Category Archives: Championships

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap to Represent U.S. at FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships

Doug Payne and Quantum Leap. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The USEA Young Event Horse Program (YEH) introduced the Holekamp/Turner Young Event Horse Le Lion d’Angers Prize and Grant in 2012 with the support of Dr. Timothy and Cheryl Holekamp and Christine Turner to encourage the development of future U.S. Eventing Team horses by providing them with increased international exposure and opportunity as young horses. The grant is awarded yearly to the highest scoring horse from the USEA Young Event Horse 5-year-old East and West Championships combined during their 7-year-old year that is qualified, willing, and able to compete in the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses at Le Mondial du Lion d’Angers in France.

Horses must have completed one CCI* and one CIC2*, both with no cross-country jumping penalties and no more than one rail in show jumping, in order to be qualified to compete in the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships 7-year-old CH-2* division and therefore be eligible for the grant.

In the interest in promoting domestic breeding, North American-bred winners of the Grant are awarded with a cash prize of $17,500 to offset the expenses of traveling to France for the Championships, while imported horses are awarded $8,000. Since the intention of the prize is to create a pipeline for U.S. Team horses, the eligibility of top-placing YEH horses remains with the horse, regardless of change of rider after the YEH 5-year-old Championships. However, the horse must be ridden by a United States citizen to receive the grant.

Doug Payne’s Quantum Leap (Quite Capitol x Report to Sloopy), a 7-year-old Zweibrucker gelding, is the recipient of the 2018 Holekamp/Turner Grant and will be traveling to Le Mondial du Lion d’Angers to represent the United States at the 2018 FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships. Bred by Elizabeth Callahan of Cool Na Grena Sporthorses in Oxford, Maryland, Quantum will be the second North American-bred horse to compete at the Championships with assistance from the grant. The first North American-bred horse to receive the grant was Fleeceworks Royal (Riverman x Marisol), a Holsteiner mare owned by Judith McSwain and bred by Charlotte Wrather of Cottonwood Ranch. Twilightslastgleam (National Anthem x Royal Child), an American-bred off-the-track Thoroughbred owned by Tim and Nina Gardner and bred by Nina, was named the recipient of the 2017 Holekamp/Turner Grant but had an unfortunate minor injury before boarding the flight to France.

Payne selected Quantum as a yearling and produced Quantum all the way up to the two-star level without a single cross-country jumping penalty on his record. Most recently, Payne and Quantum won the Intermediate division at the Millbrook Horse Trials in August and were second in the CCI2* at Ocala International in April.

“He was well bred and put together,” recalled Payne of Quantum as a yearling. “We trusted Didi in that this was the second of four horses that we currently have of hers. We try to buy at least one yearling a year to ensure a pipeline of talented horses for the future. Being that we have the space, it’s the most affordable means to do so.

“In the barn is a just like a big dog, and he’s an odd combination of quiet and sharp when riding,” shared Payne. “He’s very quick and careful to jump and his flat work is coming along very well. He’s just starting to be able to use his body as a cohesive unit rather than some massive unattached spider legs. He’s absolutely a future champion!”

Payne has competed overseas on three separate occasions: in the CCI3* at Boekelo aboard Running Order in 2010, in the CCI3* at Saumur aboard Crown Talisman in 2014, and in the Blenheim CCI3* with Vandiver last fall. “I have looked forward to our return to France ever since [competing at Saumur],” Payne commented. “It’s an incredible honor to attend such a competition and I think Quantum will greatly benefit from the experience.”

“I think [the Holekamp/Turner Grant] is a great asset for U.S. eventing,” stated Payne. “In the end these talented young horses will go on to represent the United States. International trips like this will only better prepare them for that experience. This is, after all, the stated goal of the Young Event Horse program, to develop future talent for team success in the years to come.”

Payne expressed his gratitude to Susan and Dave Drillock, who joined the team behind Quantum when he was a 4-year-old. “Without their help I would not have the opportunity to ride such an incredible horse.”

The 2018 Le Mondial du Lion d’Angers will take place on October 18-21, 2018, just 2 hours and 30 minutes southeast of Paris, France.

Authored By: Jessica Duffy – USEA Staff
© United States Eventing Association

International Equestrian Athletes Gather in Lexington for National Horse Show

Lexington, KY – Oct. 15, 2018 – Equestrians from around the world will soon arrive at the Kentucky Horse Park to compete at the National Horse Show, Lexington’s biggest show jumping event of the year held October 27 – November 4, 2018.  An exciting 8 days of world-class equestrian competition, the National Horse Show feature events include the $135,000 International Open Jumper Classic on November 1, the $50,000 NHS Hunter Classic on November 2, and our premier event, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ on Saturday, November 3. With over $845,000 in total prize money, the National Horse Show is proud to welcome Olympians, World Champions, and top international equestrian athletes, including the United States Gold Medal World Championship Team.

On Saturday, November 3, join us for the National Horse Show 5k to benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center at 5pm, followed by a Breeders’ Cup Viewing Party in Maxwell Place, a boutique shopping and dining experience.  Local barns are eligible for complimentary tickets and prizes as part of Barn Night.

We are proud to offer a unique opportunity for local charities to earn a cash bonus as part of our new NHS Bluegrass Charity Initiative, presented by Goshen Hill and Meralex Farm. Various Bluegrass charity organizations are encouraged to register for their chance to win cash bonuses on either Friday November 2 or Saturday November 3.

For complimentary tickets to support one of our participating charities, use one of the following ticket codes at nhs.org/tickets:

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation: JOCKEYCLUB

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center: SECRETARIAT

Making a Difference Now Kentucky: MADNKY

Old Friends Equine (Thoroughbred Retirement Farms): OLDFRIENDS

Paris Animal Welfare Society: PAWSPETS

United Professional Horsemen’s Association: UPHA

The first two days of competition are all about the amateur and young riders. Saturday, October 27, the National Horse Show is proud to host age group equitation classes and the Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation Championship. Sunday October 28th features another full day of equitation beginning with the inaugural Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championships, followed by the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3” Equitation Championship. Admission is free of charge and boutique shopping will be open!

Hunter classes begin at 7am on Tuesday, November 30th with Jumper classes beginning on Wednesday evening with the Free x Rein $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Speed class at 7pm. The excitement will continue to build on Thursday with the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumper Speed class and the $135,000 International Jumper Classic at 8pm. Friday night’s competition features the Salamander Hotels and Resorts $35,000 Accumulator class followed by the $50,000 NHS Hunter Classic.

Saturday will host the main events, kicking off with the NHS 5k benefitting the Kentucky Equine Humane Center at 5pm. After the race, join us for a Breeder’s Cup Viewing Party in Maxwell Place before the featured show jumping event, the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington at 7:00pm. Watch the top show jumpers in the world compete for a chance to qualify for the Longines FEI Jumping™ World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden next year.

Sunday will conclude the week’s events with the prestigious ASPCA Maclay National Championship presented by Chansonette Farm in which the top junior riders from across the country will compete for the 2018 title.

Admission is free and open to the public October 27-30.  Tickets are required for evening competitions on Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2, and for all competitions on Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4. Boutique shopping and dining will be open in Maxwell Place during show hours.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

For tickets, click here.

Sportsmanship Takes Center Stage at Arabian Horse Association Sport Horse Nationals

Hillary Boothe at the AHA Sport Horse Nationals. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Boothe)

Nampa, ID (October 4, 2018) – The 2018 Sport Horse National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Show held in Nampa, Idaho is known for its glitz, glamour, and high spirited horses. This year one young lady outshined all of the sparkle with her outstanding smile and sportsmanship. Hillary Boothe, of Lompoc, California, competed two horses over the weekend and greeted everyone she encountered with warmth and sincerity.

Boothe was overjoyed that her outstanding sportsmanship was recognized during the show. The Sportsmanship Award is presented to one competitor at the National Arabian Championships who displays exemplary sportsmanship during the competition. Boothe was presented with a tri-colored sportsmanship ribbon and a silver engraved tray presented by the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

Boothe owns and runs Promises Ranch LLC alongside her mother, Sarah. Together, they have built a strong presence on the Arabian horse scene and have won countless Champion and Reserve Champion titles along the way. Boothe competed in a wide variety of classes over the weekend with her mounts. My Khinda Party, a six-year-old stallion, was bred and raised by Boothe herself. This made his stellar performance that much sweeter. She was thrilled with his performance the entire weekend. Boothe’s second mount was Susan Claycamp’s six-year-old Khiamo Ko, who stole the show.

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

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4225
timjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Blum Breezes into Jumping History Books When Clinching Individual Title at Tryon

Simone Blum celebrates winning the Bank of America Individual Jumping title. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

Germany’s Simone Blum (29) etched her name into the record books when becoming the first woman in the 28-year history of the FEI World Equestrian Games™, and only the second female athlete in the 65-year history of the World Jumping Championships, to take the individual title when coming out on top in the Bank of America Championship at Tryon, USA.

In a finale that kept spectators on the edges of their seats she produced two more fantastic clear rounds with the extraordinary mare, DSP Alice, to put the result beyond doubt. And it was a super day for the Swiss when Martin Fuchs (26) claimed silver with Clooney and Steve Guerdat (36) and Bianca bagged the bronze.

“This was a perfect day. Alice jumped great for the whole week; she had no fault in five rounds of competition; she was unbelievable! And she’s so careful… she has the biggest heart and I think this week she knew that she could win the hearts of all of the sport… she really wanted this win today!” — Simone Blum (GER)

In pole position as the action began, Blum made Alan Wade’s first-round course, that caught out so many of the other 25 starters, look like a walk in the park. Guerdat was one place off the medal podium in fourth spot and just over a fence off the leader. And he was on fire today with the mare Bianca, never putting a foot wrong but unable to overtake compatriot Martin Fuchs who collected two time faults in an otherwise blissful tour of the track.

When Austria’s Max Kuhner slipped out of silver medal spot with two fences on the floor from Chardonnay then Blum had a fence in hand and Fuchs and Guerdat were now stalking her. She couldn’t afford both a fence and a time fault, however, but she wasn’t quite clear about that going into the US Trust arena for the last time. “Actually, when I came into the course I was so focused that I wondered, ‘can I have one down or not?’ Maybe I should try to ride a clear round!” and that’s exactly what she did, never looking in any danger as the incredible Alice soared high and wide before galloping through the finish with just a single time-fault to add.

Going last and keeping her head is all in a day’s work for the rider who, during her early career, was often specifically chosen as anchor rider on teams because of her coolness. And although this was her very first major Championship, she was selected for Tryon because she has shown incredible form at top level in recent years, winning the German Ladies title in 2016 and then coming out to top the 2017 German Men’s Championship in which the best German ladies are also entitled to compete.

The sense of achievement of all three who were presented with their medals by IOC President Thomas Bach and FEI President Ingmar De Vos was tangible. For Fuchs it was particularly special moment because his 12-year-old gelding Clooney underwent colic surgery this spring, but has made a tremendous recovery.

And 2012 Olympic champion, Steve Guerdat, was elated – hardly surprising as Bianca produced two breathtaking tours of two enormous tracks.

“My biggest pride today is for my horse. We had a few championships where I think she jumped better than any other horse, but we kept just having one down and I always went home a bit disappointed because I really wanted to give her the medal that she really deserves. And I thought it was going to go the same again this year – she was jumping amazing since the beginning of the week; she touched two fences all week… so I tried to get it together today and I’m so proud of her and so happy that today the world can see how special she really is!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

When asked if it felt special to have two Swiss riders on the podium, he replied, “Yes, but to have like another brother is even more special! I think everybody knows that I’m the son of Philippe Guerdat and I have an amazing family and I have an amazing brother, but everyone also knows how special Family Fuchs is to me. We train together, we are neighbours, we talk every day. They are like my second family and they treat me like I’m their third son so that makes it as special as it gets!”

For Blum, who also collected team gold on Friday, there is now another very big day ahead. She said she owes her success to her fiancée, Hansi Goskowitz, because “he found Alice, and he is the most wonderful man for me in the world and it’s just because of him I am sitting here! I will marry him in the next four weeks – he will become Mr Blum!”

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Vaulting Championships Come to an Epic Conclusion

Chiara Congia and Justin van Gerven of Team Germany. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

In a breathtaking finale to Vaulting at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, USA, Team Germany, their individual female star Kristina Boe, and Lambert Leclezio from France all took gold under supreme pressure in the Christie’s International Real Estate arena.

Boe, a formidable competitor and ambassador for the sport, now holds the European, World Cup, and World Championship titles.

Her innate story-telling and characterisation have been stand-out characteristics throughout her years of success in the sport.  Her astonishing achievements have been aided by her incredible relationship with lunger Winnie Schlüter and the impressive horse Don de la Mar. Posting an unbeatable combined score of 8.388, she managed to halt the challenge launched by compatriot Janika Derks.

“As a result of the new Nations Team Championships, it is the first time that it is possible to win two medals for an individual.  To come away from Tryon with two gold medals makes me speechless and more than grateful,” Boe said.

“Last night, Winnie and I sat together and said all that we hope for this last freestyle is to do one round in utter harmony, where I can enjoy my performance. I love my music, my whole programme and I didn’t even care what would come in the end. I just wanted to have that one goose-bump round.” — Kristina Boe (GER)

Derks, who took the bronze medal alongside Johannes Kay two days ago in the Pas de Deux competition, came out all guns blazing.  With Carousso Hit and renowned lunger Jessica Lichtenberg, her final freestyle highlighted her impressive strength yet was beautifully contrasted with classical music. Finishing on 8.374, she kept the pressure on Boe right to the end. Bronze went Austria’s Lisa Wild for the second time this week.

The highest freestyle score of the day went to Germany’s Sarah Kay who posted 8.880 in the final test (8.308).  However, her assault on the medals came too late in the competition as she finished on a combined total of 8.308 to line up fourth.

Lambert Leclezio from France dominated the individual male category as his execution, artistic impression, and utter control meant he was in a league of his own. “It is the accumulation of hard work over the past four years. Every day waking up with the end goal of the 2018 World Equestrian Games in mind. It is a real honour to win here for France,” he said. He got a standing ovation from the Tryon spectators as he once again changed the face of the sport.  It was his partnership with Poivre Vert and Francois Athimon that allowed him to perform with such confidence to finish on 8.744.

This lunger and horse partnered Jacques Ferarri to the gold medal four years ago in Normandy (FRA), so it was a very special moment when they did it all over again, but with a new vaulter this time around. Poivre Vert, who has done so much for the sport, will now retire.

“This was his last competition and I had the honour to finish his career. He is an amazing horse and by far the best I have competed with. I spent one year with him; it was short but really intense,” Leclezio said.

“I have had him for ten years and he is an absolute warrior! He is mentally very strong and the most incredible horse – unbelievably reliable.” — Francois Athimon (FRA)

The standard throughout the class was exceptionally high, but it was Germany that continued their impressive form to secure both second and third places on the podium. A second silver at these Games went to Jannik Heiland on Dark Beluga lunged by Barbara Rosiny, who were consistent, fluid and harmonious to finish on 8.606. Fellow-countryman Thomas Brüsewitz claimed bronze supported by Danny Boy who was lunged by 2010 Individual Male gold medallist Patric Looser (8.533), and who managed to overtake yet another of the powerful German contingent, Jannis Drewell (8.509).

The squad championship was a perfect conclusion to an amazing week. With only 0.001 separating overnight leaders Team Germany and Team Switzerland it was always destined to be a nail-biting final and it was the Germans who really rose to the occasion, leaving no doubt that they would walk away double gold medallists from these Games.

With competitors taking to the arena in reverse order of merit, it was the Swiss who were the first of the two big-hitters to stake their claim to the title. But with gold on the line they had some nervous moments and had to settle for silver together with their horse Rayo de la Luz and lunger Monika Winkler-Bischofberger (8.433). However, their head-to-head battle with Team Germany will go down as one of the greatest of all time.

Last to go, the German squad produced a stunning performance of their captivating ‘Now You See Me’ freestyle. With their horse Danny Boy and Patric Looser on the lunge they looked at ease despite the immense pressure and their freestyle, laced with big lifts and eye-catching dismounts, delighted both the audience and judges alike.  By the end of their routine gold was guaranteed (8.638).

It was Team Austria who rounded off the podium, taking bronze alongside Alessio L’Amabile and Maria Lehrmann on the lunge (8.198), with USA in fourth (8.000) and Italy in fifth (7.986).

Results here.

By Hannah Eccles

Media contact:

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

Stunning Day of Freestyle Rounds Off Para Dressage Championships

Italy’s Sarah Morganti. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

On the day of the “dancing horses,” The Netherlands’ Sanne Voets became the first ever non-British rider to win three gold medals in one major international championship before team-mate van der Horst put the icing on the Dutch cake by doing exactly the same. And topping off an incredible five days of competition there was a history-making moment when Japan secured its first ever Para Dressage medal at the Adequan© World Para Dressage Championships at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, USA.

Competing in the Grade V competition, and less than two years out from the Tokyo Paralympic Games, Japan’s Tomoko Nakamura and Djazz F scored 73.540 to take a surprise bronze. Nakamura said, “I was so nervous and it went so quickly and I feel so honoured to be in such a big competition.”

An imperious score of 80.150% was more than enough for Great Britain’s Sophie Wells to pick up her second gold of these Games in the grade’s Freestyle. Riding C Fatal Attraction, she finished ahead of The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar and Alphaville N.O.P. who scored 79.155% to take his second silver.

Speaking after the test, Wells said her horse was “a little bit tense today and on edge but he’s come out this week and given me everything. When you miss out on an Individual Gold [WEG 2014] after training every day it’s hard, but to achieve this after a big gap like I’ve had is amazing. That’s why Rio 2016 was so special because I missed out on the gold in London 2012 too!”

The day started with victory for Sanne Voets, and that first ever non-British triple in the Grade IV competition. Riding her beloved Demantur N.O.P. she scored 79.645% to finish ahead of Brazil’s Rodolpho Riskalla on Don Henrico who posted 77.780%.

“This horse two years ago won the first ever Paralympic gold medal for the Netherlands, and he contributed very much to our first ever team gold medal on Friday, and now he is the first one taking home triple gold for the Netherlands in the World Games. I couldn’t be happier!” — Sanne Voets (NED)

There was double joy for Team USA too, as Kate Shoemaker claimed the bronze on Solitaer with 73.230%. It was the host nation’s second medal of the Games and comes hot on the heels of their amazing fifth place in the team competition.

A stunning display of control and grace by Italy’s Sara Morganti took the freestyle gold in the Grade I competition – her second of the Games. Riding Royal Delight, her horse for the past eight years, Morganti scored 78.867 ahead of Rihards Snikus of Latvia. Snikus, a keen DJ in his spare time, rode King of the Dance to score 76.113% and pick up his first ever global medal, having broken onto international scene at the FEI European Championships in Gothenburg in 2017, where he picked up a silver and a bronze.

“It’s incredible and so big an emotion I can’t even describe it,” Morganti said after waiting for confirmation of her win. “We won three out of three [the pair had the highest score in their grade’s team test as well] and I was hoping for a medal, but I didn’t dare hope for two gold medals. It’s a dream come true and so very fantastic!”

The two wins here at WEG will help Morganti put the disappointment of Rio 2016, when her horse didn’t pass the compulsory veterinary check, behind her. “I needed to come out here with my horse and show how good she is,” she said, “and we worked so hard at home to do our best and she’s improved. The beautiful thing is she continues performing at the top of the ranking and competitions. This is even more than a gold!”

And double US joy turned to triple when Roxanne Trunnel, riding Dolton scored 75.587 to pick up her nation’s third Para Dressage medal by taking the bronze.

There was a huge squeal of delight from Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup when she saw her score in the Grade II contest. Riding Horsebo Smarties she posted 78.947%% to take the gold ahead of Austria’s Pepo Puch on Sailor’s Blue with 75.500. The Netherlands’ Nicole den Dulk took bronze on Wallace N.O.P. with 74.573 – a replay of the grade’s individual and freestyle contests.

“I don’t think there are any words for how amazing I feel. It’s been out of this world and incredible and much more than we ever hoped for. I’m really proud and really happy. I don’t know what else to say. All the years of hard work make this all meaningful.” — Stinna Tange Kaastrup (Team Country)

The Grade III freestyle rounded off the day and The Netherlands’ Rixt van der Horst joined team-mate Voets as a triple gold winner, scoring 77.437% on Findsley. Continuing the USA’s incredible run, Rebecca Hart added silver to her bronze from the individual on El Corona Texel with an impressive 73.240%. Germany’s Angelika Trabert continued her return to the sport by taking the bronze on Diamond’s Shine, with a score of 71.840%.

“It has been such an amazing year for the Netherlands. I have no words for it, both in terms of me and what the team did!” van der Horst said.

But there was high drama when Great Britain’s Paralympic Champion Natasha Baker was thrown from her horse, Mount St John Diva Dannebrog, during her test, eliminating her from the competition. “My ego was bruised and so was my backside,” she joked afterwards, “but at least I landed on the centre line!”

So at the end of a brilliant week of competition, The Netherlands sits comfortably atop the overall medal table, with five golds, two silvers and two bronzes, followed by Great Britain with two golds, and one silver. Denmark is third with two golds and a bronze, while Riskalla’s two silvers give Brazil the fourth spot. The USA sits fifth with one silver and three bronzes.

Results here.

By Rob Howell

Media contact:

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

Tears of Triumph as USA Wins Bank of America Team Jumping Title on Home Turf

McLain Ward and Clinta. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

Team USA won the Bank of America Team Jumping Championship at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA, but they were chased all the way to the line by a brilliant Swedish side that took silver, while Germany claimed the bronze. It was an epic battle on this final day of the team event, and nothing came easy.

“It was unbelievable! First off, the odds were miniscule that there would be a jump-off for first place… it wasn’t what we were looking for, but the sport doesn’t get any better than this!” — Robert Ridland (Team USA Chef d’Equipe)

Out in front as the action began, the Swiss lost their grip when Werner Muff’s 13-fault round with Daimler was followed by elimination for Janika Sprunger when Bacardi VDL crashed through the first fence and then refused to tackle the second on the 14-obstacle course. With six Olympic qualifying places also up for grabs all eyes were also on the minor placings, and in the end the Swiss booked their ticket to Tokyo 2020 when finishing fourth ahead of The Netherlands in fifth and the astonishing Australians who pipped the reigning European champions from Ireland for that coveted sixth spot.

It was a roller-coaster ride from start to finish, and the Swedes, lying fourth as the action began, piled on the pressure when adding nothing to their previous day’s scoreline of 20.59 when Henrik von Eckermann (Toveks Mary Lou), Malin Baryard-Johnsson (H&M Indiana), and Fredrik Jonsson (Cold Play) posted three brilliant clears. This was enough to overtake the Germans whose total rose to 22.09 despite foot-perfect runs from Simone Blue (DSP Alice) and Marcus Ehning (Pret a Tout), four faults from Laura Klaphake (Catch Me If You Can) having to be taken into account when Maurice Tebbel (Don Diarado) picked up five.

And although American hopes were high, the result was hanging in the balance right to the very end. Devin Ryan opened the host nation account with a single mistake at the second-last fence and when Adrienne Sternlicht and Cristalline picked up five then the Swedes were out in front. But Laura Kraut rode to the rescue as only she can, steering Zeremonie home with a clean sheet to a great roar from the crowd. If McLain Ward could follow that with another clear the job was done and the gold would be in American hands. But the Olympic double-gold medallist faulted at fence seven and suddenly everything changed once again. The USA and Sweden were tied on 20.59 penalties and it would take a jump-off to separate them.

“McLain made us all work a little harder – he could have made it a whole lot easier!” joked his team manager.

But in the end, it was Ward who won it for them too, with a scorching last-to-go run with the grey mare Clinta. Both teams produced three clear rounds against the clock but Ward’s gallop through the timers saw USA post an accumulated time of 100.67 while the Swedes were two seconds slower.

Youngest team member Adrienne Sternlicht (25) was overcome with emotion at the post-competition press conference, and she wasn’t the only one to shed a tear.

“My best friends and family are here and I’m just thinking – what just happened?! You really don’t want to be woken up from this dream!” — Adrienne Sternlicht (Team USA)

“I love my horse so much. McLain has been the most unbelievable mentor for me, such an important part of my life; for me it’s been a battle of overcoming my own mind and I’m so grateful that Robert trusted me and trusted McLain enough to put me on this team and to be with Laura and Devin and McLain, three riders I’ve honestly looked up to my entire life. I’m so grateful for this opportunity – it’s been a wonderful day!” she said.

Results here.

Media contact:

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

Swiss Stay on Top, but USA Stalking Closely Going into Jumping Team Medal-Decider

McLain Ward and Clinta. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

The Swiss held on to the lead in the Bank of America Team Jumping Championship at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA but the hosts have moved up from overnight fourth into second spot ahead of the medal-decider in which the top 10 nations will compete.

And they are dangerously close, stalking the leaders by less than a single penalty point and leaving them with absolutely no room for error. Germany is in third ahead of Sweden, The Netherlands, and Ireland, while France, Australia, Great Britain, and Canada have also made the cut.

And the individual placings got a big shake-up, with overnight leader, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, dropping to eighth following a single mistake, while Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca rocketed all the way up from ninth to pole position when producing one of just five clears over another masterful track designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. America’s McLain Ward is now in second, with individual European champion Peder Fredricson from Sweden in third, Germany’s Simone Blum in fourth, and Ireland’s Cian O’Connor in fifth place.

The Swiss looked vulnerable when pathfinder Werner Muff (Daimler) left three fences on the floor, but Janika Sprunger pulled it back when collecting just a single time penalty with Bacardi VDL. Martin Fuchs and Clooney hit the second element of the penultimate double which proved one of the trickiest places on the 14-fence track, and when Guerdat’s mare, Bianca, lowered the oxer at fence nine then Andy Kistler’s side added nine to their first-day tally but still maintained the advantage, albeit a very narrow one.

Devin Ryan kicked off the US effort with a pole down from Eddie Blue, but both Adrienne Sternlicht (Cristalline) and anchorman McLain Ward (Clinta) picked up just a single time fault so Laura Kraut’s double-error with Zeremonie could be discarded.

“I woke up this morning and had some kind of epiphany that I needed to relax, and I think that translated into my ride! It’s a really difficult course… there’s fences falling everywhere and they are massive, so I really thought about taking each fence at a time and I think that’s where my time fault came. I was more focused on jumping a clear round because that’s what our team needed.” — Adrienne Sternlicht (USA)

Germany’s Blum and DSP Alice produced the first clear of the day to set her side on the road to a rapid recovery from eighth place after the opening competition. and when team-mate Laura Klaphake followed that with a lovely clear over the poles and just one time fault things were looking very good indeed. But Klaphake wasn’t getting over-confident with two of her team-mates still to go.

“We’ve had two good rounds but sport is so hard, from one second to the other it can change, like yesterday until the fault (where her horse stopped) I had an amazing round, so we cross our fingers!” she said wisely. Maurice Tebbel and Don Diarado returned a nine-fault scoreline and then Marcus Ehning and Pret a Tout added eight more, but their final tally left them on 18.09, so less than two fences behind the Swiss at the head of affairs.

Meanwhile, the Italians crashed out, when, already reduced to a three-man side, Luca Marziani’s stallion Tokyo du Soleil decided he wouldn’t jump the wall at fence three and the pair was eliminated. However, de Luca, who competes in the uniform of the Italian air force, was determined to soldier on even though he’s only been riding the 10-year-old grey mare, Irenice Horta, since June of this year.

The man who competes for Stephan Conter’s Stephex Stables in Belgium said:

“Zoe Conter rode her before, but unluckily Zoe had an accident in Rome, she fell off, so they decided to give me the horse and this is our fifth show together! The Nations Cup in Aachen was our first big class and then we did the Nations Cup and Grand Prix in Dublin where she finished third. That was really tough but it was the same course designer, so I had a feeling I could do it here!” — Lorenzo de Luca (ITA)

The top 65 athletes go into the final competition including individuals and the 10 qualified teams who will all compete in reverse order of merit. And the Australians are still in there, lying eighth and flying their flag with honour and pride. Their performances have been exemplary, but they have sprung a really big surprise, apparently outsiders but really rising to this world championship challenge. As Irish Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa commented, “They’re doing great – and that’s the beauty of our sport!”

Results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Super Swiss Head the Leaderboard Going into Day 2 of Bank of America Jumping Championship

Steve Guerdat and Bianca. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

A brilliant round from Steve Guerdat (36) and the fiery mare Bianca put the 2012 Olympic champion and Team Switzerland into pole position as the Bank of America Jumping Championship got underway at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA. A colourful, testing but honest 14-fence track built by Irishman Alan Wade created spectacular sport for spectators and the 124 horse-and-rider combinations from 49 nations.

The defending world champions from The Netherlands jumped into second ahead of Brazil in third and USA in fourth. But the biggest story of the day was the stunning performance of the Australians who slotted into fifth and whose final rider, Rowan Willis (38), is lying individually third behind Brazil’s Pedro Veniss (35) in silver medal position and Guerdat at the top of the leaderboard.

France, Sweden, Germany, Colombia, and Ireland fill the remaining top-10 team places in the field of 25 nations.

Guerdat was second-last to go and raced into the lead in the individual rankings when clear in 76.33.

“It was a long day waiting; we walked the course before 9am and it was nine hours later when I got on my horse, but I was kind of confident because the course walked well. The fastest horses were not leading so I thought if I stick to my plan, I had a good chance to be in the top three today, so I actually really enjoyed my round and I can’t ask for much more!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

Veniss and his fabulous stallion Quabri de l’Isle were poetry in motion, their tight turn to the third-last fence ensuring they were really competitive against the clock as they cruised through the finish in 76.68 seconds. And Willis and his chestnut mare Blue Movie were only 0.27 seconds slower through the timers.

“She just tries so hard for me. I don’t worry about trying to go fast because she’s naturally fast, so I just have to keep my rhythm and make sure I don’t make a mistake. It was a nice day. All four of us have just got off to a brilliant start and that’s really encouraging.”

“Obviously it’s not easy for our team because half of us are based in Australia so it’s a long way to go to any shows, but those boys (Jamie Kermond and Billy Raymont) have had a good summer in Europe and Scott (Keach) and I have had a good summer over here (in North America) and it’s just brilliant that we all had a good day today. This is something I’ve dreamed of. It’s the first time I’ve represented Australia since I was about 18 at an invitational in Hong Kong!” — Rowan Willis (AUS)

The British-based rider who hails from Armidale in New South Wales made a big impression when finishing 11th in the Grand Prix at the Masters in Spruce Meadows (CAN) earlier this month.

Swiss supremacy was underpinned by great rounds from Martin Fuchs (26), who lies individually fifth behind Germany’s Marcus Ehning, and Janika Sprunger (31) who is in 16th place with Bacardi VDL. “The course suited Clooney really well. I knew I could do it and I’m glad it worked out so well. Werner (Muff) had two down so the pressure is on Steve now, but we all know that he handles pressure better than anyone else!” Fuchs said before Guerdat proved that this is absolutely true.

Sprunger was Swiss pathfinder. “I had to concentrate to open this well for my team and give confidence to myself and the rest of the others, and I know that Bacardi and I are not the fastest combination, so we just try to go as quickly as possible. Maybe a half-second or one second faster was possible but I’m very happy with the end result. I said I wanted to be on 80 seconds and we almost did it!” she said after stopping the clock on 80.26 seconds.

With only a fence separating the top three countries and less than two separating the top 10, it’s all to play for again when the action resumes with Team Belgium first into the ring ahead of Ireland, Japan, Portugal, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Germany, USA, and Mexico. Egypt will be next to go and then Venezuela, Sweden, Netherlands, France, Hungary, Australia, Brazil, and Great Britain will take their turn. Team Colombia has been drawn ahead of the Swiss and they will be followed by Argentina, Spain, and Italy so the last team into the arena will be Israel.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

US Para-Driving Team Successful at FEI World Single and Para Driving Championships

Tracy Bowman (in the Marathon Course). Photo by Marie de Ronde-Oudemans, Hoefnet’s Krisztina Horvath, and Daphne White.

Kronenberg, The Netherlands – September 17, 2018 – Over six days the 2018 FEI World Driving and Para-Driving Championships for singles took place at Grandorse in Kronenberg, The Netherlands. U.S. Para-Driving Team included Driver and horse combinations Tracy Bowman and Taylormore Laurabelle in Grade 1, Bob Giles and First Lady in Grade 2, and Diane Kastama and horse Oosterwijk’s Kasper in Grade 1, with Coach Sara Schmitt and Chef d’Equipe Marcie Quist. Drivers contested the dressage, marathon, and cones courses, over the August 28 – September 2, 2018, week. The Singles and Para-driving championships were held simultaneously for the first time in the history of this equestrian sport. The top international drivers competed for the coveted title in their category: World Champion. U.S. Para-Drivers had a successful showing earning fourth in the Team competition.

“We would like to thank world class four-in-hand driver Koos De Ronde and his wife, FEI Combined Driving judge Marie De Ronde, in Zwartewaal, Netherlands for hosting the para-driving training camp at their home farm Stal De Ronde. We would also like to thank the navigators including Diane Kastama’s navigator Lila Hewitt, Tracy Bowman’s navigator Jolie Wentworth, and Bob Giles’ navigator Barbra Hewitt and everyone who so generously offered their support.  We would especially like to thank team coach Sara Schmitt, our Chef d’Equipe, Marcia Quist, Danielle d’Aamodt Single’s Chef and Thorsten Zarembowicz Singles Coach.”

Following the Championships, Para-drivers headed back to the United States where they will be cheering on the U.S. Equestrian Teams at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC and heir Dutch host and hostess Koos and Marie de Ronde who will be competing in the four-in-hand driving at the World Equestrian Games.

Results can be found on Hoefnet at: https://www.hoefnet.nl/en/kalender-uitslagen-startlijsten/wk-enkelspannen-wk-paramennen-horst/.

For more information about USA Para-Driving, please visit United States Driving for the Disabled at http://usdfd.org.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.