Tag Archives: CHIO Aachen

Relive Nations Cup CSIO5* at CHIO Aachen on Horse & Country TV

Photo: Courtesy of Horse & Country TV.

London, U.K. – July 24, 2018 – Following the exciting conclusion of the prestigious CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Germany on Sunday, Horse & Country TV (H&C TV) is proud to offer its U.S. audience the opportunity to relive all of the action in its exclusive coverage of the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup CSIO5* and the Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

H&C TV will broadcast highlights from the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup CSIO5* on Tuesday, July 24, at 8 p.m. EST and the Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* as-live on Wednesday, July 25, at 8 p.m. EST. Don’t miss one of the biggest show jumping events of the year! Join H&C TV to watch the coverage from Aachen here.

In addition to Tuesday and Wednesday’s broadcasts, a highlights show recapping the event will also air on Friday, July 27, at 8 p.m. EST.

World renowned athlete from Germany, Marcus Ehning, won Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* – his second Aachen grand prix title in 12 years.

Ehning is highly respected for his stylish, effortless riding and he didn’t disappoint. His partner Pret A Tout was also on top form, having led Germany to its third consecutive Nations Cup victory at Aachen earlier in the week on Thursday. Once again, the 15-year-old Selle Français gelding pulled off a perfect performance.

“First of all, I have to thank my horse,” said Ehning. “He has an incredibly good nature and knows his job! When he enters the ring and hears the crowd it gives him additional motivation.”

Ehning is now in the running for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. The next leg will be held at Spruce Meadows in early September. Following Sunday’s victory, Ehning said he hadn’t planned on competing there but may have to take a second look at his competition schedule. After all, there is €1 million up for grabs!

Watch Ehning’s incredible display of horsemanship in H&C TV’s broadcasts of the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup CSIO5* and the Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* at CHIO Aachen on Tuesday and Wednesday!

Horse & Country TV
www.horseandcountrytv.us

Marcus Ehning Wins the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen

Marcus Ehning riding Pret A Tout (Photo: Rolex/Kit Houghton)

Germany’s Marcus Ehning gave the 40,000 patriotic spectators a reason to celebrate at CHIO Aachen, as he clinched the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix title aboard his 15-year-old chestnut gelding, Pret A Tout.

Although this is the fourth Major Ehning has won, his Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey has only just begun, as he becomes the new live contender. We spoke to Ehning following his incredible performance, which left him two seconds clear of his closest rival, Portugal’s Luciana Diniz:

What were your thoughts when you walked the course?

I thought it was a really good course. I thought there would be about 10 clears and, in the end, there were 11. There wasn’t anywhere specifically that looked too challenging or that my horse couldn’t jump, but my horse has performed amazingly in past years here, and he gave me a confidence that I could really trust him and believe that we could go all the way. He is a very flexible horse and I am very lucky to be riding him.

Which round was more difficult, the first or second?

For me the first round was more difficult; a few times I didn’t have the perfect rhythm that I wanted but I was very happy to be clear. The second round was amazing; from the first jump to the last, we were fast but there was a lot of control and I really enjoyed it.

Where you nervous watching Luciana’s round?

I was nervous watching Luciana; she is a good rider and has come close to winning here a few times.

You are now the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender; will you be competing at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in September?

Before this win today I was only focusing on the World Equestrian Games, but obviously now this is a very different situation. I need to speak to my team and my owners to work out a strategy and think about what we do.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

McLain Ward Wins the Prize of North Rhine-Westfalia at CHIO Aachen

McLain Ward riding Clinta (Photo: Rolex/Kit Houghton)

The second Rolex Grand Prix qualifier, the Prize of North Rhine-Westfalia, was won by USA’s McLain Ward in speedy fashion, finishing at the top of the leaderboard in 46.95 secs, shaving nearly two seconds off his closest rival, Kevin Staut, who took second place. McLain paid tribute to his stunning 11-year-old mare, Clinta, following his victory:

Can you tell us about Clinta?

I purchased her in February this year. I actually tried her for the first time right after Aachen last year. She performed really well here, and we were very impressed by her. We started competing together in Florida, in March, and the partnership felt fantastic right from the beginning; she won the first 5* Grand Prix in New York and the 4* in Devon, so we have certainly had a great start together. We are so excited for her career; she is a really spectacular jumper; she is as careful as any horse I have ever ridden and I think we are going to have a bright future.

Who will you be riding in the Rolex Grand Prix?

I will be riding HH Azur in the Rolex Grand Prix. Clinta will ride the big class tomorrow and that will be her last for the week. I am so lucky to have two such amazing horses here; they are both brilliant. They are slightly different in character – Azur has an ease and a blood, an athleticism about her; you can see it in the way she stands. Clinta is a bit quicker, moves a bit faster and her jump is a little more dynamic. The similarity between the two is they have that wonderful quality of giving everything they have to you.

Do you feel extra pressure competing at one of the four Majors that make up the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

I have extra pressure on myself as it’s the last big Grand Prix of the world I haven’t won, and I would like to get my name on that wall before I retire. So that’s my drive: I want to win here for sure, so we will do our best, hopefully have some good fortune and we will be in for a chance on Sunday afternoon.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Henrik von Eckermann Clinched the Turkish Airlines-Preis von Europa Title at CHIO Aachen

Henrik von Eckermann riding Castello (Photo: Rolex/Kit Houhgton)

After a highly competitive jump-off, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann clinched the Turkish Airlines-Preis von Europa title with his grey gelding, Castello 194. He spoke after his victory:

How did the course feel today?

The course was very long; it had three combinations, one triple, one double, and of course the double plank which caused a few problems. The time was hard to keep inside of and with it being such a long course the horses were tiring at the end. I was happy with my horse’s performance and was excited to reach the jump-off.

What were your tactics going into the jump-off?

My tactics were to watch McLain’s round and work out where I could shave time off, as he is normally the one to beat in a jump-off like this. I saw a little hole where I could take him: it was the second last; he was little bit out to the oxer and I have a very scopey horse, so I thought if I stayed a little tighter to the jump, I could catch him, which we did.

How will you prepare for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday?

The horse will need to stay fresh and happy in the mind ahead of Sunday. It is a big wish to win the Rolex Grand Prix, but we all know how difficult the competition is. Of course, I want to chase the Rolex Grand Slam; I was second in the Geneva Grand Prix, so hopefully I can go one better this weekend.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Inside CHIO Aachen: A Sneak Peak

Niels Bruynseels at Knokke Hippique (Photo: Knokke Hippique)

The second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, takes place on 22nd July and is expected to attract over 40,000 spectators to witness the prestigious competition. The course, set by Frank Rothenberger, is considered to be one of the most challenging and demanding 5* tracks. The sport’s finest horse and rider partnerships are tested to their limits, displaying enviable skill and talent, striving to make history and to be crowned the Rolex Grand Prix champion.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

With the world’s best horse and rider combinations set to take center stage for Rolex Grand Prix, there are some notable contenders whose recent performance would state they are on track for a Rolex Major win:

Niels Bruynseels, the current Rolex live contender, has continued his great form since producing a lightning jump-off round at The Dutch Masters aboard his 12-year-old mare Gancia de Muze in March. The notoriously fast duo took the top prize in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique following a speedy and faultless jump-off. With the next stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping very much in his sites, Bruynseels will be pulling out all the stops to make sure his Rolex Grand Slam journey continues.

One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Swiss hero Steve Guerdat, has had a successful summer so far. His most notable victory was in front of HM The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May. Seeing off top-class competitors, Guerdat rode an impeccable round to snap up the Rolex Grand Prix victory. Guerdat is no stranger when it comes to winning Majors; crowned champion at CHI Geneva on more than one occasion, Guerdat stays calm under pressure and will certainly be a formidable contender for the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen.

Fellow Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze, has prepared well for the CHIO Aachen. At the Rolex Grand Prix in Windsor, he shaved time off Guerdat’s winning result, but a light touch on the pole resulted in four penalties. Fresh from his victory in the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows with his 15-year-old mare, Fine Lady, Eric Lamaze will be hoping to continue his recent form as he eyes up the coveted Rolex Grand Prix trophy.

Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca is also looking strong, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in Rome (Piazza di Siena). De Luca and his chestnut gelding, Halifax Van Het Kluizebos, jumped two immaculate clear rounds, stopping the clock at 45.37 secs, making him one to watch.

Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has tasted victory at CHIO Aachen once before, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in 2005 on her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Shutterfly. Michaels-Beerbaum will have the patriotic home-crowd support, willing her to repeat her 2005 success thirteen years on.

Rolex Testimonee, Scott Brash, the first and only rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, brings a wealth of experience and always performs well under pressure.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

CHIO Aachen Hosts the Second Major of the Year

11 July 2018, Aachen, Germany – From 13 to 22 July the world’s top international riders will travel to West Germany to showcase their talents to over 360,000 spectators as they compete in the second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix, at the spectacular CHIO Aachen.

The heart of equestrian sport beats at this magnificent venue, showcasing show jumping, eventing, dressage, driving and vaulting. This breathtaking nine-day event is known as the best equine sporting competition in the world and a highlight of the annual equestrian calendar.

The focal point of the competition, the Rolex Grand Prix, will take place on Sunday 22 July. As part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, CHIO Aachen hosts the second Major of 2018 in the main jumping arena, a stunning setting that accommodates over 40,000 passionate supporters. Widely acknowledged as one of the most demanding show jumping courses in the world, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen epitomizes show jumping, and is the show against which all others are measured.

The most recent addition to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, The Dutch Masters, held in March, saw Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels triumph. Revelling in his success, Bruynseels will be hoping to maintain his position as the live contender for the premier contest. “Aachen is the next stop in my journey, and of course one of my number one goals right now is to go there and win,” Bruynseels affirmed.

THE ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF SHOW JUMPING

The first Major of the year took place in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, where 11,500 fans gathered to witness this new addition to the Rolex Grand Slam prize. Bright lights illuminated the beautiful indoor arena, for the highlight of the event, the Rolex Grand Prix. Now all eyes will turn to CHIO Aachen for a contrasting competition, held in one of the greatest outdoor arenas, on grass.

A monumental challenge for the horse and rider combinations, the Majors require perfect performances in order to reach the final stage. World-renowned course designer, Frank Rothenberger, creates the imposing, technical course seen each year in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen. His course will demand faultless precision, courage, and determination from all competitors as they contend for the highly sought-after victory.

The greatest riders from all over the world will be heading to CHIO Aachen with the goal of being crowned champion. With one Major success already this year, spectators will keep a close watch on Bruynseels to see if he can continue his winning streak.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES AT CHIO AACHEN

World number eight Steve Guerdat is aiming for victory at CHIO Aachen. Having recently triumphed at CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show in the Rolex Grand Prix, the Swiss hero is at the top of his game and will be a formidable contender.

The first and only rider to ever win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Britain’s Scott Brash, and 2016 Olympic Team gold medallist Kevin Staut (FRA), are also set to compete at CHIO Aachen. Joining them will be the masterful Canadian Eric Lamaze and Swiss rider Martin Fuchs, Rolex’s newest equestrian Testimonee.

The passionate and knowledgeable home crowd will be eager to welcome their national heroes, Rolex Testimonees and champion riders Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Isabell Werth. Winner of the 2005 Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, Michaels-Beerbaum, an inspiring and courageous show jumper, will no doubt have the full support of the grandstand driving her to repeat this victory once again. The incomparable Isabell Werth is one of the most decorated dressage riders. Her World Dressage Champion title and six Olympic gold medals are just two of her many illustrious achievements. This year, spectators will have the pleasure of seeing Werth compete in the 5* Dressage Grand Prix, as she aims to win her twelfth Aachen Grand Prix title.

SHARED VALUES IN EQUESTRIAN SPORT

CHIO Aachen was inaugurated in 1924 and has exhibited phenomenal equestrian sport ever since. The year 2018 marks 10 years since the show extended to nine days of thrilling competitions, highlighting its distinguished history and commitment to the sport.

The enduring relationship between Rolex and CHIO Aachen was formed in 1999 and has gone from strength-to-strength throughout the years. Show Director, Frank Kemperman, said: “We are extremely proud of the partnership between Rolex and CHIO Aachen. We feel privileged to be associated with such a prestigious and iconic brand, which has stood behind equestrian sport for over 60 years and provided fundamental support to foster its development and long-term success.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Merrick Haydon
merrick@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7748 186 833

United States Impresses at 2017 World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen

Laura Kraut and Zeremonie. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

US brings home silver in FEI Nations Cup competitions; numerous top finishes for individual athletes

Aachen, Germany – The United States sent 18 equestrian athletes and fielded two FEI Nations™ Cup teams to compete at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen in Aachen, Germany July 14-23.

“It’s the Wimbledon of our sport; there is no question,” said Robert Ridland, Chef d’Equipe of the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping team. “It is one of the most prestigious places to compete. The top riders are all saying: we are bringing our ‘A’ game here, we are bringing our best horses.”

The U.S. athletes certainly came prepared to compete, with plans and goals laid out. The following are some highlights of the U.S. athletes’ week in Aachen.

Show Jumping

On Tuesday, July 18, 2004 and 2008 Olympic team gold medalist Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and HHS Hercules, Abigail Wexner’s 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding, took third place in the Sparkassen Youngsters Cup, a class for seven and eight year olds, with zero faults and a time of 67.51.

The following afternoon, Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.), 2000 Sydney Olympian, and Ohlala, The Ohlala Group’s 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare, competed with 58 other riders and took fifth place with zero faults and a time of 43.20 in the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe. Later that afternoon, Hough went on to take fifth with Waterford, Laura and Meredith Mateo’s 2003 KWPN gelding, with zero faults and a time of 38.43 in the Prize of StadteRegion Aachen. In addition, 2008 Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Whitney, Artisan Farms, LLC and Torrey Pines Stables’ 2003 KWPN gelding, took third in the same class, with zero faults and a time of 37.45.

Thursday proved to be an exciting day for U.S. Show Jumping. Madden and Breitling LS, Wexner’s 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion, won the STAWAG-Prize, with zero faults and a time of 66.01. Kraut and Whitney placed third with zero faults and a time of 69.86. Later that evening, Kraut and 2004 and 2008 Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) led the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team to a silver medal tie with Switzerland in the Mercedes Benz FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Aachen with double clear performances aboard Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms’ 2007 Holsteiner mare, and HH Azur, Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare, respectively.

“Today was exciting as always – Aachen is the pinnacle of sport. To go double clear tonight with Zeremonie was thrilling,” said Kraut.

World number one ranked and 2016 Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) and his mount Uceko, R.C.G. Farm’s 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding, pulled out a beautiful win on Friday in the North Rhine-Westphalia with zero faults and a time of 46.65. When asked about Uceko and winning in Aachen, Farrington responded: “He [Uceko] is really special. He loves grass arenas. I’ve had him since he was six years old, and I’m so proud that he is 16 and still winning here at Aachen. It was an amazing day.”

On Sunday, Ward and HH Carlos Z, Double H Farm’s 2002 Zangersheide gelding, won the SAP-Prize, with zero faults and a time of 60.21. That evening Kraut and Zeremonie, Ward and HH Azur, Farrington and Voyeur, Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, Hough and Ohlala, and Madden and Darry Lou, Wexner’s 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding, all competed in the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen. In the end, Kraut went head-to-head with Gregory Wathelet from Belgium, Luciana Diniz from Portugal, and Marc Houtzager from the Netherlands in the final jump-off. Kraut placed fourth with four faults and a time of 48.01.

Additionally, Zeremonie and Old Willow Farms were presented with the prestigious Halla Challenge Trophy by Hans Gunter Winker for the most successful horse at CHIO Aachen. Kraut was also awarded with the “Prize of the Federal Minister of the Interior,” an award of a special trophy given to the best jumping athlete of the entire show, presented by the Federal Minister of the Interior, Hans-Peter Friedrich.

Dressage

The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team came to Aachen ready to compete. The first phase of the FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* began on Thursday, July 20, with the Preis der Familie Tesch Grand Prix. 2016 Olympic team bronze medalist Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Verdades, Graves and Curt Maes’s 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, took second place behind Germany’s Isabell Werth with a score of 79.514%. The U.S. team sat in second place after the first phase.

“Three of our four horses have never shown at Aachen before,” said Robert Dover, Chef d’Equipe for The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage team. “Two of these horses are in their first season of showing internationally in Europe and one of them is in his first handful of CDIs in his life. Maybe that’s why, by the end of the day, I was a little over-wrought with emotion.”

On Saturday, the second and final phase of the FEI Nations Cup continued in the MEGGLE-Preis Grand Prix Special. With the German audience hanging on to every passage, piaffe, and pirouette, Graves and Verdades took on Werth and her mount, Weihegold OLD, performing a truly masterful test, and scoring a 81.824% that catapulted them to the top of the class standings – on Graves’ 30th birthday, no less. Combined with the rides of the remaining team members, The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team went on to claim the silver medal behind Germany and ahead of Sweden.

“Today was my day,” Graves said. “My horse gave me a great birthday present. I could not be more pleased with him. And, there is nothing like a stadium of Germans singing happy birthday to you. That is really memorable.”

Graves and Verdades went on to take third place in the Deutsche Bank Prize Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday, with a score of 82.550%.

Eventing

U.S. eventer Hannah Sue Burnett (The Plains, Va.) placed seventh overall in Aachen, with RF Demeter, Jacqueline Mars’ 2002 Oldenburg mare. After Thursday’s dressage test, with 39.90 penalties and the jumping phase, with a time of 87.22 and zero faults, the combination went into Saturday’s cross-country phase sitting in fifth place. Finishing the course clear and with just eight time penalties, Burnett and RF Demeter finished seventh in the overall line-up with a final score of 42.50 penalties.

“The time is difficult to make here in Aachen,” said Burnett. “This was really my first time that I’ve tried to be fast on her [RF Demeter]. I was only eight seconds over, which is really good. It is a really fun feeling here. Everybody cheers so much and there is so much involvement from the crowd. I love that feeling and I love this event.”

Combined Driving

Chester Weber (Ocala, Fla.) represented the United States in combined driving in Aachen. On Wednesday, July 19, Weber masterfully guided Bastiaan, Fritz Grupe’s 2006 KWPN gelding; Boris W, Weber’s 2006 KWPN gelding; First Edition, Weber’s 2009 KWPN gelding; and Splash, Jane Clark’s 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding, to a second place finish in the Prize of Fa. Horsch, Der Entorger Dressage Four-In Hand with 41.28 penalties.

On Friday, Weber went on to take second again in the Top Score Driving Competition with 1800.00 points, with Boris W, First Edition, Maestoso Jupiter, Weber’s 2007 Hungarian Warmblood gelding, and Splash in the traces.

Vaulting

U.S. Vaulters performed well at Aachen with numerous top-ten finishes.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

A Thrilling Jump Off Saw Gregory Wathelet Claim Victory in Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen

23 July 2017, Aachen, Germany – The first equestrian Major of the year has been won by Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet riding Coree, thrilling the 40,000 capacity crowds in the main arena at CHIO Aachen in a dramatic jump off. Portugal’s Luciana Diniz riding Fit for Fun 13 was second and The Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager riding Sterrehof’s Calimero took third place.

A cool, overcast day welcomed the 40 horse and rider combinations who had qualified for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday 23 July, the finale and highlight of the nine-day World Equestrian Festival in West Germany. As one of the four Majors which make up the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, every rider had travelled here with one aim: to win in one of the sport’s greatest outdoor arenas.

The Rolex Grand Prix course, designed by the notoriously demanding Frank Rothenberger asked these world class pairings continuous questions over the first round, with 16 jumping efforts to tackle. Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash was third to go and despite a seemingly faultless start, the penultimate triple combination saw Brash take an unlucky four faults.

Testament to the difficulty of the course, only seven clear rounds were produced within the time, including a foot perfect round from Canadian Olympic 2016 bronze medallist and Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze. Two seconds faster than the rest of the field; he had set the bar high for the second round.

18 riders progressed through to round two, with Scott Brash and Eric Lamaze joined by fellow Rolex Testimonees Kent Farrington and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, both of whom carried four faults from the first round.

The course was altered for the second stage of the competition: a revised track of 15 jumping efforts tested each horse and rider combination, requiring utmost accuracy and precision to leave the poles standing. Clear rounds were easier to come by and after Luciana Diniz of Portugal followed Marc Houtzager by posting the second double clear, the crowd knew it was going to be treated to a jump-off. Gregory Wathelet of Belgium and Laura Kraut of the USA followed suit, taking the final round to four competitors. Despite recording the fastest first round ride, Rolex Testimonee Eric Lamaze had an unlucky four faults, taking him out of contention of winning the Rolex Grand Prix.

First to go in the jump off was Marc Houtzager, posting a clear round with a time of 53.66 seconds, but this was quickly beaten as Luciana Diniz raced around the course in 47.40 seconds. With two riders left to go, a hushed silence descended over the crowd as Wathelet entered the arena aboard his mare Coree. The pair turned up the pressure and took another second off the fastest recorded time, finishing on 46.60. The cheering crowd once again quietened as the last rider to go, Laura Kraut, entered the arena. Unfortunately, luck is not always on your side in this sport and Kraut knocked the last rail, dropping her into fourth place, giving Wathelet the title spot.

Speaking about his first Rolex Grand Prix win at CHIO Aachen, Wathelet remarked, “Rolex has the best Shows to form the Rolex Grand Slam with Aachen, Calgary, Geneva and Den Bosch and every rider wants to win. For me it is a dream come to true to win the Rolex Grand Prix at Aachen and have my name on the wall and Calgary would be the same, so I hope to get a good result there also.”

Show Director Frank Kemperman spoke after the Rolex Grand Prix: “First of all I would like to congratulate the winners; you presented some fantastic sport today; a special thank you to your horses. A big thank you to Rolex because without Rolex it would not be possible to have this Grand Prix today. This is the start of a new Rolex Grand Slam for Gregory; our friends in Calgary and Geneva are waiting for you.”

Along with the prestigious Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping trophy, Wathelet also received an engraved Oyster Perpetual Datejust II. All eyes will now be looking ahead to the next equestrian Major at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in September, where Wathelet will be attempting to continue his reign as the live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Rod Kohler
rod@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7770 647 662

US Dressage Team Wins Silver at FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Aachen

Shannon Brinkman Photo (Left to right: Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, Kasey Perry-Glass, Laura Graves, and Adrienne Lyle)

Graves and Verdades Win Grand Prix Special

Aachen, Germany – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team won the silver medal at the FEI Nations Cup at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen in Aachen, Germany on Saturday with a final score of 450.392. Rio Olympic team bronze medalist Laura Graves and Verdades were foot perfect as they bested the field of competitors, unseating Germany’s Isabell Werth in the Grand Prix Special to win with a final a score of 81.824%.

“These incredible young ladies are just super athletes along with super wonderful horses, some of which are brand new to arenas such as this,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover. “I was over-wrought with emotion about them landing in second place halfway through this Nations Cup. On the one hand, a part of me expects that; I expect excellence. Still, it is an extra thrill to have this youthful look of new faces coming along with our seasoned veterans. I’m very happy and very excited about this group.”

Maintaining their silver status from Thursday’s Grand Prix, the U.S. had little to no room for error as they entered the arena. The 2016 Olympic duo of Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Verdades, Graves’ and Curt Maes’ 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, kept the momentum going fresh off their Grand Prix test, where they placed second with a 79.514%. They were determined to keep the team on the podium by producing a showstopping performance in the Grand Prix Special.

“Today was just our day. My horse gave me a great birthday present,” said Graves. “It was actually the first time this year that we have shown in the [Grand Prix] Special. I could not be more pleased with him. Aachen brings out the top riders, and that’s what keeps me motivated.”

Graves is the fifth U.S. dressage rider to win at Aachen, behind Patricia Galvin and Jessica Ransehousen (1960), Robert Dover (1987 CHIO Freestyle) and Steffen Peters (2009).

“A win in Aachen is tantamount to a win at the Olympics,” said Dover. “She was against the very best rider from the Olympic Games, the very best rider from the World Cup and when you beat that rider and horse, it’s just everything. When you go into the stadium and have our national anthem played and our flag go up, it is something she will never forget in her life. Nothing can make me more proud or happier for her.”

London Olympic veteran Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) aboard Salvino, the 2007 Hanoverian stallion owned by Salvino Partners, LLC, entered the ring confident and composed, demonstrating brilliant movements to finish on a final score of 71.814% and 73.608% in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, respectively.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Dover. “She rode magnificently both days. Today, the marks reflected a super talented horse and a fantastic rider piloting this young horse.”

Relatively new to international competitions, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) and Lonoir, LaGoy-Weltz and Mary Anne McPhail’s 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding, competed with poise riding two technically outstanding tests, finishing the Grand Prix with a 71.514% and 72.118% in the Grand Prix Special.

“Olivia is another incredibly gifted rider. She is as tough about wanting perfect and being determined,” said Dover. “Right before she went in I said rack up as many points as you possibly can in the first half of the test because his greenness is in the second half and that’s exactly what she did. That’s what you want in a team rider; it shows another great talent for the future.”

Graves’ Rio Olympic teammate, Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.), and Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 2003 Warmblood gelding, had an unexpected miscommunication in their first pirouette during Thursday’s Grand Prix, resulting in a score of 68.929% which was the drop score for the team. However, the pair’s performance on Saturday set the tone for the U.S. with a score of 71.608%.

“We wanted Kasey to keep showing the continued evolution of how this horse is coming on,” said Dover. “It [Grand Prix Special] was so amazing and so lovely. The 74-75% is right there. I’m thrilled with her.”

Germany took home top honors with a final collective team score of 471.046, and placed three of their riders in the top ten in the Grand Prix Special. Sweden, who was in fourth after the Grand Prix, surpassed Denmark to round out the top three with a final score of 437.635.

Graves and Verdades placed third with a score of 82.550% in the Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday morning.

From Classic Communications/US Equestrian Communications Department

US Dressage Team Ready to Compete in Aachen

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino (SusanJSticklePhoto.com)

Aachen, Germany – All four horses on The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team, as well as two additional U.S. athlete-and-horse combinations competing in the Aachen CDI4*, have passed the horse inspection and are ready to compete at the 2017 World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen, in Aachen, Germany, July 19-23.

The U.S. team, led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, includes the 2016 Olympic combinations of Laura Graves and Verdades and Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet, in addition to the exciting combinations of Olympic veteran Adrienne Lyle with Salvino and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz with Lonoir. Featuring a combination of new talent and international experience, the U.S. team will vie for top honors in Aachen while gaining experience and building momentum towards the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C.

The competition begins with the CDIO5* Grand Prix on Thursday followed by the CDIO5* Grand Prix Special, the second half of the team competition, on Saturday morning. The U.S. has drawn the eighth and final position in the starting order among the eight countries competing and will compete in the following order:

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino:
Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho), a 2012 London Olympian, rides Salvino Partners, LLC’s Salvino, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion.  She and Salvino continue to progress in their partnership. The exciting, developing combination recently placed third in the Grand Prix CDI3* in Rotterdam last month.

Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet:
Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) will compete with Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 2003 Warmblood gelding. Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet earned a team bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games and placed seventh in the 2017 FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha. In May, they won the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship and was part of the gold medal winning team at CDIO5* Rotterdam in June.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir:
LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) will compete her own and Mary Anne McPhail’s Lonoir, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding. LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir continue to grow their partnership after exhibiting strong performances including a team gold in CDIO5* Rotterdam and first-place finishes in both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special in CDIO3* Wellington, Fla. earlier this year.

Laura Graves and Verdades:
Graves (Geneva, Fla.) will ride her own and Curt Maes’ Verdades, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding. Graves and her 2016 Olympic team bronze medal mount, Verdades placed second at the FEI World Cup ™ Dressage Final in Omaha. Most recently, they were part of the gold medal winning team at FEI Nations Cup ™ CDIO5* Rotterdam.

The following athlete-horse combinations will compete as individuals in the CDI4*:

Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Patricia Stempel’s Danilo, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding.

Kathleen Raine (Murrieta, Calif.) with her own, Jennifer Mason, and David Wightman’s Breanna, a 2000 Hanoverian mare.

Further information on the 2017 World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen, including a schedule of events and results, is available at chioaachen.de.

From Classic Communications/ U.S. Equestrian Communications Department