Category Archives: *Featured/Spotlights

Special features, spotlights, headlines

No Stopping Eric Lamaze at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

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

Calgary, Alberta – The all-time money winner at Spruce Meadows, Canada’s Eric Lamaze widened the gap even further by scoring victory riding Chacco Kid in the $133,700 CANA Cup on Thursday, September 5, during the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament in Calgary, AB.

Coming into the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament, running through Sunday, September 8, Lamaze had amassed over $6 million in career winnings at the iconic Canadian show jumping venue.

In the $133,700 CANA Cup, Lamaze was one of 14 riders to qualify for the jump-off after leaving all the rails in place over the tough 1.60m track set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.  The first to return for the jump-off, Lamaze laid it all on the line, jumping clear in a time of 37.80 seconds and setting the challenge for those who followed.  Try as they might, none could catch the 2008 Olympic Champion’s time.  Rowan Willis of Australia came closest, stopping the clock in 40.72 seconds – almost three full seconds slower.

“You rarely win these classes going first in a jump-off,” remarked Lamaze, 51.  “There’s always somebody that will find a way to sneak in on you a little bit or can see where you left a little gap, but Chacco Kid was quite fast today.  The distances were all in front of me and forward so I just kept going, and he kept jumping very carefully, so that was my advantage today.

“In general, you can flat-out run to a fence and feel that he’s got his eye right on it, and he’s taking care of you,” Lamaze said of the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Come On) owned by the Chacco Kid Group.  “It just makes you want to ride faster and faster.  It’s a great feeling.”

Lamaze is confident heading into the weekend at the ‘Masters’ tournament.  On Saturday, he will ride Coco Bongo as a member of the Canadian team in the $530,00 BMO Nations’ Cup.  Having finished second in last year’s event, Lamaze and teammates Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Kara Chad of Calgary, AB, and Mario Deslauriers of New York, NY will be looking to improve on that result as they take on nine other nations.

On Sunday, Lamaze plans to ride his 2016 Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, in the $3 million CP International, presented by Rolex.  Lamaze has won the event twice before, in 2007 and 2011, both times riding the legendary Hickstead.

“This has been a special venue for me since I was much younger than I am now,” said Lamaze, who is based in Brussels, Belgium and Wellington, FL.  “I’ve had the greatest memories here at Spruce Meadows; I’ve had the chance to win some major competitions here.  One cannot get tired of hearing the noise when you go through the clock tower and into the International Ring.  I think it brings out the best in me, and it brings out the best in everyone, because the last thing you want to do is disappoint all of the people cheering.”

Earlier this year, Lamaze scored back-to-back grand prix victories during the Spruce Meadows ‘Summer Series.’  He won the $500,000 CSI5* RBC Grand Prix of Canada, presented by Rolex, on Saturday, June 8, riding Chacco Kid before claiming the $390,000 CSI5* Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, riding Fine Lady 5 to close out the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ tournament on Sunday, June 16.

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

UK Debut for Jean-François Pignon’s New ‘Black and White’ Display at This Year’s Olympia

Organisers of Olympia, The London International Horse Show are delighted to announce Jean-François Pignon will perform his new ‘Black and White’ display for the first time in the UK at this year’s event. Adding to an already impressive line-up of displays, Pignon’s performance, which comprises eight white and six black mares, is bound to be a crowd pleaser, as he wows the crowds with his unique skills.

The renowned Frenchman, who has been performing internationally for over 30 years, has been training horses since he was 11 years old with his goal being to communicate with his horses on another level, by working with them in a natural way. He now educates people all over the world by demonstrating his methods.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “We feel incredibly privileged that Jean-François Pignon has chosen Olympia, The London International to perform his ‘Black and White’ display in the UK for the first time. He is an extraordinarily talented horseman, and I know fans will be travelling from around the country to see this display.

“The bond between Pignon and his horses is exceptional, and his performances always delight our audiences. It’s incredible to see the trust these horses have in Jean-François and how relaxed they are in front of such a large crowd.”

Jean-François Pignon said: “The idea for the display originally came from my vet, who asked me to work with these young mares who had never been handled by humans before. One year down the line and the idea is in full development and it is such a pleasure to be able to share this magic with an audience.

“The atmosphere at Olympia is incredibly special and the London audience is always so engaging. I am looking forward to giving a magical performance to all those traveling to London to see ‘Black and White’ for the first time.”

Also gracing the Olympia Grand will be the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, performing its Musical Ride at this year’s Show. Made up of 28 horses and 36 mounted ceremonial service members – who also serve as fighting soldiers – the Musical Ride is unique across the globe, as it demonstrates exceptional horsemanship and the very best of British military tradition. Having not appeared at the West Kensington venue for many years, the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is set to be one of the most exciting displays of the week.

Living up to its reputation as one of Europe’s leading indoor equestrian events, Olympia, The London International Horse Show will once again host the world’s top competitors in three FEI World Cup™ disciplines: Carriage Driving, Dressage, and Show Jumping. The expected 90,000 visitors will experience top quality competition and displays this Christmas, such as the much-loved Christmas Finale, The Shetland Pony Grand National, and the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix.

To purchase tickets for Olympia, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

German Legend Jung Sets Up Germany to Go for Gold Again

Michael Jung and fischerChipmunk FST (FEI/Oliver Hardt for Getty Images)

The German team is on course for another rich medal haul on home turf at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship at Luhmühlen (GER).

Brilliant Cross Country performances by Michael Jung (GER) on new ride fischerChipmunk FST and defending champion Ingrid Klimke (GER) with the evergreen SAP Hale Bob OLD, who are in individual gold and silver medal positions, ensured the hosts retained their lead over defending champions Great Britain. They now have a three-rail advantage over their rivals going into the final Jumping phase.

“fischerChipmunk is a fantastic horse,” said Jung (37), who was visibly thrilled, but refusing to get ahead of himself by envisaging a record fourth individual European title. “Today was a great feeling. We went a bit fast at the beginning so I slowed down but he was always ahead of the time.

“It was a great feeling around the course everywhere. It was so nice to see so many people here supporting our sport.”

Klimke, 51, described her round as “pure fun – I felt like a passenger.” She commented: “For sure there was pressure. Hans Melzer [team manager] said to me, ‘Don’t pat your horse until you get to the finish line,’ because sometimes when I am so thrilled I pat him all the time. I say, ‘Bobby you are my hero’, so I wanted to really focus. He really loves cross country. It’s his job and he loves it.”

A cluster of early riders, notably British and Irish pathfinders Pippa Funnell (Majas Hope, 21st) and Ciaran Glynn (November Night, 23rd), made Mike Etherington-Smith’s beautifully presented, flowing course look easy, but there was plenty of drama. There were 44 clear rounds, 22 horses came home inside the optimum time of 10 minutes 10 seconds, and a total of 20 of the 71 Cross Country starters remain on their Dressage score – but all nations had their difficult moments and this made for a thrilling day’s sport.

Kai Ruder, second out for Germany, stayed admirably calm when Colani Sunrise inexplicably refused to go into the start box, which cost the pair 16 time penalties, and Britain’s third starter, Kristina Cook, had an expensive run-out with Billy The Red at the skinny brush fence exiting the second water (12c).

“I was having a super ride,” said Cook sadly, “but he’s an experienced horse and I can’t make excuses. At the moment I am just very disappointed, for me and for the whole team.”

Ireland’s Sam Watson will also be kicking himself after crossing his tracks at the bird fence in the final water (20b) with Tullaberg Flamenco. Italy’s anchorwoman Vittoria Panizzon (Super Cilious) incurred 11 penalties for hitting the frangible gate at 10a and Belgian pathfinder Laura Loge on Absolut Allegro fell at the Rathaus fence (17) in the main arena.

Laura Collett (GBR), third after Dressage, was “gutted” to part company with London 52 after a mis-stride before the influential carved bird at the final water. Four others fell here and Dutch pathfinder Merel Bloom (Chiccolino) retired.

Jung, who has never been out of the individual medals in five European Championships, does not have a fence in hand over his compatriot Klimke. In turn, she has no margin for error over Luhmühlen first-timer Lt Col Thibaut Vallette (FRA), who rode superbly on the 15-year-old Qing de Briot – coincidentally this is the same final rider line-up as at Blair Castle (GBR) in 2015.

The cost of one Jumping rail covers the next seven: Tim Lips (NED), currently fourth on Bayro, Oliver Townend, who restored Britain’s fortunes with a perfectly judged round on Cooley Masterclass SRS, in fifth, Ireland’s Cathal Daniels, sixth on his super mare Rioghan Rua, French individual Christopher Six (Totem de Brecy, seventh), Italian team member Pietro Roman (Barraduff, eighth), British team member Piggy French (Quarrycrest Echo, ninth), and British individual Kitty King, 10th on Vendredi Biats.

The team medals are equally close: Britain has nothing in hand over the French team, which only has a one-fence advantage over Italy. The Italians, currently in bronze medal position, have no margin over Sweden – both nations are seeking Olympic qualification – and Ireland is a mere 2.2 penalties behind the Swedes in sixth place.

“I think it was a really great day for the sport and for us in Luhmühlen,” said Event Director Julia Otto. “I would like to thank my whole team – they are just amazing the way they work.”

“We have seen some spectacular riding and some great decisions by people who may be riding at this level for the first time today,” Course Designer Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR) commented.

“I didn’t expect quite so many to get the time, but when you have great weather like this with excellent footing, it happens, but it could have been pouring with rain and, in my view, you have to prepare a course for all weather. It’s all about achieving a standard, so full marks to everyone. For me, it’s been a fascinating day. There’s always something new to learn, and if you think you know it all you might as well give up.”

Follow all the medal action in what’s sure to be a thrilling finale with FEI TV.

For full results and start times, click here.  

Click here for the highlights.

Media contact:

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

London Calls for Laura Collett

Laura Collett riding London 52. (FEI/Oliver Hardt for Getty images)

Belgium leads the team standings at this early stage, with Britain’s Laura Collett holding the individual top spot after the first day of Dressage at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships Luhmühlen 2019.

Laura Collett (30) competing as an individual for Great Britain, produced some stunning work to take the lead at the end of the first day of Dressage, but it looks as though the door has been left open for a potential new order.

The graceful Collett, a neat rider known for her prowess in this phase, scored 25.5 on the German-bred 10-year-old London 52, a runner-up at Boekelo CCI4*-L last year and winner of the Chatsworth CCI4*-S this year, but only one of the three judges placed her first.

“He’s still a bit green and shy,” explained a delighted Collett of London 52, who made only small errors in the second flying-change and with a misstep in the canter work. “He saw the grandstand and was a little overwhelmed. He’s never been in a situation like this before, but he listened to me and kept his head.

“He knows all the moves and trusts me so much. If I keep riding and hold his hand, he’s all right. I’m obviously delighted with his score and it’s exciting for the future.”

The former Junior and Young Rider European Champion is a mere 0.3 ahead of Germany’s second team rider Kai Rüder on Colani Sunrise and France’s 2015 European team and individual bronze medallists Lt Col Thibaut Vallette on the elastic moving Qing de Briot ENE HN.

Both the French army rider, a member of the 2016 Olympic gold medal team, and Rüder are reliably elegant in the Dressage arena and the pair is in joint second place on 25.8 penalties.

“It was a super dressage test with lots of highlights,” commented Rüder. “Colani was very relaxed, with good half-passes and the extended canter was just brilliant. It’s wonderful to see how much he improves from test to test. He’s a very strong character and you have to respect him – then he’ll do anything to please.”

The Ground Jury – Martin Plewa (GER, President), Anne-Mette Binder (DEN), and Peter Andrew Shaw (AUS) – awarded sub 30 marks to seven of 35 riders, including the first two for the Belgian team, Laura Loge (Absolut Allegro) and the hugely experienced Karin Donckers (Fletcha van’t Verahof).

The Belgian pair is in equal fourth place on 28.8 penalties which gives the nation, in search of qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, a boost in first place in the team competition at this stage.

Germany, the host nation, is second – their pathfinder, Andreas Dibowski (FRH Corrida), scored 34.6 – and France is third. Defending champions Great Britain are fifth.

Pippa Funnell (GBR), who won the European title at Luhmühlen 20 years ago, was a late call up to the team on Monday and is taking the pathfinder role on Majas Hope, currently 17th individually on 35.4. Second to go, Piggy French (GBR) and Quarrycrest Echo, members of the winning team at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (USA) last year, are in seventh place on 29.8.

“This is no dressage competition,” pointed out French. “I’ve walked the cross-country course once and my first impression is that it’s a proper championship course. You have to think really hard about which lines you choose. It’s a quick track with decent waters.”

Follow the action on FEI TV and with live results on www.rechenstelle.de.

Click here for the full results.

Watch highlights here.

Media contact:

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

Klimke Spearheads Awesome German Team Set to Regain European Team Gold

Ingrid Klimke with Horseware Hale Bob OLD. (FEI/Libby Law Photography)

The scene is set for a titanic battle for the Longines FEI Eventing European Championship, held for the fifth time at the much-loved German venue of Luhmühlen from 29 August – 1 September 2019.

The German team is notoriously hard to beat on home ground – they dominated the medals here in 2011, as well as at Malmö (SWE) in 2013 and Blair Castle (GBR) in 2015 – but surrendered their crown in 2017 at Strzegom (POL) to Great Britain, the record-breaking winners of 22 team titles since the championship began in 1953.

Germany has a wealth of talent to choose from as they are allowed to enter 12 combinations. The reigning individual champions, Ingrid Klimke (GER) and her brilliant SAP Hale Bob, look to have timed their title defence to perfection with a sparkling win in the recent CCI4*-S at Aachen (GER) and it will be fascinating to see if three-time European Champion Michael Jung can win a record fourth title on new ride FischerChipmunk FST, a horse he has taken over from former team mate Julia Krajewski (GER).

Great Britain, the reigning World and European Champions, field two from their triumphant FEI World Equestrian Games™ squad last year: Piggy French, who has enjoyed a stream of international wins this summer, including the coveted Badminton title – she rides Quarrycrest Echo and Kristina Cook, the 2009 individual champion.

Cook, who celebrates her 49th birthday on Cross Country day, will be making a remarkable ninth FEI European Championship appearance, riding Billy the Red. In addition, Britain will be calling on world number two, Oliver Townend, with his dual Kentucky CCI5*-L winner Cooley Master Class and following the withdrawal of Tom McEwen and Toledo De Kerser from the British squad, Pippa Funnell has received the call to replace Tom, riding her own and Marek Sebastak’s Majas Hope. Dual European champion, Pippa has competed in ten championship teams – winning three European medals, the first of her titles in Luhmühlen 20 years ago in 1999 – and has represented Great Britain at three Olympic Games.

Irish eventing is on the crest of a wave with world team silver last year. Can they go one better this time? No doubt statistician Sam Watson, who has had much international success this season and who rides the eye-catching dun, Tullamore Flamco, can provide the odds. In a neat twist, his father, John, was a member of the last Irish team to win the Europeans, 40 years ago at Luhmühlen in 1979.

Watson’s Tryon teammates Cathal Daniels (Rioghan Rua) and Sarah Ennis (Woodcourt Garrison) may take all the beating if Course Designer Mike Etherington-Smith’s Cross Country track plays to Irish strengths.

Another extraordinary statistic is that France has never won European team gold. The Olympic champions field a particularly star-studded squad that includes two former individual European champions, Jean-Lou Bigot (1993) and Nicolas Touzaint (2003 and 2007), plus the brilliant Olympic combination of Thibaut Vallette and Qing de Briot.

Thirteen nations will be fielding teams, including Sweden (the reigning silver medallists), Italy (bronze medallists in 2017), plus Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland. Four nations will field individuals only: Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, and Norway.

Aside from the contest for medals, crucial Olympic qualifications are at stake for the top 2 teams that have not already qualified.

Follow all the live action on FEI TV and live results on www.luhmuehlen.de.

By Kate Green

Media contact:

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

Werth Takes Back-to-Back Grand Prix Special Gold

Isabell Werth. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Team-mate Schneider pushes her all the way

In a mighty battle between two of the sport’s true greats, Isabell Werth, the lady recognised as the reigning Queen of international Dressage, won through once again in the Grand Prix Special at the Longines FEI Dressage European Championships 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Two years ago in Gothenburg, Sweden, Werth pinned team-mate Sonke Rothenberger into silver medal spot, and this time around it was her other German compatriot, Dorothee Schneider, who had to settle for second place. But Schneider chased her right to the line with a brilliant performance from Showtime, and was overwhelmed with emotion afterwards.

“This is the greatest day of my life – my first individual medal!” said the double-Olympian. “I had one mistake in the flying changes because I lost a stirrup – I have to talk to my trainer about doing some lunging again! I’ve been riding this horse for 10 years now and he is so amazing. I’m really proud to be sitting in second place tonight behind Isabell!” she said.

She established the lead with just five left to go on a mark of 85.456 but Werth overtook her with another of her show-stopping rides on the mare she most adores, posting the winning score of 86.520.

“I know that with Bella Rose everything is possible and it is up to me to make it happen. The piaffe/passage could not be better than it was tonight; the feeling was outstanding and the atmosphere was really special!” — Isabell Werth (GER)

Bronze went to Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy, the pair who really put themselves onto centre stage when also third in the Grand Prix Special and Freestyle at the 2017 Europeans. They posted 81.337 just before Schneider came into the ring but, typically modest, the Danish rider didn’t think that was good enough for a podium placing and headed back to the stables with her little chestnut gelding only to get the call-up to return to the arena. And that took a bit of reorganisation.

“I didn’t think I would get a medal so I told my groom to unplait him, so we had to put the plaits back in again – it was a bit of a surprise – but I’m so happy with Cassidy; he’s now 16 but he’s in such great shape!” she said.

Age is but a number to the horses competing this week, and there was huge excitement in the Irish camp when Judy Reynolds and her 17-year-old gelding Vancouver K separated the two remaining members of Tuesday’s gold-medal-winning German team, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl who slotted into fourth with TSF Dalera BB and Sonke Rothenberger and Cosmo in sixth place. Scoring 78.252, Reynolds finished fifth and set her second Irish record score of the week having helped secure an Olympic team qualifying spot for her country with another brilliant performance on Tuesday.

The evening’s competition had a real buzz about it and Judge a C, Susanne Baarup, said the Ground Jury enjoyed every moment of it. “It was an amazing class and also very exciting to judge because a lot of riders had some problems in there. I think as a judge it’s very emotional; we get goosebumps, and we give 9s and 10s and we think my god where do we end here! It’s really just the small details that separate the riders. We talked afterwards and said we want to do it again, we want to see them again, and of course we will do that on Saturday in the Freestyle, and we are really looking forward to it!”

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

Breeders’ Cup World Championships 2018 Race Results

Image Source.

A sport that undertakes a lot of pride, horse racing, continues its legacy to become a well-known sports event in today’s time. Individuals gather yearly to witness the event’s calendar of activities.

While there are people who went to the race to witness and cheer for their favorites and to have fun, most of the individuals who are attending horse racing events are going for the sole reason of betting.

Among the famous horse racing events in the world are the Triple Crown Races; Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. Others are the Dubai World Cup, Epsom Derby, and the Breeders’ Cup which will happen this upcoming November 2 & 3, 2019.

The Breeders’ Cup World Championships is a yearly event of horse races for Grade I Thoroughbred racehorses. The venue in which the sport is partaking varies each year. Thus, the attendance differs depending primarily on the host track’s ability to hold a lot of people.

However, the horse racing is held in two days, having a series of races that caters a lot of racehorses depending upon their potentials. The Breeders’ Cup Classes, has a total of $6 million purses. This thing makes every individual feel wanting to join the event.

2018’s Breeders’ Cup has a unique flow of events. Held at Churchill Downs, and for the very first time, Juvenile races happened on the first day of the championships, and “Future Stars Friday” was the theme of the program. As it celebrates its 35 years in the horse racing industry, a new set of notable winners are known and commended.

Breeders’ Cup Classic

Despite the difficulty of loading and breaking the 14th position, Accelerate made his way to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic race.  With a time of 2:02.93, Accelerate contained the one ¼ mile track. The horse’s victory gave his trainer John Sadler’s first win in the Breeders’ Cup, while his jockey Joel Rosario his ninth time to win.

Winning the race, it was Accelerate’s fourth time finishing a race first at a distance of 1 ¼ mile in 2018.

Longines Turf

The two-time Arc heroine Enable fended off famous horse Magical to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Enable was drawn around the six or seven turns as both horses made a close fight reaching the finish line.

Frankie Dettori, jockey of Enable, had a hard time making position because all others are competitive enough to win the race. Thus, as Dettori found the perfect pacing, he then did correctly guide Enable to finishing the race first.

Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile

In 1:33.83, the City of Light, trained by Michael McCarthy and guided by Javier Castellano, completed the one-turn mile on a fast track.

City of Light as a 4-year-old picked up his third Grade 1 win out of his ten career starts. It was the third time for the racehorse to win a horse racing event.

Longines Distaff

Winning the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup, Monomoy Girl capped an almost perfect season. A distance of 1 ⅛ mile raced by the horse at a time of 1:49.79.

The racehorse once again demonstrated to be the top of her class, beating inferior mares and fillies to win the Churchill Downs Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Mile

The Breeders’ Cup Mile seemed to have four various horses in the stretch with a full potential winning the race, but Expert Eye rallied won and fought the outside win.

Thus, unleashing a powerful late show under Frankie Dettori, Expert Eye (GB) claimed the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile last November 3, 2018.

TwinSpires Sprint

Racehorse Roy H drew away to win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, becoming the second repeat champion of the day.

Moreover, Roy H made his title defense look like a casual jog in the park on November 3 in the $2 million worth TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint. It was the racehorse’s third win in five starts in the year 2018, and ninth since his racing career started.

Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf

Sistercharlie, who began her horse racing career in France, went down with pneumonia after coming second in her U.S debut in July 2017.

Despite the situation, the racehorse demonstrated her core in every race in 2018. She bravely ran in the one ⅜ mile racetrack, racing against a lot of competitive horses. Thus, it was the racehorse’s third consecutive Grade 1 win.

Turf Sprint

Stormy Liberal asserted a transcendent fight in repeating his Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint victory. The horse ran down a lot of driven racehorses, including the pacesetter World of Trouble.

For two consecutive years, Stormy Liberal raced through the event, and fortunately, it was also his second time winning the competition. Furthermore, in the year 2018, the racehorse received the Eclipse Award Champion Male Turf Horse.

Filly & Mare Sprint

Shamrock Rose, trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr, covered the seven furlongs on a significant fast track in 1;23.13 finishing time.

For the improving racehorse, winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint was the horse’s fourth consecutive victory.

Among the Juvenile races, here are the winning racehorses who ranked first in each of the events:

  • Sentient Jet Juvenile – Game Winner, trained by Bob Baffert and guided by jockey Joel Rosario.
  • Juvenile Fillies – Jaywalk, score handed by trainer John Servis and escorted again by famous rider Joel Rosario.
  • Juvenile Fillies Turf – Newspaperofrecord (IRE), having Irad Ortiz Jr. as the jockey.
  • Juvenile Turf – It was Line of Duty who won, ridden by William Buick and upskilled by Charles Appleby.
  • Juvenile Turf Sprint – Won by Bulletin, trained by Todd Pletcher and guided by jockey Javier Castellano.

Germany Gets Dressage Gold Again on Roller-Coaster Day in Rotterdam

(L to R) Sonke Rothenberger, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, Isabell Werth, and Dorothee Schneider. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Germany claimed the team title for a staggering 24th time at the Longines FEI European Dressage Championships 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands where the hosts scooped silver and Sweden snatched the bronze.

The battle for medal placings was intense, and so too was the contest for the three available qualifying spots at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which eventually went to Denmark, Ireland, and Portugal.

On an extraordinary afternoon of high drama, German superstar Isabell Werth posted the biggest score of the competition with 85.652 from Bella Rose to secure the title and collect her 22nd European Championship medal and the 11th European team gold of her illustrious career. The stage looked set for Great Britain to bag the silver, but elimination for the penultimate partnership of Charlotte Dujardin and Mt St John Freestyle under the blood rule dropped her team to fourth, so it was the Dutch and Swedes who filled the lower steps of the podium.

The winning German side consisted of all four gold medallists from last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon (USA), the only difference being the replacement of Dorothee Schneider’s ride, Sammy Davis Jr, with Showtime. Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB opened the German account, and when Sonke Rothenberger added 79.084, and then Werth and her 15-year-old mare put 85.652 on the board, the defending champions were never going to be overtaken.

It was another masterclass from the legend that is Werth, the most medalled athlete in the history of equestrian sport who said that the win was extra special because she achieved it with her beloved Bella Rose. “She was really brilliant. I’m happy and proud; both of us enjoyed the competition,” she said.

Werth, Schneider, and Rothenberger were also all on Germany’s triumphant 2017 European side along with Helen Langehanenberg, but despite having another European gold medal around his neck, Rothenberger wasn’t entirely satisfied with his own performance.

“We came here with a really strong team knowing all horses scored already over 80%, so we expected quite a bit, but as you will see today it’s always a different story when you have to put it on the day in the ring. I was quite nervous for my own test… I couldn’t ride the perfectly precise round that we had in Aachen, but I’m looking forward to the following days and it was super fun to have such amazing colleagues who put down such amazing rounds!” — Sonke Rothenberger (Team Germany)

Lying second as the day began, it seemed the British would cruise into silver medal spot when Carl Hester and Hawtins Delicato posted 78.323 with Dujardin still to come. But as the riders were preparing for the prizegiving the news of her elimination filtered through and Sweden moved up to bronze and the Dutch into silver medal spot.

Anne Meulendijks (MDH Avanti NOP) was the Dutch pathfinder with a score of 71.801 and Hans Peter Minderhoud (Glock’s Dream NOP) followed with a mark of 75.295. Today Emmelie Scholtens posted 76.087 with Desperado NOP, and when Edward Gal followed that with 78.758 from Glock’s Zonik NOP, then the hosts were always going to take a podium placing.

Gal joked however that his stallion was a little distracted in the warm-up ring. “There were all the mares I think that were in the competition in the same warm-up as me, so he was really wild – in the end they went away and I had five minutes when I could ride normal and then it was quite OK. But then in the ring I felt the concentration was a bit down… but luckily everything went well and the points were also nice so that’s why we are here now!” he explained.

Minderhoud described the afternoon as “really crazy because we were counting all the time for the scores,” and pointed out that this result means a lot to the host nation. “It was four years ago we had a medal, and I can tell you it’s not so nice to travel to Tryon (USA, for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018) and to travel to Rio (BRA, 2016 Olympic Games) and not have a medal in your suitcase when you come back!” So this felt pretty good.

Sweden’s Patrick Kittel was also delighted to find himself and his team that included Therese Nilshagen and Antonia and Juliette Ramel on the podium. “Today was quite something; like Hans Peter said it was like a roller-coaster. At first I was almost biting the sand – I thought it was going to be another Tryon again, 0.2 away from the medal, but in the end it worked out and we’ve had amazing sport and seen amazing horses!”

The individual standings in the Grand Prix showed Werth, Schneider, and Rothenberger with the top three scores followed by Gal in fourth, Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann Andersen in fifth, and Britain’s Hester just ahead of Kittel in sixth place. The top 30 individuals go through to Thursday’s Grand Prix Special in which Werth and Rothenberger will be defending the gold and silver they won in Gothenburg (SWE) two years ago.

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

Germans Already in Command after First Day of Dressage

Dorothee Schneider. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Team Germany took the first step on the road to their 24th team title when Dorothee Schneider and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl posted the two best scores on the opening day of the Longines FEI Dressage European Championships 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Von Bredow-Werndl’s 76.894 with TSF Dalera BB topped the leaderboard until the closing stages when Schneider overtook her with a mark of 80.233 for a fabulous test with Showtime FRH. And with team-mates Sonke Rothenberger riding Cosmo and the legendary Isabell Werth riding Bella Rose still to come when the competition resumes, it seems the destiny of gold is all but already assured.

“I’m very happy to be in this team; I’m proud to be here and I’m very happy with my test!” said double-Olympian Schneider. Talking about her horse’s performance, she said there were “some very, very good parts, and in other parts he was a bit nervous, but altogether I am happy to have this result for the team and to be here and to have a fit horse!”

That’s because the 13-year-old gelding with which she won team gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is making a very significant comeback.

“Showtime was two years out, but at the beginning of this year we started him again and he’s getting better and better – in his concentration he was very good at the German Championships (in June) and he was very, very good in Aachen (in July) so it’s very emotional for me to have this horse under me again, and to feel how motivated he is!” — Dorothee Schneider (GER)

A superb personal-best Grand Prix score of 76.351 from Gareth Hughes with Classic Briolinca helped put Great Britain into silver-medal-spot going into the second day. “I couldn’t be happier!” he said.

“She’s had her injuries as well; she’s had a stop-start career at Grand Prix so she’s still quite inexperienced, but we’ve had a good season up to this. She suffers sometimes from nerves; she’s usually not very good at halting or walking, but today she was excellent; she was focused so I just had to point, keep her head up and use my leg when I needed to, and she took care of the rest!” said the rider who was a member of Britain’s silver-medal-winning team at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Caen, France.

His compatriot, 23-year-old Charlotte Fry, produced a stunning senior championship debut to put 74.317 on the board with Dark Legend earlier in the day, and Hughes said, “Lottie did a great job – her first championship and she’s so young; she has nerves of steel… she’s another Charlotte (Dujardin)! She laid down a really good score to start with, and that always gives the second rider confidence. It’s a long day to hang around and wait; it’s a big build-up to going into the arena but we’re in a good position, and now it’s up to the two famous Brits to come out tomorrow and show what they can do!” he pointed out, referring to the remaining two British team members Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester.

And Sweden lies third going into the second day of action following a 74.224 for pathfinders Antonia Ramel with Brother de Jeu and 75.466 from Therese Nilshagen riding Dante Weltino OLD. This leaves Nilshagen in individual fourth spot behind Hughes, “but I’m not super-happy with my own ride today because I made a very big mistake in the one-tempis,” she said. “I think I must have done something wrong, and that cost us a lot of points and that’s a pity… but the rest was quite good and I hope that my team-mates will be much better than I was so we’ll see!” she added.

It’s still all very much to play for, with The Netherlands lying a close fourth ahead of Denmark in fifth, Portugal in sixth, Switzerland in seventh, Spain in eighth, and Russia in ninth place. And apart from the European medals up for grabs there is massive tension between the countries as yet not qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games who are battling for the three places on offer in this European team contest.

Chasing down those three spots are Denmark, Portugal, and Switzerland along with Ireland, France, Austria, Belgium, and Finland – the latter five nations holding 10th to 14th places on the team leaderboard going into the medal-deciding second half of the competition. A total of 15 nations started but the three-member side from Luxembourg are now out of contention after elimination for their pathfinder, Nicolas Wagner (Quater Back Junior).

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

Great Britain Wins Double Gold in Eventing

Photo: Leszek Wójcik.

British riders have defended their last year’s title and stood on the highest step on the podium twice: individually and as a team. The silver medal went to France, and bronze to Ireland.

The British team won with the following squad: Finn Healy with Midnight Dancer, Ibble Watson with Bookhamlodge Pennylane, Freya Partridge with Master Macky, and Daisy Bathe with SF Detroit. They took the lead after dressage and kept it until the end of the competition.

The best score in the team, and the best one in the individual ranking, belonged to 15-year-old Finn Healy – 31,7. Although he was tenth after dressage, a clear round inside the time on the cross-country course and only one point for time during the showjumping have earned him his gold medal.

“It was a testing cross-country track, very technical; it required some reactive riding; we all did that and got ourselves in the position to win. It didn’t really sink in yet. It’s a dream come true,” said Finn Healy.

Silver went to his teammate Ibble Watson and bronze to Camilla Luciani (ITA) with Camelot Damgaard.

Daisy Bathe had an unlucky round in the jumping and finished the championships on the seventh position.

Dressage

The Danish have won three gold medals at this year’s Pony European Championships in dressage: team, individual, and freestyle, where riders performed their rounds to music of their choosing.

The individual medalists have repeated their success. The highest score belonged to the world ranking number one – Alexander Yde Helgstrand with Adriano B – 82,140.

“It’s totally amazing. I didn’t expect to win three times. I choose my music on my own. I’ve actually had this music for quite some time. My pony knows the program and the music, so I think it really fits Adriano,” said the winner after the prizegiving.

The second silver medal went to his teammate Liva Addy Guldager Nielsen riding D’Artagnan 187, and Germany’s Shona Benner with Der Kleine Sunnyboy WE won the bronze medal again.

Showjumping

The final class of the European championships for ponies in Strzegom determined the individual medals for showjumping.

31 pairs have competed in the two-round competition. 12 of them had a good chance to win gold. Four riders entered the final with a clean slate, and eight with only four penalty points.

The course designer, Szymon Tarant, set up a demanding course in the first round, and only three riders have managed to go clear. The second part of the class, high up to 135 cm, has determined the winner. Max Wachman riding Cuffesgrange Cavalidam became the gold medalist of the 2019 Pony European Championships.

“It’s a great feeling. My pony is top class. The first round was quite tricky, very technical. The second round was less technical and a bit bigger. I’m out of ponies now, so I will focus on big horses and hopefully qualify for the Junior European championships next year,” said the winner.

The audience in Strzegom witnessed a jump-off for the silver medal, between riders from France and Great Britain. Holly Truelove (GBR) was the first one to go. She took a risk riding to the last oxer, which gave her a quick time and made it challenging for her rival. Ilona Mezzadri (ITA) with Callas Rezidal Z took up the glove, but had two down, which gave her a score of 8 penalties, and bronze medal in the final classification.

153 riders from 18 countries competed in three Olympic disciplines during the FEI Pony European Championships in Strzegom.

Full results: https://zawodykonne.com/zawody/50/tour/84.

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