Tag Archives: Martin Fuchs

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.

Please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Fuchs’ Sinner Is a Saint in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs brought his storming year to a close with a superbly ridden win in the eighth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™.

The reigning European Champion, fresh from a big win in Geneva last weekend, was second to go in a six-horse jump-off and pulled off a brilliantly accurate turn to the wall on The Sinner to achieve a time of 31.99 seconds that no one could match.

Austria’s Max Kühner (Elektric Blue P) and Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels (Delux van T & L) were also immaculate over the fences, but had to surrender to Fuchs’s speed, taking second and third places, respectively.

Marcus Ehning from Germany, a three-time winner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, was fourth with a fence down on the grey Cornado NRW.

Scott Brash, who won this class in 2016 on Hello M’Lady, was the best Briton in fifth on the promising 10-year-old Hello Jefferson, his mount in the winning FEI Nations Cup™ team in Dublin in August, and looks to have sealed his place at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas in April as well as having a potential horse for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

His Team GB teammate Holly Smith, who produced the only clear of the first 20 horses, enjoyed her best Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ result so far, sixth on her Nations Cup horse Hearts Destiny.

Irish course-designer Alan Wade set a fair but deceptively testing track, as befits a competition of this stature, and many of the distinguished names faulted unexpectedly.

“It was a great course. I wasn’t sure it would be stiff enough, but it had some light questions – and it got the right result!” said Fuchs. “I had a great round in the jump-off. I knew I would have to take all the risks to put the pressure on the others and it came off exactly as I wanted. I probably couldn’t repeat it if I tried.”

The FEI’s Director of Jumping for three decades, John Roche, described Olympia as “a shining example to other organisers,” and was echoed by second-time visitor Fuchs, who said: “It’s an amazing Show with a beautiful atmosphere and you really feel when you’re in the ring that you’re in a unique place.”

Please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Fuchs on Fire as The Sinner Shines at Olympia

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

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs scooped his second win of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League at the London International Horse Show at Olympia, London (GBR), while Austria’s Max Kuhner lined up second ahead of Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels in third.

Partnering his top ride, the lightning-fast grey Clooney, Fuchs took the third leg in Lyon (FRA) by storm last month, and in today’s eighth round of the 14-leg series he galloped to victory with a stunning performance from The Sinner. He’s the reigning European champion, and looks set to take over the No. 1 spot on the Longines World Rankings as 2020 gets underway after an incredible run of recent form.

He also became the first Swiss winner of the Olympia leg of the FEI World Cup™ series in 29 years. The 27-year-old rider wasn’t even born when his uncle, Markus Fuchs, stood top of the podium at the London fixture back in 1990.

Just six horse-and-rider combinations made it through to the jump-off, and Fuchs was fulsome in his praise of Irish course designer, Alan Wade.

“The first round wasn’t crazy big, but Alan set a great course as he always does – it was another of his masterpieces!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

It was definitely no walk in the park, with the relatively small Olympia arena jam-packed with fences and an intense atmosphere in the packed Grand Hall adding to the pressure. Only six of the 37 starters qualified for the deciding round but it was a classic, Fuchs, who was second to go, putting it up to the rest with a great ride that saw him take a brave turn to the wall, now the fourth fence on the track, and a super-tight line to the penultimate oxer followed by a great gallop to the last. Throwing down a time of 31.99 seconds he then sat back and watched the remaining four give it their best.

Austria’s Max Kuhner followed with an extraordinary second clear from the hugely promising eight-year-old gelding Elektric Blue P, but their time of 33.83 seconds was no threat. However, as German ace, and three-time FEI World Cup™ champion, Marcus Ehning set off with Cornado NRW, he clearly meant business only to get too close to the penultimate oxer for four faults in 32.17 seconds.

Great Britain’s Scott Brash decided this was the day to put some jump-off pressure on his latest shining star, the 10-year-old Hello Jefferson, but when the second fence fell then there was only Niels Bruynseels and his 10-year-old Delux van T & L standing between Fuchs and victory. And for once things just didn’t go his way, none of the distances coming up nicely for the brilliant Belgian and his big horse with a long stride, so they stayed clear but had to settle for third place behind Kuhner in second and Fuchs at the head of affairs.

“I was early to go so I had to take all the risks to put the pressure on the others and everything worked perfectly today!” Fuchs said. He was of course delighted with The Sinner who belied his name. “It was Denis Lynch (IRL) who gave him his name and he was already a good horse for Denis,” he explained. He’s had the 11-year-old gelding since the beginning of the year, and they made their first major appearance together at CSIO Rome in May.

“At first I found him difficult to ride, but now we definitely have a better partnership; he has better rideabililty and we know each other a lot better now,” he pointed out. And The Sinner can look forward to some nice sunshine as he heads to Wellington, USA for the Winter Equestrian Festival with his rider in the new year.

Having moved into fourth place on the Western European League table after this brilliant result, Fuchs is now well qualified for the Longines 2020 Final in Las Vegas, USA next April and his biggest headache will be to decide which horse to take – his wonder-horse Clooney or his latest star, The Sinner. His uncle, Markus Fuchs, was runner-up at the series Final in Las Vegas in 2000 and was crowned champion with the great Tinka’s Boy the following year in Gothenburg, Sweden. Martin was runner-up to compatriot Steve Guerdat at the 2019 Final which was also staged in Gothenburg, so could history be about to repeat itself over the coming months?

There are 18 qualifying spots on offer to riders in the Western European series and normally 40 points is enough to make the cut. As it stands, and with six more qualifiers yet to go, the top five riders on the League table have more than enough points: defending champion Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat has 55 but anyway gains automatic qualification, Belgium’s Pieter Devos also has 55, fifth placing for Great Britain’s Scott Brash leaves him with 47, Fuchs has 44, and Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano is in fifth in the current standings with 43.

For the rest, the next opportunity to collect those precious points will be at the ninth leg of the series in Mechelen, Belgium on Monday 30 December.

Watch highlights here.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Double Delight as Whitaker and Pender Share Puissance Spoils

The third day of action at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, welcomed the world’s best show jumpers to Olympia Grand. Seven of the top ten riders attended, with Britain’s Holly Smith getting the Show off to a flying start by taking the opening class, The Welcome Stakes, by the narrowest of margins from compatriot Laura Renwick.

The Cayenne Puissance had the sell-out crowd on their feet, with William Whitaker and Michael Pender taking joint honours, both clearing a remarkable 2.18 metres (7ft 2in) in the fifth round. Earlier in the day Darragh Kenny scored an impressive victory in The Santa Stakes supported by Olympia, while reigning European Champion Martin Fuchs sped to victory in the Musto Inside Edge Stakes.

An elite line-up of top show jumpers also took centre stage alongside their junior counterparts in The Aztec Diamond Pony Club Mini-Major. The pairs relay was a fiercely fought contest, with Norway’s Karina Hovland, partnered with Essex Hunt North Pony Club’s Laila Ramaci, coming out eventual winners. Nine-year-old Laila was very modest about her round with Dinky, but Karina was quick to offer praise to her young partner, saying, “Actually, you were really rather quick to the last!”

Two of the most stylish young riders on the circuit topped the results list in equal first place after a quality Cayenne Puissance competition which, for the second year running, went to a thrilling fifth and final round. The familiar face of Britain’s William Whitaker and Michael Pender, an Irishman making his Olympia debut, both cleared the famously imposing wall at 7ft 2in.

Last year’s joint winner, Guy Williams on the big grey Mr Blue Sky UK, also made it to the final round but knocked a brick out of the wall on his last attempt.

An elated Whitaker’s result was all the more credible as it was a first Puissance for Rushy Marsh Farm LLC’s 10-year-old RMF Charly. “I was a bit apprehensive, but the crowd lifts you and it feels as if you have another person on your back,” he said.

“I’m over the moon with the horse. He’s got a nice active canter and he just got better and better. He’s quite a character at home – a right Charlie, in fact.”

At 10 years younger than Whitaker, 20-year-old Pender clearly has a bright future. Having ridden since a child at his parents’ riding school in Co Kilkenny, he sprang into the limelight when he won the Hickstead Derby on Paul van den Bosch’s magnificent 12-year-old stallion Hearton du Bois Halleux.

“It’s a pleasure to ride a horse like that,” said Pender. “It makes your job a lot easier. Everything you ask him he’ll do. He was a bit tense at first, but then he improved with each round.”

The opening CSI5* class, The Welcome Stakes (1.40m), saw a British one-two with Holly Smith and Flipper Darco UK Z taking the victory by just 0.03 seconds from Laura Renwick aboard Bintang II. Germany’s Olympic Eventing Champion Michael Jung, competing at Olympia this week with his show jumping hat on, finished close behind in third place, riding the eight-year-old Dante RZ.

The feature class of the day, The Santa Stakes supported by Olympia (1.55m), provided top-class sport with the world’s best show jumping combinations competing for the €27,000 prize fund.  The first of the 10 riders through to the jump-off was Britain’s Holly Smith with her European Team Bronze Medal winning horse Heart’s Destiny who set the pace with a clear round in a time of 35.29 seconds.

William Whitaker followed with a smooth and speedy clear in a time of 34.45, putting the pressure on those to follow, but an exceptionally tight turn to the penultimate fence gave Darragh Kenny the advantage at the half-way stage. Those that followed valiantly tried to catch the Irishman but picked up faults on the way, with Kenny’s time proving impossible to catch, giving him the victory for the second successive year, this time aboard the 11-year-old Important de Muze.

Speaking after the class, Kenny said: “It’s such a great show here. I really like coming here every year; the crowd is always amazing and to start off with a win is really nice. I didn’t get to see William’s round, but I know my horse is quite careful and just went as fast as I could, which proved good enough today.”

The Musto Inside Edge Stakes, a 1.50m speed class, saw World No. 1 Steve Guerdat take an early lead riding Victorio des Frotards, jumping clear in a time of 55.42 seconds to set the pace. The notoriously fast Guy Williams pulled out all the stops aboard his 12-year-old gelding Cupido to take over the lead, crossing the line in 54.83 seconds, a time which proved good enough for second place.

Britain’s leading lady Holly Smith looked to place Williams’ lead in jeopardy, making an extremely tight turn back to the Houses of Parliament wall at fence four; however, her final time of 55.29 put her in eventual third position.

It was the reigning European Champion Martin Fuchs, fresh from Grand Prix victory in Geneva last weekend, who verified his World No. 2 credentials with an exceptionally smooth round, cutting all the corners to take the victory by over one second, posting a time of 53.47 with the talented 10-year-old grey mare Chica B Z.

A delighted Fuchs said: “It’s really nice to be here; it doesn’t feel like hard work and it’s a great Christmas feeling. Chica is quite experienced and is used to making tight turns so I didn’t have to do too much today.”

It was also a great night for young rider Emily Moffitt, who was presented with the Raymond Brooks-Ward Memorial Trophy, an award for the British under-25 rider who has shown the greatest potential for future success in that calendar year.

Please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Inside the CHI Geneva: Martin Fuchs Wins Rolex Grand Prix

Photo: CHI de Genève / scoopdyga.com.

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs becomes the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender following his victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva. The formidable duo of Fuchs and Clooney 51 once again showed the strength of their partnership, producing a speedy clear round in the jump-off (38.60 seconds) that proved impossible to catch. Great Britain’s Scott Brash was just 0.05 seconds behind his fellow Rolex Testimonee securing second place with Hello Senator and Belgium’s Jérôme Guery finished in third.

How does it feel to win your first Major?

Wow! This is a huge win for me; it is certainly a career highlight and tops off an unbelievable year for me. I am so happy.

What does CHI Geneva mean to you now?

It is one of best shows in the world and one that every rider wants to win. I am so happy that I was able to be so competitive at this Rolex Major and to win the Rolex Grand Prix in front of my home crowd is so special.

Clooney 51 is a superstar; how did he feel?

Clooney is a phenomenal horse and his performance was exceptional. Everyone saw what he did in the arena; he tries so hard and is just amazing.

Super Saturday at CHI Geneva

The biggest U25 class at the CHI Geneva, the Grand Prix des Espoirs, was won by USA’s Coco Fath and her chestnut gelding, Exotik Sitte. The 19-year-old from Fairfield Connecticut produced an electric jump-off to seal the victory in the time of 34.89 seconds.

Fath commented on her win: “I am so honored and humbled to just be a part of this legendary event but to win here is a dream come true. I am lucky to have such an incredible team behind me at Amethyst Equestrian with Rodrigo, Alexa, and Fran (our groom) all here supporting me, as well as the equally incredible team at home cheering from afar! And of course, the inimitable Exotik Sitte a.k.a. Scotty who is the best partner I could ask for!”

It was an emotional Saturday evening at the CHI Geneva as the show jumping world bid goodbye to Scott Brash’s legendary horse, Hello Sanctos, in a special retirement service. Brash paid tribute to the horse that helped him become the only rider to have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping: “He’s made all my dreams come true and I really can’t thank him enough for what he has done. I also need to thank my owners for believing in me and believing in Sanctos. We had an incredible partnership and I hope he will be remembered as a superstar.”

Watch here the tribute video.

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