18 December 2012 – The Rolex One to Watch for December 2012 is awarded to Aleš Opatrný (CZE), who trains at JS Opatrný Hořovice (CZE). During the month of November, the 31-year-old jumped from 355th to 238th – a move up the Rolex Rankings of 117 places.
Opatrný was born on 18 September 1981 in Hořovice (CZE), where he grew up on his family’s ranch, which has a 100-stable capacity and is situated approximately 60km south west of Prague (CZE). When he was two years old, Opatrný was introduced to riding by his father, Václav, who was a successful Eventing rider and triple champion of the Czech Republic. Equestrianism is unquestionably the Opatrný family’s main focus and they have been breeding horses as far back as 1924.
Opatrný cites January 2012’s joint Rolex One to Watch winner, German rider René Tebbel, as the Jumper that he admires most and he believes Tebbel has been the greatest inspiration in his career. His drive to succeed stemmed from his memorable victory in the 2000 FEI Young Riders European Championship, Hartpury (GBR), which he won with his dark bay stallion, Kris Kentaur. Opatrný’s motivation is to one day compete for his national team at the Olympic Games and to also climb the Rolex Rankings as high as he possibly can.
Lausanne (SUI), 10 December 2012 – Christian Ahlmann (GER), winner of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Geneva (SUI) last Friday, has taken over as World Number One in the Rolex Rankings, published today.
With 2,555 points, Ahlmann has jumped up from third place into the top spot, demoting Olympic champion Steve Guerdat (SUI) to second place on 2,455 points.
Ahlmann’s compatriot Marcus Ehning has also moved up the Rolex Rankings, going from seventh into third place, with Frenchman Kevin Staut now placed fourth.
Christian Ahlmann took up riding at the age of 11, but it was in 2003 that he really caught the attention of the media when claiming team and individual gold at the European Championships in Donaueschingen (GER).
Riding Cevo Itot Du Chateau, Tops-Alexander won the eight horse jump-off, ahead of Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) in second place riding Carlo 273 and Hans-Dieter Dreher (GER) riding Magnus Romeo in third place. The highest placed Swiss rider was Janika Sprunger, riding Palloubet D’Halong, who finished in fourth place.
Press Conference Audio To download a copy of the audio from the post event press conference, please click on the link below:
Christian Ahlmann (GER) yesterday, Friday 7th December 2012, won the 12th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Geneva, Switzerland.
Riding Taloubet Z, Ahlmann won the two-round event featuring the World’s Top 10 riders as based on the Rolex Rankings, ahead of 2nd place Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) riding Cevo Itot Du Chateau and 3rd place Kevin Staut (FRA) riding Silvana HDC.
The results of the 12th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final:
1. Christian Ahlmann (GER), riding Taloubet Z
2. Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), riding Cevo Itot Chateau
3. Kevin Staut (FRA), riding Silvana HDC
4. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE), riding Quintero La Silla
5. Roger Yves-Bost (FRA), riding Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois
6. Pénélope Leprevost (FRA), riding Mylord Carthago*HN
7. Marco Kutscher (GER), riding Cash
8. Steve Guerdat (SUI), riding Nasa
9. Marcus Ehning (GER), riding Copin Van De Broy
10. Pius Schwizer (SUI), riding Verdi 111
Stuttgart (GER), 18 November 2012 – Kevin Staut broke German hearts today when, despite all the odds being in favour of a home-side win, it was the Frenchman who came out on top in the fifth qualifying round of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League series at Stuttgart. Partnering the on-form grey mare Silvana HDC, Staut snatched what looked like certain victory from Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Noltes Kuchengirl when quicker by a margin of just one-hundredth of a second in an action-packed 11-horse jump-off against the clock.
Third place went to Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Winningmood, while Sweden’s Jens Fredricson and Lunatic slotted into fourth. Today’s result leaves Staut with the same number of points as Western European League leader Sergio Alvarez Moya from Spain who went out of contention this afternoon with a single mistake in the opening round of the competition. The Spaniard, however, continues to head the league table going into the next round at Geneva, Switzerland in December because he has had more consistently strong results so far throughout this Rolex indoor season.
Verona (ITA), 11 November 2012 – On an afternoon of pure magic in the jumping stadium at Verona, Italy, today Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya produced a stunning victory in the fourth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League. This competition was special for a number of reasons, not least because the Spaniard was riding a horse that was just eight years old, and because Italy’s Luca Moneta was so proud and yet so humble when filling runner-up spot.
The excitement generated during the 12-horse jump-off was electrifying as horses and riders rose to the occasion to produce a piece of pure theatre that had spectators gripping their seats. As third-place finisher, Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson said afterwards, “The sport was amazing; I haven’t competed in a class as exciting as this in a very, very long time!”
Today’s result has left Moya well on the road to the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April. Already at the head of the leaderboard before today’s class began, he has now accumulated a massive 58 points, so has no more worries about qualification.
9 November 2012 – The Rolex One to Watch for November 2012 is awarded to Saer Coulter (USA), who trains at Copernicus Stables LLC, California (USA). During the month of September, the 21-year-old jumped from 294th to 209th – a move up the Rolex Rankings of 85 places.
Coulter was born in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA), although she was brought up in San Francisco, CA where she lives. She is currently enrolled at Stanford University, CA (USA) where she is Majoring in Art History. Riding is a family affair with Coulter’s younger sister, Audrey, also actively competing in the Jumper ring. The sisters are currently trained by Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and her husband, Markus Beerbaum.
Rolex Testimonee, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, commented, “Markus and I have trained Saer since January 2011, and her progress has been phenomenal. She has become very consistent at the top level, which was evident this year on the Global Champions Tour circuit. She has had a lot of clear rounds and nice ribbons, and with her current string of horses I have no doubt that there is a lot more to come from her.”
Lausanne (SUI), 6 November 2012 – Steve Guerdat (SUI), the newly-crowned Olympic champion, has taken over as World Number One on the Rolex Rankings list published today. With 2,525 points, Guerdat takes over from European champion Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), who drops down to fourth place (2378).
Olympic team gold medallist Nick Skelton (GBR) is in second place, just three points ahead of Germany’s Christian Ahlmann.
It has been a historic season for Guerdat, who turned 30 in June, and for Swiss equestrianism. Guerdat became the first Swiss rider to be crowned Olympic Jumping champion since 1928 when he steered the talented 11-year old Selle Français Nino des Buissonnets to individual gold at London 2012. In the last 12 months he has picked up Rolex Ranking points in no less than 89 competitions.
Lyon (FRA), 4 November 2012 – Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer swept to victory with Verdi in the thrilling third leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League series at Lyon, France this afternoon. The big guns were out in force today including a heavyweight line-up of home runners, but Frank Rothenberger’s course saw just seven of the 40 starters go through to the second-round jump-off.
France and Switzerland were each represented by two riders in the race against the clock, but it was the Swiss who came off best when the ever-more-impressive partnership of Paul Estermann and Castlefield Eclipse slotted into third behind Belgium’s Ludo Philippaerts and Challenge vd Begijnakker.
“I’m very happy”, said Schwizer who has had to ask the 10 year old gelding Verdi to step up to the plate since his top ride, the mare Carlina, was sold earlier this year. “This was a tough class; Frank (Rothenberger) didn’t make it easy for us and the competition was top level so I’m very pleased about my win today,” he pointed out.
Helsinki (FIN), 21 October 2012 – Roger Yves Bost celebrated his 47th birthday in style when clinching maximum points in the second qualifying leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League at Helsinki, Finland today. Riding Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois, the enigmatic Frenchman whose jumping technique often seems to defy the laws of gravity, produced another one of his trademark heart-stopping rounds to pip Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo in a nail-biting 14-horse jump-off. Jeroen Dubbeldam and BMC Utascha, winners of the opening round at Oslo a week ago, had to settle for third place this time out. But the Dutchman now holds a strong lead at the top of the series table. With 35 points already to his credit, he only needs one more strong result to ensure his spot at the final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.
The start-list was reduced from 40 to 39 due to the late withdrawal of Finland’s Mikael Forsten who broke his hand when landing awkwardly over a fence in an earlier class at his home fixture this morning. This was very bad luck indeed, as he is not long recovered from a broken arm sustained while competing in the Grand Prix at Hagen, Germany last year.