Tag Archives: FEI World Cup

Zazou Hoffman Earns Electrifying First Longines Win in Del Mar

Zazou Hoffmann (USA) with Samson II. (FEI/ Lindsey Long)

When Zazou Hoffman (USA) was asked whether the Longines watch that sat before her was her first, her initial response was a dead giveaway: “I get to keep the watch?”

Hoffman, 26, topped the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Del Mar with Samson II, besting a compact yet furiously competitive jump-off field of four. Jumping cleanly over Marina Azevdeo’s (BRA) jump-off track, the duo crossed the timers in 41.68 seconds. Olympians Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and Quintol finished second as the leadoff pair (42.64), while Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Chameur (44.73) were third. Last to go, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and Akuna Mattata posted the winning time (41.15) but fell to fourth after they pulled the rail at the final fence.

“Tonight was super exciting for me. I have a lot of amazing things to say about my horse and how lucky I am to have him. In the jump-off, he was incredible! Everything came up kind of just by moving forward.” — Zazou Hoffman (USA)

Clear rounds were hard to come by in the first round. In fact, the first faultless performance did not come until Menezes and Quintol jumped at 22nd in the order. The pair, veterans of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, used their experience to their advantage and put the pressure on when first to go in the jump-off, and Hoffman formulated her plan based off their smooth execution. She followed up Menezes’ round with a confident, flowing ride of her own, which was highlighted by a tidy turn back to the jump-off’s third fence and a bold, time-shaving angle to the wall that came two fences later.

“I think I based my plan off of watching Eduardo,” she said. “I hadn’t really considered how fast or not I was going to go. After watching him, I realized I was going to have to be quite quick. I’ve ridden a lot of jump-offs this year on Samson with 4 faults, and I know that I can trust him and go fast, but it’s just that fine line of risking too much. I did one extra stride than Eduardo to first line, and then my turn backs were quite tight. I took a little bit of a risk to the wall, and that’s where I think I saved a little bit of time.”

Commuting Coasts

After earning 12 points in Vancouver, Hoffman skyrocketed to the top of the west coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with her win under the lights in Del Mar; she has 32 points through three legs. Eve Jobs (USA) sits second with 31 points, and Uma O’Neill (USA), winner of Vancouver’s qualifier, is third with 24 points.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, moved into second in the east coast sub league standings. She has 28 points, one behind leader Molly Ashe Cawley (USA), who won New York’s qualifier. Bloomberg is six points ahead of Mattias Tromp (USA), who sits in third with 22 points.

Bloomberg, a New York native, migrated west specifically for the World Cup competition.

“I had shown out here a couple years ago, and I’ve loved being out here,” she said. “It’s fun to be in a different environment with different people and a great crowd. We always jump at the opportunity to come out here and show, but part of it is also that my goal is really to qualify for World Cup Finals now that I have the right horse.”

The North American League continues in Washington, D.C. (USA), on 27 October 2018.

Click here to watch Zazou Hoffman’s winning round.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

International Equestrian Athletes Gather in Lexington for National Horse Show

Lexington, KY – Oct. 15, 2018 – Equestrians from around the world will soon arrive at the Kentucky Horse Park to compete at the National Horse Show, Lexington’s biggest show jumping event of the year held October 27 – November 4, 2018.  An exciting 8 days of world-class equestrian competition, the National Horse Show feature events include the $135,000 International Open Jumper Classic on November 1, the $50,000 NHS Hunter Classic on November 2, and our premier event, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ on Saturday, November 3. With over $845,000 in total prize money, the National Horse Show is proud to welcome Olympians, World Champions, and top international equestrian athletes, including the United States Gold Medal World Championship Team.

On Saturday, November 3, join us for the National Horse Show 5k to benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center at 5pm, followed by a Breeders’ Cup Viewing Party in Maxwell Place, a boutique shopping and dining experience.  Local barns are eligible for complimentary tickets and prizes as part of Barn Night.

We are proud to offer a unique opportunity for local charities to earn a cash bonus as part of our new NHS Bluegrass Charity Initiative, presented by Goshen Hill and Meralex Farm. Various Bluegrass charity organizations are encouraged to register for their chance to win cash bonuses on either Friday November 2 or Saturday November 3.

For complimentary tickets to support one of our participating charities, use one of the following ticket codes at nhs.org/tickets:

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation: JOCKEYCLUB

Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center: SECRETARIAT

Making a Difference Now Kentucky: MADNKY

Old Friends Equine (Thoroughbred Retirement Farms): OLDFRIENDS

Paris Animal Welfare Society: PAWSPETS

United Professional Horsemen’s Association: UPHA

The first two days of competition are all about the amateur and young riders. Saturday, October 27, the National Horse Show is proud to host age group equitation classes and the Boggs Hill National Horse Show KHJA Equitation Championship. Sunday October 28th features another full day of equitation beginning with the inaugural Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Horse Show Adult Equitation Championships, followed by the Hamel Foundation National Horse Show 3’3” Equitation Championship. Admission is free of charge and boutique shopping will be open!

Hunter classes begin at 7am on Tuesday, November 30th with Jumper classes beginning on Wednesday evening with the Free x Rein $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Speed class at 7pm. The excitement will continue to build on Thursday with the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumper Speed class and the $135,000 International Jumper Classic at 8pm. Friday night’s competition features the Salamander Hotels and Resorts $35,000 Accumulator class followed by the $50,000 NHS Hunter Classic.

Saturday will host the main events, kicking off with the NHS 5k benefitting the Kentucky Equine Humane Center at 5pm. After the race, join us for a Breeder’s Cup Viewing Party in Maxwell Place before the featured show jumping event, the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington at 7:00pm. Watch the top show jumpers in the world compete for a chance to qualify for the Longines FEI Jumping™ World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden next year.

Sunday will conclude the week’s events with the prestigious ASPCA Maclay National Championship presented by Chansonette Farm in which the top junior riders from across the country will compete for the 2018 title.

Admission is free and open to the public October 27-30.  Tickets are required for evening competitions on Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2, and for all competitions on Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4. Boutique shopping and dining will be open in Maxwell Place during show hours.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

For tickets, click here.

Lindelöw Scorches to Victory at Opening Leg in Oslo

Sweden’s Douglas Lindelöw and Zacramento. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

It takes courage to give it everything you’ve got, and Sweden’s Douglas Lindelöw (27) and his brilliant bay gelding Zacramento threw down a really courageous performance to win the first leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League in Oslo, Norway.

Fourth to go in the 12-horse jump-off, and followed by many of the world’s best, they posted a formidable target that proved way too fast for the rest. When he was told afterwards that he’d been very brave after stopping the timers in 44.67 seconds, the Swedish star laughed and replied, “I thought so too!” He’d just pinned Rio 2016 Olympic team gold medallist Kevin Staut (37) from France into runner-up spot and Australian star Edwina Tops-Alexander (44) into third, so he had every reason to be happy.

There were seven double-clear rounds, with Italy’s Luca Moneta (Connery) and Michael Cristofoletti (Belony) slotting into fourth and fifth places ahead of Germany’s Hans-Dieter Dreher (Twenty Clary) in sixth and Ireland’s Denis Lynch (The Sinner) claiming seventh spot.

Lindelöw knew he was in with a big chance at this opening round of the 13-leg series.

“Zacramento has been in really good shape since finishing second in the Grand Prix in Brussels last month, so I came here with a great feeling and from the first day I believed we could give it a go!” — Douglas Lindelöw (SWE)

A total of 38 horse-and-rider combinations from 16 countries arrived at the Telenor Arena in the Norwegian capital city with the same goal of picking up some precious early qualifying points for the Final which, in this 41st season, returns to where it all began in Gothenburg (SWE) next April. That’s Lindelöw’s big target right now.

“I am based in the south of Sweden so of course I want to get to Gothenburg!” said the rider who was a member of Sweden’s silver-medal-winning team at the FEI European Championships last year, and who has an impressive record at Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals. He finished eighth with his former ride, Casello, in Las Vegas (USA) in 2015 and 11th with Zacramento at the Final in Paris (FRA) earlier this year.

It was Italy’s Michael Cristofoletti (Belony) who set the target at 46.70 seconds when second to go in the jump-off, but Lindelöw shaved more than two seconds off that with a fearless run from his 13-year-old Swedish-bred horse. Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts (H&M Legend of Love) and Italy’s Alberto Zorzi (Contanga) were quicker, but both left a fence on the floor, and it was last man in, Kevin Staut, with Silver Deux de Virton HDC who came closest to Lindelöw’s time as he crossed the line in 45.51 seconds.

The Frenchman complimented Norwegian course designers Terje Olsen-Nalum and Anders Hafskjold.

“It was fair for the first indoor of the season, there were not too many clears and it was a great competition.” — Kevin Staut (FRA)

He also pointed out that they made the right decision when sticking with the time-allowed they had set before the action began, even though even though some of the early starters picked up time faults. “The time was exactly as it should be, and it was good they didn’t change it at the start,” Staut said.

Lindelöw’s next plan is to collect some more qualifying points at the third leg of the Western European League in Verona (ITA) in two weeks’ time. Before that, however, there will be another afternoon of edge-of-the-seat excitement when the series visits Helsinki (FIN) next Sunday.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Eugenio Garza Perez Soars, Taking Longines Victory at Columbus

Peter Lutz, Eugenio Garza Perez & Kelly Cruciotti. (FEI/Winslow Photography)

A victory in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Columbus stamped the 10-year-old Zangersheide Victer Finn Dh Z as a horse to watch this season on the North American League.

Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) rode the bay gelding to the top of the podium in the horse’s World Cup qualifying debut. After missing nearly a year of competition while recovering from injury, Victer Finn Dh Z showed off his ability — and his fitness — by topping a jump-off field of 10. The pair crossed the timers in 41.33 seconds, less than two-tenths of a second faster than Peter Lutz (USA) and Robin du Ponthual (41.49 seconds), veterans of the 2016 World Cup Finals. Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and Chamonix H (42.65 seconds) finished third.

“That was an amazing course and a fun jump-off,” Garza Perez said. “With the horses and riders that were in the jump-off, you knew it was going to be fast. We definitely went in there with the plan of trying to be as fast as possible and playing to the strengths of my horse. He’s a naturally fast horse and covers a lot of ground, and it worked out our favor, which is amazing.”

Alan Wade (IRL) set the track for the newest leg on the North American League, which saw 39 combinations compete. The field featured four veterans from the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris (FRA), including Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, Charlie Jacobs and Cassinja S, Alison Robitaille and Ace, and current World Cup champions Beezie Madden and Breitling LS.

“It’s for sure [a highlight],” Garza Perez said. “[Victer Finn Dh Z] is 10 years old, but he’s not that experienced. He took a while off. He came out [today] as good as ever. It was amazing. I really didn’t expect that result, but I’ll take it!”

Maintaining Momentum

After recording her first World Cup victory in New York with D’Arnita, Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) solidified her place atop the east coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with an eighth place finish in Columbus aboard another mount, Cat Ballou. She boasts 29 points. Mattias Tromp (USA), who finished third in New York, also proved his consistency, finishing 10th in Columbus and securing second in the standings with 22. Sacramento’s World Cup winner, Wilhelm Genn (GER), sits third with 20 points.

Eve Jobs (USA), who finished fourth in Columbus, is declared on the west coast, and she now leads those standings with 24 points, ahead of Karrie Rufer (21 points). Garza Perez has moved into a joint third with Uma O’Neill, who won in Vancouver. They each have 20 points.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Wilhelm Genn Puts On a Show in Sacramento to Notch First Longines Victory

Wilhelm Genn (GER) with his mount Bugatti. (FEI/McCool Photos)

Less than three hours from the city of Columbus, which hosted its first ever Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier this weekend, is German rider Wilhelm Genn’s Rheinland Farm. Genn wasn’t there but found himself on top in the World Cup competition, more than 2,400 miles away.

Genn (GER) and his mount Bugatti topped a nine-horse jump-off to win the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento, their first victory in a World Cup event. With a clear jump-off in 36.88 seconds, the duo topped Karrie Rufer (USA) and Georgie d’Auvray EC (37.31 seconds) by just under a half-second. Karl Cook (USA) and Caillou finished third, crossing the timers with a clean round in 38.47 seconds.

“I was hoping I got a chance to run for it today, and it worked out. Bugatti likes the footing, and he likes the crowd — it gets him a little excited, and that makes him better, because normally he’s a very lazy horse. It all kind of played a little bit in my favor.” — Wilhelm Genn (Germany)

The stands were packed to capacity Saturday night at the Murieta Equestrian Center as 25 combinations lined up to take on Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) 1.60m course. The first clear round did not come until the 14th horse in the order, but eight others quickly followed suit.

“My horse felt great,” Genn said. “I like to plan things, so before we came here, we showed in Kentucky, because they have a grand prix Friday night under the nights [indoors]. That was our warm-up, and we jumped very well there, so I felt pretty confident.”

Genn had not originally planned to compete on the west coast, but when his son Theo, who also jumped Saturday night with Taylor Reid’s Boucanier, elected to make the journey, he decided to join him. The decision proved to pay off in spades.

“I really came here for my son,” Genn said. “And then I thought, ‘I’ll bring my two horses.’”

Two New Leaders

New names sit atop the standings in both the east and west coast sub leagues of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League. Genn, who is declared on the east coast, now leads those standings. He is tied at the top with Molly Ashe Cawley (USA), who earned her first Longines victory in New York. Both have 20 points.

Rufer may have finished second in Sacramento, but she also ended the night a winner, going to the top of the west coast standings with 21 points. She earned 17 points for her runner-up finish, combined with the four points she received in at Vancouver (CAN) in August, the first qualifier of the 2018-2019 season.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Entries for 2018 American Gold Cup Close Sept. 6

Photo: Lucy Deslauriers and Hester at the 2017 American Gold Cup.

North Salem, N.Y. – Aug. 31, 2018 – The closing date for entries for the 2018 American Gold Cup, returning to Old Salem Farm Sept. 26-30, is fast approaching with a deadline of Thursday, Sept. 6! Don’t miss your chance to compete at one of the most highly regarded show jumping events in the country.

Exhibitors can conveniently submit entries electronically via Show Management System™. In addition, FEI exhibitors must also be entered by their national federation into the FEI entry system. Definite entries are due by Sept. 16. Download the prize list and entry forms.

Competition in 2018 will play host to a number of important FEI ranking events, culminating with the prestigious $204,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W on Sunday, Sept. 30, where top athletes will compete for the illustrious American Gold Cup.

The American Gold Cup has been selected as one of only seven events that comprise the East Coast division of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. Athletes compete in the league at events all across North America in order to qualify for the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final to be held next in Gothenburg, Sweden, April 3-7, 2019.

In addition, the American Gold Cup will feature a full array of jumper classes including divisions for Children and Adult Jumpers, Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers and the exciting Open Jumpers.

For ticketing and more information, visit theamericangoldcup.com.

O’Neill Stands Alone with Only Clear to Earn First Longines Victory in Vancouver

Uma O’Neill with Clockwise of Greenhill Z. (FEI/Cara Grimshaw)

It only took one round of jumping to determine the winner of the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver (CAN). Uma O’Neill (USA) jumped the only clear round aboard Clockwise of Greenhill Z to win the class without a jump-off.

Second to jump the Alan Wade (IRL) designed track, O’Neill’s round held sway as the only faultless performance throughout the remainder of the 29-strong field. Defending champion Conor Swail (IRL) and Rubens La Silla finished second with the fastest 4-fault round (74.26 seconds), knocking only a careful plank vertical that fell often throughout the afternoon. Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Tino la Chapelle (4, 75.87) finished third. O’Neill’s win was her first in a World Cup qualifier.

“I am ecstatic. I just went out and gave it everything I could today and asked a little bit extra of myself and my horse, and it really paid off!” — Uma O’Neill (USA)

Wade challenged the riders with numerous technical nuances on course. The course designer from the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris (FRA) said he never designs with a number of clear rounds in mind.

“There were a lot of little tests out there,” he said. “[The course] was solved very early on — second horse in — so we knew it was solvable. There were a lot of riders with 4 faults that, I believe, felt that if they had a second chance, they would have gone clear. But that’s one of the great things about show jumping: You get one chance, and you have to take it. We got a lot of excitement and anxiety from people knocking polls late [in the class]. It doesn’t all have to be about speed [in a jump-off]. It is showjumping after all. I think it was good sport.”

The competition at Vancouver was the first of the 2018-2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, which will send seven east coast U.S. riders, three west coast U.S. riders, two Canadian riders, two Mexican riders and defending World Cup Champion Beezie Madden (USA) to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE) in April 2019. O’Neill, 23, now leads the standings of the west coast sub league with 20 points.

Swail declared for the east coast sub league, so he takes over those standings with 17 points. Salgado, meanwhile, will move into the runner-up slot in the west coast with 15 points.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

FEI Jumping World Cup North American League Enters Season with 2nd Straight World Champion

Beezie Madden (USA) clinches her second World Cup title riding Breitling LS in a cliffhanger at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals 2017/18 Paris, (FRA). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

When Beezie Madden (USA) landed off the final fence at the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris (FRA) with Breitling LS, her final, nearly perfect score of 4 not only secured the Cazenovia, NY native her second career victory in a World Cup Final, but it also marked the second straight year the North American League (NAL) produced the World Cup Champion.

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League will begin its fourth season Sunday 26 August 2018 at 2:00 pm (PT) at Thunderbird Show Park, Langley (CAN). The CSI 4*-W event kick-starts a league that has continued to grow in stature, as Madden’s Parisian victory followed up a win for McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur in Omaha (USA) the previous year. The back-to-back American triumphs in show jumping’s most prestigious individual indoor championship give the North American League a 2/3 strike rate at the World Cup Final since the league’s inception in 2015.

The North American League is divided into two sub-leagues, with both the East Coast and West Coast receiving a new location in the 2018-2019 season. Columbus (USA) will serve as the second stop on the east coast on Sunday 7 October 2018, while Leon (MEX) will conclude the west coast sub league on Saturday 9 February 2018.

In addition to Madden, who receives automatic qualification as the event’s defending Champion, seven east coast USA riders, three west coast USA riders, two Canadian riders, and two Mexican riders will punch their tickets to the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE), which begins on 3 April 2019. Riders may earn points in up to seven qualifying events throughout the league season, and their four best results from those classes will count toward their final league standing.

An exciting cast of riders is headed to Langley, including the USA’s Jennifer Gates, Eve Jobs, three-time World Cup Final veteran Karl Cook, and 2012 World Cup Champion, Richard Fellers. The entries also include the California-based Ashlee Bond, who is set to represent Israel in the upcoming FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (USA) in September. Alison Robitaille (USA) and Richard Spooner (USA) who both qualified for the World Cup Final last season, are also slated to compete. Together, they have 20 World Cup Final appearances between them.

“The World Cup Final is the type of competition where you really have to have the right horse at the right time, and all cylinders have to be firing…” — Richard Spooner (USA)

“Anytime you start a World Cup season, you’re just hoping to get some good points early, so there’s not a lot of pressure on you at the end,” said Spooner, who led the west coast standings of the North American League last season. “The finals are in Gothenburg this season, and it’s a nice, big arena with a lot of history — that’s where it really all began with the World Cup. It’s an exciting year.”

Spooner plans to compete the 9-year-old Quirado RC in the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Langley. The big grey, who finished fourth in Thermal’s World Cup class last season, won two five-star ranking classes this summer at Spruce Meadows (CAN). The gelding also finished fourth in the CSIO5* $235,000 Longines Grand Prix at Langley in May. His partner in Paris was the 11-year-old Chatinus, who won the World Cup qualifier at Las Vegas in 2017.

“I’m looking forward to [Langley],” Spooner said. “Quirado is a 9-year-old and a little green, but he’s an extraordinary horse. I’m hoping to have Chatinus do some of the indoor [qualifiers] in the tighter indoor rings later in the season.”

“The World Cup Final is the type of competition where you really have to have the right horse at the right time, and all cylinders have to be firing,” Spooner said. “The [North American League qualifiers] really set you up for that and let you know if everything is going in the right direction, or if you’re better off waiting for another year and another opportunity. The World Cup Final is always the highlight of the indoor season, and as a major, I enjoy it.”

View the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League Calendar here.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Equestrian Driving Boosted with Allocation of Five Major Events

Photo: FEI/Richard Juilliart.

Equestrian Driving, the sport that combines athletic horses, daredevil drivers and state-of-the-art carriages, has been given a valuable boost today with the allocation of five major events over the next three years.

The showdown for the FEI Driving World Cup™ Final 2019, the culmination of tough global qualifiers broadcast on more than 40 television channels in 19 countries, will take place in the elegant French city of Bordeaux following allocation by the FEI Bureau.

“Driving is an exciting, high-octane sport and the crowds just love it,” FEI Driving Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said. “Driving requires spectacular skills, the horses are clever and fast – the ultimate horsepower. This is all about precision at speed; it’s adrenaline-fueled and unbelievably electrifying.”

The FEI Bureau, the body responsible for the general direction of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), also allocated four Driving Championships at World and European level in 2020 and 2021 to venues in the French Pyrenees and the Loire Valley, Mezőhegyes – home to Hungary’s state stud farm – and to Kronenberg in The Netherlands.

Close to nature

Nine other events were allocated by the FEI Bureau, including the FEI European Endurance Championship 2019, which will take place at Great Britain’s 200-acre Euston Park venue, set in Thetford Forest – the UK’s largest lowland pine area.

2019

  • FEI Driving World Cup™ Final – Bordeaux (FRA), 7-10 February
  • FEI European Endurance Championship – Euston Park (GBR), 15-18 August
  • FEI European Championships for Ponies (Jumping, Dressage & Eventing) – Strzegom (POL), 15-18 August

2020

  • FEI Jumping European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors and Children – Vilamoura (POR), 21-26 July
  • FEI Jumping European Championship for Veterans – Fontainebleau (FRA), 24-27 September
  • FEI Dressage European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Hartpury (GBR), 27 July – 2 August
  • FEI Eventing European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Hartpury (GBR), 27 July – 2 August
  • FEI Driving World Championship for Singles – Pau (FRA), 21-26 October
  • FEI Driving World Championship for Young Horses – Mezöhegyes (HUN), 10-13 September
  • FEI Driving European Championship for Young Drivers, Juniors & Children – Lamotte Beuvron (FRA), dates TBC
  • FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Horses – Madrid (ESP), 21-24 May or 4-7 June
  • FEI Endurance European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors – Vic (ESP), 25-27 September
  • FEI Vaulting European Championship for Juniors – Flyinge (SWE), 28 July – 2 August

2021

  • FEI Driving World Championship for Ponies – Kronenberg (NED), end August – mid September

Media contact:

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

Madden Clinches Her Second Title in a Cliffhanger

Photo: FEI/Jim Hollander.

Fellow-American Ryan finishes a close second, Sweden’s von Eckermann takes third

America’s Beezie Madden (54) held on to win the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2018 title in Paris (FRA), but she didn’t do it the easy way. In a cliffhanger of a second round she faulted for the first time over three tough days of jumping when last to go with the brilliant Breitling LS. And the crowd had to hold their breath until she crossed the line to a roar of approval, separated by just two penalty points from compatriot Devin Ryan (36) in second place.

The biggest surprise package of the week, the relatively unknown Ryan was relentlessly cool yet again as his apparently bomb-proof grey gelding son of the great stallion Zirocco Blue continued to make the super-tough courses designed by Spain’s Santiago Varela look fairly elementary.

The hard-luck story of the final afternoon was that of Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (37) who had to settle for third place for the second year in a row. In runner-up spot and carrying four faults as the afternoon began, he might have forced Madden into a jump-off but for a mistake with Tovek’s Mary Lou in the closing moments. He wasn’t forgiving himself for that. Madden knew she’d been in a fight.

“When I had that rail down, I was a little nervous, but I still felt my horse was jumping well and I knew I had to pull it together to finish on four (faults) and try to get it done!” — Beezie Madden (USA)

The rider who previously claimed the title in 2013 said it was “double-exciting” to post her second win, and particularly with this 12-year-old stallion. “We’ve really believed in him but he’s taken time to mature, so for him to come through today is fantastic! It’s taken a little while to replace Simon (her 2013 World Cup winning ride) and Cortes (team silver 2016 Olympic Games) but it’s happening!” she added.

Her two nearest rivals kept all the pressure in place when making no mistake in the first round, von Eckermann carrying his four points forward and Ryan still sitting on a total of six.  A little rattle at the oxer at fence three on the 13-obstacle course, and another at vertical no. 7 set American hearts beating a little faster, but Madden cleared the line with nothing to add, so the top end of the standings looked the same when the top 20 returned for round two over a new track.

And Ryan, who hails from Long Valley in New Jersey, did it again, steering Eddie Blue home with apparent ease once more. At just nine years old the horse was the youngest in the Final but you’d never have guessed. “His brain is unbelievable; he never knocked a pole as a five or six-year-old; he won the American Gold Cup as an eight-year-old and was second at Devon, one of our biggest shows in the US – he’s just a fantastic horse!” said the man who qualified from the US East Coast series.

Second-last into the ring von Eckermann knew he would pressure Madden with a clear, and he was beating himself up about having the second fence down this time out. “It was my mistake; my horse jumped fantastic as always, but we got too close and I interfered – I should have trusted her quality and it wouldn’t have happened,” said the clearly disappointed Swede.

You could hear a pin drop after Madden’s stallion hit the middle element of the triple combination at fence six. One more error would hand the title to fellow-American Ryan, but the lady who has two Olympic gold medals in her trophy cabinet along with a whole lot more valuable hardware didn’t crumble, bringing Breitling home with nothing further to add for a very popular victory.

Only five female athletes have taken the title in the 40-year history of the series that every rider wants to win, and they all have one thing in common. Like Madden, Melanie Smith (1983), Leslie Burr Lenehan (1986), and Katharine Burdsall (1987) all flew the American flag, while three-time winner Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum from Germany (2005, 2008, 2009) was born in Los Angeles, California. It seemed history was repeating itself, as Burdsall’s victory was also posted at exactly the same Paris venue when the Jumping Final was last staged in France 31 years ago.

The final standings showed three US riders in the top four places as 2017 winner, McLain Ward, slotted into fourth spot. The happiest of all was new double-champion Madden. “I love the World Cup Final – each year I make it a goal to get there, and to win, and I did it again!” said the lady who will be aiming join the elite club of three-time champions when the Final returns to Gothenburg in Sweden for the 23rd time next April.

By Louise Parkes

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