Category Archives: *Featured/Spotlights

Special features, spotlights, headlines

All Hot-to-Trot as Exciting New Western European League Dressage Season Gets Underway

Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Blue Hors Zack. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Hot on the heels of a super summer of sport, culminating in the edge-of-the-seat excitement of the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam (NED) in August, the best horse-and-rider combinations from all across Western Europe are ready to rock-n-roll when the new-season FEI Dressage World Cup™ series kicks off in Herning, Denmark.

This first leg of the 2019/2020 league has attracted a stellar cast of 21 riders from 10 countries including the host nation’s Daniel Bachmann Andersen who will partner the one-eyed wonder-stallion Blue Hors Zack with which he is ranked sixth in the world, and with which he pinned Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damsey into runner-up spot at this opening fixture 12 months ago.

The Dane also concluded last season’s qualifying rounds with victory in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in March where Langehanenberg again had to settle for second place. But the German star turned the tables at the 2019 finale in Gothenburg (SWE) in April when she made it to the third step of the podium on the last day while her Danish rival just missed out when finishing fourth. The game of cat-and-mouse between these two super-talents and their horses will resume when the Grand Prix gets underway in Herning on Saturday, 19 October, at 13.00 local time.

The strong Danish contingent will also include Agnete Kirk Thinggaard and JoJo Az who helped claim European team silver two years ago in Gothenburg (SWE) along with Anna Kasprazak riding Rock Star, and Cathrine Dufour who is ranked seventh in the world with her top ride, Atterupgaards Cassidy. This time out Dufour will partner the considerably younger Bohemian, who helped secure second place in the hotly contested Dressage Nations Cup at Aachen (GER) in July when competing alongside Kirk Thinggaard and Bachmann Andersen.

However, the German presence will be a powerful one, as Langehanenberg, series champion in 2013 and runner-up in 2012 and 2014 with the great Damon Hill, will be backed up by compatriots Frederic Wandres and Benjamin Werndl who both made their mark on last season’s Western European League. Werndl steered Daily Mirror to victory in Salzburg (AUT) in December and Wandres followed suit with the aptly named Duke of Britain at Olympia in London (GBR) a few weeks later where he pinned home heroine, Charlotte Dujardin riding Hawtins Delicato, into runner-up spot.

Dujardin of course is one of the biggest draws in this sport, having set so many world records scores during her spectacular partnership with the now retired and still much-loved Valegro with whom she claimed the FEI Dressage World Cup™ title in 2014 and again the following year. The British rider has stated her aim to qualify for the 2020 Final and may line out at the second leg of the new series in Lyon (FRA) next month, and at her hugely popular home fixture in London Olympia in December so that should send a ripple of excitement through her huge fan-base.

It’s going to be full-on from the outset this season, with Stuttgart (GER) hosting the third leg, also in November, and Madrid (ESP), Salzburg (AUT), London Olympia (GBR), and Mechelen (BEL) all taking place in December.

Round eight in Amsterdam (NED) will get the new year off to a great start and then it will be on to Neumunster (GER) and Gothenburg (SWE) in February before ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) brings this qualifying series to a close in March. After that it will be all eyes on the Final which returns to Las Vegas (USA) for the fifth time.

The very first FEI Dressage World Cup™ champion was a Dane, Anne-Grethe Jensen, who stormed to victory with Marzog in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in 1986, and some years later she reflected on the effect of that success which led to a rapid expansion of the sport in her home country. Dujardin’s charming partnership with Valegro has also inspired more than one new generation of young female athletes right across the globe, and more recently Judy Reynolds has done the same.

The Irish rider and her brilliant little horse Vancouver K finished fourth at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in Omaha (USA) in 2017 and have been smashing national records ever since. And this summer they led the very first Irish team in the history of the sport to Olympic qualification with a series of extraordinary results at the European Championships. The knock-on effect has been increased membership of the national governing body and a huge rise in entries for the recent National Championships at which over 700 tests were ridden over three days.

Reynolds has also confirmed that she will compete in the Western European League over the coming months as she prepares for Tokyo 2020, but everyone knows there’s really only one rider they all have to beat. And that is Germany’s Isabell Werth.

It’s 27 years now since this legendary lady won her first FEI Dressage World Cup™ title in Gothenburg (SWE) riding Fabienne. And, with a hat-trick of wins with her 2016 Olympic team gold-medal-winning mare Weihegold over the last three seasons, and sweeping all before her at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ and again at this year’s FEI European Championships with her other mare Bella Rose, she’s like an unstoppable train.

As defending champion, she just has to compete twice with whichever horse she would like to take to the 2020 Final. But for all the other Western European League contenders the road to Las Vegas begins, and good results will be key to their journey every step of the way.

Western European League Calendar here.

Masterlist for Leg 1, Herning here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

History-Making Egyptians Win Olympic Jumping Qualifier in Rabat

The Egyptian team of Mohamed Taher Zeyada, Nayel Nassar, Abdel Said, and Sameh El Dahan, with Chef d’Equipe Eng Hesham Hatab. (FEI/Jessica Rodriguez)

Qatar also claims Tokyo ticket

The Egyptian side of Mohamed Taher Zeyada, Nayel Nassar, Abdel Said, and Sameh El Dahan won the Group F Olympic Jumping qualifier at Rabat in Morocco in the finest style. Completing with just four faults over two tough rounds of Nations Cup competition, they pinned Switzerland into second and Italy into third place. There were six countries from this region – Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – chasing down two available places at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. And it was the Qataris who booked the second slot when finishing eighth of the 14 competing nations.

It was history-making stuff for the winners, as the last time an Egyptian showjumping team competed at an Olympic Games was 59 years ago, in Rome in 1960.

“It’s incredible!” said third-line rider Abdel Said who collected just a single time penalty in each round with Venise du Reverdy. “When we came here, we knew we had a good chance because our riders are strong and compete all over the world. But not only to qualify for Tokyo but to also win this Nations Cup is a huge boost for us! This has been a target for the last two years. We really wanted to qualify and we took a gamble with the team we sent to Barcelona (for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final two weeks ago), but it didn’t work out great. But we brought our ‘A’ team here and this has happened – it’s unbelievable!” he added.

They were already in the hunt at the halfway stage, sharing second place with Switzerland when both carried just one time fault. Brazil’s Bernardo Alves (El Torreo de Muze), Felipe Amaral (Quinn 33), Rodrigo Mesquita Marinho (Edesa’s Basantos), and Pedro Veniss (For Felicila) led the way on a zero scoreline while Canada was lying third with five on the board and the Qataris were already in eighth place carrying 10.

But the Brazilians lost their grip on pole position when racking up 14 faults second time out over the course designed by Irishman Alan Wade. And when Andy Kistler’s Swiss side of Elian Baumann (Campari Z), Anthony Bourquard (Tum Play du Jouas), Marc Rothlisberger (Agatha d’Ecaussines), and Alain Jufer (Cornet MM) had to add four more faults to their tally then the door was open for the Egyptians.

Zeyada reduced his first-round 12-fault discount score with Vizalaty to just two time faults at his second attempt, so when Nasser and Lucifer V posted a brilliant double-clear and Said registered only his second single time penalty of the day, then that would do it. The Swiss were on a final total of five while Egypt had just four on their scoresheet. El Dahan and his super-mare, Suma’s Zorro, looked set to put the icing on the cake by reducing that to just one fault with another double-clear performance, but not even their pole down could spoil the Egyptian celebrations. It was a huge moment for these four men who were putting their country right back on the Olympic Jumping map.

They were bursting with pride, and rightly so. The hard-working Said, who runs his own business in Antwerp, Belgium, sourcing and producing young horses and coaching riders while also competing, described his 10-year-old mare Venise as “a very raw and rough diamond who is only coming together over the last few months, but she is tough and has all the power in the world!” Maybe she will be the one who will take him to Tokyo. “It’s where we all want to get to. I’ve always dreamed of competing at the Olympic Games!“ he said.

Qatar’s 28-fault scoreline was good enough to earn the second Tokyo ticket. Hamad Nasser Al Qadi (SIEC Lonnie) posted 14 faults, Sheikh Ali Al Thani (Sirocco) collected nine, Rashid Towaim Ali Al Marri (Armstrong van de Kapel) picked up 15 faults, and Bassem Mohammed (Gunder) produced their best score with a total of five.

“Congratulations to all who helped us make it to the Olympics for a second time. We are very excited about it!” Bassem Mohammed said. “We competed in Rio (2016 Olympic Games) and now we go to Tokyo. It’s really important for us as riders, for the Federation, and for the Olympic Committee of Qatar so we are really looking forward to it,” he added.

Result here: https://online.equipe.com/fr/class_sections/464650.

by Louise Parkes

Harry Meade Victorious in the Four-Star Class in Strzegom

Harry Meade with Superstition. Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

The winner of the CCI4*-L class, the most difficult of all during Strzegom October Festival, was Harry Meade with the 10-year-old Superstition.

The British rider took the lead after a clear round in the cross-country. Even one knockdown and a slight tardiness in the showjumping could not threaten his leading position. Second place went to the four-time Olympic champion, Andrew Hoy (AUS) with Vassily de Lassos. The pair went clear in the cross-country and jumped up from the 10th to second position before the jumping. Maxime Livio (FRA) with Vegas des Boursons finished third. The leader after dressage – Kylie Roddy (GBR) with Carden Earl Grey – was not as fast in the XC and the time penalties decided that she would finish as eighth.

The best Polish rider in the class was Małgorzata Korycka riding Canvalencia, as they finished at the 14th position.

Strzegom October Festival was record-breaking when it came to the number of entries. Over 440 horses have galloped through the hippodrome in Morawa. For four days, the audiences had the chance to see riders from 28 countries, including, for the first time, Mexico and Turkey. Athletes competed in seven international and three national classes at various difficulty levels.

The best rider of the CCI4*-S was Andreas Dibowski with the 16-year-old FRH Butts Avedon. A clear round in the showjumping gave him the lead in the class, and even after a slight overtime in the cross-country he was still victorious. Second place went to Nicolas Wettstein (ECU) with Meyer’s Happy, and third to Lea Siegl (AUT) with Fighting Line.

The CCI3*-L podium was dominated by Germany. First place, after a clear cross-country, went to Ann-Catrin Bierlein riding Auf Geht’s Fraeulein Hummel. Calvin Böckmann with Altair de la Cense was second, and Nadine Marzahl with Victoria 108 was third.

For the first time in Strzegom, we had a rider from India as the winner of the CCI3*-S class. Fouaad Mirza with Dajara 4 took home the first place, beating Swedish athletes Sandra Gustafsson with Kaminskij and Aminda Ingulfson with Hot Cup VH.

The CCI2*-L was divided into two sections. The best rider of section A was Jrina Giesswein (SUI) with Chester SP, and the winner of section B was Brandon Schäfer-Gehrau with Florentine. The CCI1*-Intro belonged to Hanna Jensen (GER) with EH Clara.

The CCIP2*-L class for ponies was dominated by German riders. The best of them was Jule Krueger riding Mas Que Dos.

The national “one star” class win went to Miroslav Trunda (CZE) with Teqila Ruf. Jule Krueger (GER) with Hulingshofs Winchester was the best in CNC L. The best result of the CNC L18 class was of Julia Kałużyńska (POL) with Kalma. The easiest class of the show – CNC LL – went to Eliška Orctova (CZE) with Kirea.

Online results: http://eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl/results/2019/sof/.

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

4 Breeders’ Cup 2019 Contenders to Make an Epic Comeback This Year

Image source.

Horse racing tournaments never get old as they are celebrated all year round. Each horse racing event happening in any part of the world needs a perfect venue for all horse racers to earn a considerable number of prizes. At the same time, bettors would find another opportunity to wage for their favorite entries and grow their bank roll.

Most horse racing fans are on their feet as one of the biggest horse racing in the world is about to commence in the last quarter of this year. The Breeders’ Cup 2019 is a two-day grand horse racing event that will take place on November 1 and 2, 2019. It will happen in Santa Anita Park, which stands as one of the most legendary horse racing fields in the world.

Many races will take place during the Breeders’ Cup this year. Aside from that, it will come as the most exciting horse racing events this year as we might see a rematch of the mightiest horse racers who came not so strong in this year’s Triple Crown Series. Most of them have confirmed their appearances in Santa Anita Park.

The influx of horse racing fans and bettors are expected to fill in the Santa Anita racing field on the said day. Many bettors will surely wage huge amounts of money as this racing competition offers a big number of purse prizes. If you wish to look at the odds of each entry closely, you can visit the official Breeders’ Cup website or check TVG Odds for the latest listings and races each racer will partake in.

As we draw near to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, inevitably, you can no longer contain your excitement in witnessing an action-packed show. To hype you up with this upcoming event, here are some of the contenders you can look forward to betting as they will make an epic comeback this year.

McKinzie

McKinzie is one of the most famous horse racers who’s going to seek a flying color in the Breeders’ Cup 2019. He was considered as one of the strongest contenders to win the U.S. Triple Crown Series; however, he wasn’t able to perform his goals. He suffered a leg injury early this March, which gave him a hard time to join said racing events.

Although McKinzie didn’t start the year as actively as other racing hopefuls, he was able to showcase his saddling skills in the middle of this year. He won the 2019 Whitney Stakes and placed second in the recently concluded Awesome Again S. race. He is confirming his ticket to the 2019 Breeders’ Cup and hopes to get the crown this year.

Code of Honor

Code of Honor is another famous horse to take a spot in the Breeders’ Cup this year. He is trained by Claude R. McGaughey, a Hall of Famer when it comes to producing successful horse racers. He was one of the most famous horse racers who took a winning spot of last year’s edition of Fountain of Youth Stakes and Florida Derby.

Code of Honor has also established reliable racing statistics this year. As of this time, he recorded around five wins already on some notable racing shows. His biggest victory was the Runhappy Travers Stakes on August 24, 2019 and the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes on September 28, 2019. This momentum is why Code of Honor is participating in this year’s 2019 Breeders’ Cup. This horse has the biggest chance of outlasting other horse racing contenders.

Omaha Beach

Although, he ended not joining the competition, Omaha Beach was a 2019 Kentucky Derby hopeful who gained so much popularity from the horse racing community. He was pulled out because of a severe throat infection, which affected his performance. Regardless of what this horse racer has gone through in the early months, he will return and try his luck yet again in the Santa Anita Park this year.

Richard Mandella, Omaha Beach’s trainer, had to make sure that Omaha Beach is in the best condition heading on to the Breeders’ Cup. He’s had an excellent racing record this year as he tallied four wins already. This horse was the winner of the 2019 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, which allowed him to gain confidence in winning the most coveted Breeders’ Cup crown.

Seeking the Soul

Seeking the Soul is considered as one of the wealthiest horse racers in history. He was the sire of Perfect Soul, who was also a horse racing superstar during his time. According to his trainer Dallas Stewart and Breeder Charles Fipke, his earnings are about to match what Perfect Soul had earned during his time.

The Breeders’ Cup 2019 is another horse racing event that Seeking the Soul will surely give an impressive fight. He might not have joined the Triple Crown Series, but he’s looking to show up in Santa Anita Park with a vengeance. He has an overwhelming seven recorded wins this year, where he won the 2019 Stephen Foster Stakes. He is one of the horse races to bet for the upcoming 2019 Breeders’ Cup.

Breeders’ Cup Santa Anita 2019

This year, California will be hosting the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia. Here is a guide that can take you through the key entries for Breeders Cup in this year’s edition. The 2019 Breeders’ Cup is held this year on November 1-2. Horse Racing betting is one of the only allowed online gambling options in California, so if you’re planning to get in on the action, check out this guide.

The Breeders’ Cup is held at different racetracks. In 2016, Santa Anita hosted the event for a record ninth time. Churchill Downs tied this record when hosting the 2018 renewal. Belmont Park hosted the series four times, and Gulfstream Park and Hollywood Park each hosted the meet three times. The 2019 race is being held again for the 10th time at Santa Anita Park.

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is an annual series of Grade I Thoroughbred horse races, operated by Breeders’ Cup Limited, a company formed in 1982. From its inception in 1984 through 2006, it was a single-day event; starting in 2007, it expanded to two days. All sites have been in the United States, except in 1996, when the races were at the Woodbine Racetrack in Canada.

Each Breeders’ Cup race presents four Breeders’ Cup trophies to the connections of the winner and a garland of flowers draped over the withers of the winning horse. Many Breeders’ Cup winners will go on to win the Eclipse Award in their respective division. For example, of the eleven flat racehorse categories, seven of the Eclipse winners in 2015 had also won a Breeders’ Cup race, while three others were in the money.

The event was created as a year-end championship for North American Thoroughbred racing, and also attracts top horses from other parts of the world, especially Europe. The idea for the Breeders’ Cup was proposed at the 1982 awards luncheon for the Kentucky Derby Festival by pet food heir John R. Gaines (1928–2005), a leading Thoroughbred owner and breeder who wanted to clean up the sport’s image. The Cup was initially faced with much skepticism in the racing community; however, with the vocal support of legendary trainer John Nerud and others, the Breeders’ Cup was carried out, and subsequently experienced tremendous popularity domestically and abroad.

From 2008 to 2014, the Breeders’ Cup was held at either Churchill Downs or Santa Anita Park, both major tracks with a demonstrated record of success in hosting the event. In 2015, however, Keeneland was selected as the host track for the first time, in large part because of Lexington’s position as the center of the North American thoroughbred breeding industry. Although concerns were raised over Keeneland’s limited amount of permanent seating, the 2015 event was considered a success, with record Friday attendance and a sell-out on Saturday.

2015 marked the first time a Triple Crown had been won since the inception of the Breeders’ Cup, and thus the first opportunity to win the so-called Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing, consisting of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic. American Pharoah completed the feat in a decisive wire to wire victory.

In 2016, Santa Anita had the record upon hosting the Breeders’ Cup for a record ninth time. The 2017 event was held at Del Mar for the first time. The 2018 event was held at Churchill Downs. For the 2018 event, the Friday card was known as “Future Stars Friday” and featured five races for two-year-olds, including the new Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. The Distaff moved back to the Saturday card. Additional Breeders’ Cup changes arrived with the Breeders’ Cup Future Wager, similar to the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, and the first time the Equestrian event which was intermingled with Breeders’ Cup and Churchill Downs activities.

Horses from around the globe will be qualifying for the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships to be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on November 1-2. This year’s Championships consists of 14 races, 13 of which are Grade 1 events, with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, now in its 13th year, will be held at many of the world’s premier racetracks in 11 countries: U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Ireland, Japan, Peru, and South Africa.

As part of the enhanced benefits to horsemen competing in the series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees and guarantee a starting position in a corresponding Championships race for winners of all Challenge races. The Challenge winner must already be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program or it must be nominated by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of October 21 to receive the rewards.

In addition, Breeders’ Cup will provide a $40,000 travel stipend to the connections of all Championship starters from outside of North America and a $10,000 travel allowance for starters within North America that are stabled outside of California.

Strzegom October Festival Going for the Record

Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński.

Strzegom, Poland, October 8: A record-breaking number of entries have been accepted for Strzegom October Festival in Morawa, near Strzegom. 442 horses will compete at the event starting on Thursday.

Strzegom October Festival is an international eventing show, also called the equestrian triathlon. “The event finishes a long and intensive sport season at Stragona Equestrian Centre. It’s the last chance this year for the audiences to see top international eventers in Morawa,” says Marcin Konarski, the president of the organising committee.

We will have the opportunity to see riders from 28 countries, including, for the first time, Mexico and Turkey. Athletes will compete in seven international and three national classes at various difficulty levels.

The entries include a lot of top eventers, such as Sara Algotsson Ostholt (SWE), silver medallist at London Olympics; Andrew Hoy (AUS), silver medallist from Sydney and three-time team Olympic medallist, and Andreas Dibowski (GER), the team gold medallist from Hong Kong.

Strzegom October Festival starts on Thursday with the dressage trials. The audiences will have the chance to watch the cross-country, the most exciting part of the equestrian triathlon, during three days of the event. The final tests of showjumping and cross-country, as well as following prizegiving ceremonies, will take place on Sunday.

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

Granato Notches Second Career Longines Victory in Columbus

Alex Granato aboard Carchen W. (FEI/Josh Winslow)

With a field of Olympians, young rider champions, and a former World No. 1 rider assembled for the $135,000 CSI3*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Columbus (USA), a close finish seemed inevitable. Then Alex Granato (USA) entered the ring with Carlchen W.

Granato, 36, and his longtime mount set themselves apart to record a dominant victory over a competitive jump-off field of 12. The duo crossed the timers of Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) shortened course nearly two seconds fastest, with a final time 44.26 seconds. Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) and Dicas finished second with a jump-off time of 46.20 seconds, while Nicole Simpson (USA) and Akuna Mattata completed an all-American podium; that duo’s time was 46.91 seconds.

“I know I have a quick horse. I wanted to get a good pace started early, so I tried to get a big open canter [and] from there to stay on the pace. I tried to stay focused and keep [my horse] focused on me and the plan, rather than getting too anxious and getting ahead of ourselves.” — Alex Granato (USA)

The win marked the duo’s second Longines victory after racing to the top of Wellington’s (USA) leg at the end of last season. In the time since, the duo contested their first major championship when representing Team USA at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima (PER). There, they earned a team bronze medal.

“We shifted gears from Wellington,” Granato said. “We spent the winter focused on just me and the horse, on our [Longines World Jumping Ranking] and our consistency, and we had a super winter. From there, we focused more toward team events. We did the [Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Mexico], and from there we geared toward the Pan Ams. Now, I’m trying to refocus back again on us, just the partnership between me and him, so we can focus toward [the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final].”

Beezie Madden (USA), who finished fourth, continues to lead the east coast sub league standings of the North American League with 48 points. Granato moved into second on the west coast sub league leaderboard with 25 points, behind Karl Cook’s (USA) 37 points.

“I want to put my focus toward World Cup Finals,” Granato said. “[Carlchen W] will jump at two more events this year, both World Cup qualifiers. Hopefully we can continue off this [result] and get some good points to be in the game early, so we can coast through the winter circuit to focus on the Final.”

Full results.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Tracy Fenney & MTM Apple Win Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake and Power & Speed Stake CSI 2*

Tracy Fenney and MTM Apple ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 3, 2019 – Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Apple kicked off Tryon Fall 3 with two back-to-back FEI wins, claiming Thursday’s $36,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2* on a jump-off time of 39.032 seconds. Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace, the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Cardenio x Contender) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, earned second-place honors with a 40.401 second short-course performance, while Fenney also received third, this time aboard MTM Reve Du Paradis, the 2005 Selle Francais gelding (Crown Z x Adelfos) owned by MTM Farm, following their clear jump-off round in a time of 40.499 seconds.

Fenney shared that the 2011 Danish Warmblood mare (Favorit Ask x Willemoes) owned by MTM Farm has been improving with every round in the ring. “She was great, even better than yesterday. It was a hard 1.45m, but it was good to get her in the ring and get her in gear.”

Course designer Peter Grant (CAN) hosted 56 entries in the first round of competition, with 22 horse-and-rider pairs qualifying to attempt the short course. After being knocked out of the lead on her other mount, Fenney was determined to get back in the lead with MTM Apple. “She’s really fast and she’s super straightforward. I mean, from one to two she did that like a gem, and I was so impressed with her.”

Tracy Fenney and MTM Apple Float to $5,000 Power & Speed CSI 2* Win

Fenney and MTM Apple also dominated Wednesday’s $5,000 Power & Speed CSI 2* to start the week on a high note, stopping the speed phase timers in 30.76 seconds. Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Living, the 2009 Zangersheide mare (Quasimodo x Wolfgang) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, claimed second in a time of 32.306 seconds, while Lauren Tisbo (USA) rounded out the all-American, all-female podium aboard Tequestrian Farms LLC’s Casco 11, the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Caspar x Colman), putting in a speed phase time of 34.714 seconds.

“She’s fairly new, so that’s why I showed her today,” Fenney said of the 2011 Danish Warmblood mare (Favorit Ask x Willemoes) owned by MTM Farm. “She’s very straightforward and has a very good attitude about what she does. I was a little bit worried because it’s so hot this week, so I wasn’t sure if I should show her today, but because she’s so new we decided to show her in a class. I love her; she felt great.”

Fenney and the mare have been building their relationship over the past year, she explained. “We imported her last year and we have been doing little things and some Grands Prix. Every time we show her, she gets better and better.

“I guess we’ll see what our plans are this week; I’m doing the welcome stake with three horses and I’ll kind of pick and choose what I’ll do Saturday night from there. Whatever horse doesn’t go Saturday, I’ll do on Sunday,” Fenney concluded.

For full results from the $36,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2*, click here.

For full results from the $5,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 2*, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Defending Champions from Belgium Top First-Round Nail-Biter

Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados. (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Team Belgium, winners in 2015 and again last year, looked supremely confident when topping the first round of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2019 Final at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain. But the battle between the seven countries fighting for the single qualifying spot on offer for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games proved equally as intriguing during an afternoon filled with thrills and surprises.

A total of 18 countries went into battle, but only eight places in Sunday’s second-round decider were up for grabs and it was Belgium, France, Sweden, Colombia, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy who claimed them, the hosts missing out by an agonising 0.45 seconds when time was the deciding factor. So instead they go through to the Challenge Cup on Saturday night in which they will be joined by all the other nations who didn’t make the cut – The Netherlands, Norway, USA, Japan, Great Britain, Brazil, Mexico, and Egypt. Team Portugal has withdrawn from the competition.

The Belgians, newly-crowned European champions, now look well set to beat all comers once again, but Chef d’Equipe, Peter Weinberg, isn’t taking anything for granted.

“We always try very hard and we were looking forward to coming back here again and today we did very well, but there’s still the second round on Sunday which will be more difficult. The teams that have qualified are all strong and they are all very close together. We are lucky that we already have our Olympic qualification so we don’t have that pressure anymore, but we are very happy how we jumped today.” — Peter Weinberg (Team Belgium)

Olivier Philippaerts got Belgium off to a flying start when clear with H&M Extra, and Pieter Devos added just four faults with a mistake at the oxer at fence five, while Jerome Guery’s stallion Quel Homme de Hus was one of many to hit the flimsy plank topping the vertical at fence 10. But when Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados, the only horse-and-rider partnership competing this week, who were also on that history-making European gold-medal-winning team last August, were foot-perfect all the way, then Belgium completed on a four-fault tally which left them heading the leaderboard with a single-fault advantage over the French.

Sweden and Colombia shared third place on a total of nine, and the Colombians are once again proving a force to be reckoned with. Although they are not always very visible on the international circuit they have a habit of pulling off some great results at major events, and Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo produced one of just nine clears on a day when 70 riders from 18 teams took on the 13-fence track created by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela.

The Irish have their eyes fully-focused on that Olympic qualifying spot so were highly relieved when their 10-fault tally earned them fifth place ahead of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy who all completed with 12 faults on the board but who were separated by the total of their combined times. It was heartache for Spain’s Alberto Marquez Galobardes, Sergio Alvarez Moya, Santiago Nunez Riva, and Eduardo Alvarez Aznar when they were squeezed out by the Italians who will resume that Olympic qualification contest with the Colombians and Irish when the final-day action gets underway on Sunday with all eight teams starting again on a zero score.

“We came here strong!” said Olivier Philippaerts. “We’ve had a great season, so we wanted to come here with the best team possible and that’s what we did. This was a tremendous start; going into Sunday it’s good for the confidence and now hopefully we can pull it off!” he added.

Chef d’Equipe Weinberg was extra-pleased with the performance of Pieter Devos “because he had Claire (his European gold-medal-winning horse) in New York last weekend so instead he rode this young mare, Jade, here for the first time in a class like that and she jumped brilliant!” he said. And he’s excited that Niels Bruynseels, a member of last year’s victorious side who will replace Devos in his team for Sunday, will bring out another up-and-coming young talent, the 10-year-old Belgian stallion Jenson van’t Meulenhof.

Anchorman Wathelet insisted that he felt under no pressure “because everyone else had done their job and made it easier for me!” but it was in fact his clear round with Nevados that clinched that pole position. He’s a man of great experience. “I was on the team that won in 2015 when I was also double-clear, and two years ago I was also double-clear so I think I like it here!” he said. But like his team manager he is under no illusions about what can happen on Sunday.

“It’s a whole new competition and anything can happen. We know it’s going to be difficult to do the double, but that’s what we came here for – to win!” he said.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Santiago Lambre and Con Rouet Clinch the Win in $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake

Santiago Lambre and Con Rouet ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – October 1, 2019 – Santiago Lambre (Wellington, FL) and Con Rouet claimed Thursday’s $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake after finishing the jump-off in a time of 41.829 seconds to kick off Tryon Fall 2 competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort. Johan Kachelhoffer (Princeton, NJ) aboard his own Copit Della Caccia, a 2008 Italian Warmblood stallion (Copito x Campbell), finished in second place with a jump-off time of 43.187 seconds, while Grant Seger (Corpus Christi, TX) piloted the Grey Fox Crossing-owned Dr. J, a 2008 Italian Warmblood gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Calando I), to round out the podium on a time of 41.369 seconds to earn third.

Course designer Nick Granat (Chicago, IL) had 12 horse-and-rider pairs in the initial round and welcomed back four entries in the jump-off. Although Lambre and the 2010 Oldenburg gelding (Conthargos x Balou Du Rouet) owned by Salvador Onate Barron came out in the lead after their final round, Con Rouet has been getting a break from jumping “as much” while Lambre competed at Saugerties, NY.

“Although this is his first week [back] now, Con Rouet is a super careful horse and very competitive,” Lambre explained. “The first round was not easy, especially for a national welcome, and I was not super-fast [in the jump-off] since there were only four, but it ended up being a good risk since the last rider [Grant Seger] was faster but had the last rail down.”

Con Rouet did not compete in Fall 2 competition following his win, but Lambre did return to Tryon Stadium for a win aboard Diathago in Saturday’s $25,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Grand Prix. “I’m preparing Con Rouet for Wellington to have him ready to do the speed classes there. I think his level is gonna be 1.45m, but that’s okay because if he’s fast it’s good. He’s going to be a really competitive horse,” Lambre concluded.

Gavin Moylan and String of Pearls Claim Champion in the Pulse Equine Performance Hunter Combined 3’3”/3’6” Division

The Pulse Equine Performance Hunter Combined 3’3”/3’6” Division saw Gavin Moylan (Middleburg, VA) and Priscilla Denegre’s String of Pearls come out on top for champion honors, while Colleen Acosta (Roanoke, TX) piloted Olive, owned by Ryann Grissom, to reserve honors.

Moylan shared that String of Pearls, who is owned by his wife’s mother, has been a member of his program for about five years and has been very successful. “I found her [String of Pearls] in Germany as a four-year-old and immediately she suited my wife’s mother, Penny Denegre, who has had horses with me for a long time and is a great supporter of this sport. She’s just been a winner since we’ve had her.”

Although Moylan enjoys showing the mare himself, he explained that “it’s really about Penny this year,” and that his main goal for String of Pearls is simply to prepare her to compete at the upcoming indoor shows. “Penny qualified for Harrisburg and Washington [International Horse Show], which is a big deal in the adults and we’re very excited for her to go there.”

For full results from the Pulse Equine Performance Hunter Combined 3’3”/3’6” Division, click here.

For full results from the $5,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.