Category Archives: Competitions

Another Emotional Victory for Eric Lamaze at Spruce Meadows

Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid.  Photo by Starting Gate Communications.

Calgary, Alberta – Canada’s Eric Lamaze scored his second major victory at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament, winning the $133,700 Suncor Energy Winning Round on Saturday, September 7, in Calgary, AB.

Hot off their victory in the $133,700 1.60m CANA Cup on Thursday, September 5, Lamaze and Chacco Kid, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Come On) owned by the Chacco Kid Group, returned to the international ring to repeat their winning ways.  The $133,700 Suncor Energy Winning Round is held in a format that sees the top 10 ranked riders following the opening round return for an all-deciding second round where the fastest clear wins.  Lamaze had the advantage of going last in the order and knew exactly what he had to do to win.

The 2008 Olympic Champion left nothing to chance, putting on a breath-taking display of world-class show jumping for the huge crowd as he tackled the testing 1.50m track set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.  As he sailed over the final fence and through the timers, the clock flashed 44.73 seconds, eclipsing the time of 46.62 seconds that had been set by Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca riding Limestone Grey.  For the second time, victory belonged to Lamaze and Chacco Kid at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament.

The victory was an emotional one for Lamaze, who publicly revealed in June that he has been battling a brain tumour.  After praising his “clever” mount Chacco Kid, Lamaze dedicated his victory to a long-time friend who was also a winner in the International Ring during her competitive riding career.

“My good friend, Kim Kirton, is here,” said Lamaze, 51, as he was being presented with the Suncor Energy trophy.  “She doesn’t travel too much but when she does, good things seem to happen.  Kimmy, this one is for you!”

Lamaze now turns his attention to competing with Coco Bongo as a member of the Canadian team in the $530,00 BMO Nations’ Cup, also on Saturday, September 7.  He will close out the weekend by riding his 2016 Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, in Sunday’s $3 million CP International, presented by Rolex.  Lamaze has won the event twice before, in 2007 and 2011, both times riding the legendary Hickstead.

Lamaze is the all-time money winner at Spruce Meadows, having amassed more than $6 million in career winnings at the iconic Canadian show jumping venue.

For more information on Eric Lamaze and his Torrey Pines Stable, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

Don’t Miss 2019 Rolex Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows LIVE on Horse & Country TV

London, U.K. – Sept. 6, 2019 – Horse & Country TV (H&C TV) is thrilled to bring live coverage of the Rolex Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows, which is a part of the 2019 Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, to show jumping fans in the U.S. The highly anticipated Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5* is one of the most prestigious show jumping competitions in the world, running from Sept. 4 to 8.

Set in Calgary, Canada, the five-day tournament draws the biggest names in the sport to vie for the lion’s share of CA$4.1 million in prize money. H&C TV will broadcast the Rolex Grand Prix live on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 1:45 p.m. EST, capturing all of the excitement of the world-class event as it unfolds. Be sure to join H&C TV by clicking here to be a part of the action.

Attracting the world’s most talented athletes to its various venues across the world, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the most challenging title to claim in show jumping sport, requiring three consecutive wins in the Rolex Grand Prix events between the four major tournaments at CHIO Aachen, Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, CHI Geneva, and the Dutch Masters. A €1 million bonus, in addition to the prize money at each show, makes the title one of the most sought after in the sport. To date, only one athlete has won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Great Britain’s Scott Brash. Brash became the first and only athlete to win the title in 2015 after taking wins in Aachen, Spruce Meadows, and Geneva.

All eyes will be set on the United States’ Kent Farrington as he won the Rolex Grand Prix of CHIO Aachen in July, making him the live contender and giving him the potential to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping should he add this leg to his tally of wins. Up against the world’s best riders, Farrington will have to lay it all on the line to give himself a shot at becoming the second rider in history to claim the coveted title.

Don’t miss out on the ride of a lifetime as Farrington goes head-to-head with show jumping’s elite, including world No. 1 Steve Guerdat (SUI) and fellow U.S. athletes, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, and Nicole Shahinian-Simpson.

H&C TV broadcasts in Europe, Australia, and in the United States on cable, satellite, and broadband television, including Roku, and online at www.horseandcountrytv.us.

From Baborówko Horse Sale Show to Stables All over Europe

Baborówko, 5 September 2019 — Growing interest in the sport horses auction in Baborówko shows that horses bred and trained in Poland are appreciated by athletes from foreign countries, and the event has written itself into the growing demands of the market.

Every year, more and more horses are being submitted to the auction Baborówko Horse Sale Show, and each year the horses are even better. That’s why the selection by the organisers has to be more rigorous, in order for only the best horses predisposed for eventing and showjumping to be presented in the catalogue. All horses accepted for the next stage will be subjected to a bundle of examinations performed by veterinarians from Equi Vet Serwis Dr Maciej Przewoźny. The examinations include x-ray photos, endoscopy, and detailed clinical inspections, and the buyers can get acquainted with them before the auction.

Last year at Baborówko Horse Sale Show, horses were bought by riders such as Olympic champion Andreas Dibowski, titled rider Elmar Lesch, and a couple of excellent eventers from Finland – Sanna Siltakorpi and Elmo Jankari.

“I compete in Baborówko two times a year – at Equestrian Festival Baborówko and Baborówko Horse Sale Show. Last year from Baborówko Horse Sale Show I brought home a young horse that I had an opportunity to see and try at the show. The youngster is really promising. I will certainly check out the catalogue this year,” says Andreas Dibowski.

During three editions of the event, horses from the auction have found new owners in Germany, Finland, Russia, and Austria. A fusion of an international eventing show and sport horses auction into one event allows the sellers – breeders, riders, and owners – to meet with the buyers at one place and time.

19 horses predisposed for eventing and showjumping have been selected for the Baborówko Horse Sale Show 2019 catalogue. Baborówko Horse Sale Show 2019 will take place during the last weekend of September, from the 27th until the 29th. The bidding will take place on Saturday, the 28th. During the show and auction, interested parties will be able to schedule a test ride, get acquainted with the veterinary test results, consult them with veterinarians, and get to know the informational brochures.

More information can be found at http://bhss.baborowko.pl/eng/.

Riders to Watch at This Year’s CP ‘International’ at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Steve Guerdat a CHIO Aachen 2019 (Photo credit: Rolex / Ashley Neuhof)

This September, international show jumping fans from around the world will turn their attention to the third Major in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the CP ‘International’ presented by Rolex at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’. Taking place between 4-8 September 2019, the Rocky Mountains of Calgary once again play host to the world’s leading riders and horses for five days of intense competition and equestrian mastery. The event, which attracts 100,000 spectators to its grounds, has been regarded as one of the leading equestrian events in North America. Rolex has proudly been a supporter of the show since 1989.

The CP ‘International’ will welcome the most established equestrian athletes from around the globe to compete for the sport’s most coveted prize. Looking ahead to the third Major of the year, there are some competitors who have consistently performed to the highest level and look to be strong contenders heading into the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters.’

Rolex Grand Slam live contender and Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington claimed the top prize at CHIO Aachen this summer, beating seven horse-and-rider combinations in the final round aboard the supreme mare, Gazelle. 40,000 spectators filled CHIO Aachen’s main stadium to watch the unstoppable pair as they flew through the jump-off, producing a clear round in 43.98 seconds. Frequently named one of the fastest riders in the world, the US show jumper has proved time and time again that he is more than capable of taking home the top prize at the next Major.

Great Britain’s star show jumper and Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash has also been on form this season. Great Britain was the winning team at the Nations Cup in Dublin, Ireland in August, which saw Brash achieve a foot-perfect double clear with Lady Harris’s and Lady Kirkham’s Hello Jefferson. As the only person to have ever won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the Scottish-born rider has his eyes firmly set on another victory this year in Calgary.

Rolex Testimonee and Swiss legend Steve Guerdat has once again held his position as the World number one-ranked show jumper for the eighth consecutive month. Guerdat, aboard Venard de Cerisy, narrowly missed out on victory in the Grand Prix at the Nations Cup in Dublin, Ireland, finishing in sixth place. Having also finished in the top 10 in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen with Albfuehren’s Bianca, the Swiss rider will be in a good position to secure his first Major title of 2019.

Another rider who has performed consistently this season is Rolex Testimonee Martin Fuchs, who was crowned European Champion in Rotterdam last week aboard Clooney 51. The talented 27-year-old Swiss rider currently sits at number four in the World Rankings and will be vying for his first Rolex Major win.

© 2019 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Ingrid Klimke and Hale Bob Do the European Double in Luhmühlen Medal Battle

Ingrid Klimke (FEI/Oliver Hardt for Getty images)

The popular and ever-gracious Ingrid Klimke (GER) thrilled her mass of cheering, flag-waving supporters by conjuring a faultless Jumping round from her wonderful horse SAP Hale Bob OLD to clinch both the team title for Germany as well as her second successive individual gold medal at the Longines FEI European Championships, held in her home country at Luhmühlen.

Klimke, who lost her grip on the world title last year when hitting the very last fence at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon (USA), never looked like making a mistake on the spring-heeled Bobby, and she left her team mate Michael Jung, who was bidding for a record fourth European title, no margin for error.

When Jung’s fischerChipmunk FST, a horse that is surely a thrilling prospect for Tokyo, hit the second part of the double at 10b, Klimke smiled in rueful sympathy before dancing a jig of excitement.

She is the fifth rider in the 66-year history of the Europeans to win back-to-back titles, following Britain’s Lucinda Green (1975, 1977), Ginny Eliot (1985, 1987, 1989), Pippa Funnell (1999, 2001), and Michael Jung (2011, 2013, 2015), and the second to do it on the same horse, following Funnell’s triumphs on Supreme Rock.

“I definitely came here to win for sure. It was so close, but this year the luck was with me,” said Klimke. “It’s really special knowing that there are so many very quality riders and horses.”

Klimke paid tribute to her long-time Jumping trainer Kurt Gravemeier, who came to walk the course with her, and said that this victory for Germany would be “a positive wind” for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

Jung was sportsmanlike in defeat, describing the weekend as “super sport.” He explained: “I was a little bit too fast in the last combination, but this little mistake has not made the whole week bad, so I am very happy. We are a great team and we still have one more year to work on little details and I think we are well prepared for next season.”

Germany’s team gold, their fourth European title since the country’s dazzling run of success began at Luhmühlen in 2011, was never really in doubt with their comfortable three-fence margin after Cross Country, but the fight for silver and bronze medals became an intriguing game of snakes and ladders as team fortunes ebbed and flowed over what was a relatively straightforward Jumping track.

Great Britain just managed to hold onto team silver – by 0.3 of a penalty – as Oliver Townend (Cooley Master Class SRS, ninth), Piggy French (Quarrycrest Echo, 15th), and Pippa Funnell (Majas Hope, 22nd) each clocked up four faults. Townend, for whom it was a personal best team performance, did well to recover his composure after Cooley Master Class got too close to the planks at eight and crashed through the fence.

Sweden, silver medallists in 2017, were the beneficiaries of a titanic struggle for the team bronze medal, securing qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year in the best possible style with superb clear rounds from Ludwig Svennerstal (El Kazir SP, eighth), Louise Romeike (Wakiki 207, 12th), and Ebba Adnervik (Chippieh, 23rd).

Svennerstal said: “The Olympics is really the highlight for us. It’s very important for our federation and for ourselves. The team has worked really hard to achieve this and we’re extremely happy. I think we had a slightly disappointing start to the week and then we regrouped and everyone in the whole team, including behind the scenes, has been working very hard and we’re very happy with the outcome.”

France’s grasp on the bronze medal was already precarious when Alexis Goury withdrew Trompe l’Oeul d’Emery at this morning’s horse inspection. The 2003 and 2007 European champion Nicolas Touzaint put France back in the hunt with a magnificent clear round on Absolut Gold HCD, but medal success hinged on Lt Col Thibaut Vallette delivering a clear round. Unfortunately, Qing de Briot hit the fifth fence, putting paid to both France’s team and his own individual medal chances by frustratingly small margins.

Italy, with a clear round from Arianna Schivo (Quefira de l’Ormeau, 17th), looked threatening until Pietro Roman (Baraduff) incurred eight faults and Giovanni Ugulotti suffered a nightmare 22.4-penalty round on Note Worthy. This relegated Italy to fifth, but at least with the compensation of the second available Olympic qualifying slot.

Ireland finished sixth, a weekend of mixed fortunes being compounded with the overnight withdrawal of Ciaran Glynn’s November Night. However, there was a clutch of clear rounds from riders in the top 10 and the supremely talented Cathal Daniels (IRL), riding the diminutive mare Rioghan Rua, was the one left at the head of the queue for the individual bronze medal. The 22-year-old from Co Galway is Ireland’s first European individual medallist since Lucy Thompson in 1995.

“It’s an amazing feeling!” he said. “I’ve gone through Juniors, Young Riders, and now seniors with this mare. Unfortunately, the team didn’t get as strong a result as they wanted, but I was glad I was able to get a medal and keep spirits high and build again for next year on the road to Tokyo.”

The Olympic countdown has already begun!

Click here for full results.

View the highlights here.

Media contact:

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

Taylor Land and Get Go Are Unbeatable Again in the $25,000 Tryon Grand Prix

Taylor Land and Get Go ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – August 26, 2019 – Taylor Land (Atlanta, GA) and Get Go were unbeatable yet again, claiming another Grand Prix win this Sunday in the $25,000 Tryon Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) after their jump-off time of 39.285 seconds. She also piloted Liroy 30, a ten-year-old German Sporthorse gelding (Levistano x King Kolibri) owned by Pinetree Farms Inc., to a second-place finish with a clear jump-off performance of 40.449 seconds, while Santiago Lambre (Wellington, FL) aboard Doloris, an eleven-year old Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Colorado D) owned by Aurora Rangel De Alba, sped to a close third after their jump-off time of 40.485 seconds.

“I loved the first round; it was a little different than the courses we’ve been riding. It was, I thought, a little bit more connected, which I really liked,” Land shared of the J. P. Godard (Aiken, SC) designed course. Godard’s course tested 32 entries in the initial round, with 18 horse-and-rider pairs welcomed back to challenge the jump-off track.

Land and Get Go, a 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Grey Top x World Diamond O) owned by Pinetree Farms Inc., started out this year competing in the seven-year-old jumper division, but after his performance at Spruce Meadows, where the jumps were 1.40m, Land felt like he was ready for the next step. “He’s really grown up so much this year. He started the year just jumping the seven-year-olds and now he has moved up to doing the smaller Grand Prix classes and I think we just have to keep on our track and try to keep moving forward one step at a time.” Land continued, “I’m really excited for his future!”

Although the talent is a huge part of her success, Land admitted that none of this would happen if it weren’t for her team: “My team that’s behind me right now is amazing. I’ve had my rider, Liz, now for a year and she has helped me so much with the horses. She’s my support system at home and that makes such a difference. My parents also help me so much whether it’s coaching, training horses, or just as support – it’s just amazing to have them.”

Land concluded: “I think these horses are just at a point where I’ve had them for a long time, and we are to the point now where we’re really teammates. It feels like we are progressing to the next level together for all three of the horses. I’ve had Falco [V] for three years and the other two [Get Go and Liroy 30] for two years, and it’s just enough time to really get to know them. You feel like it should just take six months, but it doesn’t. It takes a long time and they’re just all coming into their own, and it’s fun to have them really reaching an exciting point at the same time.”

For full results from the $25,000 Tryon Grand Prix, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Coyle and Farrel Are Best in FEI Jumping World Cup North American League Opener

Daniel Coyle and Farrel. (FEI/MOI Photography/tbird)

Daniel Coyle (IRL) rode to a thrilling victory in the $145,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver.

Coyle revealed a rising star in the 9-year-old Farrel, who produced two electrifying clear rounds in the first of 14 legs in the 2019/2020 North American League season. Kelli Cruciotti (USA) finished second as the only other double-clear performer on the day, while Harrie Smolders (NED) was third aboard Hocus Pocus de Muze.

“I think, give him another year’s time, and he will be a real, real top horse — not that he isn’t right now, but he’s still a little green. This was a real track today, and he proved himself to be a horse for the future.” — Daniel Coyle (IRL)

Just five combinations were able to clear Peter Holmes (CAN)’s first round course without fault, and they all came from the class’s final eight riders. Richard Spooner (USA) was the first to crack the code, and Coyle, Smolders, Beezie Madden (USA), and Cruciotti followed.

In the jump-off, Coyle was the first to produce a second clear, and no one could catch him. He finished the shortened course in 37.32 seconds. Cruciotti, riding her mount from the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE), finished in 42.26 seconds, while Smolders finished with a 4-fault score in 37.41 seconds.

“In the jump off, usually he jumps better, which is strange, but when you start galloping, he starts to look a little quicker and jump a little higher,” Coyle said. “I know that from the last few years that I’ve had him. That third jump did come down a lot, and I really rode him at it, and he jumped it probably as good as he could that second time. When you know them a little more, it’s a lot easier, especially when they’re younger jumping this level.”

The victory moved Coyle to the top of the east coast sub league standings of the North American League with 20 points, while Cruciotti took over an early lead in the west coast standings with 17 points.

The North American League continues in New York on 15 September 2019.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Double Double Dutch and Britain’s Wilson Stuns in Championship Debut

Georgia Wilson (GBR) Grade II, Jens-Lasse Dokkan (NOR) Grade I gold, and Tobias Thorning Joergensen (DEN) Grade III. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Great Britain’s Georgia Wilson topped off a stellar introduction to major international competition taking gold in the Freestyle at the Longines FEI Para Dressage European Championships in Rotterdam (NED). The win comes after her silver medal in the Grade II individual test.

Riding Midnight she scored 78.187% to take the win ahead of Austria’s individual champion Pepo Puch and The Netherlands Nicole den Dulk. Puch, riding Sailor’s Blue, scored 77.220% for the silver with den Dulk on Wallace N.O.P. taking bronze with 74.313%.

An emotional and elated Wilson said: “The silver medal hasn’t even come into my head yet I don’t know if I’ll cry at my medal ceremony, but I hope not. I’ve not had the easiest time in riding with different horses but basically you have to keep going and get the right coach.

Denmark’s Tobias Thorning Joergensen added a second gold to his tally by winning the Grade III freestyle. Riding Jolene Hill, the 19-year old scored 79.093%, with The Netherlands’ Rixt van der Horst second, on Findsley N.O.P. with 77.327%.  A second bronze of the week went to the side-saddle rider Barbara Minecci from Belgium. She rode Stuart and scored 73.127%

It wasn’t just a day for the newbies. A member of the sport’s older guard continued his spectacular come back in the shape of Norway’s Jens-Lasse Dokkan. He added the Grade I freestyle title to the individual he picked up earlier in the week scoring 80.193% on Aladdin (the highest score of the week). Italy’s Sara Morganti and Royal Delight were second with 79.273%. In a repeat of the individual test’s running order, Latvia Rihards Snikus claimed his second bronze medal on King of the Dance, with 77.387%.

Dokkans, who hasn’t won a major medal since 2010’s FEI World Equestrian Games™, and who has appeared at every Paralympic Games since the sport debuted in 1996, said: “We’ll have a big celebration dinner but first I have to fly home and then have a long drive. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed though and dreaming about this week.”

Picking up his third gold of the week, the Grade V freestyle, The Netherlands’ Frank Hosmar joked: “Now I know how it feels to be British.” Riding Alphaville N.O.P. (in their eighth consecutive European, World, or Paralympic championships) he scored 79.900%, leaving Great Britain’s Sophie Wells and C Fatal Attraction in second place again with 78.375%. In another repeat of the individual competition, Belgium’s Michele George picked up bronze on Best of 8 with 74.720%.

Final honours of the day went to The Netherlands again, when Sanne Voets won the Grade IV freestyle on Demantur Rs2 N.O.P. scoring 79.720%. Sweden’s Louise Etzner Jakobsson improved on her individual bronze by taking silver on Zernard with 73.775%, swapping places with Belgium’s Manon Claeys. Riding San Dior; she scored 73.355% for the bronze.

Voets’ win, on the back of her three golds at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™, makes her a member of a unique para dressage club, the owner of a double set of consecutive triple gold medals from major championships. Great Britain’s Sophie Christiansen was the last person to achieve that feat after the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the 2013 Europeans in Herning (DEN). “I’m happy,” Voets said. “It’s hard to be the favourite and the hardest part is the pressure you put on yourself. I was amazed by the atmosphere. It’s been an amazing week and I’m going to enjoy every second of the medal ceremony.”

At the end of an enthralling para dressage competition the Dutch topped the medal table with five golds, two silvers, and two bronzes. Denmark took the second spot with two golds and a bronze, with Norway close behind with two golds. Great Britain were fourth with their gold, and four silvers.

With exactly one year to go to the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the week will be remembered most of all though for the incredible performances by the home squad, the emergency of some new para dressage stars, and the return of one of the greats.

Click here for the full results.

By Rob Howell

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Fuchs Takes Individual Jumping Gold in Fighting Finish

Martin Fuchs. (FEI/Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Martin Fuchs became the sixth Swiss rider in the 62-year history of the event to claim individual Jumping gold at the Longines FEI European Championships 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

At last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, USA and again at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden earlier this year, the talented 27-year-old had to settle for silver despite heroic efforts with his brilliant grey gelding Clooney. He at last stood on the top step of the podium when pinning Great Britain’s Ben Maher (37) into silver medal spot and young Belgian star, 23-year-old Jos Verlooy, who was a member of last Friday’s gold medal-winning team, into bronze.

Just 12 of the top 25 went into the second round over another superb track designed by The Netherlands’ Louis Konickx. Some protesters ran into the arena as Dutchman Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Calimero took their turn, but this consummate horseman and his experienced 12-year-old gelding jumped clear to finish in eighth place at the end of the day.

In the closing stages, defending European champions Peder Fredricson with H&M All In, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann with Toveks Mary Lou, and reigning world champion Simone Blum from Germany with DSP Alice all faulted at the triple combination before it came down to a fight to the finish between the top three.

Fuchs had moved up from overnight bronze into silver medal spot when Verlooy and his chestnut gelding Igor made a mistake at the triple combination first time out, but Maher held onto the lead with yet another extraordinary round from Explosion W.

Verlooy was foot-perfect second time out, collecting just a single time fault, and when Fuchs did exactly the same then all the pressure was on the British rider who was last into the ring. And he looked to have gold in the bag until the pole on water-tray vertical two from home fell to gasps from the crowd. It would be the Swiss celebrating.

“It looked very much like I would be second again. Ben has been great over the past two years and especially at this championship again. I didn’t think I would beat him or that he would make a fault, but obviously I am very happy to be winning here and to finally not have only the silver medal!” Fuchs said.

Looking back on how this week of competition has played out, he said, “I had a fault the first day in the Speed class; it was my mistake I took a lot of risk and Clooney struggled at the last combination, but he has been great every day, getting better and better over each round which is one of his best qualities. And I was saying today before going into the final, if I do my job and do the small things right, he won’t let me down!”

The first person to give him a congratulatory hug was Irishman Sean Vard. “Sean has been with me a couple of years and is a great groom, friend, supporter, and the best person that has ever followed me to the shows. And my family, my parents, and my owner Luigi – they are always here supporting me.

“Unfortunately, my girlfriend Paris couldn’t be here this week; she’s in California and she’s been up all night to watch me and I had a little chat with her before my second round today. She just said don’t worry you will win it; she’s been saying that for the last three days and I kept saying don’t jinx it, touch wood, touch wood!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

He thanked Clooney’s owner, Luigi Baleri, who has been awarded the IJOC Horse Owner of the Year title. “He’s always a big support and he’s like a second father, driving me to shows since I was a Junior!” said Fuchs whose first major victory was gold at the Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

Clearly disappointed, Maher was still delighted with this week’s results with Explosion W. “On the day I wasn’t good enough to beat Martin, but all of these horses deserve to win – I made this one mistake and I’m very happy that if anyone has to beat me it is Martin!” he said.

Verlooy said he was delighted for his horse, Igor. “He jumped great and I’m very happy that I have given him this medal; he really deserved it. He is by Emerald and he’s really stepping into his father’s footsteps and I’m very proud of that. At the beginning of the week if you told me I was going to have this bronze, I would have been fine with that, so I’m not complaining!”

Results here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Werth Makes It a Golden Hat-Trick in Fabulous Freestyle Finale

Isabell Werth. (FEI/Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

On a day of breathtaking sport, Germany’s Isabell Werth brought the Longines FEI Dressage European Championships 2019 to a close when claiming her third gold medal of the week in the Freestyle riding her great mare Bella Rose. And on a day filled with personal-best performances, her compatriots Dorothee Schneider and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl clinched silver and bronze, with Schneider only 0.314 off Werth’s winning score.

The competition built to an incredible crescendo as rider after rider excelled themselves in front of a packed stadium of knowledgeable spectators who savoured every moment. Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann Andersen drew gasps of delight with spectacular one-tempi changes from his one-eyed stallion Blue Hors Zack to take the temporary lead when eighth to go of the 15 starters. But two horses later the home crowd went wild when Edward Gal and Glock’s Zonik NOP went out in front with 84.271.

Fifth-last into the arena, von Bredow-Werndl and her 12-year-old mare TSF Dalera blew the competition wide open with a personal-best score of 89.107, showing beautiful rhythm and balance and the softest of contact in their one-tempi changes. Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy, who took bronze in Thursday’s Grand Prix Special, followed with a fabulous test that slotted them in behind on 87.771, and then it was time for the lady recognised as the Queen of international Dressage, Werth, with the great love of her life, the mare she calls Bella.

And the crowd was in for a treat, the extraordinary horsewoman working them into a frenzy of excitement that had them clapping wildly as the turned the centreline for their final halt. But the battle wasn’t over yet, because Schneider threw down the best score of her career with Showtime who showed his great power and presence when putting 90.561 on the board. Last to go, Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K ended a superb week that saw her post three new Irish record scores when finishing fifth, behind Dufour, on a mark of 85.589.

Bronze medallist von Bredow-Werndl described this as “the most exhausting week ever; it was a roller-coaster of emotions but it had the happiest ending I could have wished for, and Dalera was just extraordinary today. At the very beginning she was a little bit nervous and I was a bit nervous before I entered the arena, but I took some deep breaths and I was completely with her and she was with me for the whole test; there was no second we lost each other and it was just a phenomenal dance!” she said.

Schneider had every reason to be elated by her score too, because her mark sees her join an elite group that includes only five other riders who have achieved over 90 percent in Freestyle. “When Showtime came into the arena and saw the audience, he said let’s dance now, and we danced together… we really enjoyed ourselves! I wasn’t thinking about scores; I just wanted to enjoy this Freestyle… it’s an emotional bond between Showtime and me and today he had fun and I did too!” she said.

This has been a great week and a very long week and I’m so happy and so proud of Bella!” said Werth. “She gave me a super feeling in all three competitions, and she was always doing her best.

“There were so many exciting performances here in Rotterdam, and for a few of us it was a real roller-coaster which reminds us that, in Championships, anything can happen. For me and Bella there were things today that we could improve on, but there were also so many highlights, and in the end to come up the centreline and hear the audience start to clap – I’m just so happy; it has been a super week for Germany!”

The most successful athlete in the entire history of international equestrian sport, Werth collected the 24th European Championship medal of her astonishing career but she said that her medal collection is not what drives her.

“The most beautiful thing is the many different horses, and different kinds of horses I have had – that’s why I’m still motivated to ride. To wake up and go in the saddle every day, it’s a privilege when you can do what you love, and you love what you do, and Madeleine (Winter-Schulze, her patron) gives me all the freeness I need to do the sport… this is why I’m still here!” she said.

Result here.

By Louise Parkes

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