Tag Archives: FEI World Cup

FEI World Cup Finals 2020 in Las Vegas Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

Lausanne (SUI), 13 March 2020 – The International Equestrian Federation (FEI), United States Equestrian (USEF), and Las Vegas Events have announced the force majeure cancellation of the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2020 in Las Vegas. The annual equestrian competition, featuring the Olympic disciplines of Jumping and Dressage, was scheduled for 15-19 April at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“It is very regrettable that next month’s FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas have had to be cancelled, but the decision was out of our hands,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“Since the FEI World Cup series began in 1978 for Jumping and in 1985 for Dressage, the Finals have never had to be cancelled before, but the global concerns about the spread of the virus and the travel restrictions imposed by the US Government have meant that the Finals are one of many major sporting events impacted by this outbreak.

“Like everyone in our community, we are disappointed, not only for the athletes who have qualified for the Finals, but also for Las Vegas Events and US Equestrian, and of course our top partner Longines, but the health, well-being, and safety of our athletes, officials, and our fans has to be our top priority. We hope we can alleviate that disappointment by returning to Las Vegas for a wonderful FEI World Cup Finals in the future.”

All ticket buyers and exhibitors will be issued full refunds. The Las Vegas Events ticket office will contact all ticket holders on the process starting the week of 16 March.

Further information on the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2020 in Las Vegas can be found at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Verdades to Appear at 2020 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas

Photo Credit: Shannon Brinkman Photography.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Las Vegas, Nev. – Verdades, one of the most popular and beloved horses in dressage history, will make two public appearances at the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, April 15-19. “Diddy” will headline the Devoucoux Dressage Showcase on Friday afternoon, April 17, and then have his official retirement ceremony on Saturday evening.

Laura Graves, Verdades’s owner and rider, announced the 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding’s retirement in January, leading to an outpouring of love and support from his many followers around the world. That spurred a plan to give his fans a chance to see the legendary superstar at the FEI World Cup™ Final.

“Diddy has so many fans and I wanted to give as many of them as possible a chance to see him before his retirement,” said Graves, who purchased Verdades as a yearling and is the only rider he has ever known. “He has performed on the world’s biggest stages and there really is no bigger stage than the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, so this is really the perfect place for his formal retirement.”

Graves and Verdades will appear during the Final’s Devoucoux Dressage Showcase on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday evening when his official retirement ceremony will be held during the intermission of the Grand Prix Freestyle, the event determining the 2020 FEI World Cup™ champion.

As part of the special occasion, a drawing will be held to select 16 individuals among those in attendance at the Devoucoux Dressage Showcase to meet the legendary horse later that day. In addition, Graves will appear that afternoon in the Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds to meet guests in the World Cup’s VIP club.

Verdades first caught the world’s attention when he carried Graves to the Reserve Championship in the 2014 The Dutta Corp./USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship and then followed that by finishing fifth in the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, the top U.S. finish.

To order tickets, or for further information on the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, please visit the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

Coyle Bookends 2019/2020 North American League with Wins in Ocala

Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Farrel. (FEI/Shannon Brinkman)

Daniel Coyle (IRL) finished the 2019/2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League the same way he started it — with a victory.

After beginning the season with a win in Vancouver (CAN), Coyle rode Farrel to the top of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala (USA), besting an eight-horse jump-off. The duo crossed the timers of Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) shortened course in 37.05 seconds. Margie Engle (USA) and Dicas finished second with a 37.37-second time, while Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Cristalline finished third in 37.96 seconds.

“I think everything was going really well until the last turn. I had a little slip there, and I thought everything was going great until that point. I thought, ‘Have I lost it?’” Coyle detailed. “When I went through the finish and [saw] that I was able to catch the [leaders] — both of them have fantastic horses and are fantastic riders as well — I was delighted to beat them!”

Last to go and Engle to beat, Coyle executed a very different plan than the then-leader. Engle used Dicas’ massive stride to her advantage, while Coyle relied on Farrel’s swift turning, along with a sheer will to win.

“[Farrel] is a very small horse. He doesn’t have as big a jump as most horses, but he just believes he’s one of the best. Belief always overdoes talent, and he obviously has loads of that as well, but it’s his way, and he can do things that other horses can’t do.” — Daniel Coyle (IRL)

The victory secured Coyle a place in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, which will take place in Las Vegas (USA), 15-19 April 2020. The appearance would mark Coyle’s first in a championship.

“In the middle of last year, [my team] decided to try and aim for the [Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final]. Until today, it seemed we didn’t have enough points. It’ll be my first World Cup Final, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Sternlicht finishes the season atop the east coast standings with 61 points, one more than Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden (USA) with 60 points. Brian Moggre (USA) is third in the standings with 56 points.

Karl Cook (USA) sits atop the west coast standings with 59 points. Jenni McAllister (USA), who finished seventh in Ocala, moved into second with 40 points, one ahead of Alex Granato (USA), who has 39 points.

FULL RESULTS

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Look Who’s Qualified to Ride in Las Vegas

The 14th and final leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League took place over the weekend in Gothenburg, Sweden, and now we know who is qualified for the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup ™ Final in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center on April 15-19. Continue reading.

Las Vegas Events/FEI World Cup™ Finals Statement about COVID-19

Las Vegas Events, the Local Organizing Committee for the FEI World Cup™ Finals, and the Thomas & Mack Center, along with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and our resort partners continue to monitor COVID-19 and communicate with our local health officials. Continue reading.

Stay up to date on all news by joining the World Cup Club. Join now by clicking here.

Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final and FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final
April 15-19, 2020 • Thomas & Mack Center • Las Vegas, Nevada
www.worldcuplasvegas.com

Gulliksen Posts Career-Defining Victory in Gothenburg

Geir Gulliksen riding VDL Groep Quatro. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

Norway’s Geir Gulliksen posted the first World Cup victory of his long and successful career in the thrilling 14th and last qualifier of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League (WEL) in Gothenburg, Sweden where he pinned young Swiss star Bryan Balsiger into second place and French Olympic gold medallist, Kevin Staut, into third.

But, not satisfied with having stolen the show with the ride of his life on his brave little gelding VDL Groep Quatro, Gulliksen added even more drama when taking a tumble from the horse during the prizegiving.

“I feel fine actually – except for my arse! I wouldn’t change anything that happened today. This crowd – of all the shows in the whole world there is no crowd like this. Even to fall off it doesn’t matter; I couldn’t be happier. This is definitely the highlight of my career!” said the 60-year-old rider afterwards.

The result saw him rocket up to 10th place in the WEL rankings so he’s now well-qualified for the much-anticipated Longines 2020 Final in Las Vegas, USA next April where current league leader, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, will defend his title for the fourth time. A total of 18 riders from the Western European League, apart from the defending champion, have now booked their tickets to the showdown in the Nevada desert, and Balsiger claimed his spot by moving into 15th place while Staut was already guaranteed a place, finishing fourth on the final leaderboard after a great run over the winter months.

The contours of the Scandinavium Arena always ensure a strong challenge, and only five of the 32 starters found the key to Peter Lundstrom’s tough 14-fence first-round track. The spectators groaned loudest when their own Henrik von Eckermann (Peter Pan) and Peder Fredricson (H&M Christian K) made it all the way to the very last fence only to pick up a fault there, but their long-time hero Rolf-Goran Bengtsson saved the day when making the cut with the big grey, Cassilano Jmen.

He was first to go against the clock with this relatively new ride and left the door open with two fences on the floor in 48.52 seconds. Gulliksen was next into the ring, and his little 14-year-old gelding gave him everything he had to come home clear in 45.75 seconds to put it up to the remaining three.

Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts looked set to knock the Norwegian off his pedestal until H&M Legend of Love hit the first element of the double halfway around the new track, and Staut looked really threatening with the super-fast For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC who raced home in the quickest time of 44.51 seconds, but lowered the vertical third fence along the way.

Now only Balsiger could stop Gulliksen from taking the win, and this talented 22-year-old who won the opening leg of the series in Oslo last October made no mistake, bringing the 13-year-old mare Twenytwo Des Biches home in 46.45 seconds which slotted him into second place. It would a glorious day for Gulliksen, and despite his sore bottom he was in flying form during the post-competition press conference.

“I’ve been coming to this show for 27 or 28 years and I always hoped for a day like this!” he said. And he talked about the courageous little VDL Groep Quatro who carried him to glory.

“I bought him from (Dutch rider) Mikael van de Vleuten and I think no one thought he would jump like he jumped today.

“He doesn’t have all the scope, but he is so athletic and he believes he’s just as good as any other horse! There was no place on the course today where I thought he would struggle – he just makes it happen. He’s a bit like a pony, and he never stops – he amazes me more and more!” — Geir Gulliksen (NOR)

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Dazzling Dufour and Cassidy Triumph Again in Gothenburg

Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

Not for the first time, Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and her mighty little chestnut gelding Atterupgaards Cassidy stole Swedish hearts when winning the tenth leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League at the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg (SWE).

The Danish pair has a particular affinity with this city, taking bronze here in both the Grand Prix Special and Freestyle at the FEI European Championships staged in 2017 and then returning to win the FEI Dressage World Cup™ qualifier in 2018.  And they were unbeatable once more, despite a shaky start in the Grand Prix in which they had to settle for third place after a nasty stumble in their first extended trot and an error of course at the end of their test.

“I’ve had him 10 years now and he’s really special for me and my family. I think I owe this horse everything – he kind of created my career and I am really truly enjoying every time I ride down the centreline, because he’s 17 years old and you never know what happens. He feels great and is super-sound, but you just have remember to enjoy every single ride!” Dufour said after pinning Germany’s Benjamin Werndl and Frederic Wandres into third.

Sweden’s Paulinda Friberg and Di Lapponia T kicked off the action after the half-time break with a new leading mark of 74.145, but Wandres soared out in front when posting 81.465 with Duke of Britain for a test that oozed power and pizzazz. Their coordination with their musical score was superb.

“We used this music for the first time at London Olympia at Christmas and it was good; today is only the second time we do it, and when the crowd started clapping on the last line I knew it was not too bad again!” said the rider who finished his performance with extravagant one-handed passage to the delight of the spectators.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry and Dark Legend, who posted a personal-best when claiming runner-up spot in the Grand Prix, also produced some fabulous passage on their way to a mark of 81.030, but then Dufour blew the whole competition wide open. Cassidy sparkled as they collected 9s for extended trot and 10s for canter pirouette, and when 87.860 went up on the board that was always going to be tough to beat.

The penultimate partnership of Sandra Dahlin and Ichi have been making the headlines all week because this is a horse that comes with a fascinating story. The Dahlin family won Ichi’s mother in a raffle at Gothenburg Horse Show 17 years ago, and the 14-year-old mare has done them proud. As Show Director, Tomas Torgersen, said, some new riders who have been given an opportunity to compete at Gothenburg Horse Show this year and they have blossomed. Dahlin is one of those, showing tremendous talent when steering her mare into fifth place in only the fourth international outing of their career together.

Last man in was Benjamin Werndl, and the crowd watched intently as he consistently racked up strong scores with Daily Mirror, but when 86.170 went up on the board he had to settle for second place behind Dufour. He was far from disappointed; in fact he said he was “super happy” because this week he has made a breakthrough in piaffe which has sometimes been problematic with this horse. “I’m looking forward to the next competitions now. I always said he’s the best horse I ever sat on; the only thing was the piaffe could be better, but if he does it like he did today, then who knows what can happen!”

With just one more Western European League qualifier left to run, in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in three weeks’ time, many of the riders are thinking ahead to the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas (USA) in April. Dufour explained that she won’t compete there as she is aiming both Cassidy and her younger horse Bohemian, who topped the opening leg of the WEL series on home ground in Herning (DEN) last October, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

But both runner-up Werndl and third-placed Wandres have it clearly in their sights – if they get the opportunity. “I’d like to go to both Vegas and Tokyo! I have two horses so I will have to discuss with our national trainers. If I go to Vegas I will go with Famoso,” Werndl said.

But as Wandres explained it’s not just as easy as that. As it stands, German riders hold the top four places on the WEL leaderboard of which just two will be permitted to join their compatriot and defending champion, Isabell Werth, in the battle for the 2020 title. Top of the table ahead of the 11th and last leg is Jessica von Bredow Werndl, followed by her brother Benjamin Werndl, then Wandres, and in fourth is Helen Langehanenberg.

“I’m proud to be German but sometimes it’s not so easy in the dressage ring to be a German rider because there’s always a big fight for the three spots for the World Cup Final. And there’s one more show in March so everything is still open and we have to fight until the end. But if I have a chance to go for sure I will take it because it’s a dream for me, especially with this horse. We came into the Grand Prix sport together and this would be something special!” — Frederic Wandres (GER)

Result here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

FEI Jumping World Cup Winners Celebrated All across the Globe

Masami Kawaguchi. (FEI/Japan NF)

Across six continents, horses and riders have been competing in 15 leagues throughout the FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 season. Many of the qualifying series are now completed, with only Western Europe, North America, and Central Europe yet to be decided. For some of the top finishers their result will carve a path to the Longines 2020 Final in Las Vegas, USA in April. For others, victory in their own region has been their ultimate goal.

Athletes from Uzbekistan dominated the Central Asian League where Gairat Nazarov, who took double-bronze at the 2019 Eurasian Championships in Moscow (RUS), edged compatriot Bekzod Kurbanov at the end of the three-leg series that visited Tashkent (UZB), Almaty (KAZ), and Bishkek (KGZ). There were also three legs in the Longines China League in which athletes from China, Taipei, and Hong Kong lined out. The events were staged in Tianjin, Beijing, and Chengdu and China’s Jirigala Eerdeng and Tongyan Liu claimed the top two places.

A total of 20 athletes contested the Japan League, and Masami Kawaguchi came out on top ahead of Jun Takada. Third place here went to Eiji Serizawa who collected points at every one of the seven legs of the series.

It was a second consecutive series win for Tegan Fitzsimon in the New Zealand League which concluded last month. The 29-year-old rider won two of the five legs along the way, but it was a close-run affair when she finished just two points ahead of runner-up Brooke Edgecombe who pipped her for pole position at the last leg in Dannevirke.

Chris Chugg, Jamie Kermond, and Billy Raymont filled the top three places on the Australian League leaderboard. Chugg won the legs at Tamworth and Sydney, but had to settle for third place at the last round in Boneo where Kermond reigned supreme. However, having accumulated 100 points, Chugg took the title, and the man who has introduced many super-talented horses to the top end of the sport is planning to bring his winning ride, PSS Levilensky, to Las Vegas.

In South Africa a total of 41 athletes competed in the five-leg league won by Christophe van der Merwe. The 26-year-old topped the opener at Midrand, the third leg in Shongweni, and the final in Kromdraai, collecting 75 points which left him well clear of his nearest rival, Govett Triggol.

London Olympian, Jose Roberto Reynoso Fernandez Filho, won the South American South League ahead of fellow-Brazilians Flavio Grillo Araujo in second and Karina Harbich Johannpeter in third. There were six events in this series, visiting Sao Paulo, Curitiba, and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Sol de Mayo and Buenos Aires in Argentina. A double of wins, and third place at the leg in Rio, sealed the league title for the rider who took team silver at the South American Games in Quillotta, Chile in 2014.

Just six athletes, all from Thailand, contested the three-leg South East Asian League won by 26-year-old Jaruporn Limpichati who took team bronze and individual silver at the SEA Games in Kuang Rawang, Malaysia in 2017. Runner-up was last year’s series champion, 23-year-old Siengsaw Lertratanachai.

The Arab League is sub-divided, and Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Alsharbatly, individual silver medallist at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Kentucky (USA), pipped the UAE’s Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi for top spot in the Middle East Sub-League. The North African Sub-League was dominated by Egyptian riders and Abdel Said, who finished 10th at the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE) with Jumpy van de Hermitage, was clear winner here when finishing with 63 points ahead of compatriots Mouda Zeyada and Karim Elzoghby who slotted into second and third with 38 points each.

The latest FEI Jumping World Cup™ series to conclude was the Caucasus-Caspian League which drew to a close in Tehran (IRI) last week where Ali Aziznia emerged as league champion by a narrow margin of just one point over fellow-Iranian Radmard Housmand.

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League is also sub-divided and America’s Karl Cook is leading the Western Sub-League while, with one leg still left to run at Ocala in Florida (USA) in early March, it is double series champion Beezie Madden who heads the leaderboard in the Eastern Sub-League.

The last leg of the Western European League takes place in Gothenburg (SWE) while the Central European League results will be decided at the League Final in Warsaw (POL) in March.

Follow all the results of the FEI Jumping World Cup™ series here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Delightful Dalera Gives Birthday-Girl von Bredow-Werndl Another Win in Neumünster

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB. (FEI/Stefan Lafrentz)

When Jessica von Bredow-Werndl won the third leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League with TSF Dalera BB in Stuttgart (GER) in November, she described herself as “over the moon!” But she was even more thrilled as she celebrated her 33rd birthday with a superb performance from the 13-year-old mare who pinned reigning champion Isabell Werth and Emilio into runner-up spot.

“This was a Personal Best for Dalera and me! She’s a rockstar, and the cutest horse in the world! She was amazing today – in piaffe and passage she was just breezing along, so I could breathe, relax, and enjoy myself. There was such lightness, and it felt so easy and harmonious. I didn’t have to ask her for anything; all I had to do was just lead her through the test,” said von Bredow-Werndl after posting the winning score of 89.640.

Helen Langehanenberg and the evergreen 18-year-old Damsey FRH slotted into third ahead of von Bredow-Werndl’s brother, Benjamin Werndl, who finished fourth with the exciting 11-year-old Famoso, while the first of the visitors to get into the line-up was The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen who steered Zephyr into fifth place.

It was another of the powerful German contingent, 26-year-old Sonke Rothenberger, who led the way at the halfway stage when putting 79.285 on the board. But series double-champion Cornelissen overtook him when eleventh to go of the 15 starters, with a test that oozed energy and bounce as she racked up some maximum 10s along the way for a mark of 82.150.

Then 2013 champion Langehanenberg put Germany back in charge, starting out with a 9.5 for walk and collecting consistently high marks as she moved the target-score up to 85.220 with Damsey FRH. At 18 years of age, it seems this stallion loves his competition outings as much as ever. “He still feels so fresh!” said Langehanenberg who is also targeting the final leg of the WEL series in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) next month.

However, von Bredow-Werndl’s effortless performance with Dalera would be the winning one of the day, the fluency and quiet understanding between horse and rider presenting a lovely picture that saw them pick up lots of 10s and leaving them just shy of the 90 percent mark on a score of 89.640. For the second time this season, superstar Isabell Werth had to settle for second place behind her team-mate.

In Stuttgart von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB pipped Werth and Weihegold, who have won the last three FEI Dressage World Cup™ Finals. And von Bredow-Werndl did it again, this time with the mare she steered to team gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA and to team gold as well as Freestyle bronze at last summer’s FEI European Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. No wonder she has the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in her sights with this horse now.

“I won’t take her to the Final because I have Tokyo in mind, but I’ll bring Zaire to ’s-Hertogenbosch and decide if she will go to Las Vegas,” said the German rider who closely watched her brother, Benjamin Werndl, as he steered his rising star Famoso through a lovely balanced test to slot into fourth place on a mark of 85.165 when last to go.

As Benjamin pointed out afterwards, the Neumünster crowd is a bit special, and this competition was of the highest level.

“Here you are a bit scared to make a mistake, because the crowd is so knowledgeable, they will see it right away!” he joked. “Our sport is getting better and better all the time, so the competition is really tough. There are new riders coming up all the time and you think they can’t get better, but they do, so it’s really super!” he added. He shared the lead on the Western European League table with his sister, and although she has nudged ahead, his 65 points leave him more than comfortable in the race for a place at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final 2020 in Las Vegas in April.

Gothenburg in Sweden stages the penultimate leg of the Western European League qualifying series, with the last leg taking place in ’s-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands on 14 March.

Result here.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Guerdat Raises the Roof with Brilliant Win in Bordeaux

Steve Guerdat with Victorio des Frotard. (FEI/Richard Julliart)

Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat left spectators aghast with his brilliant victory in the 13th leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League at Bordeaux in France.

Riding the fiery chestnut gelding Victorio des Frotard, with which he also posted a superb win in Basel (SUI) as the New Year began, he produced a full-on fearless round in the nine-horse jump-off and couldn’t be caught, despite the best efforts of German runners-up Daniel Deusser and Jasmien v. Bisschop and third-placed Belgian Niels Bruynseels with Ilusionata van’t Meulenhof.

The man who held the World No. 1 spot throughout all of 2019, and who reclaimed it this month after compatriot Martin Fuchs snatched it from his grasp in January, can hardly do wrong right now. Everything came up beautifully for the Swiss star and for the brave Victorio whose confidence seems to be growing with every outing. The horse’s gallop down to the final fence was nothing short of breathtaking, and Victorio is turning out to be quite some find for the London 2012 Olympic Games and three-time Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion.

“He’s like a thoroughbred when you see him trotting around – you don’t expect much – but in canter as soon as you let him go, he has a huge stride! He’s feeling really good now, and this gives me the confidence to push and attack the fences even more,” he said of the horse who he has been riding since the middle of last year.

There were 10 French contenders amongst the 38 starters to take on Jean-Francois Morand’s 14-fence first-round track, but only one of the home runners, Rio 2016 Olympic team gold medallist and 2013 individual European champion Roger Yves Bost, jumped clear to make the cut into the second-round race against the clock. And the home crowd went wild when, second to go, he set the early jump-off target with another brilliant performance from his faithful 14-year-old mare Sangria du Coty, who broke the beam in 32.96 seconds.

Two horses later, Portugal’s Luciana Diniz decided to play the percentage game with a beautifully executed but careful clear from the powerful 13-year-old stallion Chacco Blue ll in 39.08 seconds. But, sixth into the ring, Stuttgart winner Pieter Devos went out in front with a great run from Apart in 32.23 seconds and now the Belgian rider’s time was the one to beat.

Guerdat did it easily, Victorio answering every call on every turn and jumping like a cat over the double at the halfway stage of the track. And when the Swiss pair landed over the penultimate vertical and Guerdat asked for acceleration, he got everything he asked for and more. The clock showed 30.82 seconds as they cleared the line, and that really put it up to the last two into the ring.

Deusser wasn’t intimidated and slotted into runner-up spot when breaking the beam with his 11-year-old grey mare Jasmien in 31.59, and then Bruynseels was last to try to nudge Guerdat out of pole position. But despite a great run from his 12-year-old chestnut mare, who looked ready to gallop from the second she came into the ring, their time of 31.71 would only be good enough for third place on a night of truly quality sport.

Talking about Ilusionata, Bruynseels said, “I have her a year and it took time to get to know her. She has a lot of blood and she’s a very special character! Her previous rider told me that he never warmed her up at shows. I tried at the first show where we competed but after two minutes I had to get off! At home she is great to work but at shows she is completely different. Here in Bordeaux is great because we can lunge and ride back at the stables. I only get on her one or two riders before my turn,” he explained.

Deusser confirmed that he is planning to bring Jasmien to the Longines 2020 Final in Las Vegas, USA in April. He’s well-qualified, lying fifth on the Western European League table after his impressive performance. Guerdat still intends to bring Venard de Cerisy to the Final despite all the good results he has had recently with Victorio. “I want to stick with my original plan,” said the man who is bidding to become the first-ever rider to win four World Cup titles.

He won the 2019 Final with Alamo, but last month the horse returned to his Mexican owner and will in future compete with Gerardo Pasquel Mendez in the saddle. Talking about the horse,he started competing in the autumn of 2017, Guerdat said, “Alamo had a big place in our team and was part of our family, but from the beginning I knew he would go back to Gerardo. He was supposed to leave us a year ago, so we got an extra year and that was great. It’s hard to separate from him but I’m happy that I know where he is and I know his groom and rider, that always makes it a little bit easier – but we do miss him!”

The defending champion won’t be lining out in the 14th and last leg of the Western European League in Gothenburg, Sweden in two weeks’ time, but the pressure there will still be immense, with those last elusive qualifying points up for grabs and a lot of hungry riders chasing them down.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

No Jump-Off, No Problem for Salvador Onate in Leon

Salvador Onate and Beautiful Red. (FEI/Rodrigo Ceceña)

Salvador Onate (MEX) did what no one else could in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Leon (MEX). He secured a victory aboard Beautiful Red with a single time fault, as no other rider could leave all of the jumps up over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) challenging track.

No jump-off was needed to determine a winner. Onate and his mount finished on a first-round score of 1 and a time of 83.88 seconds, less than a second over the 83-second time allowed. Arturo Parada Vallejo (MEX) was the fastest rider on the day, finishing second with 4 faults in 78.72 seconds. Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) finished third with Just Nice van het Indihoff; that duo also had a 4-fault score, but their time was slightly slower (79.40 seconds).

“As soon as I walked the course, I knew there would only be maybe one or two clear rounds. In the ring, I knew I had to take my time and that it would be better for me to take my time and maybe have a time fault, and I had to gamble a bit with that.” — Salvador Onate (MEX)

“There were some pretty amazing riders [behind me], and I thought there would be at least one clear,” he added. “It all worked out in the end.”

Onate had nothing but praise for his mount, who has stepped up while his top horse Big Red is en route to Europe to make a bid for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo (JPN).

“She just rose to the challenge,” he explained. “It was a pretty tough course — very technical. She just jumped her heart out. She did amazing.”

The win held special meaning for Onate, as he both owns and resides on the Leon venue property. A year ago, Onate finished second with Big Red in the same event.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “To win a World Cup anywhere, let alone in my hometown — it’s just amazing. I can’t explain how much it means.”

The 2019/2020 North American League hosts its final qualifying event on the east coast in Ocala (USA) on 8 March 2020.

FULL RESULTS

By Catie Staszak

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Shannon Gibbons
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