Tag Archives: Olympic Games

Olympic Champion Jung Claims Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event Honours

Michael Jung with Fischerwild Wave. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

Germany’s Michael Jung, Olympic Eventing champion in London 2012 and again in Rio 2016, has already claimed gold in Tokyo one year out from the Olympic Games after taking the honours with Fischerwild Wave at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event which wrapped up at the Equestrian Park.

The 37-year-old, who has three Olympic gold and one silver from two Games appearances with the now retired La Biosthetique Sam FBW, had shadowed the leaders from the outset, even though he was riding the youngest horse on the start list.

Third after Dressage behind the home side’s Yoshiaki Oiwa and Bart L JRA, the German pair moved up to second after cross country, and a superb clear in the final Jumping test with the seven-year-old Fischerwild Wave then put the pressure on overnight leaders, Australia’s Andrew Hoy with Bloom Des Hauts Crets.

The mare had jumped impeccably around Derek Di Grazia’s cross country 24 hours earlier, but became increasingly headstrong over the coloured poles, and when the middle element of the triple combination hit the sand to drop Hoy down the order to fifth, victory went to the German duo.

In mixed weather conditions that veered from heavy rain to hot sunshine, nine horses were foot perfect over Santiago Varela’s 11-fence track, with Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima on Vick Du Grisors JRA and Dressage leaders Yoshiaki Oiwa and Bart L JRA among them. The home pair moved up to claim podium spots in silver and bronze, heading no less than four Japanese in the top 10.

All 16 horses that started cross country were passed fit at the horse inspection, with all of them beautifully turned out and looking exceptionally well.

The German winner was quick to praise the facilities provided at the two venues, Equestrian Park and Sea Forest. “For me it was very interesting to be here and nice to see how everything works, especially the cross country with the horses. It felt very good. It’s difficult but still possible and I think it’s really not a problem. For sure you need a very good preparation and you have to be very fit before you arrive here, the horses and the riders as well.

“I think it will be very nice next year if you see everything this year and we have one more year to prepare and to make some little details a bit better. I’m really looking forward to next season.”

Second-placed Ryuzo Kitajima, a member of Japan’s gold medal team at last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta (INA), was delighted with the performance of his horse Vick Du Grisors JRA. “It was hard work in the very hot weather, but my horse had a very good reaction in the cross country and in the practice arena he was too fresh today so I’m very happy with a double clear, it’s a fantastic result.”

The overwhelming impression from the 20 National Olympic and Paralympic Committees that were onsite was extremely positive and the general mood was summed up by Sydney 2000 Olympic champion David O’Connor, who chairs the FEI Eventing Committee.

“The facilities are very impressive and we had the chance to test everything we needed to test, which was the purpose of this week’s test event,” he said. “There are some adjustments to be made but they are minor ones, as the Organising Committee has thought through all the details and is right on track to make 2020 a really great Olympic Games for equestrian sport.”

Ready Steady Tokyo equestrian test event (final placings) – 1, Germany’s Fischerwild Wave (Michael Jung), 28.0 penalties; 2, Japan’s Vick Du Grisors JRA (Ryuzo Kitajima), 28.2; 3, Bart L JRA (Yoshiaki Oiwa), 30.1; 4, Great Britain’s Halltown Harley (Georgie Spence), 30.6; 5, Australia’s Bloom Des Hauts Crets (Andrew Hoy), 31.7; 6, Japan’s Swiper JRA (Toshiyuki Tanaka), 32.3.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
+41 78 750 61 42

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 78 750 61 4

Kiwis and Chinese Claim Tokyo Tickets at Valkenswaard

New Zealand and China. (FEI/Libby Law Photography)

New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China are both on their way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after clinching the top two places at the Olympic Group G team Jumping qualifier staged in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands.

The experienced Kiwi side was always tipped to come out on top, and they lived up to expectations. But as four-time Olympian Bruce Goodin pointed out they were taking nothing for granted.

“These qualifiers are tricky things; it’s all or nothing; you can come in with good form and still miss out – you have to get it right on the day!” said the man who is based in Skåne, Sweden.

And it was clearly no walk-in-the-park for any of the six nations vying for those two coveted slots, Helena Stormanns’ winning side of Goodin, Samantha McIntosh, Tom Tarver-Priebe, and Daniel Meech posting a final scoreline of 17 faults, although they didn’t have to call up anchorman Meech in the second round.

China’s Yaofeng Li, You Zhang, Zhenqiang Li, and Tongyan Liu rounded up their score to 47 faults for second place while Hong Kong’s Patrick Lam, Clarissa Lyra, Jacqueline Lai, and Kenneth Cheng finished third with 58. The only other team to finish was Chinese Taipei whose Tina Lu, Isheau Wong, Po-Hsiang Huang, and Jasmine Chen put 62 faults on the board. The three-member sides from The Philippines and the Republic of Korea did not complete.

“It’s a huge thrill for us – we missed out on a team place at the last two Games but we came here with three experienced riders, and one newcomer in Tom who had never been on team before at this level, so for him to come out with a clear in the second round was really something! I’m very proud of all our team and very thankful to Helena our Chef d’Equipe!” Goodin said.

The Kiwis were already well out in front after the first round, counting single errors from both Goodin (49) with Backatorps Danny V and Samantha McIntosh (43) riding Check In, and the five collected by Daniel Meech (45) and his mare Fine. The relatively unknown Tarver-Priebe (34) and Popeye racked up a 12-fault tally for the first-round discard, but their foot-perfect second run secured the Tokyo ticket and ensured Meech didn’t have to return to the ring. The only addition to the New Zealand scoreline were the four faults picked up by Goodin and his 11-year-old gelding who clipped the final fence second time out.

McIntosh was clear at her second attempt, and the lady who was flying the Bulgarian flag on her only previous Olympic outing in Sydney (AUS) in 2000 is delighted to be back representing her native country once again. “These guys are my friends and we work great as a team. I was young (24) when competing in Sydney and I never managed to have the right horse at the right time for any of the other Games until now. Check In has been a fantastic horse for me. It didn’t start easy, but we have a great partnership now!” she pointed out.

“Things come easier when you’re younger,” said Meech. “I competed in Atlanta (1996) and finished 12th in Sydney (2000) but there’s been a big gap and I really appreciate it much more now than I did then! There’s nothing like the Olympic Games; absolutely nothing compares; this qualification is such a relief and it’s great to get the Olympic buzz going again!” added the German-based rider.

“The Chinese team is going to the Olympics again as a team; it means we have improved a lot in the last 10 years and we will keep improving. I think this will motivate more and more people to join this amazing sport. We’ve been preparing for this for over a year,” said 21-year-old Yaofeng Li who finished individually seventh for the host nation at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in 2014.

And there was one extra-proud father at Valkenswaard, Yaofeng’s father Zhenqiang Li (51), who posted just six faults over two rounds to help seal that second Olympic slot. “For a dozen years my son and I have trained together, competed together, and now it has proved to be a worthwhile trip – I am very excited! Beijing 2008 was the first Olympic Games for me and the Chinese riders, so it is a lifelong memory for me. And it is even more meaningful because last time we got through as host country but this time we competed against five other teams in Group G and earned the qualification. It proves that equestrian sport in China has developed dramatically in recent years!” he pointed out.

Team China captain and anchorman, Tongyan Liu (51), congratulated his side. “This is only the first step in a long journey – there is still a gap between us and the world’s best riders, but I hope the young Chinese riders will go further, and even better!” he said.

One of those young hopefuls is 18-year-old You Zhang who steered his 10-year-old gelding Caesar through two eight-fault rounds. As he rightly pointed out, this was a watershed moment for his country in the history of this sport. “I feel great to achieve this result with my team; it’s the first time that China has been properly qualified as a team, so I feel happy for myself and the Chinese Team. I’m very excited about going to Tokyo, really looking forward to it, and we will try to do good over there!” he said.

Full result here: https://results.hippodata.de/2019/1714/docs/result_qualifier.pdf

by Louise Parkes

Triple Olympic Gold Medalist Hoy Snatches Lead with Bloom after Cross Country

Andrew Hoy with Bloom Des Hauts Crets. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

Australia’s triple Olympic team gold medalist Andrew Hoy galloped his way into the top spot with Bloom Des Hauts Crets after cross country, when rising heat and humidity provided a perfect environment to test the onsite cooling facilities for the equine and human athletes.

Sixth out onto Derek Di Grazia’s beautiful 20-fence course at Sea Forest overlooking the heart of Tokyo Bay, the seven-time Olympian and the eight-year-old Selle Français mare flew across the finish line with seven seconds to spare to take the early lead on a score of 27.7.

Hoy was thrilled to move to the top of the leaderboard. “It’s a very nice position to be in and if I win, I’m very happy for this year, but it’s next year I want to win! My horse galloped very well and her heart rate and temperature were very good when I arrived. The cooling facilities here at the venue were absolutely excellent. As an Olympic venue it’s ready one year before because the ground is excellent and the construction of the cross-country fences is very good, but next year will be very different fences.”

As the Australian combination were lying second after the Dressage phase, only overnight leaders Yoshiaki Oiwa and Bart L JRA could challenge them, but the home side star was 14 seconds down on the clock to collect 5.6 time faults and drop to fourth.

German superstar Michael Jung, another triple Olympic gold medalist and heading for Tokyo 2020 as the defending champion, was second last out on the track with the seven-year-old Fischerwild Wave. They too came home through the finish flags clear over the fences and on the clock to move up to second on 28.0.

“It was hot but it wasn’t really a big problem,” Michael Jung said afterwards. “The grooms and everyone took really good care of the horses and everyone tried to make the job for the horses and the riders as easy as possible. This is really fantastic here.”

Another pair for the host nation, Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Gisors, were almost bang on the optimum time of five minutes 30 seconds to move up from fourth after the Dressage to third ahead of Oiwa and Bart, with compatriot Kazuma Tomoto fractionally behind in fifth on Tacoma d’Horset. Britain’s Georgie Spence and Halltown Harley round out the top six and, amazingly, there’s less than a fence between them and the leaders.

Seven of the 16 starters remain on their Dressage marks, while eight others collected just time faults. The only combination to pick up jumping penalties were cross country pathfinders Kazuya Otomo and Condorcet, who had a runout at the second element of the angled rails double at fence 10 to drop one place to 16th.

“All the horses recovered really well after the cross country, despite the challenging conditions, and they are all now back home in their air-conditioned stables at Baji Koen resting ready for tomorrow’s Jumping,” FEI Veterinary Director Goran Akerström said.

Ready Steady Tokyo test event (placings after cross-country) – 1, Australia’s Bloom Des Hauts Crets (Andrew Hoy), 27.7 penalties; 2, Germany’s Fischerwild Wave (Michael Jung), 28.0; 3, Japan’s Vick Du Gisors JRA (Ryuzo Kitajima), 28.2; 4, Japan’s Bart L JRA (Yoshiaki Oiwa), 30.1; 5, Japan’s Tacoma d’Horset (Kazuma Tomoto), 30.4; 6, Great Britain’s Halltown Harley (Georgie Spence), 30.6.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
+41 78 750 61 42

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 78 750 61 4


Home Side Hero Yoshiaki Oiwa Takes Early Lead at Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event

Yoshiaki Oiwa riding Bart L JRA. (FEI/Yusuke Nakanishi)

Japan’s Yoshiaki Oiwa is no stranger to success, having claimed double gold at last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta (INA), and the three-time Olympian has put down a strong marker for the home side by taking the early lead after the Dressage phase at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event.

Riding the talented Bart L JRA, previously ridden by Frenchman Matthieu Lemoine on the gold medal team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Oiwa earned top marks from all three judges to lead the field on a mark of 24.5. The 43-year-old has been based in Europe for almost 20 years, but his heart lies in Japan.

“I’m a home country rider and I’ve been based in Europe for the last 18, 19 years,” he said after his Dressage performance here at the Equestrian Park. “So many people are supporting and helping me, but they’ve never seen what I’m doing, so this is a very very good chance to show what I’m doing and what this sport is about. Hopefully we can do the best performance and all the Japanese people do their best and get medals.”

Among a star-studded cast, Australia’s triple Olympic team gold medalist Andrew Hoy is 3.2 penalties adrift in second with Bloom Des Hauts Crets, fractionally ahead of Germany’s double Olympic champion Michael Jung on Fischerwild Wave with 28.0.

The top five are all under 30 penalties, with Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima and Vick Du Gisors JRA fourth on 28.2 and Germany’s Peter Thomsen with Horseware Nobleman fifth with 29.50.

Kuzuma Tomoto is another of the contingent flying the flag for Japan and he sits in sixth with Tacoma d’Horset on 30.4, a single point but three places ahead of his trainer, British legend William Fox-Pitt with Summer at Fernhill.

The Japanese athletes are increasingly a force to be reckoned with, finishing fourth and just out of the medals at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon (USA). Looking ahead to Tokyo 2020, Tomoto commented: “Our team is really tough and has got strong quickly. We’re aiming to get a medal; that’s why we have to improve more and more. We have lots of nice riders so we can do it for sure.”

Final horse into the arena, GHS Calvaruise ridden by Kazuya (JPN), has now been withdrawn after placing last of the 17 starters in Dressage on 40.8. The rest of the horses have been transported to the stables at Sea Forest where they will spend the night before cross country.

Derek Di Grazia’s 3,025 metre track incorporates 20 fences with 31 jumping efforts, but the American designer is giving nothing away about his track for the 2020 Games. Even so, the 20 National Olympic and Paralympic Committees that are onsite for the official observers programme are making the most of the opportunity to see the terrain at Sea Forest and test the facilities at both venues.

On Wednesday, action returns to the equally stunning new facilities at Baji Koen, site of the Olympic equestrian events at the 1964 Tokyo Games, for Wednesday’s final Jumping phase.

The Baji Koen refurbishment has been funded independently by the Japan Racing Association and will provide an extraordinary legacy for the residents of Tokyo, as will the park that will be created on the reclaimed land at Sea Forest, which also hosts rowing and canoe sprint next year.

Ready Steady Tokyo equestrian test event (placings after Dressage): 1, Japan’s Bart L JRA (Yoshiaki Oiwa), 24.5; 2, Australia’s Bloom Des Hauts Crets (Andrew Hoy), 27.7; 3, Germany’s Fischerwild Wave (Michael Jung), 28.0; 4, Japan’s Vick Du Gisors JRA (Ryuzo Kitajima), 28.2; 5, Germany’s Horseware Nobleman (Peter Thomsen), 29.50; 6, Japan’s Tacoma d’Horset (Kuzuma Tomoto), 30.4.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
+41 78 750 61 42

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 78 750 61 46

Ready Steady Tokyo Equestrian Test Event Boasts World-Class Startlist

Michael Jung. (FEI / Arnd Bronkhurst)

Next month’s Ready Steady Tokyo equestrian test event, which runs from 12-14 August, boasts a truly world-class field, including reigning Olympic champion and multi-medalled German athlete Michael Jung. The 17 athletes from four nations – Japan, Germany, Australia, and Great Britain – have between them amassed an incredible tally of 74 medals at Olympic, world, and continental Games and Championships.

Jung (37), the first and so far only Eventing athlete to have held the world, Olympic, and European titles at the same time, has won 20 medals of which 12 are gold, including back-to-back Olympic titles and a team gold in London 2012. He is joined by triple Olympic team gold medallist Andrew Hoy (AUS), all four of Japan’s Asian Games 2018 gold medal team among an 11-strong Japanese squad, and five-time Olympian William Fox-Pitt (GBR), who has no fewer than 23 medals to his name.

The strength of the host nation has been increasingly underlined recently, with Japan taking team and individual gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta (INA), and the team finishing fourth and just out of the medals at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon (USA) last September. And the successes have continued unabated this season, with the team winning the Olympic Groups F and G qualifier at Saumur (FRA) in June, while Japanese athletes have claimed no less than three CCI4* wins.

Kazuma Tomoto (36) topped the leaderboard at the CCI4* events in Chatsworth (GBR) and Ballindenisk (IRL) this spring, while Yoshiaki Oiwa (43) took individual honours in the Polish CCI4* at Strzegom at the end of last month with Bart L, the 13-year-old gelding he steered to double gold at the Asian Games. The Dutch-bred was previously ridden by Frenchman Matthieu Lemoine rode to team gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. So the writing is clearly on the wall – Japan is on a medal march in Tokyo next year!

Cross country course designer Derek Di Grazia (USA) has built a special track for the test event and, while athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and National Federations (NFs) will have the chance to assess the undulations of the terrain at Sea Forest, Di Grazia will be giving nothing away about his Olympic course for next year’s Games.

“We have a truly star-studded cast for our Ready Steady Tokyo test event next month, when some of the world’s most decorated Eventing athletes and their equine partners will have the opportunity to trial our two fabulous venues and, at the same time, provide a taster of the level of equestrian action that will be on offer at the Games next year,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “I can’t remember a time when we had such a high caliber of athletes and horses for the Olympic test event, so it’s going to be really special.

“Equestrian brings together sporting prowess and horsemanship and we are excited that a whole new global audience will have the chance to witness the unique collaboration between horse and human which creates a cocktail of drama and pure magic.”

The test event, which will trial logistics, results, timing and data handling, footing, transport between the two venues, along with multiple other key factors that are crucial for the smooth running of next year’s Games, is a CCI 3* Eventing competition that provides the opportunity to test both equestrian venues – Equestrian Park at Baji Koen and the new Sea Forest cross country venue.

Baji Koen, site of the Olympic equestrian events at the 1964 Tokyo Games, has undergone extensive refurbishment, funded independently by the Japan Racing Association, and will provide an extraordinary legacy for Tokyo inhabitants, along with the park that will be created out of the reclaimed land at Sea Forest, which hosts equestrian cross country, rowing, and canoe sprint.

The full list of starters for the Ready Steady Tokyo equestrian test event are available here.

The test event also provides the opportunity for NOCs and NFs to take part in the official Observers Programme, which includes a session on climate mitigation protocols aimed at minimising the effects of heat and humidity. The FEI is also conducting a study on participants at the test event (human and equine) with the goal of further boosting current research on optimising performance in a challenging climate. Full details of the Observers Programme are available here.

Videos explaining the Tokyo 2020 Olympic formats for Jumping and Dressage, which were trialled at the Future Champions event in Hagen (GER) last month, are available on FEI YouTube here. The Eventing format, which has been run at events in Poland, Ireland, New Zealand, and Italy, will be used at the last leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ in Boekelo (NED) in October, when the final team slot on the Tokyo 2020 startlist will be allocated.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
+41 78 750 61 42

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 78 750 61 46

Russia Takes Tokyo 2020 Ticket at Exciting Olympic Qualifier in Moscow

Elena Sidneva and Fuhur. (Photo: Maxima Stables)

Russia will be represented by a Dressage team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after claiming the single spot on offer at the Group C Dressage qualifier staged at Maxima Park in Moscow (RUS). Group C covers Central & Eastern Europe and Central Asia, embracing a total of 29 National Federations from FEI Regional Groups l, ll, and lll, and the hosts pinned Belarus into runner-up spot in an exciting contest.

“It was the first time I performed in my motherland; usually I perform in Europe where sometimes I am the only participant under the flag of Russia at the event. Here I feel great support and at the same time all of us feel a big responsibility in this tournament. I fully concentrated on my performance, and each of us did everything for the sake of this victory today!” said Russia’s Tatyana Kosterina.

And the talented team from Belarus were gracious in defeat. “We are not rivals; we are all friends here. Of course, the Russian team is very strong. I think that we also managed to perform our best. We have a very young team,” said Hanna Karasiova.

The Russians were looking good from the outset as Chef d’Equipe Anatoly Isachkin pointed out at Thursday’s team announcement. “Our riders are all fairly experienced; three of them constantly perform and live in Europe – Elena Sidneva, Tatyana Kosterina, and Evgenija Davydova. They have all been showing good results and we are optimistic – we want to win and to finally get a team to the Olympic Games!” They succeeded in doing just that when filling four of the top-five places.

Svetlana Evschik, Chef d’Equipe for Belarus, said during the teams announcement press conference that “the absolute leader of our team is Anna Karasiova and her horse Zodiac. There was a short period when she did not perform but nevertheless, she showed good results in Nizhny Novgorod World Cup leg and we hope that the same will happen now. The second strong rider of our team is Olga Safronova – a rather young rider; last year she made her debut in the Grand Prix – she doesn’t have much experience in the Grand Prix, but her horse is very interesting and bright, and represented our country at the World Cup Final in Paris. Volha Ihumentsava competed at the European Championship but her horse was injured a year ago and in April 2019 it just took its first start after recovering. The fourth rider is a young athlete who can still compete in the U-25 category – Anastasiya Dudkova,” she explained.

It was Dudkova (22) and her easy-moving 11-year-old Trakehner gelding, Hofman, who were pathfinders for Belarus, posting a score of 61.043 before Karasiova (35) and her gelding Zodiak lived up to their billing when putting the leading score of 69.804 on the board at the halfway stage. Ihumentsava (34) and the Hannoverian Ed Khardy earned a mark of 63.543 and then Safronova (27) and the impressive Sandro D’Amour rounded up the Belarus effort with 65.370.

Davydova (35), who along with Kosterina and Sidneva was a member of the Russian team that finished tenth at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA, threw down the Russian challenge with a highly competitive score of 69.022 from her dark-bay KWPN mare, Awakening. And when Kosterina (41) backed that up with 69.087 from her mare Diavolessa VA, then the hosts were already looking very confident.

The Swedish spectators fell in love with Regina Isachkina’s (48) fabulous black stallion, Sun of May Life, at this year’s FEI Dressage World Cup Final in Gothenburg (SWE) where they finished 15th. And although the pair didn’t show the same level of harmony here, their score of 67.022 had already secured that treasured Tokyo qualifying slot even before Sidneva (54) entered the ring.

Last to go, this lady whose career highlights include the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, three FEI World Equestrian Games, five FEI Dressage World Cup Finals, and six European Championships produced an effortless performance from the 10-year-old gelding Fuhur who, with the utmost composure, presented fabulous passage, piaffe, and tempi changes to top the individual scoreboard with 72.022.

The final team scoreline showed Russia on a total of 210.130 and Belarus with 198.717.

Full result here (please scroll down).

by Louise Parkes

From Baborówko to Tokyo 2020

Baborówko, 25th of May 2019 — The Polish team will have the chance to fight as a team at the Olympic Games for the first time since Athens in 2004. The team, along with their trainer Marcin Konarski, in the following squad: Mariusz Kleniuk and Winona, Joanna Pawlak and Fantastic Frieda, Paweł Spisak and Banderas, and Paweł Warszawski with Aristo A-Z, have qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The Polish team was truly in great shape in Baborówko, taking the lead after the first day in the CCIO4*-L class, that doubled as an Olympic qualifier.

Polish athletes had to compete against teams from Russia and Belarus, which became incomplete after cross-country. Nevertheless, the Polish team could not allow themselves to lose their focus, because Mariusz Kleniuk has retired from finishing his cross-country course with Winona. That meant that the rest of the riders from the team had to complete the showjumping trial.

And they carried it through extremely well. The leaderboard was dominated by the white and red flag in the final classification of the CCIO4*-L class. Paweł Spisak (POL) with Banderas took home the first place, second went to the world champion and a two-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Jung (GER) with Fischerchipmunk FRH, and Jan Kamiński (POL) was third with Jard. Further places were taken by Joanna Pawlak (POL) with Fantastic Frieda (fourth) and Paweł Warszawski with Aristo A-Z (fifth).

In the CCI4*-S, for the prize of the patron of the event, Mr Roman Roszkiewicz, with the collective prize pool of 325 000 PLN, Andreas Dibowski (GER) finished on the winning position with Corrida FRH, taking home the 100 000 PLN cash prize. Second place went to Andreas Ostholt (GER) with Corvette 31, and Peter Thomsen (GER) with Horseware Nobleman were third.

Jan Kamiński has kept his lead after cross-country to win the CCI3*-S class for the prize of Kuhn Maszyny Rolnicze aboard Senior. Nadine Marzahl (GER) was second with Vally K, and Merle Wewer (GER) with Captain Hero- third.

The CCI2*-S class has ended. First place went to Vanessa Bolting with Ready To Go W, second was taken by Leoni Kuhlmann (GER) with Hidalgo 179, and Jullia Gillmaier (POL) and Red Sunrise 2 took home the third place.

All trials of the CCIYH2*-S class for six-year-old horses, for the prize of Kunowo Stables, have also ended. Miroslav Prihoda Jr (CZE) was the best with the Polish-bred Eldorado, second position went to Sabrina Labes (GER) with Sparta’s Prince, and Rebecca-Juana Gerken (GER) finished third riding Fame 227.

More information can be found at www.festiwal.baborowko.pl/eng.

China, Thailand, and Poland Secure Tokyo 2020 Eventing Team Slots

Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro in Saumur. (Ouest Image)

China, Thailand, and Poland secured their equestrian team tickets to next summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at special Eventing qualifiers held in Saumur (FRA) and Baborówko (POL) over the weekend.

This will be a first-ever Olympic Eventing team slot for China and Thailand, although both have had individual starters at previous Olympics. The two nations finished second and third at the FEI designated Olympic qualifier held in Saumur (FRA) for Olympic Groups F and G, which covers Africa and the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Hong Kong finished fourth when only one of their three starters went through to the final Jumping phase.

Japan, already assured of a starting place on home ground next summer, were fractionally behind China after Saturday’s Pierre Michelet designed cross country test, but regained the lead they had established in the Dressage arena to take top spot by 6.1 penalties ahead of the Chinese. Team China, led by double Olympian Alex Hua Tian who finished eighth in Rio 2016, held on for second place and a Tokyo ticket ahead of Thailand, also now with a place logged on the 2020 startlist.

Hua Tian, who made his Olympic debut at the age of 18 at Beijing 2008, was bidding for individual success with the talented Don Geniro, but four faults in Jumping handed victory to the 1993 European champion, Frenchman Jean Lou Bigot with Aktion De Belheme.

Double Polish win on home soil

Pawel Spisak, already a four-time Olympian, led his team to victory on home turf at Baborówko to book Poland a place at next year’s Games. Riding his Rio 2016 horse Banderas, the 37-year-old also claimed the individual honours ahead of two-time Olympic champion, Germany’s Michael Jung with Fischerchipmunk FRH.

Both Belarus and Russia also fielded teams at Baborówko, venue for the Olympic Group C qualifier covering Africa and the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. However, when just two of the Belarussians and one Russian completed all three phases, the Poles were left untroubled at the top.

Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand are already gearing up for Tokyo, having secured Olympic qualification at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™. Japan, as host nation, is automatically qualified, but the win in Saumur shows that the home side will be right in the mix next summer.

While three team slots were nailed over the weekend, there are still spaces available for five more teams to make up the full quota of 15 Eventing teams for Tokyo. An additional 20 individual places are up for grabs via the FEI Olympic rankings to fill the overall quota of 65 starters.

Remaining opportunities for nations to qualify Eventing teams for Tokyo are at the Pan-American Games in Lima (PER) at the beginning of August and the FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen (GER) at the end of August, both of which have two slots available. Additionally, the highest ranked nation at the end of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ series 2019, which winds up at Boekelo (NED) in mid-October, will also book their ticket for next year’s Games.

The FEI system allows nations from each of the FEI Olympic Groups two opportunities to qualify, either at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 or at their designated regional qualifier. The FEI Olympic Groups for the Olympic qualification process are based on seven geographical regions: A – North Western Europe; B – South Western Europe; C – Central & Eastern Europe, Central Asia; D – North America; E – Central & South America; F – Africa & Middle East; G – South East Asia, Oceania.

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 78 750 61 46

The Olympic Future of China, Thailand, and Hong Kong Will Be Set in Saumur

Picture copyright Les Garennes.

This weekend, at the international competition of eventing « Saumur Complet » during the CCI 3*L, countries from group G play their team qualifications for the next Olympic Games of Tokyo in 2020. After the first test (dressage), one of the three tests of eventing, China started well. Second after Japan, country that is automatically qualified as it is the « host-country », China get ahead of Thailand and Hong Kong. On the individual side, at the first place of the temporary ranking after dressage, we can find Alex Hua Tian… a Chinese athlete! Reaction of one of the coaches of the Chinese team, the French Pascale Boutet:

« This weekend’s challenge is huge. We have three countries, China, Thailand, and Hong Kong, and only two places for qualification at the next Olympic Games! In terms of sport experiences, those three countries are really young, and they all have recently decided to be active in eventing. The last 2018 World Equestrian Games had qualified Australia and New Zealand; Japan was automatically qualified; from then, the qualification process of the G group (Oceania and South-East Asia), only two places were still at stake. Those three countries have decided to take the opportunity, predicting that it might be easier to be qualified to the Olympic Games in eventing then in show jumping (explained by the fact that there are fewer countries competing in eventing than in show jumping). »

« I’ve worked with China for ten years, and everything got faster a few months ago. We had to put in place a viable project that plan to create a Chinese team training in Europe. Meanwhile, the stables had to stay in China as horses living in China cannot leave the country and the Chinese riders do not have a long-term visa. Thus, in Europe, China has three stables: in France, at my home, in Belgium, and another one in Holland with Martin Lips. The leader in this team is Alex Hua Tian, a Sino-British athlete, living in England. For the stables where I have the responsibilities, horses were bought in December; it is really recent. It is only the third competition, here in Saumur, for those combinations. In France, I train the horses, the riders train in China, and they come back in Europe a few days before each competition. Today’s results, in dressage, are encouraging; we are particularly proud! »

« If China qualifies its team for Tokyo’s Olympic Games, then we will have to qualify individually the athletes that will compose the Chinese Olympic team. Those individual qualifications are done at the CCI 4*L level; our riders do not have experience at this top level; the challenge will be higher than qualifying the team this weekend. But in the Chinese culture, we go for it; we trust coaches and horses! Yesterday (Wednesday 22th of May), we have done the course inspection; they were impressed as they do not have the experience at this level, but they will go for it! As they will do at the 4*L level, if they succeed to qualify a team. We will have then to qualify three athletes; it will be another huge challenge, as there is a big level difference between 3* and 4*. The stable based in Holland from a longer time than the one in France, has few experiences at the 4* level, but the athletes of the horses based in the French one haven’t any experiences. »

So let’s see what will happen Saturday morning, from 10 am, for the CCI 3*L cross-country test. The gap between the results after the dressage test is small. Thus, the competition between the three countries is going to be thrilling. China has only 19 points (89,2) ahead of Thailand (108,2) and 25 points from Hong Kong (114,9), meaning nothing when we know that a refusal in cross country is already 20 points!

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From Baborówko to Tokyo 2020

Photo: Oliver Townend.

Baborówko, November 26, 2018 — FEI General Assembly in Bahrain has announced that an eventing qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be held during Equestrian Festival Baborówko 2019 in Baborówko, Poland. For athletes from C group, that includes countries from Central and East Europe, it is one of the two opportunities to qualify for the Olympics.

“Such a decision from the FEI is a great honour for us, validating the high level of the organisation of shows in Baborówko,” says Henryk Święcicki jr, the director of Equestrian Festival Baborówko. For the athletes from C group, another opportunity to qualify for the Olympics are the European Championships in Lumuehlen in August 2019.

The qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be played out in Baborówko as the CCI4*-L class. In the cross-country trial for this class, the athletes will have to finish a 6000m distance in the course of 10 minutes, overcoming almost 40 fences.

Within the team classification of the CCI4*-L class during Baborówko Equestrian Festival, the athletes will compete for the individual qualification to the Olympics, and the right to compete will only be granted to the best team.

Once again we will have the opportunity to witness the best athletes compete not only for the Olympic qualification. Thanks to the support of the Patron of the event, Mr. Roman Roszkiewicz, the prize money at Baborówko Equestrian Festival will once again reach ca. 100 000 EUR.

From the 23rd to the 26th of May 2019, at Equestrian Festival Baborówko, apart from the CCI4*-L class, athletes will also compete in the CCI3*-S and CCI2*-S classes, and the CCIYH2*-S class for young horses. The organisers are preparing an additional programme for the audiences, and as every year, admission is free.

Eventing is one of the three equestrian Olympic disciplines (along with dressage and showjumping), which the audience will have the opportunity to watch at Japan’s capital. The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will take place from the 24th of July until the 9th of August 2020.

More information on: www.festiwal.baborowko.pl.