14/08/10 – There was no stopping Laura Kraut at Valkenswaard today. Having already won the warm up speed class on Unique, she proceeded to cap a memorable day by jumping three clears for the second time in two weeks to clinch her second GCT Grand Prix victory in the same period! The American who prior to Chantilly had never won a Grand Prix on the series, now has a back to back double, something that has not happened in recent GCT history, if ever. Today’s show was also especially notable as His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Monaco was among the audience.
The first round was another Uliano Vezzani masterpiece. With nearly every fence falling at some point the bogey fences were probably the combination (vertical, two strides, oxer, one stride, vertical) and the early line which included the open water with five strides to a double. But the course still produced 12 clear rounds from 50 starters, including Laura, GCT rankings leader Marco Kutscher (Cash) and former GCT Champion Jessica Kurten (Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois). With a share of the million Euro bonus at stake and only Rio left to score points towards winning it, there was a lot to play for as the second round started over a changed but slightly shorter course. Pressure was put on the leaders by the first of the four faulters from the first round, Judy Ann Melchior with Levisto Z. The grey made it all look easy although Kevin Staut matched the feat on another grey, Silvana, but it was looking for a while as if a double clear would never happen. The capacity crowd groaned as Patrick McEntee (Chivas Mury Marais), Penelope Leprevost (Topinambour), Jos Lansink (Valentina Van T’Heike), Beezie Madden (Coral Reef Via Volo), Alvaro de Miranda (AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan) and Jessica Kurten all lowered one rail each leaving all of them on a total of four over two rounds. Laura was the first to go double clear and then she was joined by Christian Alhmann and Taloubet Z, Denis Lynch with Latinus and almost inevitably, Marco Kutscher.
13/08/11 – Ben Maher flew to Valkenswaard from a short holiday break and showed he had made the best of the rest when he snatch victory in the 1.50m class this afternoon in Valkenswaard by only three tenths of a second. Riding Oscar who belongs to Ben’s holiday hosts, Mr and Mrs Cook, he rode a superlative jump off despite losing a stirrup over the second last fence. The win was all the more outstanding because Ben has only been jumping the horse competitively for a few weeks; GCT Chantilly was one of their first international outings together. “He just gets better and better,” said a smiling rider afterwards. Fourteen horses had been presented for the jump off over Uliano Vezzani’s course so the winner was bound to be the one who was the bravest, particularly as there was a long gallop to the last. Bernardo Alves, who was the first one to really attack the jump off course on his Monaco winner Bridgit and his time of 43.67 took nearly three seconds off the previous leaders, Gerco Schroder and Eurocommerce Pennsylvania, who ended up fifth. Emilio Bicocci and Olea brought the crowd to their feet but they could only managed 41.15. Michel Robert tried the same audacious gallop to the last that had worked so well in Chantilly with Kellemoi de Pepita but failed by over a second although 45.62 did earn him 1600 Euro for fourth spot.
12 August 2010 – The FEI deeply regrets the death this week of 1952 Helsinki Olympian and former Chair of the Canadian Equestrian Team, 77-year-old Walter Pady, following a car accident in Ontario.
Initially identified as an Eventing talent and a member of Canada’s first Olympic equestrian team in the three-day event competition in Helsinki (FIN), Mr Pady switched to Jumping and scored a number of top placings during Canada’s first European show jumping tour in 1954.
At the end of his competitive career, Mr Pady dedicated himself to Canadian equestrianism. Chairman of the Canadian Jumping team for 10 years, he was then chair of the Canadian Equestrian Team in the 1980s, contributing hugely to the development of Canadian horse sport.
The FEI expresses its condolences to Mr Pady’s family and friends.
10 August 2010 – China’s first Olympic Eventing rider Alex Hua Tian is urging the equestrian community to make its nominations for the five-category 2010 FEI Awards.
Hua Tian, whom the Chinese media dubbed the “one in 1.3 billion” in the run-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, won the FEI’s HSBC Rising Star Award last year. The award rewards a rider aged between 14 and 21 who demonstrates significant talent and outstanding commitment. The judging panel, chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya, selected Hua Tian for his riding skills and the unwavering dedication that enabled him to cope with intense press scrutiny and pressure before and during the 2008 Olympic Games.
“I was deeply moved to have been nominated by my instructors, Nicola Ward, a New Zealander who, with her Irish Husband, John, taught me in Hong Kong when I was eight years old and by Tamara Weal, who taught me in England when I was 11,” said Hua Tian. “I am sure that in every Pony Club, Riding Club or community there must be many outstanding young riders, who would be hugely inspired to have their passion and dedication encouraged by being nominated for the FEI Awards. I know I was.”
Lexington, KY – August 9, 2010 – With only one month until the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) the Kentucky Horse Park is already preparing for the opening day. On August 20, 2010, the Welcoming Waters Ceremony will take place in the new Indoor Ring. During the ceremony the nine regions being represented during WEG will present water to the First Lady of Kentucky Jane Beshear. The Welcoming Waters Ceremony will be held prior to the $50,000 CSI-W Hagyard Lexington Classic World Cup Qualifier. During the World Cup Qualifier, spectators can purchase a table at “The Betsy Gala” to watch international riders compete for the top prize.
The Welcoming Waters Ceremony will be a chance for each region to give a gift to First Lady Jane Beshear. This offering symbolizes the equestrians from each region giving a gift to Kentucky for hosting the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The water will mimic the Olympic flame, which burns during the length of the Olympics. Once the World Equestrian Games has concluded the water will be transported to Normandy, France where the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games will be taking place.
9 August 2010 – European champion Kevin Staut has jumped up to claim the world number one slot in the latest edition of the Rolex Rankings published by the FEI today.
The 29-year-old Frenchman, who won individual gold at last year’s Alltech FEI European Jumping Championships in Windsor, has moved up from third to take over the Green and Gold armband from Olympic champion Eric Lamaze (CAN).
Lamaze, who held the world number one position last month, has now dropped down to second ahead of Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer.
Staut has been a pivotal member of the French team that last week claimed its second successive victory in the Meydan FEI Nations Cup series in Dublin. His consistent performances in the series have now been further rewarded with a first-ever world number one slot in the Rolex Rankings for the popular French star.
The emerald grass arenas of Stal Tops, home to Global Champions Tour (GCT) President and Founder Jan Tops, welcome the series he created home this weekend coming. The world’s best riders and horses will descend on Holland hoping to win the Grand Prix of Holland presented by the VDL Groep but there is also a full supporting programme in Valkenswaard to keep everyone entertained before and after that class. Horse Festival Valkenswaard will run the second week of their CSI** concurrently and there is also the exciting Derby to watch on Sunday afternoon so there will always be some top class jumping for visitors to enjoy. And with general admission and parking completely free, over 30’000 people made the most of the experience in 2009. This year the show is hoping all of the world’s top five will be attending, although Eric Lamaze is waiting for final clearance from his doctor at the beginning of the week. But Puis Schwizer, Kevin Staut, Marcus Ehning and Rolf Goran Bengsston are confirmed at time of writing. In addition, the three top ranked ladies, Jessica Kurten, Edwina Alexander, and Penelope Leprevost, are confirmed. And of course, the home fans will be waiting cheer the return of their winning Nations Cup team from Dublin, especially double clear round hero, Eric Van Der Vleuten.
This is the first year that the GCT is proud to welcome Jaeger Le Coultre to Stal Tops in their role as official time keeper after a successful start to the collaboration between the two companies in Turin and Cannes. Please visit the GCT website at www.globalchampionstour.com for more details on Jaeger Le Coultre as well as the full show programme.
Lexington, KY – August 7, 2010 – An incredible crowd turned out tonight at the Kentucky Horse Park to watch the nation’s best riders compete for the top prize during the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Classic. The first round featured a long and demanding track that only five riders were able to complete without fault. The jump-off proved to be even more exciting when Michael Morrissey and Crelido beat Margie Engle aboard Indigo by just two-tenths of a second for the hard fought win.
Thirty-one riders competed over Dave Ballard’s first round course tonight in the new Indoor Ring at the Horse Park in Lexington. There were sixteen jumping efforts which included a liverpool fence, a double combination and a triple combination. The technical aspects of the course and tight time allowed proved difficult for many riders. Five riders were able to complete clear rounds, but only two riders had four-fault efforts while numerous other incurred faults from rails and time.
Lexington, KY – August 7, 2010 – The lead in the 2010 Hagyard Challenge Series is still being held by Pablo Barrios of Venezuela. He completed a one-two finish in the first $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and earned a second place ribbon in the second $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the 2010 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows.
Reed Kessler continues to move up in the standings as she retains the second place position, and now just 50 points now separate her from Barrios. Kessler won last Thursday’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. The young rider finish fourth during this Thursday’s grand prix event and has also finished fourth in both of the previous events held during the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows to earn points towards her current standing.
Last year’s $50,000 Leading Rider Margie Engle has now taken over the third place position after placing third with Lord Spezi and sixth aboard Indigo during this Thursday’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.
FEI TV – For all the action from the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup series and much more go to www.feitv.org.
DUTCH DELIVER IN DUBLIN AS FRENCH CELEBRATE SECOND SERIES VICTORY
Dublin (IRL), 6 August 2010 – In a thrilling conclusion to the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup, the team from The Netherlands put up a tremendous fight to win the last round in Dublin today where the French were crowned series champions for the second successive year. The Dutch came to the Irish fixture knowing that only victory would guarantee them a place amongst the elite nations in 2011 and, inspired by their Chef d’Equipe Rob Ehrens, and ably assisted by the only two double-clear rounds of the competition from Eric Van der Vleuten and Marc Houtzager, they succeeded in their mission in the finest of style when finishing on a four-fault total.
The French arrived knowing they already had the series title in their grasp, but that didn’t take any of the fight out of them. Chef d’Equipe Laurent Elias said yesterday, “We come to Dublin to win, just like everywhere else. We had a great start to the season with three victories and we know we are the champions again, but we have a great team here and we want to win this Aga Khan Cup and finish off our great season in the best way,” he added.