Tag Archives: Jeroen Dubbeldam

Ever-Consistent SFN Zenith N.O.P. Home from Rio

SFN Zenith N.O.P., one of the most consistent horses throughout the four days of the 2016 Olympic competition, was no doubt also one of the unluckiest, with only 0.02 seconds coming between him and a chance to be part of the individual medal battle.

Despite jumping an immaculate double clear round on the final day of competition, SFN Zenith N.O.P., expertly piloted by 2000 Olympic gold medallist Jeroen Dubbeldam, picked up a single time fault, preventing them from progressing to the jump-off.

Throughout the week, the World and European Champions maintained a reliably high standard, posting a series of excellent results and proving what an exceptional combination they are on the big stage.

In addition to winning Team and Individual gold in the World Equestrian Games in Caen, 2014 and repeating this feat by winning Team and Individual gold at the European Championships in Aachen, 2015, SFN Zenith N.O.P. has an incredible track record including Team gold at the 2014 Nations Cup Finals in Barcelona.

Speaking on behalf of the SFN, Henk Rottinghuis, the President of the SFN Board, said, “I would like to express my gratitude to Jeroen, who is one of the best show jumping riders ever seen in the Netherlands. Since becoming a partnership in 2011, Jeroen and SFN Zenith N.O.P. have achieved so many extraordinary accomplishments and given the SFN and Dutch show jumping communities much success and enjoyment.”

SFN Zenith N.O.P., now safely back in his home stable, is one of six horses due to be sold via an online auction on Wednesday 21st September 2016, which also includes Aquila SFN, second reserve for the Dutch Olympic Team in Rio. The unique selection process of the SFN, whereby an elite group of leading horse dealers and trainers must all agree unanimously on the potential of a horse before it is purchased on behalf of the fund means that the quality of the horses up for sale is unparalleled.

The online auction, which will be operated by BVA Auctions in the Netherlands, will officially open at 5pm on Wednesday 14th September, and will remain open until 2pm on Wednesday 21st September. To participate in the auction, it is necessary to register and pay a deposit, after which further information will be accessible, including full veterinary reports. For further information and advice about how to participate, please visit the BVA Auctions website: www.bva-auctions.com/SFN.

All six horses will be available for viewing on Monday 19th September at Wout-Jan van der Schans stables (Landgoed Balkenschoten Barneveldseweg 122 3862 PD Nijkerk), which will be the final opportunity for prospective buyers to see the horses up close. The stables will open its doors to the public at 2pm, with each horse parading in-hand for approximately 10 minutes.

For further details on all horses due to feature in the sale, including up-to-date videos of them in action, please visit www.sfnauction.com or contact:

Jacob Melissen
SFN
Tel: +31 528 241919 / + 31 654 220246
Email: jacobmelissen@hotmail.com

Anna Blunden
Revolution Sports
Tel: +44 (0)207 592 1207
Email: anna@revolutionsports.co.uk

For further details on the sale, please contact:

Rob Meijer
BVA Auctions
Tel: +31 (0)6 1251 9452
Email: r.meijer@bva-auctions.com

BVA Auctions
www.bva-auctions.com/SFN

Battle of the Giants in Barcelona

Neigh-mar! FC Barcelona recently welcomed equestrian sport to its iconic Camp Nou stadium. Sydney 2000 Olympic Jumping gold medallist and current World European champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), right, and Sergio Álvarez Moya (ESP) in fighting mode as they lead their teams onto the FC Barcelona pitch at Camp Nou in the countdown to the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final at Real Club De Polo de Barcelona (24-27 September). Polo Club members (from left) Victor Gonzalez, Sofía Zambrano and Virginia Graells joined the Spanish team for the day, with Carlota Vilarrubí, Blanca Gil and Yago Mercé making up the Dutch squad. (FEI/Dan Rowley)

Barcelona (ESP), 23 September 2015 – The buzz is building! All the atmosphere, excitement and anticipation ahead of tomorrow’s €2.3 million Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final 2015 is captured in a superb 30-second video clip shot at FC Barcelona’s iconic Camp Nou stadium.

Watch Dutch superstar, Jeroen Dubbeldam, and Spain’s leading rider Sergio Alvarez Moya as they lead the battle of the giants onto the hallowed turf here: https://youtu.be/68n6YzSeHS0. It’s going to be a thriller!

Former Olympic and reigning World and European champion Dubbeldam and Alvarez Moya had determination written all over their faces during behind-the-scenes filming at Camp Nou. The Spaniard said that day, “When it comes to the Furusiyya Final in my home country, I will be giving it 100 per cent!”

How the teams line out

A massive field of 19 nations has qualified for the event that will decide the fate of the 2015 Furusiyya title when the action draws to a spectacular close next Saturday night.

Team Poland will be first into the ring when the Furusiyya Final 2015 gets underway tomorrow afternoon at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona (ESP).

The draw took place today, and the order-of-go for tomorrow’s first competition is as follows:

  1. Poland
  2. Australia
  3. France
  4. Italy
  5. Switzerland
  6. Spain
  7. Qatar
  8. Egypt
  9. Great Britain
  10. Germany
  11. Netherlands
  12. Mexico
  13. Belgium
  14. Brazil
  15. Sweden
  16. USA
  17. Czech Republic
  18. Ireland
  19. Venezuela

Tough call

It’s a tough call for the Polish side who battled hard to qualify from the Europe Division 2 qualifying series along with Czech Republic. However, Dutch Chef d’Equipe, Rob Ehrens, insisted this evening, “There is nothing between the teams when the competition begins tomorrow; every country has the same chance.”

His side is the firm favourite to take their second Furusiyya title in a row, however. Ehrens has brought the dream-team that began an extraordinary sequence of victories when scooping team and individual gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, France last September. They were back on the top step of the podium at the 2014 Furusiyya Final the following month and, just a few short weeks ago, swept all before them at the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER). They seem like an unstoppable force right now.

With typical modesty, however, Ehrens insisted this evening that the anything can happen over the coming days. “We have already achieved more than we could ever have imagined; it has been incredible what has happened for us over the last year. But we all keep our feet on the ground. The difference between winning and losing is so very little; we have returned to Barcelona to do our best job, but a couple of mistakes tomorrow and it could all be over already. That’s our sport. We embrace the moments when it goes well, but we always stay grounded,” said the man who is widely admired for his exceptional team leadership.

All 19 nations will line out in tomorrow’s opening class from which the top eight countries will qualify for Saturday night’s €1.5 million Final. The teams that don’t make the cut will compete in Friday’s €300,000 Longines Challenge Cup.

Successful concept

This year’s line-up of nations underlines the success of the concept that inspired the Furusiyya series, drawing more and more countries into the sport of Nations Cup Jumping and watching them develop and grow. Few could have guessed that revitalizing a much-loved format with a history that goes back for over a century would be such a success story. It met with some resistance at first but, in its third season, the series that was once restricted to an elite group of nations has expanded and thrived to such an extent that a total of 45 countries participated in 19 qualifiers across six regions worldwide this year.

As FEI Jumping Director, John Roche, said this evening, “We have great representation here in Barcelona from all across the globe this year, and we also have many of the best riders in the world.”

Watch the making of the FC Barcelona video here: https://youtu.be/HmPBZrYp1Ks.

For further information on the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final 2015 at Real Club de Polo in Barcelona (ESP) from 24 to 27 September, visit www.csiobarcelona.com or contact Press Officer Isabel Suter, isuter@rcpolo.com, +34 760 258 222.

For further information on the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series, check out this link.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Barcelona:

Isabel Suter
Press Officer
Email: isuter@rcpolo.com
Tel: +34 760 258 222

At FEI:

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

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

FC Barcelona Throws Open Its Doors to Equestrian Sport

Sydney 2000 Olympic Jumping gold medallist and current World European champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), right, and Sergio Álvarez Moya (ESP) wrestle with the Furusiyya trophy at FC Barcelona’s iconic Camp Nou stadium in the countdown to the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final at the neighbouring Real Club De Polo de Barcelona (24-27 September). (FEI/Dan Rowley)

FC Barcelona HQ (ESP), 2 September 2015 – World football giants FC Barcelona today welcomed equestrian sport to its iconic Camp Nou home in a ground-breaking venture.

The legendary Catalan club, winners of five European Cup and Champions League crowns, plus 50 domestic league and cup titles, achieved another first in its illustrious 116-year history when top Jumping riders Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) and Jessica Mendoza (GBR) helped mark three weeks to go to this year’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final in Barcelona.

The Final, which takes place at the neighbouring Real Club De Polo de Barcelona (24-27 September), is the highlight of the world’s oldest team Jumping series, bringing together the best Jumping athletes from 19 nations that have qualified from all over the globe.

And for Spaniard Sergio Alvarez Moya, especially, the chance to walk down a players’ tunnel that has been graced by superstars like Barcelona heroes Lionel Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta and be pitchside where some of football’s most memorable action has unfolded, proved an awe-inspiring occasion.

“It’s an amazing feeling being here at FC Barcelona, even though my team is Real Madrid!” he said. “It won’t be long now before Barcelona and Catalonia welcome the world’s best Jumping athletes and thousands of equestrian fans to the Polo Club right next door.”

“The Barça player’s tunnel is really amazing with all the messages of support from fans,” said Jeroen Dubbeldam, who 10 days ago added the European title to his Sydney 2000 Olympic and 2014 world crowns. “Our sport is just as passionate and exciting as football, and we’ll all feel that competition fever again very soon in Barcelona when the Furusiyya Final gets underway, and the Dutch will be aiming to win it again this year!”

The three Jumping stars made their way pitchside to get a full view of the famous Nou Camp stadium, with its “More Than a Club” (Més Que un Club”) slogan.

“The ’More Than a Club’ idea really makes my heart beat faster,” said British teen sensation Jess Mendoza who, at 19, was the youngest British team member for nearly 40 years when she competed at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) 10 days ago, helping Great Britain secure its place on the Rio 2016 Olympic startlist. “In our sport, you can’t do it alone; it’s all about team work. We’re like a big club, with a network of amazing grooms, vets, trainers, family and friends, whose only focus is to make sure you and your horse are ready to go out and win. The equestrian community is one big family and we’re all really close.”

“We are very happy to receive the elite of the show jumping world in our stadium,” Carles Vilarrubí, 2nd Vice-President of FC Barcelona said. “FC Barcelona is the reference point in world football and we welcome the best global events in other sports, and that’s exactly what the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final at the CSIO Barcelona is, and that contributes to our city being on top of the sports world.”

Share the excitement: #FCBarcelona #Furusiyya #SupportYourNation #Jumping.

About the athletes:

Sergio Álvarez Moya: Spain’s most successful Jumping athlete started riding with his brothers at the age of seven. The 30-year-old made his international début in 1999, and at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 last month helped to secure Spain’s team jumping qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
www.fei.org/bios/Person/10007927/ALVAREZ_MOYA_Sergio

Jeroen Dubbeldam: The Dutch Jumping legend scored individual gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, was crowned world Jumping champion at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA), taking team and individual gold, and did the same golden double at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) just 10 days ago. Dubbeldam (42) also led the Dutch team to victory in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in Barcelona 12 months ago.
www.fei.org/bios/Person/10000412/DUBBELDAM_Jeroen

Jess Mendoza: At just 19 years old, she became the youngest British team member for nearly 40 years when she competed at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) 10 days ago, helping Great Britain secure its place on the Rio 2016 Olympic startlist. She began riding aged two, and by the age of seven she knew she wanted to become a professional rider. Now, her ultimate goal is to ride in Rio!
www.fei.org/bios/Person/10047109/MENDOZA_Jessica

About FC Barcelona

On November 29, 1899, Hans Gamper founded Futbol Club Barcelona, along with 11 other enthusiasts of ‘foot-ball’, a game that was still largely unknown in Europe. He could never have imagined how huge that initiative would eventually become. With over 100 years of history, FC Barcelona, or Barça, has become for millions of people around the world a symbol of their identity, and not just in a sporting sense but also in terms of society, politics and culture.

Throughout the most difficult times, Barça was the standard that represented Catalonia and the Catalan people’s desire for freedom, a symbolism that has continued to be closely linked to the club and its members to this day.

FC Barcelona useful links:

www.facebook.com/fcbarcelona
https://twitter.com/fcbarcelona
www.fcbarcelona.com/club/barca-2-0/social-media

Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping

The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping is the contemporary version of the historic FEI Nations Cup™ series for team Jumping, which dates back 106 years.

The 2015 season, the third to be sponsored by Furusiyya as part of its €16m four-year sponsorship package, boasts 19 qualifiers around the world, with 45 nations being whittled down to just 19 for the spectacular €2.3 million showdown at the Real Polo Club of Barcelona (ESP) on 24-27 September.

Qualified nations to date are: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Great Britain, Egypt, France, Ireland, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Netherlands, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Venezuela. Spain, as the host country, gets an automatic place on the starting grid at the Barcelona Final. And Finland, Czech Republic, Denmark and Ukraine will be battling it out to claim the last two places at the Final at the qualifier in Arezzo on 4 September.
http://www.feinationscup.org

FC Barcelona Media Contact:

Vanessa Forns Simon
vanessa.forns@fcbarcelona.cat
+34 93 496 36 95

FEI Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

FEI Awards 2015: Jeroen Dubbeldam Says Vote Now!

World Jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam, who just a few days ago won individual and team gold at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER), was the Reem Acra Best Athlete 2014. The Dutchman is urging everyone to “stand up and be counted” by placing their nominations for the FEI Awards 2015 before midnight on 28 August 2015. (FEI/Daniel Kaiser)

Lausanne (SUI), 26 August 2015 – The FEI Awards 2015, which celebrate the world’s exceptional equestrians, need your nominations – by Friday!

Nominations for these prestigious awards, which put the spotlight on excellence, courage, commitment and dedication in the equestrian world, are open until midnight CEST this coming Friday (28 August). Nominate your champions now at www.feiawards.org.

World Jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam, who just a few days ago won individual and team gold at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER), was the Reem Acra Best Athlete 2014. The Dutchman is urging everyone to cast their votes for the 2015 Awards:

“The FEI Awards are incredibly important to equestrian sport, and there is a category dedicated to every member of our community that makes this sport a reality,” he said. “We are all dependent on each other to get to the next level in equestrian sport – it is truly a team effort.

“Stand up and be counted, and vote for your favourite equestrians, be they riders, grooms or projects that are helping our equestrian community to be bigger and stronger.”

FEI Awards 2015 – five categories

The Longines Rising Star Award – won last year by Lambert Leclezio, the 17-year-old who became the first athlete to represent Mauritius at a World Championship when he competed at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, is for equestrians aged 14 to 21 who demonstrate outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

The Reem Acra Best Athlete – awarded to Dutch jumping legend Jeroen Dubbeldam, this award celebrates the athlete who over the last 12 months has demonstrated exceptional skills in the arena, and has taken equestrian sport to a new level.

The Against All Odds Award – acknowledges people who have pursued their equestrian ambitions despite physical issues or extremely difficult personal circumstances. Last year this award was won by Para-Equestrian Dressage athlete Sydney Collier (USA) with her service dog Journey. Collier, also named 2014 Junior Equestrian of the Year by the United States Equestrian Federation, has relentlessly pursued her dreams while dealing with the rare Wyburn Mason syndrome. She is aiming to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

The Best Groom Award – dedicated to the vital behind-the-scenes team members, who work around the clock to make sure horses get the best care and attention, this award was won last year by Jackie Potts (GBR), who has spent over 20 years as groom and right-hand woman in the stables of the multiple Olympic, World and European Eventing medallist, William Fox-Pitt (GBR).

The FEI Solidarity Award – presented to equine therapy centre Equal Ark (SIN) last year, this award will be presented to an FEI Solidarity or equestrian development project, or an individual or organisation that has demonstrated skill, dedication and energy in expanding equestrian sport.

Glittering Gala

Hollywood actress Bo Derek, star of the romantic comedy “10” and recently cast in the cult Sharknado series on US cable network SyFy, is the Chair of the Jury of the prestigious FEI Awards 2015.

The winners of the awards will be flown to the glamorous FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines in Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan, where they will be presented with their awards by Bo Derek in front of over 350 guests from the global equestrian community.

Follow the FEI Awards 2015 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #feiawards.

The FEI Awards, created by FEI Honorary President HRH Princess Haya, were launched in 2009.

Full details on past winners are available here.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Dutch Double-Gold as Dubbeldam Does It Again

(L to R) Gregory Wathelet (BEL) silver, Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) gold and Simon Delestre (FRA) bronze. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Aachen (GER), 23 August 2015 – Dutch dominance in the sport of Jumping continued at its relentless pace when reigning world champion, Jeroen Dubbeldam, steered the brilliant SFN Zenith to victory in the individual final at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) today. Silver went to Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet with Conrad de Hus while Simon Delestre and Ryan des Hayettes from France claimed the bronze in a two-round competition that kept spectators in the packed Soers Arena on the edges of their seats.

Dubbeldam now has the big three in the bag – Olympic individual gold claimed at Sydney 2000, the world championship title he took at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (FR) last year and now the individual European title which has not been won by The Netherlands since Johan Heins stood top of the podium in Vienna (AUT) back in 1977. And he has achieved each of the last two victories after already contributing to team gold with the same brilliant gelding.

Horse inspection

Today’s final began without Ukraine’s Cassio Rivetti whose horse, Vivant, did not pass yesterday’s second horse inspection. That saw Dubbeldam move up from third to silver medal spot, and he was only just over one penalty-point behind the leading partnership of Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo as the first round began this afternoon.

Frank Rothenberger’s first track proved very difficult indeed, with only five keeping a clean sheet from the world-class start-list of 25. Big, wide oxers were the order of the day, but it was the line from the open water at fence six to the following triple combination that presented the greatest difficulty, and more than half of the faults recorded racked up at this point on the 12-fence course. Amongst its victims were Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Fibonacci, the breath-taking grey clipping the second element of the obstacle which consisted of two verticals with planks on top, followed by an oxer.

But while the German rider dropped down the leaderboard, the two men who preceded her rocketed in the other direction when both Andreas Schou (Lenardo der Kleine) from Denmark and Simon Delestre (Ryan des Hayettes) from France were foot-perfect all the way.

In the picture

Wathelet also put himself in the picture when doing likewise with Conrad de Hus, but the host nation’s hopes were shaken again when, lying sixth, Ludger Beerbaum’s mare, Chiara, put a foot in the open water in an otherwise clean tour of the course. A mistake at the second fence blotted Dutchman Jur Vrieling’s copybook, the bogey triple combination penalised Peneleope Leprevost from France and two fences down saw Switzerland’s Romain Duguet disappear from the reckoning, so the leaderboard kept changing rapidly.

There would be no mistakes from Dubbeldam and Zenith, however, and when overnight leaders, Alvarez Moya and Carlo, left the first element of the triple combination on the ground, the Dutchman was already in the driving seat going into the second round with less than a fence in hand over Wathelet in second, with Alvarez Moya in third, Delestre in fourth and Schou in fifth place.

The new 10-fence course was less complicated, and eight of the 22 remaining combinations completed on a zero score this time out. Schou’s medal hopes disintegrated with a single error, however, but Delestre was ultra-careful with his 10-year-old gelding and, bringing him home with a just a single time-fault on the board, he was suddenly in a threatening position. So when Alvarez Moya left a pole on the ground the Frenchman already had bronze in his grasp.

Never looked like flinching

Second-placed Wathelet held his nerve to pile the pressure on Dubbeldam with a foot-perfect run, but the Dutchman never looked like flinching. His horse was reluctant to come into the ring today, unsettled by the noise and atmosphere during the week, but once the fences were in front of him he just got on with the job he does so well, and as the Dutch pair galloped through the finish there was a single time penalty on the board but it made no difference to the final result. A roar of approval from the knowledgeable Aachen crowd accompanied the victory-gallop of the most exceptional horse-and-rider combination in the modern sport.

“You can only dream that it comes true; there is no wisdom for it,” said the newly-crowned Rolex European Jumping champion this evening. Dubbeldam admitted that he was very aware of the high expectations for himself and his horse coming into this event. “When you come here to Aachen, one of the most difficult places for a championship and one of the nicest, you know it’s going to be a top battle. So many good riders and so many good horses. And you also need to be a little bit lucky. Everything has to be good, you have to be fit, your horse has to be fit, and then you can focus on everything, but in the end you need some luck. I had the luck on my side, and today it is a dream come true.”

A good feeling

Wathelet said: “I prepared to bring my horse here as best I can and he improved a lot. In the last two months he’s been jumping better and better and he went particularly well in Dinard (France) so I had a good feeling coming here – but I never expected a medal! Then I was eighth before the final today and I thought that if I could go double-clear then I might just get a medal. My horse really fought for me this week.”

“I was in 14th place; it was really big stuff and I wasn’t expecting anything big!” Delestre said. “But when I was double-clear then I finished in the top three. I’m really happy with my horse and to have three French riders finishing in the top 10 was just fantastic!” the bronze medallist said.

The crowning of the Jumping champion Jeroen Dubbeldam was the final sporting moment in Aachen today, but it was FEI President, Ingmar de Vos, who had the final words to bring the super-exciting FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 to a close this evening.

“With 117 years’ experience of presenting equestrian sport, Aachen is no stranger to events of the scale of the FEI European Championships,” he said. “In this equestrian heartland, our athletes – equine and human – have been given a five-star welcome with the great professionalism that they are known for. Over the past 12 days, Aachen has once again shown its amazing ability to organise a multi-discipline event and make it look so easy.

“Thirty nations competed in Aachen and battled it out for 13 gold medals and to qualify for the next Olympic Games in Rio. My sincere thanks go to Carl Meulenbergh and his employees, my dear friend Frank Kemperman and the City of Aachen, the organisers and the host of these important European Championships. You have written a further glamourous chapter in the history of equestrian sport.”

For more information on the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen, visit www.aachen2015.de.

Full results of FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 here.

Facts and Figures:

Jeroen Dubbeldam today became the first Jumping rider since Germany’s Hans-Gunter Winkler in the 1950s to claim world, Olympic and European titles.

Jeroen Dubbeldam is only the second Dutch rider to win the individual title in the 58-year history of the FEI European Jumping Championships.

The previous Dutch winner was Johann Heins who reigned supreme in Vienna, Austria in 1977.

25 horse-and-rider combinations started in the first final round today, but only 5 jumped clear.

22 horse-and-rider combinations started in today’s second round, in which 8 jumped clears.

Quotes:

Jeroen Dubbeldam NED, talking about Zenith’s hesitancy in going into the arena today: “It is not easy for our horses in a place like Aachen. I went in after Meredith (Michaels-Beerbaum, Germany) the other day and the stadium exploded and my horse also exploded too. It happens. We saw this last week with Edward Gal in the Dressage, his horse was upset in the prizegiving and the next day he had the same problems. You can’t ask the crowd to be quiet; I love that (noise of the crowd) but there must be some way to make it easier (to blend) enthusiasm and horsemanship.”

Jeroen Dubbeldam NED: “A group of people bought Zenith for me. I saw him at a young horse show in Hagen and I stayed in touch with the horse and our Dutch fund bought him for me as a seven-year-old.”

Gregory Wathelet BEL: “After the team competition (when Belgium didn’t qualify for the second round), I was really disappointed but I did my best to concentrate and I thought that I could still go on and do something special if I got my chance.”

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Aachen:

Niels Knippertz
Press Officer
nielsknippertz@chioaachen.de
+49 (0) 241 9171 182

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Jeroen Dubbeldam Wins Gold at the FEI European Championships in Aachen

Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) riding SFN Zenith N.O.P. ©Rolex/Kit Houghton.

Now holds World and European titles concurrently

Aachen, Germany, 23 August 2015 – In overcast, mild weather conditions, which were perfect for show jumping, the FEI European Championships closed with one of the finest displays of horsemanship the sport has seen in decades. At the end of five rounds of competition, Jeroen Dubbeldam from the Netherlands, riding SFN Zenith N.O.P. proved that he really is the best in the world when he added the European gold medal to his World Championship title that he won at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in 2014. Jeroen Dubbeldam is now the first rider in 24 years to hold both Individual World and European Jumping titles concurrently.

The 40,000 crowd who packed the seats and standing space around the remarkable Aachen arena on the final day were lucky enough to watch equestrian sports at the highest level. The first round of the Individual final saw five clear rounds from the 25 combinations, which left the final medal placings wide open going into the last stage of the competition. Of the Top Four riders, only Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya had a pole down, which dropped him out of the medal contention. Despite a time fault, France’s Simon Delestre replaced Moya in the bronze medal position and when Gregory Wathelet from Belgium went clear into silver, Jeroen Dubbeldam entered the arena knowing that, although he could afford a time penalty, just one pole down would cost him the European title.

But this is a man who is used to delivering results under intense pressure, and from the moment he cleared the first fence, it was obvious that he was riding with his confidence sky high. He took his time, and accumulated a time fault, but the poles stayed in their cups and when he cleared the final Rolex vertical, a broad smile broke across his face as he raised a clenched fist to acknowledge the loud cheers from the crowd. As if to prove that old adage that consistency is key to winning at Championships, Jeroen Dubbeldam and Zenith were the only combination to not bring down a single pole throughout the five days of competition.

Speaking about his victory, Jeroen Dubbeldam said, “If you go here to Aachen, one of the most difficult places you can have a championship and one of the nicest, then you know it is going to be a tough battle. So many good riders and so many good horses, you can only dream that it comes true – there’s no wisdom for it and you have to be also, of course, a little bit lucky. First of all, everything needs to be, of course, good, you know horses have to be fit and you have to be fit and you have to focus and everything, but in the end you also need a little bit of luck and I had the luck also on my side and this is a dream coming true.”

Acknowledged as the world’s finest equestrian venue, Aachen has staged a highly successful FEI European Championships which attracted over 300 horses and 1,000 competitors who took part in five European competitions including Jumping, Dressage, Reining, Vaulting and Driving. Always a popular venue with equestrian fans, over 369,000 spectators flooded into the showground over the 11 days of intense competition.

Commenting on the venue, Rolex Testimonee Bertram Allen, who was competing at his first FEI European Championships, said, “It’s daunting walking into such an impressive arena! In the morning when you go in to have a look with it empty, the whole place is empty and you can really see it for what it is. Every time you hear of a Championship you know they’re going to be big and every time you hear of Aachen, you know it’s going to be big, so when you put the both of them together you’ve really got a big, big course and a big challenge.”

Rolex Testimonees

Rolex Testimonees Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Kevin Staut and Bertram Allen all qualified for the final day of the Individual competition and, although not in medal contention, enjoyed clear rounds. Meredith and Fibonacci 17 finished in eighth place following a stunning clear in the final round, whilst Kevin Staut and Reveur de Hurtebise HDC enjoyed two clear rounds on the final day, but unfortunate faults accumulated earlier in the week pushed him down into 10th place. Bertram Allen and Molly Malone V had five penalties on the day and finished slightly lower down the placings.

Isabell Werth, riding Don Johnson, who is affectionately known as ‘Johnny’, enjoyed success in the team Dressage competition as Germany claimed the bronze medal and had an excellent fourth place in the Freestyle.

For the full standings, please click: http://results.aachen2015.de/show/7/event/31/championship/individual/standing/.

Quotes:

Gregory Wathelet (BEL)
“I am just really, really happy; it’s all good. My horse jumped amazing and today was again double clear. I have nothing to say – it was just amazing all the week. I knew I had to be clear, otherwise I was out of the podium and I didn’t ride my best one, for sure the last one; I was not smooth enough and relaxed enough, but okay, it’s the final and for sure you have to think about one thing – be clear and not maybe about the style and everything, but at the end, the results are there, because I am second at the European Championship. My first medal at a big championship.”

Simon Delestre (FRA)
“Ryan is just incredible; he’s a fantastic horse; it’s been an amazing week this week and with a double clear today, it was something incredible and it’s fantastic for me.

“It’s a reflection of, I think, the season. Ryan has had an incredible season, all this season – with Classic also – are really in good form. It’s a nice period for me and when you have big confidence in your horse and in yourself, it’s always more easy and today was amazing.”

For more information on the 2015 European Championships, please visit http://www.aachen2015.de/en/.

Rolex and the European Championships

Rolex is a major supporter of the biennial European Championships, an event which brings together Europe’s best equestrian pairs. For the first time, the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this summer (11-23 August) unites five equestrian disciplines – Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. Competitors test their mental strength and show their equine discipline in front of crowds of up to 40,000.

Rolex is proud to support an occasion where the values that the leading luxury watchmaking brand holds dear – courage, precision, empathy, sportsmanship and passion – will be so clearly demonstrated.

Equestrian Champions Dominate National All-Sports Awards Nominations in Year of the Horse

(L to R) Olympic, World and European Dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin (GBR), World Jumping champion and Sydney 2000 Olympic champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), and Para-Equestrian Dressage double world gold medallist Rixt van der Horst (NED) are some of the equestrian athletes nominated for national all-sports awards in 2014. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

Lausanne (SUI), 2 December 2014 – Equestrian champions are taking on athletes across all sports in the Year of the Horse in bids to claim top national sports awards in the Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland.

The Netherlands’ traditional Sport Gala 2014 announced its nominees on Sunday night, with equestrian heroes featuring in four of the six categories. Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin has already claimed one award and is nominated for two others, while Ireland’s teenage sensation Bertram Allen has been nominated for the Irish Independent Young Sports Star of the Year award.

Jeroen Dubbeldam, double gold medallist at the Alltech World Equestrian Games™ 2014 and the Netherlands’ first ever Jumping world title holder, has been nominated for the Best Male Athlete award. The Sydney 2000 Olympic Jumping champion will battle it out against football legend Arjen Robben, world champion in gymnastics Epke Zonderland and four Olympic Winter Games gold medallists in speed skating.

Dubbeldam and his team-mates have also been nominated in the Best Team category. The orange quartet of Dubbeldam, Jur Vrieling, Maikel van der Vleuten and Gerco Schröder claimed gold in Normandy and booked a slot at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and then went on to score a sensational victory at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP) just over five weeks later.

Chef d’equipe Rob Ehrens, responsible for so many “orange-gold” medals, has also been recognised and is nominated in the Best Coach category. The former rider has steered the Dutch Jumping to multiple successes, and also helped the Eventing team secure its qualification for Rio 2016.

Another equestrian hero has been nominated for these famous awards, with Para-Equestrian Dressage athlete Rixt van der Horst, double world champion, featuring in the Best Paralympic Athlete category along with three other nominees. She collected two individual gold medals and a silver team medal in Normandy on her international debut.

Winners in each of the six categories will be selected by a jury of former Olympic athletes, coaches and sports journalists. The Sport Gala 2014 ceremony takes place at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Center on 16 December.

Dubbeldam has another nomination, as the emotional moment when his daughter Nina jumped into his arms crying after seeing her father crowned World Champion is one of 10 selected for the Sport in Beeld award. This television award for the best sporting pictures of the year is chosen by public vote and will be presented at the Sport Gala 2014.

Anky van Grunsven won the Best Female Athlete in 1994 and took the Fanny Blankers Koen all-time achievement award in 2012. The Dutch Jumping team was previously nominated for the Best Team award in 2006.

Dancing with the awards

Dressage star Charlotte Dujardin (GBR), last year’s Reem Acra Best Athlete in the FEI Awards, has already scooped the Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year award for 2014, and is now nominated for two other all-sports awards: the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) and the BT Sport’s Action Woman of the Year award.

The London 2012 double Olympic champion has had an incredible year, winning two individual gold medals and team silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, and the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Lyon (FRA), where Dujardin and her dancing horse Valegro enchanted the public once again.

For the SPOTY award, Dujardin has been shortlisted by a panel of sports specialists and will be taking on an all-star cast of Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1), Gareth Bale (football), Carl Froch (boxing), Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans (skiing), Rory McIlroy (golf), Jo Pavey (athletics), Adam Peaty (swimming), Max Whitlock (gymnastics) and Lizzy Yarnold (skeleton). Nominees will compete for the public vote live on television on 14 December.

Previous equestrian winners of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award are The Princess Royal, Princess Anne (1971), her daughter Zara Phillips 25 years later, and David Broome (1960).

Dujardin has also been nominated for the BT Sport’s Action Woman of the Year Award, where each candidate is supported by someone from the world of sport or entertainment. Dujardin is supported by former England footballer Michael Owen. “My daughter Gemma is a keen dressage rider and Charlotte Dujardin is one of her heroes so we have often watched her compete and for sheer control and movement Charlotte really is as good as it gets,” he said.

The public vote closes today, 2 December, and the winner will be presented with the trophy during a live broadcast on BT Sport on 10 December.

Teen superstar

The 19-year-old Jumping athlete Bertram Allen (IRL), who has been taking the Jumping world by storm with phenomenal successes this year with the mare Molly Malone, was nominated yesterday for the Irish Independent Young Sports Star of the Year award, along with four other nominees.

“Bertram is, unquestionably, the biggest sensation in international jumping right now,” the Irish Independent newspaper said about his nomination. Allen is currently 19th in the Longines Jumping Rankings after a sensational year during which he won the Verona qualifier for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas, as well as victories in the Longines International Grand Prix of Ireland and the Grand Prix in Lummen (BEL). He was also a member of the Irish team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, where he finished seventh individually.

In September, Allen and the seven-year-old mare Barnike became the first combination in history to score back-to-back wins at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses 2014 at Lanaken (BEL).

The Irish Independent Young Sports Star of the Year award winner is chosen by public vote, which closes on 17 December.

Sport Gala 2014 – More information about Sport Awards 2014 here.

SPOTY Awards – More information about SPOTY Awards 2014 here.

BT Sport Action Woman of the Year 2014 – More information about BT Sport’s Award here.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
Email: grania.willis@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 142

Denise Devillaire
Manager Press Relations
Denise.devillaire@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 57

Dubbeldam Makes It Double-Dutch Gold

The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam celebrates victory in the individual Jumping final after receiving the gold medal from IOC Member, Tsunekazu Takeda, Vice-President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Member of the FEI Olympic Council, and FEI President, HRH Princess Haya. (Dirk Caremans/FEI)

Normandy (FRA), 7 September 2014 – Jeroen Dubbeldam made it double-gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy today when adding the individual title to last Thursday’s team victory for The Netherlands. He made his way into this afternoon’s top-four Jumping final thanks to a horse that he admitted was inexperienced at this level of the sport and which clearly surprised him during the week. But the 10-year-old Dutch-bred Zenith lived up to his name when providing his 41-year-old rider with a title he has wanted for a very long time.

“I made a big mistake in the second round at Jerez (ESP) in 2002 with De Sjiem, and I’ve never forgiven myself for that – until now!” Dubbeldam said this evening, relishing his victory over Frenchman Patrice Delaveau, who took silver and America’s Beezie Madden who claimed the bronze. But Delaveau chased Dubbeldam right down to the wire, finishing only a single time fault behind.

For Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson it was a disappointing day as he missed out on the podium. Faulting with his own horse, Casall ASK, in the first rotation of horses he did it again with both Delaveau’s Orient Express and Dubbeldam’s Zenith. However, Madden’s bronze, following silver at Aachen (GER) in 2006, was hard-won when the 50-year-old New Yorker finished just two faults ahead of the Swede after also having a fence down with each of her opponents’ rides.

Eight-fence test

French course designer, Frederic Cottier, set them an eight-fence test that started out over a vertical, moved on to a 1.48m oxer and then to a 1.50m vertical before a right turn brought them back to an oxer standing 1.52m high. It was the following triple combination, an oxer to a double of verticals, that presented the biggest challenge of the day, and then there was a roll-back to a white oxer at fence six before running left-handed down to the final line. The penultimate vertical stood at 1.55m and the final oxer was 1.50m high and 1.60 wide. First into the ring, however, Dubbeldam threw down a perfect clear with his own horse that put it up to the rest of them.

Bengtsson looked vulnerable from the outset when hitting the middle element of the triple combination with his own stallion, Casall ASK, especially when both Madden and Delaveau followed with clears. And the Swedish rider’s chances took another blow when, partnering Dubbeldam’s Zenith, he repeated the mistake at exactly the same spot and also added two time faults.

Madden and Casall ASK left the final element of the combination on the floor and when the American rider faulted again at the combination with Zenith, it was already turning into a tussle for gold between the French and Dutch men.

Delaveau would live to regret the single time penalty he collected with Bengtsson’s stallion when Dubbeldam once again kept a clean sheet, this time with Madden’s Cortes C. The French rider piled the pressure on his Dutch opponent when bringing Zenith home without incident, but Dubbeldam never flinched, clinching it with a lovely clear from the 15-year-old Casall ASK, who looked like he might be tiring at the start of the day, but who seemed to warm to the novelty of new hands on the reins to finish fresh as a daisy.

Applause of the crowd

One of the memorable moments of these championships will be the sight of Casall ASK looking totally relaxed while Dubbeldam wandered around the arena to take the applause of the crowd. The French supporters really wanted their own man to win, but they didn’t hold back in celebrating with this new, true champion.

Delaveau was understandably disappointed that he couldn’t deliver the gold on home ground, and the 49-year-old rider, who won European bronze at Aachen in 1986 and team silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Kentucky, said: “That will stay in my head for a very long time. I wasted a bit of time on the approach to the second-last fence and then I added a stride to the last and took too long to get to the finish. I realised what I had done when it was too late,” he admitted.

Losing out by just a single time fault was a painful experience. “I was beaten by only a fraction of a second and that’s hard to swallow, but it was good for the horses that they didn’t have to jump off, and Jeroen really was the best today,” he said, sportingly paying tribute to the newly-crowned champion.

Skill

Course designer Frederic Cottier also complimented Dubbeldam for the skill he showed today. “I wanted this championship to be different to the last two at Aachen and Kentucky where it came down to a jump-off,” he said. “I wanted the competition to be more complex. I didn’t want a jump-off and I succeeded in that. The fact that all four horses jumped so well and that even the oldest one, who is 15, was still in great shape today is proof of the success of the courses during the week. And special congratulations to Jeroen, who was under such pressure today; he really is a tremendous champion!”

Dubbeldam admitted that he did indeed feel the tension. “Yes I must say the pressure was pretty high! My own horse put me under this pressure because he jumped a clear round with Patrice, but I must say in that round, with my horse in it, I was really happy he did a clear round, because this horse brought me so much this week and he really deserved to finish this tournament with a clear round. I’m very happy that his last round in this stadium was clear; I’m very proud of him.”

The man whose sparkling career really took off when he won individual gold at the FEI European Young Riders Championship at Millstreet in Ireland in 1994 with a horse called Killarney has since added individual Olympic gold at the 2000 Olympic Games at Sydney, Australia and team gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Aachen, Germany eight years ago. It has taken him some time to find a horse of the calibre of Zenith to take the place that he held in his heart for his Olympic ride De Sjiem.

Fund

“I saw him (Zenith) at a show in Germany for seven and eight-year-old horses,” he said. “I knew the fund in Holland was looking for a horse for me and he was already owned by a Dutch owner so that maybe he might be one for them to buy for me. I proposed it and tried the horse for two weeks. I felt he had a lot of quality and scope although he was quite green and there was a lot of work to do. But we don’t mind hard work and the horse now shows what I felt back then!” said the proud Dutchman.

Zenith is owned by the Dutch syndicate Springpaarden Fonds Nederlands, the brain-child of Dutch photographer Jacob Melissen, which purchases horses for the best Dutch riders. And 25 of Zenith’s 80 owners were in the stadium this afternoon watching their investment pay off handsomely as the horse helped bring in the gold. The syndicate, whose President is Gerrit-Jan Swinkels, also owned Utascha which competed at a previous FEI World Equestrian Games™, so the concept is clearly a very successful one.

Dubbeldam said he really enjoyed himself today. Riders only had three minutes in which to familiarise themselves with their rivals’ mounts, but they showed a lifetime of experience and wonderful horsemanship as the competition played itself out.

“With all three horses I had a fantastic feeling, totally different, but all felt they wanted to jump the fences clear. Three minutes isn’t long enough to change any horse, so what I did was try to find their strongest points and then bring those forward. Luckily I found the strong points of all three horses and they gave me wonderful clear rounds. I did enjoy it; I really felt three amazing horses under me; it’s great to be world champion but I also enjoyed riding such great horses! It’s been a great day!”

Full results and startlists at www.normandy2014.com.

Facts and Figures:

Jeroen Dubbeldam became the first Dutch rider ever to take the individual world championship title today.

Dubbeldam was the only one of the four contestants in the Final to complete on a zero score.

It was double-gold for the Dutchman, who was also a member of the gold medal winning team last Thursday.

Silver medal went to Patrice Delaveau from France who finished with just a single time fault.

Bronze went to America’s Beezie Madden, who collected 12 faults.

The course for today’s final consisted of 8 fences, and the bogey was the triple combination – one element of which hit the floor on five occasions.

The time-allowed was 64 seconds and silver medallist Patrice Delaveau was the only competitor to pick up a time fault.

Riders competed with their own horses first and then rode each other’s horses.

Just one horse produced clear rounds for all four riders – Beezie Madden’s Cortes C.

Quotes:

Jeroen Dubbeldam NED, talking about riding Beezie Madden’s horse Cortes C and Rolf-Goran Bengtsson’s Casall ASK: “I thought if you look at Beezie’s horse, he’s not so elastic, but when I sat on him he has so much more blood he surprised me! I was afraid Casall would be tired and empty; he’s a stallion and you need to motivate them. But when I felt the two jumps in the collecting ring, he was elastic; I felt more blood than I expected and he gave me a really good feeling.”

Jeroen Dubbeldam NED, talking about watching other riders jumping his horse, Zenith: “It was very interesting actually and I think he coped very well with them. With Rolf and Beezie he had the same fault, coming out of the triple combination, which is maybe a fault of not experienced enough horse. He’s very sensitive; he doesn’t like to have too much pressure on him and maybe after those two, Patrice saw that that was the right thing to do, so I think he rode him beautifully.”

Beezie Madden USA, talking about riding Casall ASK: “He felt a bit cold but he was beautiful to ride. I might have over-reacted when I saw him with Rolf. Patrice’s horse I loved. He really wants to do his job.”

Beezie Madden USA: “I’m so proud of my horse. I always knew he was a championship horse and he proved it here this week. (About battling for the bronze) When I started my final round I had a rail and a time fault in hand but once I had the rail in the triple down I was under a bit of pressure. But these were all lovely horses to ride and I had confidence I could be clear from there.”

By Louise Parkes

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) on 23 August – 7 September brings together close to 1,000 riders and 1,000 horses from 74 nations for 15 days of world-class competition in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

For more information, see: www.normandy2014.com.

History Hub

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ are held every four years in the middle of the Olympic and Paralympic cycle. They were first hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990 and have since been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010.

Visit the FEI History Hub here.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 Organising Committee:

Amélie Patrux
Press Officer
presse@normandie2014.com

Jeroen Dubbeldam Crowned New World Champion by Less Than 0.5 Seconds

Photo: ROLEX/Kit Houghton.

In sport, time is often the difference between victory and defeat, and in a display of supreme individual horsemanship, the Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam today sealed a growing reputation within the sport of Show Jumping by claiming the Individual World Champion title at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy by less than half a second, the equivalent of a horse’s stride.

Going into the Final Four competition at the Stade d’Ornano in Caen on the last day of the Games, Dubbeldam was undoubtedly favourite in many impartial observers’ eyes, but Patrice Delaveau had the majority of the 20,000 crowd behind him, and many asked whether this home advantage would power the Frenchman to the title.

Unique within the sport, the Final Four competition format places the emphasis on the rider’s ability to connect within a three minute time allowance, with a horse which they have never ridden before, and then attempt to go clear over the 10 obstacles, which included a treble. It became a competition of nail-biting intensity, and the atmosphere within the stadium buzzed incessantly. The crowd was magnificent, expectant before the riders entered the stadium, but complete quiet as soon as the riders started jumping, the silence broken only by a collective intake of breath when a pole was rattled, and a huge sigh of relief as it stayed up.

Each rider initially rode his/her own horse, with only Rolf-Göran Bengtsson knocking one pole down in the treble combination, and then the first change took place. Only Dubbeldam and Delaveau, riding Cortes ‘C’ and Orient Express HDC, respectively, went clear at this stage. But it was in the third stage of jumping that Dubbeldam was shown a possible route to the Gold Medal. Delaveau riding Casall ASK went clear but was agonisingly 0.43 seconds over the allocated time, and therefore accumulated a 1 point time fault. The spotlight returned to Dubbeldam, but the cool Dutchman, riding Cortes ‘C’ this time, held his nerve and rode his third clear round. With Beezie Madden and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson both accumulating further penalty points, and thereby effectively relegating themselves to 3rd and 4th place, the final stage would be a straight shoot-out between Delaveau and Dubbeldam.

Delaveau entered the ring first on Zenith SFN and rode superbly to go clear, and was immediately followed by Dubbeldam, riding Casall ASK. Knowing that only a clear round would win him the title, the unruffled Dutchman showed once again why he is one of the coolest customers on the circuit, with his fourth clear round winning him the individual World Championship title.

Following his victory, Jeroen Dubbeldam said, “I have had an incredible week; I was already very happy with my Team Gold Medal and I did not think I had a good chance for the Individual as I thought my horse would be too inexperienced to do it the whole week for me, but he did it; he brought me into this Top Four and I’m really, really proud of him.”

Final Result from the Individual Show Jumping Competition:

Gold Medal: Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED)
Silver Medal: Patrice Delaveau (FRA)
Bronze Medal: Beezie Madden (USA)

Rolex Testimonees at The Games

Whilst individual success may have eluded them, many of the Rolex Testimonees competing at the Games made major contributions as part of a team and came away with medals. Germany’s Isabell Werth won Team Gold in Dressage riding Bella Rose 2, Zara Phillips and High Kingdom had superb clear rounds in the Eventing’s cross-country and show jumping disciplines to help Great Britain win Team Silver in Eventing, and Kevin Staut riding Reveur de Hurtebise HDC, a Silver in Show Jumping with France.

Hugely Successful Games for France and the Sport

This has been the most successful World Equestrian Games ever staged, with the number of countries competing up by 25% compared with 2010 and television audiences peaking at over 500 million viewers, a sure sign that equestrian sport continues to grow at unprecedented levels on the global stage.

Rider Quotes:

Beezie Madden (USA):
I’m very happy to come out with a medal and I thought it was really exciting sport and the horses were lovely to ride, and I’m very happy that my horse was clear every time. I do get a little nervous riding strange horses; I like to work with a horse for a while, but these are all such nice horses and they are well schooled and they have had a good week and are confident going into today so it ended up being fun.

Patrice Delaveau (FRA):
I am a little disappointed about the result, especially as it was such a small margin, and that is hard to swallow, but it is good for the horses that we did not have to have a jump-off, and Jeroen really was the best rider out there today. I have the course very clearly in my head, and it will probably stay there for a while; on the penultimate fence I wasted a little bit of time, but on the final fence I took one extra stride and that is where I lost the time.

For more information on the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and full results, please visit www.normandy2014.com.

Rolex and the World Equestrian Games

Rolex’s association with the World Equestrian Games began in 2002 in Jerez, Spain and the brand is at the forefront of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which takes place between 23 August and 7 September in Caen, France where a record 74 nations intend to take part.

The exceptional bond between Rolex and the World Equestrian Games has no doubt been instrumental in attracting 12 new countries to make their debut this year; a glorious achievement in the development of the sport on a global scale. Across the 15 days, approximately 1,200 media will follow 1,000 competitors as they compete across eight official disciplines including the Olympic sports of Show Jumping, Dressage and Eventing in front of over 500,000 spectators.

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
team@revolutionsports.co.uk
www.revolutionsports.co.uk

Bengtsson, Delaveau, Dubbeldam and Madden Qualify for Top-Four Jumping Final

Patrice Delaveau and Orient Express HDC will fly the French flag in tomorrow’s much-anticipated Top-Four Jumping Final at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy. (Dirk Caremans/FEI)

Normandy (FRA), 6 September 2014 – The battle for a place in the top-four Jumping final at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 produced superb sport today, and with the host nation’s Patrice Delaveau making the cut, the noise, excitement and tension in the Stade D’Ornano at Caen is set to reach fever-pitch tomorrow afternoon.

The Frenchman will be joined by America’s Beezie Madden, Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam in the closing stages of what has been one of the most exciting world championships of all time.

There were several high-profile withdrawals before today’s penultimate competition began, including Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, who was lying 10th with Codex One, Canada’s Yann Candele, in 22nd place with Showgirl, and America’s Kent Farrington, who was holding 27th position with Voyeur.

A total of 29 horse-and-rider combinations lined out, and French course designer, Frederic Cottier, presented two superb tracks that brought the cream to the very top.

A significant role

Only eight horse-and-rider combinations jumped clear over the 12-fence first-round track, in which the triple combination at fence eight, the massive oxer at fence 10, the following vertical at 11 and final oxer at 12 all played a significant role.

There were three countries represented by three riders – Ireland, The Netherlands and France – as the day began, and the vociferous home supporters were devastated when Penelope Leprevost was eliminated for parting company with Flora di Mariposa at the open water at fence six.

Lying in seventh place as the competition began, Leprevost was looking good until her mare landed in the water, stumbled and pitched her out of the saddle to bring her world championships to a close. But the 34-year-old rider still goes home with a team silver medal in her pocket after great performances earlier in the week.

There were clears from Olympic champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland (Nino des Buissonnets), Ireland’s Darragh Kenny (Imothep), Qatar’s Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani (Vienna Olympic), America’s McLain Ward (Rothchild) and The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam (Zenith SFN) before the top 10 took their turn. But only three of the leading 10 managed to keep a clean sheet which led to a new-look leaderboard at the start of the second round.

Brazil’s Marlon Zanotelli (AD Clouwni) and Dutchman Gerco Schroder (Glock’s London) disappeared from the reckoning with eight and 12 faults apiece, but Germany’s Daniel Deusser kept himself well in the game when clear with his Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014 winning partner Cornet D’Amour. In overnight sixth, Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet and Conrad de Hus disappeared from the reckoning with 15 faults, while Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa picked up five with Status, who put a foot in the water and fell afoul of the 86-seconds time allowed.

Thrilling run

Delaveau and Orient Express followed with one of their typically heart-stopping rounds during which the stallion broke into a trot when checked between the open water and the following oxer and then survived a thrilling run through the triple combination. Denmark’s Soren Pedersen, lying third, plummeted down the leaderboard when leaving three fences on the floor with Tailormade Esperanza de Rebel but, second-last to go, Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson produced a fabulous clear.

Last in the first round, America’s Beezie Madden and Cortes C hit the oxer after the roll-back at fence five. But as leaders going into the day, that only brought their tally to 4.16 and left them well in the chase as round two got underway.

The new course had just 10 fences, but the oxer at fence four and the triple-combination at nine weeded more of them out.

Bengtsson, Delaveau, Madden, and Deusser held the top four spots as it began, and clears from McLain Ward, now lying sixth, and from Dubbeldam in fifth piled the pressure on the leading pack.

When Deusser’s grey gelding hit the vertical three from home it opened a top-four spot for the Dutchman, and when Madden and Delaveau once again kept a clean sheet they were through too. But Swedish hearts were racing when Bengtsson’s stallion hit the oxer at four. He had a fence in hand as the day started, and any further mistakes would prove disastrous.

“My fault wasn’t just a little touch; it was a proper fault,” he said afterwards. “I’m not sure why he jumped so funny at that one. There was a lot going on in my head going down to the next oxer; I wondered if he would be in doubt again but he was fine.”

Much anticipated finale

Four veterans of the sport go through to tomorrow’s much anticipated finale, with three experienced super-star horses and Dubbeldam’s newcomer, Zenith SFN, who has proven his world-class ability this week.

The Dutchman, who was Olympic champion in Sydney 2000 and a member of the gold medal winning Dutch team on Thursday, admitted he is somewhat surprised to find himself challenging for the individual world title on a horse that is comparatively green.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, he commented tonight: “It’s a big surprise for me. My horse is really inexperienced at this level. Last winter he competing at 3 and 4-Stars and then he started 5-Stars this summer.” However, he has faith in the 10-year-old which he has had for some time. “Although he is inexperienced, he is cool and uncomplicated, and very fit. That might be an advantage for the other riders tomorrow because he hasn’t jumped as much as their horses – we will see.”

There is huge pressure on Delaveau, who is competing not only in front of his home crowd but also his neighbours, family and friends. “My home is just 40 kilometres from Caen,” he said. “I’m very happy and my horse today was very good; he didn’t touch a pole. I’m feeling relieved, as for me it was especially important today. There was pressure for my region, for my Federation and for my country.”

When asked how he handled the pressure today, Dubbeldam replied: “I didn’t feel under any pressure at all! No I’m joking; the pressure was very high. I was in 12th position at the start so I was hoping for some faults from the other riders so I could move up. I know that’s not a nice thing to do but I did it, and I jumped double-clear and it put me in!” he said, adding, “I’m really looking forward to riding all those super-star horses tomorrow. I hope we will see a lot of great horsemanship from all four riders – and may the best rider win!”

When asked how they will prepare for the final test in which they will all ride each other’s horses and start on a zero score, Delaveau was first of the four to reply. “For me it’s a secret and it is my secret and I don’t reveal it to anyone!” he said with a laugh. Madden and Bengtsson said they will probably watch a few videos of their rivals’ horses tonight but both agreed they know the oppositions’ rides very well.

Dubbeldam was more stoic, however. “I’ve been thinking every night about it, so I don’t want to think about it anymore! Tonight I will have a good French steak and we will see what happens tomorrow!”

Full results and startlists at www.normandy2014.com.

Facts and Figures:

29 horse-and-rider combinations lined out in today’s penultimate competition in the Jumping championship at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014.

Leading riders that withdrew before today’s competition included Germany’s Christian Ahlmann who was lying 10th with Codex One, Canada’s Yann Candele who was in 22nd place and America’s Kent Farrington who was holding 27th position.

Today’s startlist included three horse-and-rider partnerships from France, Ireland and The Netherlands, and two each from Brazil, Denmark, Sweden and Denmark.

Only 8 jumped clear in the first round.

There was one elimination when Penelope Leprevost, lying close to the leaders in seventh place with Flora de Mariposa, fell when the mare landed in the water, stumbled and pitched her out of the saddle.

21 horse-and-rider combinations returned for the second round.

9 jumped clear in round 2.

The Top-Four finalists are Patrice Delaveau (FRA), Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE), Beezie Madden (USA) and Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED).

France has taken the title once before when Eric Navet and Quito de Baussy came out on top at the first FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Stockholm, Sweden in 1990.

American finalist, Beezie Madden, was silver medallist at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Aachen, Germany.

No American or Dutch rider has ever won world championship individual gold.

If Beezie Madden takes the 2014 title she will be only the second lady rider to do so in the 61-year history of the Jumping world championship.

The last lady champion was Canada’s Gail Greenough who rode Mr T to gold at Aachen in 1986.

Quotes:

Jeroen Dubbeldam NED, talking about the challenge of tomorrow’s top-four final and the difficulty of riding strange horses: “It is a lot of jumping for the horses but they are well trained and top fit otherwise they would not have made it this far. When you come to a world championship, if you don’t want to ride other horses, then you shouldn’t have come here!”

Beezie Madden USA: “It’ll be an exciting day tomorrow for sure. You have to stay level-headed and hope the horses do as well, because a lot of the excitement is that they are in the ring, and they have to be able to handle that. Some of the horses get excited by that; there’s a lot of other factors out there tomorrow – a little fatigue, horses jumping the same course four times, sometimes they get a little bored.”

Jeroen Dubbeldam NED: “I’m looking forward to riding all three of the other horses and it would be a nice thing if all four riders go clear tomorrow and we have an extra jump-off and become world champion riding your own horse! That would be the nicest thing!”

Frederic Cottier, Course Designer: “It’s not by chance that we have these four great riders in the final. To get four outstanding riders and champions from 160 pairs – the sport spoke today. You asked about pressure: most sports are about pressure. I designed today’s course in the same spirit as all the others during the week so that it was comfortable for the horses but difficult for the riders. I designed it in a way that the riders again had the freedom of choice. Respect for the horses comes first and then the sport speaks for itself. But it’s just like a piece of theatre – you only get one shot! We are all looking forward to the final four, the draw will have an impact, and the fatigue of the horses, but we have talented and experienced riders – for me, my job is almost done.”

By Louise Parkes

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) on 23 August – 7 September brings together close to 1,000 riders and 1,000 horses from 74 nations for 15 days of world-class competition in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

For more information, see: www.normandy2014.com.

History Hub

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ are held every four years in the middle of the Olympic and Paralympic cycle. They were first hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990 and have since been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010.

Visit the FEI History Hub here.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 Organising Committee:

Amélie Patrux
Press Officer
presse@normandie2014.com