Leipzig (GER), 20 January 2013 – Germany’s Christian Ahlmann showed exactly why he holds No. 1 position on the Jumping World Rankings when trouncing the opposition in the ninth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League series at Leipzig, Germany today. In the ten-horse jump-off against the clock he was in a class of his own with the brilliant Taloubet Z who set an unbeatable target when sixth to go. And it was a spectacular hat-trick for the partnership who took the Rolex title at the 2011 Final and also won last year’s qualifier at this same venue.
Runner-up was Ireland’s Denis Lynch with the big gelding, Abbervail van het Dingeshof, while Olympic individual silver medallists, The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder and London, finished third. On an afternoon when many of the top riders were further testing some newer horses in their strings, it was Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer who slotted into fourth ahead of Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and Ego van Orti in fifth place.
A total of 40 horse-and-rider combinations contested this class, and it was always going to be a tough one to win as the starting line-up included nine of the top ten in the World Rankings. With the series now moving towards the closing stages, and with just three further qualifiers to go, the battle for a qualifying spot at the Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April is intensifying with every round. And course designer, Germany’s Frank Rothenburger, tested them with a track that demanded rider skills all the way to the final fence.
Leipzig (GER), 20 January 2013 – Koos de Ronde (NED) was the star of the ultimate FEI World Cup Driving qualifier held in Leipzig (GER) this weekend. Today’s victory was De Ronde’s only chance to secure a ticket for the Final in Bordeaux (FRA). The suspense was on until the very last moment in the fully packed Leipziger Messe arena. De Ronde came out the winner, József Dobrovitz (HUN) finished second in this thrilling competition, ahead of Tomas Eriksson (SWE) in third.
Eight FEI World Cup drivers
FEI Official course designer Dr Wolfgang Asendorf (GER) had laid out a very horse-friendly course, which was well appreciated by all eight drivers. The organising committee had invited FEI World Cup drivers Christoph Sandmann (GER), Georg von Stein (GER) and IJsbrand Chardon (NED) to compete with wild cards, so eight out of the season’s ten FEI World Cup drivers were present in Leipzig. The only absentees were Boyd Exell (AUS), who is enjoying some time off in his home country, and Theo Timmerman (NED).
Garfield and Alexandra Crown Surpass Competition in Antares Large Junior Hunters 16-17 Division
Wellington, FL – January 19, 2013 – The youngest rider in Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix was the winner as eighteen-year-old Reed Kessler and Ligist jumped to victory during the highlight event of week two at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). With riders representing fourteen different countries competing in the class, the USA took the top seven placings and the young women were one, two and three. Kessler and Ligist topped Katie Dinan (19) and Nougat du Vallet and Brianne Goutal (24) aboard Nice de Prissey.
The second week of FTI WEF competition, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will conclude with the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI WEF circuit runs through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.
Luc Musette of Belgium set the course for Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix. The riders were all complimentary of Musette’s course for the evening. Goutal stated, “I thought it was amazing. I thought this course was beautifully built and spot on with the number of clears. It didn’t kill anyone, it was hard, it was fast, it was exciting. It is the best course I have jumped in a long time, I thought it was wonderful.”
WELLINGTON, FL – January 19, 2013 – Trailing by five goals early in the fourth chukker, Audi came back to defeat previously unbeaten La Herradura, 10-9, Saturday in the Joe Barry Memorial Cup Tournament in front of a large crowd at rain-soaked Isla Carroll West Field.
Audi’s Nic Roldan scored eight goals including the tying and winning goals to enable Audi to advance into Wednesday’s semifinals.
“It was just a matter of more patience and trying to stay cool,” Roldan said. “We couldn’t have been playing any worse in the beginning. Nothing was going our way.
“Slowly but surely we started clawing back,” Roldan said. “It’s a huge win, a great win for us.
Roldan, ranked at eight goals, had six goals in the second half, four on penalty shots.
Audi and La Herradura tied at 2-1 in win-loss bracket play. Audi’s head-to-head win over La Herradura clinched the No. 1 position. The other semifinalists will be determined in Sunday games.
Wellington, FL – January 19, 2013 – Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic added a brilliant victory in today’s Gold Coast Opener Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W to their win in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI-W, both at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. The pair of strong showings establishes them as top contenders in the World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach at Jim Brandon, which will take place January 24-26.
WDM will be far from a walkover, however. Kittel and Watermill Scandic will go up against many of the top-placed pairs from today’s competition, as well as an array of new challengers that includes Steffen Peters, Edward Gal, and Hans Peter Minderhoud. But Kittel and Scandic impressed both the judges and the crowd with their stirring freestyle routine.
They performed to an assortment of upbeat rock tunes, displaying impeccable passage transitions to “Hot in the City.” “I think it’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in the piaffe/passage,” Kittel exclaimed. Although “Dancing with Myself” was also among the musical selections, Kittel and Scandic danced together in complete harmony through rhythmic one-tempis and a striking canter half-pass. The judges awarded them a score of 80.125%.
WELLINGTON, FL – January 18, 2013 – A record twenty-five teams have been announced for the Monday, January 21st Joanna Monaco Memorial Tournament at Grand Champions Polo Club.
The next generation of sons and daughters of men and women polo players including Adolfo Cambiaso, the greatest player in the world, will compete in the day-long event at various levels and ability. Adolfito and Mia Cambiaso will compete for Audi.
The event is co-hosted by player-sponsors Melissa and Marc Ganzi, whose children Grant and Riley will also compete.
Grand Champions has hosted several junior tournaments in the past. This is the first time the seven-year-old club has hosted the Joanna Monaco Memorial Tournament.
Last year’s event, hosted by Gulfstream Polo Club, attracted a record 68 participants on 17 teams. This year’s event has already broken that record with nearly 100 youth polo players signed up, according to Florida Junior Polo’s Jennifer McLeavy.
Wellington, FL – January 18, 2013 – Today’s Gold Coast Opener Grand Prix CDI-W showcased horses and riders preparing for next weekend’s World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach, and the WDM competitors certainly displayed their dominance. WDM entrants swept all six ribbons in the Grand Prix, with all but one riding the horses they will compete next weekend.
And if the results from today are a predictor, it seems that Sweden will be a force to be reckoned with. Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic posted 72.723% to steal the win at the last moment from fellow Swedish Olympic teammate Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven aboard Divertimento, whose 71.170% was the leading score until the final ride. At WDM, Kittel will try to duplicate today’s success on Watermill Scandic, while Vilhelmson-Silfven will switch to her Olympic mount, Don Auriello.
The chilly weather at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Wellington, site of both the Gold Coast Opener and WDM, had a few horses on edge in the warm-up, including Watermill Scandic. But most held it together once they entered the ring. Kittel was full of praise for the venue. “The whole place is lovely!” he exclaimed, adding that he would happily show there every weekend if it were “just a bit closer” to his home in Sweden.
Amsterdam (NED), 19 January 2013 – Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW pipped defending double-champions Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival at the sixth leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League in Amsterdam (NED) today. There were eight Dutch competitors amongst the start-list of 15, but Germany claimed two of the top-three placings when Isabell Werth and Don Johnson slotted into third ahead of Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Fixdesign Eremo del Castegno in fourth.
Langehanenberg’s form in recent months had suggested that it would not be long before she and her lovely stallion would find the key to finishing ahead of the Dutch duo who have dominated the prestigious indoor series over the last few years. At last year’s Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) where Cornelissen came out on top for the second successive season, Ground Jury President, Great Britain’s Stephen Clarke, told the German rider that she had only a little more polish to find in order to improve from runner-up position, and Langehanenberg has worked hard to bridge that gap ever since.
Iceman and Laurie Stevens Take Home Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Older Championship for Second Consecutive Week
Wellington, FL – January 18, 2013 – Week two of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a win for McLain Ward and Grant Road Partners’ Super Trooper de Ness in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class. Laura Chapot and Bradberry won the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class and Laurie Stevens and Iceman took home their second championship of the circuit in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Over division.
The second week of FTI WEF competition, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will run January 16-20. Highlight events include the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI2* Grand Prix on Saturday evening and the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI WEF circuit runs through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.
OCALA, FL (January 17, 2013) – The first grand prix of the season at HITS Ocala took place this afternoon as Aaron Vale of Morriston, FL and Flower Mound, TX’s Tracy Fenney put on quite a show during the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. It was Vale who piloted Amen Corner Farm, LLC’s Palm Sunday to the winner’s circle for their first victory of the season.
Vale, a native of Dallas, Texas, committed SmartPak user and HITS Ocala regular, showed three horses in today’s class and made it to the 14-horse jump-off with all of them. It was Palm Sunday, however, who was able to execute a tricky inside turn to the second fence in the jump-off, a skinny vertical next to the water.
“There were plenty of distractions and reasons why that turn wasn’t attractive, but if we had any chance of beating Tracy, that was going to be where it would happen,” said Vale.
And happen it did as Vale posted the winning time of 36.18 seconds. Fenney and MTM Farm’s MTM Timon were just fractions behind, but settled for second in 36.66 seconds.