Margie Engle Dashes to First in $35,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Classic CSI 4*

Margie Engle and Dicas. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 30, 2018 – Margie Engle (USA) flew to first place in the $35,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Classic CSI 4* with her mount, Dicas, at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The swift duo halted the timers in 57.52 seconds to ensure top honors. Engle and Dicas, a 2009 Rhenish Warmblood gelding (Diarado x Cassini I) owned by Storm Ridge Capital LLC, Show Horses, Garber & Gladewinds, Inc., took home the win in their final competition for the year. Also representing the USA, Kristen Vanderveen earned second place with Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC. Vanderveen completed the course in 57.77 seconds. Todd Minikus (USA) merited third place riding Amex Z, a 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris) owned by Bit by Bit Group, with a time of 58.86 seconds.

Jumping against 33 pairs, Engle’s speed and accuracy resulted in first place in the course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) with her attentive and willing mount. “It was his last class of the year, so he gets a couple of months off now. He’s a young horse and just started moving up the FEI levels this year. I figured I would give it a shot since it’s his last class and now he gets a nice, well-earned vacation.

“He’s a big horse, but he’s gotten quicker and quicker as the years progressed. He’s really fun and he’s been consistent. He’s easy to ride even though he’s really large. He’s got quick thinking and turns quick, so he’s really nice and easy. He’s always really game,” she said.

“I think [it was] the rollback to fence 3 [that] was a big oxer off of a tight turn, but he handled it really well. He just turned well and fortunately everything came up nice and easy off the turns. He’s very trusting and kind of young. He’s kind of naive in trusting in a good way so far, so as long as I don’t do anything to break his trust, then whatever I ask him to do he’ll give it a shot,” concluded Engle.

For more information on PBIEC and the ESP Holiday Series, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Charity Selection for Great Charity Challenge to Take Place throughout Palm Beach County

Wellington, FL – November 29, 2018 – With over 360 applications received for the chance to participate in the 2019 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), this year’s annual charity selection will take place throughout Palm Beach County between Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 8, 2018. A total of 24 charities will be randomly drawn and earn a spot in the highly anticipated 10th annual GCC to be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, for a chance to win up to $150,000!

In years past, the drawing of the charities took place at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). This new selection format will bring the community closer and highlight some of the individuals who make the GCC a reality. Joining Paige Bellissimo, co-founder of the GCC, will be Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig and Vice Mayor Michael Drahos, as well as Village Council members Michael Napoleone, Tanya Siskind, and John McGovern; Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay; several team and corporate sponsors of the event; local news anchor Roxanne Stein; a live appearance on WPTV; and a visit to Wellington’s Winterfest on Friday, December 7, 2018. To guarantee full transparency in the selection process, all drawings will be posted via Facebook: www.facebook.com/greatcharitychallenge.

The GCC is an exciting pro-am show jumping event that brings together over 30 equestrian families and companies as they sponsor a competing team for $25,000 and $10,000, respectively. Each team is assigned to compete for one of the randomly selected charities, offering amateur riders the chance to compete side-by-side with their Olympic and world-class professional equestrian heroes and role models. With additional donations from local families, businesses, sponsors, vendors, exhibitors, and spectators, the 2019 GCC is on track to fundraise and distribute over $1 million in Palm Beach County. Prize money for participating charities will range from $150,000 to $15,000, ensuring that every charity is a winner.

Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and co-founder of the Great Charity Challenge with his daughter Paige, commented, “We look forward to kick-starting our 2019 season with this initiative. We hope that the GCC will become the legacy of our partnership and this facility. This year’s list of applicants is truly inspiring. They work tirelessly to make Palm Beach County a better place – we are very grateful for them!”

Paige Bellissimo added, “The GCC is a unique event that allows us to raise awareness of the diverse charitable organizations throughout the community. We hope that this year’s edition will unite all involved, from the sponsors and riders, to the nonprofits involved and the community at large! We are very grateful for those who support the effort.”

PBIEC is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the largest and longest running horse show in the world. WEF will run January 9 through March 31, 2019. Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), the PBIEC operating organization that oversees equestrian events at the venue throughout the year, donates the facility, staff, and infrastructure to ensure the success of the charitable event.

Mark your calendars for the 2019 Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® to be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, at the PBIEC during the Winter Equestrian Festival’s popular “Saturday Night Lights” series. This family-friendly event offers free general admission and parking. With riders dressed up in costumes and horses adorned to match them, this year’s theme of “We Are the World” will focus on promoting unity and celebrate the cultural differences in our community.

Future charity drawings will be held at random during the first weeks of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival and the final two wild card teams will be drawn the night of the GCC on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

For the latest event information and application guidelines, visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com and learn more about the GCC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greatcharitychallenge.

Inside the CHI Geneva: The Elite Contenders for the Rolex Grand Prix

Steve Guerdat riding Alamo (Photo: Rolex / Ashley Neuhof)

From 6-9 December 2018, more than 40,000 spectators are set to flock to the Swiss city for the 58th edition of the CHI Geneva, the final Major of the year. Taking place in the Palexpo, which at 5,200 m2 is the largest indoor arena in world, visitors can expect to be thoroughly entertained at an event that has won the Best Equestrian Sports Show Worldwide award no less than nine times.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

With several prolific horse and rider combinations set to compete in the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva, there are a whole host of contenders who will undoubtedly be among the discussion as to who will be crowned champion in this historic Rolex Major.

A hot favourite to claim the title this year is the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Sameh El Dahan. The Egyptian rider clinched victory at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Calgary riding Suma’s Zorro, and will be tipped by many to continue his fine form in Switzerland. With a potential €500,000 bonus for winning two Majors successfully, Sameh will be doing his utmost to repeat his performance in Canada.

Never far from success is Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat, who currently sits at second in the World Official Jumping Rankings. Being a Swiss rider competing in Geneva, Guerdat is likely to be well supported, and when combined with his unquestioned ability, it would be a surprise if he is not one of the top performers in the competition, especially given that he has already won the Rolex Grand Prix on three occasions.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Live TV Coverage of Olympia Set to Feature Heavily over Christmas Period

Taking place from Monday 17 to Sunday 23 December 2018, Olympia, The International London Horse Show will be available to homes across the UK, with extensive coverage from the BBC starting with the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Freestyle to Music at 19:20 on the evening of Tuesday 18 December.

The BBC coverage, which will total almost 14 hours over the course of the week, cements Olympia’s position as the most important indoor equestrian event in the UK and will showcase the world-class competitive equestrian sport that is on offer.

BBC televised highlights include FEI World Cup™ Jumping, in which, last year, seven of the top 10 world-ranked show jumpers featured, including British Olympic gold medallists Ben Maher and Scott Brash. The FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound will also be televised this year and is set to welcome Charlotte Dujardin OBE, who will unveil a new freestyle routine. The three-time Olympic gold medallist, who has not competed in London since setting a new world record in 2015, will bring her rising star Mount St John Freestyle, with whom she won team and individual bronze at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon earlier this year.

Show director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “Working with the BBC is always a pleasure and the coverage of Olympia provides a massive platform for equestrian sport. Its coverage is not only important for Olympia but also for equestrianism in general, given that it is broadcasting world-class competition to an incredibly diverse audience. Its importance really can’t be overstated.”

Coverage will also include international classes, such as the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix and the Cayenne Puissance, which last year was won by Britain’s leading lady rider, Laura Renwick, in what proved to be a closely contested affair.

Friday night, also known as ‘Race Night’, will be televised in its entirety and will undoubtedly be a highlight, featuring fan-favourites such as: the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National, an exhilarating and competitive event between young and up-and-coming jockeys, along with the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, in which racing legend Sir AP McCoy will be keen to defend his title.

Further coverage includes international displays from La Garde Républicaine and its famous cavalry regiment along with the Azerbaijan ‘Land of Fire,’ a highly-skilled fusion of gymnastics and equestrianism that is bound to get viewers out of their armchairs. For those interested in other four-legged competition, the Kennel Club Dog Agility competition brings the UK’s best canine partnerships to screens as they battle it out for the biggest title of their careers.

International live coverage of the Dressage, Jumping, and Driving FEI World Cup™ competitions will be available on FEI TV and additional post-event coverage will be broadcast on Horse & Country TV and will be accessible from January.

Olympia, The London International Horse Show may be viewed online and on TV. The day-by-day coverage listing is as follows*:

Tuesday 18 December
• FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound
19:20-22:15 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV, and FEI TV

Wednesday 19 December
• The Cayenne Puissance
21:15-22:15 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV

Friday 21 December
• FEI Driving World Cup™ presented By Dobson & Horrell
12:45-13:40 – FEI Facebook Live & FEI YouTube
• The Entire Evening Performance
18:45-22:30 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV
Featuring The Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund and The Longines Christmas Cracker

Saturday 22 December
• FEI World Cup™ Show Jumping
13:15-16:30 – LIVE on BBC Two HD, BBC Online & connected TV
14.30-16.30 – LIVE on FEI TV
18.40-19.25 – LIVE on FEI TV

Sunday 23 December
• The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix
18:00-20:00 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV, FEI Facebook & FEI YouTube

Monday 24 December
• Recorded Highlights
10:00-11:00 – BBC Two HD, BBC Online & connected TV

Horse & Country TV will feature Olympia highlights including the FEI World Cup™ Dressage, Driving, and Show Jumping competitions, along with the Cayenne Puissance, the Longines Christmas Cracker, and the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix.

Horse & Country TV is available on Sky Channel 253, H&C Play, and Amazon Video.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins gjenkins@revolutionworld.com +44(0)7717 776928

Alex Granato Wins $35,000 Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital 1.50m Qualifier CSI 4*

Alex Granato and Carlchen W. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 29, 2018 – Alex Granato (USA) rode home with blue in the $35,000 Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital 1.50m Qualifier CSI 4* with Carlchen W at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Granato dashed through the jump-off in 37.454 seconds to secure the win aboard the 2008 Mecklenburger gelding (Celline x Continue) owned by Page Tredennick. Jumping in close behind, Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA) secured second place in 37.477 seconds riding Collin, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Oberlina x Amethist) owned by Santa Cecilia Stables. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) clinched third place aboard Bull Run’s Almighty, a 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Queen x Quidam De Revel) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, with a jump-off time of 37.849 seconds.

Among 45 pairs, Granato remained victorious with his tidy turns in the course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). “I was really happy with him today. He felt super. He is a naturally quick horse and with going first, I wanted to be prompt and efficient and just let him carry his own motor and now have to ask for a whole lot extra since we have another big class this week,” he commented.

“It was a pretty nice course and it was smooth. I was more focused on rideability early in the first turn, because [from fence] one to two was a pretty big gallop across the ring, and in one of the tight turnbacks from the second jump back to the liverpool oxer. I just wanted to keep him pretty focused there so that he had a tidy turn and was rideable. He did that really well – he galloped to the vertical and then really sat down and rolled back well. From there, I just wanted to keep it smooth and stay tidy to be as efficient as we could,” stated Granato.

Granato relayed his plans for the upcoming week, saying, “Today was our warm-up for the Grand Prix on Saturday. Tomorrow will be a relaxing day for him. He’s a naturally hot-blooded horse, so tomorrow we’ll do a long, relaxing flat to just get his focus and his rideability back and hopefully he comes out Saturday ready to jump the same way.”

Samantha Cohen Collects $10,000 USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship Class 1 aboard Carmen

Samantha Cohen (New York, NY) piloted her own Carmen to victory in Thursday’s $10,000 USEF U25 Show Jumping National Championship Class 1, slicing the 2007 Dutch Warmblood mare (Whitesnake x Wanado) through the timers in 66.35 seconds to best the field. Abigail McArdle claimed the second-place rosette, hailing from Barrington, IL and riding the Victorio Equine Group LLC entry, Victorio 5, a 2006 Hanoverian stallion (Uccello x Graefin). Rounding out the podium in third, Mattias Tromp (North Salem, NY) and Eyecatcher, a 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Ninewood) owned by Beyaert Farm Inc., cleared the course in 66.89 seconds.

In the single-round, faults-converted competition boasting 16 of the division’s best young riders to test the course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), Cohen and Carmen were able to save time on every turn to take the win. She explained, “Carmen is awesome at the speed – she’s kind of just kick and turn, and she’s always right there for me. I went late in the order and since it was faults converted, I thought I would go in and just give it my best shot and it worked out well. There were a few turns where I was really kicking on and she really helped me, so I couldn’t be happier.”

Cohen and her “horse of a lifetime” have competed together from the High Juniors to international Grand Prix classes. She elaborated: “I cannot say enough good things about her. It’s just been an amazing year and a half with her. I started with her in the High Juniors and she’s taken me up to the U25. I’ve gotten to do some 2* and 3* with her and she really is the most perfect horse you could ask for at home. She’s a little bit quirky,” Cohen continued. “She looks around the ring and is a bit of a mare at home, but she would never put a foot wrong at the show and has the biggest heart.”

Cohen’s victory on Thursday kicked off the USEF U25 National Show Jumping Championship week at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), which will continue through Sunday, December 2. Cohen praised the U25 division for its importance to up-and-coming riders, stating, “The U25 circuit has prepared me really well for international classes. Last season was my first year competing on the U25 circuit and it was definitely a learning experience. It was nice because in Europe the classes are so big and competitive with lots of professionals, so this division has done amazing things for me in terms of bridging the gap from the High Juniors to the bigger FEI Grand Prix competitions,” she elaborated. “I predict throughout the week it’ll keep getting bigger and more technical. I think this division is great and I look forward to doing it and learning from it for a few more years.”

For more information on PBIEC and the ESP Holiday Series, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Shane Sweetnam Sweeps $35,000 Dover Saddlery Holiday & Horses Opener CSI 4*

Shane Sweetnam and Palina De L’Escaut. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 28, 2018 – Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Palina De L’Escaut produced a double clear in the $35,000 Dover Saddlery Holiday & Horses Opener CSI 4* to begin 2018 Holiday & Horses competition at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), conquering their first FEI-level class together with ease and stopping the second-round timers in 30.499 seconds. Samuel Parot (CHI) rode his own Thriller P, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Lucky Light), to second and double clear in 30.59 seconds, while Daniel Bluman (ISR) rounded out the podium in 31.327 seconds on the speed portion aboard Cartouche, a 2007 stallion, owned by Bluman and Over the Top Stables, LLC.

Forty-five entries tested the course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), and Sweetnam remarked that the 2009 Hanoverian mare (Perigueux x Gottard), owned by Sweetnam, Paul Tracy, and Spy Coast Farm, LLC, proved herself quite capable of answering the questions posed to the course’s challengers, despite the fact that it was their first FEI class.

“I’ve had her since the end of the summer and she’s a bit green still,” Sweetnam explained. “I knew from the courses I’ve done on her that she’s quite nifty at turning and she’s very careful, so I knew she could do that turn, though I wasn’t sure it would be enough to win the class. It definitely worked out in my favor.”

In particular, the manner in which Palina De L’Escaut attacked said turn made a significant difference in the speed portion of the class. Sweetnam elaborated: “The second half in the speed part, there was an option with a turn that obviously not everybody did and that made a big difference for the win. I think naturally she covers the ground and is quite a quick horse, but I do think she saved two seconds when she turned the way she did, because she literally came off the jump before, turned and looked, and we went straight for it. She zoned in on it perfectly.”

Sweetnam stated that he has been trying horses in Europe frequently throughout the year and first partnered with the mare in Belgium. Right away, he noticed some qualities that he liked. “Honestly, she gives a great feel and she’s very sensitive, but at that stage she was still quite raw,” he admitted. “And she still has little things to learn, but she’s a very quick learner and she’s picking up everything very fast.

“This week, since I’m still getting to know her, she’ll do the [$35,000 Dever Golf Cars 1.45m Classic] class Friday and hopefully she can do a lot more in Florida this year. I definitely think she’ll do a couple Grand Prix classes, but I’m not sure yet [what she’ll do this winter]. When the timing is right, I’m sure she’ll let me know if she’s ready or not,” Sweetnam concluded.

Up-and-Coming Athletes Set for $100,000 USEF U25 Show Jumping National Championship at Holiday & Horses Show

The $100,000 USEF U25 Show Jumping National Championship is ready to begin at the Holiday & Horses Show in the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s International Arena. The championship’s fourth edition will run from November 29 to December 2. Athletes between the ages of 16 and 25 will compete in three competitions with fences up to 1.50 meters in height in hopes of claiming top honors.

The $10,000 faults-converted competition will kick off the championship on Thursday, followed by a $15,000 jump-off competition on Friday. The championship will be decided after the $25,000 two-round competition on Sunday. The champion will be the competitor with the lowest number of penalties after the three phases of the championship, with $50,000 in prize money awarded to the top-10 overall.

Twenty-four-year-old Abigail McArdle (Barrington, Ill.) claimed individual bronze with Adamo in 2016 and Chuck Berry 8 in 2017. She started a partnership with Victorio 5, Victorio Equine Group, LLC’s 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion, earlier this year and aims for a top performance in the championship. McArdle and Victorio 5 earned three top-six finishes at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in October as they continue to develop as a team.

Several competitors from this summer’s Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships presented by Gotham North (NAYC) are stepping up to this championship to further their education with the challenging competition format. Seventeen-year-old Samantha Cohen, young rider team gold and individual silver medalist, and 18-year-old McKayla Langmeier, young rider individual bronze medalist, bring their NAYC mounts, Carmen and Durosa W, respectively. Cohen (New York, N.Y.) and Langmeier (East Granby, Conn.) were also teammates on the U.S. team in the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Youth Final held in Opglabbeek, Belgium, in September.

For more information on PBIEC and the ESP Holiday Series, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Skidmore College and SCAD to Be Honored at the Pegasus Awards Ceremony

SCAD won the ANRC National Intercollegiate Equitation Championship for the fourth time in 2018. Photo courtesy of SCAD.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Nov. 26, 2019 – US Equestrian, the national governing body of equestrian sport, will hold their annual meeting and Pegasus Awards in Palm Beach, Florida in January. New to the Pegasus Awards celebratory evening, the 2018 Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Equestrian Team Awards will be presented Thursday evening, Jan. 10.  US Equestrian’s Pegasus Awards honor some of the great men and women of equestrian sport. The 2018 Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Equestrian Team award winners demonstrated their excellence in USEF-affiliated collegiate and scholastic organizations in 2018 and will be recognized for their achievements and success during Pegasus night.

Skidmore College, the IHSA Collegiate Cup Hunter Seat Championship Team, led by head coach Cindy Ford and assistant coach Belinda Colgan, will be presented with a 2018 Intercollegiate Award. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), coached by Ashley Henry and assistant Abbie Gibson, the 2018 ANRC National Intercollegiate Equitation Overall Championship Team, will also be honored.

IDA National Championship Team Intermont Equestrian at Emory and Henry, ISSRA Championship Team University of Louisville, NCEA National Championship Auburn University and USEA Eventing Championship Team Auburn University, and IEA Champion Upper School Hunter Seat Team Lucky Stables will also receive awards.

During the Pegasus Award event, US Equestrian will also present awards to the recipients of the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award the Walter B. Devereux Sportsmanship Award, the Pegasus Medals of Honor and other prestigious equestrian industry awards.

To learn more about US Equestrian’s 2019 Annual Meeting, visit usef.org/annual-meeting.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

From Baborówko to Tokyo 2020

Photo: Oliver Townend.

Baborówko, November 26, 2018 — FEI General Assembly in Bahrain has announced that an eventing qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be held during Equestrian Festival Baborówko 2019 in Baborówko, Poland. For athletes from C group, that includes countries from Central and East Europe, it is one of the two opportunities to qualify for the Olympics.

“Such a decision from the FEI is a great honour for us, validating the high level of the organisation of shows in Baborówko,” says Henryk Święcicki jr, the director of Equestrian Festival Baborówko. For the athletes from C group, another opportunity to qualify for the Olympics are the European Championships in Lumuehlen in August 2019.

The qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be played out in Baborówko as the CCI4*-L class. In the cross-country trial for this class, the athletes will have to finish a 6000m distance in the course of 10 minutes, overcoming almost 40 fences.

Within the team classification of the CCI4*-L class during Baborówko Equestrian Festival, the athletes will compete for the individual qualification to the Olympics, and the right to compete will only be granted to the best team.

Once again we will have the opportunity to witness the best athletes compete not only for the Olympic qualification. Thanks to the support of the Patron of the event, Mr. Roman Roszkiewicz, the prize money at Baborówko Equestrian Festival will once again reach ca. 100 000 EUR.

From the 23rd to the 26th of May 2019, at Equestrian Festival Baborówko, apart from the CCI4*-L class, athletes will also compete in the CCI3*-S and CCI2*-S classes, and the CCIYH2*-S class for young horses. The organisers are preparing an additional programme for the audiences, and as every year, admission is free.

Eventing is one of the three equestrian Olympic disciplines (along with dressage and showjumping), which the audience will have the opportunity to watch at Japan’s capital. The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will take place from the 24th of July until the 9th of August 2020.

More information on: www.festiwal.baborowko.pl.

Ferrer-Salat Posts Definitive Victory as Madrid Makes Its Series Debut

Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and Delgado. (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Spanish dressage legend, Beatriz Ferrer-Salat (52), posted a definitive victory with Delgado when the FEI Dressage World Cup™ visited Madrid, Spain for the very first time. Host nation riders dominated at this fourth round of the 10-leg 2018/2019 Western European League series when Claudio Castilla Ruiz (35) finished second with Alcaide ahead of Portugal’s Maria Caetano (32) and Coroado in third.

Showing some lovely work with her 11-year-old Lusitano stallion, the Portuguese rider went to the top of the scoreboard with a mark of 77.655 when sixth to go of the 14 starters. And she stayed out in front despite the best efforts of 2016 FEI Dressage World Cup™ champion Hans Peter Minderhoud from The Netherlands when he posted 76.110 with Zinardi in the closing stages.

But Castilla Ruiz raised the temperature dramatically when next into the ring, starting out with one-handed one-tempi changes down the centre line that drew a gasp of amazement from the crowd. He smiled in delight as his impressive 13-year-old stallion showed great activity in his piaffe/passage, and when the Spanish showman completed his test with another display of one-handed control then the audience rose to their feet and roared with approval as he posted the new leading score of 78.915.

Ferrer-Salat’s style has always been more understated, but the level of excellence shown by this consummate horsewoman has brought her many great moments, including team silver and individual bronze at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with the wonderful Beauvalais and individual bronze at the FEI European Championships 2015 with Delgado.

At 17 years of age, the Westphalian gelding is now in the twilight of his career, but he showed he’s not finished yet when placing 13th in the Grand Prix Special at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA in September. And he rose to the occasion once again, working in complete harmony with his rider as he pumped out his trademark clockwork passage to post the winning score of 81.285 despite a single error in canter.

When the penultimate partnership of Great Britain’s Richard Davis and Bubblingh retired after the 12-year-old Dutch gelding reared in over-excitement at the start of their test, the Spanish rider could be seen walking Delgado on a long rein in the warm-up area as they prepared to enter the arena – cool as a pair of cucumbers.

“Before he does his test, I always let him walk so he can relax and breathe, and then he’s ready to perform. I talk with him a lot and it’s always a wonderful feeling with him; he trusts me and I trust him!” — Beatriz Ferrer-Salat (ESP)

She is thinking ahead to Delgado’s retirement – “sometime next year, depending on how he feels,” she said. And she has a “very nice nine-year-old” who she hopes will begin to follow in his footsteps at the beginning of next year.

But she was delighted that he performed so well in front of her home crowd once again. “Delgado is very fresh lately and willing to perform – he’s very much with me still and I’m very proud of him!” Ferrer-Salat said.

The FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League now moves on to Salzburg (AUT) in two weeks’ time.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Deusser Makes It a Double in Madrid

Daniel Deusser (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Germany’s Daniel Deusser (37) rocketed up to third on the Western European League leaderboard and booked his ticket to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April when posting his second win of the 2018/2019 qualifying season at Madrid in Spain. He topped the line-up with Calisto Blue in Verona, Italy last month, and in this sixth round of the 13-leg series he steered Tobago Z to the quickest time in a tension-filled 10-horse jump-off to take maximum points once again.

Runner-up was World No. 2, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (36), who has now forged a significant lead on the league table, and third place went to Irma Karlsson (25), one of three Swedish riders to make it into the timed round.

Karlsson led the way against the clock with a beautifully-ridden, fast and accurate ride on the lovely 10-year-old mare Ida Bisschop to set a strong target in 48.28 seconds. But it was like watching a piece of precision engineering as Deusser’s handsome Zangersheide stallion shaved 1.55 seconds off that with effortless ease when fifth to go.

“We found a good rhythm from the first to the second, and it lasted to the very end of the course. Tobago is very careful and very scopey, and he’s not a hot horse so that really helps in the jump-off because he never rushes even when he’s under pressure – you get the same jump whether you are going fast or slow.” — Daniel Deusser (GER)

Having set the standard at 46.73 seconds, the 2014 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion then had to sit it out as the remaining five took their turn over Javier Trenor’s shortened track. Niels Bruynseels slotted in behind Karlsson when clear with his exciting nine-year-old Delux van T&L in 48.42, and when both his Belgian compatriot Pieter Devos (Claire Z), winner at last weekend’s leg in Stuttgart, and Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (Toveks Mary Lou) left a pole on the floor, it was still all to play for with two left to run.

Guerdat looked well set to challenge for the lead with his 10-year-old mare Ulysse des Forets. However, a wider turn to the double three from home may have cost valuable fractions of seconds, so when the pair broke the beam in 47.12 then only the reigning European individual champion, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, stood between Deusser and his second success of the season.

Fredricson was fully focused as he set sail with H&M Christian K, but an unscheduled stop at the third fence put paid to his chances and when the pair completed with a total of 16 faults, they lined up in tenth place. Deusser, currently world no. 7, was really pleased with his horse’s performance.

“Tobago has developed very well this year. His first World Cup was in Bordeaux in February and he has done a few Grand Prix classes and is showing a lot of promise for the future,” he said. He intends taking either Tobago or Calisto Blue to Gothenburg – “You ride your best at the Final!”

With 40 points now on the board he looks set to be inside the top-18 who make the cut from the Western European League for the Longines 2019 Final, even though there are another seven legs left to go. Pieter Devos has 49 so is also well on his way, while double-champion Guerdat, who has collected points at all six legs to date while riding four different horses, is in full command at the top of the table with a big tally of 58.

The action stays in Spain for the next leg of the Western European League, with the port city of La Coruña in Galicia playing host next weekend.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

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Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
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