Category Archives: Events

Inside the CHI Geneva: Kent Farrington Wins the Trophée de Genève

Kent Farrington (Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

USA’s Kent Farrington produced a lightning fast round aboard his notoriously fast mount, Creedance,  to claim the Trophée de Genève at CHI Geneva. This victory secures Farrington’s spot in Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix, where he will be hoping to emulate his success of 2017 and become the next Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender.

How did you produce such a fast round?

I brought Creedance here because he is so fast and he does a lot by himself, so I just try to stay out of his way and let him go, which is usually the best plan. He’s actually won this class before, so he really knows what he’s doing and he showed that tonight.

You have had a lot of success at this Major; how does it feel to be back?

Yes, I think this is one of the best, if not the best show of the year. All the top riders, all the greatest horses are here, and every class feels important. Each class is hard to win and, of course, it’s part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping so it’s very special. I’m just really glad I have started off so well and hopefully we can keep it up.

Looking ahead to Sunday, which horse will you be riding in the Rolex Grand Prix?

The plan is to ride Gazelle. I am going to do the normal routine, let her get some small rounds under her belt for her confidence, and the go for it on Sunday.

© 2019 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Longines Grand Prix of Paris: The French Flair

© Cécile Sablayrolles pour EEM.

What better present for the organizer and the public of the 11th Longines Masters of Paris than this 100% French podium? In front of their fans, French team stalwarts Simon Delestre, Kevin Staut, and Roger-Yves Bost took first, second, and third, respectively, in the Longines Grand Prix of Paris. Believe us, there was noise – a lot of noise! – in the stands while history was made in the arena.

“Fair,” “perfectly balanced,” “definitely sport and welfare oriented.” A lot of praise went towards French course designer Grégory Bodo’s tracks during the press conference. “The course was interesting and faults occurred everywhere as opposed to a true stumbling block which would have penalized a certain type of horses in particular. Grégory did a very subtle job forcing the riders to ride forward which one of the basis of our sport.” Coming from reigning team Olympic champion Kevin Staut, second of this Longines Grand Prix of Paris, these words were certainly honey to the ears of Bodo who is very much in demand in the horse world and whose courses raise unanimous appreciation wherever he operates. “The tracks of the Longines Grand Prix of Paris and all the weekend’s classes of this 11th Longines Masters of Paris required fluidity, delicacy, accuracy, and rhythm. I nonetheless included two turns to give the competitors a chance to take risks.” Did it mean that the Longines Grand Prix of Paris was to be won on the flat and not over the jumps?

“A champions’ class”
“Hermès Ryan is naturally very fast on the ground,” confirmed the winner Simon Delestre. “I did actually win on the flat and stuck to my plan as far as related distances were concerned but turned very fast. This was a big Grand Prix. Going last in a six-strong jump-off was a rather comfortable position to be in.”

“Walking the course, I really thought that this was going to be a champions’ class and that the winner would be really strong,” added Roger-Yves Bost, third of the Longines Grand Prix of Paris, the other reigning Olympic champion on the podium. “I had to risk it all, take off strides… I knew that the rockets Staut and Delestre were going to be hot on my heels. I haven’t ridden very many jump-offs this fast with Sangria. I’m really pleased with her.”

As far as final placings go, the three French leaders are followed by Ireland’s Darragh Kenny on Classic Dream, France’s Félicie Bertrand, the only lady rider to have qualified for the jump-off of this Longines Grand Prix of Paris 2019 on Sultane des Ibis, and Germany’s Christian Ahlmann riding Take A Chance On Me Z.

55 000 spectators over four days
Christophe Ameeuw, president and founder of EEM, organizer of the Longines Masters of Paris and the Longines Masters Series (Hong-Kong, Lausanne, Paris), commented that this Grand Prix perfectly reflected the sport, passion, and boldness which prevailed in Paris-Villepinte over the weekend. “This 100% French podium is the perfect conclusion. An event like ours must absolutely serve the sport and keep bringing on to new fans the best showjumping has to offer. During this weekend, we have experienced historical moments and kept our good spirits despite external constraint. We also innovated with the introduction of a new competition for the best ponies in the world as our duty is to always challenge ourselves, fly high, experience new things, and pursue our ideas. There is still some way to go and many people have yet to discover this sport which, to my eyes, is the most beautiful in the world. Therefore, we need to cross community borders and create new fans. This actually was one of the bets of this youth oriented 11th edition.”

Find all the results HERE.

© 2019 Blizko Communication

Emanuele Gaudiano Wins Longines Speed Challenge of Paris and Speed Challenge Series Bonus

© Aléa pour EEM.

This amazing pair boasts a fabulous total of sixty plus international wins over the past five years, twelve of which in 2019! Emanuele Gaudiano and Carlotta 232 confirmed their status when they won the much acclaimed 2019 Speed Challenge of Paris in a super time of 60’’48 without a single pole down: a repeat for the winners of the same flagship competition during the Longines Masters of Lausanne, Switzerland this summer. “I’m extremely lucky to ride such an amazing mare. Each round with her is a pleasure – even more so at a show like this one where the stands are packed,” he commented.

The Paris crowd was held spellbound throughout the aptly named Longines Speed Challenge, the fastest class in the world. The spectators who supported each rider unreservedly were treated to the most spectacular show. The special table where one pole down is worth 2 seconds extra time goes toward an increased speed and more suspense.

However, a clear round was definitely a bonus to score the best time to win the class. A goal reached among others by world n°1 Steve Guerdat (Switzerland). Number 13 out of 27 to go, the 2012 Olympic champion set a very fast pace in 61’’98 aboard Ulysse des Forêts. “I rode according to my plan and mostly took advantage of my mare’s natural speed without pushing much,” the rider commented. Enough to win? “I think it’s possible to be faster. If I finish in the top five, or even on the podium, it’ll be a good thing.” He ends up a very creditable third, behind Emanuele Gaudiano and his long- standing friend, Canada’s Eric Lamaze. Riding top mare Fine Lady 5, the 2008 Olympic champion also put down a top performance thanks to a time of 61’’37 at the very end of the class. A lesson in riding and courage greeted by all.

Best of the French is none other than Roger-Yves Bost, a.k.a. “Bosty the Rocket”, who gave it his all with Castleforbes Talitha to finish fourth 62’’22.

Find all the results HERE.

© 2019 Blizko Communication

Riders Masters Cup: Unbeatable Europe

© Jean-Louis Carli / Aléa pour EEM.

This year, the competition was open to riders from the whole American continent. This year, the Americas managed a superb first round. This year, true showjumping legends made up the American team. And still, Europe yet again won the Riders Masters Cup, for the fifth time in a row!

On paper, the Americas had serious chances to win the fifth Riders Masters Cup, flagship competition of the Longines Masters of Paris launched in 2017 by EEM with Longines for Founding Partner. Robert Ridland’s troops really seemed in a position to turn the tables on Europe and at last clinch the class that has been eluding them since the beginning. On paper only. Led by Swedish chef d’équipe Henrik Ankarcrona, Europe mercilessly won on a final score of 125 for the Old Continent to 80 for the New World.

The Americas dominated the first round
For the very first time, Robert Ridland’s team stood up to their opponents in the first round. It must be noted that for the sake of sport and suspense, the rules made it possible to select riders from all the Americas. The chef d’équipe could thus pick Canadians and Brazilians. Good choice: Ridland’s team included as many as 3 Olympic champions with the USA’s Laura Kraut, Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa, and Canada’s Eric Lamaze. Thanks to Kraut and Pessoa as well as Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, the Americas won three of their five duels. On Europe’s side, Olympic champions Kevin Staut (France) and Henrik von Eckermann (Sweden) both had four penalties. At that point, with a provisional score of 40 to Europe’s 35, Ridland’s five had reasons to hope for a win.

Second round: Europe regains control
Right from the beginning of the second round, Europe recovered some strength… and took advantage of a weakness of the Americans who had all changed rides. Clear in the first round, Modolo Zanotelli was now eliminated for two refusals. The young Canadian Kara Chad was equally unfortunate. Only the legend that is Rodrigo Pessoa managed to win his duel against Henrik von Eckermann. Spearheaded by a reigning European champion and reserve World champion Martin Fuchs in top form, Europe eventually won four of the five duels for a fifth victory in as many editions. First to go in both classes and double clear, Fuchs commented, in front of packed stands: “I’m feeling very well at the Longines Masters of Paris. I won the Grand Prix here five years ago and I hadn’t been back since.”

The Americans only have two days left to win competitions at the Longines Masters of Paris 2019. On top of their triumph in the Riders Masters Cup, the Europeans won most classes so far, leaving only the Masters One Hubside to Modolo Zanotelli. Yes, they can… can’t they?

© 2019 Blizko Communication

Riders Masters Cup: The Duels

© Jean-Louis Carli / Aléa pour EEM

The first “signature” competition of the 11th Longines Masters of Paris, the Riders Masters Cup, will have two original teams of five European riders and five riders from the American continent battle it out on Friday December 6. The draw, which took place in the heart of Paris, at the Cirque d’Hiver, right before the young showjumping champions auction The Auction by Arqana, decided the duels for the first round of a competition which, so far, always smiled on the European side.

A spectacular and strategic competition, the Riders Masters Cup pits five riders from each team against each other in two rounds, or ten duels. The first round is held following timed Table A rules over a Grand Prix course. The starting order and the composition of the duels have been drawn. Each duel won in this first round earns the team 10 points. In the second round, held under Table C rules, the Chefs d’Équipes’ strategies and choices are crucial. In particular, they may, if they so wish, assign riders new mounts more suited to speed classes. The Chef d’Équipe of the losing team in the first set picks the first rider to start out; the leading team then has the advantage of choosing the competitor he wants to pitch against this first rider. The second, third, fourth, and fifth riders are then chosen alternately by the Chefs d’Équipe of the winning and losing teams. In the second set, each duel won earns 20 points.

The duels for the first round
Duel 1 : Kara Chad vs Martin Fuchs
Duel 2 : Marlon Modolo Zanotelli vs Kevin Staut
Duel 3 : Rodrigo Pessoa vs Jos Verlooy
Duel 4 : Eric Lamaze vs Darragh Kenny
Duel 5 : Laura Kraut vs Henrik von Eckermann

The Riders Masters Cup will start at 9h00 pm on Friday December 6. The line-up of riders is entrusted to world renowned Chefs d’Equipe: Robert Ridland, team USA selector, for the Americas, and Henrik Ankarcrona, Sweden’s selector, for Europe. Each team will be supported by a showjumping legend: Marcel Rozier, French Team Olympic Champion in 1976 for the European side, and Nelson Pessoa, the great Brazilian champion who won countless competitions all over the World, for the Americas.

© 2019 Blizko Communication

Marlon Modolo Zanotelli at Full Throttle in the Masters One Hubside

Photo ©Sportfot / EEM.

The riders got their bearings and found their feet at the Longines Masters of Paris. Among the 74 pairs who started in the Masters One Hubside, opening class at 1,45m of the CSI 5* at the Longines Masters of Paris, Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli scored the best performance.

Aboard his 10-year-old KWPN mare Sweet Tricia, he was the only rider to manage a clear round under the symbolic 30 seconds mark in 29’’84. A first win for this relatively new partnership as he only took over the ride a few weeks ago. “This is obviously a very good start to the show. I’m very happy and proud of Sweet Tricia who had already won a lot with her previous rider Darragh Kenny (Ireland). It’s a pleasure for me to be able to ride such a horse,” said double Gold medalist at the 2019 Pan-American Games. The rider who is based in Belgium will be able to take home a very special yellow and black ride, the Ducati Scrambler presented to the winner.

45th to go, Marlon Modolo Zanotelli remained unchallenged until the end of the class. A clear round in 30’’09 enabled the USA’s Jessica Springsteen to take the runner-up spot with Tiger Lily. Young Italian rider and member of the Riders Lab, Filippo Marco Bologni, was clear in 30’18 with Diplomat, for 3rd. A total of 19 combinations managed to keep a clean slate. Best of the French contingent are Max Thirouin and his chestnut mare Utopie Villelongue who started for the first time among the World’s elite at the Longines Masters of Paris.

Find the complete results HERE.

Daniel Koroloff – +33 (0)6 11 02 18 12 –  daniel@blizko-communication.com

Riders to Watch in Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

Photo: Rolex / Kit Houghton.

From 12-15 December 2019, show jumping fans will travel to Switzerland for what is widely regarded as the world’s greatest indoor competition, CHI Geneva. The event, which spans four days, marks the final Major of the year and will welcome the world’s best equestrian combinations. Each rider will compete in front of around 42,000 people at Palexpo, the biggest indoor jumping arena in the world, as they seek to gain show jumping’s highest honors.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

Visitors attending the 2019 edition of CHI Geneva will witness world-class equestrian action at an event that has been voted the world’s best show jumping competition nine times. With several of the world’s most prolific horse-and-rider combinations set to compete, there will be numerous contenders vying to be crowned the next Rolex Grand Slam live contender, further adding to the hype of the highly anticipated event.

One of the favorites to claim this year’s title is legendary Swiss rider and World No. 1, Steve Guerdat. The Rolex Testimonee has built up a great run of form this season after winning the ‘Pan American’ Grand Prix presented by Rolex in Spruce Meadows this summer and finishing second in the 2019 Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters in March. Already a three-time winner of Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, Guerdat will be eager to impress once more in front of a vibrant home crowd.

American rider Kent Farrington sits just outside of the world’s top 10 but has already established himself as one of the best riders in the world after magnificently winning the 2019 Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen with his outstanding mare Gazelle. The Rolex Testimonee has been on fine form this season, making him a prime contender for the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva title, which he previously claimed back in 2017.

Never far from success is Germany’s Daniel Deusser, who currently sits at third in the Jumping World Rankings. Given his recent form, including a second-place finish in the 2019 Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen back in July, Deusser is expected to be one of the top performers at this year’s event in Geneva.

Current World No. 2, Martin Fuchs, is another rider who will be looking to secure the Major win in his native Switzerland. The young rider has already achieved much success in his career, including a silver medal in the Individual Jumping at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™, and is the current European Champion. Fuchs’ recent results have helped the 26-year-old establish himself as one of the world’s very best competitors, so there will be a high level of expectation for him to finish off the year with his first Rolex Grand Prix title.

A field of 40 combinations will battle it out in the hope of seizing the final Major victory of the year in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping at CHI Geneva, which promises to be a weekend of enormous competition starting on December 12th.

© 2019 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Extraordinary Ehning Tops Madrid Thriller with Phenomenal Pret a Tout

Marcus Ehning with Pret a Tout. (FEI/Thomas Reiner)

Pret a Tout more than lived up to his name when carrying German ace, Marcus Ehning, to victory in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League qualifier at Madrid in Spain.

Fourth to go in a breathtaking nine-horse jump-off, the pair took the lead with a spectacular run that stopped the clock in 43.30 seconds and couldn’t be caught. Ehning’s compatriot and 2011 series champion. Christian Ahlmann, came a close second with his exciting nine-year-old stallion Dominator 2000 Z, while Belgium’s Pieter Devos and Espoir finished third. The crowd packed into the IFEMA Arena in the Spanish capital city was treated to a fabulous afternoon of sport.

Course designer, Javier Trenor, set the stage with a 12-fence first-round track in which almost every fence was on a related distance. Absolute accuracy was required to successfully navigate the roll-backs, dog-legs and tight turns in the small arena, and the 66 seconds time-allowed also played its part. But when it came to the jump-off then it was speed and courage that would count, with two exceptionally long runs in the closing stages. And Ehning was at his very best – so fast that he could take a check before the last and still set an unbeatable target.

He wasn’t quite so convinced himself, however. “I thought maybe I had left a small gap, but as it turned out I didn’t!” he said afterwards.

Italy’s Emilio Bicocchi and Evita SG Z produced the first jump-off clear in 44.93 and then Devos and his big-striding gelding Espoir raised the bar with a flyer at the last to break the beam in 43.66. But Ehning and Pret a Tout shaved almost a quarter of a second off that when galloping through the finish in 43.30.

He then had to sit back and watch the five that followed him, only Ahlmann and his lovely nine-year-old Dominator seriously threatening when scorching home in 43.53. A little wobble on the gallop to the final oxer may have made all the difference – “I had a chance to win today but my last line was not the best!” admitted the man who lifted the coveted series trophy back in 2011. But he was still thrilled with runner-up spot on a stallion that is only nine years old and showing such immense promise.

Ehning was delighted with Ruth Krech’s 16-year-old gelding who clearly still loves his job. He’s an extraordinary horse because he shows the same enthusiasm and ability in a massive arena like Aachen (GER) where he won the Grand Prix in 2018 as he does in a much smaller arena like the venue in Madrid.

“He’s a very fast and experienced horse, and I also have a bit of experience!” said the double Olympian and three-time FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion who is one of the most admired horsemen in the sport.

He admires the clever and confident Pret a Tout, because “he has his own style and it’s not classical, but his mind is really, really good and he’s very flexible and that helps him a lot. He’s a real personality – he’s quite lazy, but he knows he’s a very good horse so he always feels very proud of himself!” said the German star who is now targeting the WEL qualifier at Olympia in London (GBR) later this month.

Before that there is one more visit to Spain, for the seventh qualifier that takes place at La Coruna. Pieter Devos will be holding court at the head of the Western European League when that gets underway on 15 December, and although he didn’t repeat the win he posted at the previous leg in Stuttgart two weeks ago, he is feeling very pleased about his consistent results that have earned 55 valuable points and a definite place at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2020 Final next April.

“It is only halfway of the season and I’m very happy to know I’ll be going to Las Vegas! I’ve never ridden there and I’m excited to go!” Devos said.

Watch highlights here.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Young Show Jumping Champions Presented at The Auction by Arqana in the Heart of Paris

Paris, France – The Auction by Arqana is coming to the heart of Paris for an exceptional “Yearlings & Performers” sale on Thursday evening, December 5, at the Cirque d’Hiver.

The City of Lights will showcase the future superstars of show jumping, coinciding with opening night of the legendary Longines Masters of Paris. Today’s international show jumping players, and the community of breeders, riders, and owners, will have the opportunity to place bids – either in person or online – on an exciting line-up of proven performers as well as yearlings hailing from exceptional bloodlines.

ACT II follows the success of The Auction’s debut on February 15, 2019, when ACT I took center stage at Asia Horse Week during the Longines Masters of Hong Kong. It was the first sale of its kind in Asia and set a world record by reaching the highest average selling price for an embryo at an auction.

Now, the biggest names from the international show jumping sporting and breeding communities will be reunited at the spectacular venue, Cirque d’Hiver, in the heart of downtown Paris. The historical building’s unique circular shape, which has made it a desirable location for events such as fashion shows and circuses, offers an ideal vantage point for viewing some of the most promising young show jumping horses in the world.

A team of experts has carefully selected 20 of the most promising young talents and champions with the potential to excel at the highest level on the world stage. Former World Champion Jos Lansink and Belgian Olympian Ludo Philippaerts are joined by breeding and industry leaders Joris de Brabander, Virginie Couperie, and Carlos Pinto as members of the esteemed expert panel. Most of the horses selected are proven performers with stellar competition records, including six that have earned national young horse championship titles, or reserve championship titles, which is unique.

Featured horses include the six-year-old Belgian Champion and Runner-up: Conmitage, a fast and stylish daughter of Conthargos, and the remarkably intelligent and talented Noortje Van Het Houterhof. Also, Kespri DC, a six-year-old stallion, and 2019 Swedish Champion in his category, who impressed the experts thanks to his beautiful conformation and exceptional quality.

Three five-year-olds, champions in their own countries: Pinki Pay, whose class, strength and respect impressed the experts, and who was Italian Vice-Champion as both a four- and five-year-old in 2018 and 2019; as well as the duo Okky Blue, 2019 Belgian Champion, and the runner-up, Janieta P, a fast and respectful mare.

Other great names to mention are Ninja, a six-year-old mare, and daughter of the famous star jumper, Gazelle, winner of this year’s legendary Aachen Grand Prix. Also, Camillo Z, a seven-year-old maternal half-brother of Olympic Reserve-Champion, London, and Hyodinus PP, a seven-year-old gelding and son of the famous French stallion Mylord Carthago, partner of the 2016 Olympic team gold medalist Pénélope Leprévost.

Of the exceptional 2018 yearlings to be presented, there are Souplesse Van’t Keikelhof, Flora de Mariposa’s full sister, who was a team gold medalist in Rio, and Quirina de Coriana Z, a daughter of Quabri de l’Isle, the 2019 Pan American Games team gold medalist, and Coriana Van Klapscheut, the exceptionally fast mare of 2008 Canadian Olympic Champion, Eric Lamaze. Savanah de Muze also joins the line-up with her exceptional pedigree, being a daughter of Emerald and granddaughter of the unforgettable Butterfly Flip, a silver medalist in Athens. Also, the daughter of an Olympic Champion, Big Diamond, is by the legendary Big Star and is a granddaughter of Sapphire, McLain Ward’s legendary Olympic mare. Vivant completes the selection of progeny of great champions, with his sire and dam having both competed at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington.

All available horses can be viewed here: https://www.theauction.online/catalogue/act-ii.-yearlings—performers/2.

The auction kicks off at 9:30 p.m. CET on Thursday, December 5, 2019. Tickets can be purchased here:
https://www.weezevent.com/the-auction-cirque-bouglione?lg_billetterie=2&id_evenement=562152.

To register to bid, click here:
https://www.theauction.online/en/register.

The Auction will be livestreamed on Clip My Horse (www.clipmyhorse.tv) and on the platform www.theauction.online, and buyers unable to attend in person will have the option of bidding online.

For more information, please visit www.theauction.online or contact Anouk Blain-Mailhot at ablain-mailhot@theauction.online or +33 6 88 14 15 47.

Up-and-Coming Stars Set to Feature in National Classes at Olympia

In addition to hosting the world’s top riders, Olympia, The London International Horse Show is proud to welcome the country’s leading national competitors as they contend for National Championship titles.

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship

The Voltaire Design Under 25 British Championship runs under a new format in 2019, with 24 riders selected to compete in the initial qualifying round on Friday 20 December. The top ten from this qualifier will advance to the final on Sunday 22 December.

The new qualification criteria for the class rewards achievements across the year, ensuring a top-class field. The first ten places go to the members of the Great British Junior European and Young Rider European teams, which includes Jack Whitaker, Britain’s top performer at the Junior Europeans, who is also making his mark on the senior international circuit, and William Fletcher, another rising star of the international ranks having already represented Great Britain at Senior FEI Jumping Nations Cup level.

William’s brother, 16-year-old Oliver, will also take his place on the starting line-up having been part of the Junior European Team which finished sixth at this year’s Championships, along with Oli Tuff, Sienna Charles, and Lily Attwood.

Joe Stockdale will be looking to back up his victory in the Under 25 class at Royal Windsor Horse Show in May and will be joined by his Young Rider European teammates Graham Babes, Leonie Aitkenhead, and Jodie Hall McAteer.

Others to automatically gain a coveted spot in the competition are those who have represented Great Britain at Senior FEI Nations Cup level in 2019, including James Wilson and Emily Moffitt, who will also be taking part in the 5* competition at the Show, along with Georgia Tame, Emily Ward, and wildcard Harry Charles, who was second in last year’s Championship.

James Wilson has broken into the top ranks in 2019, representing Great Britain on several occasions, including in the FEI Nations Cups at Hickstead, La Baule, and St Gallen, where he was one of only a few combinations to jump double clear. Another increasingly familiar name on the international scene is Emily Moffitt, who was a pivotal part of the team that won the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Ireland in August.

The final places in the competition go to qualifiers from dedicated classes at selected British Showjumping Shows. Qualifying at the Aintree Equestrian Centre Winter Classic was Charlie Jones, Millie Allen, Chloe Reynolds, and Joe Trickett, whereas Alanna Clutterbuck, Yazmin Davis, Flo Norris, and James Whitaker made it through from the Addington Equestrian Winter Classic.

The Pony Club Mini-Major

The Mini-Major is a popular class which sees Pony Club members pair up with top international riders in a thrilling competition to each complete a fault-free Show Jumping round in the quickest time. Last year’s competition saw leading British female riders Laura Renwick and Holly Smith, as well as crowd favourites William Funnell and Guy Williams, line up alongside young Pony Club riders from across the country.

Travelling across from Northern Ireland to represent the Iveagh Pony Club will be Charlotte McCracken, who along with Millie Lawson from Deeside in Scotland and Tom Hogan from Gwynedd in Wales, will be reigniting the battle with their English counterparts. Essex will have two representatives, Hollie Gerken from the Essex Branch and Liala Ramaci from Essex Hunt North, with Bisley and Sandown Chase, North Warwickshire, and Banwell represented by Tommy Goody, Isabella Beecroft-Luckett, and Emmie Horner, respectively.

The furious competition between the young riders and their 5* counterparts is set to take place during the afternoon of Wednesday 18 December.

BSPS Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux

The last day of Olympia, Sunday 22 December, will play host to one of the most prestigious Showing finals in the country, The BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux. A place in the Olympia final is the most coveted prize within the native pony ranks and competition to qualify for Olympia has been greater than ever.

The 2019 final will welcome ponies and riders from around the country, including last year’s Reserve Supreme Overall Champion, Cadlanvalley Buzby and 14-year old Libby Grota. Following a hugely successful year, Libby returns to Olympia determined to go one better than 2018 and clinch the top prize aboard her family’s home-bred Welsh Section B stallion.

Libby will face competition from old rival Emma Boardman, owner and producer of last year’s third-placed Dyffryngwy Sir Picasso, a Welsh Section D who scored the highest performance marks at Olympia in 2018.

Competing at Olympia Grand for the first time will be nine-year-old Olivia Brightmore, with her home-produced Shetland Pony Lotuspoint Cassisus. The pair qualified at the BSPS Heritage Championships, where they also won the Restricted Open Ridden Small Breeds and the Open Ridden Small Breeds, an astounding feat given it was the young rider’s first attempt at open level. Following her qualification, Olivia described her debut at Olympia as “beyond exciting.”

Another to make her debut at the Show will be April Gilmartin with her home-produced Gems Malt Whiskey. Blackpool-based April, a beautician, and her mother Kathleen, a former champion ballroom dancer, bought ‘Malty’ as a two-year-old, and form the ultimate amateur team, producing the Welsh Section C at home. Qualifying for Olympia at the BSPS Heritage Championships on their first attempt was extra special for the team as it will provide trainer Pam Prickett, who is battling cancer, the chance to tick off a major event on her bucket list.

Also taking to the Olympia Grand for the first time will be Skellorn Royal Anniversary, the Welsh Section B star of the Netflix series ‘Free Rein’, owned and ridden by Victoria Oakes. Conversely, it will be the last-ever appearance under saddle for Lynda Calcutt’s Dartmoor stallion Shilstone Rocks North Westerly, as the prolific winner will retire at the Show. Ridden by regular partner Chloe Chubb, they recently won their final class at Horse of the Year Show and will hope to bow out in style at Olympia.

The Final of the BSPS Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux will take place on the afternoon of Sunday 22 December, alongside 5* Show Jumping action and displays from The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and Jean-François Pignon.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “The quality of the National classes at Olympia is improving year-on-year, and really adds to the Show. It’s a privilege to see the next generation of riders coming up through the ranks and be able to provide a unique opportunity for them to be able to compete amongst their heroes at a 5* Show like Olympia.”

In addition to the National classes, spectators can also expect top international action, as the Show hosts three FEI World Cup™ competitions across the seven-day event, in Dressage, Driving, and Show Jumping, alongside an exciting array of international display acts and competitions. New features, such as the ‘Dressage Unwrapped’ masterclass, will join old favourites such as The Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National and classes such as The Cayenne Puissance and the prestigious Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix to provide entertainment for the whole family.

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