30 March 2014, Wellington, FL: The world’s number one rider, Scott Brash (GBR), riding Hello Sanctos, today signed off a highly successful Winter Equestrian Festival with victory in the FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix presented by Rolex, with Ireland’s Richie Maloney on Slieveanorra in second place and Jessica Springsteen riding Vindicat W from the USA in third.
38 horse and rider partnerships started the first round of the Grand Prix, which was postponed until the Sunday afternoon following a Saturday night of intense wind and heavy rain. Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio had laid out a big course from the very first fence, and as if that was not enough of a challenge, the time limit of 81 seconds made it especially hard. And to reinforce the challenge he had set, the first three riders into the ring all accumulated time fault penalties by exceeding the limit available.
Despite the relaxed feel around the show, the competition was intense within the International Arena and seven went through to the jump-off. Canada’s Ben Asselin was the first to go double clear and set the benchmark time of 46.01 seconds. His time was bettered by Jessica Springsteen after France’s Marie Hecart accumulated eight faults. Richie Maloney was up for the challenge and took 0.17 seconds off Jessica’s time and the target of 44.64 was set.
Brash, who despite his huge international success, had never won a Rolex watch before today but had always wanted to win one, had a faultless round and lowered the target time down to 43.44; he then had to sit out and watch as the leading American riders Beezie Madden and Kent Farrington attacked the course. Both were fast, but agonisingly each had the same last fence down, handing the Scotsman victory.
Commenting on his third Winter Equestrian Festival, Scott Brash said, “Mark Bellissimo and his team always do a fantastic job building the quality of the show here each year, and Rolex coming in really improves the top end sport and makes every rider want to come here and compete. I can only see the show growing and growing.”
This has been the biggest Winter Equestrian Festival ever, and the Grand Prix competitions have featured 147 riders from 26 countries, including Rolex Testimonees Eric Lamaze, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Rodrigo Pessoa. With total prize money now approaching US$9 million, the Winter Equestrian Festival is the most prestigious circuit in North America.
Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, said, “It was a great Festival for us with a 12% growth in entries each week, which represents an additional 400 horses. We are lucky to continue to attract some quality riders, including Ben Maher and Scott Brash, battling it out every week in some amazing competitions, and I think that’s what top sport is all about.”
Rolex has enjoyed a successful association with the WEF since 2011, and this is the first year of a new enhanced 10-year partnership, with Rolex becoming the Official Timepiece to both the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre.
Rolex is a partner to some of the greatest equestrian shows in the world, including the three Majors: CHIO Aachen, the Spruce Meadows Masters and CHI Geneva. These great shows also form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping which is the first global initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins the Grand Prix at each show in succession.
Ben Maher Wins $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge; Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 Top $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final; Tim Gredley Scores 1.50m Series Bonus
Wellington, FL – March 30, 2014 – The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival concluded on Sunday with an exciting line-up of world-class show jumping and the presentation of special awards to round out a very successful winter circuit at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Although inclement weather caused Saturday night’s classes to be postponed, the final afternoon of FTI WEF competition was blessed with beautiful clear skies and sunshine for Sunday’s feature events.
Concluding the 2014 competition, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI 5* saw an exciting win for the world’s number one ranked rider and 2012 Olympic Team Gold Medalist, Scott Brash (GBR), with his talented mount Hello Sanctos. British teammate and world #2 ranked rider Ben Maher took home the top bonus in the $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge for his incredible success throughout the circuit. Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou 41 won the $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final, and Tim Gredley (GBR) and Unex Omega Star topped the 1.50m series overall to earn a $25,000 bonus.
Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) designed the courses for Sunday’s competition and set a challenging track for the finale grand prix featuring 38 of the best competitors from the circuit. Riders from 14 different countries were represented, including 17 Olympic veterans.
Seven entries from the first round advanced to the jump-off, where four jumped double clear. Nineteen-year-old Ben Asselin (CAN) and Attache Stables’ Makavoy began the jump-off with a clear round in 46.01 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Vindicat W upped the ante in 44.87 seconds to earn third place honors. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC’s Slieveanorra were faster in 44.64 seconds to take home second place honors. The final clear round belonged to Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos, who blazed through the course in 43.44 seconds to secure their victory. Last to go, Kent Farrington (USA) had the fast time of the jump-off in 42.72 seconds with Amalaya Investment’s Voyeur, but had a rail at the final oxer to finish fifth.
Along with the winner’s share of $165,000, Brash was presented with the Dennis D. Dammerman Perpetual Trophy. The trophy was created to honor the contributions to equestrian sport of Dennis D. Dammerman, a longtime owner of horses and founding member of the Wellington Equestrian Partners. Brash had a lot of top finishes throughout the circuit and was happy to get his win in the end with Hello Sanctos, a twelve-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Quasimodo Vd Molendreef x Nabab de Reve) that has given the rider many great moments in his career.
“I have been coming second a lot to this man,” Brash said, pointing to Maher. “So to win a class at the end is very rewarding and good for my team that has worked so hard for the circuit, because it is hard work. Sanctos was fantastic today. I gave him a rest when I first came here and then I started him back, and he felt just a little bit rusty and not quite jumping fit. I jumped two weeks and then I gave him last week off. This week he has just felt great and feels like he is jumping back to how he was, and I’m very happy going home looking forward towards Europe. There are a lot of big shows coming up with the championships and everything, so it is good to feel him in such good form early on in the year.”
Brash and Sanctos were a new partnership when they were last in Wellington in 2012. That was before they won an Olympic team gold medal in London that year and went on to many other victories that led Brash to his current position as the number one ranked rider in the world.
Looking back on the progression of their partnership, Brash recalled, “It’s a bit different now. Back in 2012 I had just gotten the horse. My owners bought the horse with the Olympic Games in mind, so we chose to come to Wellington because there is no better place to get as many rounds in as you can and get to know a horse like you can here. That is why we chose to bring him here then, but we were quite inconsistent. We had a win in the World Cup one week, but we had some bad rounds also. We were just getting to know each other, but since then we have just gone from strength to strength as a partnership. I must say, he is a fantastic horse and he is just an absolute privilege to ride.”
Sunday’s second place finish was a fantastic conclusion to the circuit for Richie Moloney as well with Equinimity LLC’s Slieveanorra. The twelve-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond) jumped a great round and was very fast through the course. Moloney got the ride on Slieveanorra a few years ago after his sponsors, Equinimity LLC, bought the horse from his brother as a nine-year-old. The horse had won the nine-year-old national championships in Ireland and has gone on to great things.
“It is a very good finish,” Moloney smiled after the class. “Slieveanorra is very good. It is nice for the horse to get his result here in the end. He was double clear week nine in the World Cup and finished seventh, so it is nice to end up second today. My plan was to go as fast as I could and try to leave the jumps up. Maybe I could have been a little bit quicker, but I am very happy with second.”
There was long gallop down to the last oxer that caused rails for Beezie Madden and Farrington in the jump-off, but Moloney said he was not worried about that. “Maybe there was one less stride there, but it was a bit risky I thought. I just held steady and kept going on the stride that I knew he could jump from. I would just like to say well done to Scott, and I would also like to thank my owners and all of the staff who work very hard at the farm. It is nice to get this result for them. It is for everybody that works there.”
Jessica Springsteen has been very consistent with top finishes throughout the circuit aboard Vindicat W, her twelve-year-old KWPN gelding (Guidam x Libero H) that Peter Charles rode to team gold alongside Brash and Maher in the London Olympic Games. Commenting on her circuit and another top placing, Springsteen smiled, “He has been jumping amazing. I had a week off last week, so he felt really fresh and ready to go. Every time I go out there he always tries his hardest. He never puts a foot wrong, and I could not be happier with him.”
Springsteen explained where she thought she lost time in the jump-off, stating, “I was maybe planning on doing five strides to that black vertical so that I could swing back tighter to the oxer, but then the four just kind of showed itself, and I did end up getting a little bit stuck in that turn. I think that’s where I could have been quicker, but everywhere else he was really good, so I was happy.”
Brash commented on the day’s course from Anthony D’Ambrosio and praised the success of this year’s circuit. “I thought the course builder did a fantastic job actually. It was big, it was hard, and to get seven clears was a good number,” he acknowledged. “The jump-off I thought was very good and entertaining for the public. It is a really spectacular class. It’s a shame it didn’t run last night, but no one can help the weather. It is all credit to Mark Bellissimo, who puts on a fantastic tour here, and now with Rolex sponsoring it really brings the prestige of the show up to a top standard of high level sport. I think that is what everyone is looking for, and I think it’s great.”
Bellissimo was also thrilled with the circuit and the successful finale grand prix, and thanked title sponsor, FTI Consulting, for their longtime support.
“FTI has been an amazing sponsor for the last six years,” Bellissimo stated. “In the genesis of the transition we have, this festival started at about $2 million in prize money and we have brought it to over $8 million, which is a spectacular amount of money. We are very excited about their commitment to the sport and that partnership that we have had over the years.”
“We have really appreciated all of the great competition,” Bellissimo added. “I don’t think I have ever seen such an amazing number of jump-offs. Scott has been in a lot of them. I think in general it has been a great year. We are very excited about it and very excited about the future. There are a lot of things that we are going to be doing next year to make it even that much more significant, so thank you to everyone for all of their participation and all of their great work throughout the circuit. Also a special call to Rolex, who has been a great addition to the circuit this year and allowed us to take this to a different level in the context of prize money and a huge investment. We have some exciting new initiatives that we will be announcing shortly that I think will be another level, even beyond where we are today.”
In addition to the day’s grand prix, the $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge concluded on Sunday after 12 weeks of jumper competition at the 2014 FTI WEF. Ben Maher led the standings and earned a $50,000 cut of the bonus money for his record-breaking number of grand prix wins and top finishes throughout the circuit. Beezie Madden finished in second place to earn $25,000, Kent Farrington was third and received a $15,000 check, and Scott Brash finished fourth for a $10,000 bonus.
Several other awards were presented on Sunday for the final week of competition in Wellington as well. For the second year in a row, Maher’s mount Cella earned Jane Clark the Simba Run Perpetual Trophy as the owner of the open jumper who has earned the most prize money in classes held at 1.45m or more during the 2014 FTI WEF. Clark was also presented with The Harrison Cup Perpetual Trophy, which is awarded to the owner whose horses won the most jumper money in all of the open jumper classes held throughout the circuit. In addition, Cella’s groom Joy Montgomerie was presented with the Oliver O’Toole Perpetual Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the groom of the horse who has earned the most money in the grand prix jumper classes.
Maher had an unfortunate rail in Sunday’s grand prix, but had an incredible circuit and thanked everyone who made his success possible.
“First I would like to say thank you to FTI Consulting,” Maher stated. “It is a hard earned bonus, but it is a nice challenge to have from the beginning of the circuit. I didn’t get a piece of it today, but again thank you to Rolex. It was a great competition. A lot of people came and it was fun to watch the jump-off and not have the stress of being in it this time. I would have preferred to be in it of course, but it was a fun jump-off to watch.”
“I have had a great circuit,” Maher continued. “It was unfortunate today that I had a jump down, but I can’t complain. All of my horses have been great and consistent. If somebody was to say at the start of the circuit that it was going to come together like it had, I would not have believed it. I am grateful for everything and looking forward to a short rest now.”
Other awards included the Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider for the circuit, which was presented to Lauren Hough (USA) on behalf of Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Artisan Farm LLC’s Zigali P S were presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for the overall circuit, which is awarded to the jumper whose style best exemplifies a show jumper based on scope, rideability, technique and competitive spirit. Lamaze and Zigali P S also won the overall WEF Challenge Cup Series Award. Sweden’s Alexander Zetterman earned the Hermès Talented Young Rider Award as the young jumper rider between the ages of 16-25 that has earned the most points in all FTI WEF FEI rated jumper competition.
Todd Minikus and Babalou 41 Top $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final; Tim Gredley Scores 1.50m Series Bonus
The $100,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final concluded on Sunday with a win for Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou 41, a nine-year-old Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Silvio I.
The competition saw 84 entries in the first round on Saturday and the top 25% returned to compete in round two on Sunday, where their cumulative scores from both rounds were combined to determine the winner. Three riders chose not to return for the second round, leaving 18 entries to show on Sunday.
Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou 41, Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Caballito, and Daniel Deusser (GER) and Fyloe v/h Claeyssenhof were the only three to complete double clear rounds, and their times in round two served as the tiebreaker.
Minikus and Bob Haefner’s Babalou 41 jumped double clear through both rounds and completed the fastest time of the competition in 48.78 seconds to earn top honors. Rodriguez and Arao Enterprises Caballito cleared the second round course in 49.97 seconds to finish second. Deusser and Fyloe v/h Claeyssenhof, owned by Stephex Stables and Double H Farm, finished third in 50.59 seconds.
Although the schedule was changed due to weather, Todd Minikus did not mind the overnight break between rounds for his young horse and was happy with her performance in the final round on Sunday.
“Unfortunately the rain put a damper on things last night, but I was a little concerned even with the gap that we would have had yesterday,” Minikus noted. “That mare is very green and she has never done something like that where she went once and then had to come back hours later, so maybe the entire night’s rest worked out for me. She went like a professional show horse today, so it was all good.”
“She is a mare that I have been showing for three years now,” Minikus explained. “We did schooling jumpers basically for two years. She was always an exceptional mare. Everybody that saw her for the first time always came up and asked about her. She was always extremely extravagant with her jump. We often wondered if that was going to hold her back, where she was maybe too exuberant with her jump, but she kind of leveled out here this past year and she has done some good things. Stewart Moran is her trainer; basically I just catch ride her. She lives with Stewart and his team, and I just ride her at the ring. They have done a great job with her. Santa, who flats her, has done a fantastic job. I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Haefner for the opportunity to ride her. It has been a good team so far.”
Speaking about his blazing fast jump-off round, Minikus detailed, “I know that mare can go fast, and I was one of the first clears to come back. We kind of saved her for this class. She did one WEF (Challenge Cup) and we have kind of nursed her along, so they gave me the green light to press on the gas pedal. She is extremely careful, so if you can get her into the middle of the jump, chances are she is going to leave it up.”
Minikus hopes to continue showing the talented mare and looks forward to seeing her future success. “Hopefully I can take her a little bit more with me this summer,” he noted. “She is ready to go now. We have babied her along enough. She is ready to be a show horse now, so hopefully they will let me take her with me and do a little bit more.”
As the conclusion to the twelve-week Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series, Sunday’s class served as the final allocation of points for the overall standings for the $25,000 Leading Horse and Rider Award. The bonus money was presented to Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Omega Star as the horse and rider combination who gained the most points throughout all twelve classes of the circuit. Unex Omega Star is a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Quick Star x Quatoubet du Rouet, owned by Unex Competition Yard Ltd.
Speaking about the bonus, Gredley stated, “It is really nice, because although I haven’t won one of the 1.50m classes, he has been consistently in the top three or five all the way through. It is nice for the horse to be rewarded for doing that. Over the last couple of weeks I noticed that I was up there in the standings for the bonus and Nick Skelton, my trainer, basically said that we should aim to just try to get a result in that. We jumped a double clear last week and got sixth. Then getting a time fault yesterday actually, in a funny way, kind of helped me today because I knew I couldn’t really win the class. These guys were all clear, so the plan was just to jump another clear and try to get a few more points, and luckily it went to plan.”
Gredley has had Unex Omega Star for a year now and explained that he has made a lot of progress with the horse since he started training with Skelton this winter.
“I struggled with him a little bit because he is by Quick Star and he is a bit sharp in his head, but the last three or four months especially, we have changed a lot with him in the way that I ride him,” Gredley said. “The whole program that we have with him at home now is very different and it seems to be working. I changed a lot with all of the horses in the last few months with the feed and the stuff that we do at home. We tend not to ride him as much at home now. Just little things that I really didn’t think would make much of a difference have made a big difference for him. I have been training with Nick now for the last four months, and he has made a big difference for all of them, but especially that horse.”
Gredley first came to Wellington in 2006 when he was 20 years old and then took a couple of years off from riding to learn the family real estate business. He now splits his time between riding and real estate and travels between Wellington and his home in England.
“The weather is always a good start, especially when you speak to everyone at home,” he said of the perks of competing in Florida. “It is really nice, especially because I have a really great team of people at home, and it is nice for them not to have to change shows every single week. The horses can basically jump from home. I especially find when we go home that it is hard for them to have to keep changing and going on the road every single week, so that is probably one of the biggest plusses to be here.”
Sunday’s competition concluded a fantastic 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank everyone for a wonderful circuit and looks forward to 2015. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
About FTI Consulting, Inc.
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,000 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.
About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded.
6 December 2013 – Three FEI-ranked world No.1 riders will compete at Olympia, The London International Horse Show which takes place on 16-22 December 2013, as final entries for London’s premier equine show were announced today.
Dressage sensation Charlotte Dujardin, show jumping superstar Scott Brash and carriage driving legend Boyd Exell, who are all currently leading the rankings in their respected sports, are amongst the confirmed entries for what is regarded as the world’s best Christmas equine party. It will be the first time in the history of Olympia that three world No.1s have competed at London’s premier horse show.
London 2012 hero Charlotte Dujardin (GB) will compete her Olympic gold medal winning horse, Valegro in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Leg, supported by Horse & Hound on 16 and 17 December. The formidable pair won this competition at Olympia last year and Dujardin, who was shortlisted for The Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year earlier this month, will be hoping to repeat that feat.
Amongst those bidding to spoil Dujardin’s Christmas party is Edward Gal (Glock’s Voice) and Hans Peter Minderhoud (Glock’s Romanov) from the Netherlands who are regulars at Olympia. Charlotte’s GB Teammate, Carl Hester will compete Fine Time 13, the horse with which he won the National Championships with in September. A notable absentee is Dujardin and Hester’s London 2012 Teammate, Laura Tomlinson (nee Bechtolsheimer). However, Tomlinson’s stable jockey and Reserve National Champion, Lara Griffith, makes her Olympia debut on Andretti H.
The Top Three FEI-ranked show jumpers in the world, Scott Brash (GB), Ben Maher (GB) and Ludger Beerbaum (GER), are all triple handed with horses in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Leg, presented by H&M. Scotland’s Brash, who recently clinched the Longines Global Champions Tour title in Doha, elevating him to No.1 spot this week in the FEI world rankings, brings Bon Ami, Hello Annie and Ursula XII to Olympia. Maher has Aristo Z, Diva II and his London 2012 superstar Tripple X III and will also be reunited with Noctambule Courcelle in the Alltech Christmas Puissance, on whom he won the famous competition in 2010 and 2012. Legendary Beerbaum brings his three top horses Carinou, Chiara 222 and Zinedine.
Other notable entries include European individual gold medallist Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) with Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois and Britain’s current No.1 female show jumper, Laura Renwick.
Brash said: “To go to Olympia, which is one of my favourite shows, as FEI ranked world No.1 is a very special feeling. This year has been unbelievable for me and there would be nothing better than to top it off with a good week at Olympia.”
Extreme Carriage Driving
Six of the world’s best drivers will compete in the exhilarating Extreme Driving FEI World Cup on 19 and 20 December; the first competition being a warm-up to give the running order of the deciding second.
The line-up includes three 2013 European team gold medallists, Koos de Ronde, IJsbrand Chardon and Theo Timmerman from the Netherlands; two 2013 European team silver medallists from Germany, Daniel Schneiders and Michael Brauchle; and driving on a wild card is two time world gold medallist, four time World Cup Champion and current leader in the FEI Driver standings, Australia’s Boyd Exell. Representing Great Britain is the only female in the competition, Georgina Hunt, who is seven times National Pony Team Champion.
Olympia, The London International Horse Show will be televised throughout the week on BBC Online, the BBC Red Button and Eurosport. Live coverage of the Longines FEI World Cup presented by H&M will be broadcast on BBC 1 between 13:45 and 16:30 on Saturday 21 December 2013.
Olympia, The London International Horse Show Throughout the week of 16 December, the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington, London, will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts a total of over 80,000 visitors. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup Jumping, Dressage and Extreme Carriage Driving with family entertainment, such as The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art display and the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Olympia Horse Show celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007 and is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest equine competitions. Olympia Horse Show’s official charity for 2013 is veterinary charity, the Animal Health Trust, which works behind the scenes to monitor equine disease around the world and undertakes extensive on-going research to minimise the risk of injury to sport horses. The evening performance on Wednesday 18 December will be dedicated to the Animal Health Trust and 50p from every seat sold will go to the charity.
For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207
Scott Brash, pictured here with his Olympic and European team gold medal and Longines Global Champions Tour winning horse Hello Sanctos. (Stefano Grasso/Longines)
Lausanne (SUI), 2 December 2013 – Scott Brash (GBR), currently second in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 Western European League standings and the youngest member of the London 2012 Olympic Games gold medal winning British team, has jumped into the world number one spot in the Longines Rankings.
The 28-year-old from Peebles in Scotland has moved up from sixth place with 2,590 points, and is now 37 points clear of the former world number one, his compatriot Ben Maher (2,627 points).
Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum has also moved up four places into third with 2,495 points. The USA’s Beezie Madden, top-ranked female in the Longines Rankings, has dropped two places to fourth with 2,451, just one point ahead of Marcus Ehning (GER) in fifth.
Scott Brash started riding at the age of seven and competed in his first show two years later, rising quickly through the ranks to become Scottish number one. He made his international début in 2010 and was selected for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky the same year.
In December 2011, he took over the ride on Hello Sanctos, the horse he partnered to Olympic and European team gold. The latest triumph from Great Britain’s hottest Jumping prospects came at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Doha (QAT), when victory in the Grand Prix boosted Brash to the overall title – on his 28th birthday!
The complete Longines Rankings are available here.
Longines is the FEI’s first Top Partner. Under the historic agreement, Longines is the Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the FEI, and the partnership involves a number of major rights packages, including the Longines Rankings (the FEI World Rider Rankings for Jumping).
Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos at the prize presentation with Longines ambassador Aksel Lund Svindal and Morten Thormodsen, Brand Manager and Sales Representative for Longines, Norway. Photo: FEI/Roger Svalsroed.
Oslo (NOR), 13 October 2013 – Great Britain’s Scott Brash once again proved himself to be the most formidable of opponents when galloping to victory with Hello Sanctos in the opening leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 Western European League at Oslo, Norway this afternoon. Others might have been rattled by the last-minute drama of a broken noseband just before going in to jump against the clock. But the 27-year-old rider from Peebles in Scotland stayed as cool as a cucumber to clinch the win ahead of individual Olympic champion, Steve Guerdat, from Switzerland. And, as if to cement the sheer quality of today’s competition, it was three-time FEI World Cup Jumping champion Marcus Ehning from Germany who slotted into third place ahead of Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Winningmood in fourth.
There was a time when the early legs of the Western European League series were considerably less competitive, but those days are history now. This year’s start-list for the first round at Oslo included nine of the top 12 riders on the current Longines Rankings list, so it was never going to be an easy one to win.
And the course designed by Italy’s Uliano Vezzani, who was assisted by Anders Hafskjold and Terje Olsen-Nalum from Norway, was no walk in the park either. It may have been the first big test of the indoor season, but the close confines of the arena which measures just 75m x 35m, and the intensity of the track layout itself ensured a very tough day’s work indeed. “I thought it was a very difficult track when I walked the course, and I was surprised when there were so many clears – the fences came up very quickly and I’m told this was the biggest track ever in Oslo!” said winning rider Brash this evening.
The smallest fence on the course was the opening 1.50m vertical, but even that hit the floor for Germany’s Christian Ahlmann who retired with his grey stallion, Asca Z, after leaving two more on the ground. And the 2011 FEI World Cup Jumping champion was one of seven to call it a day before the end of the track – reigning European Champion Roger-Yves Bost from France (Colombo van den Blauwaert) and Brazil’s Alvaro de Miranda (AD Uutje) amongst those who also decided it was best to leave the fight to another day.
The 1.50m square oxer at two remained intact throughout the afternoon, but the remainder of the fences were almost all dislodged from their moorings at some stage. The triple-bar at fence three led to a 1.60m vertical at fence four before riders turned right-handed to the triple combination at five. This was the bogey of the day, with 12 horse-and-rider combinations faulting at least once as they attempted to negotiate the vertical to a double of oxers. Steve Guerdat said afterwards, “Triple combinations are always very demanding for horses and they were struggling with it; I don’t really know why.”
The turn to fence six proved the undoing of many, however. Horses tended to be very much on the forehand after the triple combination and, if they were running on too much it proved difficult to ride the sharply bending line and arrive balanced, in control and still with enough impulsion to clear the tall vertical. The oxer at fence seven and the Longines double at eight were located along the ringside before turning left-handed to the oxers at nine and ten, and then there were only three fences left on the homeward run.
The planks at 11 fell numerous times however as did the following Longines oxer at 12, but the most disappointed man of the day was, quite possibly, The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder who steered his Olympic individual silver medal winning ride, London, through a gloriously easy tour of the track only to hit the very last. This multi-coloured vertical, standing 1.60m and with two circular water trays beneath it, was located on another bending line and, second into the ring, Norway’s Stein Endresen was decanted onto the landing side here when his mare, Cassiopeia arrived on a bad stride and decided to slam on the brakes. In Schroder’s case, London dropped his near foreleg to rebalance on the turn and caught the top pole on the way up for an unfortunate four faults.
There were nine riders from nine different nations through to the second-round jump-off, and it was rising Brazilian star, Marlon Zanotelli, who led the way with Clouwni over the new track. A mistake on the distance between fence one and the oxer at fence 10 which was now the second obstacle on the course saw them return with four faults in 39.27 seconds, so when Athina Onassis de Miranda from Greece and her fabulous grey mare, AD Camille Z, produced a careful clear in 46.55 seconds they temporarily took the lead. The Netherlands’ Frank Schuttert was first to take a tight turn to the third, an oxer, but his round unravelled when he lost his line to the vertical second-last – previously fence six, but now jumped in the opposite direction – so that his super-busy gelding, Winchester HS, rushed past it leaving them to cross the line with eight faults on the board in 44.17 seconds.
The crowd lit up when Geir Gulliksen entered the ring with Edesa S Banjan. The 12-year-old gelding had produced a great opening round to make the cut for the host nation rider and, to the delight of the spectators, they went into the lead this time out when foot-perfect in 39.64 seconds. But their advantage was short-lived as Marcus Ehning and Copin van de Broy cruised home with a silky-smooth run in 37.72 seconds to go to the top of the leaderboard. Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Winningmood followed with a lovely round in 39.00 seconds, and when Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander opted for a slow clear with the nine-year-old Ego van Orti she was also guaranteed some valuable qualifying points but didn’t pose any threat to Ehning’s supremacy.
Set Off Like the Wind
The final two did, however. Guerdat and the horse with which he enjoyed Olympic glory, the electrifying Nino des Buissonnets, set off like the wind, turning super-tight to the third fence and galloping down to the last to soar out in front in a time of 36.52. It seemed unlikely that this could be bettered, and when there was a long delay before Brash arrived into the ring the crowd grew curious. The British rider, meanwhile, was busy taking his horse’s bridle apart after the noseband snapped while warming up for the second time.
Luckily Geir Gulliksen’s gelding was wearing something similar, so, in typically sporting fashion, the Norwegian rider removed his horse’s noseband and gave it to his British rival who, with the help of Ireland’s Shane Breen, reassembled the bridle, put it onto Hello Sanctos and then jumped onboard and headed into the ring. Not ideal when there is a Longines FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier to be won, but Brash has shown time and again over the last year that he is about as unflappable as they come.
Setting off, he didn’t know what time he was chasing, so he decided to just kick on and hope for the best. As it turned out that was a pretty good plan, because he shaved more than two seconds off Guerdat’s target to clinch the most convincing of victories.
Talking afterwards, Brash said, “I watched Marcus and I thought he was fast and then I heard that Steve was faster so I thought I’d just do the best that I could. My horse was super again, I was really surprised by how fast we were!” He said he was very grateful to the show officials who allowed him the time to reconstruct the bridle – “They were very kind by not rushing me” – but he pointed out that the drama had not thrown him off his concentration. Clearly it hadn’t.
Making his victory today all the more remarkable was the fact that Brash rode the same horse into the winner’s enclosure in yesterday’s Oslo Grand Prix in which Angelica Augustsson and Mic Mac du Tillard lined up second. “Everyone was questioning me because I rode him fast in the Grand Prix yesterday but I know my horse!” he said today. Hello Sanctos will go to the second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League series at Helsinki in Finland next week and will then travel to Doha in Qatar for the Global Champions Tour Final in November.
Runner-up, Steve Guerdat, said, “The last show I did was not great – it was our horse’s first show back since the Europeans and that is why he jumped in two of the smaller classes earlier here. Today I could feel in the first round that he was a bit too fresh and jumping with a bit of caution – our first round was not so smooth. When we did the jump off he was already better,” Guerdat pointed out.
Third-placed Marcus Ehning left the post competition press conference early. “My wife and I are expecting our next baby. She is a bit nervous because I am far away so I have to catch the first plane back!” he explained.
Geir Gulliksen finished fifth for Norway, and was very happy with his result. “It is always very exciting competing in front of your home crowd. I was a bit worried as I jumped two rounds yesterday – I didn’t know how he (his horse, Edesa S Banjan) would react but he did great today. It is a great achievement for an old chap from Norway!” joked the 53-year-old rider who has been the linchpin of the Norwegian team for many years now.
Meanwhile Brash reflected on yet another great day’s work. “It feels great and my horse feels in very good form. It is great to start off with a win,” he said. He talked about the frenzy that ensued when his horse’s noseband broke. “We rushed around trying to borrow one; luckily Jimmy (Geir Gulliksen) had just got off the ring and he let me borrow his – it turned out to be lucky for him and me as well!” he explained.
And he talked about Hello Sanctos, the 11-year-old gelding which he rode to team gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games last year, and who played a pivotal role again at the PSI FEI European Jumping Championships in Herning, Denmark this summer.
“He is the horse of a lifetime considering what he has done for the country – he is outstanding. You don’t get too many like him. He is very clever, very sharp. When you work him at home he is very lazy, as if to say ‘do we really have to do this training?’, but then he goes into the ring and gives you his heart!” he said.
The FEI World Cup Jumping series celebrates its 36th season bearing the name of Swiss watch brand, Longines, which, last December, became Top Partner, and Official Timekeeping Partner, to the international governing body, the FEI.
The first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 Western European League series took place today at the Telenor Arena in Oslo, Norway.
A total of 40 riders from 21 nations lined out.
The countries represented were Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
A total of 11 qualifying rounds will take place before the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final is staged in Lyon, France from 20-23 March 2014.
Defending series champion is America’s Beezie Madden.
9 of the top 12 riders on the current Longines Rankings competed today in Oslo.
Course designer was Uliano Vezzani (ITA) assisted by Anders Hafskjold (NOR) and Treje Olsen-Nalum (NOR).
9 riders from 9 different countries qualified for second-round jump-off against the clock.
Today’s winner was Olympic and European team gold medallist Scott Brash from Great Britain riding Hello Sanctos.
He pipped reigning Olympic individual gold medallist, Steve Guerdat from Switzerland, and Nino des Buissonnets, while three-time FEI World Cup champion Marcus Ehning from Germany finished third with Copin van de Broy.
9 riders retired in the first round and there was 1 elimination – Stein Endresen from Norway who was unseated when his 12-year-old grey mare, Cassiopeia 55, stopped at the very last fence in the first round.
The second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2013/2014 series will take place in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday 20 October 2013.
Morten Aasen, Oso Show Director: “I have been part of this event for 22 years now. Longines, the new sponsor, has made things very exciting. Longines has brought in a new level of professionalism which is very nice. Moreover, 7 out of the top 10 riders are here which proves that the show is popular and we are very proud of that!”
Marcus Ehning (GER): “I have won the FEI World Cup three times and have great memories of it. I think it is a good series.”
Scott Brash (GBR): “I watched Marcus’ round and I thought he was too fast. I didn’t see Steve’s round but I knew he was second. I didn’t think I’d be as quick as he was but I got the strides just right today.”
Geir Gulliksen (NOR), talking about his horse, Edesa S Banjan: “I met the breeder of the horse in Belgium – he was seven at the time and was a bit of a character. He jumped his first Grand Prix last year but I think he has some good years in front of him, just like his rider!
I have had many horses in my life – this one is small but very athletic. I was worried he was tired today. He is very different at home and even in the collecting ring – he is a completely different horse in the arena and you would question whether he can actually do it.”
Longines Live Timing Jumping application: available free for download from The App Store (iPhone) & Android Markets. Combining precision and performance, this is a detailed and exclusive application designed especially for Jumping fans – follow live results, see latest Longines Rankings, view competition schedules, obtain exclusive information and alerts on your favorite riders and get all the latest FEI news.
Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.
Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and its mount. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1912, Longines was proud to partner with its first Jumping event, the Grande Concurso Hippico Internacional, in Portugal.
Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing.
Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.
9 August 2013, Ireland – Scott Brash (GBR) has been judged as the winner of the Furusiyya Rider of the Day award at The Dublin Horse Show.
Brash, riding Hello Sanctos, was last to go for Great Britain, but held his nerve under huge pressure and rode two brilliant clear rounds, helping Great Britain win the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping in Dublin and also qualify for the Finals in Barcelona in September.
The Furusiyya Rider of the Day award is presented to the horse & rider combination that is judged to have best displayed qualities such as harmony, partnership, balance and skill throughout their two rounds; values represented and embodied by Furusiyya. The award was judged by Lt. Col. Gerry Mullins from The Dublin Horse Show.
– At the 2012 FEI General Assembly in Istanbul, it was announced that Furusiyya would become sponsor of the FEI Nations Cup until 2016.
– “Furusiyya” is a single Arabic word and conveys so much, embracing the idea of horsemanship, chivalry, and equestrian knowledge in general. The term is a derivation of faris, or horseman and faras, a horse.
– The new structure of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping has come about through intense consultation between the Saudi Equestrian Fund and the FEI with the sport’s stakeholders around the world.
– 39 countries have signed up to take part in the 2013 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping and 21 Nations will host qualifiers.
– The Saudi Equestrian Fund was created by HM King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz by Royal Decree in November 2009 to give the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a lasting legacy in equestrianism through sport and cultural events.
– The Saudi Equestrian Fund supports the Kingdom’s national show jumping team, Saudi Equestrian, which won a team bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
– The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping is now a genuinely international competition which gives all nations – whether from developed or developing countries – the opportunity to compete on a level playing field and qualify for a highly prestigious Final.
– The Final of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping will be staged at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain from 26-29 September 2013.
Lauren Henry and Esteban La Paz Receive Top Tricolor in Coldwell Banker Children’s Hunter 15-17
Wellington, FL – March 25, 2012 – Week eleven of the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival concluded on Sunday with a victory for Great Britain’s Scott Brash and Intertoy Z in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. The pair won over Ben Maher (GBR) and Quiet Easy 4 and Cian O’Connor (IRL) and KEC Alligator Alley in second and third.
Today’s course in the International Arena was set by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England. The 1.50m class brought 40 entries to the ring in the first round, but none were able to clear the course without fault. Thirteen entries finished the round with four fault scores, and a jump-off was held to break the tie.
In the 13-horse jump-off, only four jumped clear, and their times were the deciding factor. Ben Maher and Mrs. Phillips’ Quiet Easy 4 were the first to clear the course and stopped the clock in 40.854 seconds, which finished second.
Martha Ingram Stays at the Top in THIS Children’s Medal 14 & Under
Wellington, FL – March 10, 2012 – Great Britain’s Scott Brash guided Sanctos Van Het Gravenhof to victory in Saturday night’s $200,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by The Bainbridge Companies at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). In a suspenseful jump-off, Brash beat out Richard Spooner (USA) and Cristallo, and Kent Farrington (USA) and Voyeur, who finished second and third.
Sponsored by the Bainbridge Companies, week nine will conclude with the $32,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic tomorrow.
Forty-five entries showed in tonight’s World Cup qualifier, jumping a course set by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela. Eleven cleared the first round course without fault and returned for an exciting jump-off. The nations of France, Ireland, Great Britain, Russia, Canada and the United States were all represented. Nine entries cleared the jump-off course.
Keenan, Ulrich, Jacobs, and Bausano Win $20,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Team Event, Scott Stewart and Tristan Score Championship in Sanctuary Green Conformation Hunters
Wellington, FL – March 8, 2012 – Top British riders David McPherson and Scott Brash each took home their winner’s share on Thursday in a split class for round nine of the $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Held in a ‘California Split’ due to the large number of entries, the class awarded two sets of placings, each with $32,000 distributed. McPherson and his own Silver Spring and Brash and Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham’s Sanctos Van Het Gravenhof were both awarded top honors. The team of Lillie Keenan, Lydia Ulrich, Charlotte Jacobs, and Gabrielle Bausano won the $20,000 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix Series Team Event presented by Dutta Corporation in association with Guido Klatte. Scott Stewart and Tristan were champions in the Sanctuary Green Conformation Hunters.
Kathryn Haefner and Columbus Find Victory in the Hunter Ring
Wellington, FL – February 5, 2012 – Week four of the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Adequan, concluded on Sunday with a win for Great Britain’s Scott Brash and Whisky Mac in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic.
Week four of the FTI WEF was sponsored by Adequan. Week five, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, will run February 8-12. The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
Forty-four entries showed in the 1.50m class over a track set by 2012 Olympic course designer Bob Ellis of Great Britain. Six went clear to jump-off and five completed double clear rounds. Scott Brash and Whisky Mac, owned by Stan Brash, finished with the fastest time of 44.670 seconds taking the top prize.