Tag Archives: FEI World Cup

Ward Wows the Home Crowd with Another Win on the Amazing Azur

McLain Ward and HH Azur. (Cara Grimshaw/FEI)

That longed for Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping title is only one more competition away for America’s McLain Ward (41) who, for the second night in a row, rocketed to victory at the Centurylink Center in Omaha (USA) with the brilliant 11-year-old mare HH Azur.

“She’s an independent woman. I don’t think she needs me very much! I have to try to keep a handle on her, but she tries to give you everything she has, and she has a tremendous amount to give!”

The double Olympic gold medallist has wanted this title for a very long time and, at his 17th Final it is almost in his grasp. But with only a three-point advantage over runner-up Gregory Wathelet (36) from Belgium and just a fence separating him from third-placed Swiss rider Romain Duguet (36) going into Sunday’s decider, it’s far from done and dusted.

Wathelet won’t be a pushover, and is thrilled to have re-established his partnership with Forlap who he brought to top level before the gelding was sold. This is something of a #TwoHearts story. “He lost his confidence because he was passed around to several different riders, so it was a bit of a risk buying him back,” said the 2015 European silver medallist, who is clearly delighted the 12-year-old gelding is back home where he started, and relishing his job once again.

“The biggest challenge for me is to keep my head right,” admitted Ward. “It’s something I need to master, and I hope I can do that this weekend,” the man from Brewster, New York said.

FULL RESULTS can be viewed here.

McLain Ward USA – 1st: “In our sport there are three major events – the Olympic Games, World Championships and the World Cup Final – that we all very much want to win in our career: It’s a big deal!”

Gregory Wathelet BEL – 2nd (talking about his horse, Forlap): “I never expected him to get his confidence back so quickly but three weeks ago he started feeling good again. Today I decided to go a bit for the time; it’s always easier when you have a horse that fights for you. I knew McLain would be fast so I went quick but not crazy.”

Romain Duguet SUI – 3rd: “I’m very happy with TwentyTwo (his horse TwentyTwo des Biches). I have her since she was five years old; she’s never spectacular but she jumps clear rounds. It wasn’t my plan to ride her in the Final but my other horse was injured. TwentyTwo is only 10 but she proved she can be really good this week. We go day by day at this Final.”

By Louise Parkes

Press contacts:

At FEI:

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

At Omaha:

Marty Bauman
marty@classic-communications.com
+1 508-698-6810

Ward Wins First Round of Longines Final by a Whisker

McLain Ward and HH Azur. (Liz Gregg/FEI)

McLain Ward’s victory with HH Azur in the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017 Final was so smooth that defending double-champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, showered his American opponent with praise. The double-Olympic team gold medallist, who posted the quickest time in 59.27 seconds, explained the course didn’t leave riders with a lot of options.

“It was big enough for the first night! In reality there was just a whisker between the top three. I was very fortunate.”

It was indeed a close-run affair as runner-up, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (35), may well have overtaken him but for a small error between the second and third fences which saw him stop the clock on 59.58. “It should have been seven strides there but I did it in eight, and that was the whisker I think!” he said.

“I’m one of McLain’s biggest fans. On the circuit in Florida I like watching him any time,” the 2012 Olympic champion Guerdat said, after finishing third with a thrilling ride on the fiery mare, Bianca. With this result turned into points, Ward has only a two-point advantage over von Eckermann going into the second competition, while Guerdat is only a single point further adrift.

There’s €1,300,000 in prizemoney and the glory of taking the coveted Longines title to be sorted out by Sunday afternoon.

FULL RESULTS can be viewed here.

McLain Ward USA (1st): “We’re very lucky to have Santi (Santiago Varela ESP) and Alan (Wade IRL) the two very best course designers here. They put the test in front of you and they’re not afraid to put up big fences but they make subtle problems that always have a solution. Nothing tricky, Alan’s track always rides smoothly if you solve the test.”

Henrik von Eckermann SWE (2nd): “My horse is quite green. I started riding her in September when I started running my own yard and she’d only been jumping 1.45m before.”

Steve Guerdat SUI (3rd): “I’m happy with my position and the way my horse jumped. She felt very good but I think we have the right winner. I’m happy for McLain today. We knew he would be the man to beat this week and I hope we have a good fight to the finish!”

By Louise Parkes

Press contacts:

At FEI:

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

At Omaha:

Marty Bauman
marty@classic-communications.com
+1 508-698-6810

Queen Isabell Reigns Supreme in Dressage Grand Prix

Isabell Werth and Weihegold Old (Cara Grimshaw/FEI)

She’s 47 and formidable, an exquisite horsewoman and a long-time legend as the most medalled athlete in her sport. Despite a few glitches in her performance with the fabulous mare Weihegold, Germany’s Isabell Werth won the opening Grand Prix at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Omaha, Nebraska by a comfortable 2.5 mark margin when scoring 82.300.

“I’m completely happy, but I’ll have to calm my horse down before Saturday because she got so excited in the prizegiving!”

Werth includes five Olympic and three World team golds amongst the massive medal haul she has accumulated during her amazing career. She also has two FEI World Cup™ titles under her belt, the first collected 25 years ago in Gothenburg (SWE) and the next in Las Vegas (USA) in 2007, and she’s hungry for a third.

But it isn’t going to be a walk-in-the-park because the home side’s Laura Graves (29) was breathing right down her neck when posting the runner-up score of 79.800 with Verdades, and is bidding to become only the third American ever to take this prestigious title.

“I think anything is possible!” Graves replied confidently when asked if she thought she could beat Werth in Saturday’s medal-deciding Freestyle to Music competition, and she has to be taken seriously after finishing fourth at the Rio Olympics with this horse who was so difficult as a youngster that she almost gave up on him.

Britain’s Carl Hester (49) finished third with Nip Tuck and will be another strong challenger on Saturday. New Zealand’s Wendi Williamson and Dejavu MH were eliminated when blood was found in the horse’s mouth post competition and Hanna Karasiova (BLR) and Arlekino failed to make the 60% cut-off mark.

FULL RESULTS can be viewed here.

Isabell Werth GER – 1st: “I was well prepared but you never know what to expect! It was my fault we made mistakes in the two-tempis but I always felt safe. It wasn’t easy at the start of my test though because the crowd went crazy when they announced Laura’s score!”

Laura Graves USA – 2nd: “I came here to win, and to finish second to Isabell today feels a lot like winning! It’s my second World Cup Final; we competed in Las Vegas (in 2015) and this has proved how much my horse has developed over the last two years. He felt very honest and I’m very excited about competing on Saturday!”

Carl Hester GBR – 3rd: “I always give my horse an easy ride in the Grand Prix so that he’s perfectly rideable for Saturday. I don’t expect to be too far behind on Saturday.”

By Louise Parkes

Press contacts:

At FEI:

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

At Omaha:

Marty Bauman
marty@classic-communications.com
+1 508-698-6810

US Show Jumping Contingent Chasing Illustrious Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final Title

Audrey Coulter with Capital Colnardo.

Omaha, Neb. – A top group of eight U.S. Show Jumpers will compete for the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha, Neb., March 30 – April 2. The U.S. contingent will face stiff competition from Switzerland’s back-to-back champion and Olympic gold medalist Steve Guerdat and other top Europeans off an indoor season.

LONGINES FEI World Cup™, North American East Coast Sub-League

Audrey Coulter with Capital Colnardo: Coulter (San Francisco, Calif.) will return for her second consecutive World Cup Finals riding Copernicus Stables, LLC’s Capital Colnardo. The 2005 Holsteiner stallion helped Coulter to a second-place finish in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Qualifier at the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit IV in February.

Charlie Jacobs with Cassinja S: Jacobs (Boston, Mass.) returns for his third World Cup Finals and will ride CMJ Sporthorse LLC’s Cassinja S. The 2006 Zweibrücker mare was instrumental in a second-place finish in the $216,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W in September.

Laura Kraut with Zeremonie: Olympic gold medalist Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) will make her seventh World Cup Final appearance, having placed fifth in the 2003 World Cup Finals. This will be her first World Cup Final with Old Willow Farms, LLC’s Zeremonie. She and the 2007 Holsteiner mare placed second in the $216,000 Longines FEI World FEI World Cup™ Wellington CSI3*-W presented by Sovaro at the Palm Beach Masters.

Todd Minikus with Babalou 41: Minikus (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Babalou 41, Jack Snyder and Two Swans Farm’s 2005 Oldenburg mare, claimed the $100,000 FEI World Cup™ Qualifier at the Live Oak International this month to earn their entry into the World Cup Final. Minikus has competed for the World Cup Finals title eight times, including in 2015, when he competed with Babalou 41.

McLain Ward with HH Azur: Olympic gold medalist Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) will make his 17th appearance in a World Cup Finals in Omaha with HH Azur. He and the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare teamed up to win the $130,270 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto for the Hickstead Trophy in November.

Jamie Barge with Luebbo

LONGINES FEI World Cup™, North American West Coast Sub-League

Jamie Barge with Luebbo: Barge (Malibu, Calif.) will make her World Cup Final debut with Kylie Co.’s Luebbo. She and the 2005 Oldenburg Springpferd gelding qualified through three qualifying competitions. She placed fourth in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping at the Las Vegas National Horse Show with Luebbo.

Karl Cook with Tembla: Cook (Woodside, Calif.) gets his third opportunity at a World Cup Final title with the assistance of Signe Ostby’s a 2004 Zangersheide mare, Tembla. These two have been a consistent combination picking up top placings throughout their partnership. They qualified for this year’s World Cup Final, in part, with a win in the $135,600 CSI3*-W Longines World Cup Qualifier at Thunderbird in August.

Jenni McAllister with LEGIS Touch the Sun: Two-time World Cup Final competitor McAllister (Sun Valley, Calif.) boosted her chances of qualifying in the World Cup Final with a win with LEGIS Touch the Sun, LEGISequine.com’s 2006 Holsteiner gelding, in the $132,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Calgary in October.

The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final gets underway with the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final I (Jumping Speed Class). Watch it live on FEI TV beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST.

By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

Graves, Perry-Glass, and Peters Are Strong Contenders for 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final

Laura Graves & Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Omaha, Neb. – Three strong dressage combinations will represent the U.S. in the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, Neb. Running from March 30 – April 1, 2017, Laura Graves & Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass & Goerklintgaards Dublet, and Steffen Peters & Rosamunde are in excellent form heading into the Final.

Graves (Geneva, Fla.) has found much success since her last Final appearance in 2015, where she finished fourth with her own Verdades. She and the 2002 KWPN gelding won team gold and individual silver at the 2015 Pan American Games, following that up with team bronze and individual fourth-place finishes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in their Olympic debut last summer. This year, Graves and “Diddy” have won at every turn at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) and earned numerous scores above 80%.

Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) will make her Final debut with Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, and the pair is a serious combination. She and the 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding impressed in their Olympic debut last year, helping to bring home a team bronze medal. They have continued to shine since their time in Rio, most recently winning the Grand Prix CDI-W and Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W and earning a score of 80.805% in the Freestyle during week eight of the AGDF.

Peters (San Diego, Calif.) will make his fifth Final appearance in Omaha with Four Winds Farm’s talented 2007 Rheinlander mare, Rosamunde. He and “Rosie” have continued to develop their partnership since they began competing together in 2014. They garnered top placings throughout 2016, including wins in the Grand Prix CDI3* and Grand Prix Special CDI3* at CHIO Rotterdam. The pair began 2017 by winning the Grand Prix Special CDI3* and Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*at the Las Vegas High Roller CDI & Open Show, and head into the Final having finished second in the Grand Prix CDI-W and third in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W during week seven of the AGDF.

Kasey Perry-Glass & Goerklintgaards Dublet (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Competition for the Final begins Thursday with the FEI Grand Prix beginning at 2 p.m. CT. Saturday’s FEI Grand Prix Freestyle begins at 2 p.m. CT, with its results determining the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Champion. Watch the live stream on FEI TV.

View more information about the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final.

By Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications Department

Combinations for 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final Omaha

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has announced the eight athlete/horse combinations that will represent the United States at the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, March 29 – April 2, 2017, at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, Neb.

The following athletes qualified during the 2016-2017 World Cup qualifying season in their respective leagues (listed in qualifying order):

Longines FEI World Cup™, North American East Coast Sub-League

Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) with Old Willow Farms, LLC’s Zeremonie, a 2007 Holsteiner mare

Audrey Coulter (San Francisco, Calif.) with Copernicus Stables, LLC’s Alex, a 2004 Westphalian gelding, and Capital Colnardo, a 2005 Holsteiner stallion

McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) with Double H Farm & Francois Mathy’s HH Azur, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare

Charlie Jacobs (Boston, Mass.) with CMJ Sporthorse LLC’s Cassinja S, a 2006 Zweibrücker mare, or Calanta, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding

Todd Minikus (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Jack Snyder and Two Swans Farm’s Babalou 41, a 2005 Oldenburg mare

Longines FEI World Cup™, North American West Coast Sub-League

Karl Cook (Woodside, Calif.) with Signe Ostby’s Tembla, a 2004 Zangersheide mare

Jenni McAllister (Sun Valley, Calif.) with LEGISequine.com’s LEGIS Touch the Sun, a 2006 Holsteiner gelding, or LEGIS Venice, a 2005 Holsteiner mare

Jamie Barge (Malibu, Calif.) with Kylie Co.’s Luebbo, a 2005 Oldenburg Springpferd gelding

View more information about the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

US Equestrian Announces Combinations for 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final Omaha

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has announced the three athlete/horse combinations that will represent the United States at the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final, March 30 – April 1, 2017 at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, Neb.

The following combinations qualified during World Cup Qualifying Events in the North American League held throughout the 2016-2017 season:

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) with her own Verdades, a 2002 KWPN gelding

Kasey Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) with Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding

Additionally, the FEI confirmed an extra starting place for:

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) with Four Winds Farm’s Rosamunde, a 2007 Rheinlander mare

View more information about the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final.

Todd Minikus and Babalou Take Top Honors at Longines Final Leg in Ocala

Todd Minikus and Babalou. (FEI/Debra Jamroz)

Ocala, FL, (USA), 12 March 2017 – As the final pair to enter the turf field at Live Oak International, the USA’s Todd Minikus and Babalou delivered a commanding, double clear performance to win the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Ocala, the closing leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2016/2017 North American League season.

Until Minikus crossed the timers at 47.77 seconds, Germany’s Andre Thieme and Conthendrix held the lead as the seventh pair to ride in the 18-horse jump off. Thieme stopped the clock at 49.39 seconds with zero faults across the shortened track. France’s Alexandra Paillot rounded out the international podium with a third-place, double clear finish aboard Polias de Blondel. Their round clocked in at 51.68 seconds.

“I could have the reputation of going maybe a little too fast, once in a while,” said Minikus. “I was basically not trying to turn too tight or make a silly mistake by going too fast. And Andre was pretty quick. It was a great event and I’m very excited to be back. The two times I’ve been here, I’ve ended up winning so I’m all about Live Oak.”

From a starting number of 38 entries, nearly half of the field went clear in the first round over a fair, yet testing, course built by Bob Ellis (GBR). The first round featured 13 obstacles and 16 jumping attempts, with triple and double combinations. Ellis also utilized the field’s slope to test adjustability, scope, and carefulness at strategically placed verticals and wide oxers.

“My plan was to provide some good sport, which we had,” said Ellis. “We had a few clear rounds; more than I had expected, I have to say. But a great jump off. These guys made it very, very exciting.”

It was the final round that highlighted the day’s top combinations when only five pairs jumped double clear. Galloping lines and rollback turns asked multiple, difficult questions that caused rails to drop throughout the course, particularly at a careful vertical that followed on a bending line from the Longines oxer.

After a streak of faults in the riding order, the odds looked to be against Minikus to ride clear. But proving that the best had yet to come, he seamlessly and efficiently rode through tight turns to find the correct distances and came away with the coveted win.

Noticeably missing in the jump off were 2016 Rio Olympics pairs Ben Maher (GBR) and Tic Tac and Scott Keach (AUS) and Fedor, with four and five faults, respectively. And the winner of last year’s event, Marilyn Little (USA), also narrowly missed advancing with an unlucky rail in the first round.

The rankings have decided which 14 riders have earned bids to the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha, Nebraska (March 29 – April 2). The top seven athletes from the East Coast (USA), top three from the West Coast (USA), and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico have qualified through the Longines FEI World Cup™ North American League.

Full results: http://www.longinestiming.com/#!/equestrian/2017/1301/html/en/longinestiming/resultlist_04.html

Quotes:

Bob Ellis (Course Designer): “We did a little bit of damage to the ground over the last few days so it was mainly looking for some grass. I thought the footing for today was excellent.”

Todd Minikus (1st): “Actually the pressure was in the qualifying class. I had two jumps down, eight faults, and then I was driving back to Wellington very worried I wasn’t going to get qualified so it was a bumpy road the whole way until the last jump there.”

“I’ve been riding [Babalou] since she was 5 years old so it’s hard to even remember what she was like as a young horse, other than she was kind of mean. She’s kind of short necked so that’s just the way her neck places itself. Sometimes you’ve got to give a good release to jump.”

“I think the grass is a nice change. I’m not the biggest fan of grass. But it is a nice change from the everyday, showing on the all-weather footing. I think you do have to alter your style of riding a little bit. For example, you have to go back to a more sophisticated turn on the grass. I hate riding in the rain so I’m so glad it didn’t rain. But today I thought the footing held up awesome. We were going fast enough and the horses felt comfortable so it was all good.”

Andre Thieme (2nd): “I was pretty sure that I would end up in the top three with that. But I was also pretty sure I was not going to win it with that. But then one after another had rails and didn’t catch my time so then there was that final moment where I said, ‘Maybe.’ But then I saw [Minikus] warming up and I knew [it wasn’t going to happen]. He was on it and I saw it. So I was afraid of [Cian O’Connor] and of [Minikus]. I have to say that after winning the $10,000 leading rider award, I felt like a winner.”

Full Standings for Eastern Sub-League: http://results.hippodata.de/2017/1301/docs/longines_fei_world_cup_nal_esl_standings_after_ocala_2017.pdf

Don’t miss a hoofbeat! Watch it all LIVE on www.feitv.org.

Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping – check out the latest on www.fei.org.

Social media: #FEIWorldCupNAL #RidetoOmaha #FEIWorldCupFinals #TwoHearts #Longines @LonginesEq

By Esther Hahn

FEI Media Contact:

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

Masterful Minderhoud Wins Last Leg in ’s-Hertogenbosch

Hans Peter Minderhoud and Glock’s Flirt. (Arnd Bronkhorst/FEI)

’s-Hertogenbosch (NED), 11 March 2017 – Reigning champion, Hans Peter Minderhoud, produced a sensational personal-best performance with Glock’s Flirt to win the ninth and last qualifying leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2016/2017 Western European League on home turf in ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Presenting a sparkling new floorplan, the pair broke the extraordinary run of Germany’s Isabell Werth who had been unbeatable on her previous five outings in this hotly-contested series, but who had to settle for runner-up spot with Emilio. In third was Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl for whom impending motherhood seems to have simply raised her level of excellence as she steered Zaire-E through a fabulous test.

And on a day when those last few qualifying slots for the Final in Omaha, Nebraska (USA) at the end of the month were decided, 2010 World Cup champion Edward Gal booked his ticket when fourth with Glock’s Voice. He lies ninth on the Western European League table from which the top nine make the cut.

Von Bredow-Werndl’s (31) inspired ride, showing lightness, elegance and great connectivity, put a score of 80.165 on the board with just three more of the 15 starters left to go. But when Werth (47) posted 83.300 despite two mistakes from her Gothenburg winner Emilio, it seemed she just might make it a magnificent six successes from six starts this season. Second-last into the arena, Ireland’s Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K had an unsettled start to finish sixth in the final analysis. But last to go, Minderhoud (43) and Glock’s Flirt just seemed to be in their element as clean, soft movements and the easiest of transitions earned the winning mark of 84.890. The knowledgeable crowd in the Brabanthalle at ’s-Hertogenbosch recognised the winning ride, giving the Dutch pair a standing ovation even before the score was announced.

“This was my highest ever Freestyle mark, and my best test ever too!” said the delighted Dutchman who posted 82.357 to claim the 2016 FEI World Cup™ Dressage title in Gothenburg (SWE) 12 months ago. This new floorplan was specifically designed for Flirt, “and I was waiting all day to show it off!” the double-Olympian said. “The combination of movements really make this test just right for him – before we used a Freestyle belonging to Glock’s Tango, but this is so much better!” said the rider who is now aiming for a double of FEI World Cup™ Dressage titles in three weeks’ time.

He has no illusions about what lies ahead of him, but this result has given him a big confidence-boost. “It’s going to be a really tough job to win again because the line-up is even better than last year, but my horse is in great form, and I’m definitely going for a place on the podium!” Minderhoud said.

Detailed result here

Quotes:

Hans Peter Minderhoud NED (1st): “When we put this floorplan together I showed a video to some friends and everyone said it looked really good. Today Flirt felt great in the warm-up and I knew I was in with a chance when I was the last to go and Isabell had made some mistakes!”

Isabell Werth GER (2nd): “I was really happy with my horse; he was in super shape especially in the Grand Prix. Unfortunately in the Freestyle there were mistakes in the extended trot and the two tempis but the horse was always focused. Emilio still needs to grow up a bit with the Freestyle but I was very pleased with him.”

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl GER (3rd): “This was the best feeling – I really enjoyed this today. For sure I will compete in Omaha with Unee BB but after that I will be taking a small break because I’m having a baby!”

Mariette Sanders van Gansewinkel (NED) President of Ground Jury: “We had excellent sport and this was really great entertainment today. Many of the judges said they had goose-bumps when Hans Peter was doing his test!”

Don’t miss a hoofbeat! Watch it all LIVE on www.feitv.org.

Social media: #FEIWorldCupWEL #RidetoOmaha #FEIWorldCupFinals #TwoHearts

Rider biographies: view online and download from www.fei.org/bios.

By Louise Parkes

Media contacts:

At FEI:

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

At ’s-Hertogenbosch:

Denise van der Net
Press Officer
info@denisevandernet.nl
+31 627 031 674

Italy and Germany Take Home Male, Female and Pas-De-Deux

Germany’s Jannis Drewell shares a #TwoHearts moment at the FEI World Cup™ Final in Dortmund (GER) after winning the male category. (Gustavo Lorenzo/FEI)

Dortmund (GER), 5 March 2017 – The stars of this thrilling series were under pressure to peak when it mattered for this Final, and they did just that in front of fascinated crowds.

Italy’s Anna Cavallaro fended off tough competition from Germany’s Kristina Boe to take the women’s title, and the hotly contested pas-de-deux was won by Italy’s Silvia Stopazzini & Lorenzo Lupacchini – a first for Italy – who put on a show-stopping display of their ‘The Little Prince’ routine.

In the men’s category, vaulters had a tense wait until Sunday morning to find out who would be crowned champion, and after just missing out on the title last year Germany’s Jannis Drewell returned to top form. He performed both rounds with stunning conviction to lift the trophy in front of his home crowd.

Head-to-head

Cavallaro, competing in her seventh World Cup Final, shocked audiences on day one with the début of a brand new freestyle theme. Her wolf interpretation impressed the judges to score 8.662, allowing her to take the lead over Boe (8,418).

You could feel the tension in the Westfallenhalle as Cavallaro with her lunger of 20 years Nelson Vidoni and star horse 11-year-old Monaco Franze 4 entered the arena for day two. She managed to hold her nerve to take her third FEI World Cup Vaulting title under intense pressure on a final score of 8,654.

Boe, the 29 year-old doctor known for her exceptional artistic impression, made a foot perfect second round performance of her zombie freestyle linking a number of risk moves, and with Don de la Mar and lunger Winnie Schluter, she finished second on 8,534.

Mum knows best

FEI European Champion Jannis Drewell (GER) hit unbelievable form at this year’s Final, leaving the crowd in awe as he performed his Sherlock Holmes routine.

Despite miss-timing one ground-jump of high risk, he gave everything with his mother and lunger Simone Drewell and Diabolus 3 scoring 8,720 to take the highly coveted title in front of his home crowd.

Lukas Heppler (SUI) once again teamed up with Monaco Franze 4, with whom he won the opening qualifier in Madrid, and after a nervous first round performance, he excelled on the second day finishing second on 8,554.

“It has been a long journey to get here,” said Drewell. “Last year was my first time in the World Cup and I finished second. I had a conversation with my mother before the second round where I asked about the ground jump as it is high risk. It’s always the way; I should have listened to my mother – but I am so happy it was enough to take the title even with that mistake.”

Italian gold rush

Silvia Stopazzini and Lorenzo Lupacchini, the breakthrough pairing of this season’s World Cup, performed their ‘Little Prince’ freestyle – a routine packed with difficulty and creative flair – to win the pas-de-deux on a total score of 8,695.

Germany’s Theresa-Sophie Bresch and Torben Jacobs maintained pressure on the Italian pairing throughout the competition and with their Swan Lake freestyle won second place on 8,689.

Vaulting Future

“Vaulting has come so far since becoming part of the FEI World Cup series,” said FEI Director of Vaulting Bettina de Rham. “Vaulting is now much closer to our other World Cup disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Driving. Every vaulter competing at the World Cup is of the highest standard, and it is extremely difficult to qualify for the Final, let alone win. We’re really proud of the World Cup and all the athletes competing in this exciting series.”

#FEIWorldCupVaulting – Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @FEI_Global

FEI Media Contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager, Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45