Category Archives: Events

Zazou Hoffman Earns Electrifying First Longines Win in Del Mar

Zazou Hoffmann (USA) with Samson II. (FEI/ Lindsey Long)

When Zazou Hoffman (USA) was asked whether the Longines watch that sat before her was her first, her initial response was a dead giveaway: “I get to keep the watch?”

Hoffman, 26, topped the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Del Mar with Samson II, besting a compact yet furiously competitive jump-off field of four. Jumping cleanly over Marina Azevdeo’s (BRA) jump-off track, the duo crossed the timers in 41.68 seconds. Olympians Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and Quintol finished second as the leadoff pair (42.64), while Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Chameur (44.73) were third. Last to go, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and Akuna Mattata posted the winning time (41.15) but fell to fourth after they pulled the rail at the final fence.

“Tonight was super exciting for me. I have a lot of amazing things to say about my horse and how lucky I am to have him. In the jump-off, he was incredible! Everything came up kind of just by moving forward.” — Zazou Hoffman (USA)

Clear rounds were hard to come by in the first round. In fact, the first faultless performance did not come until Menezes and Quintol jumped at 22nd in the order. The pair, veterans of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, used their experience to their advantage and put the pressure on when first to go in the jump-off, and Hoffman formulated her plan based off their smooth execution. She followed up Menezes’ round with a confident, flowing ride of her own, which was highlighted by a tidy turn back to the jump-off’s third fence and a bold, time-shaving angle to the wall that came two fences later.

“I think I based my plan off of watching Eduardo,” she said. “I hadn’t really considered how fast or not I was going to go. After watching him, I realized I was going to have to be quite quick. I’ve ridden a lot of jump-offs this year on Samson with 4 faults, and I know that I can trust him and go fast, but it’s just that fine line of risking too much. I did one extra stride than Eduardo to first line, and then my turn backs were quite tight. I took a little bit of a risk to the wall, and that’s where I think I saved a little bit of time.”

Commuting Coasts

After earning 12 points in Vancouver, Hoffman skyrocketed to the top of the west coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with her win under the lights in Del Mar; she has 32 points through three legs. Eve Jobs (USA) sits second with 31 points, and Uma O’Neill (USA), winner of Vancouver’s qualifier, is third with 24 points.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, moved into second in the east coast sub league standings. She has 28 points, one behind leader Molly Ashe Cawley (USA), who won New York’s qualifier. Bloomberg is six points ahead of Mattias Tromp (USA), who sits in third with 22 points.

Bloomberg, a New York native, migrated west specifically for the World Cup competition.

“I had shown out here a couple years ago, and I’ve loved being out here,” she said. “It’s fun to be in a different environment with different people and a great crowd. We always jump at the opportunity to come out here and show, but part of it is also that my goal is really to qualify for World Cup Finals now that I have the right horse.”

The North American League continues in Washington, D.C. (USA), on 27 October 2018.

Click here to watch Zazou Hoffman’s winning round.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Equestrian Athletes Gather in Lexington for National Horse Show

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

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

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

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

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation: JOCKEYCLUB

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center: SECRETARIAT

Making a Difference Now Kentucky: MADNKY

Old Friends Equine (Thoroughbred Retirement Farms): OLDFRIENDS

Paris Animal Welfare Society: PAWSPETS

United Professional Horsemen’s Association: UPHA

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

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

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

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

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

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

For tickets, click here.

2018 Royal Horse Show Features International Show Jumping at Its Finest

Kent Farrington of the United States will return to defend his title in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – With top caliber sport and entertainment for every horse enthusiast, the world-renowned Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, returns to Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, Canada from November 2 through 11, 2018.

Increased prize money and innovative schedule changes will make this year’s CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show better than ever. The $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto presented by GroupBy moves to Closing Night on Saturday, November 10. One of the hottest tickets in town, fans will see the best show jumping athletes in the world chasing the prestigious title as well as valuable qualifying points for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ to be held next April in Goteborg, Sweden.

The international show jumping division officially opens on Wednesday, November 7, featuring the $36,000 Jolera International Welcome in the evening session. A sentimental favourite, the $85,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ International Challenge highlights Thursday evening while the popular $50,000 Weston Canadian Open remains in its traditional place on Friday evening’s Royal Horse Show schedule.

Saturday afternoon, November 10, is Family Day, presented by McDonald’s, at the Royal Horse Show. The entertaining K9-Equine Challenge, presented by the Toronto Star, pairs show jumping horses with agility dogs to see who can complete their respective courses in the fastest time. In an unparalleled evening of horse sport, the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto presented by GroupBy will bring down the curtain on Closing Night as Kent Farrington of the United States attempts to defend his title.

“The Royal Horse Show is a pivotal part of the overall Royal Agricultural Winter Fair experience and we are proud to have of the world’s most talented athletes, both human and horse, join us in Toronto,” said Charlie Johnstone, CEO of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. “We work tirelessly year-round to improve the Royal Horse Show experience and have again raised the bar by offering increased prize money and a new schedule to truly showcase the best of the best for our loyal audience.”

Before the international show jumping division gets underway, top Canadian talent will contest the $125,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship on November 2 and 3 in the hopes of taking home the coveted national title. Irish course designer Alan Wade, fresh off the biggest challenge of his career at the FEI World Equestrian Games, will set the show jumping tracks in the Coca-Cola Coliseum throughout this year’s Royal Horse Show.

In addition to show jumping competition, this year’s Royal Horse Show features the exciting Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge on November 2 and 3 while Tuesday evening, November 6, doubles down on derby fun with both the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby and the newly-introduced Dressage Derby, which will see four riders going head-to-head in a knock-out format. Among this year’s featured entertainment, Australia’s Guy McLean will demonstrate his unique form of natural horsemanship throughout the 10-day Royal Horse Show.

Offering more than $980,000 in prize money, the Royal Horse Show attracts competitors – and more than 1,000 horses – from around the globe for its 10-day run. VIP Platinum and Gold seating, as well as group and individual tickets, are on sale now and moving quickly. All Royal Horse Show tickets include general admission to the Fair.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.

Lindelöw Scorches to Victory at Opening Leg in Oslo

Sweden’s Douglas Lindelöw and Zacramento. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

It takes courage to give it everything you’ve got, and Sweden’s Douglas Lindelöw (27) and his brilliant bay gelding Zacramento threw down a really courageous performance to win the first leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League in Oslo, Norway.

Fourth to go in the 12-horse jump-off, and followed by many of the world’s best, they posted a formidable target that proved way too fast for the rest. When he was told afterwards that he’d been very brave after stopping the timers in 44.67 seconds, the Swedish star laughed and replied, “I thought so too!” He’d just pinned Rio 2016 Olympic team gold medallist Kevin Staut (37) from France into runner-up spot and Australian star Edwina Tops-Alexander (44) into third, so he had every reason to be happy.

There were seven double-clear rounds, with Italy’s Luca Moneta (Connery) and Michael Cristofoletti (Belony) slotting into fourth and fifth places ahead of Germany’s Hans-Dieter Dreher (Twenty Clary) in sixth and Ireland’s Denis Lynch (The Sinner) claiming seventh spot.

Lindelöw knew he was in with a big chance at this opening round of the 13-leg series.

“Zacramento has been in really good shape since finishing second in the Grand Prix in Brussels last month, so I came here with a great feeling and from the first day I believed we could give it a go!” — Douglas Lindelöw (SWE)

A total of 38 horse-and-rider combinations from 16 countries arrived at the Telenor Arena in the Norwegian capital city with the same goal of picking up some precious early qualifying points for the Final which, in this 41st season, returns to where it all began in Gothenburg (SWE) next April. That’s Lindelöw’s big target right now.

“I am based in the south of Sweden so of course I want to get to Gothenburg!” said the rider who was a member of Sweden’s silver-medal-winning team at the FEI European Championships last year, and who has an impressive record at Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals. He finished eighth with his former ride, Casello, in Las Vegas (USA) in 2015 and 11th with Zacramento at the Final in Paris (FRA) earlier this year.

It was Italy’s Michael Cristofoletti (Belony) who set the target at 46.70 seconds when second to go in the jump-off, but Lindelöw shaved more than two seconds off that with a fearless run from his 13-year-old Swedish-bred horse. Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts (H&M Legend of Love) and Italy’s Alberto Zorzi (Contanga) were quicker, but both left a fence on the floor, and it was last man in, Kevin Staut, with Silver Deux de Virton HDC who came closest to Lindelöw’s time as he crossed the line in 45.51 seconds.

The Frenchman complimented Norwegian course designers Terje Olsen-Nalum and Anders Hafskjold.

“It was fair for the first indoor of the season, there were not too many clears and it was a great competition.” — Kevin Staut (FRA)

He also pointed out that they made the right decision when sticking with the time-allowed they had set before the action began, even though even though some of the early starters picked up time faults. “The time was exactly as it should be, and it was good they didn’t change it at the start,” Staut said.

Lindelöw’s next plan is to collect some more qualifying points at the third leg of the Western European League in Verona (ITA) in two weeks’ time. Before that, however, there will be another afternoon of edge-of-the-seat excitement when the series visits Helsinki (FIN) next Sunday.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Michael Jung Wins CI-long 3* Class in Strzegom

Michael Jung and Lennox 364. Photo by: Mariusz Chmieliński.

Michael Jung (GER) with the 10-year-old Lennox 364 won the CI-long3* class, the most prestigious class during Strzegom October Festival.

It was an exhilarating showjumping trial played out between the current Olympic champion and the team gold medallist from this year’s World Equestrian Games, Gemma Tattersall (GBR). Michael Jung, competing on three horses, has taken the first three places after the dressage test. Gemma Tattersall changed the game after the cross-country trial, taking the lead with a clear round in time with the 8-year-old Chilli Knight. The British rider was unlucky in the showjumping trial, with the last fence down taking away her lead and leaving her at the third position overall. Michael Jung had two clears at the showjumping: he won the class with Lennox 364 and took second place with Corazon.

“I’m very happy about Lennox and Corazon; they are both really good horses, especially Lennox did a very nice dressage test; he’s a super mover. I had a great feeling about our ride in the cross country; he’s in a super condition; he jumped everything very easily. The showjumping is not his best specialty, but it went really well; he was really strong and gave me a great feeling. I’m very happy that he’s back after his injury,” said Michael Jung after his win.

The best Polish rider of the class turned out to be Mateusz Kiempa with the Polish-bred Grand Supreme, and the pair took 14th place overall.

Strzegom October Festival was record-breaking when it comes to the number of horses that competed during the show. 420 horses with riders from 22 countries took part in 6 international and 4 national classes at different levels of difficulty.

Andreas Dibowski (GER) won the CI-short 1* class with the 15-year-old FRH Butts Avedon. The leader after dressage and showjumping, Jule Wewer (GER), had a fall at the cross-country trial, resulting in an elimination. Jerome Robine (GER) took second place with Guccimo R, and third went to Janneke Boonzaaijer (NED) with Campbelle WS. The best Polish rider in the class, Paweł Spisak (POL) with Admirał, was fourth.

The podium of the CI-long 2* class belonged to women. Anais Neumann (GER) was the best in the class with Pumuckel E. She took the lead after dressage, had a clear round in the cross-country, and even one knockdown at the showjumping trial did not keep her from winning the class. Second place went to Kari Ingrid Gunzenhäuser (GER) with Let’s Dance 73, and third to Eliska Orctová (CZE) riding Bonus 1. The best Polish athlete in the class was Helena Zagała with Contendro Lady, finishing at the 7th position.

Germany took over the CI-short 2* class. Anna Lena Schaaf won the class with Fairytale 39, second was Calvin Böckmann with Altair de la Cense, and third place went to Antonia Baumgart with Lamango. Paweł Spisak (POL) with Paco finished the class at the 9th position.

The CI-long 1* class was played out in two sections. In section A, victory belonged to Kaya Thomsen (GER) with Horseware’s Bary, and in section B the winner was Michael Jung with Go For S.

In the national 1* class the best score belonged to Michał Knap (POL) with Postman Pat. Irene Mia Hastrup (DEN) won the CNC P class, and in CNC L, victory belonged to Jörn Warner (GER) riding Lord Fauntleroy K. Oliwia Wolak (POL) with Pirella won the CNC L18 class, and Madeleine Brugmann (NED) was victorious in CNC LL with Chica Mia.

Results on-line: http://eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl/pl/sof-tv-online.html.

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

Eugenio Garza Perez Soars, Taking Longines Victory at Columbus

Peter Lutz, Eugenio Garza Perez & Kelly Cruciotti. (FEI/Winslow Photography)

A victory in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Columbus stamped the 10-year-old Zangersheide Victer Finn Dh Z as a horse to watch this season on the North American League.

Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) rode the bay gelding to the top of the podium in the horse’s World Cup qualifying debut. After missing nearly a year of competition while recovering from injury, Victer Finn Dh Z showed off his ability — and his fitness — by topping a jump-off field of 10. The pair crossed the timers in 41.33 seconds, less than two-tenths of a second faster than Peter Lutz (USA) and Robin du Ponthual (41.49 seconds), veterans of the 2016 World Cup Finals. Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and Chamonix H (42.65 seconds) finished third.

“That was an amazing course and a fun jump-off,” Garza Perez said. “With the horses and riders that were in the jump-off, you knew it was going to be fast. We definitely went in there with the plan of trying to be as fast as possible and playing to the strengths of my horse. He’s a naturally fast horse and covers a lot of ground, and it worked out our favor, which is amazing.”

Alan Wade (IRL) set the track for the newest leg on the North American League, which saw 39 combinations compete. The field featured four veterans from the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris (FRA), including Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, Charlie Jacobs and Cassinja S, Alison Robitaille and Ace, and current World Cup champions Beezie Madden and Breitling LS.

“It’s for sure [a highlight],” Garza Perez said. “[Victer Finn Dh Z] is 10 years old, but he’s not that experienced. He took a while off. He came out [today] as good as ever. It was amazing. I really didn’t expect that result, but I’ll take it!”

Maintaining Momentum

After recording her first World Cup victory in New York with D’Arnita, Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) solidified her place atop the east coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with an eighth place finish in Columbus aboard another mount, Cat Ballou. She boasts 29 points. Mattias Tromp (USA), who finished third in New York, also proved his consistency, finishing 10th in Columbus and securing second in the standings with 22. Sacramento’s World Cup winner, Wilhelm Genn (GER), sits third with 20 points.

Eve Jobs (USA), who finished fourth in Columbus, is declared on the west coast, and she now leads those standings with 24 points, ahead of Karrie Rufer (21 points). Garza Perez has moved into a joint third with Uma O’Neill, who won in Vancouver. They each have 20 points.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Record-Breaking Competition in Morawa

Photo: Mariusz Chmieliński.

420 horses have been submitted to compete at Strzegom October Festival. Morawa has not yet seen so many competitors!

International eventing competition Strzegom October Festival finishes the 2018 sport season in Stragona Equestrian Centre. It’s the last chance this year for the audience to see equestrian competitions at the hippodrome in Morawa.

Athletes from 22 countries will compete in 6 international and four national classes. A lot of well-known names can be found among the athletes competing at the show, including the Olympic champion and the first rider ever to have held the titles of European, World, and Olympic champion at the same time, Michael Jung (GER); Andreas Dibowski (GER), the team Olympic champion from Hong Kong; and Emma Tattersall (GBR), the team gold medallist at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon. When it comes to athletes from Poland, we’ll have the opportunity to see, among others, Jan Kamiński, the Polish national champion from this year, and Paweł Spisak, the most titled Polish eventer.

Strzegom October Festival starts on Thursday. During the first two days the athletes will present their horses at the beautiful and harmonious dressage trial. The cross-country test, an obstacle course in full gallop, the most spectacular of the trials, will be held on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday the audience will have the opportunity to see the final playoffs, showjumping and cross-country, which will determine the winners.

Entry and parking are free of charge.

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

Belgium’s “Never Give Up Team” Beats Them All in Barcelona

Team Belgium showering their Chef d’Equipe, Peter Weinberg, in a champagne celebration after winning the FEI Jumping Nations Cup 2018. (FEI/Jim Hollander)

French second and Ireland third in super-tight finish

Belgium won through on the tense and thrilling final afternoon of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2018 at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona (ESP). With all eight nations that qualified from Friday night’s first round starting again on a zero scoreline, and just one more round of jumping to decide the new champions, it was a roller-coaster ride over a big, challenging track set by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela. And in the best sporting tradition, it was impossible to guess the outcome until the very end.

Like so many of the other teams, the Belgians had mixed fortunes, Niels Bruynseels kicking off with a superb clear from Gancia de Muze, but both Pieter Devos (Claire Z) and Jos Verlooy (Caracas) each leaving three fences on the floor. However, last man in, Nicola Philippaerts, kept a cool head to bring H&M Harley v. Bisschop home with a foot-perfect run that would prove plenty good enough to clinch it.

“We call ourselves the ‘Never Give Up Team’ because in the middle we had two with 12 faults already but still we were fighting to the last rider, so this victory means a lot to us!” — Peter Weinberg (Chef d’Equipe, Team Belgium)

It seemed to have fallen into the lap of the Italians in the closing stages, as a clear from their anchor rider and last man into the ring, Lorenzo de Luca (Ensor de Litrange), would see them complete on eight faults to win it. But Varela’s extraordinary track was one that had to be ridden with absolute precision, and when, like so many before him, it unravelled for the Italian on the final line, his team completed on a total of 16. And because their combined times were slower than the French and Irish, this dropped them into fourth place ahead of the Dutch when all four teams finished on a 16-fault tally. Sweden and Austria slotted into sixth and seventh places when both posting 20-fault finishing scores and Switzerland lined up eighth and last when putting 32 on the scoreboard.

It’s no surprise that Varela has been selected as course designer for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The track was a masterpiece that questioned control, balance, judgement, and skill every inch of the way. As Varela pointed out, it wasn’t about the number of faults the riders collected. “A score of 8 or 12 didn’t mean they had a bad round; horses jumped unbelievably, but the course was difficult, tough and big… and everything was connected,” he explained. That was borne out by the number of riders who lost out over the last four fences where an oxer to a vertical could be tackled on a five long or six short strides, but where an error of judgement often led to mistakes at the penultimate double and final oxer.

In the end the Belgians were the only side that managed to produce two clear rounds – “and two clear rounds today was a super result!” Varela said.

Bruynseels was asked if he had a plan when setting off with Gancia de Muze to produce the first clear round of the competition. Bur apparently, he doesn’t really “do” planning with his brilliant but quirky 12-year-old mare.

“I have a little bit of a special horse, so she’s not like all the others. She has really a lot of temperament so I have to do my course and my round. So I don’t mind going first and I don’t have to see the other horses, because we always have a different plan!” — Niels Bruynseels (Team Belgium)

Philippaerts said his team-mates told him “everything is still possible” when he was last to go. “I just tried to ride my own class and it worked out well – today it was me that could make the clear round that would make a difference, and another time it will be one of the others,” he said. And he had even more reason to be pleased when sharing the €100,000 bonus for double-clear performances with team-mate Bruynseels, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, and Italy’s new star, Riccardo Pisani.

This was Belgium’s second time to claim the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping title in Barcelona, their last in 2015. As Chef d’Equipe Weinberg said, “It was an interesting day, first ups and then in between downs, but in the end, we won anyway so it was really great sport!”

Result 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

Wilhelm Genn Puts On a Show in Sacramento to Notch First Longines Victory

Wilhelm Genn (GER) with his mount Bugatti. (FEI/McCool Photos)

Less than three hours from the city of Columbus, which hosted its first ever Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier this weekend, is German rider Wilhelm Genn’s Rheinland Farm. Genn wasn’t there but found himself on top in the World Cup competition, more than 2,400 miles away.

Genn (GER) and his mount Bugatti topped a nine-horse jump-off to win the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento, their first victory in a World Cup event. With a clear jump-off in 36.88 seconds, the duo topped Karrie Rufer (USA) and Georgie d’Auvray EC (37.31 seconds) by just under a half-second. Karl Cook (USA) and Caillou finished third, crossing the timers with a clean round in 38.47 seconds.

“I was hoping I got a chance to run for it today, and it worked out. Bugatti likes the footing, and he likes the crowd — it gets him a little excited, and that makes him better, because normally he’s a very lazy horse. It all kind of played a little bit in my favor.” — Wilhelm Genn (Germany)

The stands were packed to capacity Saturday night at the Murieta Equestrian Center as 25 combinations lined up to take on Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) 1.60m course. The first clear round did not come until the 14th horse in the order, but eight others quickly followed suit.

“My horse felt great,” Genn said. “I like to plan things, so before we came here, we showed in Kentucky, because they have a grand prix Friday night under the nights [indoors]. That was our warm-up, and we jumped very well there, so I felt pretty confident.”

Genn had not originally planned to compete on the west coast, but when his son Theo, who also jumped Saturday night with Taylor Reid’s Boucanier, elected to make the journey, he decided to join him. The decision proved to pay off in spades.

“I really came here for my son,” Genn said. “And then I thought, ‘I’ll bring my two horses.’”

Two New Leaders

New names sit atop the standings in both the east and west coast sub leagues of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League. Genn, who is declared on the east coast, now leads those standings. He is tied at the top with Molly Ashe Cawley (USA), who earned her first Longines victory in New York. Both have 20 points.

Rufer may have finished second in Sacramento, but she also ended the night a winner, going to the top of the west coast standings with 21 points. She earned 17 points for her runner-up finish, combined with the four points she received in at Vancouver (CAN) in August, the first qualifier of the 2018-2019 season.

By Catie Staszak

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