Tag Archives: FEI World Cup

Madden Is Magnificent with Another Longines Victory in New York

Beezie Madden and Garant. (FEI/Barre Dukes)

Twice a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final Champion, Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden (USA) has ridden some exceptional horses, but even she admitted that her expectations were exceeded when 8-year-old Garant jumped her to another Longines victory in New York (USA).

Madden and the chestnut gelding topped a jump-off field of six to win the $210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York CSI4*-W, the first east coast qualifier of the 2019/2020 North American League season. Using her mount’s footspeed and athleticism to her advantage, Madden crossed the timers of Alan Wade’s (IRL) shortened track in 40.89 seconds. Last to jump, Karl Cook (USA) and Caillou finished second on a time of 41.25 seconds, while Katie Dinan (USA) completed an American sweep of the podium with Brego R’n B. The only other double-clear performance, they finished in 41.94 seconds.

“He’s a young horse. The plan was to step him up this fall. He jumped on Friday, and he went so well, we decided to go [today]. I wasn’t even sure I was doing this class this week when we came here. For him to come through like that today is amazing.” — Beezie Madden (USA)

Seven combinations produced a clear first round, but Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) elected not to return for the jump-off with Akuna Mattata, leaving a field of six. Dinan was the first to add a second clear to her scorecard, before Madden shaved more than a second off her time. The two-time Olympic gold medalist simply could not be caught.

“He has tremendous jumping talent, which as we all know is not everything,” Madden said. “I also think he’s incredibly smart. He knows he’s not supposed to hit the fences! He then proceeds to know how to run fast and jump high, and I have no idea why!”

Madden has now skyrocketed to the top of the North American League’s east coast sub league standings. She boasts 35 points, having also finished fourth in Vancouver. Vancouver’s winner, Daniel Coyle (IRL), sits second with 20 points, while Dinan moved into third with 15 points.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Sacramento International Named Opening Leg of 2021-23 FEI Jumping World Cup Qualifying Events

Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti race to victory at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Sacramento 2018. Photo McCool Photography.

Sacramento International is pleased to announce that its bid to hold a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Qualifier has been renewed for three more years after the current season concludes. The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento will be held at Sacramento International in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. It will be one of only eight such events held in North America in 2020 and beyond and only two on the West Coast.

“We are honored to be chosen to host this prestigious event,” said Dale Harvey of Sacramento International. “The FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals are the pinnacle of the sport, and the qualifiers are a vital part of ensuring that the best of the best are represented in the finals. West Coast athletes are among the most talented in the North American League, and we appreciate the opportunity to offer riders, equines, and enthusiasts a world-class event close to home.”

The Sacramento International Horse Show is presented by West Palms Events Management, the Murieta Equestrian Center, and the West Coast Equine Foundation. In 2019 the show will celebrate its 12th anniversary. The event, which runs for two weeks each fall, features FEI competition and also has show approvals from the United States Equestrian Federation, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association, and the NorCal Hunter Jumper Association.

The FEI Jumping World Cup™ is an annual competition showcasing the world’s best show jumping horses and riders. The series was created in 1978, and today consists of 16 leagues across the globe, including the North American League which is comprised of athletes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. For the 2020/2021 season, eight World Cup™ Qualifiers will be offered in North America, at these locations: Sacramento, CA (USA), Washington, D.C. (USA), Lexington, KY (USA), Toronto (CAN), Las Vegas, NV (USA), Fort Worth, TX (USA), Guadalajara (MEX), Wellington, FL (USA). The 2021 final will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden for the 23rd time in history.

Lindsey Long for West Palms Events

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Allocations Confirmed for Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League

Photo: (FEI/Ashley Neuhoff)

The FEI has announced the named qualifiers for the next three seasons of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League.

Following a very competitive bidding and evaluation process, the FEI has allocated the eight qualifiers of this prestigious league in the USA, Canada, and Mexico confirming the location and dates across the continent for seasons 2020/2021 through to 2022/2023.

This newly formatted series of qualifiers, with a minimum 4* level, will form the heart of a truly global qualification process that promotes universality and competitivity. Reducing the number of qualifiers and strengthening the quality of the events, gives a clear and fair pathway into the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Series and will see a higher demand from athletes to compete. Availability of an international live broadcast signal and extensive promotion of the series will be a welcome compliment to the changing landscape of the broadcast product and development of this professional sports league.

The first of the newly formatted seasons will kick off in Sacramento, CA (USA) in early October 2020, it will continue to Washington, D.C. (USA), Lexington, KY (USA), Toronto (CAN), Las Vegas, NV (USA), Fort Worth, TX (USA), and Guadalajara (MEX). The season will finish in Wellington, FL (USA) in February 2021 where athletes will confirm their ticket to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final which returns to Gothenburg (SWE) for the 23rd time. Athletes from the North American League qualify alongside winners of the 15 other leagues including the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western Europe League and the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ China League from this global series which has been in existence since 1978.

“We received an overwhelming number of bids to host these qualifiers. The major changes to the format of the series, the close collaboration between FEI and the National Federations with the support of our top partner Longines together with organisers and stakeholders highlights the continued efforts made to propel the sport forward making it more attractive to the athletes and the fans,” said FEI President, Ingmar De Vos.

“The launch in 2015 established the series’ successful introduction into this region, expanding the international reach of the FEI World Cup as a global series in the emerging North American markets. Now that we are adding an international live broadcast signal, we believe this is an important and exciting decision that will take us to the next step to place jumping in North America in the spotlight as a sport.”

“We are proud to support the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League as its Title Partner, Official Timekeeper and Watch since its inception in 2015,” Matthieu Baumgartner, Longines Vice President Marketing, said.

“This new promising format of the series is perfectly in line with our common goal to promote the show jumping discipline across North America. We are looking forward to taking part in the seasons to come and thus contributing to the continued expansion of the show jumping discipline in these markets.”

Now in its fifth year, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League 2019-2020 season held the first qualifier of the season in Vancouver last month and will continue next month in North Salem, NY (USA) on 15 September 2019.

Click here to view the calendar.

Click here to view all the latest information on the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ series.

Media contact:

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

Coyle and Farrel Are Best in FEI Jumping World Cup North American League Opener

Daniel Coyle and Farrel. (FEI/MOI Photography/tbird)

Daniel Coyle (IRL) rode to a thrilling victory in the $145,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver.

Coyle revealed a rising star in the 9-year-old Farrel, who produced two electrifying clear rounds in the first of 14 legs in the 2019/2020 North American League season. Kelli Cruciotti (USA) finished second as the only other double-clear performer on the day, while Harrie Smolders (NED) was third aboard Hocus Pocus de Muze.

“I think, give him another year’s time, and he will be a real, real top horse — not that he isn’t right now, but he’s still a little green. This was a real track today, and he proved himself to be a horse for the future.” — Daniel Coyle (IRL)

Just five combinations were able to clear Peter Holmes (CAN)’s first round course without fault, and they all came from the class’s final eight riders. Richard Spooner (USA) was the first to crack the code, and Coyle, Smolders, Beezie Madden (USA), and Cruciotti followed.

In the jump-off, Coyle was the first to produce a second clear, and no one could catch him. He finished the shortened course in 37.32 seconds. Cruciotti, riding her mount from the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE), finished in 42.26 seconds, while Smolders finished with a 4-fault score in 37.41 seconds.

“In the jump off, usually he jumps better, which is strange, but when you start galloping, he starts to look a little quicker and jump a little higher,” Coyle said. “I know that from the last few years that I’ve had him. That third jump did come down a lot, and I really rode him at it, and he jumped it probably as good as he could that second time. When you know them a little more, it’s a lot easier, especially when they’re younger jumping this level.”

The victory moved Coyle to the top of the east coast sub league standings of the North American League with 20 points, while Cruciotti took over an early lead in the west coast standings with 17 points.

The North American League continues in New York on 15 September 2019.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Longines Renews Long-Term Title Partnership for FEI Jumping World Cup North American League

Photo: FEI/Simon Stafford.

Longines has extended its agreement as title partner of the FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League series. Through this long-term commitment, the Swiss watchmaker extends the opportunity for continued exposure of equestrian sport and particularly of Jumping to new and emerging markets in North America and the equestrian community worldwide.

Longines became title partner of this prestigious series when it launched in 2015. The North American League, which hosts events across USA, Canada, and Mexico, is now heading into its fifth season 2019-2020. It is one of 16 leagues that form the global FEI Jumping World Cup™ series, which has been in existence since 1978.

The North American League has continued to grow in stature and, as part of the world’s premiere individual Jumping series, boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money, attracting the world’s top human and equine athletes.

With this new agreement and the evolution of the North American League comes the implementation of a new format and structure of the series. Among the planned innovations, the series will feature eight top-class events, all at a minimum 4* level, with live broadcast at each venue. The TV coverage of the series will be distributed internationally, showcasing equestrian sport at its best.

A new bidding process has been opened for the allocation of qualifiers of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League series 2020/2021 which will be approved by the FEI Board, based on the recommendations of the FEI Jumping Committee.

“This new extended agreement with Longines reinforces our joint commitment to grow the North American League series and invest in the development of sport in the region, while continuing to raise the profile of Jumping around the world,” said FEI President, Ingmar De Vos.

“With Longines as the title partner, we have the perfect brand alignment to benefit this League and the global series over the coming years. We are delighted with the ongoing confidence Longines has put in our sport.”

“We are delighted to renew our association with the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League, of which we have been the title partner, Official Timekeeper and Watch since its inception in 2015,” said Matthieu Baumgartner, Longines Vice President Marketing.

“We are committed to supporting the development and promotion of the jumping discipline across North America and are looking forward to taking part in the upcoming season comprising eight legs, each of them promising great sports performance.”

Longines is a strong supporter of equestrian sport around the world, and continues its role as FEI Top Partner, title partner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ China League and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™, and also remains Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the FEI. In 2019 Longines will act as the title partner for the Longines FEI European Championships Rotterdam (NED) and the Longines FEI Eventing Championships Luhmühlen (GER)

Media Contact:

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

Equestrian Sport Boosted with Allocation of Major Events through 2021

Photo: FEI/Richard Juillart.

The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) has allocated host cities for 13 FEI Championships for the next two years and nine FEI Driving World Cup™ legs for the 2019/2020 season.

Budapest (HUN) will lead the way as host of the FEI Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, Driving, and Vaulting European Championships in August 2021. This will be the first time that the Hungarian capital, which has a long tradition in equestrian sport, will host a multi-discipline FEI European Championships. The event will mark the 50th anniversary of the first FEI Driving European Championships, which were held at the same venue – Kincsem Park in the heart of the city – in 1971.

Two other major Championships were also allocated for 2021, with the FEI Eventing European Championships going to Haras du Pin (FRA) and the FEI Endurance European Championships to Ermelo (NED).

“The FEI European Championships are among the FEI’s most important events, attracting top class athletes and horses for over six decades,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “During the next two years equestrian fans will have the opportunity to enjoy thrilling sport in some of Europe’s biggest cities. The allocation of the FEI Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, Driving, and Vaulting European Championships to Budapest will further promote horse sport in Hungary, which already has a remarkable equestrian history.”

The FEI Board also allocated nine legs of the FEI Driving World Cup™ series for the 2020-2021 season. This is the first time that the FEI has launched a bidding process for the FEI Driving World Cup™ legs, as previously only the FEI Driving World Cup™ Final was open for bids.

“This bidding process reinforces the FEI’s policy of transparency and fairness,” the FEI President commented. “It is a key step forward in harmonising the bidding for all FEI Championships, Finals, and Series.”

The allocations were made by the FEI Board, the body responsible for the general direction of equestrian sport’s global governing authority, at its in-person meeting at FEI Headquarters in the Olympic Capital, Lausanne (SUI).

The FEI Driving World Cup™ Final 2021 which will take place from 4-7 February was allocated to Bordeaux (FRA) by the FEI Board in March 2019.

The FEI Board decided to re-open the bid process for a multi-year allocation for the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in the disciplines of Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing for the years 2021, 2022, and 2023. Allocations will be made at the FEI Board meeting in November 2019 at the FEI General Assembly in Moscow.

Championships

The full list of Championships allocated at the FEI Board meeting at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) is:

2020

  • FEI Dressage European Championships U25 – Pilisjászfalu (HUN), July or August (dates to be confirmed)
  • FEI Dressage European Championships for Children – Pilisjászfalu (HUN) July or August (dates to be confirmed)

2021

  • FEI European Championships – Jumping, Dressage & Para Dressage, Driving, Vaulting – Budapest (HUN), 9-22 August or 16-29 August (dates to be confirmed)
  • FEI Jumping European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors & Children – Oliva, Valencia (ESP), 19-25 July
  • FEI Jumping European Championships for Veterans – Le Mans (FRA), July or August (date to be confirmed)
  • FEI Dressage European Championships U25 – Donaueschingen (GER), 12-15 August
  • FEI Eventing European Championships for Young Riders & Juniors – Segersjö (SWE), 26-29 August
  • FEI Eventing European Championships – Haras du Pin (FRA), 11-15 August
  • FEI Driving World Championships for Ponies, Four-in-Hand, Pairs, Singles – Haras du Pin (FRA), 16-19 September
  • FEI Endurance World Championships for Young Riders & Juniors – Ermelo (NED), 6-11 September
  • FEI Endurance European Championships – Ermelo (NED) 6-11 September
  • FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Horses – Arbore, Sardinia (ITA), 15-19 September
  • FEI Vaulting World Championship for Juniors – Le Mans (FRA), July – August (date to be confirmed)

FEI Driving World Cup™ series legs

The legs of the FEI Driving World Cup™ series for the 2019-2020 season were allocated as follows:

  • Lyon (FRA) 30 October – 3 November 2019
  • Maastricht (NED) 8-10 November 2019
  • Stuttgart (GER) 13-17 November 2019
  • Stockholm (SWE) 28 November – 1 December 2019
  • Budapest (HUN) 30 November – 1 December 2019
  • Geneva (SUI) 12-15 December 2019
  • London (GBR)         16-22 December 2019
  • Mechelen (BEL) 26-30 December 2019
  • Leipzig (GER) 16-19 January 2020

FEI media contacts:

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

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

FEI Vaulting World Cup Finals: German and Colombian Podiums

Janika Derks, copyright PhotosLesGarennes.

The Grand Manège du Cadre Noir in Saumur, the world capital of equitation and equestrian arts, was full! Some 1500 people were present for the consecration of the new winners of the FEI Vaulting World Cup Final in Saumur 2019. The public at the international vaulting championships is said to be fantastic: the public in Saumur has once again demonstrated this. A thrilling atmosphere among the riders of the Cadre Noir!

First to go, the ladies were living an important moment in vaulting history. The queen Kristina Boe (GER), double current world champion, Europe champion, defending title of the FEI World Cup Vaulting Final, was doing her goodbye run on the majestic ring of the Cadre noir de Saumur. Second on the provisional ranking before this second round of the competition, the German falls off just a couple of seconds before the end, and finally finishes at the 4th place. “I think my horse decided to retire a couple of strikes before me,” she said, smiling. The misfortune of some makes the happiness of others: her compatriot Janika Derks, 1st in the provisional ranking, had a way free to present the energetic and athletic vaulting that represents her. For the first time in her career, Derks climbs on the highest step of the podium. Switzerland’s Marina Mohar is second and Switzerland’s Nadja Büttiker third.

For the males, the Colombian phenomenon Juan Martin Clavijo didn’t disappoint and made a freestyle like a virtuoso. Settled in Switzerland since October, running his first FEI Vaulting World Cup Final, he was sensational during these three days of competition in Saumur. The young Colombian explained during the press conference that he ran a freestyle on the theme of slavery on a Russian music with an evocative title of “Horses.” He outstrips some of the international championships vaulters: Germans Jannik Heiland, world champion in title in the nations cup and vice champion of the world individual, was second, and Thomas Brusewitz qualified for the third time in his career in the FEI Vaulting World Cup. Clément Taillez, only French vaulter qualified for this World Cup Final in Saumur, finishes at fourth place, reaching his goal of being in the top 5.

Last category running their FEI Vaulting World Cup Final, the pas-de-deux is won by the Germans Theresa-Sophie Bresch and Torben Jacobs, outstripping the Americans Haley Smith and Daniel Janes and Switzerland’s Zoe Maruccio and Syrra Schmid. Starting to be a habit for the German couple, who together have won two times this FEI Vaulting World Cup, Torben having it won even a third time with another partner. The pair decided also to say goodbye to the competition to focus on new projects.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT
Relations médias & influenceurs
M. : +33 (0)7 50 39 37 40
juliette@blizko-communication.com

First Round of FEI World Cup Vaulting Final in Saumur

Juan Martin Clavijo, copyright PhotosLesGarennes.

The FEI Vaulting World Cup Final competition is now open in Saumur, the world capital of horseriding and equestrian arts. The first of the two rounds counting for the ranking was played, which will determine the winners of the Final in three categories: female, male, and Pas-de-deux.

In the females round, defending champion, Germany’s Kristina Boe, two-time world and European champion, disappointed in the warm-up. The first to set off on the Grand Manège of the Ecole Nationale d’Equitation, which generally hosts galas and demonstrations by the Cadre noir de Saumur’s riders, the vaulter has returned to her best form. There is only one chance left for her to shine in front of an international audience as Kristina Boe will retire from the sport at the end of the competition. She finished second behind her compatriot Janika Derks, already in the lead in the warm-up. In a more athletic and powerful vaulting than her rival, Janika won over the jury and the public. Third place goes to Switzerland’s Nadja Büttiker.

Among the men, let’s say there was the Colombian Juan Martin Clavijo and the others. This 19-year-old kid, who this year competed in his first FEI World Cup season in vaulting, competes in his first Final, is a phenomenon of grace and flexibility, a legend of equestrian sports in his country. All equestrian disciplines combined, he was the first (and only) Colombian to win world gold in a championship! “I had a lot of pleasure vaulting tonight,” he said after his performance. “That was my main goal.” The FEI World Cup format, which gives us an extra 20 seconds in our freestyle programs, is very welcome. “A star is born! Juan Martin Clavijo leads Germany’s Jannik Heiland in second and Thomas Brusewitz in third. On the French side, Clément Taillez, the only Frenchman to qualify for the FEI Vaulting World Cup Final, is in fifth place. Satisfied with his performance, the external resident of the Saumur’s vaulting Pôle France flew in front of his audience, on a delicate Ave Maria. “I promised myself a day of vaulting on an Ave Maria; I said to myself, ‘When I get strong, I’ll vault on it.’ I just had to wait until I was ready to face such a musical masterpiece.” The time for Taillez seems to have come and the Frenchman will be keen to aim for a podium, at the second round of this FEI World Cup Final.

Last category, the Pas-de-Deux, is led again by a German couple, Theresa-Sophie Bresch and Torben Jacobs, who are on track to win a second title in this FEI Vaulting World Cup Final, after their victory last year.

DANIEL KOROLOFF
Relations avec les médias
M. : +33 (0)6 11 02 18 12
daniel@blizko-communication.com

FEI Vaulting World Cup Final Warm-up in Saumur

Theresa-Sophie Bresch and Torben Jacobs, copyright PhotosLesGarennes.

Saumur, France hosted the warm-up of the FEI Vaulting World Cup Final. Even if the warm-up does not count for the final classification that will determine the winners of the FEI Vaulting World Cup Final 2019, it was important at least for two reasons: “The warm-up allows to determine the starting order for tomorrow’s test, the first test on the two which will be taken into account in the final classification,” explains Davy Delaire, coach of the French vaulting team. It was also very important for the familiarization of the horses with the environment of the competition. For the first time organized in Saumur, the competition takes place in the splendid Grand Manège, where usually the riders of the prestigious Cadre Noir de Saumur perform.

For the Female category, the surprise comes from Germany’s Kristina Boe, defending champion, two-time world champion (individual and in the Nations Cup) and reigning European champion, who runs in Saumur her last competition before retiring and points to the last place of this warm-up. But let’s repeat: this warm-up is not taken into account for the ranking that will determine the winner of the FEI Vaulting World Cup Final. Her compatriot Janika Derks, team world champion in 2014 and team European champion in 2015, finishes at the top of this warm-up. She is followed by Switzerland’s Nadja Buttiker, second, and Marina Mohar, Swiss vaulter as well, third. Nadja Büttiker finished second in the World Cup Final last year, behind Kristina Boe. Switzerland’s vaulter will be eager to take her revenge in Saumur.

On the men’s side of the competition, it was a great start for the one who broke all the acclaimed records, the Frenchman Clément Taillez, the only French representative in the three categories of this FEI Vaulting World Cup Final. He finishes at third place in the warm-up, behind German Viktor Brusewitz, second, and the surprise of the evening, the Colombian Juan Martin Clavijo, first. Juan Martin Clavijo was world champion in 2015 and 2017, and is a real star in Colombia: he is the first athlete who won gold in an international championship, all equestrian disciplines combined. He was vaulting on an orthodox choir of men: splendid!

Last category in this FEI Vaulting World Cup Final, the pas-de-deux. Germans Theresa-Sophie Bresch and Torben Jacobs won over their American competitors, Daniel Janes and Haley Smith, second, and Swiss Zoe Maruccio and Syra Schmid, third. Theresa-Sophie and Torben won the FEI Vaulting World Cup Final in 2018 and are also current European Vice-Champions.

DANIEL KOROLOFF
Relations avec les médias
M. : +33 (0)6 11 02 18 12
daniel@blizko-communication.com

Guerdat Shows Nerves of Steel to Seal His Third Title

Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (centre) celebrates in style with his compatriot and runner-up Martin Fuchs (left) and third-placed Peder Fredricson from Sweden (right). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (36) showed exactly why he is the No. 1 rider in the world right now when holding his nerve under the most intense pressure to take the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019 title at the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg (SWE). This was his third time to lift the trophy in the long history of the prestigious series, and his glorious win sees him join an elite group of three-time champions.

He had thrown down the gauntlet when topping Thursday’s opening competition, but a fence down on Friday saw him come into the two-round finale in third place, and two points off Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (35) at the head of the leaderboard. Guerdat wondered if his 11-year-old gelding Alamo was ready to step up to the level of sport they faced. The horse had never jumped courses as big as this before. Course designer, Spain’s Santiago Varela, set them an enormous test, but Alamo didn’t crumble.

“I was a bit unsure going to the final today as this is his first championship and I was a little nervous on Friday after the speed class, but in the end he has been amazing all week!” said the man whose won his first title in Las Vegas (USA) in 2015 and his second in Gothenburg a year later.

There were only five first-round clears, and Guerdat moved into pole position when Alvarez Aznar dropped out of contention with two fences down, and second-placed Swede, Peder Fredricson (47), faulted once with Catch Me Not at the bogey water-try vertical at fence 10 on the tough 13-fence track to the dismay of the crowd. But the home hero and reigning European champion was still very much in the hunt, in third carrying five penalty points as round two began with Guerdat at the head of affairs carrying two, but only a single point ahead of fellow-countryman Martin Fuchs (26) and Clooney who had three on the board.

You could hear a pin drop when Fredricson returned to take on the simply colossal second-round track, but there was an explosion of sound when he brought his grey gelding home with nothing to add. The Swiss pair now had no breathing space: any mistake would ensure a Swedish victory, but Fuchs didn’t falter, Clooney showing all the class that secured individual silver for his talented young rider at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon (USA) last September.

Now Guerdat had no room for manoeuvre – nothing but a foot-perfect run would do. Alamo showed a little inexperience on the way but there’s nothing quite like a horse that gives you everything it’s got, and the Dutch-bred did just that to bring it home.

“It’s up to the horse to jump the fences, so I really tried to focus on my riding and give the him his best chance, and he responded really well,” Guerdat said. He’s growing ever-fonder of Alamo, although he admitted that the horse he holds closest to his heart will always be his great partner Nino des Buissonnets who carried him to Olympic glory in London seven years ago.

It was a bit of a frustrating result for Fuchs because he has now finished second in two major events, last year’s World Championship and the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final. “But if I have to be beaten it is great if Steve wins; he is my friend and training partner. Clooney was amazing; he jumped both rounds easy; he is one of the best horses in the world. Two times second place is already a great achievement, and I am already looking forward to the European Championships this summer!” he said. That top step of the podium will surely come their way very soon.

But it was Guerdat who reigned supreme, and he now joins an elite group of three-time World Cup winners that includes Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Marcus Ehning, Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa, and Austria’s Hugo Simon, the man who won the very first title in Gothenburg in 1979.

“When I was young, I used to dream of winning the World Cup, and when I finished second twice I wondered if it would ever happen. So when I won in 2015 it was very special, and to win here in Gothenburg the next year was even better, because this is such a great show; the crowd is like nowhere else and the atmosphere is unbelievable. To win three times, and to do it in Gothenburg again today – this makes me very proud!” — Steve Guerdat (SUI)

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