Tag Archives: Scott Brash

New York Empire Team Announced for 2019 Global Champions League Season

Georgina Bloomberg and Manodie II H competing at the 2018 Global Champions League event in Miami, FL. Photo by Stefano Grasso/GCL.

Wellington, FL – New York Empire team owner Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY has put together an experienced and talented team of six riders for the 2019 Global Champions League (GCL) season. With a series stop in New York being added as the GCL series finale in 2019, the NYE team is excited for the season ahead.

Bloomberg, an experienced international rider who won team bronze at the 2015 Pan American Games and has represented the U.S. on many Nations Cup teams, competes for the New York Empire herself. She’ll wear the team’s distinctive red and black horsehead logo for the first time in 2019 at the Miami stop of the tour on April 18-20. Joining her on the team will be British Olympic team gold medalist Scott Brash, who jumped for the New York Empire last year as well.

The New York Empire team debuted in 2018, joining the line-up of 19 teams competing on the prestigious GCL tour. New York Empire finished in 16th in the 2018 season and qualified for the GCL Playoffs in Prague.

New additions to the team for 2019 are Denis Lynch, Hans-Dieter Dreher, Daniel Bluman, and Spencer Smith, who rides as the Under 25 member of the team. “I’m excited for the start of the GCL season with this team,” said Bloomberg. “Last year was the first season for the New York Empire team, and it ended up not going the way we’d hoped. Everybody had bad luck with horses last year; it was one thing after another with injuries and bad luck. This year we really want to get back in there and have a shot at it.”

Brash earned team gold with Great Britain in the 2012 Olympic Games and won the Global Champions Tour (GCT) series and season final in 2013. “Scott has been an amazing teammate and as long as he wanted to be on the team, he was without a doubt my first choice for a spot,” said Bloomberg.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to the New York Empire team,” Brash said. “I look forward to the GCL season because we have a strong team. I’ve been teammates with Georgina on GCL teams since 2016 and 2017, when we both rode for the Miami Glory, and it’s always great to compete with her.”

Lynch, an Irish rider based in Germany, is a veteran of Olympic and World Equestrian Games and FEI World Cup Finals. He rode with Bloomberg and Brash on the 2017 Miami Glory GCL team and helped the 2018 Miami Celtics team to third place in the series standings. “Denis is someone I really trust as a friend and a horseman,” said Bloomberg. “It’s always nice to have people who you know are going to go in and produce in the ring, but also who you can trust and rely on outside the ring to help with a practice fence or walk the course with as well. Denis knows me as a rider and knows my horses, and I like him as a person.”

Lynch has a strong line-up of horses with the five-star veteran and former ride of Bertram Allen, Hector van d’Abdijhoeve, joining his string this year. He also has a new three-star horse in Chablis and two talented nine-year-olds. “We thought a lot about it and went out and bought some good horses to help the team,” Lynch said. “I’m really looking forward to the series this season and being on board with New York Empire. It looks like a really exciting and strong team. It’s quite an international team; I think it’s a good bunch and we should do well.”

Hans-Dieter Dreher, who is known as “Hansi,” has represented Germany in two FEI World Cup Finals. He has experienced horses like Berlinda, Embassy, Prinz, Twenty Clary, and Cachacco Blue to choose from when serving on NYE teams. “I am very proud to be a part of this top team this year,” Dreher said. “I have some very good horses to make some good results for the team and I am very motivated.”

Bloomberg and Bluman have been friends for many years, so she was thrilled to have him join NYE this year. Bluman, who competes for Israel but is based in North Salem, NY, and Wellington, FL, showed for the Monaco Aces on the 2016 GCL season, helping them finish third in the standings that year. “Daniel is someone I’ve known since he was a kid,” Bloomberg said. “He was responsible for me finding my first rescue dog, Hugo, and adopting him. That was the beginning of my journey with the animal activism. I consider him family. He’s wonderful and has a good string of horses.”

Bluman, a veteran of two Olympic Games and four World Equestrian Games, considers himself an honorary New Yorker. He has five-star veterans Sancha and Ladriano in his string for the GCL events and plans to also use Entano and Colestina for NYE team appearances. “New York is home for me — my wife and I have a place in North Salem — so it’s very fitting that I’m riding for the New York Empire. I’m excited to be part of it,” he said. “I think it’s a good team — when you put two of those riders together, whichever combination it is, I think it’s a strong entry. I have a few horses to pick from and I think it’s important to take it seriously and focus on getting a good result for the team at each of the shows so we can qualify for the final in a very strong position.”

Joining the New York Empire will be the first time that U25 rider Spencer Smith of the U.S. has competed on a GCL team. Smith, who won the 2014 USEF Medal Finals and now trains with Canadian individual Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze, has become a consistent competitor at the CSI5* level, including winning the CSI2* Grand Prix at the 2018 Longines GCT London aboard Happiness. “For me, it’s one of the highest honors to have been chosen for this. A big thank you to Georgina for supporting a young American rider like she always does,” said Smith. He has his two top mounts, Happiness and Theodore Manciais, as well as some younger horses to use for GCL events.

“I think we have a really strong team. It’s such a great line-up,” Smith said. “Just being able to compete side-by-side with some of these riders will be a great learning opportunity. From a competitor’s standpoint, it’s great to know you’ll always have a really strong teammate. That gives you a lot of confidence. I think the final in New York is going to be awesome, especially since that’ll be our home court. It’s going to be a really exciting event.”

Bloomberg has known Smith since he was a young rider. “Spencer has really proven himself as a young rider and he’s somebody who isn’t just coming up in the ranks and having good results, but he’s also someone I really like as a person,” she said. “He’s a really polite young man who’s getting great direction from Eric and from his parents. I wanted a younger rider on the team who wasn’t just someone who was producing results, but also someone who I thought was going to be a great part of the team not only inside the ring, but also outside it.”

The 2019 GCL season kicks off with the first event in Doha, Qatar on February 28 – March 2. Dreher, Brash, and Lynch are slated to jump for New York Empire in Doha. The series then travels to Mexico City, Mexico on April 11-13 before coming to U.S. soil on April 18-20 for the Miami event. The GCL and GCT tour visits many of the world’s most iconic cities, such as Rome, Paris, London, New York, Shanghai, Madrid, and Montreal.

The New York event, which will take place on September 27-29 on Governor’s Island in New York City’s harbor with views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, is the final event for 2019 regular season. Prague, Czech Republic will again play host to the thrilling Global Champions Playoffs on November 21-24.

“When you have a good team like the one we have and you’re riding with people that you like, it’s an exciting concept,” Bluman said of the GCL tour. “The destinations are beautiful events with great prize money. You’re riding with the best riders in the world, and that’s always what we look to do.”

See more at the Global Champions League site.

Contact: Molly Sorge
molly@jumpmediallc.com

It’s Another Italian Job in the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix

The pinnacle of the last day of Olympia, The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, was won by Alberto Zorzi, defending his 2017 title to become a back-to-back winner of the prestigious class. Earlier in the day the Show Jumping competition saw Irishman Shane Breen take the title in The Christmas Masters. The final show jumping class of the Show, The Mistletoe Mini Stakes, was won by the speedy duo of Connie Mensley and Madonna.

The afternoon performance of the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National was won by Lucy Aspell, followed by a win for Alice Crowley in the final race of the week. The Bob Champion Cancer Trust, the Official Charity of the Shetland Pony Grand National, was presented with a cheque of £45,059, the total amount raised for the beneficiary this year.

The Kennel Club Small Dog Agility Final was won by Dave Munnings and his cross-breed, Boost Bite.

Alberto Zorzi Defends His Title

Alberto Zorzi became the fifth rider in history to win The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix back-to-back when he produced an incredible burst of speed to outdo his four rivals in the jump-off and bring a brilliant five days of jumping to an enthralling close.

Last year, Zorzi, a member of the Italian army, also won on a mare (Contanga); this time it was the black 10-year-old Ulane de Coquerie. “It’s unbelievable! I am so lucky,” said Zorzi. “I know my horse is very fast, so I trust her and go with her. She’s one of the best I have ridden. I love this Show!”

In completing the double, Zorzi joins an elite band of riders: David Broome (with Philco and Sportsman in 1977-78), Nick Skelton (St James, 1982-83), Malcolm Pyrah (Towerlands Anglezarke, 1985-86), Franke Sloothaak (Walzerkoenig, 1988-89), and Ben Maher (Tripple X and Diva ll, 2013-14).

Only four went through to the jump-off, and Portugal’s Rodrigo Giesteira Almeida riding GC Chopin’s Bushi made a feisty start with a clear in 28.69 seconds. However, he was overhauled by the stylish Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten on Idi Utopia, who came home in 28.64.

Scott Brash was the sole British representative, riding a masterful clear round on the youngster Hello Jefferson, but a tight turn proved too ambitious for the nine-year-old and he refused.

Both Zorzi and van der Vleuten felt the Grand Prix track was harder than that for the previous day’s FEI World Cup™. “Alberto’s horse had a shorter stride than mine and could move up more quickly to the fences,” explained van der Vleuten, who ended up as Leading Rider of the Show. “But finishing second, and as Leading Rider of the show, is a great way for me to finish the year.”

Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Olympia newcomer Doron Kuipers from the Netherlands were second and third in the final rider rankings with William Funnell best Briton in fourth.

Shane Breen Is the Master

Until this year, Shane Breen had never done a full week at Olympia. Now, he’s won his first rankings class and been crowned the victor in The Christmas Masters, a winner-takes-all knockout contest for the leading seven riders in the show.

The British trio of William Whitaker, John Whitaker, and William Funnell exited by the second round, as did Ireland’s Darragh Kenny. Then Dutchman Doron Kuipers, making his first visit to Olympia, hit a fence in the third and it was all down to Breen, riding Clyde VA, and Maikel van der Vleuten from the Netherlands, who took it to a jump-off against the clock in the fifth round for the jackpot of €9,500.

“I knew Maikel would be quicker [on Dana Blue], which is a more experienced horse than mine, so I had to hope he would have a fence down – and he obliged!”

Breen, a keen hunting man, said of his winning mount, Clyde VA: “I think a lot of this horse. He’s a little bit lazy to ride, but he’s going to be a good addition to Team Ireland.”

Earlier in the day, there was a timely birthday present for the popular Italian rider, Luca Maria Moneta, when a late dash on the 17-year-old Neptune Brecourt clinched the Turkish Airlines Speed Stakes from Robert Whitaker on Major Delacour.

Moneta, who is 51 and a strong advocate of working in partnership with the horse – many spectators will remember the way he fed his horse a carrot in the Puissance in 2013 (he still carries them in his pocket) – said: “Both my best horses are 17 years old and they spend a lot of time being horses rather than show jumpers – they go in the field every day at home.

“This horse enjoys competing so much that he would hate it if you left him behind – he finds it fun and easy. Sometimes when you get to the last fence in a speed class the horse will be hanging on the bit, but Neptune was very focussed today and our partnership work was rewarded.”

Goodbye Ursula

Scott Brash may be known by some as the cool ice man of Show Jumping, but it was an emotional evening at Olympia as he retired his brilliant mare Ursula Xll.

Ursula, owned by Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, is 17 and has twice been the top ranked horse in FEI competition and a flagship for British breeding; she won the 2016 CP International at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, Canada and was runner-up in the FEI Longines World Cup™ leg at Olympia in 2017.

“We have a great partnership,” said Brash. “She gives you some feeling in a big class and I know what she’s going to do. Eventually she wants to have a foal, but she’ll come home with me and I will keep riding for a bit because she’s very fit and needs to be worked.”

Brash’s career has already included an Olympic gold medal, being world number one and winning the million-dollar Rolex Grand Slam, but the 33-year-old Scot admits: “I live for those feelings. The Grand Slam was one of the best things in my life, as was winning an Olympic gold medal in my home country, but it only makes me hungrier. I will want to win the World Cup final and an individual gold medal – I’m very motivated.

“I’m my fiercest critic. I have been cross with myself when I’ve won, but I’ve also come out of the arena with two down and been quite happy with that. I’m most comfortable when I’m in the ring. It’s what I love doing.”

Return of the Natives

A striking Connemara stallion described “as an absolute treasure at home” was crowned Supreme Champion in the BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux.

Sandra Burton and Joe Burke’s 10-year-old Banks Timber, third last year, was bred in Denmark by Peter Bank Mikkelson, bought as a yearling from sales in Galway, Ireland, by Mr Burke, who had flown over for the day at Olympia, and arrived as an unbroken six-year-old at Mrs Burton’s Connemara pony stud in Lancashire. Reserve Champion was Cadlanvalley Buzby, a Welsh Section B stallion by Russetwood Elation out of Stockham Domino, owned and bred by Hayley Grota and ridden by 13-year-old Liberty Grota in her first season with the pony.

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

Scott Brash to Retire Once-in-a-Lifetime Mare, Ursula XII, at Olympia

Olympia, The London International Horse Show is honoured to announce that one of Great Britain’s most successful ever Show Jumpers, Scott Brash MBE, has decided to officially retire his leading mare Ursula XII at the annual equestrian event, which is taking place from 17-23 December 2018.

Since forming their partnership in 2012, Brash and Ursula XII have become one of Show Jumping’s most iconic pairings, having had their fair share of prime podium positions throughout their journey together. The 17-year-old Scottish Sport Horse, owned by Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, has delivered strong performances throughout the entirety of her career. In 2016, Ursula secured an historic win for Brash in the CP International at the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters, not only making her the highest earning horse that year, but also the world’s best. The pair has gone from strength to strength, taking the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Mexico title this year.

The partnership has regularly competed at Olympia, very narrowly missing out on winning The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ at the Show in 2017, after Julien Epaillard’s jump-off denied them first place. A special retirement ceremony will take place on Sunday 23 December, after the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, commending this special horse before she enjoys a happy retirement.

Scott Brash MBE said: “Ursula is once-in-a-lifetime horse who has given me moments in my career that I will never be able to top. I don’t think I will ever ride a horse like her again; she’s one of the smallest horses in the stables but jumps round such big courses more easily than any horse I’ve ridden. It is an honour to be giving her the retirement ceremony she deserves and celebrating her incredible career. We’re thrilled to be paying tribute to her at Olympia; the atmosphere is like no other and the Show is on home-turf, making it even more special.”

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “We’re delighted to be holding the official retirement for Ursula. She’s an incredible horse and it is a privilege to be paying respects to her career, in addition to giving ticket holders the opportunity to witness this special occasion.”

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

Inside CHIO Aachen: A Sneak Peak

Niels Bruynseels at Knokke Hippique (Photo: Knokke Hippique)

The second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, takes place on 22nd July and is expected to attract over 40,000 spectators to witness the prestigious competition. The course, set by Frank Rothenberger, is considered to be one of the most challenging and demanding 5* tracks. The sport’s finest horse and rider partnerships are tested to their limits, displaying enviable skill and talent, striving to make history and to be crowned the Rolex Grand Prix champion.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

With the world’s best horse and rider combinations set to take center stage for Rolex Grand Prix, there are some notable contenders whose recent performance would state they are on track for a Rolex Major win:

Niels Bruynseels, the current Rolex live contender, has continued his great form since producing a lightning jump-off round at The Dutch Masters aboard his 12-year-old mare Gancia de Muze in March. The notoriously fast duo took the top prize in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique following a speedy and faultless jump-off. With the next stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping very much in his sites, Bruynseels will be pulling out all the stops to make sure his Rolex Grand Slam journey continues.

One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Swiss hero Steve Guerdat, has had a successful summer so far. His most notable victory was in front of HM The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May. Seeing off top-class competitors, Guerdat rode an impeccable round to snap up the Rolex Grand Prix victory. Guerdat is no stranger when it comes to winning Majors; crowned champion at CHI Geneva on more than one occasion, Guerdat stays calm under pressure and will certainly be a formidable contender for the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen.

Fellow Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze, has prepared well for the CHIO Aachen. At the Rolex Grand Prix in Windsor, he shaved time off Guerdat’s winning result, but a light touch on the pole resulted in four penalties. Fresh from his victory in the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows with his 15-year-old mare, Fine Lady, Eric Lamaze will be hoping to continue his recent form as he eyes up the coveted Rolex Grand Prix trophy.

Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca is also looking strong, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in Rome (Piazza di Siena). De Luca and his chestnut gelding, Halifax Van Het Kluizebos, jumped two immaculate clear rounds, stopping the clock at 45.37 secs, making him one to watch.

Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has tasted victory at CHIO Aachen once before, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in 2005 on her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Shutterfly. Michaels-Beerbaum will have the patriotic home-crowd support, willing her to repeat her 2005 success thirteen years on.

Rolex Testimonee, Scott Brash, the first and only rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, brings a wealth of experience and always performs well under pressure.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

It’s a British Bonanza as Brash and Maher Are Top Two at Olympia

Scott Brash and Hello M’Lady. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Olympia, London (GBR), 18 December 2016 – Scott Brash became the 15th British rider to come out on top in his home leg of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series when galloping to victory with Hello M’Lady in the Longines qualifier at Olympia in London (GBR). This was the eighth round of the 2016/2017 Western European League, and the result leaves the 31-year-old rider only a few points short of a qualifying spot for the eagerly-anticipated Longines Final in Omaha, Nebraska (USA) next March.

The host-nation runners were in flying form, with Brash’s London 2012 Olympic gold-medal-winning team-mate, 33-year-old Ben Maher, finishing a close second with Diva while young Belgian talent, 23-year-old Nicola Philippaerts slotted into third with H&M Harley vd Bisschop. It was a frustrating result for Maher, who was also runner-up in the same event last year. “I wanted to win, but if I was going to be beaten by anyone I was hoping it would be Scott!” he said.

There were 13 into the jump-off, and it was Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson who set the pace with H&M Cue Channa who hit only the very last. Seventh to go, Maher produced the first clear in 38.85 seconds before America’s Laura Kraut and Zeremonie and John Whitaker and Ornellaia followed with foot-perfect runs but couldn’t catch him. Philippaerts, whose famous father Ludo won this prestigious competition with the legendary Darco 27 years ago, came close when breaking the beam in 39.07 seconds, but it was Brash who demoted his fellow-countryman when second-last to go.

“Ben was very fast back to the double, and it was on a blind turn which was tricky for the horses, so we had to be quick to beat him!” Brash said, after galloping home in 38.73 seconds. And when it fell apart for Germany’s Marcus Ehning and his Madrid-leg winner Comme Il Faut who were last to go, it was an all-British one-two.

“It’s very special to win in front of the home crowd; they were really behind us and it gives you that extra edge!” said Brash who now has the series Final in his sights. “I’ve never really targeted it in the past because the calendar is so full and there’s often a championship, but I’m very fortunate to have a strong team, all coming back from injury, including Hello Sanctos,” he added.

Full result here

Quotes:

Scott Brash GBR (1st), talking about Hello M’Lady: “She’s a wonderful horse, really talented. She jumped really well in Geneva last week but we were unlucky; you have to get everything right on the day. My next outing is in Liverpool for the New Year; it’s great to get another 4-Star event in our country so I’m very happy to support it.”

Ben Maher GBR (2nd): “Diva jumped great; she loves this show. Congratulations to Scott – I couldn’t have done any more, and I’d have been happy with sixth!”

Nicola Philippaerts (3rd): “It’s fantastic to be sitting here with these two great riders! My horse jumped well and I’m very happy. My father (Ludo Philippaerts) came to help me and it’s a big advantage to have him here at the big shows.”

Kelvin Bywater GBR, Course Designer: “I was extremely pleased; we had good sport and good entertainment. It’s a team effort.”

John Roche, FEI Jumping Director: “Olympia, under the management of Simon Brooks-Ward, ran an amazing event which is one of the flagship fixtures of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League.”

Scott Brash GBR (1st): “The courses nowadays are big and technical and Kelvin (course designer Kelvin Bywater) did a wonderful job but some horses will just skip round whatever the builder puts up!”

Full standings here

Don’t miss a hoofbeat! Watch it all LIVE on www.feitv.org.

Social media: #FEIWorldCupWEL #RidetoOmaha #FEIWorldCupFinals #TwoHearts

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

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Olympia:

Jo Peck
Press Officer
JoPeck@hpower.co.uk
+44 1753 847 900

At FEI:

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

Scott’s Lady Is a Champ

Scott Brash thrilled the packed house at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, with a virtuoso performance aboard the fleet-hoofed mare Hello M’Lady to snatch the Longines FEI World Cup™ qualifier presented by H&M by the tiniest of margins.

There were double celebrations when Ben Maher, the last British rider to win this prestigious class, back in 2011, finished second on another mare, Diva ll, by just 0.12 of a second.

On H&M Sunday at Olympia, it was appropriate that Belgian rider Nicola Philippaerts, whose father, Ludo, won this class back in 1988, was third on H&M Harley vd Bisschop.

Thirteen riders from eight nations went through to Kelvin Bywater’s ingenious jump-off track which hinged on getting the sharp angle back to a double on a blind turn and then clearing the upright fence on a curving galloping line.

“Kelvin [Bywater, course-designer] did a great job,” commented Scott. “It was big and technical but, nowadays, the standard is so high that there are horses that will just skip round.”

Only five of the 13 riders achieved a double clear and German maestro Marcus Ehning, who could have spoilt the British party when last to go on Comme Il Faut, racked up a surprising 20 penalties.

US rider Laura Kraut, whose partner Nick Skelton was already en route to Birmingham for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, was fourth on Zeremonie and 61-year-old John Whitaker rode superbly to finish fifth on Ornellaia while crowd favourite Lorenzo De Luca finished sixth for Italy with one rail down on Limestone Gray.

Olympia represents the eighth of 13 legs in the Longines FEI World Cup™ and Scott’s win elevates him 26 places to sixth in the standings and within sight of a place at the final in Omaha, USA, in April.

“I think I will target the FEI World Cup™ Final this year,” revealed Scott. “I don’t very often, because there’s such a full calendar, but I’m very fortunate to have a strong team of horses, some of which are back from injury now – including Hello Sanctos [his Olympic gold medallist] and Hello M’Lady.”

Of Lady Kirkham’s agile nine-year-old mare, Scott commented: “She’s sharp, an exceptional jumper and very much one for the future. It was very special to win in front of a home crowd.”

Ben Maher, the first rider to go clear in the jump-off, could perhaps consider himself hard done by, having set such an exacting standard, but his mare was returning to form and he said simply: “I would have been happy with sixth, quite honestly. Diva loves this show and jumped brilliantly; it’s just great to have her back. Congratulations to Scott – I couldn’t have done any more.”

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk
0203 176 0355
www.olympiahorseshow.com

Scott Brash Aims for Show Jumping Perfection at Geneva, Dec. 2016

30 November 2016, Geneva, Switzerland – The 2016 global equestrian season comes to a close in scintillating fashion with the third equestrian Major of the year hosted by CHI Geneva.

The 56th edition of this prestigious show takes place from 8-11 December 2016 in Rolex headquarters’ pristine home city of Geneva. The Swiss indoor show has been voted the world’s best show jumping event for the 8th time by many of equestrian’s greatest riders and Rolex is proud to have been the presenting partner since 1996.

As the only one of the three Majors that comprise the Rolex Grand Slam to be hosted indoors, CHI Geneva is unique in its setting and atmosphere, creating an entirely fresh challenge for riders and horses alike.

ROLEX GRAND PRIX

CHI Geneva builds to a climax on Sunday 11 December with the Rolex Grand Prix, one of the three Majors that together form equestrian sport’s most sought-after award, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

As one of the most renowned competitions in the show jumping season, winning the Rolex Grand Prix at the Palexpo stadium in Geneva will require supreme courage and immaculate timing. With an imposing course set to defy the world’s foremost riders, an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd creates a cacophony of noise to complete an atmosphere unparalleled in equestrian sport.

SCOTT BRASH EYEING HISTORY

To date Scott Brash is the only winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the sport’s greatest prize. By winning the three equestrian Majors in succession in 2015, a feat even more impressive considering it was achieved on the same horse, Brash secured his place in equestrian sport’s illustrious hall of fame.

After winning the 2016 CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, in Spruce Meadows, Brash arrives to Geneva as the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam, once again in a position to take home the ultimate prize. He will need to demonstrate passion, determination and exceptional performance to continue his quest towards a second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title.

“To win the three equestrian Majors back to back, and accomplish a second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title, would be incredible. It’s what every rider wants to be a part of. I am delighted to be back on track and am looking forward to attempting to take the next chapter in this extraordinary challenge.”

Having triumphed in 2014 aboard Hello Sanctos, Brash knows exactly what is required to win CHI Geneva, putting him in an excellent position to compete against his fellow equestrian elite.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES SUCCESS AT CHI GENEVA

The last three victors in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva have all been Rolex Testimonees, underlying the exceptional talent of this group of supreme athletes.

Steve Guerdat has enjoyed the most successful record at CHI Geneva, winning the title in 2006, 2013, and most recently in 2015. The Swiss favorite will be looking to return in 2016 and contend for his fourth title. The champion equestrian athlete will be riding Nino des Buissonnets, in what will be the gelding’s last competitive appearance and third CHI Geneva title if the pair win. It seems only fitting that Guerdat will be retiring his prize horse at his home show.

The 2008 champion, Eric Lamaze, will be looking to add a second Geneva title to his extensive list of titles when he enters the Palexpo arena riding Fine Lady 5.

Kevin Staut, who was victorious in 2010’s jump-off, and Great Britain’s Scott Brash complete the list of Rolex Testimonees who have triumphed at the world’s premier indoor equestrian show.

Winning his first ever Rolex Grand Prix at Geneva aboard Voyeur would be a superb way for Kent Farrington, current world number four, to complete a victorious 2016 season in which he won Team silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, arguably Germany’s greatest show jumper of all time, has one of the finest equestrian resumes in history and with the Rolex Grand Prix missing off that impressive list she will be hoping to make amends riding her gelding Fibonacci 17.

The newest Rolex Testimonees, Jeroen Dubbeldam riding SFN Zenith N.O.P., and Bertram Allen, will also be vying to win their first Rolex Grand Prix at Geneva, adding to their long list of equestrian accomplishments.

ROLEX IJRC TOP 10 FINAL

The Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final is one of the highlights of the CHI Geneva programme. Held on Friday 9 December 2016, this exciting competition brings together the world’s best horse and rider partnerships in one of the most prestigious classes in the global equestrian calendar.

With only the world’s Top 10 ranked riders invited to participate, the roster of the Top 10 Final is unrivalled in world equestrian sport. Winning the coveted title requires impeccable precision and timing.

Rolex Testimonee and defending champion Kent Farrington will return to CHI Geneva to defend his Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final crown, having enjoyed an immaculate year that included helping Team USA to silver at the Rio Olympic Games.

Alongside Kent Farrington, Rolex Testimonees Eric Lamaze, Steve Guerdat and Kevin Staut have also qualified to compete in the 2016 Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. Rolex has proudly supported the IJRC Top 10 Final since it’s inauguration in 2001 and five of its equestrian Testimonees have claimed the sought-after trophy: Rodrigo Pessoa (2003 and 2005), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (2004 and 2006), Steve Guerdat (2010), Scott Brash (2014) and Kent Farrington in 2015.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Rod Kohler
rod@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7770 647 662

Scott Brash Repeats Victory in CP International Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Scott Brash and Ursula XII. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Calgary, AB – For the second year in a row, Great Britain’s Scott Brash took the win in the biggest Grand Prix in show jumping competing at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO5*. On Sunday, September 11, Brash and Ursula XII were the winners of the $3 Million CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, in a thrilling jump-off against USA’s McLain Ward and HH Azur. Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and Ensor de Litrange LXII finished third.

Brash also won the $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex, in 2015, along with taking the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping for the first time in history. The prize money was even bigger this year, initially listed as $2 million, and then jumping up to $3 million in an additional increase made by CP just prior to the event. For his win alone, Brash took home a check of $1 million.

Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) set difficult tracks for Sunday’s competition, held over two rounds. A challenging oxer-oxer-vertical triple combination set next to the in-gate with double liverpools was responsible for many faults in the first round. Only four entries were able to clear the first round course without fault.

The top twelve entries in the first round were then invited to return for round two in reverse order of penalties. The twelve that returned included the four clear rounds, as well as seven competitors carrying four faults, and one entry on five faults.

The four best entries from round one were able to maintain their positions on top of the leaderboard after the second round. Scott Brash and McLain Ward each jumped clear in round two to move on to a third round for an exciting head-to-head jump-off. Brash was first to go on the short course with Ursula XII and set the challenge with a clear round in 41.19 seconds. Ward followed with HH Azur, but dropped one rail to solidify a second place finish in a time of 43.11 seconds.

Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca just missed out on the jump-off with a single time fault in round two, leaving the rider in third place overall with Stephex Stable’s Ensor de Litrange LXII. Kent Farrington (USA) was clear in round one and dropped one rail in round two to finish with four faults. Kevin Staut (FRA) also finished on four faults in total with a rail in round one and a clear in round two. Their tie was broken by first round times, leaving Farrington and Amalaya Investment’s Voyeur in fourth place, and Staut aboard For Joy Van’t Zorgvliet HDC in fifth place.

The biggest Grand Prix in the sport, the CP International is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, which was won for the first time by Brash on a historic occasion in 2015. Brash and Hello Sanctos topped three consecutive grand prix competitions in Geneva, Aachen, and then Calgary to earn the title. Though he was not in contention for the Grand Slam this year – he finished a close second in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen with Ursula XII in July – winning the CP International for the second year in a row was just as exciting for Brash.

“It is a little different, but just as good actually,” Brash stated. “I am actually so happy for my horse Ursula because it has been a long road with her. She has always been an unbelievable horse, but probably never had the recognition she deserves. She was the number one horse in the world, but never actually won a grand prix (before today). She was second so many times in so many big grand prixs, but never actually won one, so she picked a good one to win. She went through two years of injuries, and to finally get her back to the top end of this sport and then win the biggest grand prix in the world, I am absolutely over the moon, for the horse especially.”

Though several riders have won the CP International Grand Prix on more than one occasion, only Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa has previously achieved the feat of winning the competition in back-to-back years. He took the title in 2000 and 2001 aboard Gandini Lianos. Brash’s wins were with two different horses, but he had great confidence in Ursula this year, just as he had in Hello Sanctos in 2015.

Ursula XII, a 15-year-old Scottish Sport Horse mare (Ahorn x Papageno) owned by Lady P Harris and Lady P Kirkham, previously showed at Spruce Meadows with Great Britain’s Tina Fletcher in 2012 and jumped well during that time.

“I know her very well and I was always quite confident that she would be good in this ring, but never had the opportunity to bring her here,” Brash detailed. “I was just happy to get her here in good form to give us a chance at the grand prix, and she sure delivered today.”

With the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping on the line last year, Brash had a lot of extra pressure on his shoulders to do well. This year was different, but the jump-off with recent Rio Olympic team silver medalists McLain Ward and HH Azur presented a different kind of pressure.

“I think, to be fair, there was more pressure last year,” Brash admitted. “I do not think I was just expected to win the grand prix this year. I think all eyes were on Sanctos last year. He was in great form – he had won in Geneva and Aachen – and everyone was talking about it and the lead up to it. This year has been a lot different, but the pressure of the competition is still difficult. McLain and Azur are a fantastic combination, so I knew it was not over until he went. The pressure was on until the last moment.

“I am very confident in her because I know what a wonderful horse she is, but it was a strong field out there and when you have the likes of McLain and Azur coming behind you, you feel like you are at a bit of a disadvantage,” he continued. “Going out first in the jump-off actually probably worked in my favor this time. I knew I had to keep the poles up, but I knew I also had to do more than that to try to beat McLain, so I took a few risks and a few chances and she jumped amazing.”

McLain Ward and HH Azur
McLain Ward and HH Azur

Though Ward would have liked to win, his second place prize of $600,000 was still bigger than most competitions around the world, and he was very pleased with HH Azur on Sunday. The 10-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Sir Lui) owned by Double H Farm and Francois Mathy has achieved a lot at a young age and only continues to improve.

“She is still a young horse and still learning a little bit to jump-off against the clock and to jump three rounds,” Ward noted. “That gets better with maturity, so I do think that as amazing as she is, the future is even brighter for her.

“If you are going to be second to anybody, being second to Scott is a good choice,” Ward added. “He is brilliant and has probably been the most on-form rider over the last several years. I am not disappointed. The horse was spectacular. That was the only fence she touched all day; I thought she jumped in great form.”

Though the course was tough for many competitors, the best horses and riders rose to the top on Sunday, and Leopoldo Palacios was happy with the final result. With the biggest payday in show jumping at stake, the competition is meant to be challenging and has only seen three jump-offs in the 40-year history of the event.

Remarking on his outcome, Palacios stated, “In reality, it is not my first time that I have used this triple combination, with the same material, in the same position. I am not very happy that there were so many problems in that combination; that was not what I expected, but at the end I think I had a very good grand prix. I want to congratulate the winners. I think the competition today was beautiful except for the problem on the liverpools. I am happy that we had a jump-off today. I have a very tough second round, and the time allowed was short, as Lorenzo can tell you. Scott and McLain did fantastic, and they deserved to have a jump-off.”

As Palacios mentioned, Lorenzo de Luca and Ensor de Litrange LXII finished third with just the one time fault in round two, but the rider was happy with his result. This was de Luca’s first trip to Spruce Meadows, and he also won a competition earlier in the week aboard Limestone Grey.

“I had a great week, so I can’t complain,” de Luca stated. “When you come to Spruce Meadows, like everyone told me and as I have watched, it should be hard. You find double ditches here just like you find in Aachen. The same combination was used in Aachen last year at the European Championships. You need to have a good horse.”

De Luca continued, “This show is amazing, and my horses jumped great.  This is my first time here, and if I can come again next year, for sure I will come. I think this is the best show ever. It is proper sport, big classes, and good jump-offs. It is fantastic to be here.”

Concluding the day’s competition, Brash also remarked on the difficulty of the event, noting that the course builder set an appropriately demanding track.

“When we come to Spruce Meadows, we know what we are in for,” Brash stated. “It is the richest grand prix in the world, and it should be difficult. We know that those double of ditches are going to be in there. You do still need a special horse to be able to jump that combination. It is all very hard, but we expect it to be hard.  If there were more clears, and there were six or seven in the third round, I would be disappointed with the competition. The same with Aachen – the course builder was criticized because there were no clears in the first round – but these are the hardest grand prixs in the world and they should be difficult in my opinion.”

With another fantastic win to his name, Brash heads next to compete with Ursula on the team for Great Britain at the Furusiyya FEI Nations’ Cup Finals in Barcelona, Spain, at the end of September. The mare will then have a short break before preparing for the third leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping in Geneva, Switzerland, in December.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 2016 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO5*. For full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services
caroline.grant@sprucemeadows.com
403.974.4232

Lauren Fisher
Jump Media
lauren@jumpmediallc.com

Three World Number Ones under One Roof at Olympia, the London International Horse Show

The world’s best riders, including three FEI world no. 1s in Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving, have announced they will be descending upon the capital to compete at Olympia, the London International Horse Show which takes place from 15-21 December.

Show Jumping sensation Scott Brash will be making a rare competitive appearance in the UK along with Team GBR Dressage legend Charlotte Dujardin and Carriage Driving’s unstoppable Boyd Exell, who will head up the first-rate quality of competitors taking part over the seven days at London’s premier horse show.

SHOW JUMPING

Once again, the world’s top-class show jumpers will gravitate to the Olympia Exhibition Halls to compete at the UK’s biggest indoor equestrian show and wow fans with unforgettable competition. A collection of the world’s top 10 riders are among the entries along with the top British riders in attendance, including British world no.1 Scott Brash.

The talented Scotsman, and Team GBR gold medal hopeful for Rio next year, has had an incredible 2015 and hopes to end it on a high at Olympia: “I love Olympia. The atmosphere is always great and the home crowd always cheers me so I’m looking forward to that. I don’t often get the chance to ride in front of home fans as there aren’t many five star events in Britain so it’s always nice to come home and compete in front of the home crowd.”

Brash will face fierce competition with some of the biggest international names in the sport confirmed, including an incredibly formidable team of German riders: Daniel Deusser, Marcus Ehning, Ludger Beerbaum and Hans-Dieter Dreher.

From across the pond top French riders Simon Delestre and Kevin Staut will be hoping to continue their 2015 success at Olympia. European Team Champions, Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and Jur Vrieling (NED), will also be returning to the famous arena, whilst world number six, Bertram Allen, will be hungry for a victory to end the year on.

The best of the British will be out in force much to the delight of the home crowd, including Olympia’s favourite family, the Whitakers, with John, Michael, Robert and William all confirmed and armed with a strong team of horses. Former world no.1 Ben Maher will be hoping to defend his Olympia Grand Prix title, bringing with him a solid selection of horses, including Diva II. Young rising star, Jessica Mendoza, will be the one to watch hoping to round off a stellar year with a win at Olympia. Joe Clee, Laura Renwick and Guy Williams will complete the impressive line-up.

Show Jumping takes place during every performance from Thursday 17 December to Monday 21 December. Highlights include the Alltech Olympia Puissance on Thursday 17 December, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Leg presented by H&M on Sunday 20 December, and the Olympia Grand Prix on Monday 21 December.

DRESSAGE

The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage, supported by Horse & Hound, which takes place on the first and second day of Olympia, welcomes a star-studded line-up. Returning this year is the current world, Olympic and European champion, Charlotte Dujardin, who will be hoping to retain her unbeaten record at the event.

Joining Dujardin is crowd favourite Carl Hester upon his noble partner Nip Tuck, with whom he helped the team to score a silver medal at the European Championships earlier this year. With a career spanning over three decades, Hester is arguably one of the greatest dressage riders the world has seen and will be hoping to produce a shining performance under the bright lights of the Olympia arena. Fiona Bigwood, Henriette Andersen and Lara Griffith will complete the British line-up.

Leading the international contingent is one of The Netherlands’ best riders, Hans Peter Minderhoud, on his chestnut gelding Glock’s Flirt. Individual Bronze medallist at this year’s European Championships, Minderhoud will be joined by fellow Dutchmen, Diederik van Silfhout, both of whom will certainly provide stiff competition for the British riders.

DRIVING

A total of seven of the world’s leading four-in-hand drivers will set the arena alight in what promises to be a flurry of nail biting competitions on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 December, with the Final taking place on Saturday 19 December.

Defending champion, Boyd Exell (AUS), who has won the FEI World Cup Driving Championship title a record six times, will be hoping to repeat last year’s success where he drove an unimpeachable round to win by a four-second margin.

Ranked second and fourth from the outdoor season are Dutch competitors, Ijsbrand Chardon and Koos de Ronde, both of whom have competed at the show each year since 2011. Chardon has been at the top of world four-in-hand driving longer than any other driver currently on the circuit and his tally of medals is correspondingly larger; most recently he was on the gold medal winning team at last year’s WEG and this year’s European championships where he claimed second place individually. Just pipped to the post by Exell in 2014, he will be hungry for the win this year. De Ronde is also serially successful, having been a team member with Chardon over several years; he was third in the 2015 European Championships.

Jozsef Dobrovitz snr (HUN), ranked third in the world, is making his Olympia debut. Georg von Stein (GER) and Glen Geerts (BEL) will be looking to make the mark on the competition, and flying the flag for Great Britain is Daniel Naprous, lead member of the Devil’s Horsemen Stunt Team, who emerged victorious from the three events staged in the autumn to be selected as the home driver. He will be bringing the daring, precision and skill of his display and film work to driving a four-in-hand.

For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information or imagery, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

Bertram Allen and Quiet Easy 4 Claim Top Prize in the Longines Speed Challenge

Bertram Allen and Quiet Easy 4. Photos: Shutterstock Rex for EEM.

Los Angeles, CA. October 2, 2015 – Action at the second day at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles culminated with Friday night’s Longines Speed Challenge. Bertram Allen and Quiet Easy 4 raced against the clock with a remarkable time of 58.91 seconds. Scott Brash and Piergiorgio Bucci rounded out the podium, Brash with a time of 58.96 seconds on Hello Annie and Piergiorgio Bucci and Cuarta with a time of 62.94 seconds.

The energy was palpable as the microphoned jumps enhanced the sounds of the ring. Every spectator felt the electricity emanating between horse and rider as they raced around the course. 2014 Longines Masters of Los Angeles Longines Speed Challenge winner Jane Richard Philips returned in an attempt to reestablish her dominance but couldn’t keep pace with the 20-year-old Irish phenom.

The only speed competition of its kind in the world, the Longines Speed Challenge with $130,000 in prize money is a staple of all three Longines Masters events, in Paris, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles. The emotion and suspense were palpable as top-ranked international show jumpers raced through a course designed by renowned Belgian designer Luc Musette. With the launch of the Longines Masters series, the Longines Speed Challenge introduces the new 1.45m course design that will be carried to the Paris and Hong Kong events, challenging the riders to improve their time at each leg.

The Longines Speed Challenge format created by EEM emphasizes speed by and precision, as each fault is penalized by 2 seconds instead of the standard 4. A fallen rail needn’t be cripping, therefore, and riders can still hope to make up these two penalty seconds by going just a little bit faster.

Scott Brash and Hello Annie
Scott Brash and Hello Annie

“Scott Brash’s round was unbelievable,” said Allen in reaction to watching the World Number 1’s pace-setting round. “My horse really tried.”

John Whitaker rode to victory on Argento in the Prix Airbus, the day’s first 5* level competition. He beat Edwina Tops-Alexander and Lintea Tequila by a mere 0.59 seconds in the jump-off. The win adds to his recent success in the series as the winner of the Gucci Gold Cup and Longines Grand Prix at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong. Whitaker and Argento are in great form and heating up in time to compete in Sunday’s Longines Grand Prix in hopes of winning the second leg of the Masters Grand Slam Super Bonus of €500,000.

“With the way he [Argento] jumped today, I should give him the day off. He’s a fighter; he’s tough. He wants to do the job, and that’s 95 percent of the battle. You know he’s going to jump the jumps,” said Whitaker.

Recent “Veep” Emmy winner Tony Hale, actor Kaley Cuoco, director Steven Spielberg, rock and roll legend Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa and more cheered on their favorite riders from the Masters Club. Steffen Peters performed a dressage demonstration, and families enjoyed the first day of the Kids’ Village with face painting, a mini horseless jump course, and ponies.

The world’s best international show jumpers will continue to compete at the Los Angeles Convention Center throughout the weekend. To witness the champion caliber riding and enjoy the Kids Village, one-of-a-kind art pieces from Opera Gallery and more, purchase your tickets at http://www.mastersgrandslam.com/en/ticketing.

DETAILS:
The Longines Masters of Los Angeles
October 1st to 4th 2015
WEBSITE: http://www.mastersgrandslam.com/en/longines_masters_los_angeles
TICKETING: Tickets are available at http://www.mastersgrandslam.com/en/ticketing.

John Whitaker and Argento
John Whitaker and Argento

ABOUT THE LONGINES MASTERS

Established in three of the biggest cities — Los Angeles, Paris and Hong Kong — the unique Longines Masters series is recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale and is one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions worldwide. Created by EEM, the concept of the Masters was born in 2009 with the first edition of the Gucci Paris Masters, now renamed the Longines Masters of Paris. Inspired by the Grand Slam tournaments in tennis, the circuit rapidly developed abroad, with the Longines Masters of Hong Kong in 2013 and the Longines Masters of Los Angeles in 2014.

The world’s best riders and horses will compete for one million dollars in prize money at each leg of the series. In addition, any rider who consecutively wins the Longines Masters Grands Prix in Paris, Hong Kong and Los Angeles will be rewarded with one million euros Masters Grand Slam bonus. For two successive victories, the rider will be awarded €500,000, and winners of two non-successive victories within a series of three Longines Masters Grand Prix will receive a €250,000 bonus.

These events are broadcast in more than 120 countries and reach up to 550 million households.. Every edition of the Masters is must-attend event that brings together sports enthusiasts, amateurs, celebrities and corporate decision-makers from around the world, who come to enjoy a unique experience, boasting exceptional sport, entertainment, glamour, gastronomy and contemporary art.

Longines Masters of Los Angeles October 1st to 4th 2015
Longines Masters of Paris December 3rd to 6th 2015
Longines Masters of Hong Kong February 19th to 21st 2016

Sunshine Sachs
Sarit Schneider | Alyssa Furnari
LAMasters@SunshineSachs.com
212 691 2800 | 323 822 9300