Tag Archives: Martin Fuchs

Who to Look Out For at the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters 2021

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

The CSIO 5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ returns from 8-12 September 2021, and will play host to the second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of the year: the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, which will be staged in the impressive International Arena on the final day of the competition.

After winning the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in April – and in doing so becoming the live contender – Austrian Max Kühner has confirmed his attendance, alongside a stellar list of competitors, including five out of the current top 20-ranked riders in the world, and five Rolex Testimonees. As ever, the five-day competition promises to be a truly international affair, with 15 nations represented, with the hosts welcoming no fewer than 42 of its very own home-grown athletes.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Rider Watch

Current world number three Martin Fuchs travels to Calgary brimming with confidence, following Switzerland’s win in the team jumping competition at the European Championships, which he and his gelding, Leone Jei, played a crucial role in. The 29-year-old will be accompanied at Spruce Meadows by his talented 10-year-old gelding, Conner Jei, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at the Jumping International de Dinard.

British rider Scott Brash returns to Spruce Meadows, where he was crowned the first ever Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping champion in 2015 with his legendary gelding, Hello Sanctos. The current world number four brings Hello Vincent to Calgary, with whom he finished a very credible fourth in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique in June.

Fuchs’ compatriot and the current world number 10-ranked rider, Steve Guerdat, has also added the Team European champion accolade to his impressive list of titles. The three-time World Cup champion (2015, 2016, 2019) will compete at Spruce Meadows with his dependable 12-year-old gelding, Venard De Cerisy, who he took to this year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where the duo finished fifth in the Team competition.

Rio 2016 Olympic Team silver medallist Kent Farrington leads the charge of athletes from the United States, and in a clear demonstration of intent, brings seven horses with him to Spruce Meadows. Of note, the current world number 13 will compete with his 15-year-old mare, Gazelle, 14-year-old gelding, Creedance, and nine-year-old hot prospect, Orafina.

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Takes Centre Stage for 2nd Leg of Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday 7 September 2021 – The prestigious showgrounds of Spruce Meadows in Canada will once again welcome the world’s top horse and rider combinations for the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex. The esteemed 5* competition, which forms part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, will take place on Sunday 12 September 2021, providing a spectacular finale to the five-day CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament.

Staged in the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, the event is widely regarded as the leading equestrian event in North America. Rolex’s affiliation with Spruce Meadows dates back to 1989 and is part of its long-standing support for the sport. For more than six decades, the brand has forged close relationships with elite international events and athletes who share its commitment to perpetual excellence.

Launched in 2013, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the most coveted prize in equestrianism, rewarding the rider who wins the Grand Prix at three of the four Majors in succession. To date, Scotland’s Scott Brash is the only competitor to achieve the feat, having done so in 2014-2015 with Hello Sanctos.

To aspire to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping requires a unique harmony between horse and rider, a special bond crafted over years with infinite patience, care, and expertise. Once trust and communication have been established, a pairing can push the boundaries and confront all obstacles placed before them. The bar is almost impossibly high, which is why only the finest riders keep rising to it.

The CP ‘International’ is the Grand Slam’s second Grand Prix of 2021. Max Kühner will head to the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament as the Rolex Grand Slam live contender following his victory at The Dutch Masters in April.

As the winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in 2019, World No. 3 and recent European Championship team gold and individual silver medallist Martin Fuchs travels to Canada with the opportunity to claim a bonus for winning two of the past four Rolex Grand Slam events. He will be joined by compatriot Steve Guerdat, who will be looking to add this title to his long list of honours, which includes individual gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Rolex Grand Prix victories at CHI Geneva and CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Scott Brash, the current World No. 4, is a two-time Grand Prix winner at this venue, including in 2015 when he completed the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. He will return full of confidence following excellent recent results, including a victory in the Netherlands on the eve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where he finished equal seventh in the individual jumping competition.

Canada’s Eric Lamaze will also be seeking his third Grand Prix title, at an event where he has enjoyed so much success, and Kent Farrington will join in taking on the testing course designed by Leopoldo Palacios. Farrington heads to the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in top form following a successful week at the CSI Spruce Meadows ‘National’, culminating in victory in the RBC Grand Prix of Canada with his exceptional 15-year-old mare, Gazelle.

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0) 22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0) 7748 186 833

Summer Rolex Grands Prix Season Results

Jessica Springsteen rocks the Rolex Grand Prix presented by Audi at the Brussels Stephex Masters (Photo: Sportfot)

The period between 2021’s first two Rolex Grand Slam Majors – The Dutch Masters in April and the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in September – played host to no fewer than five top-class show jumping events, each featuring a prestigious Rolex Grand Prix as the pinnacle class of the show, which attracted the world’s very best riders and horses.

The 1m60 Rolex Grand Prix presented by Audi concluded five days of entertaining jumping from 23-27 June at Knokke Hippique in the north-west of Belgium. After nine riders progressed to the jump-off, local hero and Tokyo 2020 Team bronze medallist, Jérôme Guery, and his bay stallion, Quel Homme de Hus, proved far too strong for the rest of the field, finishing over six seconds ahead of second-placed riser and Rolex Testimonee, Kevin Staut.

Royal Windsor Horse Show’s crowd in the iconic Castle Arena in the shadow of Windsor Castle witnessed a dominant display of horsemanship on 4 July, after another local hero, Ben Maher, and his extraordinarily talented stallion, Explosion W, took the honours in the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix ahead of Swiss Rolex Testimonee, Steve Guerdat. The Briton’s next stop would be Tokyo 2020, where he and his dependable equine partner were eventually crowned Individual Olympic champions.

Rolex was warmly welcomed to The Masters of Chantilly, as the show’s Official Sponsor, Official Timepiece, and Title Sponsor of the Grand Prix. Staged on the manicured lawns of the Hippodrome de Chantilly from 6-11 July, it was Nicolas Delmotte, who brilliantly continued the local hero theme. The Frenchman and his gelding, Urvoso du Roch, triumphed by just 0.36 seconds over Swiss Martin Fuchs, yet another Rolex Testimonee who had to settle for second place.

Brittany’s Emerald Coast provided an exquisitely picturesque location for the Jumping International de Dinard as spectators were welcomed back in the tribunes from 15-18 July, where Fuchs superbly made amends for his Chantilly disappointment. Paired this time with his gelding Connor 70, the current Individual world champion pipped Ireland’s Denis Lynch to top spot in the show’s finale, the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix de Dinard.

The Brussels Stephex Masters 2021 climaxed on Sunday 29 August with its showpiece class: the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix presented by Rolex. After nine combinations progressed to the jump-off, after navigating the 13-obstacle, Uliano Vezzani-designed course fault-free, it was the USA’s Jessica Springsteen and her 14-year-old mare, Rmf Zecilie who prevailed by a tenth of a second over Germany’s Daniel Deusser, with Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca slotting into third place over a second further back.

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Exclusive Interview with Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender Martin Fuchs

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

What are your plans for 2021 and what would you like to achieve?

Well, obviously the biggest goal for 2021 is the Olympic Games in Tokyo. That is my number one target; I dream about getting a medal at the Olympic Games. Another main focus for me is the Rolex Grand Slam, especially for me, as I’m currently the Live Contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. In any normal year, the four Majors are the most important shows, but being the Live Contender gives an extra edge to it.

You won the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in 2019, which makes you the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender. Does this give you extra motivation to win the Rolex Grand Prix at this year’s The Dutch Masters?

Being the Live Contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is very exciting. I do try to look at it like any other show, as every time I bring Clooney to the big classes, I try to win, and at any Major that I go to, I’m always trying to be at the top of my game. So, I’m trying to approach it like any other competition, although it does cross my mind every now and then that this could be a really big achievement to win two in a row.

What have you learnt over the course of the last year (about yourself and generally), and what positives will you take?

I’ve learnt that I can be happy and enjoy other things, rather than just horses, that I don’t have to be at horse shows every week. I’ve liked spending time with friends and family; of course, I’ve done that before, but it’s usually been done on the road. I’ve appreciated having some down time and not constantly traveling.

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Martin Fuchs Travels to Dutch Masters as Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender

Geneva, Switzerland, 9 March 2020 – The world’s top show jumpers will gather at The Dutch Masters, the largest indoor show in The Netherlands from 12-15 March, to contest the first Major of 2020 in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. The Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday 15 March is the highlight of this four-day show and will provide a thrilling finale to this prestigious event.

For more than 60 years, Rolex has been a committed partner of equestrianism, dating back to 1957 when pioneering British show jumper Pat Smythe became the sport’s first Testimonee. As part of its quest for perpetual excellence, Rolex partners with individuals and organizations from the world of equestrianism who set the highest standards of performance. The Dutch Masters, with its rich equestrian history dating back to 1967, upholds these values and the pursuit of such ideals.

With over 60,000 spectators expected to attend The Dutch Masters over the four days, an electric atmosphere will welcome the world’s best show jumping combinations. Requiring an immense test of character and courage, each partnership will be required to display the highest level of precision and skill to tackle the Rolex Grand Prix.

ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF SHOW JUMPING LIVE CONTENDER

Following his victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at the 2019 Concours Hippique International de Genève (CHIG), Rolex Testimonee and current European champion, Martin Fuchs, said, “Competing at The Dutch Masters for the first time is even more special as I am going there as the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender. The chance to emulate Scott Brash’s historic achievement would be a dream come true and I hope to get one step closer to this goal at The Dutch Masters.”

THE ROLEX FAMILY OF TESTIMONEES

Rolex has an affinity with human achievement that dates back to the origins of the company, and supports equestrian sport in its quest to unite and inspire. Joining Fuchs at The Dutch Masters are several legends of equestrianism and fellow members of the Rolex family of Testimonees, whose achievements have inspired today’s rising stars.

These inspirational riders include World No. 1 Steve Guerdat, winner of multiple elite titles, who will be determined to add this to his list of achievements in an already glittering career. The United States’ Kent Farrington will also be looking to extend his rich run of form from 2019 when he won the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen and the Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final at the CHIG.

Home favourite and highly decorated show jumper, Jeroen Dubbeldam, will be hoping to achieve success in front of an enthusiastic crowd. However, challenging competition awaits the Dutch rider from his fellow Rolex Testimonees, including France’s Kevin Staut, a two time Grand Prix winner at this Major (2010 and 2014) and Great Britain’s Scott Brash, the only rider to complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping when he won three consecutive Majors in 2014-2015 with his champion horse, Hello Sanctos.

In addition to witnessing the world’s elite show jumpers do battle, spectators will see in action the world’s most decorated dressage rider, Rolex Testimonee Isabell Werth. The record holder for the most Olympic medals in equestrian has had great success in ’s-Hertogenbosch, winning the Grand Prix Freestyle three times (2007, 2009, and 2018).

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0) 22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0) 7748 186 833

Martin Fuchs Flies to Win in $137,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 7

Martin Fuchs and Stalando 2. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 20, 2020 – Swiss rider Martin Fuchs showed why he is ranked number two in the world with a win aboard Stalando 2 in Thursday’s $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 CSI5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Fuchs and Stalando 2 were one of 49 entries to contest Thursday’s featured class, and the duo was one of 13 combinations to jump the first-round track without fault to qualify for Spain’s Santiago Varela-designed short course.

When Fuchs entered the ring as the penultimate rider, the time to beat had been set at 40.75 seconds by Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC.

With his spot in the order on his side and with strides left out throughout the course aboard Stalando 2, Fuchs shot straight to the top of the leaderboard with a double-clear time of 40.69 seconds.

“I watched all the riders before me,” said Fuchs. “I planned to do a stride fewer from one to two, which I did, and then also through the double, I saw Daniel Bluman leave out a stride. I tried to do the same as he did. Everything worked out very well. To the last fence, I pulled once and it scared me a bit that I wouldn’t have the time! I’m very happy with this.”

John French Pilots Babylon to Top Honors in Pre-Green 3- and 4-Year-Old Hunters

The Rost Ring began on Thursday morning of week seven with the Pre-Green 3- and 4-Year-Old Hunter division. John French rode Babylon to the championship after winning three blue ribbons in the division.

Babylon arrived in the United States from Europe in December, and French began riding and working with the horse in January. The four-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Crumbie x Die Cera) is owned by Kent Farrington LLC. French, of San Juan Bautista, CA, has shown Babylon three times this year, and the duo has been champion every time.

“He has a great expression and is so careful up front. With all of his flash the judges are just drawn to him,” French commented. “I can just tell that one day he is going to be a famous junior or amateur-owner hunter.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Exclusive Interview with Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender Martin Fuchs

Martin Fuchs (Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

The Rolex Grand Prix win at CHI Geneva was obviously very emotional for you; can you talk about what that win meant for you, especially in front of your home crowd?

Geneva has always been a good show for me. I’ve never been close to winning the Rolex Grand Prix there though, so when I qualified for the jump-off, I was very excited. Clooney was in great shape and I knew the jump-off would suit us both. I kept focused and tried to go as fast as I could whilst sticking to my plan. It was then hard for me to watch the others go and I was quite sure that what I’d done wasn’t enough and one of the best riders would beat me. When Darragh Kenny, who was the last rider in the ring, had a pole down, I realized I’d won. It was an incredible moment, made even more special winning in front of my home crowd, my family, and my friends.

Looking ahead to The Dutch Masters, which has a much smaller arena, does that change your preparations at all?

Our preparation doesn’t change at all. Clooney is very good in the smaller arenas, so in a way it’s better for him. I’m excited as this will be my first time at The Dutch Masters; we will be competing at a 2-Star event with Clooney also in Holland a few weeks prior to The Dutch Masters in order to be as prepared as possible.

Clooney 51 is a superstar horse; how did your journey start and how have you grown together?

We bought Clooney through one of my best friends, when he was seven years old. In the beginning, he was a bit difficult, but he’s always been a great horse to ride. When he was eight years old, I realized that he could be a special horse, as he’d often placed in big Grands Prix. As a nine-year-old he placed second in a 5* Grand Prix in Doha. To become the team we are today, we’ve worked very hard on our dressage and his confidence. I try my best to keep him happy and give him the confidence he needs to perform, then in the ring he normally doesn’t let me down.

What do you think are the qualities he naturally has that make him so special?

Clooney is very careful and clever at the fences; he’s very aware of his surroundings and always knows where the poles are. He’s a very intelligent jumper, with his own style; he doesn’t over-jump and never runs through the fences.

Do you plan on taking Clooney to The Dutch Masters?

I will definitely be taking Clooney; we’ve been training hard and preparing, so we have a good chance to do well.

You have achieved so much already but what are your next dreams and ambitions, what do you want to achieve?

I was ecstatic to become world number one; it was obviously a huge success and a dream come true for me, especially considering I’m still quite young. The Rolex Grand Prix victory in Geneva was the best possible outcome for me, which makes me a live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam. My main goals for this year are the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping and of course the Olympics in Tokyo, which I’m incredibly excited for.

The Rolex Grand Prix win at CHI Geneva was obviously very emotional for you; can you talk about what that win meant for you, especially in front of your home crowd?

Looking even further ahead to CHIO Aachen, again another completely different arena, does Clooney grow in an arena like Aachen? How does it affect him?

Clooney can be a little spooked in the big grass arenas, which makes things a little bit more difficult. Aachen is over the course of a whole week, which gives me the chance to get Clooney in the ring a couple of times before the Grand Prix, which will help us be more prepared. Last year he jumped really well and had clear rounds; however, during the second round I didn’t ride so well, but ultimately, I’m looking forward to bringing him back to the show.

Scott Brash won Rolex Grand Slam with Hello Sanctos; do you think Clooney could be a potential horse that could emulate their success?

I have complete faith in Clooney. I know he can win in any arena in the world, in any class. This gives me a lot of confidence, but I’ve not even dreamed about winning the Rolex Grand Slam because it’s so difficult. Anyone involved in our sport knows what Scott Brash has achieved is incredible and the odds of it happening again are so low. Of course, Clooney and I will try our best but who knows what the future holds?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I don’t think I’ve had a standout piece of advice given to me. I’ve learnt a lot of important values from a variety of people; the most important things I believe are to work hard, be dedicated, try to understand your horse, and do your best every day.

When you’re not riding and competing, what are you doing? Do you have any hobbies outside of showjumping?

I’m quite laid back, so when I’m not competing, I like to go for long walks on the beach by the water, but sometimes I also go into the city. I try to relax as much as possible when I’m not training or competing. I think that’s important if you want to do well.

© 2020 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Martin Fuchs Records a 1-2 on the Derby Field in Week Four of WEF

Martin Fuchs and Silver Shine. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 31, 2020 – The Derby field at Equestrian Village (home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival) wrapped up its third day of action in week four with the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI4*. It was Swiss rider Martin Fuchs – ranked number-one in the world and the 2019 victor of the same class – who commanded both first and second place in the class. He claimed the winner’s rug riding Willow Grace Farm’s eye-catching gray 11-year-old Califax gelding Silver Shine and took second on the 12-year-old Stakkatol gelding Stalando 2, picking up prize-money of more than $38,000 in the process.

Ten of the 40 starters qualified for the jump-off, with four of those also going clear in the second round over Brazilian course designer Anderson Lima’s track on the immaculate palm tree-lined grass Derby field. Fuchs and Silver Shine’s time of 46.74 seconds proved unassailable, while he clocked 47.06 seconds on Stalando.

Fuchs, who is at WEF for the whole season before returning to his base near Zurich in Switzerland, said, “I had a good plan for this week. My grand prix horse Silver Shine only did the first day, then I didn’t do the WEF qualifier yesterday on him, and I did this class today so that he gets two more rounds before the grand prix [on Saturday]. He jumped fantastically in both rounds today, and Stalando did too.”

Ashland Team #2 Victorious in $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Team Event

Ashland Team #2 jumped to the top of the podium in the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Series Team Event, which took center stage in the Global International Arena at Equestrian Village on Friday evening. The team made up of Helen Graves (USA), Austin Krawitt (CAN), Klas Kudlinski (GER), and Ty Simpson (USA), finished on the only eight-fault score of the night after two rounds of competition.

Kudlinski, 24, posted the only clear performance under the time allowed for his team before the second round was cut short by weather after only two rider rotations competed from the six teams that returned.

“This is the first time that I’m bringing my horses over to America, so it’s the first time that I’m doing the Under 25,” said Kudlinski, who pulled a single rail and picked up a time fault in the first round. “I had one down in the first round, but my horse jumped really, really well. It was obviously a rider mistake. The second round I was more on it, and you’re not riding just for yourself, so you also have the pressure to take care of the other riders on your team. When you miss something, the whole team misses something, but it’s a good experience.”

Jennifer Hannan and Mindful Win the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby for Second Year in a Row

Jennifer Hannan piloted Mindful to the top spot in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go, presented by CCTV Agent, out of a field of 61 competitors. The pair scored a total of 360.5 points to win the class for the second consecutive year.

Hannan has been riding Mindful, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Graf Grannus and owned by Kensel, LLC, for three years. This was the pair’s first week back showing after a ten-month break. “He’s a winner. He goes in every time to win,” Hannan said.

The class was a hunt and go format, with the first eight jumps of the course being the classic round and the last six jumps being the handy round. The course included one trot fence and offered four high options.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Swiss Olympian Martin Fuchs Launches into 2020 as World Number One

Martin Fuchs and The Sinner. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Olympic athlete Martin Fuchs (SUI) has moved to the top of the Longines Rankings for the first time in his career, overtaking compatriot Steve Guerdat who held the number one position for a year.

Martin Fuchs (27), now out in front with 3,483 points, has been hot on the heels of Guerdat since August last year and finished 2019 with a string of inspirational performances including his impressive Grand Prix victory on home turf at the CSI5* at Geneva and, a week later, taking the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ leg at Olympia in December, 29 years after his father Thomas won at the London venue.

“It’s fantastic, really great, but I must say that my biggest success as number one doesn’t reflect just one show or one event. It’s a combination of everything,” Martin Fuchs said. “It’s really nice after such a great year in 2019 to start 2020 as the world number one. I am so proud and so fortunate at this young age to be able to have such success already and I am looking forward to a great year ahead.”

Fuchs’ first major victory was team gold at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, and he went on to make his senior Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games with his brilliant grey gelding Clooney 51.

Fuchs has achieved podium finishes at the last three major Championships, including individual silver at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon (USA) and helping the Swiss team to fourth to earn a team quota place at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Games.

He finished as runner-up to Guerdat at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE) in April and was crowned European Champion together with his faithful partner Clooney 51 at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championships in Rotterdam in August, becoming the sixth Swiss Jumping athlete in the 62-year history of the event to claim individual gold.

Other important results for the Swiss athlete include victory at the 10th leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League at Basel (SUI) and at the third leg of the 2019/2020 season in Lyon, both of them with Clooney 51, while Chaplin was his Grand Prix winning co-star at the CSI5* GCT/GCL n Madrid (ESP) in May and in Cascais, Estoril (POR) the following month.

After his Olympia triumph with The Sinner, Fuchs moved up to fourth on the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ leaderboard to book his ticket for the 2020 Final in Las Vegas (USA) next April.

Five athletes have maintained their positions in the top 10, with Daniel Deusser (GER) remaining third, Ben Maher (GBR) fourth, Beezie Madden (USA) seventh, Darragh Kenny (IRL) eighth, and Henrik Von Eckermann (SWE) 10th. Peder Fredrickson (SWE) has moved to fifth after overtaking Pieter Devos (BEL), while Kent Farrington (USA) was the new entry in the top 10, moving up from 11th to ninth.

About Martin Fuchs

Martin Fuchs’ early results in international competitions demonstrated that a new star was born in Jumping, as he finished second at the FEI Jumping European Championship for Children in Istanbul (TUR) in 2006 with Vasco IV and third for two consecutive years at the FEI Jumping European Championship for Juniors in Auvers (FRA) in 2007 and in Praha (CZE) in 2008 with Karin II CH.

After competing in numerous international events, he won team gold at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games and, six years later, was a member of the Swiss team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where he was ninth in the individual standings and his team sixth.

Other remarkable moments in his career were individual silver with Clooney 51 at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and second place at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Final 2019 in Gothenburg (SWE).

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

Sheer Exell-ence at Olympia

The penultimate day of Olympia, The London International Horse Show featured two top-class FEI World Cup™ competitions in Show Jumping and Driving, where the world’s best athletes went head-to-head in thrilling performances which wowed the crowds.

The FEI Driving World Cup™ presented by Eurofip International was once again dominated by Australia’s Boyd Exell in a gripping two round competition, with Koos de Ronde, his closest challenger, over 4 seconds behind.

Earlier in the day, the Longines FEI World Cup™ was won by reigning European Champion and current World No. 2 Martin Fuchs riding The Sinner, whose spectacular jump-off round was over a second faster than Max Kühner in second.

Two runnings of The Saracen Horse Feeds Shetland Pony Grand National saw victories for Alfie Diaper riding Damerham Briar Lilly and Leighton Aspell’s daughter Niamh Aspell aboard Magheradartin Beeswax. The Kennel Club Large Agility Stakes Finals was won by Claire Bacon with Tynevermoor Secret Mission and Megan Hunt with A Moment in Thyme.

Three days of flawless and thrilling rounds culminated in victory in the FEI Driving World Cup™ Leg, presented by Eurofip International, for maestro Boyd Exell. “One of the most incredible things was the crowd,” said Boyd. “They are really loud and they are really with us.”

Dutch course designer Jeroen Houterman’s course included twisting but flowing obstacles and cones requiring accurate curving to remain faultless. However, there were plenty of places for gallops as well. “The plan was to keep everything as simple as possible. For most of the course they could go at 90-100% [speed],” said Jeroen. “But when you go too fast, that’s when there is the risk of having a ball.”

That was certainly the case in round one, where over half the field picked up additional time penalties, which decided the three to go forward to the final.

The Netherlands’ Ijsbrand Chardon was first to go. Having driven one of the steadier, but clean, first rounds, he was determined to better his time after an inauspicious start to the show in the first two driving classes. His speed certainly improved, knocking almost six seconds off his initial run’s time. However, this came at the expense of two early balls, leaving the door ajar.

“My first two days at the show were pretty bad,” said Ijsbrand, a multiple championship winner. “My mare Candy was in season at the Budapest show two weeks ago, and still wasn’t great here. I was training at 6am this morning, but it just didn’t work out the way I wanted.”

Following was fellow countryman Koos de Ronde, whose speed in round one gained him access to the drive-off despite having hit cone number two. “Some of the cones were a little tricky and I was mad with myself [in the first round],” he said. “But I was more focused in the second round.”

If the pressure was on multiple medallist Boyd to maintain his rank, he certainly didn’t show it here. However, Koos’ round wasn’t so steady that Boyd could relax. “There was less than a cone between Koos’ time and my time in the first round,” said Boyd, who is based in Valkenswaard in The Netherlands. “So I aimed to go for the same again.” It worked beautifully and secured the win.

Although this class carried points towards qualification for the FEI Driving World Cup™ final, Boyd was competing at Olympia on a Wild Card, so maximum points were passed down to Koos.

Britain’s Daniel Naprous, who has a busy schedule as a stunt rider, finished sixth having had a promising second place at Olympia earlier in the week.

Belgium’s Wilm Vermeir achieved his first Olympia win with a bold display of speed riding in the Martin Collins Enterprises Christmas Tree Stakes. Riding King Kong d’Avifauna, Vermeir, who was last to go in the six-horse jump-off, had to throw his heart into the round to take the win.

“I thought they were going faster and faster so I knew I really had to go for it,” Vermeir explained. “This show is unbelievable and it’s not easy to win here.”

Holly Smith, who now heads the Leading Rider of the Show standings from William Whitaker by a 15-point margin, rode a brilliant round on Denver, but Vermeir managed to shave 0.9 of a second off her time of 33.82.

Christian Ahlmann (Zampano Z) and Ben Maher (Ginger-Blue) were also clear to take third and fourth places.

Earlier in the day, Cheshire’s Red Morgan, 15, claimed his biggest win to date with the sole double clear in The Voltaire Design Mince Pie Stakes. Riding Bodyssee des Avelines in the class for 148cm ponies, he remained cool under pressure in both rounds of the exhilarating competition.

“It was a tricky course,” said Red, who is based between Britain and Belgium, where he competes internationally. “The track was tight in places with a tight time, and there was a double you needed to be really straight for.”

Hannah Barker (Ammanvalley Santino) was first of three to go through to the jump-off to challenge for this year’s title. A pole down gave Red the advantage: “I just aimed to be quick without being stupid,” he said. It worked perfectly as he and his 12-year-old mare came home cleanly to put the pressure on the final rider, Lila Bremner (Lapislazuli), who with four faults handed the victory to Red.

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