Tag Archives: Eventing/H.T.

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous Top Dressage Phase in $50,000 MARS Eventing Showcase

Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 8, 2020 – Setting the score to beat in the MARS Eventing Showcase, Marilyn Little (USA) and RF Scandalous showed their partnership is still strong on Saturday, February 8, at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Forty combinations started the dressage phase competition, but it was Little and RF Scandalous, a 2005 Oldenburg mare (Carry Gold x Richardia x Lario) owned by Jacqueline B. Mars and Phoebe and Michael Manders, who took the lead with 19.40 penalties.

It was a very solid test for RF Scandalous, who is back in competition form after having off in 2019.

“She was so with me from start to finish,” said Little. “She’s just a supernatural horse that way. She came back at Ocala and was very fresh in November. Today she picked up from where she left off before. Not many horses would have a break and come back better versions of themselves than before. She’s a great competitor, and she understands the sport. The fitness is a big thing for us. We’ve been pushing on this. She’s stronger, has a stronger topline.”

The riders performed the five-star B test, which will be the one used at the 2020 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. Little noted, “Getting to ride the test we’re going to see in Kentucky is a huge leg up for our riders. I got some pointers from my test that I will use in the lead-up to Kentucky to know how to train this test better. There [are] still some points on the table that we hope to pick up in Kentucky.”

Little praised the program of high performance Eventing with US Equestrian. “We’re in a national program that’s really making a big effort to support the riders in every phase,” she said. “I felt an incredible amount from that today, and I think it’s working. The scores seem to be improving. Everything really went according to plan with the way that [U.S. Performance Director for Eventing] Erik [Duvander] and I had mapped it out.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to be here and be in this environment,” continued Little of being in Wellington. “As [the MARS Eventing Showcase] works its way into people’s programs, as riders we’re going to be able to use it better and better to our advantage. I hope that it sticks because it can really be a game-changer for our program.”

For more results and information on the MARS Eventing Showcase, along with ride times, live scoring, and the live stream, please visit https://pbiec.coth.com/article/50000-mars-eventing-showcase.

Strzegom Recruits Volunteers for Eventing Nations Cup and Pony European Championships

Photo by Kamila Tworkowska.

Strzegom, Poland, February 3: Do you enjoy new challenges? Are you looking for inspiration and interesting experiences? Do you want to be a part of the adventure that is the organization of international equestrian events, and to see the backstage of it all? If so, join our organizing team in Strzegom and submit your application for the volunteer programme. The recruitment starts now!

In 2020, the hippodrome in Morawa will host five international equestrian events, including the most important ones: Nations Cup in eventing and Pony European Championships. A professional organization of equestrian competitions requires not only the involvement of licensed judges. Everyone can be a part of the team and help the event run smoothly.

“Everyone over the age of 18 can become a volunteer. We invite teenagers, adults, and seniors. You don’t need to have professional knowledge about equestrian sports; we will teach you everything you need to know! During the show we have a variety of jobs to do, where we’ll need many skills – everyone is welcome to come,” explains Marta Wójcik, the coordinator of the volunteer programme of Strzegom Horse Trials.

We will need help in the show office and press office, at information desks and maintenance, with technical support, during dressage, cross country, and showjumping tests, with poster hanging and handing around leaflets, with airport transportation, and many more tasks.

All you need to do to apply is to fill out a form available on our website. The organizers provide accommodation in tents at a campsite as well as meals for the volunteers.

“The volunteer programme is becoming more and more popular. Being a part of our team is a chance for development and gaining new experiences, worth mentioning in a CV. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to meet new friends, experience a great adventure, and have fun!” says Marta Wójcik.

The recruitment for Pony European Championships and Strzegom Horse Trials starts on the 3rd of February and will be open until the 15th of June.

The regulations, timetables, and application forms can be found at the official websites of the events: www.StrzegomHorseTrials.pl, www.StrzegomPonies.pl, www.Stragona.pl.

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

Brian Moggre, Boyd Martin, and Abigail Wexner Awarded USET Foundation’s Highest Honors

(left to right) Leah Rogers Meirfeld of Hermès, Brian Moggre, USET Foundation Vice President William Weeks, and USET Foundation Chairman, President, and CEO James McNerney. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation presented the organization’s three most prestigious awards to Brian Moggre, Boyd Martin, and Abigail Wexner on January 17 at the “Take Me to Tokyo” gala in Wellington, FL.

Brian Moggre Named Recipient of Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy

Brian Moggre, 19, of Flower Mound, TX, was awarded the 2020 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy, presented annually to a junior/young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who demonstrates the team’s values of sportsmanship and horsemanship.

Riders who are awarded the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy are identified as athletes with great potential, and the list of winners who have received the award is a “who’s who” of the U.S. Equestrian Team in the Olympic disciplines – to which Moggre now adds his name.

“I am awestruck to be receiving this award,” said Moggre, who has made a name for himself as a rising show jumping star to watch after winning the both the 2019 $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Ocala CSI3*-W at Live Oak International and the $225,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W at only 18 years of age.

“It takes a huge team to make all of this happen, and that’s really what I’m thankful for,” continued Moggre after having accepted the award. “I’m so thankful to Gianna Aycock, Mike McCormick, and Tracy Fenney and my current team of Emily Smith and Ken Smith as well as my parents and Lesley Leeman, who takes care of my horses.

“I’m very honored to now have my name on a trophy with the best riders in the entire world, and it means so much to me.”

Patrick Guerrand-Hermès established the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Memorial Award in 1983 in memory of his son, Lionel, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1981 at the age of 18. Lionel trained with the United States Equestrian Team and was talented enough to be considered an Olympic hopeful. Included on the list of past winners inscribed on the perpetual trophy are such notable names as Greg Best, Chris Kappler, McLain Ward, and Buck Davidson, among many others.

Boyd Martin Wins Whitney Stone Cup

The 2020 Whitney Stone Cup was awarded to Olympic eventer Boyd Martin, identifying him as an active competitor who displays consistent excellence in international competition, as well as exemplifying high standards of sportsmanlike conduct, while serving as an ambassador for the United States and equestrian sport.

“It’s an absolute privilege and honor to receive the Whitney Stone Cup this year,” said Martin, who operates his training business, Windurra LLC, out of Cochranville, PA alongside his wife Silva, a grand prix dressage rider. “Winning this award is one of my proudest achievements. To be recognized alongside some of the past winners is truly a humbling feeling. The USET Foundation has given me every chance and every opportunity to allow me to be the best I can be and to achieve all the success I had in 2019.”

Martin is one of today’s leading event riders, having enjoyed success at the highest level of the sport and every major eventing competition in the world. He has consistently been ranked top 10 in the world since leaving Australia in 2007 and has competed on every U.S. Championship team since changing his citizenship in 2010.

Martin has represented the U.S. at two Olympic Games, three FEI World Equestrian Games, and two Pan American Games.

He has twice been the highest-placed U.S. rider at the FEI World Equestrian Games and led the U.S. to team gold at both Pan American Games appearances.

At the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Martin finished second with Tsetserleg, owned by Christine Turner, to win the USEF CCI5*-L National Championship. This result landed Martin and Tsetserleg on the Pan American Games team for Lima, where the team had to win gold or silver to qualify the U.S. for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Martin delivered under pressure to win individual gold – the first individual medal of his career – and secure team gold and Tokyo qualification.

“I really feel like I’m starting to hit top gear coming into 2020, and I’m so proud to be an American, representing the stars and stripes,” said Martin. “I can’t wait to get out there and see what this year brings.”

Abigail Wexner Awarded R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award

The USET Foundation presented Abigail Wexner with the 2020 R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award, recognizing her distinguished service to the USET Foundation Board of Trustees.

Wexner has been a member of the board for 12 years, and she has been one of the lead donors to the Campaign for Achieving Competitive Excellence, the Campaign for Continuing Our Competitive Excellence, and she is now chairing, along with Jim McNerney and Jacqueline B. Mars, the Raising the Bar Campaign. As part of the campaign, Wexner has established the Wexner Olympic Endowment as a source of support for U.S. athletes and teams in Olympic years.

Wexner is a long-time horse owner and has been partnered with top jumper rider Beezie Madden for more than 15 years. Madden has ridden Wexner’s horses on numerous Nations Cup teams, along with the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games and the 2006, 2010, and 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games. This partnership has produced for the United States two gold, three silver, and three bronze medals in Olympic and World Championships, two World Cup Finals victories, and been a part of 18 winning Nations Cup teams.

A true ambassador of the sport, Wexner’s distinguished service through excellence in leadership, philanthropy, and character has positively impacted the Foundation’s mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence, and building for the future.

A true ambassador of the sport, Wexner’s distinguished service through excellence in leadership, philanthropy, and character has positively impacted the Foundation’s mission of supporting athletes, promoting international excellence, and building for the future.

The R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award was established in 2015 in recognition and honor of Bruce Duchossois’s leadership, generosity, and outstanding character. Duchossois’s life was celebrated that year as the first recipient of the prestigious award, and now the legacy he created lives on in others through the award with the annual presentation to a USET Foundation Trustee who exemplifies the qualities he embodied.

The presentation of the USET Foundation’s three distinguished awards and this year’s Take Me to Tokyo gala, hosted by honorary chairmen Lou and Joan Jacobs and chairs Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, were made possible thanks to the USET Foundation’s generous donors and sponsors, including MARS Equestrian and the Take Me to Tokyo cocktail hour sponsor, NetJets.

The USET Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel, and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation. To learn more and to support the Raising the Bar campaign, please visit www.uset.org.

Best New Year’s Resolution Ever: Support Your Olympians

It’s an Olympic year. That means Olympic hopefuls from around the globe will come to LRK3DE 2020 to vie for a spot on their Olympic team.

If you haven’t bought yours yet, get your tickets now to watch the best of the best dance, splash, and jump their way into the Olympics.

The “Best Weekend All Year” returns to the Kentucky Horse Park April 23-26, 2020.

It’s the highest level of Eventing in the Americas. Make it your new year’s resolution to come cheer on your favorite competitors.

© 2020 Kentucky Three-Day Event
PO Box 12110
Lexington, KY 40580-2110

Who Are the Most Famous Dressage and Equestrian Competitors?

If you are a fan of dressage and equestrian, there is certainly a few names that really catch your attention. Like all sports, dressage has its elite competitors that are the most sought-after in the sport. The world of dressage and equestrian stops when these elite names compete. Fans of dressage are gearing up for the 2020 Olympics in Japan, but before the excitement of the Summer Games begin, fans can play the PA lottery and enjoy the fun before the horses take to the arena.

So, who are the top performers in dressage and equestrian? If you are a fan of the sport, you surely know most of these famous names.

Charlotte Dujardin

Charlotte Dujardin started her career at an early age after first learning to ride horses at the age of two. Since those early years of riding, Dujardin has become the most successful dressage rider in the history of British equestrian. Due to starting at such a young age, Dujardin has been riding horses for 32 years. She is only 34! Dujardin won gold in team and individual dressage at the 2012 Olympics and individual dressage gold four years later in Rio. Fans of equestrian are gearing up for the end of the 2019 season and can use the latest racing codes to wager on the horses and riders they believe will win the next big event.

Anky van Grunsven

Anky van Grunsven has lifted the Dressage World Cup on nine different occasions during her illustrious career. Van Grunsven began riding at the age of 12 and in 1999, after years of success, Van Grunsven began a dressage and equestrian clothing line due to the lack of performance gear available to riders. Van Grunsven won individual dressage gold at the Olympics in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

Valentina Truppa

Italian rider Valentina Truppa suffered a devasting head injury while competing in 2015. She rebounded from the fall and has since continued her sparkling dressage career. Truppa hasn’t had the Olympic success of Dujardin nor van Grunsven, but could turn that all around in 2020 in Japan. Truppa competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games but failed to place.

Jill Henselwood

Jill Henselwood is one of Canada’s top show jumpers. Henselwood was a part of team Canada’s silver medal win in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics. Henselwood made her national showjumping team debut in 1991, a mere two years after making her debut at the Grand Prix. Voted the 1992 Rookie of the Year, Henselwood has appeared in a number of major events on the back of her horse, Special Ed.

Amy Tryon

Olympic eventer Amy Tryon passed away in 2012, but her memory as a top Olympic eventer is long-lasting. Tryon won bronze at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens in Team Eventing. She appeared at the World Equestrian Games, winning gold in 2002 in Team Eventing and bronze in 2006 in the individual category. Tryon was unable to continue her success in 2008 at the Summer Olympics; however, her reputation as a top performer was set before the Beijing games.

Multiple Olympian Klimke Takes FEI Best Athlete Award in Moscow

(left to right): Ingrid Klimke, Uno Yxklinten, Madeleine Broek, Semmieke Rothenberger, Zuxian Li, and Yaofeng Li.

Double Olympic team gold medallist and five-time Olympian Ingrid Klimke was announced as winner of the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete award at the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Moscow (RUS).

The glittering gala awards ceremony, which took place in the splendid surrounds of the Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital, was attended by more than 400 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, National Federations, FEI partners, and stakeholders.

The award is the latest in a series of accolades for German Eventing legend Klimke, who was also nominated for the Best Athlete honour in 2015 and 2017. Klimke received the award from Peden Bloodstock’s Managing Director Martin Atock.

In September, the 51-year-old successfully defended her title at the Longines FEI Eventing European Championships on home turf in Luhmühlen with SAP Hale Bob OLD, becoming only the second person in European history to win back-to-back titles on the same horse. Klimke’s stunning performance in Luhmühlen also led Germany to team gold.

Klimke is the third German female to win the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete award, following in the footsteps of six-time Dressage Olympic gold medallist Isabell Werth in 2017 and FEI World Equestrian Games™ Jumping champion Simone Blum in 2018.

“I’m really proud that after Isabell Werth and Simone Blum, I’m now winning,” Klimke said. “It’s three women from Germany from three different disciplines. I’m very proud to be here and to win the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete Award.”

The evening saw Semmieke Rothenberger also flying the flag high for Germany when she took home this year’s Longines FEI Rising Star Award. The 20-year-old has won 22 FEI European Championship medals ranging from ponies category through to Young Riders.

“To win the Longines FEI Rising Star Award it’s really special for me as it sums up this year perfectly,” Rothenberger said. “What makes it really special is that my brother has won it before. So now we’ve got two people in this family who’ve won the Rising Star award. That just makes me very, very happy. My future goal, after following in the footsteps of my brother, is to compete in the Olympic Games. Now that’s a very big goal but it would be a nice thing to work towards.”

Rothenberger received her award from Longines Vice President of Marketing Matthieu Baumgartner. “This award celebrates youth, talent, determination, and the stars of tomorrow,” Baumgartner said. “The work ethic and drive that you see in rising stars like Semmieke is closely aligned with our brand values and one of the main reasons why Longines supports this award. We are proud to be part of this journey in such a talented young athlete’s life.”

The Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award was presented to Madeleine Broek (NED) in recognition of her tireless efforts behind the scenes for Dutch Olympian and Jumping star Marc Houtzager. The award, presented by Cavalor’s Founder and Managing Director Peter Bollen, is given each year to grooms who work behind the scenes providing the best possible care for their equine athletes.

“It’s not really a job but a way of living and you get so much back from the horse, so that’s why it will never be a boring day or a boring week,” Broek said. “Winning the Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award means a lot to me because you feel really appreciated for everything you do. It’s a lot of work and I feel really appreciated.”

This year’s FEI Solidarity Award went to Uno Yxklinten (SWE), the Educational Leader of the first Farriers’ training programme in Zambia, set up with the aim of increasing the know-how of farriers in order to improve the well-being of horses in the African country.

Presented by Russian National Federation President Marina Sechina, the award is given each year to an equestrian development project or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication, and energy in expanding equestrian sport. “Winning the FEI Solidarity Award 2019 is of course something big,” Yxklinten said. “I’m humbled and I’m so happy that we actually got this prize. It makes a difference in Zambia for many people.”

Taking the FEI Against All Odds Award was Zhenqiang Li (CHN) who started riding at the age of 27 and became a professional athlete just two years later. He was the first Chinese equestrian athlete to obtain the minimum eligibility requirements for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Sadly, in 2009, his horse Jumpy passed away from cancer leaving Zhenqiang without his beloved equine partner and in financial trouble. Zhenqiang recovered from those difficult times, setting up an equestrian centre in Guangzhou.

“I hope that other Chinese riders will now follow the title of this award, Against All Odds, to work together to overcome the challenges of developing Chinese equestrianism,” Li said. “Thank you to the FEI for supporting the sport in China and for all the people who voted for me at home and abroad. Your support and encouragement will inspire other Chinese riders to reach their goals.”

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez presented the award to Li’s children Yaofeng Li and Zuxian Li who were in the Russian capital on their father’s behalf. Zhenqiang Li competed with his son Yoafeng Li, a former Youth Olympic Games athlete, to earn China’s qualification earlier this year for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The FEI Against All Odds Award is for someone who has pursued their equestrian ambitions despite a physical handicap or extremely difficult personal circumstances.

“Each year we receive a high calibre of nominees for the FEI Awards,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “Our winners this evening are perfect examples of the excellence, commitment, dedication, and courage that are required in equestrian sport.

“When my predecessor HRH Princess Haya introduced these awards 11 years ago, our hope was to celebrate not just sporting achievement but also the unsung champions of our sport. This evening’s winners have inspired everyone at tonight’s gala here in Moscow as well as a new generation of athletes who need heroes to emulate.”

For the second year running, Paralympic gold medalist Natasha Baker (GBR) and Dressage ace Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) took to the stage to emcee the Awards ceremony.

The winners of the five awards were decided by combining 50% of a public vote and 50% of the judges’ vote for the final result. There were 130,000 online votes cast this year for the nominees.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

FEI Publishes Tokyo Horse Monitoring Research Project Findings

Michael Jung (GER) with Fischerwild Wave. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

The results of a major research study commissioned by the FEI, aimed at identifying best practices and management of horses training and competing in hot and humid environments, have been published.

Conducted at the Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event in August 2019, and led by the FEI’s climate expert Dr David Marlin, the study monitored the combined effects of long travelling times and distances, time zone disruptions, and heat and humidity on competing horses.

Horses were monitored before and during the test event, including how they adapted to the challenging climate in Tokyo. Central to the report is data collected on-course and post-competition, which allowed for detailed analysis of the cross-country test.

The study findings show that horses generally coped extremely well with the conditions and remained in good health for the duration of the test event, held at the same time of year as the Games in 2020, despite the fact that conditions were thermally challenging, with Wet Bulb Globe Thermometer* (WBGT) Index readings frequently in the region of 32-33°C.

The report confirms that on cross country day (13 August), the high WBGT Index, steep initial climb, and sharp turns on the course produced a significant challenge for competing horses. Heart rates during cross country, and blood lactate, heart rate, and rectal temperature after cross country indicated that horses were working at close to maximal capacity.

A new heart rate monitor that also displays the ECG plus infra-red thermal imaging to provide a rapid and accurate estimate of horses’ temperature were key pieces of technology used in data collection for the study.

The report highlights that “all possibilities must be explored to mitigate the effects of the likely climatic conditions, including reduction in distance appropriate for the conditions and bringing the cross country start time forward to avoid the highest WBGT conditions that would normally peak between late morning and mid-afternoon.”

Following discussions between the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG), the IOC, and the FEI, consensus has been reached on advancing the cross country start time to either 07.30 or 08.00 on 2 August 2020 as part of the heat countermeasures. A final decision on the move, which is fully supported by the findings in the Marlin report, will be made by the IOC Executive Board.

“We have worked very closely with TOCOG to put in place the best possible heat countermeasures for both our equine and human athletes for Tokyo 2020, and the findings in this important research study will play a crucial role in guiding final decisions on appropriate facilities and support,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström said. “The report will also be a valuable tool for athletes and National Federations as they prepare their horses in the build-up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Heat countermeasures that are already in place for horses include air conditioned stables at both equestrian venues (Bajikoen and Sea Forest), early morning and evening training and competition sessions under floodlights, constant and close monitoring by a world class veterinary team, and multiple cooling facilities including the provision of shade tents, cooling fans, ice and water, and mobile cooling units.

The FEI has been working on optimising equine performance in challenging climates with Dr Marlin since before the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. Dr Marlin has been working with the FEI for the past three years specifically on Tokyo, reviewing historical climate records, analysing data collected at the main venue at Bajikoen (EQP) and at the cross-country course at Sea Forest (SFC), and leading the test event research project.

The findings from the research project have been sent to TOCOG, the IOC, all National Olympic and Paralympic Committees with athletes competing in equestrian sport, and all National Federations affiliated to the FEI.

The full report is available here.

*The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index is used to measure heat, humidity, solar radiation, and wind factor.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Indoor Eventing and Dressage Derby Dazzle at 2019 Royal Horse Show

Jessica Phoenix. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Indoor eventing and a dressage derby are two of the unique events highlighting the schedule during the 10-day Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, from November 1 through 10, 2019, at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, ON.

The $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge headlines events in the Coca-Cola Coliseum on the evenings of Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2. The thrilling concept of tackling cross-country obstacles and conventional show jumping fences, all against the clock, is a spectator favourite on opening weekend of the Royal Horse Show. Olympic team gold medalist Mark Phillips of Great Britain will once again design the intricate tracks for a roster of top eventing athletes.

Dana Cooke, Colleen Loach, Jessica Phoenix, and Karl Slezak, all members of Canada’s bronze medal team at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, have confirmed their attendance.

“It’s so fun to demonstrate this incredible sport in front of so many spectators, which is something that we don’t often get to do,” said Phoenix, who hails from Cannington, ON. “For this event you want a horse that’s super careful. If you have that, you’ve got a good chance of finishing in the top three.”

Traveling from Ireland to make his Horseware Indoor Evening Challenge debut is 2018 World Equestrian Games™ team silver medalist Sam Watson. Additional competitors include Canadian athletes Lindsay Beer, Diana Burnett, Lisa Marie Fergusson, Kendal Lehari, Brandon McMechan, and Holly Jacks-Smither.

From the fast-paced thrills of indoor eventing to the intricate artistry of dressage, the Royal Horse Show has it all. Returning for the second year is the Royal Dressage Derby, which will see four riders go head to head riding borrowed horses in a ‘knock-out’ format. But there’s a twist! This year, Canadian eventing and dressage athletes will face off against one another.

2019 Pan American Games dressage team gold medalists Lindsay Kellock and Naima Moreira Laliberte will each perform a Prix St. Georges test on the same horse. Representing the eventers, Phoenix and Cook will put their dressage skills to the test riding another horse at Third Level. The winner of each ‘knock-out round’ will move forward to a second round, where they will ride a new horse, in the hopes of being crowned the Royal Dressage Derby Champion. To level the playing field, riders compete on borrowed horses and have only minutes to get to know their mounts before performing their tests.

Highlighting a theme of Canadian pride that defines The Royal, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride will perform during all ticketed Royal Horse Show performances from November 1 to 3. The epitome of Canadian tradition, the RCMP Musical Ride dates back to 1876, and was created to showcase riding ability and entertain the local community. The full troop of 32 riders on horseback performs intricate figures and drills choreographed to music, displaying the riders’ precision and coordination.

The equestrian entertainment at this year’s Royal Horse Show continues with horsewoman Sylvia Zerbini delivering mesmerizing Grande Liberté performances with her string of breathtaking Arabian horses from November 5 through 9.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit royalfair.org/horse-show.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

Tom McEwen Still in the Lead after Cross-Country at Pau 5-Star Event

Image copyright Nicolas Hodys.

Elated after the semi-finals of the rugby World Cup, the English can also be delighted with the performance of their riders on the cross-country riders in the CCI 5*-L at the Pau 5-Star eventing competition, one of the six most demanding of its kind in the world. Already in first place after the dressage test in the equestrian triathlon, British rider Tom McEwen on his French mount Toledo de Kerser maintained his lead, with just 0.8 penalty points on the cross-country course for overshooting the authorized time. He rode home ahead of his compatriot Alexander Bragg on Zagreb, the only horse-rider pair to complete the course without a single mistake and within the authorized time. Australian rider Christopher Burton on Quality Purdey came in third with 2 penalty points. The highest-ranking French rider after two out of three tests, Olympic team champion Mathieu Lemoine, ranks ninth on Tzinga d’Auzay. It’s the young mare’s first CCI 5*-L competition, at the highest level in the international eventing competition classes defined by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Since 2015, victory has always gone to a French rider: Astier Nicolas (Piaf de B’Neville) in 2015, Maxime Livio (Qalao des mers) in 2016, Gwendolen Fer (Romantic Love) in 2017, and Thibault Fournier (Siniani de Lathus) last year.

Tom McEwen (GBR):

“The course rode exactly as I expected it to when I walked it yesterday: very technical at the start, with lots of turns. The next section was more fluid and I really enjoyed riding the course. For the show-jumping competition tomorrow, I wouldn’t want any other horse: Toledo is a great jumper and it’s up to me to make sure I don’t make any mistakes.

“You had to be concentrated from start to finish when riding the course, because there were potential incidents all the way along. There were some imposing obstacles and sizeable jumps to negotiate at several different points, and there was nowhere really to make up lost time.”

Alexander Bragg (GBR):

“Zagreb is a big horse but hasn’t really got that big a stride. I had to be firmly in control and negotiate the combination fences without slowing him down too much or changing pace. It was a very fluid ride, and I really enjoyed it, especially as it’s the first time here in Pau that I finished within the authorized time.  He’s a great jumper too and in general he responds really well to the sunny French climate, the surface here and the crowds. So it’s going to be a nail-biting competition right up to the end.

“It was a perfect course, a course for riders who make decisive choices and totally assume them.  There was no room for half-choices, and that’s a sign of an intelligently designed course, a fair course for both horses and riders, but which can cause incidents as we saw today.”

Christopher Burton (AUS):

“I’d like to congratulate course designer Pierre Michelet who did an incredible job today. The course was amazing to ride, because it was difficult to ride home while the clock was still green. My horse was great today too, and we’ll do our best tomorrow too. She’s a good mare, but we know that here in Pau, the courses can be extremely technical so we’re crossing our fingers that everything will go well on Sunday.

“When riders have walked the course, I think they come away thinking that everything is feasible and it doesn’t look that difficult, but in the end, there were incidents on almost all the fences, which is a sign of a well-designed course, and an incredibly intelligent course designer.”

Mathieu Lemoine (FRA):

“Tzinga was tired at the end of the course, but I’m really pleased with her performance today. It was a demanding 5-star cross-country course and it was the first time she has competed at this level. As it is her first 5-Star event, I don’t know how she’ll recover before the show-jumping competition tomorrow, and it’s not easy to make a clean round on a show-jumping course with her. Anything could happen, but I’m really delighted with the way she rode today.”

Pierre Michelet (course designer):

“I knew that the first part of the course was going to slow the horses down. Then in the second part, where the riders can gallop through the training centre, the combination fences also slowed the pace. The surface was very soft as it has rained a lot over the last few days. If the surface had been dry, perhaps it would have been easier for the riders to complete the course within the authorized time and we would have had a few more zero penalty rides. Some of the riders perhaps underestimated the course and there were more difficulties than they first thought, like the water in the middle of the track, that looks simple, but caused a few incidents, just as I thought it would.”

Pascal Sayous (Organiser of the Pau 5-Star eventing competition):

“Pau is historically a very English town, and they proved it today before the record crowds we had here today, probably the highest attendance rate we’ve ever had at the Pau 5-Star event. It’s a real honour to work with a course designer like Pierre Michelet and when I ask him to set the difficulty at a certain level, he sets it exactly where I want it.”

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Tom McEwen Takes First Place after Dressage at the Pau 5-Star Event

Image copyright Nicolas Hodys.

British rider Tom McEwen, currently ranked world no. 12, takes first place at the top of the provisional leaderboard after dressage on Toledo de Kerser (24.0), just ahead of the New Zealander Tim Price, ranked world no. 3, riding Wesko (25.6). The highest-ranking French horse-rider pair, Arnaud Boiteau on Quoriano*ENE HN, comes in fifteenth place in the provisional rankings before the cross-country event (33.2).

Quote from Tom McEwen (GBR)

“I’m delighted to be in first place on the provisional leaderboard after the dressage test.  I could tell that my performance was very smooth, and I think that’s what the judges were looking for today. There’s a lot of good competition in the CCI 5*-L Pau 5-Star event, and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s cross-country event.”

On the cross-country course: “I really came here expecting a twisty track. But now I’ve walked it, it is tricky, but in general a really fluent track with some big fences and positive lines. I wouldn’t say that there are difficulties in one specific area: there are some really big questions all along the track. Perhaps the first water, with the sequence of five very close jumps in sequences: it’s a bit like doing Spring Garden at home, so you need to keep some energy for the end of the course. Then there’s a really big final fence with a difficult corner. The last water is perhaps also a difficulty.”

On Toledo de Kerser: “He’s a really great horse! The start and finish sections of the course are fairly twisty at the start and finish, but there are some really open stretches in the middle where you can make up time. Toledo knows how to handle it all so I’m feeling confident about tomorrow.”

You will find all the results here: https://www.worldsporttiming.com/results/les-5-etoiles-de-pau-2019-265/schedule.html

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com