Tag Archives: FEI

Lots of Gold for Germany and Great Britain while Sweden Tops Individual Jumping

The British Eventing team of Ellie Healy, Hattie Grace, Saffron Osborne, and Daisy Proctor. (FEI/Adam Fanthorpe)

Germany claimed all gold in Dressage while Great Britain dominated Eventing and took the Jumping team title. However, the Swedish flag also flew high on the final day of the FEI European Pony Championships 2018 at Bishop Burton College in Yorkshire (GBR) when Ingemar Hammarstrom stood top of the individual Jumping podium.

Dressage

The German Dressage whitewash began in the Team event in which Moritz Treffinger (Top Queen), Jana Lang (NK Cyril), Julia Barbian (Der Kleine Konig) and Lucie-Anouk Baumgurtel (Massimiliano FH) joined forces to post the winning score of 226.286. Denmark took silver on 219.028 and The Netherlands finished close behind in bronze on a final tally of 218.715.

Treffinger was outstanding all week, taking triple gold when also topping the Individual and Kur to Music competitions with his 10-year-old mare. And Denmark’s Alexander Yde Helgstrand was also highly impressive when claiming triple silver with his 12-year-old gelding Adriano B. Jana Lang claimed Individual bronze, but it was her German team-mate Barbian who stood on the third step of the podium in the Kur.

Treffinger looks to have real star potential, judges Jacques Van Daele, Yuri Romanov, Isobel Wessels, Elke Ebert, and Maja Stukelj all placing him first for a big total of 81.875% in the Kur which he performed to David Guetta music.

Eventing

It was a story-book finish when Britain’s Saffron Osborne claimed Eventing Team and Individual gold with the extraordinary 13-year-old Little Indian Feather – a lucky pony who was given a second chance and never looked back.

In very poor condition when rescued from a pound as a two-year-old by the Hennessy family from Waterford in Ireland, the mare survived a near-fatal injury and then produced a surprise foal before beginning her Eventing career and eventually moving on across the Irish Sea. She took Team and Individual silver for Osborne at last summer’s Championships in Hungary, and this year the pair went one better when claiming double-gold.

In fifth place on a score of 28 after Dressage, they added nothing on cross-country day to move into the individual lead, and the 16-year-old daughter of trainer and former National Hunt jockey Jamie Osborne found herself with a fence in hand coming to the closing stages of yesterday’s final showjumping phase.

“I didn’t say to myself that I could have a fence down. I didn’t want to jinx anything and rode it like there was nothing in hand. I know that my pony’s a careful jumper but until you’ve gone over the finishing line you can’t be certain!” — Saffron Osborne (GBR)

Ireland’s Sophie Foyle claimed silver with Little Miss Fernhill while Osborne’s team-mate, Daisy Proctor, took bronze with Holiday Chase. And the British side that also included Hattie Grace riding Noble Superman and Ellie Healy partnering Midnight Dancer were crowned Team champions ahead of Ireland in silver and France who finished just one penalty point further adrift in bronze.

Jumping

The battle for the Jumping Team title was a thriller, with the hosts claiming gold ahead of Sweden and a fierce fight between France and Ireland for the bronze. Clare Whitaker, wife of Olympic legend John Whitaker and mother of Louise and Robert, who also compete at the very top end of the sport, was British Chef d’Equipe. “It meant a lot to win on home soil,” she said.

As other nations started to struggle during the second round the GB girls kept their cool. Shaunie Greig with Casino Royale and Claudia Moore riding Elando van de Roshoeve knew they had the gold medal in the bag after third rider Perdi Digby posted a clear with Kayleighs Star to leave them on eight faults. They had a nine-fault advantage over Sweden in silver, but the French and Irish were tied on 20 faults so all four riders from each team had to jump off once more for the bronze. And it went right to the wire, with France shaving a few precious seconds off the time to clinch it.

Although the gold was won, fourth British team member Nicole Lockhead Anderson still rode her final round with Gangham Style – yet another clear – to keep her very much in the running for the individual medals, but it was Moore who came off best for the home side on the final day. The winner was undisputed as 15-year-old Ingemar Hammarstrom and his bay gelding Ocean des As were just too good for the rest when not touching a pole all week to take the title for Sweden.

With just four faults on the board, Ireland’s Max Wachman and Cuffesgrange Cavalidam earned the silver but it took a two-way showdown with the French partnership of Romane Orhant and Quabar des Monceaux before Moore claimed the bronze with the quickest time in a third-round jump-off.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Awesome Austrians Win Europe Division 2 Final in Budapest

Felix Koller with Captain Future 3. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

Team Austria earned promotion to Division 1 next season with a definitive victory at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Hungary in Budapest (HUN). And they’ll join their Hungarian hosts at the Longines 2018 World Final in Barcelona (ESP) in eight weeks’ time, as the top two teams in this Europe Division 2 decider are entitled to contest the lucrative annual clash of champions.

Three clears in the first round gave the Austrians the early edge and they didn’t flinch to finish on a zero scoreline. It was a superb weekend for anchorman Max Kuhner (44).

“I’m feeling pretty good because I won the Longines Grand Prix on Friday with Cielito Lindo and now I’m on the winning Nations Cup team with PSG Final!” — Max Kuhner (AUT)

All the more creditable was the fact that his Nations Cup horse is just an eight-year-old, the lovely bay gelding securing one of those pivotal foot-perfect runs in the opening round. It was Christian Rhomberg (27) who led the way for the winning side with an eight-fault result from Saphyr des Lacs, but when Julia Houtzager-Kayser (44) and rising star Felix Koller (21) made no mistake, then Kuhner wrapped up the early advantage.

However, the Hungarians were in hot pursuit as round two got underway, sharing a four-fault tally with Portugal and the Czech Republic while Norway was next in line carrying nine. The Norwegian side was almost a completely Gulliksen-family affair with son and daughter, Victoria and Johan-Sebastian, joining their father Geir along with Lisa Ulven. And they just missed the cut to the Barcelona Final when completing with 13 faults, only one point behind Hungary at the end of the day. Portugal finished fourth while Czech Republic had to settle for fifth ahead of Poland, Greece and the three-man Bulgarian team who brought up the rear.

The course designed by Germany’s Werner Deeg had some difficult lines as Houtzager-Kayser explained. “The water to the double at fences six and seven, and the line from the triple bar to the vertical and the oxer from eight to ten – none of that was easy!” she pointed out. However, she was well-pleased when her 14-year-old stallion Sterrehof’s Cayetano Z racked up an impressive double-clear, the only other coming from the 11-year-old Captain Future 3 ridden by team-mate Koller.

This young man, who has been based with the legendary Paul Schockemohle in Germany for the last six months, claimed individual Young Rider bronze at the Longines FEI European Championships in Fontainebleau (FRA) four weeks ago and looks to have a big future ahead of him.

“This was my first 5-Star Nations Cup and my horse was amazing; he is owned by my Austrian sponsor and he always gives his heart to me whenever we go in the ring!” — Felix Koller (AUT)

The prospect of fielding a team at the Longines 2018 Final in a few weeks’ time and of competing in Europe Division one next year all seemed quite overwhelming because Austria has a limited number of horses and riders at the top end of the sport. “Christian and Max will be competing at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon so we may have to find different horses for Barcelona, but this is so exciting – I can hardly believe it!” Koller said.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Mexicans Live the Dream in Dublin

Patricio Pasquel celebrates in a sombrero after jumping two brilliant clear rounds with Babel. (FEI/Jon Stroud)

They arrived as complete underdogs to take on many of the best nations in the world, but Team Mexico turned the sport on its head when winning the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Ireland in Dublin (IRL). This last leg of the Europe Division 1 series was electrifying from beginning to end, and incredibly tense in the closing stages with the home crowd willing their own boys to win it.

But Eugenio Garza Perez (22) and his veteran team-mates Federico Fernandez (50), Patricio Pasquel (46) and Enrique Gonzalez (54) enjoyed the warmest reception, including a great big Mexican wave, from the 20,000 spectators when producing three second-round clears to pin Ireland, France, and Italy into joint-runner-up spot. Mexico had never won at the Irish fixture before and it was 37 years since they last contested the coveted Aga Khan trophy at the historic Royal Dublin Society showgrounds. So along with their delighted Chef d’Equipe Stany van Paesschen they didn’t hold back on the celebrations afterwards.

“I’ve been doing this sport a long time and I’ve never had a day like this!” said Gonzalez, whose last-to-go effort proved the clincher. “The Mexicans were really incredible; they came back in the second round with real determination and when you’re in contention in a Nations Cup that’s how you have to ride,” Irish Chef d’Equipe Rodrigo Pessoa added.

It seemed the reigning European Champions from Ireland would have it all their own way when they cruised into the lead on a zero score at the halfway stage, with Italy snapping at their heels on four faults followed by USA, Mexico and France carrying eight apiece. The Swiss, British, and Dutch were already down the line, eventually finishing sixth, seventh and eighth while USA slotted ahead of them in fifth despite being hampered by elimination for Jamie Barge (Luebbo) at the water in both rounds.

Mexican pathfinder Garza Perez (Victer Finn) showed a dramatic improvement from his 12-fault first-round effort when clear second time out, and when Pasquel (Babel) produced one of four double-clears of the day and Gonzalez (Chacna) wrapped it up by also being foot-perfect all the pressure was on the Italians and Irish. And both faltered, adding four faults to complete along with France on a total of 12 as Team Mexico made history and a whole lot of new Irish friends.

“It’s a dream come true. Since we got the invitation we have not stopped dreaming about this moment. We worked hard to be here and we enjoyed every second!” said Fernandez who posted two four-fault scores with Landpeter do Feroleto. This is a very unique horse-and-rider partnership; both are survivors. Federico was involved in a devastating air-crash that left many dead in 1987, and Peter, as the horse is known, also suffered serious injury in a lorry accident that nearly took his life. The pure joy of success was written all over every Mexican face, and Federico was in tears at the post-competition press conference.

“After what happened to me I feel an obligation to be happy, and today was one of the happiest days of my life!” he said. Garza Perez was happy too because he is trained by Irish showjumping legend Eddie Macken and was disappointed with his three mistakes in the first round.  But he put it all right when clear at his second attempt. “I was anxious not to let Eddie down and I hope today was as good for him as it was for me. It’s really out of a dream; it’s incredible!”

This result confirms Belgium as winners of the Europe Division 1 series with Ireland finishing a close second, just five points behind. Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Great Britain, and Sweden fill the next five places on the leaderboard and all seven countries will compete at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP) in October. However, Germany and Italy have missed the cut and the Spanish who have finished last at the end of the 2018 season will be relegated to Europe Division 2 next year.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Star Power in Abundance at North American Youth Championships

Olivia Stephenson and Chaccana. (FEI/SELPhotography)

Team dominance and three double-gold medalists highlight rebranded youth championships

Rebranded with a new title after more than four decades as the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, the 2018 FEI North American Youth Championships brought together some of the brightest young stars in the sports of show jumping and dressage. With numerous zones and regions represented, the United States dominated the podium, but a new division proved that Canada has an incredibly strong group of youth competitors coming up through the ranks.

Children

For the first time in its 44-year history, a children’s division of show jumping was added to the Championships, showcasing riders in the 12-14 age bracket. Capitalizing on this new opportunity was Team Canada, consisting of Charlotte McLaughlin (Bronan), Stella Chernoff (Filia van de Bisschop), Eric Krawitt (Wellington), and Olivia Stephenson (Chaccana). The quartet was positively dominant on the day, finishing on a perfect score of 0 to win the inaugural USHJA North American Child Rider Show Jumping Team Championship at the FEI North American Youth Championships. The silver medal went to the combined team of Zones 3, 4, 5 and 7 on 12 faults, while Mexico earned the bronze with a score of 20.

Both Charlotte McLaughlin, 14, and Olivia Stephenson, 12, put in double clear efforts for their team.

“This has been a goal of mine since I started riding when I was six,” said McLaughlin, Ottawa, ON. “I’m so proud to be doing this at such a young age. I never thought it would happen so soon, but I have to thank my amazing coaches and [chef d’equipe Beth Underhill] so much for this opportunity. It’s been amazing.”

The individual title came down to a three-horse jump-off, as Canadians Stephenson and McLaughlin, along with Guatemala’s Valentina Arenas Saravia, finished on perfect scores of 0 after three rounds of jumping. Ultimately, Stephenson prevailed over a final shortened track to claim the USHJA North American Child Rider Show Jumping Individual Championship. McLaughlin was silver, and Arenas Saravia received the bronze medal.

Juniors

It was redemption for Charlise Casas (Rembrandt Blue), Alexandra Pielet (Helene VE), from Zone 5 in the USHJA North American Junior Show Jumping Team Championship. Casas and Pielet, both 17, finished out of the medals when jumping for their zone in 2017. Alongside team newcomers Paige Matthies (Dirkie Z) and Emma Kurtz (Pippi), they went all the way to the top of the podium in 2018, claiming gold with 17.88 penalties. Mexico West received the silver medal, and Canada was bronze.

“Being on a team has always been a dream of mine, but to win gold on team with my three best friends is a dream come true.” — Alexandra Pielet (Zone 5)

Pielet earned a second gold medal when prevailing in the USHJA North American Junior Show Jumping Individual Championship. After three rounds of jumping, Pielet, who hails from Highland Park, IL, finished on just 5.36 faults. Representing Zone 4, Elli Yaeger (Waliba VDL) received the silver medal (11.80), just ahead of Puerto Rico’s bronze medalist, Claudia Villamil (Quite Close vd Smis, 12.00).

The competition was close in the quest for the USDF North American Junior Dressage Team Championships. Caroline Garren (Bell Angelo) clinched the gold medal for Region 3 with a team-high score of 68.606%. Juliette Cain (Mariska), Melanie Doughty (Fascinata), and Isabelle Braden (Dali de la Ferme Rose) joined her atop the podium; they combined for a team total of 202.787, just ahead of an even closer race for silver. Region 4 (199.362) clinched that medal, while Canada Central (199.151) earned bronze.

U.S. riders claimed the top two spots on the podium in the USDF North American Junior Dressage Individual Championships. Garren was again atop the podium, riding to a score of 70.147%. Region 4’s Bianca Schmidt (Lou Heart) was silver, and Canada’s Chase Robertson (Winsome) received the bronze medal. The two riders finished with not only identical scores (70.029%), but also the same collective marks, so the collective mark from the judge at C became the necessary tiebreaker.

Garren’s individual gold was especially rewarding, considering her winning mount is the first horse she has ever owned outright and the first horse she has brought up from a young age. Her family acquired him three years ago when the bay was a 7-year-old.

“The feeling is so amazing,” she said. “It’s been a really wonderful experience growing and learning with [Bell Angelo], so to see all those years of work payoff is really exciting.”

Robertson didn’t need a tiebreaker when she rode to top honors in the USDF North American Junior Dressage Freestyle Championship. This time, her 73.775% score put her safely at the top, while Schmidt (71.905%) received the silver medal, and Garren (71.490%) rounded out the podium with the bronze.

Young Riders

A “dream team” of sorts came together for Zone 2 in the USHJA North American Young Rider Show Jumping Team Championship. NAYC veterans Katherine Strauss (All In), Ailish Cunniffe (Baloucento), and Madison Goetzmann (Prestigious) joined event rookie Samantha Cohen (Carmen) to notch a runaway victory for gold, finishing more than 20 points ahead of the silver medalists from Zone 10. Mexico brought home the silver medal — their first Young Rider medal in 10 years.

All four riders have already competed against seniors at the international level, with Strauss and Goetzmann both having jumped in five-star competition Spruce Meadows (CAN) in the past year.

“I’m so excited to help add a gold medal to Zone 2’s long list of medals,” said Strauss, 19. “We’re all extremely grateful and proud to represent a team that’s historically been so successful. There are so many riders who rode for Zone 2 who we all look up to today, like McLain Ward, Georgina Bloomberg, Reed Kessler, and the list goes on. We’re really thrilled to be here and to have the opportunity to gain this team experience.”

Daisy Farish (Great White) was nearly perfect in the USHJA North American Young Rider Show Jumping Individual Championship. The 17-year-old representing the combined team of Zones 4 and 5, and her 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding finished on a score of four after three rounds of jumping. Cohen earned a second medal with an individual silver (5.14), while Zone 1’s McKayla Langmeier (Durosa W) was the individual bronze medalist (6.28).

The combined Dressage Young Riders Team of Quebec and Alberta was the only group consisting of just three riders, meaning the trio would not have the luxury of having a drop score. But that did nothing to stop them, as Rakeya Moussa (Davidoff v.h. Trichelhof), Beatrice Boucher (Delfiano), and Camille Carier Bergeron (Baldacci) claimed the gold medal for Canada with a team total of 210.145. Region 4/7 finished with the silver medal and Region 1 earned bronze.

Zone 2 was kept off the podium despite team member Callie Jones (Don Philippo) delivering the day’s highest score, 71.823. But the 20-year-old only had to wait a day to get her podium moment. She won the USDF North American Young Rider Individual Championship with a score of 72.20%. Boucher, earning her second medal of the Championships, was the silver medalist, and Kayla Kadlubek (Perfect Step) of Region 1 was bronze. Anna Weniger (Don Derrick) moved up the podium to top the USDF North American Young Rider Dressage Freestyle Championship after contributing to a team bronze medal for Region 1. Her score of 74.225% catapulted her to the top of the leaderboard, just ahead of Boucher (72.800%) and Jones (72.775%).

“I have been fortunate enough to ride on some young rider teams the last few years, but winning an individual medal is way more than I ever imagined,” Weniger said.

Full results here.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

The Next Generation of Superstars Emerge at Ermelo

The fabulous black stallion, Glamourdale, won the Seven-Year-Old Final for Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry at the Longines FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships 2018 in Ermelo (NED). (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

The Longines FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Dressage Championships for Young Horses 2018 certainly didn’t disappoint as 22,000 visitors from all across the globe enjoyed five days of spectacular sport. This was the third time for the event to take place in Ermelo (NED), and a total of 180 horses from 19 studbooks lined out in the three age categories. The Westphalian stallion, Revolution, claimed the Five-Year-Old title, the Hannoverian, d’Avie, topped the Six-Year-Olds and the KWPN, Glamourdale, clinched pole position in the Seven-Year-Old division. And as the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Aat Both, pointed out, “The overall quality was formidable!”

Five-Year-Olds

Winner of the first qualifying competition, Revolution (Rocky Lee x Rouletto) earned a massive 9.62 points and posted two perfect-10 scores in the Final. Ground Jury member Maria Colliander described him as “a rockstar, a powerhouse” after he pinned the Hannoverian stallion, Destacado (Desperados x Londonderry) ridden by Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath, into runner-up spot and and the Oldenburg mare, Candy OLD (Sir Donnerhall x Furst Heinrich) with Rath’s compatriot Eva Moller on board into third.

Revolution’s Danish rider, Andreas Helgstrand (41), was very proud of his rising star.

“I always say that all of our horses are for sale, but this one is special to me. What else can you wish for? He has such a nice character; it is out of this world! I previously owned the triple world champion Sezuan, but I think Revolution is even more complete!” — Andreas Helgstrand (DEN)

Seven-Year-Olds

The medals for the oldest category of horses were next to be decided, and the four that were heading the leaderboard going into the finale remained at the top, but not in the same order. Glamourdale (Lord Leatherdale x Negro) was in third as the day began and the powerful black stallion proved to be the show-stealer, also picking up a 10 for his fantastic canter.

Posting a mark of 87.050 for British rider Charlotte Fry (22) he was almost three percentage points clear of the KWPN stallion Governor-Str and Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen who were taking their second silver medal in 12 months, while Norway’s isabel Freese steered the Hannoverian, Fuersten-Look (Furstenball x Londonderry), into bronze. The latter was the leading pair as the day began, but a mistake in the last line of their test cost them dearly.

“I have never experienced anything like this. I can’t believe it! I am so thankful that I get to ride such a good horse!” — Charlotte Fry (GBR)

Six-Year-Olds

Last but not least to take their places on the podium was the six-year-old contingent and it was a special moment for Spanish rider Severo Jurado Lopez when he collected his fourth gold medal and his third in succession at Ermelo. That meant he also claimed his third Longines watch.

His Hannoverian chestnut d’Avie (Don Juan de Hus x Londonderry) collected 9.26 points to finish just ahead of Germany’s Laura Strobel with the Rheinlander Villeneuve (Vitalis x Dancier), while bronze went to Dutch rider Dinja van Liere with the KWPN Hermes (Easy Game x Flemmingh) who scored 8.78. “D’Avie is a superb horse with a bright future ahead!” said judge Isobel Wessels.

Full results at www.longinestiming.com.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Irish Pip British in Brilliant Battle at Hickstead

Photo: Anthony Condon and SFS Aristio. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Ireland won out in a two-way jump-off against old rivals Great Britain in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at Hickstead. Wild winds and the first heavy rain to hit the region for more than 50 days ensured conditions were seriously challenging in this penultimate qualifier of the Europe Division 1 series. But Rodrigo Pessoa’s side of Trevor Breen (39), Richie Moloney (36), Michael Duffy (23) and Anthony Condon (31) battled through, and Condon clinched it in a third-round showdown against Holly Smith.

It was no day for the faint-hearted as the formidable Hickstead fences took their toll. The tall white gate at fence three was a real bogey, as was the 4-metre-wide open water which sealed the fate of the 2017 series champions from The Netherlands who retired in the closing stages. Only two weeks ago Johnny Pals and Chat Botte du Ruisseau Z were the Dutch heroes when pinning the Irish into runner-up spot at Falsterbo (SWE) in a four-way jump-off against the clock. But the lovely 10-year-old stallion found the Hickstead water very scary in both rounds, and, down to a three-man side following the withdrawal of Willem Greve’s Zypria S, the pair’s second-round tally of 23 faults was so expensive that Chef d’Equipe, Rob Ehrens, decided his team should call it a day.

But the British were also reduced to just three counting scores when former world no. 1 and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Scott Brash was eliminated at the open water both times out with Hello Shelby. Team manager Di Lampard has tremendous talent at her disposal, however, and Smith (Heart’s Destiny), Amanda Derbyshire (Luibanta BH) and William Whitaker (Utamaro D’Ecaussines) showed true grit to force the jump-off against the boys in green.

Smith set the target with a lovely clear round from her big, quality, nine-year-old bay who broke the beam in 43.39 seconds. Condon, who has been based in England for the last 14 years, knew what he had to do when it came to his turn.

“Holly is a very fast rider and her horse has a huge stride so she can be deceptive – I just thought that if I could do the same and be a little quicker, then I could catch her.” — Anthony Condon (IRL)

Steering his 12-year-old stallion SFS Aristio, which is owned by John and Pat Hales and their daughter Lisa, whose names will always be intrinsically linked with the super-stallion Arko and rider Nick Skelton, he broke the beam more than two seconds sooner. As he raced through the finish his fellow-countrymen Duffy (EFS Top Contender), Breen (Bombay) and Moloney (Freestyle de Muze), and the entire Irish contingent, exploded with delight.

Ireland has now rocketed up to third on the Europe Division 1 leaderboard and, with 335 points, the reigning European champions look well-qualified for the Longines 2018 Final in Barcelona (ESP) in October. Brazil finished third, Sweden fourth and the Belgians, long-time Europe Division 1 leaders, had to settle for fifth ahead of Italy who lined up sixth of the seven competing nations.

And the Irish have another big day to look forward to when the Europe Division 1 series concludes on home ground in Dublin (IRL) in 12 days’ time where Britain and Italy will be desperate to move out of the danger-zone at the bottom of the league table, as only seven of the 10 competing nations will make the cut to the Barcelona Final.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Six-Time Gold for the Netherlands at Fontainebleau

Chiara Reyer leads team-mates Mikka Rotha, Mick Haunhorst and Charlotte Hoing on their victory gallop after Germany won Children’s Team Jumping gold at the Longines FEI European Championships 2018 for Children/Juniors/Young Riders. (FEI/Łukasz Kowalski)

France scoops all four Eventing titles during a week of sensational sport

Young Dutch athletes proved the dominant force at the Longines FEI European Championships 2018 for Children, Juniors and Young Riders which drew to a close at Le Grand Parquet in Fontainebleau, France. However, the host nation claimed all the top honours in Eventing while Germany, Ireland, Great Britain, and Belgium also grabbed gold.

Children

The Dutch gold-rush began with victory in Children’s Team Dressage where Lilli van den Hoogen (Woodstock), Lara van Nek (Fariska), Sanne van der Pols (Excellentie) and Sanne Buijs (Happy Feet) pinned their German rivals into silver medal spot by a two-point margin while France claimed the bronze. Dutch Chef d’Equipe, Monique Peutz, said she felt “20 years older!” after the team competition, but there was plenty more to come. Underpinning the supremacy of The Netherlands side, the 13-year-olds Buijs and van Nek went on to clinch individual gold and silver, and it was the second year in a row for Buijs to take double-gold. Germany’s Kenya Schwierking (Dinos Boy) lined up third for bronze.

In Children’s Team Jumping it was Germany’s Charlotte Hoing (Bajala), Mikka Roth (Caboto), Mick Haunhorst (Conquest) and Chiara Reyer (Cederic) who reigned supreme, finishing on a four-fault total ahead of Ireland in silver medal spot with eight, and Belgium in bronze on 13 faults. And there were plenty of happy Irish faces when 14-year-old Rhys Williams literally cruised to gold medal spot in the individual classification with a foot-perfect run through three tough competitions with CES Cruson.

“Rhys showed nerves of steel. It was an exceptional performance from him all week,” said Irish team manager James Kernan. Germany’s Chiara Reyer and Henry Munsberg took silver and bronze following a jump-off for the remaining medals between all five athletes tied on a four-fault tally.

Juniors

The Dutch also had it all their way in Junior Dressage, with Milou Dees (Francesco), Kimberly Pap (Vloet Victory), Thalia Rockx (Golden Dancer), and Daphne van Paperstraten (Greenpoint’s Cupido) finishing with a three-point advantage over Germany in silver while Denmark clinched bronze. Taking the lead in the individual standings, van Peperstraten paid tribute to her country’s Eventing coach who passed away suddenly at the weekend.

“We started this championship with a lot of sadness after the death of Jan van Beek, but it brought the team together and made us strong, and we did our best to honour him today.” — Daphne van Paperstraten (NED)

And she went on to pin two of the German team members, Valentina Pistner (Flamboyant) and Romy Allard (Summer Rose), into Individual silver and bronze.

In Junior Jumping it was the Belgians who came out on top ahead of Great Britain in silver and Ireland in bronze. Thibault Philippaerts (Cataleya), Thibeau Spits (Jericho Dwerse), Alexander Housen (Galoubet Fravanca), and Simon Morssinkof (Vivolta de Gree) finished on the winning score of 14.55 points. Last to go, Morssinkhof was under pressure after Spits posted a 12-fault result. But even though he left a fence on the floor there was still an eight-fault margin between the new champions and the British silver medallists who were just over two points clear of the Irish.

And the Irish once again clinched the individual title thanks to a brilliant performance from Jason Foley who turns 17 next week. Silver went to Britain’s Oliver Fletcher (Disckoboy) and Belgium’s Morssinkof took the bronze.

It was in Eventing that the French really shone. Led by 17-year-old Anouk Canteloup (Daniel del Impermeable) who added nothing to her dressage score of 25.90 to also take the individual title, Julie Simonet (SursumcOrd’Or), Chiara Autin (Urban Legend Blues), and Zazie Gardeau (Udine Jolimon Beam) stormed to Junior Team success while Great Britain claimed silver medal spot and Germany stood third on the podium.

Britain’s Heidi Coy (Royal Fury) and Germany’s Brandon Schafer-Gehrau (Fraelein Frieda) also finished on their first-phase totals to take the silver and bronze Individual medals.

Young Riders

The Germans at last got the better of their Dutch rivals when lifting the Young Riders Dressage Team trophy, but only by another narrow margin. Lisa Weischof (Don Windsor), Alexa Westendarp (Four Seasons), Paulina Holzknecht (Wells Fargo), and Semmieke Rothenberger (Geisha) posted a final scoreline of 222.529 and the Dutch were close for silver medal spot on 221.410. Bronze went to Sweden on 212.792.

But The Netherlands’ Esmee Donkers set a new record in the Individual test with her lovely 11-year-old KWPN mare Chaina when scoring 77.294, her team-mate Febe van Zwambagt (FS Las Vegas) taking silver and Germany’s Welschof claiming the bronze. And Donkers then went on to post 80.500 to add the Freestyle title ahead of German team gold medallist Holzknecht in silver and Zwambagt in bronze.

It was double-gold in Young Riders Jumping for Britain’s Harry Charles who joined Graham Babes (Boucheron), William Fletcher (Persimmon), and Amy Inglis (Wishes) to finish well clear of Team Germany in silver and Denmark in bronze. “It’s awesome to win two years in a row!” said Chef d’Equipe Tony Newbery after his team’s success, but the good times were not over yet.

Because Charles got the perfect gift on his 19th birthday last Sunday when clinching the individual title ahead of Germany’s Cedric Wold (Cho Chang J) in silver and Austria’s Felix Koller (Captain Future) in bronze.

“I knew I had a chance, but my horse was really amazing! This is his third European Championships and he won his sixth medal today.” — Harry Charles (GBR)

When it came to Eventing the formidable French recorded another double-gold thanks to a phenomenal performance from 20-year-old Victor Levecque (Phunambule des Auges) who was joined by Romain Sans (Unetoile de la Serre), Thais Meheust (Quamilha), and Victor Burtin (Early van ter Nieuwbeke). When their nearest challengers from Germany disappeared from the reckoning it was Italy that lined up in Team silver medal spot while Sweden took bronze.

Levecque, double-gold medallist at the European Pony Championships four years ago, was in a league of his own when finishing on his dressage score of 26.00 to take the Individual Young Riders Eventing title ahead of Germany’s Emma Brussau in silver and Britain’s Alex Kennedy (Lissangle Cavaletto B) in bronze.

“Victor is a machine! He is our Kylian Mbappé!” said team-mate Burtin, comparing him to the young French soccer star who was such a sensation throughout the recent FIFA World Cup.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Dutch Win against All Odds at Fabulous Falsterbo

Photo: Maikel van der Vleuten and IDI Utopia. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

Fierce battle in thrilling four-way jump-off against Ireland, Sweden, and Italy

It wasn’t all smooth sailing as the Dutch swept to victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Sweden at Falsterbo (SWE). Reduced to a three-man team following first-round drama for Michel Hendrix (31) and Baileys, and only making the cut into the jump-off after a successful appeal against four faults at the water for Maikel van der Vleuten (30) and IDI Utopia in round two, it might well have been too much to hope for that it would all come right in the end.

But when you combine great leadership with passion and pride, and you add in the quality of a partnership like Johnny Pals (36) and his super-stallion Chat Botte du Ruisseau Z who produced no less than three spectacular clears, and the final one the quickest of all, then you have all the ingredients for an epic afternoon of sport.

You don’t get days like this too often, and even the Irish who finished second, the Swedes who lined up in third and the fourth-placed Italians couldn’t argue with that. It was a Nations Cup classic, with just fractions of seconds deciding the result.

“Today was an absolute thriller!” — Rob Ehrens (Rob Ehrens, Chef d’Equipe, Team Netherlands)

It was the triple combination at fence five that led to the withdrawal of The Netherlands’ Hendrix when Baileys stopped and then tipped off his rider when they tackled it again. The Irish, hot favourites to win after a spectacular week of success at the Swedish fixture, held the lead on a zero score at the halfway stage while the Dutch, Swedes and Italians lay close behind with four faults apiece.

When Bertram Allen’s Gin Chin van Het Lindenhof put a foot in the water second time out and then Mark McAuley’s Utchan de Belheme left a pole on the floor the Irish advantage began to slip, however. But clears from Daniel Coyle (Cita) and Paul O’Shea (Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu) steadied the ship and they went into a four-way jump-off with Italy, Sweden, and eventually The Netherlands, all on a two-round four-fault tally.

First against the clock was Italy’s Luca Marziani, setting the target when clear in 42.71 seconds with Tokyo du Soleil, but the Swedish crowd went wild with delight when their hero, Henrik von Eckermann, steered Toveks Mary Lou through the timers more than a second faster in 41.52. As Johnny Pals set off you could hear a pin drop. “Rob said – you go for it – so I went for it!” said the Dutchman whose fabulous chestnut stallion jumped like a cat to put a time of 39.33 on the board. Last man in, Ireland’s Daniel Coyle, gave it his best shot with Cita who broke the beam in 40.47 seconds for runner-up spot. But it was the Men in Orange, and the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ champions, who would stand top of the Falsterbo presentation podium for the second year in a row.

The exceptional team spirit of the Dutch has delivered a stream of success for many years now. Maikel van der Vleuten reflected that when he looked back on the story of the day and how it all fell into place. “Michel was a bit unlucky in the first round; his horse just wasn’t feeling it today but that’s why we are a team and we were still strong enough to do the job!” And as Jur Vrieling (48), who produced an all-important anchorman double-clear with VDL Glasgow v. Merelsnest NOP, pointed out, supporting your team-mates is at the core of Nations Cup Jumping. “I’ve had it before where I’ve gone wrong and others have helped, so I was happy today to be able to do my job this time around!”

And as for Johnny Pals, he couldn’t help but be thrilled with the sensational performance of his 10-year-old stallion who never looked like putting a foot wrong all day.

“His breeding is Casall and Darco and he’s the horse of a lifetime!” — Johnny Pals (NED)

“He has so much scope and so careful! I have him two years and at the beginning he was a bit strong but he always had a great mentality,” he said of the horse who seems to have unbounded enthusiasm for his job.

And what now for the Dutch who have moved into sixth place on the Europe Division 1 leaderboard which is still headed by Belgium? “We have two more legs at Hickstead and Dublin left… we are going to try to beat the Belgians and win the League!” Rob Ehrens said.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

The FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 Countdown Is Underway

There’s no event quite like it! The FEI World Equestrian Games™ is the pinnacle of equestrian sport and it is two months to go to the opening ceremony for Tryon 2018.

With an anticipated 1,000 athletes, 1,500 horses, and 500,000 spectators from more than 70 countries scheduled to attend, this edition will be one of the biggest sporting events on US soil this year and will attract an expected on-site audience of over 500,000.

The eighth edition of the Games is generating huge excitement at the prospect of the world’s best partnerships from across all the FEI disciplines uniting for a showcase of horse sport at the spectacular Tryon International Equestrian Center venue. With so many incredible stories to tell, both from past Games and a preview of those special moments to come, the two-month countdown marks the perfect occasion to launch the FEI campaign for the Games … #BeOne.

Equestrian fans, athletes, and teams from across the globe will come together to celebrate the sport – as one. We will #BeOne and stand proud as a global community united by sport and horsemanship as we honour the unrivalled bond between horse and human.

We ask equestrian fans to come together and show their love of the sport at one of the biggest events in the world. It’s the chance to celebrate everything that makes equestrianism one of the most loved sports worldwide.

It’s time to be passionate.

Be epic. Be free. Be united. Be fearless. Be spectacular. Be victorious. Be one.

“We are very pleased to launch our BeOne campaign today as the excitement really kicks off in the countdown to the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon this September,” said FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez. “When you look at equestrian sport, which is intense and emotive, our sport thrives on passion, not only from our athletes but our fans, this campaign will clearly showcase the diversity of our disciplines and will demonstrate that it really all comes down to one partnership & one sporting effort. A true celebration of the sport and as for the Games, there’s really is no event quite like it!”

To learn more about the #BeOne campaign, click here.

For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, go to: www.Tryon2018.com and www.fei.org/events/fei-world-equestrian-games-tryon.

Media contact:

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

Back-to-Back Win for Brilliant Belgians Puts Them Top of Division 1

Photo: Pieter Devos and Espoir. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

Germany finishes second in classic contest at Rotterdam; hosts share third place with USA and Switzerland

On a day of doubles, Team Belgium posted a back-to-back win in Europe Division 1 when coming out on top in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of The Netherlands in Rotterdam. There were seven double-clears in the gripping competition over a really testing course set by Ireland’s Alan Wade. And the man who clinched it for the Belgian side, 22-year-old Jos Verlooy riding Igor, had already scooped the honours in Friday’s Longines Grand Prix with his other top horse Caracas.

However, perhaps the most important double of all was the fact that this was only the second time in the 70-year history of CSIO Rotterdam for a Belgian side to take the Nations Cup honours. Their only previous victory was back in 1950, and they did it in great style, under pressure in front of a packed stadium, and under the watchful eye of Dutch royal family member, and former Queen, Princess Beatrix, when posting a zero scoreline.

The Belgians are the form team right now, and they know it. “Our horses and riders are very strong this year – we are working towards the WEG (FEI World Equestrian Games) in September and I think we can produce a great result there!” said Verlooy. And his Chef d’Equipe Peter Weinberg was thinking even further down the line, to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2018 Final in Barcelona (ESP) in October.

“I have a team of unbelievable fighters and we are high on the points table now so we are looking good for the final!” — Peter Weinberg (Chef d’Equipe Team Belgium)

Alan Wade will be course designer at the WEG and the world’s best are very happy to get experience over his tracks. As always it was built to maximum height and he tested riders more than horses, demanding straightness, balance, control and complete concentration from start to finish.

Belgium and Germany shared the lead on a zero score at the end of the first round, with Switzerland and USA close behind each carrying just four faults and the hosts and Great Britain next in line with eight apiece. Sweden couldn’t recover from a 15-fault first-round effort, but although the French completed with 16 they, like the British, showed evidence of the development of a very exciting string of newcomers.

Mistakes from Marcus Ehning (Comme Il Faut) and Markus Beerbaum (Cool Hand Luke) undermined German chances, but a double-clear from pathfinder Nicola Philippaerts (24) with H&M Chilli Willi got the Belgians off to a great start in the second round. Niels Bruynseels’ (34) lovely mare Cas de Liberte was one of several horses to misinterpret the triple bar at fence three in round one, and they went on to collect an uncharacteristic 13 faults. But second time out they were pure perfection, so when Verlooy also left the course fully intact it was game over and Belgium’s second win in a week following success in Sopot (POL) last Sunday. Pieter Devos (32) who had stepped in to rescue the situation with a brilliant first-round clear from Espoir didn’t have to jump again.

Verlooy was thrilled to have been the one to seal this historic success and was quick to thank his long-time trainer and current world no. 1 rider, Dutchman Harrie Smolders.  “Harrie told me: don’t think about the result; think about jumping every fence correctly and only look at the result when you are over the finish line – stay focused on what you are doing all the way!” Verlooy explained.

Belgium has now overtaken Switzerland on the Europe Division 1 leaderboard with Germany in third, France in fourth, Spain in fifth and Sweden in sixth place. Italy, Ireland, Great Britain and Netherlands are sitting at the bottom of the table but they all have three more chances to dramatically improve their positions at the remaining Europe Division 1 legs in Falsterbo (SWE) and Hickstead (GBR) next month and in Dublin (IRL) where the last qualifier will take place on 10 August.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145