Category Archives: Events

Jordan Coyle and Essenar Crixus Cruise to Win $30,000 American Standard Grand Prix

Jordan Coyle and Essenar Crixus ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 14, 2019 – Jordan Coyle (North Salem, NY) and Elan Farm’s Essenar Crixus came out on top in Sunday’s $30,000 American Standard Grand Prix to conclude Tryon Fall 4 competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, stopping the jump-off timers at 36.89 seconds. Kristen VanderVeen (Wellington, FL) piloted Bull Run’s Almighty, the Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC-owned 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Caspar x Quidam De Revel), to clear the short course in a time of 38.6 seconds to earn reserve, while Conor Swail (Wellington, FL) and Gamble, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vingino x Indoctro) owned by Asta Torokvei, received third on a score of 38.964 seconds.

“I had him as a young horse in Ireland, actually, then when I came to America he went back to his owner,” Coyle shared before explaining that he just started working again with the 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Luidam x Ard VDL Douglas) about a month ago: “This is my first real horse show with him. He jumped FEI this week, but he’s still a bit green so this class was perfect for him. We have big plans for this one, so come Florida, hopefully he’ll be ready to compete at the Grand Prix level.”

Course designer Peter Grant (CAN) welcomed back 13 horse-and-rider pairs to the jump-off from an initial field of 47 contestants. “It was a nice course – big enough but not too big for him. The jump-off was pretty wide open and I could let him gallop.” Coyle explained where he gained the lead during the jump-off: “Over to [jump] 12 it was a bit reckless, but I cantered and saw the straight [line] right away. He wasn’t really sure where he was going, I think. He just got it at the last minute, but he has to learn to do these things if he’s going to be as good as I hope.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Germany Wins in Boekelo, Sweden Takes Series Title, and Swiss Book Ticket to Tokyo

Michael Jung leads German victory lap. (FEI/Libby Law)

In the thrilling finale to the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2019 series at Boekelo, The Netherlands, Team Germany posted their fourth win of the season while league leaders Sweden held on to take the series title. However, some of the biggest smiles were on Swiss faces when they pulled Olympic qualification out of the bag.

There were three teams in contention for the single ticket to Tokyo 2020, and Dutch hopes were dashed when they found themselves lying eleventh of the 12 competing nations after Saturday’s cross-country phase. But Switzerland and Belgium slugged it out to the very end, with the final series rankings swinging the pendulum in favour of the Swiss.

The new Olympic format led to plenty of head-scratching during the four-day fixture at which the German team took command at the outset and never flinched. Without a drop score, the multi-medalled Sandra Auffarth (Let’s Dance 73), Michael Jung (fischerRocana FST), and Ingrid Klimke (SAP Asha P) put just 78.10 penalty points on the board after Dressage, with Auffarth also leading the individual rankings on her mark of 24.90. And with a hat-trick of Cross-Country zeros, this phenomenal threesome looked all but unassailable going into the final Jumping phase.

There was plenty of movement below them as the cross-country course designed by Adrian Ditcham played its part. Australia climbed from sixth to second thanks to brilliant clear runs inside the time by Chris Burton (Clever Louis) and Kevin McNab (Fernhill Tabasco), and the Belgians rocketed up from seventh to third, thanks in no small part to a great performance from Lara de Liedekerke-Meier (Alpaga d’Arville) and just 3.6 time penalties for Constantin van Rijckevorsel (Beat It). With a two-phase tally of 117.50, they were lying just over three points behind Australia and just ahead of the Japanese who were in fourth going into the final day, while the Swiss also made serious headway when soaring up from 12th to fifth, their running total of 125.90 leaving them just eight points adrift of their Belgian rivals as the action resumed.

And it was a real roller-coaster in the battle for the team placings, with the 84-seconds time-allowed proving difficult for many to get.

The team partnerships were last to go, and the Belgians dropped down the leaderboard when adding 30.80 to their tally. However, despite the addition of just 0.40 for pathfinder Caroline Gerber (Tresor de Chignan CH) for going over the time, the Swiss also lost their grip when putting 30.00 more on the board. Robin Godel (Grandeur de Lully CH) collected 13.20 on his tour of the 12-fence track while Tiziana Realini (Toubleu de Rueire), who had produced one of those precious cross-country clears, posted 16.4 to bring their team total of 155.9, leaving the Swiss just behind their Belgian rivals in seventh place at the end of the day.

The Olympic spot would be earned by the country lying highest of the unqualified nations in the final FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2019 standings. The Swiss lay third coming into this seventh and last leg, and their final total of 370 points left them well clear of the Belgians who completed with 355. Meanwhile, with their closest opposition from Italy not lining out this time around, the leading Swedes, carrying 435 points, had a clear run to the 2019 title despite finishing tenth at this last leg.

At the sharp end, Germany held on for a convincing win on a final scoreline of 94.10, while a clear from Burton, 5.20 for McNab, and just four faults for Samantha Birch (Finduss PFB) secured runner-up spot for Australia on a final tally of 123.50. Japan finished an impressive third, Kazuma Tomoto (Bernadette Utopia) and Atsushi Negishi (Ventura de la Chaule JRA) going clear in both of the final two phases while Yoshiaki Oiwa (Bart L JRA), who had been lying individually second after dressage but who was penalised for a cross-country refusal, had a pole down at the penultimate triple combination. The Japanese finished less than a single penalty point behind the Australians, and it is quite clear they will be a force to be reckoned with on home ground in Tokyo next summer. Fourth went to New Zealand (130.00) and fifth to Great Britain (143.00).

The very last rider into the ring, Germany’s Auffarth, had individual glory in her grasp until hitting the last element of the triple combination, which dropped her to fourth and opened the door for Great Britain’s Laura Collett (London 52) to take the individual honours.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Swail and GK Coco Chanel Wins $134k Gary Sinise Foundation Jump for Our Heroes Grand Prix CSI 3*

Conor Swail and GK Coco Chanel ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 12, 2019 – Conor Swail (IRL) and GK Coco Chanel nailed their jump-off to a win in the $134,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Jump for Our Heroes Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Lowe’s at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, stopping the jump-off timers in 40.172 seconds. Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (BRA) and Collin, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Colandro x Amethist) owned by Santa Cecelia Stables LLC, claimed reserve on a jump-off performance of 39.116 seconds with four faults, while third-place honors went to Rowan Willis (AUS) and Lucinda Huddy and Rowan Willis’ Diablo VII, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Douglas x Cavalier), who put in a 40.452-second jump-off ride with four faults to secure the podium finish.

“I thought he did a very nice job; there were eight clean out of 50 so it was very well built,” Swail shared of the course designed by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). “You needed a more experienced horse just to make sure and get the back rail. The beginning was tricky and then that double line caused enough trouble, and I suppose the combination was a little scopey since it was oxer to oxer.”

Swail continued, “The jump-off also was very difficult with a lot of sharp angles and everything was coming up late. It was very difficult to keep that smooth and I think that was probably why there weren’t a lot of clear rounds.”

Swail confessed that the 2008 Holsteiner gelding (Clarimo x Lerano 2) owned by Vanessa Mannix, who he has been working with for a couple years, is not the easiest horse to ride: “He has his own mind sometimes and can be a little difficult, but when he goes well it normally ends up being a win.” Swail elaborated, “We have learned to work together very well now at this stage and we have a good relationship. The consistency is growing all the time; there’s a lot of good results.

“This is maybe a week early, but to win this is fabulous,” admitted Swail, who hopes to continue his winning streak for next week’s $384,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Grand Prix CSI 5*. “I won the [Rolex Grand Prix CSI] 5* last year on Rubens LS [La Silla Triumph]. This horse [GK Coco Chanel] is very capable of winning again next week and it would be great to get the double win. I’m looking forward to it.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Julie Curtin and Point Being Make Their Mark on $5,000 USHJA National Pro Hunter Derby

Julie Curtin and Point Being ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 11, 2019 – Julie Curtin (Woodstock, GA) bookended the podium in Friday’s $5,000 USHJA National Pro Hunter Derby at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, earning 177 points after two rounds aboard Point Being, and receiving a total score of 171 with Amy Squier Perez’s Commentary (Cooliage x Stutbuch I Quinni). Second place went to Megan Rosenthal (Charlotte, NC), who piloted Ledger, a 2002 Warmblood gelding owned by Five Henry Stables, to a score of 176.

There were 18 entries on hand to test the Joe Carnicom course in the first round, with Curtin earning appearance in the handy aboard four different mounts. “The course rode really nicely!” Curtin emphasized. “There was a lot to look at with the sunlight, shadows, and glares, but the course itself rode very nicely. There were really pretty jumps, and this ring [International Stadium] is great. The footing is really nice. It’s always a lot of fun to ride here.

“He’s an overachiever,” Curtin said of her own 2007 Warmblood gelding (Aachen x Unknown), “but he gets a little nervous sometimes, because he wants to do a good job. The hardest part is keeping him calm and collected so he knows he can do his job. He’s great, and he’s got the best jump in the world! He was so much fun today, and such a good boy.

“Going into the handy, we came in with a 92 and in the lead, so I just wanted to be smooth,” said Curtin of her second-round strategy. “Point Being can be a little nervous sometimes in the handy, so I just wanted to try to be tidy and nice, but smooth. It was almost like doing a different course because it was so bright the second time, and there weren’t as many shadows. He was a good boy and trusted me.”

Curtin was pleased to achieve third aboard Commentary, who is learning the ropes at the national level, she shared. “The horse that I was third on is just a green 3’3” horse, and he’s going to step up and do 3’6” classes next year, so this is really good experience for him. Hopefully we’ll start doing some big derbies! I was proud of him, too. He’s our little baby who we brought along.”

Ryleigh Threat and Asriel Dominate $5,000 USHJA National Junior Hunter Derby

Ryleigh Threat piloted Asriel to a total score of 169 to top the $5,000 USHJA National Junior Hunter Derby at TIEC to represent Concord, NC with the 2010 Holsteiner gelding (Ariadus x Bacci) owned by Crown Sage/Vartech Systems, in his first-ever National Hunter Derby. In second with a score of 167.5, Devon Degen (Water Mill, NY) piloted Luminary, the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Singulord Joter x Viola XXX) owned by Degenmoor Farm Inc., while Chrissie Catto (St. Augustine, FL) and her own Intuition, a 2004 Warmblood gelding, claimed third on a score of 167.

Sixteen entries competed over the Joe Carnicom course, and Threat also presented Margaret Wolfe’s Embrace, a 2008 Oldenburg gelding (Escapade x Zena), in the handy round to earn fifth on a score of 153. “The course rode amazing,” Threat recounted. “He [Asriel] was so spectacular in the first round. We had some issues in the second round, but he still went around amazing. It was such a fun course. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had in a handy!

“‘Ace’ is very weird; he has a lot of quirks to him,” Threat admitted. “He’s a very hard ride. He’s hard to figure out, but thankfully I figured him out today. My strategy was just to give him the best ride possible. He’s hard, and it’s his first-ever derby, so I just needed to figure him out and give him some miles.

“I enjoy everything about TIEC,” Threat concluded. “I think it’s such an amazing facility. It’s so nice, and it’s built for horses and riders. There are so many fun things to do, too. Saturday Night Lights is the most fun!”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Coyle Wins His First FEI Class with CHS Krooze in Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3*

Daniel Coyle and CHS Krooze ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 10, 2019 – Daniel Coyle (IRL) and CHS Krooze flew to the $36,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* win at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, stopping the jump-off timers in a time of 33.448 seconds. Three seconds behind in second place, Kristen VanderVeen (USA) piloted Bull Run’s Almighty, a 2009 Hannoverian gelding (Caspar x Quidam De Revel) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, to a 36.552-second jump-off performance, while Rachel Cornacchia (CAN) and Eventyre Farms Ltd’s Valkyrie de Talma, a 2009 Selle Francais mare (Diamant De Semilly x Cento), claimed third with a time of 36.568 seconds over the short course.

A field of 76 entries competing over the Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) course design and 21 pairs qualifying for the jump-off made for stiff competition, causing six pairs to withdraw in advance of the second round. Coyle’s strategy was to go as fast as possible as the first rider to test the short course with his own 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare (Kroongraaf x Cruise Oak):

“There were still a good few clears for the jump-off, and I was first. So, I had to be as fast as possible. Luckily, that horse is incredibly fast! I think sometimes it’s better to go first in a jump-off, because you just stick to your plan and everybody else has to try and beat you,” Coyle posited. “Sometimes it works out better!”

Tryon Fall 4 is Coyle’s first experience as a competitor at TIEC, and dominated his first FEI class at the venue by more than three seconds. Similarly, Coyle is testing the waters with his nine-year-old emerging star, as well as her abilities, he said.

“She’s been incredibly competitive all year anyway. In the beginning of the year, I didn’t know what was her class, or where she belonged, so to speak, but every time I ask her to jump a little bigger, and ask a little more, she keeps giving it to me,” he shared. “I’m going to keep going with her until the time that she says, ‘okay, maybe this is too much for me!’ But right now, I haven’t felt that yet.

“She’s still only nine, and winning 1.50m classes, so I have to be careful and make sure that I don’t ask her too much too soon,” Coyle emphasized. With this in mind, Coyle explained that he is selecting Farrel, the 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Cardento 933 x Becherry) owned by Ariel Grange, to challenge Saturday’s $134,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Jump for Our Heroes Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Lowe’s. He’ll save CHS Krooze for another 2* week or another venue entirely.

A lengthy entry list meant that CHS Krooze got to take an hour break in her stall between rounds, Coyle relayed, which helped to keep her mentally and physically fresh:

“I sent her back to the barn and she got to cool down and take an hour in the stall. I had Farrel to jump in the meantime. Everything worked out great that I got to keep going and keep myself active by jumping another horse, and then by that point it was time to get going for the jump-off.

“I think it’s always better for the horse to be able to have an hour off and come back between rounds, especially at a show such as this where everything is convenient,” Coyle noted. “Why not give the horse an hour break? Okay, adrenaline keeps them going at the time [if there’s no break], but it always makes it easier if they can have a little down time away from everything, and it freshens them up a little bit for the second round.

“This is my first time here, so it’s cool to win the first FEI class here,” concluded Coyle. “We are staying in a log cabin here onsite, and that’s really convenient and handy. We have lots of horses here, so it’s better if you’re closer.”

Leslie Burr-Howard and Donna Speciale Claim $5,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3*

Leslie Burr-Howard (USA) and Donna Speciale sped to win Wednesday’s $5,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3* during Tryon Fall 4 at TIEC with a double clear and a speed phase time of 33.617 seconds. Second place was awarded to David O’Brien (IRL) aboard Kir Royal SCF, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab de Reve) owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC, with a double-clear effort and a speed phase time of 34.061 seconds, while Lauren Hester (USA) earned third-place honors on Hester Equestrian’s Cooper 166, a 2010 Holsteiner gelding (Cancara x Unknown), with a speed phase time of 36.397 seconds.

Howard and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Cavalier x Concorde) owned by Laure Sudreau-Rippe and Peter competed against 54 other horse-and-rider pairs over the Michel Vaillancourt-set course, but Howard admitted that her plan was simply “just to let her [Donna Speciale] go at her own pace today.” She continued, “Donna is a very fast horse; she’s won, I think, four Grands Prix this year. She’s naturally fast over the ground, so it worked out.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Scott Brash Won the Major Class of the Day at HUBSIDE Jumping in Saint-Tropez

He was announced as one of the headliners of this penultimate weekend of the HUBSIDE Jumping, launched last April in the renovated stables of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, in the South of France. Scott Brash, currently rank #27, did not disappoint for his first participation in the competition. He won the major class of the day, qualifier for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

« It is my first time here, in HUBSIDE Jumping. I must say I really like it. It is fantastic for the horses; the arena is really large which is great for the horses. We can be used to smaller arenas, so it is nice to have a bigger arena to ride in and I think the horses really enjoy it.

« That was a fast class. I was very happy with Senator today. He has done everything I asked to him today. He felt very good and fresh today, and I am very happy with the win. Senator is now 10 years old. I’ve had him for two years now. He is still taking a bit of time to get into the 5-star shows. He is a little bit of a nervous horse with the atmosphere. He feels good in HUBSIDE Jumping because I think there is a big arena, a lot of space; he does not feel claustrophobic. It is a comfortable arena for him. »

Results: https://online.equipe.com/fr/class_sections/463566.

DANIEL KOROLOFF
Relations avec les médias
daniel@blizko-communication.com

FEI Dressage World Cup: The Clash of the Queens

Their male counterparts had better watch out! The FEI Dressage World Cup leg in Lyon, organised as part of the Longines Equita Lyon Concours Hippique International (30 October to 3 November), will offer its loyal public a line-up of riders, and in particular of lady riders, which has rarely been seen at a French dressage show.

Charlotte Dujardin at the FEI World Cup leg in Lyon for the first time
The last (and only) time she appeared in the main arena at Lyon-Eurexpo was back in 2014, at the FEI Dressage World Cup Final, organised by Sylvie Robert’s team. And it was in Lyon that the English rider, at that time partnered by her legendary Valegro, won her first Final. Charlotte Dujardin, two-time winner of the title (Lyon 2014, Las Vegas 2015), three-time Olympic champion (team and individual medallist in London in 2012 and individual medallist in Rio in 2016), World champion in 2014, and five times gold medallist in a European Championship between 2011 and 2015, has made the 2019-2020 FEI Dressage World Cup her objective this winter. After a curtailed European Championship in 2019, where with Mount St John Freestyle she nevertheless beat her own record in the Grand Prix (81.91%), ‘Queen Charlotte’ is aiming to qualify her young ten-year-old mare for the 2020 Final in Las Vegas. Since her titles in Lyon in 2014 and Las Vegas in 2015, Charlotte Dujardin has only competed in three FEI World Cups: London in 2015 and in 2018, and Amsterdam in 2016. This season she should appear on at least three occasions, including Lyon.

Isabell Werth, one of our most loyal riders, heading for a fifth victory in Lyon?
Just as the Lyon ring brought success for the English rider Charlotte Dujardin, other riders have succeeded her since 2014 and in particular Germany’s Isabell Werth. Winner of the FEI World Cup leg in Lyon in 2010, then in 2016, 2017, and 2018, this legend of equestrian sport has nothing but praise when speaking of the only French leg on the circuit. She was also the ‘patron’ of the candidacy of the show when Sylvie Robert’s team was applying to the FEI to organise a Dressage World Cup.  In 2019, the German team is sending another of its brilliant ambassadors in the form of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who won the bronze medal this summer at the European Championships, and will also be appearing at the Longines Equita Lyon Concours Hippique International. She will be riding Zaire-E, the horse with which she came second at the FEI World Cup leg in Budapest, at the end of September.

Serious competitors also to be found on the men’s side
Dutchman Hans Peter Minderhoud, the winner of the FEI Dressage World Cup Final in 2016, is expected in Lyon, along with his fifteen-year-old stallion, Glock’s Zanardi.  Sweden’s Patrik Kittel, another horseman loyal to the Lyon leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup, will be riding his gelding Delaunay OLD, the horse with which he leapt up the world rankings this month (from the twentieth to the thirteenth position). The combination also won the FEI World Cup leg in Budapest, ahead of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl.

French riders headed up by Morgan Barbançon-Mestre
In the Hungarian World Cup leg in Budapest, Kittel was the winner, Germany’s Von Bredow-Werndl was second and Mestre came third. Riding Sir Donnerhall II OLD, she finished in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a record score for the combination: 77.75%!  Morgan and ‘Gus’ (the affectionate nickname given to the stallion by his rider) will head up a major French delegation in Lyon. The audience at the Longines Equita Lyon Concours Hippique International will have the chance to show their support for Stéphanie Brieussel and Amorak, Anne-Sophie Serre and Actuelle de Massa, and Alexandre Ayache with Zo What.

In order to showcase dressage to as many people as possible, the organisers of the Longines Equita Lyon Concours Hippique International have decided to open the FEI World Cup leg in Lyon to all the visitors. On Thursday 31 October in the morning and on Friday 1 November in the afternoon, spectators who have “trade show” tickets will discover the best dressage riders in the world, during performances worthy of the greatest specialists. On Thursday, the doors of the trade show will open at 7.30am to let spectators be comfortably seated in the stands at 8am.

  • The FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix presented by the Comité Régional d’Equitation Auvergne Rhône-Alpes: Thursday 31 October, at 8am
  • The FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle presented by FFE Generali: Friday 1 November, at 4pm

Press contact: Blizko Communication
Daniel Koroloff, Juliette Feytout – Mob.: +33(0)6 11 02 18 12
Email: daniel@blizko-communication.com

Theo Genn and Boucanier Blaze to Win $25,000 American Standard Grand Prix

Theo Genn and Boucanier ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 7, 2019 – Theo Genn (Lebanon, OH) and Taylor Reid’s Boucanier came out on top in Sunday’s $25,000 American Standard Grand Prix to conclude Tryon Fall 3 competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, stopping the jump-off timers at 41.562 seconds. In second, Manuel Torres (Leesburg, VA) and Evermine, a 2006 Holsteiner gelding (Corofino I x Cantus) owned by Santa Catalina Farm, cleared the short course in a time of 42.062 seconds to earn reserve, while Sharn Wordley (Citra, FL) and Barnetta, his own 2004 Westphalian gelding (Baloubet Du Rouet x Polydor), received third on a score of 44.448 seconds.

The Peter Grant (CAN) course welcomed 36 pairs on the first-round track, with nine pairs presenting for the jump-off challenge. Genn was second-to-last, and had a rough idea of what his strategy would be, but had to see what the 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ovidius x Joost) was up for, he detailed:

“For the jump-off, I only got to see the first couple go. I kind of had an idea of how fast I needed to go based on what I saw Sharn [Wordley] do when he was sitting in second. Boucanier is a naturally very fast horse – he skims a little bit across the ground – but he can get a little nervous when I go fast,” Genn said. “I knew within the first two jumps whether or not I was going to be able to go for it. He popped over one and two really nicely, and listened to me when I asked him to go faster without getting nervous, so then I knew I could let it rip a little bit. Then, I just kind of went after it at every jump. I got a little lucky around a couple, but they all stayed up!”

For Genn, the win was a bit of “badly-needed” redemption following a week of stiff competition, he revealed. “Honestly, overall, it wasn’t a great week for us [compared to last week]. I was having a really rough week, and was a little down! Last week, my horses were unbelievable here: it didn’t matter what happened, we still ended up jumping clean. This week, even though they went around nicely, we had four faults almost every time. So, this was a nice way to end it and go home. I’m just happy. I needed that badly!”

Genn is currently riding Boucanier for his owner-rider, Taylor Reid, and it was particularly special that Boucanier ended up on top at TIEC, he shared. “Good friends of ours, Taylor Reid and Alex Blackman, own him along with some other horses we ride. They were here today to watch, and it’s been a while since they were able to come visit, so that was really nice. Right now, Taylor is pregnant and due in four months, so I’m riding him and keeping him going, and then when she’s ready she’ll take him over and do him in the Junior Amateurs again.”

For now, Genn and crew are headed home. “We’ve been on the road for three weeks now, and I don’t like to show for more than three weeks in a row, so we’ll go home, give the horses a little break, and then head to Florida already,” concluded Genn.

Hunter Kay and Alright Are $5,000 USHJA National Derby Winners

Hunter Kay (Columbia, SC) and Alright scored a two-round total of 176 to top the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at TIEC on Friday. Ashley Conkle (Wellford, SC) and Agnetta Currey’s Tomcat, a 2004 Warmblood gelding (Mezcalero x Kitten), earned second with a total score of 173.5, while the yellow rosette went to Haiku, the Jo Ann Forman-owned 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Advance x Utrillo van de Heffink) ridden by Aida Sanchez Long (Signal Mountain, TN), with scores totaling 169.

“He’s an eight-year-old gelding that we got a little bit over a year ago,” Kay said of Ann Rice Ervin’s 2011 Warmblood gelding with unknown breeding. “I’ve been doing him some in the national derbies as well as the second-year greens 3’9” divisions. He’s a really sweet, easy-going guy. He’s super quiet; you kind of just chuck the reins and kick! He’s super fun. After this year, we’re looking to move up to the international derbies in the next year, which is why I did this derby today as practice.”

Alright was sitting on the edge of the podium after the first round, and Kay went into the handy round with a strategy to show off his mount’s pace and efficiency, he explained. “In the first round, I was a little slow to the first jump, and when I came back for the handy, I really wanted to just go for it a little bit to make up some ground, and just be efficient in my turns. I also wanted to step up the pace and show a real transition for the hand-gallop jump.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Irish Take 2019 Title and Tokyo Qualifying Spot

(L to R) Paul O’Shea, Peter Moloney, Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa, Darragh Kenny, and Cian O’Connor. (FEI/Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2019 came to thrilling climax, and it was Irish eyes that were smiling when Rodrigo Pessoa’s team of Peter Moloney, Paul O’Shea, Darragh Kenny, and Cian O’Connor clinched victory in fine style. Completing with just a single time fault, they pinned the defending champions from Belgium into runner-up spot while Sweden lined up in third. And to put the icing on the Irish cake, they also collected the Olympic qualifying spot they have been craving for a very long time.

Brilliant course-building by Spain’s Santiago Varela, who will also be presenting the tracks in Tokyo next summer, ensured another nail-biting afternoon during which it was impossible to predict the destiny of the coveted series trophy until the very last moment. But the Irish had already booked their Tokyo tickets before anchorman O’Connor went into the ring.

A single mistake from pathfinder Moloney and Chianti’s Champion at the massive triple combination three from home was followed by a superb clear from O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu. So when Kenny and Balou du Reventon collected just that single time fault then the road to Tokyo was already closed to their rivals from Colombia and Italy.

And then O’Connor turned a great day into an amazing one with a foot-perfect run from PSG Final because that put pressure on the Belgians for the Longines series title. The newly crowned European champions posted clears from Olivier Philippaerts (H&M Extra) and Jerome Guery (Quel Homme de Hus) and were looking good for their second victory in a row. One more clean run from anchorman Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados would clinch it because they could drop the unlucky four picked up by Niels Bruynseels and Jenson van’t Meulenhof at the very last fence. But, to gasps of disbelief from the crowd, Wathelet’s stallion uncharacteristically ducked out at the penultimate vertical, so Bruynseels’ four had to be counted and that would only be good enough for second place.

“We had a very clear objective coming here; the riders were super-focused and the horses were in great shape. Today we expected a very tough fight from Italy and Colombia who were our direct opponents (for Tokyo qualification), but as it happened, we were also holding strong against the big countries like Belgium and others. People sometimes don’t realise the pressure the riders are under to bring this qualification home. The weight of their country was on their shoulders; it was a big ask from them and to do it in the style they did it – hats off to them!”– Rodrigo Pessoa (Chef d’Equipe Team Ireland)

O’Connor, a member of the last Olympic team fielded by Ireland in Athens (GRE) in 2004, pointed out that the Longines title was always in their sights this week.  “Our aim was to win this trophy all along; obviously the Olympic qualification was also our goal, but you don’t come here just to qualify – we came here to win, and by doing so we got the bonus of qualification!” he said. And the team honoured one of the members of that 2004 Irish side, Kevin Babington, who finished individually fourth with the great Carling King that year and who experienced a life-changing accident four weeks ago, by wearing armbands bearing his name this week.

Pessoa was delighted with the spirit shown by his riders. “With teams there are good days and bad days… there’s a lot of chemistry, but the most important thing is that on the day it really counts, everyone sticks together and pulls the same way. People can leave their personal issues on the side and really pull for the country and that’s what happened here. I’m really proud of what they did today!”

Kenny said he realised how important his ride was. “I was a bit nervous going in the ring but I’m very lucky. I’ve an incredible horse; he’s absolutely amazing and he tried so hard. On Thursday he jumped an incredible clear and today I was just trying to make sure I left all the jumps up. Unfortunately, Santi [Santiago Varela, course designer] told me that I was the only person to get a time fault! My goal coming here was to try and do a double-clear, to try and get Ireland to Tokyo – that was the most important thing, and I’m glad I could be part of this great team. We were all fighting together; that was the most important thing,” he added.

That one time fault cost him a share of the €100,000 bonus for double-clear rounds that instead was divided between Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts and Germany’s Daniel Deusser.

There was a great sense of satisfaction for Pessoa. “We already had two disciplines qualified (Dressage and Eventing) but it’s been a long time since Ireland, a great equestrian nation, has been at the Olympics Games in showjumping and it was this team’s responsibility to bring it home. That for me was the most stressful thing today, to feel what they felt and how hard it must have been for them to ride in those conditions. They had such a great mental attitude – nothing could have stopped them from achieving what they did. I was called in a few years ago to do a job (achieve Olympic Jumping qualification) so now it’s mission accomplished!” he said.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Bittersweet Victory for Spain in Challenge Cup

Sergio Alvarez Moya. (FEI/Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

There was a mixture of joy and regret for the Spanish team after winning the Challenge Cup at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final on home ground at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain.

The battle between the nine countries that missed the cut to the last round that will decide the fate of the 2019 Longines title was a tough one. But the hosts clinched a clear-cut victory in the end, pinning The Netherlands into runner-up spot while Brazil, Great Britain, and the USA finished equal-third.

“We lost out on Olympic qualification by less than half a second on Thursday, and that was heartbreaking, but sometimes what the sport takes away, the sport gives you back. Today we had this wonderful win and I’m absolutely excited and proud of the riders, the staff members, the coach, the vet, everybody who worked hard, because in the end this was a really beautiful gift to say goodbye to the 2019 Nations Cup season!” — Marco Fuste (Spanish Chef d’Equipe)

Course designer Santiago Varela set them a difficult track, and there were only six clear rounds from the 36 starters. But when two of those came from Spanish team then that was the deciding factor. And it was the last-to-go effort of Sergio Alvarez Moya and the exciting nine-year-old Jet Run that clinched it.

Great Britain, USA, The Netherlands, and Spain were all in contention for a four-fault finishing result going into the last rotation of riders, but mistakes from Ben Maher and F One USA at the second element of the double at fence eight and again at the final vertical put paid to British chances. And when Richard Spooner and Quirado RC also faulted at the same double as well as the following oxer then American hopes were seriously compromised.

The Netherlands’ pathfinders, Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue, clipped only the second fence on the course that looked sensational under lights. And that was followed by a brilliant clear from Zypriz S ridden by Willem Greve who, as the only rider through to the competition who had also been foot-perfect in Thursday’s first round, therefore earned all of the €50,000 bonus on offer to riders with double-clear performances.

Marc Houtzager’s Sterrehof’s Calimero also faulted at the first element of the bogey double at eight, but it seemed the Dutch were about to really put it up to the Spanish by posting just a four-fault finishing score when Bart Bles and Israel VD Dennehoeve skipped around the course with the greatest of ease, only for it all to unravel at the very last.

The Spanish crowd was suddenly whipped into a frenzy of excitement, because the door was now wide open. The British and Americans were no longer a threat because they would complete on the same 12-fault scoreline as Brazil, and the Dutch could do no better than eight. If last-to-go Alvarez Moya could keep a clean sheet, then the hosts would have it.

Spain’s Alberto Marquez Galobardes and Ucello Massuere had suffered the same fate as Bles at the final fence, but team-mate Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot were beautifully clear, so the 12 faults collected by Santiago Nunez Riva could be dropped if their anchor partnership could master Varela’s course.

The deafening noise that had been reverberating around the stadium descended into a complete hush as Alvarez Moya and his relatively inexperienced nine-year-old gelding set off. But the sound-barrier was nearly broken when he cleared the last and punched the air with delight.

When asked afterwards if he noticed the silence and could feel the tension as he went into the arena, he replied, “I don’t really think much once I go in the ring. I focus on the job and try to ride as good as possible. Once you do that, if you have a rail down that’s the sport – I just try my best. I have to say today it gave me great confidence to have my colleagues doing such a good job before me. And it’s a lovely position to go in the ring with the chance of a win – it doesn’t happen very often so I loved it!”

He wasn’t the only one who savoured this success. “It’s a moment of great happiness!” said Marco Fuste who has been Spanish Chef d’Equipe the last 14 years. “Winning a Nations Cup at this level makes me very happy, especially here in my hometown where I have been living for 46 years!”

Watch highlights here: https://youtu.be/vJA3RCMFKsw.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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