketed into second place with a score of 1190. Sitting closely behind was Amy Foster who piloted Abigail Princz’s 11-year-old North American KWPN mare, Florentina HF, to a score of 1170.

In light of the 2021 3’6’’ Equitation Medal Finals Sunday, September 5, the competition took a light-hearted break Saturday evening as teams of four junior and amateur riders teamed up in hopes of turning in the highest combined score. The randomly assigned teams were given 30 minutes to strategize their course prior to the start of the class. A total of seven teams consisting of three junior or amateur riders registered with SEMF contested over either a 2’6” or 3’0” course.

Of the seven teams, it was Gretchen Swanson aboard Dominica V, Macie Sousa with Mojito Z, and Mina Godden with Calino 60 who topped the leaderboard with a whopping score of 234. Godden, the 16-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida was the first of the three to take to the ring. The experienced ‘big eq’ competitor who qualified for The National Horse Show last year pioneered the track with her own 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding for her two fellow teammates. Laying down a base score of 73, Godden made the wise decision of pushing for a forward seven in one of the bending lines as opposed to the tight eight strides many of her fellow competitors were riding.

Sousa, who just recently aged out of the junior division, was the second of the three to try her hand at the track posting the team’s leading score of 86 aboard her own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Mojito Z. The 19-year-old amateur rider from Orlando, Florida, who used to compete on the junior equitation circuit, plans to continue her equitation career as an adult amateur hoping to qualify for the Ariat Adult National Medal Finals.

Sorento, Florida native Swanson was the third and final ride of the three. The 21-year-old amateur rider piloted one of Oakmore Equestrian Center’s lesson horses, Dominica V, around the course earning a score of 75. As the ringer for the team, Swanson’s solid effort aboard Emily Patterson’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare solidified the team’s top podium position with their combined efforts, a full 27 points ahead of the second place team.

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

Derek Petersen and Schuyler Dayner Both Claim Last-Minute Wins during Second Day at SMF

Derek Petersen and Zechariah 3:9.

Tampa, Fla. – Sep. 3, 2021 – Hunter and jumper competition returned for the second day of the 2021 Southeast Medal Finals at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa Florida on Friday, September 3. Following a successful kick-off day on Thursday, competitors were eager to get back in the rings and claim top honors in their respective classes. In the Grand Prix Arena, thirty riders battled it out in hopes of winning the lion’s share of the $7,500 purse in the Welcome Stakes presented by Up Country. Derek Petersen and Zechariah 3:9 prevailed over a competitive field of 28 entries. A deep field of experienced hunter riders took to the Teco Indoor Arena for the feature hunter class of the day, the $3,000 3’0” Hunter Spectacular presented by CWD Sellier. Schuyler Dayner and Bertram Winkle brought their A-game topping the leaderboard.

The $7,500 Welcome Stakes track featured a 12-obstacle, 1.25m track that challenged all of the horse and rider combinations to advance to an immediate jump-off. Riders that advanced to the shortened 7-obstacle track were immediately challenged on course by first, heading to a towering triple bar set as fence one. In honor of Southeast Medal Finals’ 5th anniversary, there was an extra $2,500 in prize money up for grabs, prompting riders to give the shortened track their speediest effort. Petersen and his own 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding entered the ring as the second to last horse and rider combo in the class. The current leader, Jenni McAllister, had held the top position for a majority of the class, with a time that seemed almost unbeatable. Petersen, who just recently partnered with his young mount in April, did not have plans to steal the show, but his quick and clean jump-off proved to be just the trick to move him ahead of McAllister. His time of 33.215 was fast enough to hold off the final athlete in the class.

Friday’s win in the $7,500 Welcome Stakes proved to be a very special occasion for Petersen, who is not only celebrating his first win with Zechariah 3:9, but also competing in his first show back after two months out of the competition ring. Petersen, who contracted COVID-19 in April, just recently climbed back in the saddle after a serious hospitalization with the virus that also sadly claimed the life of his late wife.

Jenni McAllister and her first of two mounts in the class, Legis Touch the Sun, a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Legisequine.com, held a strong lead throughout a majority of the class but were bested by Petersen at the bottom of the order, while Madison Kondracki and her own 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Shutterfly, rounded out the top three.

Hunter competitors, with their expertly turned-out mounts, were the final field of competitors to take to one of the five rings on Friday evening for the $3,000 3’0” Hunter Spectacular presented by CWD Sellier. 19 horse-and-rider combinations made their way around the course in hopes of catching the judges’ eyes. Set in the hunt-and-go format, every combination was given the opportunity to ride a shortened version of a traditional Hunter Derby, with one portion of the round in the classic over fences style and the other half as a handy portion. Out of the combined field of amateurs, professionals, and juniors, it was young rider Schuyler Dayner who dazzled at the last minute with dual scores of 87.00, to take over the first place position with her own 11-year-old Warmblood gelding Bertram Winkle.

With Bertram Winkle as her second ride in the class, Dayner had the advantage of riding the course once before aboard Carlos He’Las. With the opportunity to improve upon her first trip scores, Dayner still did not expect to rocket to the lead in a class whose field was made up primarily of professional hunter riders. Though the young Florida native was unsure of her ability to best the pack of professionals, she is a frequent competitor in National Hunter Derbys, most recently taking home a second-place finish in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Plain Brown Wrapper. Dayner hopes to qualify for the International Derby Finals next year with Bertram Winkle.

Isaac Leffkowitz and Stacey Reser’s young rising star, Diaronimo, held the lead all the way from the top of the order until Dayner laid down her double 87s. At just 6 years old, the Holsteiner gelding and the young professional settled into an honorable second place. Patrick Miller and Morgan Goodman’s 9-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Larrico, completed the podium in third place.

Hunter competition was also featured in the Gene Mische Ring with the $500 Pony Handy Hunter Classic and $1,000 2’6” Hunter Spectacular, both presented by CWD Sellier. Competitive young riders and their ponies created stiff competition, and in the end, it was Evana Somareddy and Lafayette Park who came out on top. In the $1,000 2’6” Hunter Spectacular, Braeden Simons and San Quinta SN claimed the first place prize.

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