Category Archives: Championships

Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie 135: USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Champions

Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie 135 ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 14, 2021 – The final day of The Dutta Corp Tryon International Three-Day Event at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) saw the new national champion crowned at the CCI 4*-L level Sunday after a thrilling Show Jumping competition. Woods Baughman (USA) claimed the Dutta Corp/USEF 4*-L Eventing National Championship with C’est La Vie 135 on a score of 29.4, enjoying a sweet comeback after overcoming a broken back and improving from a third place finish in 2020. Sweetening the victory even more was finishing just ahead of his coach, Sharon White (USA) aboard Claus 63, her own 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Catoo x Levisto), who wrapped up their weekend on a score of 36.7 for reserve after adding .8 penalties for time to their total. Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS had one rail down to finish third, scoring an even 38 points with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC.

Baughman was the only CCI 4*-L rider to pilot his mount to a double-clear over the Cross-Country course set by Captain Mark Phillips (GBR), solidifying his lead heading into Show Jumping competition in Tryon Stadium. The goal was to keep the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Aarking xx) owned in partnership with James Baughman Jr. and Kim Baughman calm and relaxed, Baughman reported, but also himself:

“On Cross-Country yesterday, he was such a machine. I wasn’t sure about the time at the end, so I just dropped the reins. I let him do his thing, and we ended up well inside the time. Overnight, I was just keeping him as relaxed as possible, so he didn’t get all tight, especially with it being so cold this morning.” Though worried about his horse’s energy after flying around the track on Saturday, it was evident that C’est La Vie 135 was full of run after his win, Baughman noted. “He had so much energy left today that I was still holding him back in the Show Jumping. I felt pretty confident going in. I actually lost control a little bit in the victory gallop, but it’s all good!

“I wasn’t doing so well this morning,” Baughman admitted of his own trouble relaxing before the final phase. “Mia was making fun of me at breakfast because my hand was shaking so bad while I was just trying to drink coffee! He is so genuine and he jumps so well, though, that by the time I was done warming up, I was quite relaxed. I just had faith in my horse and let him do his thing.”

View full results from the Dutta Corp Tryon International Three-Day Event here.

On-demand replay of live streaming is available through the USEF Network.

For more info, visit www.Tryon.com.

Cross-Country Change-Up for Tryon International Three-Day Event Leaderboards

Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 13, 2021 – The Dutta Corp/USEF CCI 4*-L Eventing National Championship podium has rearranged after Cross-Country, with the same trio of horse-and-rider pairs holding onto top three spots ahead of Jumping competition on Sunday. Woods Baughman (USA) and C’est La Vie are the new pair to beat, adding nothing to their Dressage score after blazing around the Cross-Country course in nine minutes and 36 seconds. Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS added 7.6 time penalties to their 26 for a total score of 33.6 for the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC, while Sharon White (USA) and Claus 63, her own 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Catoo x Levisto), sit at 35.9 points for third place after adding six time penalties to their score.

Baughman and the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Aarking xx) owned in partnership with James Baughman Jr. and Kim Baughman were the solo pair to navigate the Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) course design without time faults. Jumping clear was an accomplishment that only nine entries managed, with five horses picking up 20 penalties and seven competitors failing to complete the course. In short: competition was stiff, and Baughman arrived at the base of the infamous hill with four jumps to conquer and an unsure sense of his time, he reported.

“He was fantastic. I mean, he’s a total powerhouse on course. I set him up for the important combinations, and everywhere else, I just let him run. And then we got to the end of the course, we had that big hill and I wasn’t exactly sure of my time, because I had that hold on course.” Baughman chose to see what his ride had left in the tank as they powered up the hill for the last few obstacles, and “as I headed to the hill, I decided not to take any chances, and I just dropped the reins and let him run.”

Baughman and C’est La Vie have been in almost this exact scenario before heading into Show Jumping in Tryon Stadium, which Baughman thinks bodes well for their round – as long as C’est La Vie remains relaxed.

“He’s a pretty solid jumper, so that always helps you feel a little bit more comfortable. It gives us a bit of confidence knowing how he’ll react to that big ring. And the real plan is just to help him stay relaxed and easygoing into tomorrow because he can get pretty uptight pretty fast. And then,” Baughman explained, “he stops his back and can have one behind. It’s just [a matter of] keeping him relaxed through the night and happy in the morning, and we’ll give it our best shot tomorrow.”

For Baughman, the biggest difference between this year’s 4*-L championship contest and last year’s was the orientation of the Cross-Country course, which started at the top of the hill in 2020. “It was definitely interesting doing the course the other way around this year,” he concluded. “It had a much different feel than last year, because the hill going down in the beginning kind of set the pace early.” The route had a completely different feeling when topographically reversed, he revealed. “This year, knowing that it was kind of lurking over you the whole way around the course, that you’re gonna have to run [up it] at the end, really, you had to be ready, and a bit ahead of your markers with enough force to actually keep coming. It was a completely different style.”

View all results from the Dutta Corp Tryon International Three-Day Event here.

Full schedules and viewing information, including live stream links, are available at www.Tryon.com/eventing.

For more info, visit www.Tryon.com.

Tryon International Three-Day Event Dressage Days Results

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – November 11, 2021 – The Dutta Corp/USEF CCI 4*-L Eventing National Championship kicked off at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) with two days of Dressage competition as part of The Dutta Corp Tryon International Three-Day Event. The week features CCI 1*-4*-L competition alongside CCI 4*-S competition and the Adequan®/USEF Eventing Youth Team Challenge East Coast Finals. In the chase for the national title, Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS hold the lead going into Cross-Country, dancing to a score of 26.0. The remainder of the podium is also all-American at the moment: Woods Baughman (USA) and C’est La Vie, the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Aarking xx) owned in partnership with James Baughman Jr. and Kim Baughman, scored a 29.4 in the sandbox for second, and Sharon White (USA) sits in third with Claus 63, her own 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Catoo x Levisto), after their 29.9-point performance in Dressage.

Coleman and the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC) are contesting their third-ever Advanced competition, so he’s aiming for an educational yet competitive experience. “He’s a very talented young horse,” Coleman detailed. “He’s very green for this kind of competition, but we feel that he’s ready. He showed some of his greenness in his test, but he has so much quality that he can get away with it. I feel fortunate to be where we are and recognize I’m riding a really good horse in that phase.”

Since it’s Chin Tonic’s third run at the Advanced level, Coleman is proceeding with caution but is excited to contest the Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) course design on the White Oak Cross-Country Course Saturday. “The main thing we want to think about is just giving him a good run for his future and development, but we’re here to be competitive as well,” Coleman shared. “We’re formulating a good plan for him, and then we’ll go out there tomorrow and try our best to execute it.

“It’s been great here as always,” Coleman commented on the venue. “Tryon is first-class. The horses get a sense of the atmosphere that you might encounter at big-time events around the world. I think it’s wonderful that we’re able to compete here.” he concluded, “Fingers crossed for tomorrow. I hope everyone has great runs and that we have a great day of sport!”

View all results from the Dutta Corp Tryon International Three-Day Event here.

Full schedules and viewing information, including live stream links, are available at www.Tryon.com/eventing.

For more info, visit www.Tryon.com.

OS and Holsteiner Mares Claim 2021 Titles

Kevin McNab and Cute Girl. (FEI/Libby Law)

Mares topped both divisions at this year’s FEI WBFSH Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses 2021 at Lion d’Angers in France, where Germany’s Anna Lena Schaaf steered the OS studbook’s Lagona 4 to victory in the 6-Year-Olds, while Australia’s Kevin McNab and the Holsteiner, Cute Girl, topped the 7-Year-Old category.

The hugely popular event, which is designed to help develop future stars, attracted a massive 40,000 spectators along with many of the world’s best Eventing athletes and super-talented young horses once again.

6-Year-Olds

Anna Lena Schaaf only turned 20 in August, but she already has a reputation for producing quality horses, and with Lagona 4 (Lavagon/Ile de Cartina/Cartani 4) she led the 6-Year-Olds from start to finish. Posting 25.8 in the Dressage phase, the pair had a narrow advantage of just 0.7 penalties over Thomas Carlile and the mare Fair Lady des Bourcks in second.

Fellow Frenchman Nicolas Touzaint was lying third with another Selle Francais, the gelding Fibonacci de Lessac HDC, who was awarded a score of 26.8 by judges Nice Attolico Guglielmi (ITA), Xavier Le Sauce (FRA) and Nikki Herbert (GBR), while newly-crowned Olympic individual Eventing champion Julia Krajewski from Germany was lying fourth with the Hanoverian gelding Chintonic 3 on a score of 27.9 going into Saturday’s cross-country phase.

A total of 46 starters set off over the 22-fence cross-country track and three were eliminated while one retired, but the top six places remained unchanged.

Schaaf said, “It’s still a really crazy feeling being in the lead in such a good competition! It was great riding the cross-country today; my horse was really focused and I had the feeling she really enjoyed the crowd so I’m super excited for tomorrow! Usually she is a great showjumper but we have to see… maybe she will be a little bit tired after the cross-country but I’m looking forward to it.”

As it happened, Lagona was foot-perfect once again to leave the final result beyond doubt. But three fences down saw Thomas Carlile and Fair Lady des Broucks plummet to 17th place, so when Touzaint was clear, he rose to runner-up spot. Meanwhile, a single error saw Krajewski and Chintonic drop from fourth to fifth and two new names appeared at the top of the final leaderboard.

Bounced up

Rebecca Chiappero was lying 14th with the Irish Sport Horse Bonmahon Chelsea after dressage, but bounced up to tenth on Saturday after a brilliant cross-country clear. When the pair collected just 0.8 for time in an otherwise flawless showjumping round, their final tally of 31.7 saw the Italian rider stand on the third step of the podium. Fourth went to Australia’s Isabel English and the ACE-bred Cil Dara Dallas who were ninth after dressage, eighth after a clear cross-country run, and who moved up four places when collecting just two time faults.

This win adds yet another gold medal to the collection Schaaf has already accumulated. It’s only five years since she won double-gold at the FEI Eventing European Pony Championships in 2016; she was a double-gold medallist again in Juniors in 2019 and she claimed team gold and individual silver at this summer’s Young Riders European Eventing Championships in Sweden.

She was delighted for her winning mare: “Like yesterday, she was focused and concentrated, and in the end she really enjoyed the galloping around after the prizegiving and listening to everybody screaming. I think she felt ‘Yes! I’m the best!’”

Also happy was Schaaf’s former trainer at Junior level, Julia Krajewski, who sees big things ahead for her former student. “Anna Lena is an excellent rider as she has proven this weekend, and last weekend when she won her first 4* event. The German team always needs new talent, particularly those who are capable of training young horses,” said the Olympic champion.

7-Year-Olds

In the 7-Year-Old division Australia’s Kevin McNab and Cute Girl (Coventry/Caligula/Clearway) also took the early lead and didn’t let go. Judges Emmanuelle Olier (FRA), Katarzyna Konarska (POL), and James Rooney (IRL) scored their test at 26.9, and they added nothing over the following two phases.

Also competing on their dressage score were second-placed Laura Collett and the Trakehner, Outback, whose dressage mark of 27.2 left them only fractionally ahead of British compatriot Hayden Hankey and Heads Up on 27.4, while yet another of the British contingent, Selina Milnes, was lying fourth with the Irish-bred Cooley Snapchat on 27.5 going into cross-country day – just 0.6 penalty points separating the leading four.

It was a star-studded line-up after dressage, 43-year-old McNab a member of the Australian silver medal winning team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where 32-year-old Collett claimed team gold, while 42-year-old Hankey is one of the best-known and successful show-horse competitors on the British circuit.

His versatile Irish Sport Horse, Heads Up, was Working Hunter champion at the Horse of the Year Show in 2019 and finished second in the British 7-Year-Old Eventing Championship at Osberton this year. But the pair paid a big price when just over the cross-country optimum time of 9’ 04”, which left them with two time penalties and dropped them to overnight ninth place.

A total of 58 combinations headed out on the cross-country track in the 7-Year-Old championship and five were eliminated, while three retired and just 13 made it home within the optimum time.

McNab had every reason to get it absolutely right. A year ago, he and Cute Girl were eliminated in the 6-Year-Old Championship when missing a fence, but this time the pair cruised home and maintained their lead.

Surprised

“I was actually surprised I didn’t lose more time towards the end, so I came in a little bit quicker than I’d planned. But the round felt really good; she was really solid and she’s matured a lot from last year,” he said.

Collett was equally pleased after her cross-country run. “I’m very, very happy; he was a bit scared of the crowds, but he stayed very honest and kept answering the questions. It’s an awful lot for them to come here if they don’t have much experience and to see so many people and the fences. They are very beautiful and well-built but they are quite spooky for the horses, so it was a very educational day and I’m delighted with him,” she said after galloping home comfortably within the time with Outback.

“It’s such a big atmosphere here and tomorrow is another day and hopefully he comes out feeling well. He’s already exceeded all our expectations this week; he has performed brilliantly and fingers crossed he can do the same tomorrow.” And he did, leaving all the poles in place in the final phase while McNab’s Cute Girl did likewise.

Milnes added 0.8 time penalties to her tally, but still held on for third ahead of compatriots Gemma Tattersall with Johan-Some in fourth and Hankey who climbed back up to fifth when adding only 0.4 for time. British riders filled all the places from second to seventh, and the most prolific studbook in the top-seven was the ISH, taking third, fifth, sixth, and seventh spots.

But the Holsteiner, Cute Girl, was the golden girl, and after numerous attempts to make the podium at this prestigious fixture, McNab was plenty pleased with his result.

Great event

“Le Lion is one of those events we always love coming to, and it’s great when you are at this step of the podium, but at the same time it’s always a great event regardless. It’s great for the horses looking towards their future and even if we weren’t winning, we still enjoy it,” he said.

Collett said that in the final showjumping phase, “The time was very tight and the atmosphere in there was like a Championship, like a Badminton; these young horses haven’t experienced that, so I’m so proud of my horse!”

She echoed the sentiments of many when showering praise on the event organisers. “A massive thank you to the team at Le Lion. Every year they put on a phenomenal event and it’s so important for these young horses to bring them to a place like this – it’s a real honour to be here,” she said.

Results here

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

All Glory for Great Britain’s Golden Girls at Avenches

L to R – Sarah Bullimore (bronze), Nicola Wilson (gold), and Piggy March (silver). (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

British riders have long had a phenomenal record in the sport of Eventing, and they proved untouchable once again when not only clinching the team title but taking all the individual medals at the FEI Eventing European Championships 2021 in Avenches, Switzerland.

In the lead from day one they held on tight, and when this result is added to double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 and the team title along with individual silver at this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, they clearly reign supreme in every sense.

It was a tough day for the defending champions from Germany as the dream of a seventh victory for the team and a third consecutive individual gold medal for Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD didn’t come true, as they had to settle for silver. But in true sporting fashion the German team “elder,” Andreas Dibowski, said, “We won the silver, but we didn’t lose the gold. The Brits did an amazing job, and we just couldn’t beat them!”

Team Sweden stood on the third step of the podium.

First

Ros Canter and Allstar B were first of the British into the ring as the final showjumping phase got underway. Theirs was not a counting score for the team standings that left her side still out in front last night, but the pair who claimed double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 were back to their classy selves when producing a quality clear, and that proved a good omen for the rest of their team.

A total of 52 horse-and-athlete combinations made it through to this final test, with 13 nations still in the mix, and by the time it came down to the last ten riders the tension was palpable. As the action began, the Germans were just under 10 penalty points behind the British at the head of affairs, with France lying in bronze medal position another 18 points further adrift but with only three team members left after the elimination of Gwendolen Fer. So when Stanislas de Zuchowicz and Covadys de Triaval hit the first element of the double at fence nine and Jean Lou Bigot’s Utrillo du Halage left three fences on the floor, then French chances were slipping away.

Andreas Dibowski and FRH Corrida produced an opening clear for Germany before Anna Siemer and FRH Butts Avondale also fell victim to the first element of the triple combination. But Michael Jung steered fischerWild Wave home with nothing to add, and then only Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD were left to go.

However, it was only an individual medal Klimke was chasing by the time she took her turn, because as Dibowski said later, the British were just too good for the rest. Team member Kitty King’s Vendredi Biats hit the second fence, but Piggy March’s Brookfield Inocent was foot-perfect. And when Nicola Wilson’s JL Dublin went clear, she not only finalised the British tally at 73.1 for the winning team score, but she also had individual gold in her grasp while, lying fourth as the action began, March had the silver and British individual Sarah Bullimore had the bronze. It was a staggering result.

Pressure

Fifth-last to go, Bullimore piled the pressure on the remaining four with a fabulous clear from Corouet. And when Frenchman Maxime Livio, lying in bronze medal spot, faulted in the middle of the combination and then Klimke, holding silver, hit the vertical three from home, it would be an all-British individual podium for the seventh time in the history of these Championships. The last British threesome to do the same were Ian Stark (Glenburnie), Richard Walker (Jacana), and Karen Straker (Get Smart) at Punchestown (IRL) in 1991.

Meanwhile, Sweden also had plenty to celebrate when clears from both Malin Jesefsson (Golden Midnight) and Malin Petersen (Charly Brown) and a single error from Sara Algotsson Ostholt (Chicuelo) saw the team, that also included Christoffer Forsberg (Hippo’s Sapporo), rise from overnight sixth place to take bronze.

“I’m back in the team for first time in ten years and it’s great to be with the girls!” Forsberg said. “I’ve been really happy with the team spirit, and I want to thank the organisers very much for putting on this show.” And that was echoed by everyone else at the end of this extraordinary event that was put together so successfully in a few short months.

Trainer

At the post-competition press conference, Germany’s Ingrid Klimke said with a laugh, “I have one thing to say to the Brits – they stole our trainer!” referring to Britain’s Eventing High Performance coach Chris Bartle, who helped her country to many successes in previous years. “But I’m very happy for them; they did a wonderful job!” she added.

Her compatriot, the effusive Anna Meier, was thrilled to earn her first medal at Senior Championship level. “I feel like I’m always in a team with my horse, but to be in a team with these guys is wonderful; they’ve won millions of medals between them but this is my first!” she said, looking around at Dibowski, Klimke, and Jung.

Bullimore described her 10-year-old gelding Corouet as “just a freak of nature! He’s phenomenal in all phases; he could do pure show jumping and pure dressage; he’s unique,” she said. “He has a huge attitude in a small package, he knows how cool he is, and he’s been fantastic all week,” she added. Her individual bronze was an especially precious result because she bred the horse and also competed his dam at the FEI European Championships in Blair Castle (GBR) in 2015.

March, team gold medallist at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018 and team silver medallist at the last FEI European Eventing Championships two years ago, described her individual silver medal winning ride Brookfield Inocent as “definitely one of the best I’ve ever ridden – in all three phases he couldn’t have done any more!” And she added, “Personally, I think that if we’re ahead of Ingrid Klimke and Micky Jung then that’s a medal in itself, wherever we’d finish! This has just been a fabulous week!”

Reflected

Meanwhile, newly crowned individual European champion Wilson reflected on the enormity of it all with her trademark modesty. “This has been very very special, being with this fantastic group of girls who all get along really well. It’s been fun all the way and the horses have been phenomenal.

“It’s a first championship for Dublin; he missed a bit of time when I injured my neck (two years ago) and then Covid came long, but now I’m so proud for my owners. I was delighted with his dressage; it just felt very solid and good and then he stormed around the cross-country and produced a beautiful round in the show jumping. How lovely it is to have had him since he was a young horse and to build that lovely partnership and trust between us,” she said with quiet pride, adding, “Thank you to Switzerland for putting on these Championships!”

Gratitude

Everyone expressed their gratitude to the Organising Committee headed up by Jean-Pierre Kratzer, President of the Institut Equestre National d’Avenches, where this week’s event has taken place. A total of 21,000 spectators came through the gates of the fabulous venue, including over 10,000 on cross-country day.

“I built this place 20 years ago for racing, and to expand our business we then built a training centre for 150 horses. Last year during Covid, we were asked to help riders in preparation for Tokyo and we took the opportunity to plan for the future and help develop Eventing here,” he explained.

“When we got the opportunity to organise these Championships I talked with Mike Etherington-Smith in July about how to make it the best, and he asked if he could work with Martin Plewa. It was one opportunity for a lot of people and we took it and put it together in a few weeks with good team spirit. So I’m delighted to see all the teams happy and hear them say they want to come back; that’s the best thank you we could get!”

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Mixed Cross-Country Fortunes, but British Hold Fast Going into Final Day

Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin. (FEI/Richard Juillart)

When asked what she thought of the cross-country course after completing her Dressage test with JL Dublin at the FEI Eventing European Championships 2021 in Avenches, Switzerland on Thursday, Great Britain’s Nicola Wilson described it as “positively terrifying!” But on a day of mixed fortunes for the British side who still managed to maintain the lead they established on the opening day, the pair rose from third to the very top of the Individual rankings after a spectacular run that further stretched the gap between her team and the defending champions from Germany.

And it was a very exciting afternoon for France. An unfortunate tip-up for Gwendolen Fer and Romantic Love in the water at fence 23 piled plenty of pressure on her compatriots who, however, rose gallantly to the challenge to hold on to bronze medal spot going into the final Jumping phase.

The British tally of 69.1 leaves them just over nine penalty points ahead of Germany, while on 96.8 the French are a good distance behind. Team Switzerland shot up from ninth to fourth while the Irish climbed from eleventh to fifth, and the stage is set for a sizzling conclusion to the 35th edition of these Championships, which are taking place against the odds during these troubling Covid times.

It’s only six short weeks since course designer, Great Britain’s Mike Etherington-Smith, started work on the track that embraces the beautiful racing venue at Avenches, but the horses, riders, and the enthusiastic crowd that turned up to see Europe’s best battle it out were treated to a great day of sport.

And the British maintained their supremacy despite a disappointing performance from the reigning World Championship partnership of Ros Canter and Allstar B. Sitting in Individual silver medal spot as the day began, the pair plummeted to 55th with two run-outs late in the course.

Set things up

Piggy March and Brookfield Inocent produced one of just seven fault-free rounds to set things up for the British side.

“Everything is easy when you have a horse like him. The time was tight enough but he’s a real cruiser. What a horse and how lucky am I to have him!” she said.

And when Wilson followed suit, they were already looking very secure. Despite her earlier reservations, Wilson admitted that “the course rode beautifully, and my horse was very honest.” So when Kitty King and Vendredi Biats added just 0.8 time penalties to her dressage mark, then Canter’s additional 56 penalties could be dropped as they were comfortably in control.

German pathfinder Anna Siemer also had a great day, adding just 1.6 to her scoreline with FRH Butts Avondale. She was over the moon after her ride. “It was so much fun!” she said. “For her the dressage was done and now this is what we are here for! She’s like a pony; I know her for 10 years now, and from the moment she jumped her first cross-country fence, she was a cross-country machine!” said the rider who walked the track seven times in order to ensure she met with no surprises.

Andreas Dibowski was next out for the German side, adding 15.2 penalties to his scoreline with FRH Corrida. But Michael Jung pulled it back with a classic clear with the nine-year-old fischerWild Wave, demonstrating the skill that has earned the German superstar the title “The Terminator.”

“He’s a young horse but amazing, with a lot of talent in all three disciplines. Today he showed how light and easy he can gallop, and he has super endurance, he’s fast, and has a lot of scope for the bigger, tougher courses. Right now, all he needs is just more experience – to learn to be clever and to think. I’m really happy with him,” Jung said.

Weight of expectation

Now only the individual leader, Ingrid Klimke, was left to go for the German side, with a huge weight of expectation on her shoulders. If she can take the individual title she will be the first athlete in the long history of the FEI Eventing European Championships to do so with the same horse on three consecutive occasions. But 1.2 time penalties saw her lose her grip on pole position and she goes into the final phase just 0.5 penalties behind Wilson at the head of affairs.

“He was bold and brave, like he always is,” Klimke said of her beloved Bobby. “I had lots of time at the 7-minute mark, and then in the end there were two seconds (added) because I just couldn’t go any faster, especially in the turns. I had to take my time so I didn’t have a run-out. I had to be precise to the end and I felt it was the fastest I would like to go through the corners and the deeper ground. I thought I would make it, but unfortunately we didn’t – but he did a lovely job really and he finished full of himself!” she said.

Meanwhile, Jean Lou Bigot got the French off to a great start when delivering a fault-free run with Utrillo du Halage, but Gwendolen Fer’s fall left them looking very vulnerable. However, when Stanislas de Zuchowicz and the lovely grey Covadys de Triaval added only 14 time penalties to their score, the French situation began to stabilise. And he was thrilled with his result, produced under pressure.

“It was his first time at 4-Star level and my Chef d’Equipe told me I had to be clear, but my horse was fantastic! My job was to be careful about his balance because his jump is always fantastic, and his canter is always very good. We had a slip on the turn after fence 15 and that was a tricky moment, but I had the face of my coach in my head, and I knew we had to stay on our feet!” said the man from Fontainebleau who first rode for the French team in 2009.

Great round

And then Maxime Livio secured that bronze medal position definitively with a great round from Api du Libaire.

“The trainer told me to be quick enough to secure the bronze medal place but not to take any stupid risk like I might if I was only an individual rider, but the plan was not to take too big risk with that horse because he’s not really experienced. So I was quite comfortable with that. He (the horse) allowed me to take the straight route at 6/7, because he’s very straight. So I took that risk and he answered very well, but I just felt when I jumped the water when I came back on the race-track that his jumping was not as energetic at the beginning. So I decided okay, now we try to hold it together. He was a bit tired in the body but not in the mind. He was listening to me, looking at the fences, fully focused, and I’m very pleased because he fought with me to the very end for the French team. And also, his score is really good, so I am very happy!” Livio said.

It’s all so very close, and the result could go any which way on the exciting final day.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Super-Tight Contest Going into Cross-Country Day

Maxime Livio with Api du Libaire. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Great Britain maintained the lead in the Dressage phase, but there will only be a hair’s breadth between them and the defending team champions from Germany when the cross-country phase of the FEI Eventing European Championships 2021 gets underway.

A margin of 4.9 penalty points is all that separates the two sides as the best horse-and-athlete combinations from all across Europe continue to battle it out for the prestigious team and individual medals at these 35th bi-annual Championships.

Germany’s Ingrid Klimke took another step towards an historic first-ever three-in-a-row individual title with the same horse, when steering the brilliant SAP Hale Bob OLD into pole position in the Dressage arena. But Great Britain’s Ros Canter and Allstar B, who took double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games two years ago, came dangerously close to toppling them when third-last to go.

Scoring 20.6, Canter lies just 0.4 behind Klimke when the horses set out to take on the challenging cross-country track designed by Great Britain’s Mike Etherington-Smith, which consists of 40 jumping efforts and 32 fences over a distance of 5,678 metres that must be covered in 10 minutes 7 seconds to avoid time penalties.

And lying third, only 0.3 further behind, is Canter’s team-mate and first-day Dressage leader Nicola Wilson with JL Dublin, while a super test from Maxime Livio and his attractive 11-year-old grey gelding Api du Libraire leaves him individually fourth and secured third place for Team France.

Reshuffle

Klimke was always expected to reshuffle the order with her 17-year-old gelding whose career record includes Olympic team silver, individual World Championship bronze, and four European gold medals, the last two of the latter clinched on home ground in Luhmuehlen two years ago. He certainly didn’t disappoint again, but Bobby was full of beans before starting his test.

“Maybe he thought we were in cross-country already! I didn’t warm up for long because he knows all the movements and I thought it would be good if he was a bit fresh, because the ground is a bit deep (in the arena), but I didn’t know he was that fresh! I should have cantered a few more rounds outside!

“I had to take an extra loop to calm him down, but the moment I entered the ring, I knew exactly that he knows his job inside out and I could really enjoy it and I could ride very precisely from point to point. After so many years now, it is really a pleasure to ride through the test knowing he is absolutely focused and there is so much trust between us,” she pointed out.

She says the cross-country course reminds her of the track at Wiesbaden in Germany, “which feels like seven minutes in a jump-off – you can’t breathe very much!” But Bobby is a past-master over fences. “The good thing is that he has a very handy canter for the turns, and he doesn’t mind the ground,” she explained.

His lazy self

Canter gave the German star a real run for her money when third-last to go. Albie, as her 16-year-old horse is known to his friends, didn’t make it entirely easy for her though because, as she explained, “He was his usual lazy self! I wanted everyone to clap and cheer as we came in and he pricked his ears for about half a second but then he went ahhh… he’s always listening to me, and in a way it’s a benefit, but I was possibly sweating more than he was!” she said.

“But honestly, he’s just the most rideable horse I’ve ever had in a dressage test. He doesn’t change, regardless of the atmosphere or anything else; he just lets me ride for every mark, and that’s where his heart shines really and always has done. Time and again, he does mistake-free tests. It’s a lot of pressure coming out on him again (after their World Championship success), but I want to try and enjoy every minute because I know I haven’t got many left with him,” she added.

Impressive

While both Klimke and Canter’s horses are super-experienced, Livio’s fourth-place ride with Api du Libaire was all the more impressive because it’s this pair’s first Championship together, and you’d never have guessed it.

“We knew since the beginning this horse’s talent for the three phases is really nice; he can fight with the best horses in the world. This is his first Championship so it’s good to be where we are today and it’s a good score for the team, but it’s a three-day event also so we take it day by day,” said the 34-year-old Frenchman.

He described his handsome and characterful gelding as “a strange horse; he’s like a kid but not a bad kid, just someone who is pleased to be here and wants to see everything! My job is to show him a lot, and I’m pleased because he was totally connected to me, and when he is like that, he is a super student because he tries all the time,” he added.

Challenging

Meanwhile, looking ahead to the cross-country test, Canter said, “It’s a really challenging course in terms of the full circles we do and all the accuracy questions and the difference in surfaces which will affect horse’s balance. We’ll need to prepare for every fence, riding and planning the bits in between. Albie gets very wound up at the start but he’s a wise old man, so I’ll keep his warm-up limited and keep his energy and adrenaline for the course.”

Klimke said the most important thing will be to maintain the horse’s rhythm and “not lose any stride, just keep a wonderful flow,” all very possible perhaps when you are partnering a creature of the calibre of SAP Hale Bob OLD who she affectionately calls “the professor.”

Livio agreed. “The rider who can be fluent in their riding will do the best. This course is a good test of the ability of the rider to be fluent – if we manage to do that it will go well,” he said.

Team France lies only 7.6 penalty points behind the Germans who currently hold silver medal spot. But the French will need to be on the button because fantastic tests from Harald Ambros (Lexikon 2), Robert Mandl (Sacre-Coeur), and Lea Siegl (van Helsing P) moved Austria up into fourth, less than two points behind.

The Dutch team is in fifth place, Italy in sixth, Sweden in seventh, and Belgium in eighth, while the hosts from Switzerland lie ninth. Spain, Ireland, Russia, and Czech Republic fill the last four places.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Eva Froio and Emily Dougherty Earn Low Junior and Low Amateur Jumper Championship Titles

Emily Dougherty and SLF Peanut.

Devon, Pa. – Sept. 19, 2021 – The final day of the Devon Fall Classic kicked off early Sunday morning, this time featuring the final championship rounds of the show’s various jumper divisions in the famous Dixon Oval. The $5,000 Low Junior and Low Amateur Jumper Championship classes rounded out the day of festivities, with Eva Froio and Emily Dougherty taking home the top honors in their respective divisions.

New Jumper Division Champions Crowned

Prior to the $5,000 Low Junior and Low Amateur Jumper Championship classes, new champions were crowned in the $3,000 High Adult Amateur Jumper Championship, the $3,000 High Children’s Jumper Championship, the $1,500 Low Adult Amateur Jumper Championship, and the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Championship. Click here to read the full day’s results.

For additional information, please visit our website at www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Kaitlyn Williams and Cassio Melloni Top $25,000 Devon Fall Classic Grand Prix

Kaitlyn Williams and Cassio Melloni.

Devon, Pa. – Sept. 18, 2021 – The stadium surrounding the Dixon Oval at the Devon Fall Classic was packed with spectators from near and far in anticipation of the weekend’s highlight event, the $25,000 Devon Fall Classic Grand Prix. With the high energy of the night, Kaitlyn Williams and Cassio Melloni rode quickly and carefully to beat out the competition and wrap up the evening with a victory gallop around the arena.

Read more here.

Lucy Matz and Jillz Earn the $7,500 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper Championship

Just prior to the $25,000 Devon Fall Classic Grand Prix, the $7,500 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper class took place under the stadium lights. Lucy Matz and Jillz, a 7-year-old KWPN mare owned by Dorothy Matz, were first to jump clear in the class with a time of 70.186 seconds. Ultimately, Matz took home the win and earned the championship title in the $7,500 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper division. Kristin Glover and her own Eyecatcher, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, finished in second place and took home the reserve championship ribbon.

For additional information, please visit our website at www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Germany Takes All Gold in U25, and a New Dutch Star Shines

Semmieke Rothenberger and Flanell. (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

German U25 riders matched their Senior counterparts when claiming all the gold medals in the FEI Dressage European Championship U25 at Hagen (GER) where a new Dutch star was born.

Semmieke Rothenberger (Flanell), Raphael Netz (Elastico), Ellen Richter (Vinay NRW), and Ann-Kathrin Lindner (FBW Sunfire) grabbed Team gold, pinning The Netherlands’ Devendra Dijkstra (Hero), Febe van Zwambagt (Edson), Jessica Poelman (Chocolate Cookie RDP), and Jasmien de Koeyer (Esperanza) into silver medal spot.

Sweden took the bronze when Nathalie Wahlund (Cerano Gold), Jennifer Lindvall (Midt West Casino), Elin Mattson (Beckham), and Lina Dolk (Languedoc) pipped Denmark by a narrow margin.

Germany’s Rothenberger and Netz and The Netherlands’ Poelman posted the three highest scores in the team competition and continued to be locked in battle for the individual and Freestyle titles over the last two days.

Grand Prix

In Saturday’s Grand Prix which decided the Individual medals, Netz squeezed Rothenberger off the top step of the podium by just 0.052%. This a young man with a remarkable story. His family had no connection with horses, but he was born with a passion to ride.

“When I was four, I was allowed to get on a horse for lunging lessons; they lunged me for over one year and then my father said if he’s tough enough to do it for a year without reins, then he really wants to do it! So we rented horses a lot and when I was nine they bought me my first pony. They had no idea what they were doing and neither did I, so they bought a three-year-old Haflinger! We grew together, we learned together, and then when he was seven and I was 13, we did our first Small Tour together and got our first Prix St George placement,” Netz explained.

He was talent-spotted by Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl when he was just 17. “She sent me an email asking if I wanted to ride for her – I thought it was a fake! But we ended up having a call and I took the train to Bavaria and stayed there for four days. And I just fitted in perfectly. So I finished school, packed my things, and moved,” said the young rider who has been working for the German star for the last five years.

Partnered with Elastico, who is owned by Japanese rider Akane Kuroki, Netz’ career is blossoming. He describes the stallion as “a cool dude! It’s a great feeling just to enter the arena on a beautiful horse like this. Growing together with him wasn’t that easy because he was used to different training, but we did our first competition one year ago and we finished third,” he explained. Kuroki saw the special relationship the young German was building with her horse and generously offered to let him ride it.  “I’m very thankful to her. She said go for it and we went for it and here we are!” Netz said.

Freestyle

Rothenberger had her day to shine when taking Freestyle gold. Netz’s end result was a score of 81.210 while Rothenberger’s mare Flannel posted 81.955 for a brilliant performance.

This 22-year-old rider, who hails from a family steeped in the Dressage world, already has a lifetime of Championship experience, winning multiple titles over the last decade at Pony, Junior, and Young Rider level and she is continuing in the same vein in U25.

“This has been such a perfect Championship; it’s super organised here and the Kasselmann family did an amazing job!” Rothenberger said.

She was thrilled with her mare. “I’ve always believed that Flanell has no limits and I still do. This horse is absolutely incredible. I’ve never had anything like her and it’s such a blessing to go in there with such a horse knowing that as long as I, the rider, don’t make a mistake, this horse can go for it. She’s shown it in this Championship; yesterday we had a rider mistake, but I’m incredibly happy with how she’s done at her first European Championship.

“I got her in May last year and due to Corona, we had a lot of time to get to know each other. But the show season didn’t quite get going, so this is only her fourth competition with me, and she just keeps getting better!” she added.

Bronze went to Poelman whose Freestyle ride was a pleasure to watch, filled with lightness and harmony.

A big surprise

“I never expected a medal – it’s a big surprise even to ride here!” said the 20-year-old who hails from close to Amsterdam. “I have this horse only since November last year and we only went to one international show together before. I rode international in Ponies and Juniors but never at a really high level; this is my very first Championship,” Poelman explained.

She says her sudden rise to stardom is all due to the lovely gelding Chocolate Cookie RDP, which was previously competed by Dutch counterpart Dana van Lierop. Poelman’s trainer Lotje Schoots put the pair together and it’s clearly the perfect partnership.

“He is really nice and very easy to ride, and I have a great connection with him. He is always very willing,” said the young rider who produced wonderful piaffe and passage from the 14-year-old gelding.

She only competed for fun until last year when she was invited to ride in an observation trial by Chef d’Equipe Monique Peutz. “We had winter training for riders and Jessica told me she had Chocolate Cookie and I said bring him along, and it looked so nice. First she was thinking she’d start slowly, but I said no, there’s an international competition in Exloo, so just give it a try, and she did and she did very well – now she has one silver and two bronze European U25 medals!” said the Dutch team manager.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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