Category Archives: Competitions

A First Major Victory for Sameh El Dahan, Winner of the CP ‘International’

Sameh El Dahan winning the CP ‘International’ (Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk)

After some light mid-morning rain, the Calgary skies cleared and 38 of the world’s most talented horse and rider partnerships accepted Venezuelan course designer Leopoldo Palacios’s challenge to jump his huge 1.70m course in the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex.

Third in the first round’s starting order, Germany’s Andre Thieme and his 10-year-old bay gelding, Aretino 13 produced a faultless display in a time of 88.84 s. However, not one of the next 30 riders to follow were able to produce a clear round, which was testament to the immensity of the contest the field was up against. It was Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan who broke the drought, piloting Suma’s Zorro, his 14-year-old mare, to the second clear round of the competition. Palacios’s course continued to be ruthless, claiming the scalps of some big-name horse and rider pairings, and just five further clear rounds were recorded.

The second round proved too tough for 10 of the 12 combinations that progressed from round one, and in the end, it was just The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan, who produced double clears, and in doing so set up a nail-biting jump-off. Van der Vleuten was first to go, going clear and setting a quick time of 42.98 s. El Dahan confidently entered the tense International Ring and breezed the course, going clear and triumphing over the Dutchman in a time of 42.21 s, thereby being crowned the new live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

So Sameh, what does winning a Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major mean to you?

I’m delighted and absolutely over the moon. When I looked up at the big screen, because I wasn’t sure of the time, and I saw first place, it was a very difficult feeling to explain. To be a winner of one of the four prestigious Grands Prix, as part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, is something I think every rider in the world dreams of.

Tell us a little bit about Suma’s Zorro.

Suma’s Zorro was bought as a foal by Joanne Sloan Allen and Sycamore Stables. When she was brought to the yard she jumped a five-bar gate when she was just six months old, so they knew they had a jumper on their hands. Joanne did an amazing job building her up until she was about seven years old, and then I also started riding her. Today Joanne does most of the riding, and I only jump her, so she’s done a great job.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Youth Shines Bright as Israel’s Sternbach Grabs the Gold in Tashkent

Nadav Sternbach and Aragon (FEI/Yong Teck Lim).

Israel’s Nadav Sternbach (18) scooped the FEI World Jumping Challenge Final 2018 title in a nail-biting jump-off in Tashkent (UZB). It came down to a head-to-head against Argentina’s Richard Kierkegaard (15), and there was little between the two of them in the end.

“I came to just have fun, but this is really exciting!” said Sternbach who left 19 competitors from 15 countries in his wake as he seized the crown at this 17th edition of the event which moved to Central Asia for the very first time this year.

All the competing athletes qualified in 2017 when the Challenge was also used by 44 countries as the official qualifier for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires (ARG). A total of 23 out of 30 athletes who are on the way to the YOG have made the cut through the Challenge series, and six of those used this week’s fixture as the perfect final run, because, just like at the YOG, the biggest test of all is that they must ride a horse they’ve never sat on before.

The flags of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Israel, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay, Senegal, South Africa, Uzbekistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all flew high as the Warm-up class got underway on Thursday when the host nation’s Abdushukur Sobirjonov (16) steered Rejayna into the winner’s enclosure. The age range of riders varied from 16 to 55, but it was the younger generation that dominated from start to finish, Turgunboev topping the line-up in Friday’s First Qualifier and Kyrgyzstan’s Kamil Sabitov, who turns 18 next week, pinning Guatemala’s Jose Ignacio Rosal (23) into runner-up spot in the Second Qualifier in which Sternbach finished third.

There were nine starters in the Farewell class for those who didn’t make it through to the medal-decider, and victory went to Bolivia’s Gonzalo Bedoya Aguilar (18) who produced the only clear round with Coupette. There was great excitement when Hamoudi Kazoun (35), Senegal’s first-ever entry for this event, finished second with just a single time penalty while the next two places went to Zimbabwe’s Brianagh Clark (17) and Zambia’s Anna Bunty Howard (16) whose next stop is the YOG.

All 10 of those qualified for the Final started again on a zero score, but although five managed to stay clear in the first round, only Sternbach and Kierkegaard kept a clean sheet second time out over the course designed by Australia’s John Vallance. The hosts were already happy, because Turgunboev, riding Ambassador, had secured the third step of the podium for Uzbekistan before Kierkegaard led the way into the jump-off against the clock. And when he lowered the second fence, the young Argentinian, who claimed Children’s team gold at the FEI South American Championships in both 2015 and again in 2016, galloped on to put in the quickest possible time on the board.

So, last into the arena, Sternbach knew that he had four faults in 64.8 seconds to beat. But his confidence took a major blow when he hit the very first fence.

“I meant to go in and jump a slow, nice clear and then the fence fell – luckily it was number one, so I had the time to catch up, but I was super-stressed trying to make it home as quick as I could!” Sternbach said after posting the faster time of 61.87 for the win.

He knew he was fortunate to be partnered with the 15-year-old gelding Aragon, who is normally ridden by Uzbekistan’s Timus Sadikov. “He’s a really nice horse but it took a little bit of time to get used to him. In the Warm-up class we had 13 faults but that was a bit of a wake-up call and we got a lot better after that! He’s very strong and has a very big stride and the courses were built on short distances which was not to my advantage, but he’s a really good jumper and he’s very careful, and as the competition went on we connected really well. He really helped me, especially in that jump-off!” Sternbach said.

Result

FEI World Jumping Challenge Final 2018: Gold – Aragon (Nadav Sternbach) ISR 0/0 61.87; Silver – Ramiro (Richard Kierkegaard) ARG 0/0 64.8; Bronze – Ambassador (Saidamirkhon Turgenboev) UZB 0/1.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’: SUNCOR Winning Round 1.50m

Philipp Weishaupt (Photo: Spruce Meadows Media / Mike Sturk)

29 horse and rider combinations navigated the Leopoldo Palacios-designed course in Spruce Meadows’ iconic International Ring, each hoping to take home the spoils in the SUNCOR Winning Round at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’.

Local favourites Eric Lamaze and his 22-year-old prodigy, Kara Chad, wowed the excited spectators in the arena’s packed stands, both going clear and posting impressive times of 71.10 s with Chacco Kid and 71.45 s with Viva, respectively, well within Palacios’s 74-second limit. Also progressing to the second round was Calgarian Jim Ifko and his 10-year-old bay stallion, Un Diamant des Forets, who went clear in a time of 71.80 s. Seven further riders from six nations successfully negotiated the Venezuelan course designer’s tough challenge to set up a 10-pairing showdown in the Winning Round, with notable top-class riders including The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt.

First to go was Ireland’s Connor Swail, setting the early pace after going clear in a time of 54.38 s. Five-time Major winner Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid demonstrated the strength of their bond by going double clear, while Lamaze’s mentee, Kara Chad, piloted Viva superbly before clipping the final rail. France’s Edward Levy, Ireland’s Daniel Coyle, and Australia’s Rowan Willis all put rails down to finish below Chad in the final standings. Jim Ifko notched up a double clear, fractionally beating Lamaze’s time. Philipp Weishaupt and Solitaer 41 entered the Ring looking sharp and impressively knocked Swail off top spot in a time of 53.25 s. Last to go was Maikel van der Vleuten, but his best wasn’t good enough to deny Weishaupt a well-deserved victory.

Weishaupt – who has had a memorable week after securing victory aboard Sansibar 89 in Thursday’s CANA Cup – etched his and his 10-year-old grey gelding Solitaer 41’s names on to the SUNCOR Winning Round trophy after a jumping display of the highest order.

Having won the CP ‘International’ in 2017 aboard LB Convall, the duo heads into Sunday’s $3 million blue ribbon class full of confidence and are sure to push the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender and Weishaupt’s fellow countryman Marcus Ehning all the way.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Regional Qualifying Starts This Weekend for the 2018 US Dressage Finals

“It’s such a nice finish to the year in coming to the Finals because it really feels like a national championship. You hear the announcer saying riders’ names from all over the country, and it’s definitely something special to be a part of.”

For the last four years, rider/trainer Michael Bragdell has wrapped up his competition season by bringing horses to Lexington, KY for the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® on behalf of Hilltop Farm in Colora, MD. And once again, this unique championship show is a “can’t miss” event on his calendar as he prepares several mounts for the upcoming Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Regional Championships, where Bragdell hopes to qualify for a coveted invitation to return to the Kentucky Horse Park this November.

Every year excitement for the US Dressage Finals and Regional Championships seems to grow, and as competition gets underway this week in Region 4, it appears 2018 will be no exception: show officials report a 23% increase in the number of Regional Championship rides from when the competition was held at the same venue in Mason City, Iowa two years ago. Anticipation will only build as additional championships are scheduled across the country in the coming weeks, including Region 6 and 8 on September 20-23; Region 7 on September 27-30; Regions 5 and 9 during the week of October 4-7; and wrapping up with an exciting final weekend of qualifying in Regions 1, 2, and 3 on October 11-14. Besides providing a pathway for competitors to qualify for November’s US Dressage Finals, each of the nine Regional Championships will offer over $20,000 in prize money and awards, for a whopping total of more than $180,000 for the season.

Bragdell has already found his way to the winner’s circle at the US Dressage Finals several times and will compete in the upcoming Great American/USDF Region 1 Championships in Virginia in pursuit of qualifying 2017 Intermediate II Open Champion Qredit Hilltop, two-time Finals Champion Sternlicht Hilltop, and newcomer SenSation HW for this year’s Finals. He will be joined by Hilltop Farm Assistant Trainer Jessica Fay, who is also hoping to punch her ticket for her first trip to Kentucky.

As an internationally-renowned center for sport horse breeding and training, Hilltop Farm has made the US Dressage Finals an important part of their successful program. “The Finals have a real championship feel to them – the venue at the Kentucky Horse Park, especially the Alltech Arena, offers a ‘big’ environment for the horses that is important for their development and confidence,” said Managing Director Natalie DiBerardinis, who has attended the Finals three times to cheer on Hilltop Farm entries. “Our country is so large that most riders stay within their region, so to get exposure to top horses and riders from around the country gives you an entirely different perspective.

“The Finals also get a lot of coverage through the livestreaming, press coverage, etc. and that can be a great boost for a stallion, sales horse, or farm/trainer’s overall program,” DiBerardinis continued. “And there’s something for everyone: for the young horses, it offers an alternative goal for some that for a variety of reasons may not be pointed towards the young horse programs; for trainers with adult amateur students, it’s a great opportunity to combine their own championship goals with their students’ goals; and the Regions Cup competition adds a fun element as well. It’s just an extremely well-run and fun show, which keeps growing and each year seems to get better and better.”

As a reminder for all competitors, a horse/rider combination must declare their intention to participate in the US Dressage Finals by completing the Declaration of Intent form by midnight on the day prior to the first day of their Regional Championship competition (including any open class day before the start of championship classes). There is no fee to declare, but horse/rider combinations must declare at the level(s) and eligible division(s) they intend to compete in at the US Dressage Finals. Declarations may be submitted at this link: https://www.usdf.org/usdressagefinals/competitors/eiq.asp.

Don’t miss your chance to compete! The US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® is a unique national head-to-head competition which offers a wealth of championship titles and over $100,000 in prize money, all while showcasing adult amateur and open riders from across the country in Training Level to Grand Prix. To learn more about the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, download competition information, declare and nominate for the Finals, and sign up to receive news and updates, visit the official event website at www.usdressagefinals.com.

Source: Yellow Horse Marketing for the US Dressage Finals

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games: 11 Nations Making Their YOG Debut

Photo: YOG 2014 individual medallists Emily Fraser (NZL) gold (centre), Martina Campi (ARG) silver (left), Jake Hunter (AUS) bronze (right). (Richard Juilliart/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 5 September 2018 — A total of 30 highly talented equestrian athletes from six continents have earned their tickets to represent their nations at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) – the world’s largest multi-sport youth event – in Buenos Aires (ARG) next month. And 11 nations will be making their YOG debut.

The athletes, aged between 15 and 18 years, have made the grade after a series of tough global qualifiers, including the FEI World Jumping Challenge series, European and Regional Championships and wider international youth events.

“Representing your country at a young age, at such a prestigious event, is an undeniable honour,” said FEI President Ingmar De Vos. “The YOG is a springboard to the Olympic Games and to the FEI World Equestrian Games. The international equestrian community wishes all our YOG athletes the best for this very important equestrian career stepping stone!”

Team spirit

Every equestrian athlete at the YOG will have the challenge of competing on borrowed horses, which is a major test of earned trust and combined courage.

The athletes will be introduced to their horses, which have been carefully selected by a group of experts in the months running into the Games, for the very first time on 4 October, just four days before the equestrian events start on 8 October.

All athletes will then compete in the Team competition – with a twist – on 8-9 October followed by the Individual competitions on 12-13 October.

“The YOG teams are composed of athletes from the same continent, so this is not just a test of the ability of our athletes to bond with their horses, but also their capacity to bond with each other as they bid for a team medal,” the FEI President explained.

Historic venue

The YOG Equestrian events will be held at the historic Club Hipico Argentino, founded in 1909, and nestled in the Buenos Aires’ Green Park district, famous for its forest and lakes.

The YOG Equestrian events will see 30 athletes from 30 nations compete: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Great Britain, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Qatar, South Africa, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Eleven National Olympic Committees will be making their YOG debut: Bolivia, Haiti, Hungary, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Zambia.

About the Youth Olympic Games (YOG)www.buenosaires2018.com

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which were launched in Singapore 2010, were created to reach out to young athletes worldwide, inspiring young people to take part in sport and adopt and live by the Olympic values.

The 2018 YOG will bring together almost 4,000 talented young athletes aged from 15 to 18 from 206 countries around the world for a 12-day period.

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will take place from 6-18 October 2018.

Inside the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Steve Guerdat riding Alamo at CHIO Aachen 2018 (Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

On 9 September 2018 the international equestrian community will focus its attention on the world’s top show jumpers, as they compete at the third Major of the year, the CP ‘International,’ presented by Rolex, at the CSIO 5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’. More than 87,000 spectators are expected to descend on the show and organisers are promising five days of spectacular competition.

Leopoldo Palacios, the experienced Venezuelan course designer, will set the course for the CP ‘International’ and is expected to lay down a demanding but fair challenge. Show jumping’s finest horse and rider combinations will take centre stage, all hoping to add one of the year’s most prestigious competitions to their record of top-level achievements.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

With the sport’s most revered horse and rider pairings due to compete in the CP ‘International,’ there are several strong contenders on target to take this Rolex Major title win.

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Marcus Ehning (GER) – who started his Rolex Grand Slam journey at the CHIO Aachen in July riding Pret a Tout to victory in the Rolex Grand Prix – comes to Spruce Meadows in scintillating form. He won the Rolex Grand Prix at the Stephex Masters on another one of his talented horses, Comme Il Faut 5. The former world number one ranked rider will be vying for victory in the CP ‘International’ in the hope that his Rolex Grand Slam journey continues, setting him up for a shot at the Rolex Grand Slam title at the CHI Geneva in December.

Having impressively competed in all 17 Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Majors since the initiative’s inception in 2013, Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat (SUI) undoubtedly has the skill and firepower to ride his way to the top of the leaderboard in the CP ‘International’. The Swiss maestro jumped clear in the first two rounds of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen 2018, finishing in a respectable fifth place.

Shortly after winning the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in 2017, Kent Farrington (USA) had a fall at the Winter Equestrian Festival that resulted in a broken leg. Back in action three months later and on top form, Farrington is fresh from his victory in the Winning Round class at the Spruce Meadows CSI 5* in July and is looking to add a Rolex Major to his tally of wins in 2018. The internationally renowned athlete is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the world making him a formidable contender for the CP ‘International’ title.

Rolex Testimonee and local hero, Eric Lamaze (CAN), has notched up multiple wins this year. In July he won the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at CSI 5* Spruce Meadows riding Fine Lady 5, who jumped an immaculate two rounds, recording the only double clear. Lamaze will be aiming to replicate this in the iconic International Ring where the CP ‘International’ is held. With home advantage on his side and an impeccable knowledge of the arena, Lamaze is a firm favourite.

A consistently solid competitor at Spruce Meadows over the past few years is Lorenzo de Luca (ITA). De Luca and his chestnut gelding, Halifax van het Kluizebos are looking an impressive partnership after picking up multiple victories this year, including the Rolex Grand Prix of Rome at the CSIO 5* Rome Piazza di Siena in May.

After jumping well in the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen in July 2018 – a title that he brilliantly won in 2017 – Gregory Wathelet (BEL) will be aiming to secure his second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of his career in the CP ‘International’. With a large selection of top horses to choose from and a wealth of experience of what it takes to win events at the very pinnacle of the sport, Wathelet will be in a strong position to take this Major.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Camryn Halley Concludes Southeast Medal Finals with Junior Medal Finals Win

Photo: Camryn Halley and I’ll Say JSF.

Tampa, Fla. – Sept. 2, 2018 – The 2018 Southeast Medal Finals concluded Sunday, September 2, with horses and riders returning to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center to vie for championship titles. Coming off of a win in the Equitation Team Challenge, Camryn Halley and I’ll Say JSF, owned by Laura Barrett-Gurtis, brought home another blue as they claimed first place in the Junior Medal Finals sponsored by One K. Later in the afternoon, Marcelo Barros and Falcon Eye WB rode to victory in the $2,500 1.15m Mini Prix sponsored by CWD.

The first class of the morning, the Junior Medal Finals, drew a competitive field of young riders to the Lykes Indoor Arena. The technical course offered riders the chance to showcase their handiness and adjustability through bending lines and opportunities to take an inside track. After the first round, Halley and I’ll Say JSF led the class with a score of 83. Madison Ryan and Caprio, owned by Jai Smith Rezac, followed close behind with their score of 81. Also in contention for the top spot was third place rider Makaylah Jones riding Zeeland, owned by Alexandra Daley, with their score of 80.

For the work-off round, the judges elected to challenge riders to compete over fences. The course remained the same as round one; however, the work-off asked riders to trot the second fence, halt after the end jump, and counter-canter to the final fence. The second round could earn any of the top three riders the leading title, but it was Halley’s impressive skill in the ring that put her on top. Halley executed a flawless round and caught the attention of the judges as she was the only rider to land in a counter-canter prior to heading to the final fence. She received the top second round score of 90 to secure the first place finish with a total score of 173.

Ryan and Caprio would hold their second place position after earning a score of 81 for a total score of 162. Rounding out the top three would be Jones and Zeeland after receiving their work-off score of 80 and a final total of 160.

One of the other highlight events of the day, the $2,500 1.15m Mini Prix sponsored by CWD, attracted plenty of hopeful competitors to the Grand Prix ring for their shot at the purse. It was Barros riding Falcon Eye WB, owned by WB Equestrian Enterprise, that came out on top to earn the lion’s share of the pot. Barros was the first rider on course, going clean and setting the standard for the jump-off time with a time of 38.260 seconds.

Riders that followed would attempt to catch his speedy time, but Barros was the only rider to carefully complete a double clear round. Juan Gamboa aboard Classic Z, owned by Jennifer Gamboa, rode a faster jump-off than Barros, finishing in 35.078 seconds, but had an unfortunate rail on course. Gamboa would ultimately receive second place for his efforts. Rounding out the top three was another quick, 4-fault jump-off contender, Amy Foster riding Persimmon, owned by Leeann Ablin. Foster and Persimmon dropped the last rail on course, finishing their jump-off in 36.204 seconds.

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

Halley, Dayner, Jones, and Buda Come Out on Top in SMF Equitation Team Challenge

Photo: Camryn Halley and I’ll Say JSF.

Tampa, Fla. – Sept. 1, 2018 – Horses and riders returned to the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida for the second day of the 2018 Southeast Medal Finals. Saturday marked the first rounds of finals getting underway in all three rings. Outside of finals competition, the day also featured the crowd-favorite Equitation Team Challenge, sponsored by SmartPak, as well as the Pony Handy Hunter Classic.

The highlight event of the evening, the Equitation Team Challenge, tasked three teams of young riders to form and execute a plan around an equitation course without any help from a trainer. The composite score from each of the team’s four members would total a final score, dropping the lowest score for each team. Each individual rider had the option to jump at either the 2’6” or 3′ height, with the majority electing to tackle the higher fences.

Camryn Halley and I’ll Say JSF, members of Team 3, held the highest score for their team as well as the entire class with an 86. Also on Team 3 was Schuyler Dayner and Gambino riding to an 81, Makaylah Jones and Zeeland receiving a 73, and Emily Buda aboard By Design. After dropping the lowest score, Team 3 would ultimately come out on top with a composite score of 240 – a whopping 18 point lead over the second place team.

Team 2 would finish in second place for their total score of 222, with efforts from Hadley Wimsatt, Macie Sousa, Valerie Vogel, and Mckenzie Kreilich. Third place was awarded to Team 3, which included Caitlin Hooper, Sydney Bounds, Alexis Cruz, and Leah Harrison for their total score of 173.

Earlier in the day, pony riders took to the Stampede covered arena to compete in the $500 Pony Handy Hunter Classic, sponsored by KL Select. The class was judged over only one handy round of competition, and without a classic phase to rely on, each rider needed to put their best foot forward during their only turn on course. Small, medium and large ponies and their riders all competed in the class, jumping the series of fences set at 2′, 2’6″ and 2’9″ dependent upon size.

The class winner was 12-year-old Kendall Dean and Zoolander, a large pony owned by Madison Spangle, claiming the blue with a score of 82. Finishing second to Dean was Isabel Bertelsen riding her own mount Tazmanian Devil with a score of 70. Rounding out the top three in the class was Emma Arnhols riding Cecilia Perry’s Colorful Scenario to a score of 69.

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

Entries for 2018 American Gold Cup Close Sept. 6

Photo: Lucy Deslauriers and Hester at the 2017 American Gold Cup.

North Salem, N.Y. – Aug. 31, 2018 – The closing date for entries for the 2018 American Gold Cup, returning to Old Salem Farm Sept. 26-30, is fast approaching with a deadline of Thursday, Sept. 6! Don’t miss your chance to compete at one of the most highly regarded show jumping events in the country.

Exhibitors can conveniently submit entries electronically via Show Management System™. In addition, FEI exhibitors must also be entered by their national federation into the FEI entry system. Definite entries are due by Sept. 16. Download the prize list and entry forms.

Competition in 2018 will play host to a number of important FEI ranking events, culminating with the prestigious $204,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W on Sunday, Sept. 30, where top athletes will compete for the illustrious American Gold Cup.

The American Gold Cup has been selected as one of only seven events that comprise the East Coast division of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. Athletes compete in the league at events all across North America in order to qualify for the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final to be held next in Gothenburg, Sweden, April 3-7, 2019.

In addition, the American Gold Cup will feature a full array of jumper classes including divisions for Children and Adult Jumpers, Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers and the exciting Open Jumpers.

For ticketing and more information, visit theamericangoldcup.com.

Japan Impresses with Three-Time Gold in Jakarta

Malaysia’s Qabil Ambak Dato’ Mahamad Fathil with Rosenstolz. (FEI/Yong Teck Lim)

All-gold in Eventing along with victory in Team Dressage and silver medal spot in Team Jumping ensured Japan was the winning-most nation in the equestrian events of the 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta – Palembang, Indonesia. Held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle, the Asiads, as the Games are also known, is the biggest sporting event in the world with a massive 12,000 athletes taking part. Equestrian sport was introduced at the 9th Games in New Delhi (IND) in 1982, and competitions are conducted under FEI Rules.

Dressage

Jacqueline Siu (35) was the show-stealer in Dressage when securing Hong Kong’s first-ever equestrian medal at an Asian Games while also realising a dream of her own. The British-based rider narrowly missed the individual podium when finishing fourth twice before. However, this time around, partnering the 13-year-old JC Fuerst on Tour which was acquired by the Hong Kong Jockey Club from young German star Anna Abbalen, she climbed all the way to the coveted top step with victory in the Freestyle ahead of Malaysia’s Mohd Qabil Ambak Dato’ Mahamad Fathil (Rosenstolz) in silver and Korea’s Hyeok Kim (Degas K) in bronze.

Qabil Ambak topped the scoreboard in the Prix St Georges which decided the Team medals, but it was the consistency of the Japanese foursome that included Rio Olympians Masanao Takahashi (Fabriano) and Akane Kuroki (Toots) along with Shunsuke Terui (Alias Max) and Kazuki Sado (Djuice) that decided the destination of the 2018 Dressage team title. A second-place finish individually for 23-year-old Hyeok Kim helped Korea to silver, while Thailand’s bronze medal result was bolstered by a good performance from 24-year old Pakjira Thongpakdi (Hispania).

Eventing

The Japanese really got into their stride when taking both team and individual gold in Eventing. They enjoyed a convincing 38.9 margin of victory over India in the team competition in which Thailand claimed the bronze. And to put the icing on the Japanese cake, Yoshiaki Oiwa (42) pinned India’s Fouaad Mirza and China’s Alex Hua Tian into silver and bronze on the individual medal podium.

Yoshi, as Oiwa is best known, is a three-time Olympian with many successes during his long career. And when he shared the spotlight in the medal ceremony with team-mates Takayuki Yumira (37), Kenta Hiranaga (30) and Ryuzo Kitajima (32) he wasn’t taking all the credit.

“As a competitor, you do what you can – the others could have won gold without any help from me!” — Yoshiaki Oiwa (Japan)

It was a much closer affair on the individual leaderboard, however, when, riding Bart L JRA, his gold-medal-winning margin was a relatively modest 3.7 penalty points as he completed on 22.7 while India’s silver medallist Mirza was not far behind on his final tally of 26.40 with Seigneur Medicott. The last individual medal awarded to a rider from India went to Raghubir Singh in 1982, so there were big celebrations in the Team India camp with this result after a long 36-year wait.

Bronze medallist, Hua Tian, said these Asian Games were his “first steps on the road to the Tokyo Olympics,” and that’s a road that many of those competing in Jakarta are also hoping to follow over the next year and more.

Jumping

Japan had to settle for silver in Jumping when a world-class group of athletes from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dominated. However, Abdullah Al Sharbatly (Carrera), Khaled Al Eid (Kayenna of de Rocky Mounten), Khaled Al Mobty (Desert Storm II), and Ramzy Alduhami (Ted) only edged out the Japanese by fewer than two points at the end of a tight competition in which Qatar lined up in bronze, almost eight points further behind.

The Saudi side were super-experienced, Al Sharbatly (35) claimed individual silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) in 2010 and team bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Al Eid (49) took individual bronze at the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000, and four-time Olympian Al Duhami (46) was standing on an Asian Games podium for the third time in his career. A total of 17 teams started, and it was a member of the fourth-placed Kuwaiti side, Ali Alkhorafi (28), who claimed the individual title.

Riding the 11-year-old mare, Cheril, he produced one of just two double-clear performances on the final day, the other posted by UAE’s Sheika Latifa Al Maktoum (Cobolt 8) who eventually lined up in seventh spot. Qatar’s Sheikh Ali Al Thani (35), who finished sixth individually at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, stood on the second step of the individual podium while Saudi Arabia’s Alduhami claimed the bronze.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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