Tag Archives: Penelope Leprevost

French to the Fore on Opening Day of Longines 2016 Final

French rider, Penelope Leprevost, steered Vagabond de la Pomme to victory in the opening competition at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2016 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Gothenburg (SWE), 25 March 2016 – French riders took a firm grip of the leaderboard at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2016 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden when Penelope Leprevost steered Vagabond de la Pomme to victory ahead of compatriot Simon Delestre riding Qlassic Bois Margot in the opening Speed competition.

A good position at the end of the first of the three deciding classes is every rider’s aim, but as third-placed Daniel Deusser pointed out this evening the race for a good early result needs to be tempered with caution.

“Today’s goal was to be in top five, six or seven horses because in the next two rounds anything can happen. I was very careful today because of the experience I had last year where one mistake was very costly and I finished in 15th place,” said the German rider who claimed the 2014 Longines FEI World Cup™ title with Cornet d’Amour.

And the top three have every reason to keep looking over their shoulders because fourth spot went to defending champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland who sneaked home 0.1 seconds faster than Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts, while the third member of the powerful French contingent, Patrice Delaveau, lined up in sixth spot.

Early target

There were 35 starters when Great Britain’s Laura Renwick decided to withdraw Bintang, and it was Delaveau who set the early target over the 13-fence track set by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela. As Technical Delegate Louis Konickx said, it was a clever track with plenty of options for the riders to choose from, and it presented a great opening-day challenge resulting in a very exciting competition.

Delaveau was second into the ring and broke the beam with Lacrimoso in 66.96 seconds, but Deusser was almost a half-second quicker when twelfth to go. Philippaerts’ time of 66.94 seconds was always going to keep him in the frame, but Delestre blew the class wide open when stopping the clock on 66.04 seconds and after that he was the man to beat.

None came close until the penultimate rider, Leprevost, set off with the 13-year-old stallion which she has been specifically aiming at this World Cup title. And Vagabond, whose pedigree includes the super-stallion Vigo d’Arsouilles and the great For Pleasure, showed his pure class when cruising home effortlessly in 63.78 to shave more than two seconds off her compatriot’s target time.

Not even the defending champion Guerdat could challenge that when last to go, but there’s no doubting the threat he will pose when the action resumes tomorrow evening.


Leprevost described her horse’s performance as “amazing”, but she was already feeling fairly confident after a good start to the week. She brought Vagabond to the 2015 Longines FEI World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas (USA) as a 10-year-old and he finished second, so this is clearly a horse that thrives indoors.

“He was very good in the warm-up two days ago and also I was lucky to go at the end of the competition today,” she said. “He has improved a lot in the last year,” she continued. “He’s always been good to ride; he has a super character and a lot of scope. Initially my problem with him was control, but we have done a lot of dressage now so I have no problem with control and we are really good together – I’m very happy!” she added.


Talking about her strategy, she explained, “I had a plan in my head but then I went faster than I thought!” And runner-up Delestre, who currently holds the no. 1 spot on the Longines world rankings, joked, “To be honest I was quite fast, but not stupid-fast like Penelope! We walked the course together so I knew exactly what to expect. I had a super plan in my head and my horse was very good today,” he pointed out.

When asked what it’s like to hold the world no.1 slot when coming to a major event like the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, Delestre, who, like Leprevost, is something of a speed specialist, replied modestly, “It is a fantastic feeling, although when you are in the ring nothing changes. But it’s great to have this position even just one time in your career, and it would be a bonus to win the Longines trophy this weekend!”

If a French rider does succeed in taking the title on Monday then it will be for only the second time in the 38-year-history of this much-loved series which includes many of the greatest legends of the sport on its roll of honour. The only previous French champion was Bruno Broucqsault who sprang a big surprise when coming out on top with Dileme de Cephe at the Final in Milan (ITA) back in 2004. But there are two more tough rounds to go before we will know the destiny of the 2016 title, and it all begins again when the second round gets underway at 18.00 local time tomorrow.

For further information on the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2015/2016 in Gothenburg (SWE) from 23-28 March 2016, visit www.gothenburghorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Lotta Amnestål, lotta.amnestal@ridsport.se, +46 709 79 56 35.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

French riders Penelope Leprevost (Vagabond de la Pomme) and Simon Delestre (Qlassic Bois Margot) claimed the top two places in the first competition of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2016 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Final consists of three competitions, with the second leg taking place tomorrow evening and the deciding competition on Monday 28 March.

Third place went to 2012 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champions Daniel Deusser and Cornet d’Amour from Germany.

Defending champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, who won through in the thrilling final in Las Vegas, USA last April, finished fourth with Corbinian.

Three-time FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion, Germany’s Marcus Ehning, finished in eighth place with Cornado NRW and is well poised to make a challenge for a record-breaking fourth title.

Course designer was Spain’s Santiago Varela.

The course consisted of 13 fences including a double and a triple combination and four seconds was added for each fence down in this Table C competition.

The youngest horse was the eight-year-old bay mare Cristalline ridden by Australia’s Chris Chugg. The pair jumped clear and slotted into 17th place.

The oldest horse was the 20-year-old stallion Flexible ridden by America’s Rich Fellers. This horse-and-rider combination had two fences down to finish 24th.


Daniel Deusser GER (3rd): “A lot can happen in the last days. You have to make sure your horse is still in good shape for the second and third day of the World Cup Final.”

Wiveka Lundh, Sport Director of the Swedish Federation and Head of Gothenburg Show Office: “From the Organising Committee’s point of view, we are very happy. For the first evening of the Final we sold 11,021 tickets. It is a fantastic show with fantastic riders and we are more than happy!”

Rider biographies: view online and download here.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Gothenburg:

Lotta Amnestål
Press Officer
+46 709 79 56 35


Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

Lightning-Fast Leprevost Wins Again in Lyon

Three happy ladies – winner of today’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League leg at Lyon (FRA), French rider Penelope Leprevost, her fabulous mare Flora de Mariposa, and Caroline Scrivener, Press Attaché Longines France. (FEI/Pierre Costabadie)

Lyon (FRA), 1 November 2015 – The fast and fearless French partnership of Penelope Leprevost and Flora de Mariposa scorched to their second victory of the 2015/2016 season at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League qualifier in Lyon, France this afternoon.

From a formidable 40-strong start-list, just seven found the key to Frank Rothenberger’s first-round track, and the result was clinched by a breathtaking run from the 35-year-old Frenchwoman and her fabulous 10-year-old mare who also topped the line-up at the opening round of the series in Oslo (NOR) two weeks ago. They pinned the dynamic German duo of Christian Ahlmann and Taloubet Z into runner-up spot today, while last weekend’s winners in Helsinki (FIN), Switzerland’s Romain Duguet and Quorida de Treho, had to settle for third place this time out.

There were three host-nation contenders in the closing stages, and it was the less-well-known Julien Gonin (Soleil de Cornu CH) who slotted into fourth spot ahead of fellow-countryman Simon Delestre (Qlassic Bois Margot) in fifth. Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (Casall ASK) and Douglas Lindelow (Casello) lined up sixth and seventh in the final rankings.

Vintage Rothenberger

The first-round track was vintage Rothenberger, and it was clear from the outset that fault-free performances would not easily be achieved. Big and bold from start to finish, it included a difficult line from an oxer at fence six to a double of maximum-height verticals at seven and another big oxer at fence eight. And that was quickly followed by a right-hand turn to the testing triple combination – oxer, vertical, oxer – at nine.

A total of 13 horse-and-rider combinations faulted at the double which would play a role right to the end of the competition. Adding extra pressure in the first round was a tight time-allowed of 70 seconds, and both Frenchman Jerome Hurel (Quartz Rouge) and Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano (Casper) were unlucky when missing out on a slot in the jump-off with just a single time fault apiece.


Rothenberger’s jump-off track was also intriguing, making a figure-of-eight with a circle at the centre of it and with the dreaded double of verticals still in place.

Sweden’s Lindelow led off with a mistake from his leggy chestnut, Casello, at the bogey first element of the double, so it was last weekend’s winner, Romain Duguet, who established the early target when home and clear with Quorida de Treho in 42.27 seconds. This was always going to be a strong time, and when Gonin broke the beam more than five seconds slower, the Swiss rider was still way out in front.

Gonin – 220th in the current Longines rankings – was hugely impressive, however, qualifying for the jump-off when so many of the major stars failed to do so and leaving the difficult jump-off track intact once again with his nine-year-old bay gelding. A friend of Show Director Sylvie Robert and a long-time pupil of French horseman par excellence, Michel Robert, the 33-year-old, who won individual bronze at the FEI Mediterranean Games in Italy in 2009, lives near Lyon, and he had plenty of support in the arena today.

Fellow-Frenchman, 2015 European individual bronze medallist Simon Delestre, was well up on the clock with Qlassic Bois Margot when also falling foul of the first element of the double, but Germany’s Ahlmann cut clean through the course with his fantastic and faithful servant, the 15-year-old stallion Taloubet Z, to cross the line in 41.27 and go well out in front and really put it up to the final two contenders.

Didn’t flinch

Leprevost didn’t flinch, however, setting off at a ferocious pace and never faltering for even a moment. “Flora jumped as if she knew where the next fence was!” said the Frenchwoman afterwards, and that was exactly how it seemed, the pair scorching in with the clock showing 40.64 seconds for the new lead. And when Rolf-Goran Bengtsson’s 16-year-old Casall ASK hit the third fence it was all done and dusted.

Winning one leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League is no mean feat, so a second victory is all the sweeter. Leprevost put it all down to her brilliant horse. “She is one of the best mares in the world; she is so brave and clever – she’s very, very special! I saw Romain go and also Christian and they were so fast that I didn’t know if I could be faster. But Flora is very, very quick – she’s just amazing!” she added.

When asked if she had a clear plan in her head going into the jump-off, Leprevost explained, “I plan a lot of things, but I know I can change my plan if something goes wrong.”

Ups and downs

Having achieved so much so early in the season, and already looking set for a place at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next March, the winning rider was asked if she would find herself a little bored over the rest of the winter months. “No!” she replied. “I have had three wins in two weeks because I also won the Longines Grand Prix here at Lyon on Friday, but I have had plenty of ups and downs in the past – I’m just delighted that at last the ups are coming along!”

And she is far from finished with her Longines 2015/2016 qualification campaign, because she will be back in the ring next Sunday at Verona (ITA) for the fourth leg of the Western European League. She will bring the horse with which she finished second at the 2015 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Las Vegas (USA) last April, Vagabond de la Pomme, to the Italian fixture.

For further information on the third leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League series at Lyon, France, visit www.equitalyon.com or contact Press Officer Daniel Koroloff, presse@equitalyon.com, +33 478 173 073.

The fourth leg will take place in Verona, Italy on Sunday 8 November. For details, visit www.jumpingverona.it or contact Press Officer Caterina Vagnozzi, c.vagnozzi@gmail.com, +39 335 6107070.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

Lyon in France presented the third leg of the 11-round Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League.

It was a home win for France with Penelope Leprevost and Flora de Mariposa scoring their second victory of the season. They also won the opening round in Oslo, Norway two weeks ago.

Course designer was Germany’s Frank Rothenberger.

Time-allowed in first round 70 seconds.

40 starters, 11 from the host nation of France and 8 riders who have held the No. 1 position in the Longines rankings, including the current world no. 1 Scott Brash GBR.

The field also included the silver and bronze medallists from the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen – Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet and Simon Delestre from France.

7 horse-and-rider combinations qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock.

22 of the top-40 riders on the Longines rankings competed in this leg of the Western European League.

Youngest horse in competition was the 8-year-old chestnut stallion Classic ridden by Ireland’s Trevor Breen.

The oldest horses were both 16-year-olds – Casall ASK ridden by Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Winningmood with Portugal’s Luciana Diniz in the saddle.


Michel Robert, Jumping Coordinator GL Events: “I’m delighted with today – I cried a lot! Congratulations to Julien Gonin – I’m very proud of him!”

Sylvie Robert, Manager GL Events and Show Director: “I’m extremely happy for Penelope and also for Michel. I want to thank the FEI for allowing us to host this World Cup again and to thank Longines for all they do for equestrian sport.”

Christian Ahlmann GER (2nd): “We did a good job today. I had a big ‘down’ on the first day, but it has been better over the weekend. Today I really wanted to win, but Penelope did a better job so congratulations to her!”

Frank Rothenberger (who was also course designer for the first leg of the series in Oslo where Leprevost also won): “The first thing I have to say is Penelope and I are not related, and we have no deal in place! Conditions here at Lyon are top for riders and horses. We have to be tough with the time; I was aiming for eight or nine in the jump-off and definitely no more than 10, so seven was fine.”

Christian Ahlmann GER (2nd): “I’m planning to compete in Stuttgart, then Madrid and then Mechelen. After that we will have to see. For the second half of the season I am not pre-qualified for events.”

Full standings here.

Social media: #FEIWorldCupWEL

Rider biographies: view online and download from http://www.fei.org/bios.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Lyon:

Daniel Koroloff
Press Officer
+33 611 021 812


Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 787 506 145

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

Leprevost Leads French Cavalry-Charge at First Longines Leg in Oslo

French rider, Penelope Leprevost, pictured with Morten Thormodsen, Brand Manager Longines Norway, after winning today’s first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League at Oslo (NOR) riding Flora de Mariposa. (FEI/Mette Sattrup)

Oslo (NOR), 18 October 2015 – French riders ran rampant at the opening leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League in Oslo, Norway today where Penelope Leprevost came out on top with Flora de Mariposa. In a thrilling 15-horse jump-off, the 35-year-old rider and her fabulous 10-year-old mare pinned her French counterparts, Simon Delestre and Patrice Delaveau, into second and third places, while Kevin Staut also carried the French flag into fifth spot behind Germany’s Marcus Ehning.

A super-star start-list guaranteed a great day of sport. A total of 39 horse-and-rider combinations from 21 nations were in action, and as Show Director, Morten Aasen, said this evening, “When the entries were coming in, we had 16 of the top 20 riders in the Longines rankings, so it was like a dream come true! Having such a great line-up was like having a European Championship here – but it turned into a French Championship in the end!”

All the hallmarks

The 13-fence first course carried all the hallmarks of its creator, Germany’s Frank Rothenberger, with no allowance made for the fact that this was the first serious indoor test of the season for many. Big, bold oxers and a demanding triple combination of a double of oxers followed by a vertical stretched them all the way. One of the bogeys of the class, however, was the narrow, but wide, oxer at fence two which put paid to many chances, while the triple bar at fence eight produced some moments of high drama.

Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann almost parted company with Cantinero when the pair paddled through the poles here, and, with just five horses left to go, World No 1, Great Britain’s Scott Brash, also ran into trouble when meeting this on a wrong stride with Hello Sanctos. Despite concerns about just how tough it might be during the coursewalk, however, “The course turned out easier than we expected,” according to Leprevost.

First clear

Ireland’s Billy Twomey led the way into the jump-off with the veteran Tinka’s Serenade who collected 12 faults, and it was Ehning who produced the first clear when fourth to run with Comme Il Faut. Once the French got going, however, it was all about them, Delestre scorching home with the stallion Qlassic Bois Margot in 43.38 seconds to really put it up to the rest of the field, and his fellow-countryman, Delaveau, only 0.12 seconds slower to slot into temporary second place.

Try as they would, none of the rest could touch Delestre’s target-time until Leprevost set sail. She had a clear plan, and she stuck to it. “In the jump-off, most of the other riders took an inside line (around fence 13) to the double, but I went outside because I didn’t want to break the rhythm for Flora, who is anyway always fast – I think maybe that’s what made the difference,” she explained. The decision paid off handsomely, with the clock showing just 43.01 seconds, an advantage of 0.37 seconds over her French rival, as she galloped through the timers.

A good surprise

“To win today was a good surprise!” Leprevost said afterwards. “It was the first indoor of the season for Flora; she is a super mare but I didn’t know if she would be perfect indoors just yet, but she was very good.” She now plans to compete in both the third Western European League leg on home turf in Lyon, France in two weeks’ time and at the fourth leg in Verona, Italy at the beginning of November.

Delestre wasn’t unhappy about having to settle for runner-up spot today. “I gave it all to the very last fence, and I could do no more. My horse has a big stride so I decided to take the inside line in the jump-off, and even if I had it all to do again I would do the same!” he said. Talking about the battle that ensued between himself and his fellow French riders, he pointed out that while they have a good team spirit, there was no love lost in trying to collect those all-important maximum qualifying points for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final which will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden next March.

“We are a good team and we like to help each other – it’s a great pleasure to compete together. But we have three fast horses, and when it comes to the jump-off we like to play the game!” he said.

The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League now moves on to Helsinki, Finland on Sunday 25 October.

For further information on the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League series at Oslo, Norway, visit website www.oslohorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Anton Granhus at Email press@oslohorseshow.com, Tel +47 911 77 154.

The second leg of the series will take place in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday 25 October 2015. For all information on the Finnish fixture, go to website http://www.helsinkihorseshow.fi/ or contact Press Officer Kati Hurme-Leikkonen, Email kati.hurme@helsinkihorseshow.fi, Tel +358 40 514 4753.

Full result here: http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/1093/sta_erg/08_ergDEU.htm?style=longines.

Facts and Figures:

Oslo in Norway presented the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2015 Western European League.

39 horse-and-rider combinations from 21 nations competed.

French riders filled the top three, and four of the top five places.

The winning rider was 35-year-old Penelope Leprevost from France riding the 10-year-old mare Flora de Mariposa.

This is the 38th season of FEI World Cup™ Jumping.

The Western European League consists of 11 legs, the next taking place in Helsinki, Finland next weekend.

The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Final will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden from 23 to 28 March 2016.

7 double-clear rounds in today’s first qualifying leg in Oslo.

Course designer was Germany’s Frank Rothenberger.

A total of 15 horse-and-rider combinations qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock.


Penelope Leprevost FRA (1st): “In the first round we had just one small error when we were too long at the triple bar; I wasn’t happy with that.”

Patrice Delaveau (3rd): “The jump-off didn’t suit my horse with so many short turns – my horse likes to drive forward to win!”

Full standings here: http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/1093/docs/Longines_FEI_World_Cup_standings_after_Oslo_2015.pdf.

Social media: #FEIWorldCupWEL

Rider biographies: view online and download from http://www.fei.org/bios.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Oslo:

Anton Granhus
Press Officer
+47 911 77 154


Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 787 506 145

Penelope Leprevost Maintains Lead in Individual Competition at FEI European Championships

Photo credit – ROLEX/Kit Houghton.

France takes control in the team competition

Aachen, Germany, 20 August 2015 – In a display of controlled and precise riding, France’s Penelope Leprevost, riding Flora de Mariposa, maintained her first place in the Individual competition at the FEI European Jumping Championships in Aachen today, whilst France took over from Germany at the overnight leaders of the Team competition.

The top four places remained unchanged from the first day of the competition with Penelope Leprevost, Ludger Beerbaum, Joe Clee and Gregory Wathelet all jumping clear on the second day of these Championships. Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya broke into the top five with a clear round aboard Carlo 273. In the team competition, Penelope Leprovost’s second clear round was matched by team mates Simon Delestre and Kevin Staut, and with the four faults accrued by Jerome Hurel dropped at this stage, the French now go into the final day of the competition as leaders on a score of 5.700, ahead of The Netherlands on 7.820 and Germany of 8.400.

For the full standings, please click http://results.aachen2015.de/show/7/schedule/.

Rolex Testimonees

Rolex Testimonee Kevin Staut, riding his mare Reveur de Hurtebise, enjoyed a superb clear round and leapt up to 16th place from an overnight position of 35th. In an illustration of how tight the level of competition is at the top, Bertram Allen riding Molly Malone V and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum on Fibonacci 17 both had one pole down and dropped to 20th and 32nd place respectively.


Penelope Leprevost

“With my mare it was just a dream. She was so easy to ride. In the team competition we have clear rounds today but it will be a difficult competition tomorrow.”

Ludger Beerbaum

“Today was the team competition, and that’s what counts. You need good rounds or you are going down the standings. I am really pleased with my horse and remain hungry for success, but there is still a long way to go.”

Joe Clee

“My horse has been jumping great – I was more relaxed today than yesterday, but the team is taking each day as it comes and with success here comes Olympic qualification but one job at a time. This is the most amazing show in the world and I am really enjoying being here with the public. It’s a bonus that everything is going so well but we have a job to do and we have to keep on thinking about the job in hand.”

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

Rolex and the European Championships

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

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

Penelope Leprevost Takes Early Lead in Individual Competition at FEI European Championships

Germany leads team competition

Aachen, Germany, 19 August 2015 – France’s Penelope Leprevost, riding her chestnut mare Flora de Mariposa, took the Individual lead in the first stage of the FEI European Jumping Championships in Aachen today, whilst Germany leads the Team competition.

Penelope Leprevost was the seventh horse and rider combination into the area, and went clear in a time of 67.67 seconds around the Frank Rothenberger designed course. She held onto her lead throughout the afternoon, ahead of Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum (riding Chiara 222) in second place and Great Britain’s Joe Clee (riding Utamaro d’Ecaussines) in third. A total of 94 horse and rider combinations from 23 nations took part in this first stage of the competition, with Nations Cup competitions on Thursday and Friday to decide the Team medals, and the Individual Final on Sunday.

For the full standings, please click http://results.aachen2015.de/show/7/schedule/.

Rolex Testimonees

Rolex Testimonee Bertram Allen riding Molly Malone V was one of 30 clear rounds in a time of 69.79, and is currently in fifth place in the Individual standings. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum riding Fibonacci 17 is in 11th place and Kevin Staut with Riveur is currently in 35th place.


Penelope Leprevost

“I’m very happy with my mare as she didn’t jump the last show here. She feels very good here in this ring and it’s perfect for the team too. This is not her first time jumping in Aachen; she jumped here when she was eight. She has a lot of character, is sensitive and special.”

Ludger Beerbaum

“You could feel how much the crowd was cheering today and it is so nice to be here. Aachen is a great place for equestrian sport – most riders don’t get the chance to compete in front of a crowd like this – it’s just fantastic.”

Joe Clee

“I was aware that I had to go fast; he’s a great horse to go fast on; the faster you go the more he tries. I was a bit worried going in so fast as the faster you go the higher he jumps, and there were some big jumps in there, but he handled it really well and the further we went the more risks I felt we could take, so it was really nice.”

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

Rolex and the European Championships

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

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

Germany Holds Team Advantage While Leprevost Heads Individual Standings for France

French rider Penelope Leprevost galloped to victory with Flora de Mariposa in the first Team and Individual qualifier at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen, Germany today. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Aachen (GER), 19 August 2015 – The FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 got off to a flying start in Aachen, Germany today with a brilliant victory for Frenchwoman Penelope Leprevost, while the host nation foursome of Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Ludger Beerbaum, Christian Ahlmann and Daniel Deusser took the early lead in the team standings.

The French lie second going into tomorrow’s first round of the team competition with the defending European champions from Great Britain in third. But there is less than a fence between the top six countries, with Spain in fourth, the Netherlands in fifth and Ukraine in sixth place.

A total of 22 teams lined out in this afternoon’s speed competition, and with four seconds added for every fence down, and results converted into points, just 1.33 separates Germany from France, while the British are only another 1.29 points further adrift.

And there is another sub-plot at play this week, with the last three team spots on offer for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Ukraine are already qualified, but the defending Olympic champions from Great Britain are not. As it stands this evening, they lead in the race for those three Rio berths followed by Spain, while the seventh-placed Italians and eighth-placed Irish are also in hot pursuit.

Had to be sharp

Course designer, Frank Rothenberger, set them a straightforward 13-obstacle track, but they had to be sharp from start to finish, with two big oxers opening them up from the outset. The double of triple-bar to oxer at fence five and the following narrow red gate at six claimed a number of victims. But it was the next double, a vertical with water-tray to oxer on a one-stride distance, that hit the floor most often, while the following planks also took their toll. The track got progressively more difficult, and the left-bend turn to the vertical at fence 10 had to be managed carefully. The biggest drama of the day was a freak fall for Zuzana Zelinkova here. the rider from the Czech Republic ejected from the saddle when her fabulous bay stallion, Caleri, put in a typically enthusiastic leap.

It was Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum who opened the competition with an exhibition round from her lovely grey gelding Fibonacci. She set the pace in 71.85 seconds, and that gave the rest of the home team a great platform on which to build. Christian Ahlmann followed with a foot-perfect run with Taloubet Z in 70.80 seconds and when Ludger Beerbaum raced through the finish in 69.17 seconds he ensured not only a top team placing for his side, but individual runner-up spot in the competition. Fourth-line German, Daniel Deusser, had a single fence down with Cornet d’Amour.

The British, meanwhile, were also impressive. The big Aachen arena looks tailor-made for Michael Whitaker’s extravagant grey stallion Cassionato, and when their careful clear was followed by a much quicker one from Ben Maher and Diva, then Jessica Mendoza’s eight-fault effort with Spirit T could be dropped because Joe Clee produced the perfect end to their day. The 37-year-old galloped fearlessly around the track with Utamaro D’Ecaussines to break the beam in 69.67 seconds which slotted the pair into third place individually.


Defending individual European champion, Roger Yves Bost, was not selected for his side, but thanks to great back-up from Simon Delestre and Jerome Hurel, Leprevost looks poised to do big things for France this week.

She was delighted, and a little surprised, that she came out on top this afternoon. Her 10-year-old chestnut mare, Flora de Mariposa, began the year really well but picked up an injury in her left foreleg just before their home show at La Baule at the end of May. She was out for two months and only returned to action in July, competing in Germany and then travelling to Hickstead (GBR) where she showed she was right back to her best again when jumping double-clear in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ before finishing second in the Grand Prix. Those results sealed the pair’s place in the French side.

“Flora came back so quickly once she returned to work, and she’s full of confidence and very fresh!” said the 35-year-old rider who finished second with Vagabond de la Pomme at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Las Vegas, USA three months ago. She didn’t think the Aachen arena would suit Vagabond, so Flora’s return to top action is very timely.

About her winning ride today, Leprevost said, “I had a good run, and my mare went very well. I was too long at the triple bar in the combination, but she jumped amazing and I didn’t think I was so fast!”

Naturally fast horses

Runner-up, Beerbaum, said, “Today’s course suited naturally fast horses like Penelope’s and mine. Knowing that this was just one-third of the team competition and there are two big rounds left, nobody went completely flat out today. I’m happy with my performance and with my team; we did four really good rounds,” he pointed out.

Joe Clee was more than pleased with his third-place individual finish for Britain, especially since the rest of his team was relying on his result. “Obviously when I went in the arena I was feeling the pressure. I knew I had to ride a good round, but he’s (Utamaro D’Ecaussines) great under pressure; the more pressure I put on him the better he jumps, and after fence four I felt myself relaxing and confident, and I knew I could take a few more risks. He answered all the questions I asked him today,” he said.

The Belgians didn’t enjoy the best of days and are lying tenth at this early stage but individual rider, Gregory Wathelet lies individually fourth ahead of Ireland’s Bertram Allen in fifth and Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya in sixth on the individual leaderboard.

Teams go in reverse order of merit in tomorrow’s first round of the team competition which starts at 13.45 local time.

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

Full results of FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 here.

Facts and Figures:

A total of 94 horse-and-rider combinations were on the start-list for today’s opening Team and First Individual Qualifier at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen, Germany.

First into the arena this afternoon was Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum with the fabulous Fibonacci.

Course designer Frank Rothenberger GER.

Table C 239/263 competition judged according to time with conversion of penalties into seconds added.

13 fences, 16 jumping efforts.

Amongst the individual competitors today were father and daughter, Geir and Victoria Gulliksen, from Norway.

30 clear rounds in today’s competition won by Penelope Leprevost and Flora de Mariposa from France.

Germany heads the team rankings going into tomorrow’s first round of the team competition.


Ludger Beerbaum GER: “Meredith started close to perfect today – a really accurate, nice round and the other three team-members as well. I think we can be really pleased with today’s performance.”

Joe Clee GBR: “The footing was fantastic today; I didn’t feel uncomfortable on any of the turns.”

Frank Kemperman GER, course designer: “It’s always difficult (building the course) for the first class. It is scheduled up to 1.50m and can’t go any bigger. The highest jump today was 1.53m and we had about one-third clear rounds – 25 percent is what you want but I’m pleased with how it went. When I was building the course I tried to avoid tiny turns and short turns because we have so many horses in the arena.”

Bertram Allen IRL: “My mare will probably take a good bit of work tomorrow morning – she’s fresher than normal so I suppose that’s maybe not a bad thing when you’re looking into a long week – I’ve plenty of horse left!”

FEI YouTube

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Aachen:

Niels Knippertz
Press Officer
+49 (0) 241 9171 182


Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Penelope Leprevost Takes Top Prize in $125,000 CANA Cup 1.60m at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Penelope Leprevost and Dame Blanche van Arenberg. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Swail Goes 1-2 in $50,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup 1.50m

Calgary, AB, Canada – September 5, 2013 – The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ continued today with two top competitions in the International Ring. Taking the top prize in the $125,000 CANA Cup 1.60m was Penelope Leprevost (FRA) and Dame Blanche van Arenberg. The luck of the Irish was with Conor Swail today when he finished first and second in the $50,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup 1.50m on Martha Louise and Lansdowne. The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament hosts the best show jumpers in the world through Sunday, September 8. The highlight events of the week are the $350,000 BMO Nations’ Cup on Saturday and the $1 Million CN International, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, on Sunday.

The $125,000 CANA Cup 1.60m had 39 entries, but only five were able to find the clear track to the jump-off. The course designer for this week is Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela. First in the jump-off was Olympic gold medalist Steve Guerdat (SUI) on Carpalo. They had eight faults in 43.99 seconds for fifth place.

Leprevost, who has won silver medals at European Championships and FEI World Equestrian Games, and Dame Blanche van Arenberg, a 10-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare by Clinton x Codexco, were next in and set the winning pace in 43.78 seconds with a clear round.

Leprevost revealed, “This is the first time I’ve gone fast with my mare. The dressage and the control is not perfect, but she always tries. My problem is in the turn; she doesn’t do them so good. The mouth is difficult. But in a straight line, she can go fast. She’s very careful. I tried to do my best.”

World Number One Ben Maher gave it a try on Cella, but a rail in 45.52 seconds left them in third place. The only clear round in the jump-off gave second place to Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Powerplay. They were just off the pace in 44.56 seconds. Beezie Madden, also an Olympic gold medalist, was the last one in with Cortes ‘C’. After an early rail, they slowed down to finish in 48.40 seconds for fourth place.

This was Leprevost’s first time competing at Spruce Meadows, and she has only ridden this horse for four months. However, she felt confident that Dame Blanche van Arenberg would be able to handle the atmosphere of the International Ring. “I’m surprised she went so fast. I’m not surprised that she won. She has a super mind,” she described. “She jumped for the first time in Aachen (too) and was great, so I wasn’t worried about it.”

Regarding Spruce Meadows, she complimented, “It’s unbelievable. We heard a lot of super things about this show, but the difference when you can ride and come in the ring, it’s amazing.”

For Lamaze, setting a plan with his young, talented horse is paramount. “I have to be patient,” he acknowledged. “I don’t know have so many at the moment at this level. I have to do everything right and I have to get to know him and make him a better horse than he is today. I still have to take my time and be realistic about what I do, have a very solid plan, and stick to it. I have a good plan for this horse and so far it’s working.”

When he went in the jump-off today, he was not thinking of getting the most speed out of Powerplay. He explained, “To be honest, Powerplay is going to learn to go a bit faster, but it’s never going to be his forte. He’s not much of a racehorse. He spends a bit of time in the air, and he has a big stride. But he’s learned a lot. I basically didn’t see Penelope go, but I just rode the plan that was challenging enough for my horse, but wasn’t going to destroy my Nations Cup either. For me, I was happy with the pace.”

Swail Leads the Way with Two Horses

In a great display of horsemanship, Ireland’s Conor Swail guided both of his horses to the top of the leaderboard in the $50,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup 1.50m. There were 41 entries in the class, and 14 in the jump-off. Swail went fifth in the order on Lansdowne in the jump-off and with a daring approach to the final oxer, he took the lead with a clear round in 37.06 seconds. Six horses later, Swail was back on Martha Louise, and with efficient turns and an open stride, they brought the winning time down to 35.80 seconds for the win. Fellow Irishman Dermott Lennon rode Keonan Stables Ltd’s Hallmark Elite to third place in 37.13 seconds. In fourth was Hans Dieter Dreher (GER) with Magnus Romeo with a time of 38.51 seconds, while Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) and Early Morning Mist placed fifth with a time of 39.17 seconds.

Conor Swail and Lansdowne
Conor Swail and Lansdowne

“I had an awesome day today,” Swail acknowledged with a big smile. “The two horses were absolutely fabulous. To come first and second in front of the international riders, the fantastic riders that are here, is really special. It’s lovely here and there was a nice crowd here today. It’s always lovely to win at Spruce Meadows.”

In addition to his 1-2 in the International Ring, Swail also won the $15,000 Oxford Properties Group Cup 1.30m with Arista and the $25,000 Phillips, Hager & North Cup 1.40m on Game Ready in the All Canada Ring.

While Swail was quick with Lansdowne, he did feel that Martha Louise, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Maoubet de Pleville x Wolfgang, had a good chance of catching him. He explained, “Lansdowne is a big mover, but he’s a little slower than Martha. I knew Martha could probably be a little quicker around the same. I was surprised when she was so fast actually. She was smoking. The first bit was so fast and she turned so well after the wall that I knew all I needed to do was be patient at the last four jumps. She had it done by then.”

Martha Louise has been a proven performer this year for Swail, who sold her to his owners, Susan & Ariel Grange, after the winter circuit. She placed in 11 of 12 classes during the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, and went on to finish in the ribbons at the Dublin CSIO and the three-star events at the P.S.I. FEI European Jumping Championships before coming to the ‘Masters’. She was third yesterday and picked up the win today. “Her record has been absolutely phenomenal here,” Swail affirmed. “She looks like she could be pushing Lansdowne for the top spot, the way she’s been going.”

Swail was pleased with the way Lansdowne has rebounded after jumping in the European Championships in Denmark just 10 days ago. “It was as big as I’ve ever jumped and as big as he’s ever jumped. He struggled a bit and I’m really happy how he’s come out of it. This is the next big test,” he said.

While he plans to show Lansdowne in the BMO Nations Cup on Saturday and the $1 Million CN International on Sunday, his feeling on Saturday will be the deciding factor. “We’ll see how Saturday goes,” he pointed out. “If he handles himself well, I’ll be looking forward to Sunday. If he doesn’t, I don’t have to go. I’m not going to go if I don’t think I can win. There’s always other years, and there’s going to be a lot of years left in that horse. He’s growing all the time. I think hopefully he’ll be a horse to watch out for in the next three or four years.”

Swail added, “I have to thank my owners. I’m so lucky I have some fabulous horses. I’m #36 in the world now, which is the highest ranking I’ve ever been; 37 was my highest before!”

The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ continues tomorrow with the Mercedes-Benz “Evening of the Horse.” It will feature “Name the Foal” contest awards, the $205,000 Encana Cup 1.60m, the $75,000 ATCO Electric ‘Circuit’ Six Bar competition, the German State Studs Stallions Spotlight Performance, and a Symphony of Fireworks. For full results and more information, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Based in Calgary, Canada, Spruce Meadows is the brainchild of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and offers an incredible experience for riders and fans alike. Spruce Meadows focuses on the organization and hosting of show jumping tournaments of unmatched quality for junior, amateur and professional athletes in a manner that reflects basic family values in a clean, green and welcoming environment that celebrates the horse and encourages the breeding and training of quality sport horses and the teaching and development of athletes. For more information on Spruce Meadows, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations