Tag Archives: Puissance

Mr Blue Sky UK Shines on a New Era for London International Horse Show

Charlotte Dujardin started the 2021 edition of The London International Horse Show in style, with victory in the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix aboard her Olympic double bronze medal-winning ride, Gio. The Afternoon Performance saw an increase in pace, with the Extreme Driving supported by Karen and Hugh Scott-Barrett won by Jerome Voutaz, and the first CSI5* Show Jumping competition of the Show – The Santa Stakes – which saw World No. 4 Martin Fuchs take the spoils.

The famous Puissance wall took centre stage at ExCeL London for the Evening Performance, with Guy Williams jumping 2.10m to win. There was a second victory for Fuchs in The Christmas Pudding Stakes. In addition to the return of annual favourites The Shetland Pony Grand National and the Kennel Club Dog Agility, there were performances by The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, horse whisperer Santi Serra, and the presentation of the Raymond Brooks-Ward Memorial Trophy to talented young rider Lottie Fry.

CHARLOTTE SHINES IN LONDON

Great Britain’s Gareth Hughes took an early lead in the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix, scoring 69.605 in the new shortened test. Compatriot Richard Davison was the first to surpass the 70% mark, scoring 71.526% aboard his 15-year-old homebred gelding Bubblingh. However, his lead was short-lived, as he was followed into the arena by Britain’s joint most decorated female Olympian, Charlotte Dujardin. Dujardin, riding her 2020 Tokyo Olympic mount, Gio, set the arena alight, trending at over 80% for much of the test and setting a new personal best score of 82.553%.

Dujardin’s Tokyo Olympic teammate, Lottie Fry, riding her 2019 European Championship partner, was the next to pose a challenge. However, a score of 74.52% – which went into second place at the time – was only good enough for eventual fourth in such hot competition. The final two to go, Nanna Skodborg Merrald from Denmark and Frederic Wandres from Germany, came closest to Dujardin’s outstanding mark to finish third and second, respectively.

“I was absolutely over the moon with Gio today,” said Dujardin. “This is his first indoor show; he has only really done the Olympics and Europeans this year, so he had to up his game very quickly to go into that huge indoor arena. He took it in his stride; he went out there and did the test. I didn’t feel like I had to hold his hand through it at all. He really delivered, which made me unbelievably happy. “

FUCHS ON FLYING FORM

The CSI5* Show Jumping got underway with The Santa Stakes, a 1.50m jump-off class, which was won by World No. 4, Martin Fuchs from Switzerland, riding The Sinner. The combination picked up where they left off at the Show, returning to London following their win in the FEI Jumping World Cup in 2019.

12 combinations made it through with a clear first round, setting up for a scintillating jump-off against the clock, and in the end just 0.11 seconds separated the top three. Germany’s Christian Ahlmann took an early lead, setting an impressive target for those who followed; however, Fuchs, full of confidence following victory in the Grand Prix at CHI Geneva last weekend, put on a masterful display to take the lead at the midway point. With just three remaining, Max Kühner gave his all to put Fuchs’ lead in jeopardy, but his time of 32.93 was 0.09 seconds slower, going into second place, with Ahlmann in eventual third.

Fuchs commented: “This is a perfect start to the London International Horse Show with a win in the big class. The Sinner loves to come to London and really enjoys this Show; when he went in the ring, I could feel he wanted to do his best and he loves performing here, and so do I!”

Fuchs’ winning streak continued as he made it two from two on the opening day of the Show with victory in The Christmas Pudding Speed Stakes. Drawn fourth of 34 starters, Fuchs laid down the gauntlet, making all the turns and keeping his foot on the gas throughout to post a time to beat of 53.34 seconds. Those who followed were unable to match his pace and accuracy. Great Britain’s Guy Williams, notorious for his speed against the clock, put in a valiant effort to post a time of 54.82, finishing fourth, and France’s Olivier Robert also came close with a time of 54.48. Last to go, Britain’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion Ben Maher had the sell-out crowd on their feet with an explosive gallop to the last, but despite his best efforts, he could only go into second.

Speaking after the class, Fuchs said: “I knew my horse would be very fast, so I thought I would give it go and try to put as much pressure on the rest of riders as possible. It was very tight at the end as Ben was quick, but I was happy to stay on top. The atmosphere here is amazing; performing in front a full crowd is so cool and the facilities here are amazing for the horses. I am really enjoying the Show so far.”

The LeMieux Puissance provided a fitting conclusion to the opening day of the Show. The famous red wall was raised to 2.10m in the fourth round, a height that could only be cleared by Guy Williams riding Mr Blue Sky UK. The combination, who were joint winners of the same class at the 2018 Show, was up against three other challengers in the fourth round, but Williams and Mr Blue Sky UK – who have an exceptional Puissance record – came out on top as the only pair to jump the wall without fault. Equal second was shared between French riders Mathieu Billot and Daniel Delsart, who both finished on four faults in the fourth round.

A delighted Williams said: “He jumped so well tonight; he is such a good Puissance horse and so reliable. I know him really well – I have had him since he was four, so it is great to win here again with him. The atmosphere was so good in the arena. I could hear people cheering for us, but I was trying to focus on my job and what was in front of us. My plan is to jump him in the FEI Jumping World Cup™ on Sunday as he’s feeling good, but will see how we go over the next couple of days.”

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets, can be found here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com

Fans Wowed on Opening Day of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021 got off to a scintillating start with top-class national Show Jumping and Showing competitions and spectacular international displays. Amongst the highlights of the day was a ‘Stepping Up to Grand Prix’ Dressage Masterclass with Olympic rider, Richard Davison, and Olympic judge, Steven Clarke, who gave a valuable insight into how riders train at the highest level. With up-and-coming Grand Prix riders, including Jess Dunn, Sarah Higgins, and Gillian Davison in the saddle, the experts demonstrated the techniques used when training for a Grand Prix test, as well as explaining how to score the maximum points possible in the test itself.

The Puissance rounded off a spectacular day of national Show Jumping action in Windsor’s famous Castle Arena, with a duo of greys out-jumping their rivals in the five-round competition. From the six starters, four made it through to the fourth round to face the daunting 2.05m wall. However, with both Robert Whitaker and Shane Breen failing to clear the wall, it was left to Joseph Stockdale and Guy Williams to battle it out in the fifth round as the wall was raised to 2.10cm. Stockdale, riding the 11-year-old grey gelding Florida VDL, was first to guarantee his place at the top of the leaderboard; however, Williams, with the experienced Mr Blue Sky UK, made effortless work of the iconic wall to share the spoils.

Earlier in the day, The Martin Collins Enterprises National 1.40m Open Jumping Competition was a tight affair with less than a second splitting the top five placed riders. Ireland’s Shane Breen, as first to go, set a competitive standard completing the second timed phase with a clear round in a time of 32.79 seconds, good enough for eventual fifth place. Jay Halim, riding Gentleman BD Riethandei, put on an excellent display of horsemanship to temporarily take the lead posting a time of 32.21; however, it was Britain’s leading lady rider, Laura Renwick, who came out on top, taking the tightest lines to post a winning time of 31.85 aboard her nine-year-old mare, Haitske.

Ronnie Jones went one better than his 2019 finish to take victory in The Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship. Riding Kaleche, Ronnie was the fastest of just three double clears, finishing ahead of Adam Whiteway and Katie Speller, who took second and third, respectively.

The day’s Showing classes started with a victory for Derbyshire-based amateur Jessica Taylor, who headed the Show’s opening class in the Castle Arena in fine style. Jessica won the Working Show Horse section with her mannerly intermediate campaigner Randal, a 17-year-old son of John Whitaker’s Show Jumping stallion Randi.

Another home-producer, Shropshire-based Lucy Lockwood, landed one of the hardest-fought titles when she claimed the Amateur Hunter Championship with Chantilly Bojangles, formerly a successful small campaigner for Robert Walker, but now contesting lightweight classes with great success in Lucy’s hands. Reserve went to Suffolk-based farmer’s wife and mother-of-two Cerys Ford, another to land a first Royal Windsor win. She scored in the Middle/Heavyweight division with Rebecca James’s home-produced Alis Real Bright Spark, an eight-year-old in his first season.

The Working Hunter title — fought out this year in the Castle Arena for the first time, to the delight of both riders and spectators — fell to Royal Windsor newcomer Kelly Ward and Cheryl Farrow’s in-form lightweight Bloomfields Incognito, who are already through to this year’s Horse of the Year Show.

For full results from Royal Windsor Horse Show, CLICK HERE.

To find out more, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Puissance and Dressage Masterclass Come to Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have announced a further release of General Entry tickets for the sold-out days of 2021 Show (taking place from 1-4 July) plus a new evening entertainment ticket offer.

The evening programme will see the return of a Puissance competition to the Show on Thursday 1 July, as well as a Dressage Masterclass, adding to the diverse array of equestrian spectacles on display over the course of the four days.

The Puissance, a traditional jumping competition whereby riders tackle an imposing red wall which gets higher in every round jumped, was last seen at Royal Windsor in 2009. On that occasion it was a 20‐year‐old William Whitaker who took the top spot, clearing 7ft aboard Cyber Space. Always a crowd pleaser, the competition will take centre stage in the private grounds of Windsor Castle on the afternoon of Thursday 1 July.

Joining the programme on Thursday will be a new Dressage Masterclass documenting the skills required for horses stepping up to Grand Prix level, the highest level in international Dressage. Presented by British Olympian Richard Davison, the masterclass will not only consider the steps required in training horses to reach this pinnacle, breaking down notoriously challenging movements such as piaffe, one-time-changes, and passage, but will also look at how a rider can maximise the points scored during the test itself.

Richard will be joined by Stephen Clarke, the FEI’s highest ranking Dressage judge and a judge at the London 2012 Olympics, to carry out an appraisal of a Grand Prix Dressage test, noting where the horse and rider score their points and tips for where they could pick up a few more marks. The horse and rider combinations performing under Stephen’s watchful eye will be up-and-coming British Grand Prix riders and future Olympic hopefuls looking to cement their status amongst the world’s best.

Whilst visitor numbers are restricted due to the ongoing pandemic, the organisers are announcing a final release of tickets for each day of the Show. This includes a new offer for 2021 – Champagne Evenings at Royal Windsor Horse Show – allowing entry from 4pm to the end of the Show. The ticket includes a drinks voucher and offers visitors the chance to enjoy a long summer evening at Royal Windsor. Tickets will be released at 10am on Thursday 10 June.

Show Director, Simon Brooks‐Ward, said, “I am hugely excited to welcome these new additions to Royal Windsor Horse Show for 2021. The Puissance is always great fun and a real crowd pleaser, and the Dressage Masterclass is certain to be extremely enlightening. We are also delighted to be able to offer a new ticket type this year for our evening entertainment – with the show moved back in the calendar, we are looking to encourage visitors to come to the Show and enjoy the long summer evenings.”

To find out more about Royal Windsor Horse Show, or to book tickets, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

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

Nayel Nassar and Martin Fuchs Hand in Hand on Top of the Masters Power Lido de Paris

Nayel Nassar & Can Can Della Caccia © Aléa pour EEM.

High jump contest the Lido de Paris Masters Power was the first highlight of the day at the Longines Masters of Paris. Seven of the seventeen pairs entered came from the Masters Two category and ten from the Masters One. Tied at 1.97 meter, Egypt’s Nayel Nassar and Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs are joint winners of the Masters One while the Netherlands’ Elise van de Mheen, the only rider from her category to clear 1.87 meter, was the best of the Masters Two section.

After an initial round at 1.45m, all riders but Italy’s Filipo Marco Bologni started in the first jump-off at 1.72m. With an extra 27cm, things were getting a bit trickier. Nonetheless, twelve pairs gave the second jump-off (1.87m) a go! Now, the added 15cm proved much more challenging. Of the Masters Two field, only The Netherlands’ Elise van de Mheen managed to clear the line. On the Masters One side, Nayel Nassar, France’s Philippe Rozier, and Martin Fuchs remained in contention. The Egyptian and the Swiss easily cleared the next round at 1.97m while Philippe Rozier’s Prestigio LS La Silla refused to launch himself at the impressive vertical.

The competition was then coming to an end. Both leaders had a final attempt at 2.07m, both a record height and a challenge with a 10 000 euros Super Bonus for all riders clearing over 2.05m at each leg of the Longines Masters Series. Were they going to be able to fly even higher? Despite their determination and the support of the Paris audience, neither managed to clear the huge jump. No Super Bonus, then, but a nonetheless superb victory for the riders who were both partnered with horses who were novices at this type of competition.

“This was a good class in which I had entered my Grand Prix horse Silver Shine. We gave a go at 2.07m and it didn’t work. 2.07m is actually quite high. Especially as it was Silver’s first puissance. I like entering this kind of class before a Grand Prix. The gymnastics are very good preparation,” explained the European champion Martin Fuchs. “It was Can Can Della Caccia’s first puissance. Honestly, I did not know how he would react. I’m not very experienced either at this kind of class. But he got better and better after each round. He felt like he kept growing up.”

Find the complete results HERE.

© 2019 Blizko Communication

Sydney Shulman Makes It Two in a Row at WIHS

Sydney Shulman and Villamoura. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

The 61st Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday, October 25, with thrilling displays of speed and power. Israeli rider Sydney Shulman of Greenwich, CT topped the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final on Villamoura, while Aaron Vale and Schuyler Riley of the United States shared victory in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance. The classes were part of a full schedule of exciting competition and entertaining exhibitions during Military Night, presented by Caterpillar, Inc.

Shulman, 24, came to WIHS to jump in the international jumper division for the first time with a pretty specific goal. “I came here with the plan to do just these two speed classes and hopefully be in the top five, with all these elite riders in the classes,” she said.

She ended up winning both of them. Shulman rode Villamoura, a 10-year-old Selle Français mare by Diamant de Semilly and owned by Jill Shulman, to the blue in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, adding her name to the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Perpetual Trophy donated by the late Arthur J. Morris. The night before, she and Villamoura won the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class.

“I’m definitely in shock!” Shulman said.

Aaron Vale and Schuyler Riley Share the Win in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance

The win in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance came down to a battle between a three-time WIHS puissance-winning horse and a horse contesting the class for the first time. In the end, they tied for the win, with both Aaron Vale and Finou 4 and Schuyler Riley on Very Chic Du Tillard clearing the 6’9″ height.

Vale and Finou 4, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by For Pleasure owned by Thinks Like A Horse, had won the class the last three consecutive years and were hot favorites. Five other horse/rider combinations joined them on the starting list. “There was a good group of horses and riders tonight, so it was a little tougher class than maybe the last few years,” Vale said. “You never go in thinking you’re going to win.”

Riley described E2 Show Jumpers’ Very Chic Du Tillard, a 10-year-old Selle Francais by Diamant de Semilly, as a horse with the experience level of younger horse. He was jumping in his first Puissance class and has spent the majority of his show experience at the 1.45m level. “I knew he has the scope and the talent, but I knew he’d never done one before, so I sort of expected to go in there and jump one or maybe two and then come out, but he jumped it so easily,” Riley said.

All six riders started over the wall set at 5’9″, and it was subsequently raised to 6’3″, 6’5″, and 6’9″. Only Riley and Vale cleared the 6’9″ height, and both returned to attempt 6’11”. When they both knocked blocks off at that height, the class ended in a tie between them.

The Puissance is a favorite event for Vale, of Williston, FL, who has now won the class six times. His first win came in 1996 with Big Joe. “In America, we don’t have great crowds too often, and this night is one of the best crowds of the year for the Puissance here,” he said.

For more information and results, please visit www.wihs.org.

Mr Blue Sky Dazzles as Williams and Billot Share Puissance Title

Day three of Olympia, The London International Horse Show attracted a sell-out crowd for The Cayenne Puissance, one of the star attractions of the week-long event. The Puissance title was eventually shared by Great Britain’s Guy Williams (Mr Blue Sky UK) and France’s Mathieu Billot (Dassler), after both pairs cleared the formidable 7ft 4in (2.23m) high ‘red wall’ in the fifth and final round.

The opening day of the Show Jumping competition was certainly one to remember for Darragh Kenny. The 30-year-old Irishman (Cassini Z) first pipped Great Britain’s Robert Whitaker (Catwalk IV) by just one hundredth of a second to take top spot in The Santa Stakes supported by Olympia. Kenny then made it a memorable double after he and his 10-year-old bay gelding, Carlson, fought off a valiant effort from Great Britain’s William Funnell (Billy McCain) to take the honours in The Musto Inside Edge Stakes. The afternoon performance of the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National was won by Meredith Reader-Smith and Holydell Poseidon, while the evening performance was won by Poppy Dadson and Merkisayre Sea Duble.

Katie Bradburne Scores a Runaway Victory

British international rider Holly Smith (Grennanstown Sarco Lux Hill) and 10-year-old Katie Bradburne (Runaway Dolly) won the ever-popular Pony Club Mini-Major from the front.

After Smith’s faultless start, Bradburne raced against the clock with the Irish-bred pony her brother, Thomas, had finished third with in this class last year.

“Holly advised me to try not to let my nerves get to me, and act like I was at home… but go a bit faster,” said Bradburne, a member of the Old Berkshire Hunt branch of the Pony Club.

However, Bradburne is well bred when it comes to jumping at speed over fences. She comes from a family steeped in racing history. Her parents are successful former jockeys, Gee Armytage and Mark Bradburne, with her uncle being 1990 Grand National winner, Marcus Armytage.

The Cayenne Puissance

A thrilling Cayenne Puissance class had the crowd roaring with excitement at Olympia, The London International Horse Show when four riders took on the 7ft 4in wall in the fifth and final round.

Only two, however, managed to leave all the bricks intact: Britain’s Guy Williams on Mr Blue Sky UK and French rider Mathieu Billot on Dassler, a horse jumped in the 2017 Cayenne Puissance by Louise Saywell.

The wall was at its highest since 2006, when John Whitaker, Robert Whitaker and Markus Fuchs shared first prize, also at 7ft 4in. Coincidentally, Williams, who lives in France, and Billot had shared the spoils in a puissance class in Rouen recently, jumping the same height.

“C’est magnifique!” said an elated Billot, who was paying his first visit to Olympia.

Williams is considering trying for a record on Mr Blue Sky because he jumps so smoothly. The horse has been taken slowly because of his height and has had some dressage training to calm him. “He makes it look easy but he’s actually quite sharp and nervous and he becomes strong to ride,” Williams explained.

Young rider Alfie Bradstock, riding H.d’Or, and regular puissance specialist Karline de Brabander from Belgium (Fantomas de Muze) also reached the final round but Bradstock hit the wall and de Brabander suffered an unfortunate fall.

Darragh Kenny’s Olympia got off to a splendid start with a double of victories. The Netherlands-based Irishman took the Santa Stakes on Cassini Z and set an unmatchable target of 48.56 seconds on Carlson in The Musto Inside Edge Stakes, a speed class. For good measure, he was also second in the opening Welcome Stakes on Billy Dorito behind Dutch rider Doron Kulpers on Freestyle. “It’s been a great day – it’ll probably all go downhill from here on,” he joked.

Kenny plans to ride Cassini in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ on Saturday, but might consider Carlson, a new ride, in the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix on Sunday: “He’s a special horse, competitive and brave. I think he’ll be good.”

The Pony Club Mini-Major, a special class in which Pony Club members have the unforgettable experience of being paired with senior riders in Olympia’s atmospheric arena, was won by Holly Smith and Old Berkshire Hunt member Katy Bradburne, whose parents, Mark and Gee (Armytage), were successful National Hunt jockeys.

Harry Charles may not have won a class, but he collected two awards for the most promising under-25 rider: The Raymond Brooks Ward Trophy, presented by brothers Simon, James, and Nick Brooks-Ward in memory of their father, and a saddle from the Worshipful Company of Saddlers as voted for by members of the British Equestrian Writers’ Association.

Tickets can be purchased at www.olympiahorseshow.com or by telephone on 0844 995 0995.

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

Aaron Vale Soars to Great Heights to Win $25,000 Land Rover Puissance

Aaron Vale and Finou 4. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Washington, D.C. – October 26, 2018 – The 60th Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) continued on Friday, October 26, with some of its most exciting competition yet, featuring the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, won by Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY on Paola 233. Reaching great heights with victory in the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance were Aaron Vale of Williston, FL and Finou 4. The classes were part of a full schedule of exciting competition and entertaining exhibitions during Military Night, presented by Caterpillar, Inc.

The $25,000 Land Rover Puissance is one of the most popular classes at WIHS to attend, and Friday night’s feature class didn’t disappoint. Aaron Vale and Finou 4, owned by Thinks Like A Horse, jumped to a height of 6’11 ½” to capture victory for the third year in a row.

With a small field in the class, it came down to two very game riders that kept going over five rounds of competition. The wall started at 5’9” and was raised to 6’2”, 6’6”, 6’8 ½”, and finally to 6’11 ½”. Vale and Finou 4 stayed clear, while Andy Kocher and Blaze of Glory II, owned by Erica Hatfield, made it to the final round before knocking blocks off the top of the wall to finish in second place.

“I was just hoping somebody could hang in there a while, so we could get a decent class for the crowd. It was great. Andy’s horse jumped it well and hung in there until the last round. It made a really good class and worked out the way that I wanted. I got a little competition, but I still got the blue!” – Aaron Vale

This is Vale’s fifth win in the puissance class at WIHS, with previous wins coming in 1996 with Big Joe, in 1998 on Happyness, and now three consecutive years with Finou 4, who seems to have a certain something that makes him successful over the big wall – despite blindness in his left eye.

“He’s got a lot of ability,” said Vale of the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by For Pleasure. “He’s very limber, plus he’s got a lot of power, so it just seems to be easy for him. I think they could keep raising it, and I’d keep riding him to it.”

Georgina Bloomberg Bests $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final

Riding over a faults-converted speed course designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany, Georgina Bloomberg and Paola 233, an 11-year-old Westphalian mare by Pontifex owned by Gotham Enterprizes LLC, sped to victory in the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final. The handy grey mare and Bloomberg finished clear in 52.90 seconds, edging out McLain Ward (USA) on Walstib Stables LLC’s Queen Jane, who recorded a time of 53.15 seconds.

Third place went to last night’s winner, 17-year-old Brian Moggre (USA), this time riding MTM Vivre le Reve, owned by Major Wager LLC, in 53.39 seconds. Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Catoki’s Son Z, owned by Ilan Ferder & Tal Milstein, were fourth with a time of 53.52 seconds. Aaron Vale (USA) and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Major were fifth in 54.66 seconds.

Bloomberg used Paola’s natural ability to rise to the top of the class.

“She has a good enough stride, but she doesn’t need to leave out strides. She’s really quick in the turns, and she’s very quick in the air. Given the option, I always play it safe, and I add a stride because I know I can be quicker other places. Really any of the other options of leaving out strides I didn’t love for her. I felt like I could just be quicker by turning and using her natural speed.” – Georgina Bloomberg

With a light competition schedule since the Hampton Classic Horse Show in late August, Bloomberg aimed Paola for WIHS.

“We brought her here with these two [speed] classes at WIHS in mind. This was my goal for her.”

For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

Washington International Horse Show Celebrates 60 Years of Equestrian Sport Oct. 23-28

Aaron Vale (USA) and Finou 4 earned their second consecutive WIHS Puissance victory last year by clearing 6’7″ to win the $25,000 International Jumper Puissance. Photo by Alden Corrigan Media.

Washington, D.C. – Tickets are now on sale for the 60th Annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), one of the most exciting and entertaining equestrian events in North America, taking place Oct. 23-28 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

“We’re thrilled to be celebrating this historic milestone,” said Victoria Lowell, WIHS President. “It’s going to be an exciting year as we pay tribute to the wonderful horses and riders, supporters, friends and volunteers, over the past six decades with special exhibits and events. We’re proud to welcome more than 26,000 spectators, award $518,000 in prize money, support our charitable partners and bring together equestrians, horse enthusiasts and the local community to experience horse showing at its best in the heart of our nation’s capital.”

Spectators, riders, sponsors, and all attending this year’s 60th event will enjoy historical displays and events plus special pricing going back to the inaugural WIHS held Oct. 10-15, 1958, at the D.C. National Guard Armory. A special $2.00 price per ticket for opening day and evening, Tuesday, Oct. 23, reflects general admission that first year. In addition, a special history-based commemorative souvenir program will be sold at the 1958 price of $1.00.

If you like championship sport and fast-paced entertainment and fun, WIHS is an event you’ll enjoy, young or old. More than 500 of the best horses and riders in the world, including Olympic veterans, will arrive in the nation’s capital for six days of world-class international show jumping and top national hunter and equitation competition. In addition, the event will feature entertaining exhibitions, community and charity events and boutique shopping.

The highlight of the week is Saturday night’s $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington presented by Events DC, featuring the biggest jumps, most challenging course, and richest purse. The winning rider is presented with the show’s most prestigious prize, the President of the United States Perpetual Cup, a trophy given to the show in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Other popular events include the $25,000 Puissance, a thrilling high-jump competition on Military Night presented by Caterpillar, Inc. (Friday, Oct. 26), and the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals for the country’s top junior riders (Saturday, Oct. 27).

Special events for young people and children include WIHS Barn Night (Thursday, Oct. 25) with contests, a scavenger hunt and jumping competition including the Top Score Costume Class, where riders and horses jump in surprising and entertaining costumes.

WIHS Kids’ Day is a popular equine street festival with free, fun, and educational horse-based activities, and is held Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine. This event is located both inside Capital One Arena and on a closed street in front of Hotel Monaco at F and 7th Streets NW.

Not to be missed are this year’s entertaining exhibitions, including renowned Australian horseman and entertainer Guy McLean, who will perform his one-of-a-kind liberty horse demonstration with his team of Australian stock horses on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

The WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series presented by Charles Owen will be back Thursday and Saturday nights with junior jockeys riding the most adorable and wily Shetland Ponies to the enjoyment of spectators of all ages.

Highlighted events support community organizations and charities, including Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the WIHS Official Military Charity, Capital Breast Care Center and U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation.

Tickets are available online on www.Ticketmaster.com, at the Capital One Arena box office, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. The show runs Tuesday through Sunday, with day and evening performances except Sunday (daytime only).

Special $2.00 commemorative pricing is available on opening day, Tuesday, Oct. 23. All tickets, day or evening, are $2.00 (plus applicable service charges), reflecting the cost of general admission at the inaugural show in 1958.

Daytime tickets (general admission) Wednesday through Sunday, are $15 (plus applicable service charge) with children 12 and under admitted free. For evening performances, VIP, reserved and general admission tickets are available starting at $25.

For group discounts, contact Capital One Arena Group Sales at 202-661-5061. For more information on tickets and discounts for military, seniors, and students, visit www.wihs.org/tickets.

For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

World’s Best Lead the Way at Olympia

Britain’s leading lady rider Laura Renwick put on a spectacular performance to win The Cayenne Puissance in front of a packed-out grandstand with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as the guest of honour in the Presidents Box.

The afternoon session saw Spaniard Eduardo Alvarez Aznar speed to victory in the opening CSI5* Show Jumping class of the Show, with Australia’s Boyd Exell dominating the Dodson & Horrell Extreme Driving Top Score. The popular Kennel Club Dog Agility returned, with a win for Tracy Moerel and Deutschlander Schnappss in the ABC Dog Jumping Grand Prix and there was an emotional arena appearance by Show charity mascots Teddy and Doris, representing Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was present to enjoy an action-packed evening of top-class sport and equestrian entertainment, taking to the arena to present the awards for the Musto Inside Edge Stakes, won by Peder Fredricson, accompanied by European gold medal winners Tina Cook and Sophie Wells. The highlight of the evening, The Cayenne Puissance, was a closely contested affair, with Laura Renwick taking the eventual spoils as the only rider to clear the final 7′ 3″ wall.

Laura Renwick was overwhelmed by her spectacular victory on Top Dollar Vl in The Cayenne Puissance. Four riders made it to the fifth round, but Karline De Brabander from Belgium on Fantomas de Muze, Ireland’s Padraic Judge on City Business and 2016 joint winner Holly Smith on Quality Old Joker all faulted and as Laura entered the ring she knew the €7,425 prize was there for the taking.

“That wall is huge and, having seen the other horses hit it, having been jumping really well, I knew it was a big ask,” said Laura afterwards. “I was a little bit lucky – I didn’t have the best stride and the horse really had to use his body to get over it.

“I’ve never won the Puissance outright and so to do it on an eight-year-old horse with not much experience but loads of scope and heart feels amazing. The atmosphere was electric.”

Earlier in the day, Eduardo Alvarez Aznar riding Fidux headed a one-two for Spain in the opening jumping class, the Santa Stakes, holding off a late challenge from his fellow countryman Manuel Fernandez Saro (Cannavaro).

“I was early to go, and Manuel was right at the end. He knew what he had to do but wasn’t quite quick enough,” joked Eduardo, winner of last season’s Zurich Longines FEI World Cup qualifier with Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot. “[Fidux] is a real fighter and very quick across the ground.”

This is Eduardo’s second visit to Olympia, where he won the Six-Bar two years ago. “It’s such a fantastic special show, and a pleasure to ride here,” said Eduardo. “I hope to continue to back here for many, many years.”

Later, there was a Swedish one-two in the Musto Inside Edge Stakes, a speed class, when 2017 European Champion Peder Fredricson (H&M Zoulbet) beat compatriot Malin Baryard-Johnsson (H&M Second Chance) by 0.77 sec to clinch the top prize.

The Dodson & Horrell Extreme Driving Top Score competition may act as a warm-up to the FEI World Cup qualifier, but the crowd was treated to a razor-sharp contest. Of the seven drivers, representing six nations, no-one was prepared to give any quarter, but it was reigning FEI World Cup Champion Boyd Exell from Australia who again proved unassailable.

Exell, a seven-time FEI World Cup Champion, already has three qualifier wins under his belt this season. The last driver into the arena, he was one of only two to post a clear round; the other came from Belgium’s Glenn Geerts, but he trailed Exell by some seven seconds.

Exell had a new inexperienced horse in the lead and explained: “He was a bit tired in the second round but he did all I asked of him. I love competing at Olympia – the atmosphere is always superb; it’s like coming home for me.”

To find out more about Olympia, the London International Horse Show, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355