Tag Archives: FEI Nations Cup

Team Germany Wins the Nations Cup in Strzegom, Fifth Place for Poland

Michael Jung with fischerChipmunk FRH. Photo by: Leszek Wójcik.

German riders have outclassed their rivals in the third leg of the FEI Nations Cup in eventing, winning both as a team and individually. Second place went to Great Britain, and third to the Netherlands.

Team Germany has taken the lead after dressage and kept it until the very end. The best score belonged to Michael Jung, who won the class individually with fischerChipmunk FRH. Second place after dressage and a great cross-country, going slightly over the time, and then a clear round in the showjumping granted him the first place in the class. “I’m very happy about my ride. fischerChipmunk is a great horse. The weather was not the best, but he was very concentrated and super to ride as always.”

Ben Hobday (GBR) has jumped into the second position with Shadow Man after a clear showjumping test. Andreas Dibowski (GER) has finished third. The leader after dressage, Tim Lips (NED), was 6 seconds over the time in the cross-country, and one knockdown in the showjumping cost him the podium.

Polish riders, after an unfortunate dressage, have jumped up into the 5th place and kept it until the end. The best athlete of the team was Jan Kamiński riding the Polish-bred Senior. Three knockdowns in the jumping placed him at the 25th position in the class, with 55 riders overall.

Eight teams competed in the Nations Cup class. For a lot of them, the stakes were really high. A good position in the whole classification is a chance for a ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, for those who haven’t qualified yet.

Sunday’s showjumping determined the winners of the long format classes. In the CCI4*-L, the most difficult one during the show, the best was Yoshiaki Oiwa (JPN) with Bart L JRA. After a great clear cross-country, he took the lead, and he could even afford to be a bit over the time in the showjumping. “The weather is a bit hot this week, and my horse for sure is tired, but he jumped really well. We only had time penalties, but I am very very happy with him.”

Second and third place went to Swedish riders: Jonna Britse with Quattrino and Ebba Adnervik with Chippieh, accordingly.

Brigitte Peterhans (SUI) was the best in the CCI3*-L, and the “two star long” win went to Karin Donckers (BEL) with Ludique du Cœur des Collines.

Sunday was also the day of cross-country trials for the short format and national classes.

The winners of the international classes are as follows:

  • CCI3*-S: Michael Jung (GER) and Wild Wave
  • CCI2*-S: Dirk Schrade (GER) and Dajara 4
  • CCI1* Intro: Clemens Croy (AUT) Sarah Bernhardt K

Winners of the national classes:

  • CNC2*: Mariusz Kleniuk (POL) with Soplica
  • CNC1*: Lisa Hopster (GER) with Rousseaus Mademoiselle
  • CNC L: Weronika Król (POL) with Greenline
  • CNC LL: Milena Pelc (POL) with Enjoy

12 national and international classes were played out during the 4 days of LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials. Riders from 22 countries competed with over 400 horses

Online results: http://results.strzegomhorsetrials.pl.

Strzegom Horse Trials: Equestrian Triathlon Starts in Morawa

Photo by Leszek Wójcik.

Strzegom, Poland, June 24: Over 400 horses on the startlists, 10 cross-country courses, riders from the top of the FEI rankings, and an exciting rivalry for the Nations Cup – LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials starts on Thursday at the hippodrome in Morawa.

Athletes from 22 countries will compete over 4 days in 12 classes of various difficulty levels, including the Nations Cup class, the highest ranked eventing competition in Poland. The Nations Cup competitions started in May in Great Britain, and Strzegom will be the 3rd leg of the classification. Currently in the lead is the team from Sweden.

A record-breaking number of over 400 horses have been entered to compete in Strzegom. “The cross-country trials are looking to be record-breaking as well,” said Marcin Konarski, the chairman of the organising committee. The cross-country tests will be played out over three days. For the first time, athletes will compete at 10 tracks over 37 kilometres long collectively, with over 200 fences measuring up to 120 cm.

The audiences will have the opportunity to see top international riders, including 7 from the top 50 of the International Equestrian Federation rankings, such as multimedallist Michael Jung (GER), the current and two-time Olympic champion, or Andrew Hoy (AUS), silver medallist of the Olympic Games and three-time team Olympic champion. The best Polish riders will also compete at the event, including the current National Champion Paweł Spisak, or riders that have recently won the Olympic qualifier class in Baborówko.

Thursday and Friday are dressage days. Cross-country trials, the most spectacular ones, will take place at Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The final tests determining the winners will take place on Sunday, during showjumping and cross-country tests.

Apart from the sport programme, audiences will have the chance to see exciting equestrian shows. The organisers also invite all to the exhibitors’ area with “Polska smakuje” and local group “Szlakiem granitu,” where there will be a chance to taste and buy top quality products by Polish vendors.

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

Brilliant Brazilians Overwhelm the Opposition at Geesteren

Pedro Veniss and Quabri de L’Isle. (FEI/Digishots/Leanjo de Koster)

Team Brazil cruised to victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the Netherlands 2019 at Geesteren (NED). Taking command with just four faults after the first round, they sealed the result when adding just four more without calling up their final partnership on a day full of surprises and high scores.

The hosts line up second ahead of the Spanish, who pipped Germany for third place by a narrow one-fault margin. Sweden, Belgium, and Japan were next in line, separated only by time when all completed with 32 faults on the board, and Austria lined up eighth and last.

This was the perfect boost for Brazil in the lead-up to next month’s Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru. The Europe Division 1 league has provided the perfect preparation for that important Olympic qualifier, and last week they finished sixth in Sopot (POL), while at St Gallen (SUI) in early June and La Baule (FRA) in May they lined up in fifth place each time. They had it in the palm of their hands after establishing the early lead and staying rock-solid while those around them struggled to hold on.

The team members all knew that a good result would do their selection chances no harm, and Brazilian Chef d’Equipe Pedro Paulo Lacarda confirmed it: “They were all amazing today! For the Pan-American Games I still wait one week to confirm my team – but this team have a good chance!”

A fascinating track designed by Dutchman Henk Jan Drabbe asked plenty of unusual questions. Sweeping turns, long runs between fences, and distances that required absolute accuracy were the undoing of many top horse-and-rider combinations and there was only one double-clear on the day. That came from the second-line Brazilian duo of Felipe Amaral (28) and his 12-year-old stallion Germanico T.

All eyes were on German pathfinders, the 2018 world champions Simone Blum and DSP Alice, but their round came adrift when the stride from the open water at six to the flimsy vertical that followed got muddled, and the mare put down again on take-off. They were perfection second time out, but the German side that looked super-strong on paper completed with 29 faults on the board, while Spain, whose last-line partnership of Alberto Marquez Galobardes and Ucello Massuere were real eye-catchers, finished one fault ahead of them with 28.

As the second round began it looked set for a three-way tussle between Sweden, carrying 12 faults, The Netherlands with eight and the leading Brazilians on just four. But the Swedes slipped out of contention when adding 20 more, and when Brazilian pathfinder Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (31) followed up his first-round four faults with a lovely clear and Amaral and Germanico T were foot-perfect for a second time then it already looked like the writing was on the wall.

It was agonising for the Dutch whose second round began with a lovely clear from Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue, winners of Friday’s Longines Grand Prix, only for both Willem Greve with Zypria S and Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Calimero to leave one on the floor. Both looked like they had a fault-free run in the bag but Greve’s mare hit the penultimate oxer, a real bogey on the day, while the crowd groaned in horror when the front pole on the final oxer hit the dirt after Houtzager, certain he had left it in place, raised his fist in delight as he galloped through the finish.

When third-line Brazilian, Pedro Junqueira Muylaert (32), returned to the arena with C’est Dorijke he knew he could afford a fence down to seal the win and he used that leeway when too strong down to the vertical after the water, but it didn’t matter. The brilliant anchor partnership of Pedro Veniss (36) and the stallion Quabri de L’Isle, who had made it all look very elementary when clear first time out, didn’t need to go again. The top step of the podium was already secured, and when the final Dutch partnership of Jur Vrieling and VDL Glasgow vh Merelsnest retired after lowering three fences then the hosts had to settle for a final tally of 16 faults, well behind the winning team’s eight-fault total.

“I was feeling very confident coming here because we have Marlon and Pedro with Quabri and Sirene on our team, and also I felt my horse was really good in the Grand Prix,” said Amaral.  This young man, who been twice Brazilian champion and who competed in the Pan-American Games in Toronto (CAN) in 2015, is Belgian-based and has trained with both Rodrigo Pessoa and his legendary father, Nelson Pessoa.

As the Brazilian celebrations began, Pedro Veniss pointed out that team spirit played a major role in their success. “We are not just team-mates but also friends. We really support each other to make it happen and winning the biggest class in the world with your best friends is really special!” he said.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Belgians Best Irish in Thrilling Sopot Showdown

Pieter Devos and Apart. (FEI/Lucasz Kowalski)

Belgium posted a back-to-back double when coming out on top in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Poland 2019 staged at the popular seaside town of Sopot (POL). The team included two members of last year’s winning side, Pieter Devos (33) and Niels Bruynseels (35), who were joined by Gudrun Patteet (34) and Yves Vanderhasselt (40) to do it all over again.

But the roller-coaster competition went right down to the wire, the result decided in a tense third-round jump-off against Ireland in which Devos’ chestnut gelding, Apart, rattled a few poles but left all the fences standing to bring it home for the 2018 series champions.

He had only just sealed the jump-off slot in round two when Belgian Chef d’Equipe, Peter Weinberg, asked Devos to take on Ireland’s Paul O’Shea in the third-round showdown.

“I said OK, I’ll do it, and normally Apart is very, very fast, but today he got a bit stressed when we had to go back into the ring almost straight away. But he always gives me everything and hey, everyone is very happy if you are last to go and you win it for your country!” — Pieter Devos (BEL)

It was a very different story at the halfway stage when the Dutch seemed to already have it in the bag after three effortless clears. Belgium, France, and Ireland were all chasing with four-fault scorelines, and Team Germany were close behind with just five on the board, but the French were hampered by the withdrawal of pathfinder Simon Delestre as round two began. So despite clears from Olivier Robert (Tempo de Paban) and Roger Yves Bost (Sangria du Coty), they were obliged to add the four collected by Alexis Deroubaix and Timon d’Aure at the final Longines planks and that saw them lose their grip.

Meanwhile, Dutch domination collapsed when Willem Greve (Zypria S) also hit the last, Bart Bles (Israel vd Dennehoeve) and Doron Kuipers (Charley) both faulted at the open water and Kevin Jochems (Cristello) lowered fence 10 on the course designed by Poland’s Szymon Tarant who was making his debut at 5-Star level.

In contrast, the Irish stood firm with double-clears from Paul O’Shea (Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu) and Shane Sweetnam (Alejandro) backed up by a second-round clear from Peter Moloney (Chianti’s Champion), which meant that Bertram Allen (Harley vd Bisschop) didn’t need to return to the ring.

The Belgians didn’t have such an easy run of it when Vanderhasselt’s mare, Jeunesse, hit the second element of the penultimate triple combination. Bruynseels and Delux van T&L had been foot-perfect second time out and Patteet and Sea Coast Valdelamadre Clooney posted the second part of a brilliant double-clear, but if Devos couldn’t leave all the poles in place then he would be handing the top step of the podium to their Irish rivals. Typically, however, he didn’t flinch, and a jump-off was now on the agenda.

You could hear a pin drop as O’Shea led the way against the clock for Ireland, but his 12-year-old gelding hit the first fence before coming home to break the beam in 46.97 seconds. It seemed Devos would just walk away with it now, but the normally fully focused Apart seemed uncharacteristically lacking in concentration and hit the top pole at the first element of the penultimate double really hard, only for it to roll back into place. They crossed the line three seconds off O’Shea’s target time, but their zero score would seal it for Belgium.

Devos was delighted with Apart’s performance: “He has done a lot of great things, and has won many 5-Star Grand Prix and World Cup classes, but this is his very first Nations Cup and to go double-clear and then win it in the jump-off is very special!

“My wife (Caroline Poels) rode him up to 5-Star level and then I took over – he’s a fantastic horse with a great character. When he’s in the ring he gives me everything!” Devos added.

A total of 10 countries are contesting Europe Division 1 this season, and following this third round of the series, Belgium has moved into second place behind the leaders from France. Each country has been allocated four points-earning opportunities throughout the seven-leg league, and Sweden, the only country that has not collected points to date, will be making their seasonal debut at Geesteren (NED) where the Dutch will be hoping for better luck on home ground.

Only the top seven nations in Europe Division 1 will qualify for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2019 Final in Barcelona (ESP) in October where there will also be one last remaining Olympic qualifying spot up for grabs.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Foutrier Seals It for France in Swiss Thriller

A champagne celebration for the French team after victory at St Gallen (SUI). (FEI/Richard Juillart)

The reigning Olympic champions from France gritted their teeth and galloped to victory in the edge-of-the-seat Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Switzerland at St Gallen (SUI), where a feisty Italian foursome claimed runner-up spot and the host nation, clear favourites at the outset, had to settle for third.

This second leg of the Europe Division 1 series came down to a nail-biting three-way jump-off in which Guillaume Foutrier (42) and his 10-year-old gelding Valdocco des Caps clinched it when second to go against the clock. And Swiss hearts were broken when once again their own Nations Cup title slipped from their grasp. It has been a long wait since their last St Gallen success back in 1996, but once again it wasn’t to be, despite a titanic effort from the crack side fielded by Andy Kistler.

“In France we love to win – this was a great day!” said French anchorman Kevin Staut whose team was already home and hosed with three clears in the first round before he took his turn with his new ride Calevo 2 who lowered only the final oxer. Italy also completed round one on a zero scoreline, but the leading nations were closely stalked by Switzerland, carrying just four faults as round two began.

Swiss course designer Gerard Lachat presented a superb 12-fence test that required accuracy, balance, and control. The double of uprights at the second-last proved pivotal for many, and it was at the first of these that Swiss pathfinder and world individual silver medallist Martin Fuchs faulted with Chaplin. So when Niklaus Rutschi and Cardano CH hit the middle element of the triple combination then there were definitely going to be four Swiss faults on the board.

Clears from Fuchs, Rutschi, and Paul Estermann riding Lord Pepsi changed everything second time out, however. Last-line rider and World No 1, Steve Guerdat, didn’t need to return to the ring because the Swiss result couldn’t be improved. But his day wasn’t over, because Guerdat and his great mare, Albufuehrens Bianca, would be called up for a third-round jump-off when both France and Italy completed the second round also with four faults on the board.

Double-clears from Penelope Leprevost and Vancouver de Lanlore and Nicolas Delmotte with Urvoso du Roch set the French up nicely, but Foutrier misjudged his take-off at the open water and when Staut’s inexperienced gelding hit the following oxer then that settled France onto a two-round four fault total.

Riccardo Pisani’s stallion, Chacclot, hit the first element of the now-infamous double at the end of the track, but if anchorman Luca Marziani and Tokyo du Soleil could produce his team’s third double-clear of the afternoon, following foot-perfect runs from Giulia Martinengo Marquet with Elzas and Paolo Paini with Ottava Meraviglia Di Ca’ San G, then it would be an Italian victory. An uncharacteristic foot in the water meant it would go to a three-way battle against the clock, as there was nothing to separate the three sides.

The Swiss crowd held its breath as Guerdat led the way into the third and final round. He had no choice but to throw down a super-fast target time, but, running strongly down to the remaining two elements of the triple combination, Bianca clipped the front bar with her hind feet for four faults in 43.46 seconds.

Chef d’Equipe, Thierry Pomel, selected Foutrier to fight for the French. And although his time was slower than Guerdat’s, he left all the poles in place when breaking the beam in 44.09 and Italy’s Martinengo Marquet couldn’t better that when crossing the line almost a half-second slower. She still had plenty to celebrate, having racked up three fabulous clear rounds with her lovely 10-year-old gelding.

“Like in every Nations Cup there was a lot of pressure, but it’s a nice story, especially when it ends like this!” said Staut. Talking about Foutrier’s winning ride, the Olympic team gold medallist pointed out, “Guillaume has been a really tough rider for a long time. He’s very consistent and he has this horse for two years now. Today he handled the pressure and was really focused on bringing home something great in the jump-off. When Steve had one down, he went for a safe, fast clear round because we knew Julia’s horse is not the fastest.”

Once again there was new shining star in the British team that finished fourth, as 24-year-old James Wilson steered Imagine de Muze to one of the six double-clears posted on the day. Team Brazil finished fifth despite elimination for last-line rider Stephan Freitas Barcha who took a fall from Artois D’Avillon at the final element of the combination in the second round. The competition was suspended while he received medical attention in the arena. A statement confirmed that “he was always conscious and responsive, but was taken to hospital for further examinations. The horse remained unharmed.”

The Europe Division 1 series now moves on to Sopot (POL) in two weeks’ time.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Canadians Prove Untouchable on Home Ground at Langley

Nicole Walker and Falco van Spieveld. (FEI/Rebecca Berry)

There was plenty to celebrate when the hosts posted an emphatic victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley (CAN), where Ireland finished second and USA slotted into third ahead of Mexico in fourth and Israel in fifth place.

However, despite his side’s overwhelming success, Canadian Chef d’Equipe Mark Laskin said, “It was a bit bittersweet. It’s great to win here, especially on our home field, but there were two parts to this equation. The first part we took care of, but the second part we just missed.”

He was of course referring to the fact that Canada has finished third, and last, in the 2019 North/Central America & Caribbean League from which only two of the three competing nations can qualify for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP) in September. Those two places go to Mexico, winners of the previous two legs of the series, and to USA who have pipped the Canadians for the second spot by a narrow margin of just 10 points.

There is no denying the new energy and excitement in the Canadian side, however. With three first-round clears they grabbed the advantage, and they held on so firmly that anchorman, Mario Deslauriers, didn’t have to ride again in the second round because the win was already in the bag.

Ireland, USA, and Mexico were all sharing second place with eight faults apiece going into round two, and when the Irish added nothing more they would be runners-up while USA had to count four more faults to finish third on 12. Mexico finished another fence further adrift, on 16 faults despite a superb double-clear from Salvador Onate and his fabulous gelding Big Red who produced one of five foot-perfect performances on the day.

When both pathfinder Lisa Carlsen and her busy bay mare Parette and second-line rider Nicole Walker with the super-cool Falco van Spieveld each put a second clear round on the board, the Canadians were already looking like runaway winners. And although Tiffany Foster picked up her second four faults of the afternoon with her promising nine-year-old Figor when next to go, that was still good enough to clinch it.

When asked afterwards if she knew when she was riding into the arena that a clear or four fault result would seal the win, Foster said with a laugh, “I’m not great at math but I figured that one out! When I was coming down the last line, I had Mario in mind – I was thinking, he’s going to kill me if I have another one down and he has to jump, so we held it together!”

Walker said she was “super-delighted for everyone” on her team and with the “spectacular” performance of her horse. She wasn’t wrong about the latter as Falco van Spieveld made it all look like a training exercise. “He’s the best partner I could possibly ask for – in the barn he’s super easy and he’s a bit lazy at home, but when he goes in the ring he’s so reliable,” said the 25-year-old who works in the family business with the Stronach Group, and who trains with Irish rider Cian O’Connor on a regular basis.

Reflecting on where the result leaves Team Canada, she concluded, “We would have liked to make it to the Final in Barcelona, but the cards didn’t fall in order for us today; that’s the way it goes. Now our big plan is the Pan Ams where we will be looking for Olympic qualification.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Swiss Win Mighty Opening Battle at La Baule

Niklaus Rutschi and Cardano CH. (FEI)

In a spectacular start to the Europe Division 1 series, Switzerland pipped reigning series champions Belgium in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of France 2019 at La Baule (FRA) where the host nation lined up third.

Clear rounds are key to success, and there were plenty who managed to leave all the poles in place on the track set by crack French course designer Frederic Cottier despite a testing time-allowed of 75 seconds. But double-clears are even better, and when the Swiss posted two of the five recorded, thanks to superb efforts from team pathfinder Niklaus Rutschi (53) and anchorman Steve Guerdat (36), they beat the Belgians by a single penalty point.

It was Guerdat who clinched it when last into the arena, shouldering unbelievable pressure as only this man can. But it was Rutschi who set it all up with a fantastic performance from his 11-year-old gelding Cardano CH. He had every reason to be proud.

“It’s a dream come true! We have this horse since he was a foal and we are good friends together. Last year he was injured so he had a long break, but he’s right back to his best now. He’s one of the best horses in the world – he’s scopey, he’s careful, and he just needs his rider to his job properly!” — Niklaus Rutschi (SUI)

It was neck-and-neck between the Swiss and Belgians at the halfway stage when both sides finished the first round with four faults on the board. The Irish were close behind with five while last year’s La Baule winners from Brazil were sharing fourth place with the French on eight faults. Germany carried 10 into the second round, but the British and Canadians were already looking vulnerable with 18 and 19 faults respectively before the action resumed. However, the spotlight shone brightly on a new young British star when Amy Inglis (22) followed a first-round clear with a single time-fault in round two with her lovely mare, Wishes.

French hearts were lifted with three rock-solid second-round clears that saw them climb up the leaderboard when both the Irish and Brazilians faltered, but it was the Belgians and Swiss who would slog it out for the win in the closing stages, and it went right down to the wire.

A clear from Nicola Philippaerts and H&M Chilli Willi gave the Belgians a great start to round two. And when Niels Bruynseels’ second clear of the day from Utamaro D’Ecaussines was followed by just a single time fault from Pieter Devos and Claire Z, they looked bullish because even without the services of their final partnership, Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados S, they could finish on no more than five faults.

Rutschi’s second clear of the competition was followed by eight faults from Bryan Balsiger (21), but Paul Estermann (55) pulled it back for the Swiss with a foot-perfect run from Lord Pepsi and that set it up for one final showdown. If Wathelet could return a zero score, then the Belgians could discard Devos’ single time fault and it might just force a jump-off with the Swiss.

But the vertical that followed the 4-metre-wide open water had hit the dirt plenty of times during the day. “It was difficult because the horses were inclined to look at the crowd in the tribune behind, instead of at the fence,” Rutschi explained. And when that fell, then Devos’ four faults was the discard as only the best three results from each of the four-member teams are counted, and now Belgium were definitely finishing on those five faults.

So as Switzerland’s Guerdat rode into the arena with the brilliant mare Albfuehrens Bianca, with which he claimed individual bronze at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, USA, the result was hanging in the balance. A fence down and it would be all over, a single time fault and it would go to a jump-off, but a clear round would win it. And you could hear a pin drop as the London 2012 Olympic individual gold medallist and three-time Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion steered his fiery mare through the track one last time.

“Being able to give the win to your country is one of the best feelings. It’s for these kinds of moments that I love our sport!” Steve Guerdat said after clinching it, Bianca still bursting with energy as she bounced through the finish one more time.

This result puts Switzerland at the top of the Europe Division 1 league table at this early stage of the eight-leg series which now moves on to their home ground in St Gallen (SUI) in two weeks’ time. Each team in this series has four opportunities to collect points towards qualification for the prestigious Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2019 in October where, along with the much-coveted series trophy, one last Olympic qualifying spot will also be on offer.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Tickets for Strzegom Horse Trials – FEI Eventing Nations Cup on Sale Now

Poland, Strzegom, 16 May: From 15th May you can buy tickets for international equestrian event – LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials – Nations Cup in Eventing.

LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials is a competition in equestrian triathlon, Eventing. During this particular event there will be also a team competition taking place: Nations Cup. It’s the most prestigious and highest level Eventing show in Poland and one of the most important equestrian events in Europe. LOTTO Strzegom Horse Trials will take place in the Hippodrome in Morawa near Strzegom, Lower Silesia from 27th till 30th June.

The tickets are available on Ticketmaster.pl. Just go to https://www.ticketmaster.pl/event/12177. Pre-paid tickets will be sent by mail, courier company, or as a e-ticket to be printed out. Tickets are available in Empik stores too.

The admission on the first day is free, the price for Friday ticket is 10 PLN, single day tickets for Saturday and Sunday 15 PLN, and season ticket 30 PLN. Children under the age of 10 have a free entry.

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

Magical Mexicans Make It Two-in-a-Row

Lorenza O’Farrill and Queens Darling. (FEI/Hector Vivas)

The host nation turned on the magic once again to win the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Mexico 2019 at Coapexpan with a gutsy and determined performance. The Mexican side of Patricio Pasquel (47), Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane (25), Lorenza O’Farrill (49), and Salvador Onate (41) produced a spectacular result, confirming their supremacy without having to call up anchorman Onate in the second round and pinning USA into runner-up spot while Canada finished third.

O’Farrill was hailed the hero of the day, her second-round clear with the 14-year-old gelding Queens Darling wrapping it all up nicely. But it wasn’t just the second consecutive Mexican success in the three-leg 2019 North and Central America and Caribbean League that she and her team-mates were celebrating; it was O’Farrill’s sensational return to the top end of the sport against all the odds.

“I’m out of myself with proudness and emotion!” said the lady who suffered a life-altering back injury when kicked by a horse leaving a prize-giving ceremony seven years ago. Her condition deteriorated to the point where she couldn’t walk, but after a series of surgeries, and now sporting six screws in her spine, the athlete who lined out at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Rome (ITA) in 1998 has now bounced back to her very best.

With just three teams in action, it was a compact but intense affair. Mexico and USA were on level pegging with nine faults apiece at the halfway stage, but the Canadians already looked vulnerable as the action resumed, carrying 14 faults from which they would never recover.

America’s Richard Spooner was foot-perfect both times out with his 10-year-old grey, Quirado RC, but the man whose nickname is “The Master of Faster” picked up a time fault in each round. Eve Jobs, at 21 the youngest competitor on the day, kicked out only the narrow vertical at fence six in the first round before returning to put in a copybook clear with Venue d’Fees des Hazelles. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson’s feisty mare, Akuna Mattata, fell afoul of the bogey oxer at fence nine that caught out so many in the first round and added five more in the second round and this brought the US total to 15 faults.

When O’Farrill followed Pasquel’s second-round clear with Babel, and another four-fault result for Gonzalez Dufrane and his sweet mare Hortensia van de Leeuwerk, with a superb clean run, the game was up.

The Canadians made a great recovery with second-round clears from Lisa Carlsen (Parette) and Nicole Walker (Falco van Spieveld), but it was too late as they completed on 22 faults. Alex Granato and Carlchen W rounded up the US effort with a 12-fault result, but the Mexicans were already home and hosed with their team total of 13, so Onate, who had racked up an uncharacteristic 12 faults first time out with Big Red, didn’t need to run again when listed last to go.

O’Farrill said that her comeback hasn’t been easy.

“I had to work on myself inside and out with physical therapy and mental training, but it’s been worth every minute!” — Lorenza O’Farrill (MEX)

Her husband bought Queen’s Darling as an 8-year-old, but they had a couple of falls so his wife took him over and began to enjoy some success. When she was going into surgery her husband promised that Queens Darling would be waiting for her when she was better and since she returned to the saddle she’s been working on the horse’s spooky nature – “I can’t change him so I use it to my advantage!” said the rider whose steeds are naturally supremely fit because they live 3,000 meters above sea level in Mexico City and whose other ride, the mare Calvira, won Friday’s Longines Grand Prix.

O’Farrill is now looking forward to the third and last leg which will take place in Langley (CAN) in a few weeks’ time where the result of the North and Central American and Caribbean League series will be decided. In the lead with 200 points on the board, Team Mexico holds the lead followed by USA on 170 and Canada with a total of 140 points.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Team Germany Scoops the Honours in Abu Dhabi

Sven Schlüsselburg and Bud Spencer. (FEI/Martin Dokoupil)

On a day of high drama in Abu Dhabi, Team Germany pipped Ireland to win the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United Arab Emirates while the hosts and Saudi Arabia claimed the two qualifying spots on offer for the 2019 series Final in Barcelona (ESP) next October.

It was a convincing German victory as Mario Stevens (36), Sven Schlüsselburg (37), Miriam Schneider (38), and Philipp Weishaupt (33) took a firm grip on the leaderboard with just a single time fault to count in the first round, and they finished well clear of the chasing Irish who had to settle for runner-up spot with a final score of six. Schneider was particularly delighted, because she only got the call-up when her boyfriend, Jörg Naeve, had to withdraw from the team two days ago. She wondered if her lovely nine-year-old chestnut gelding, Fidelius G, was ready for this test.

“I hoped he was experienced enough; this was really my first tough course to do with him but over the last few days I had a great feeling with him – he was trusting me, and he showed me that again today!” — Miriam Schneider (GER)

It wasn’t just about winning, however, as four nations – Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates – were chasing just two places for teams from the Middle East region at the 2019 Longines Final in Barcelona (ESP) next October. UAE and Saudi Arabia each completed on an 18-fault total to clinch those spots, their quicker combined times leaving the hosts in third at the end of the day ahead of their Saudi neighbours in fourth place.

The 3.8m open water at fence four in the first round proved a challenge to many and Irish chances were rattled when David Simpson’s 11-year-old stallion, Jenson, took fright here and, losing his concentration and nerve, was eliminated a few fences later. But with the open water replaced by an oxer in the second round, the pair returned to post a classic clear over the course designed by Spain’s Santiago Varela at their next attempt.

Team Jordan’s chances of claiming one of the coveted qualifying spots were crushed when last-line rider, Ibrahim Hani Bisharat, was given the ejector-seat by his grey stallion, Chactino, over the oxer at fence five. And he wasn’t the only rider to hit the floor. Saudi Arabian pathfinder, Abdulrahman Bader Alrajhi parted company with Domingo when the gelding put in a stop, while Irish anchor, Mark McAuley, also got to eat some of the desert dirt.

Second-last to go, McAuley looked set to wrap up the now-recovered Irish effort with a lovely double-clear from Jasco vd Bisschop. But the talented 10-year-old suddenly seemed to see a ghost and pulled violently left in front of the very last fence. Miraculously the Irishman persuaded the horse to get airborne, but the pair landed in a heap of poles, and both looked completely mystified as they left the arena, fortunately unscathed.

There was no drama for the Germans, however, with Mario Stevens and Talisman de Mazure leading off with a clear and lowering only the new oxer at fence four second time out, and Sven Schlüsselburg giving a superb account of himself with just a single time penalty in each round with his handsome grey, Bud Spencer. Schneider had two fences down in the first round but Fidelius grew in confidence with every step, and this promising pair secured the top step of the podium with their lovely second-round clear even before Weishaupt headed back into the arena.

Weishaupt’s Catokia had been foot-perfect in round one, but after the 12-year-old mare who won Thursday’s Longines Grand Prix faulted twice at the triple combination, three fences from home, the world no. 31, and the most experienced rider on the team, opted to retire. Nothing to be gained, because the win was already in the bag.

The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2019 series now moves on to Coapexpan (MEX) in early May where the second leg of the North/Central America and Caribbean League will take place.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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