Tag Archives: FEI World Cup

Another Dream Double for Dufour at First Leg in Denmark

Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian. (FEI/Ridehesten.com/Annette Boe Østergaard)

Germany’s Werth and von Bredow-Werndl finish second and third

There’s nothing like a home victory to please the crowd, and although numbers were limited as pandemic protocols were strictly in place, Cathrine Dufour’s winning ride with Bohemian at the first leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2020/2021 Western European League in Aarhus (DEN) brought spectators to their feet.

Last season, when the opening round of the series was staged at the Boxen arena in Herning, the Danish pair claimed top honours in both the Grand Prix and Freestyle. And they did it all over again in the considerably more modest confines of the Danish National Equestrian Centre in Vilhelmsborg, but with even more confidence and flair.

Fifth-last to go in the field of 15 starters, they posted a big score of 88.200 to take the lead. And although defending five-time series champion Isabell Werth came dangerously close when last to go with Emilio, her score of 87.845 wasn’t enough to prevent another Dufour double.

Werth filled runner-up spot ahead of German compatriot Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Zaire-E in third, and the Danes had even more to cheer about when Carina Cassøe Krüth and Heiline’s Danciera put in a brilliant performance to line up in fourth.

Same top three

It was the same top-three in the Grand Prix in which Dufour’s winning margin was much wider, her mark of 88.435 leaving her more than five percentage points ahead of the two Germans who both posted 77 percent scores.

“Bohemian was really good in the Grand Prix; he was just playing with all the moves. Today I had to push him a bit more, but he’s getting more and more brave and he loves being in the ring!” — Cathrine Dufour (DEN)

She had the leading score of 82.105, set by Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and the 18-year-old Damsey FRH, in her sights as she set sail. Bohemian seemed to be listening as she spoke quietly and patted him before their music began, and the harmony between the partnership oozed through every movement, with crisp, clean piaffe and passage a particular highlight throughout a lovely test.

When they came to a halt, the horse dropped his head in complete relaxation knowing that was a job well done. And when over 88 percent went up on the board it was obvious it was not going to be an easy score to beat.

Consummate ease

Von Bredow-Werndl’s mare, Zaire-E, produced a lovely test for 85.335 while Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Delaunay Old, who presented no less than 18 one-tempi changes with consummate ease, earned a score of 82.575.

Second-last into the ring, Cassøe Krüth, whose nine-year-old mare Heiline’s Danciera gave notice of her great promise when finishing fourth at the FEI WBFSH Young Horse Championships at Ermelo (NED) two years ago, provided another Danish treat for a mark of 84.455 to slot temporarily into third place.

However, Werth was still to come, and although Emilio had not given his rider his full cooperation in the Grand Prix, few doubted the German legend’s capacity for pulling off a big result this time out. But it didn’t happen, and it was Dufour who was the one waving at the masked crowd during the prizegiving ceremony.

Achieved so much

The 28-year-old Danish athlete achieved so much with her little chestnut gelding Atterupgaards Cassidy who took her all the way from Junior level to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and on to three bronze medals at the FEI European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE) in 2017 and Grand Prix Special bronze at last year’s Europeans in Rotterdam (NED). Bohemian is now stepping into the spotlight, and Dufour believes he has a lot more to show.

“He hasn’t reached anything like his limits; he’s still developing mentally and there’s definitely more room for improvement from him – I’m delighted with him!” she said happily.

Results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Dufour Leads Danish Defence at Opener in Aarhus

Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian (FEI/Ridehesten.com/Kristine Ulsø Olsen)

Persisting in the face of the disruption caused by the pandemic that has led to the cancellation of multiple equestrian events in recent months, the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2020/2021 Western European League gets underway in Denmark this week.

Initially scheduled to take place in Herning, this opening leg has been relocated to the National Equestrian Centre in Vilhelmsborg near Aarhus, where the main manor house, a listed building that dates back to 1842, is closely associated with the world-famous master of fairytale-telling, writer Hans Christian Andersen.

Vilhelmsborg staged the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in 2001 when the all-German podium was topped by Ulla Salzgeber with Rusty, while Isabell Werth lined up second with Antony FRH and Rudolf Zeilinger finished third with Livijno.

Werth returns 19 years later as the most decorated athlete in the history of equestrian sport and chasing her sixth FEI Dressage World Cup™ title. She currently holds the top two places on the world rankings with Bella Rose and Weihegold, and brings seventh-placed Emilio to this first qualifier of the new season.

Five nations

Athletes from five nations will compete, and the top-class German contingent also includes world number three, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl partnering Zaire-E, and world number eight Helen Langehanenberg with Damsey FRH, along with Jessica Süss with Duisenberg.

Finland will be represented by Emma Kanerva and Dambacu NL, while Nars Gottmer (Dicaprio Swing), Margo Timmermans (Catch Me), and Thamar Zweistra (Hexagon’s Doublt Dutch) will fly the Dutch flag. Sweden’s Patrik Kittel (Delaunay OLD), Therese Nilshagen (Dante Weltino OLD), and Antonia Ramel (Brother de Jeu) will also add plenty of quality to the line-up.

However, the host country’s Cathrine Dufour may well prove to be the one to beat. She is armed with the 10-year-old gelding Bohemian with which she stole the show at last year’s Danish leg of the series when winning both the Grand Prix and Freestyle.

Talking about the horse that day, she said, “Imagine what he can do when I start to push him some more,” and he hasn’t disappointed, topping both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special at the CDI5* in Herning in March of this year, just before the sport was locked down due to the spread of Covid-19.

Newly-crowned champion

And Dufour comes to Vilhelmsborg as newly-crowned 2020 Danish Grand Prix champion. She took the title for the fourth time in her career with great performances from her 17-year-old superstar Atterupgaards Cassidy at the championships staged in Uggerhalne last month, where she also became engaged to girlfriend Rasmine Rosedahl Laudrup, daughter of former soccer star Brian Laudrup who is now a popular Danish TV commentator and pundit.

Dufour will be joined by compatriots Andreas Helgstrand (Fiontini), Lone Bang Larsen (Bakkely’s Onandt), Charlotte Heering (Bufranco), Carina Cassoe (Heiline’s Danciera), and Helene Melsen (Aston Martin) in what promises to be a great weekend of sport.

The FEI Dressage Grand Prix will take place at 17.30 local time on Saturday 17 October, with the Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday 18 October kicking off at 14.00.

Attendance is limited, as the event will be conducted strictly in line with national Covid restrictions and FEI guidelines. However, you won’t miss a hoofbeat because all the action will be LIVE ON FEI TV as horse-and-athlete combinations take their first steps on the road to the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2021 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.

Check out the Western European League here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

FEI.TV Available Free of Charge while Live Sport Is on Hold

Swedish Dressage athlete Patrik Kittel tries out the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ trophy for size, whilst compatriot, former European Champion Peder Fredricson, takes hold of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ trophy. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

FEI.TV, the FEI’s online television platform, will be providing all its coverage of past events and special equestrian features free of charge to everyone while live sport is on hold until end of June.

Under normal circumstances, FEI.TV live-streams all major FEI Series and Championships, with an extensive range of replays, special features, and historic events coverage available on-demand combining to provide unparalleled coverage of equestrian sport year-round.

But with no live sport, access to FEI.TV will be free and existing subscribers will be compensated for the months of April, May, and June. They will get automatically refunded on their accounts. All content on the platform, including VOD, will be freely available to all users who will need to register, meaning that fans can re-live all the action from past events so there’s no need to miss out on your fix of equestrian sport.

“Premium content like this usually sits behind a paywall and is normally available only to subscribers, but while there is no ‘live’ sport, we want to give equestrian fans the chance to binge-watch for free during this terrible pandemic,” FEI Commercial Director Ralph Straus says.

This week’s Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ and FEI Dressage World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas were one of the early high-profile victims of the Covid-19 outbreak when they were cancelled in mid-March. But Jumping and Dressage fans now have the opportunity to relive some of the very best moments of the FEI World Cup™ Finals from the past five years – 2015 to 2019 – live and free on FEI.TV, FEI Jumping and Dressage Facebook pages, and FEI YouTube channel daily. And if you can’t watch it live, catch it on replay on FEI.TV.

For fans of the other equestrian disciplines, FEI.TV has lots more unique content, ranging from FEI Vaulting and Driving World Cup™ highlights to wrap-ups of the FEI Eventing and Dressage Nations Cup™ series.

An additional broadcast offering has been made available by the FEI, equestrian sport’s global governing body, providing free access to video archive footage to TV broadcasters in EBU member territories across Europe through its partnership with EBU, and to key territories in the rest of the world via its partnership with IMG.

“Our broadcast partners are struggling to fill their air-time without live sport, so this initiative has been put in place to ensure that they have access to top equestrian footage and, together, we can keep our fans around the world happy with their daily dose of equestrian content,” Straus says.

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

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

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