17 July 2010 – Boyd Exell (AUS) today notched up his third individual victory at Aachen, the most prestigious international Four-in-Hand Driving competition, to add to his wins in 2003 and 2009. The Australian had a head start in the dressage and held onto his lead throughout.
Four times World Champion IJsbrand Chardon (NED) finished second, ahead of Christoph Sandmann (GER), and it was the Netherlands that won the Nations Cup ahead of hosts Germany, with Switzerland in third.
The CAIO and World Cup Qualifying competition in Aachen was run in a different format. The Four-in-Hand drivers drove the regular dressage test on Thursday, followed by the obstacle driving competition on Friday. The marathon, broadcast live on television, was run as the final phase to bring the combined driving competition to a dramatic finish.
2 July 2010 – After a full investigation into the facts surrounding the disqualification of Sapphire (McLain Ward) at the FEI World Cup Final in Geneva, the FEI has determined that the horse was incorrectly eliminated from the second round on 16 April 2010, however, Sapphire’s disqualification from the final round of the World Cup remains in place.
McLain Ward will immediately be awarded all ranking points and prize money related to his second place finish in the second round of the FEI World Cup Final. This will not affect ranking points and prize money awarded to other riders in the competition.
As a result of this investigation, the FEI has also decided to issue mandatory guidelines to be applied by the Veterinary Commissions appointed for FEI Events in order to strengthen the hypersensitivity protocol that was applied in Geneva. These guidelines will be communicated to all National Federations prior to the CHIO in Aachen (GER).
The USEF, McLain Ward and Tim Ober have stated that they do not agree with the FEI on the question of whether Sapphire displayed a level of sensitivity that justified her disqualification from the third round of the World Cup and also disagree with the process followed however, in the best interest of the sport, they have dropped their legal case against the FEI and will not challenge this disqualification.
Vecsés (HUN), 13 JUNE 2010 – Dutch four-in-hand driver Koos de Ronde took the victory at the international combined driving event in Vecsés, Hungary. De Ronde stayed ahead of home driver Zoltán Lázár in this FEI World Cup Qualifying competition, where the horse teams also battled in the nations competition. Switzerland’s Werner Ulrich came third, improving every event with his Lusitano team of horses.
Heat hit Hungary
The temperature in Vecsés, the home base of the sympathetic Hungarian four-in-hand driver József Dobrovitz and his family, rose to around 30 degrees Celsius throughout the weekend. The organising committee had taken the necessary precautions to ensure the welfare of the horses and shortened the A-section of the marathon to 1,2 kilometres and lowered the pace of the walk section. All competitors got fifteen minutes instead the usual ten minutes rest at the obligatory halt in the marathon before the obstacle phase. This turned out to be a wise decision and none of the competing horses had any problems at the finish of the marathon.
Edwina Alexander is writing a diary for horsesinthesouth.com as she prepares for the 2010 Global Champions Tour (GCT) and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Here is Edwina’s second entry.
The last month
The last month has been a real rollercoaster with quite a few shows and then the Rolex FEI World Cup Final. Overall, I’m feeling pretty good in myself and I’m trying to get as much rest as possible, but not doing too much isn’t the easiest thing in the world at the moment! I was up at 4am last Wednesday morning to go to Copenhagen for a photo shoot and got back home at about 1am the following morning. I was then up very early to jump five horses ahead of the four-day show in Mannheim, so I haven’t had as much rest as I would have hoped for!
Lausanne (SUI), 20 April 2010 – The FEI press conference, held on 17 April in Geneva, on the disqualification of the horse Sapphire ridden by McLain Ward (USA) in the FEI World Cup Jumping Final, is now available free-to-view on FEI TV in English. Visit www.feitv.org and register to watch for free.
The opening statement by the FEI President is available here.
Geneva (SUI), 18 April 2010 – An urgent appeal/protest was lodged this morning by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), McLain Ward (Person Responsible) and Dr Tim Ober (USEF Team Veterinarian) against the disqualification of Sapphire from the FEI World Cup Final. The FEI Tribunal heard the case for emergency relief to allow the horse to compete today. Following the hearing, the FEI Tribunal Chair Ken Lalo (ISR) denied the request for emergency relief on the grounds that the FEI Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to overturn the Ground Jury’s decision. This means that Sapphire remains disqualified from today’s final round of the FEI World Cup.
Sapphire, the horse ridden by McLain Ward (USA), was eliminated from the second round of the FEI World Cup Final on Friday night (16 April) and disqualified from the rest of the event following a positive hypersensitivity test.
Geneva (SUI), 18 April 2010 – Germany’s Marcus Ehning will celebrate his 36th birthday tomorrow as the newly-crowned 2010 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping champion. In the Palexpo arena in Geneva, Switzerland this afternoon he kept the coolest head despite an early mistake and won through when those ahead of him faltered. This was his third time to take the prestigious Rolex title and he said, “It’s really unbelievable – I thought I was too far behind going into the last round but this is how it works out – I am so happy!”
Germany dominated the winner’s podium when Ludger Beerbaum produced one of just four double-clear performances in today’s competition to finish joint-runner-up with Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer. And the thrilling class highlighted some great characters and new arrivals, but shattered the dream of America’s Mario Deslauriers who it seemed was about to re-take the title he first claimed 26 years ago in Gothenburg, only to see it slip from his grasp in the fading moments.
Course designer Rolf Ludi presented two more classic tests, but only seven of the 29 starters got it right in the first round and when Deslauriers and his brilliant nine year old Dutch gelding Urico were amongst them it further bolstered their position at the top of the leaderboard after the first two legs. The flimsy planks at fence four, the vertical following a tight left-hand bend at seven and the water-tray oxer at fence 10, ridden on a three-stride distance from the previous 1.60m FEI vertical, proved the bogeys here but when Ehning’s Plot Blue clipped the very last – a wall with beautifully-carved Swiss cows decorating the top of it – then it seemed his chances were scuppered. With only four points separating the top four riders going into the final day every mistake was critical, but third-placed Schwizer lowered the bogey planks while fourth-placed Patrice Deleveau of France kicked out the oxer at fence two, so Ehning only slipped one place to third at the end of the opening round of jumping.
Edwina Alexander is writing a diary for HorsesintheSouth.com as she prepares for the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Geneva from 14-18 April 2010. Here is Edwina’s first entry.
Could you describe a typical training day?
I normally wake up at 7.00am and I am in the stables by 8.00am ready to ride the horses. Every day is a little bit different but on average I ride between 6 to 8 horses each day, and I will keep riding until 1.00pm. I’ll start riding again between 2.00pm-4.00pm. I then spend some time in the office in the afternoon catching up with emails, organising travel arrangements for upcoming shows, sending videos to clients. I feel more relaxed if I know exactly what’s going on!
How have you been keeping busy since your Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series win in Vigo?
I kept Socrates (Cevo Socrates) and Itot (Cevo Itot Du Château) busy in the lead up to Gothenburg, where they both jumped well. Since Gothenburg they have both had a break from showing which has included one easy day during the week, some hacking in the woods, dressage and a bit of a lunge in the afternoon. I have been to Australia since Gothenburg but they have both been kept active with some small jumps work.
Isabell Werth is writing a diary for HorsesintheSouth.com as she prepares for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games from 25 September-10 October. Here is Isabell’s first entry.
Could you describe a typical training day?
Since my son Frederik’s birth last year the day now starts with him! I then start with the horses at around 9.00am and I can ride about seven horses per day. The rest of the day is now usually based around the stable business and Frederik.
How many horses do you have at the moment?
At the moment we have around about 40 horses under the saddle, so my whole team is very busy!
Kihikihi (NZL), 1 April 2010 – The action in the 2010 HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing moves ‘down under’ where a determined Megan Jones (AUS) will be travelling back to New Zealand to defend her title at the Mitavite International Horse Trials at Kihikihi this weekend (2-4 April).
Jones was one of the most successful HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing riders in 2009, winning the Sydney (AUS) leg as well, and led the standings leaderboard for most of last year. If she can replicate that form, she will have as much chance as any of winning the lion’s share of the US$180,000 on offer to the top 15 riders in the series, which comes to a climax at Schenefeld (GER) in August after 12 CIC***-W events in 10 countries across three continents.
Jones is bringing the same horse as last time, her talented little home-bred grey Kirby Hall Irish Jester, on which she won a team silver medal and finished 4th individually at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong.