There was a mixture of joy and regret for the Spanish team after winning the Challenge Cup at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final on home ground at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain.
The battle between the nine countries that missed the cut to the last round that will decide the fate of the 2019 Longines title was a tough one. But the hosts clinched a clear-cut victory in the end, pinning The Netherlands into runner-up spot while Brazil, Great Britain, and the USA finished equal-third.
“We lost out on Olympic qualification by less than half a second on Thursday, and that was heartbreaking, but sometimes what the sport takes away, the sport gives you back. Today we had this wonderful win and I’m absolutely excited and proud of the riders, the staff members, the coach, the vet, everybody who worked hard, because in the end this was a really beautiful gift to say goodbye to the 2019 Nations Cup season!” — Marco Fuste (Spanish Chef d’Equipe)
Course designer Santiago Varela set them a difficult track, and there were only six clear rounds from the 36 starters. But when two of those came from Spanish team then that was the deciding factor. And it was the last-to-go effort of Sergio Alvarez Moya and the exciting nine-year-old Jet Run that clinched it.
Great Britain, USA, The Netherlands, and Spain were all in contention for a four-fault finishing result going into the last rotation of riders, but mistakes from Ben Maher and F One USA at the second element of the double at fence eight and again at the final vertical put paid to British chances. And when Richard Spooner and Quirado RC also faulted at the same double as well as the following oxer then American hopes were seriously compromised.
The Netherlands’ pathfinders, Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue, clipped only the second fence on the course that looked sensational under lights. And that was followed by a brilliant clear from Zypriz S ridden by Willem Greve who, as the only rider through to the competition who had also been foot-perfect in Thursday’s first round, therefore earned all of the €50,000 bonus on offer to riders with double-clear performances.
Marc Houtzager’s Sterrehof’s Calimero also faulted at the first element of the bogey double at eight, but it seemed the Dutch were about to really put it up to the Spanish by posting just a four-fault finishing score when Bart Bles and Israel VD Dennehoeve skipped around the course with the greatest of ease, only for it all to unravel at the very last.
The Spanish crowd was suddenly whipped into a frenzy of excitement, because the door was now wide open. The British and Americans were no longer a threat because they would complete on the same 12-fault scoreline as Brazil, and the Dutch could do no better than eight. If last-to-go Alvarez Moya could keep a clean sheet, then the hosts would have it.
Spain’s Alberto Marquez Galobardes and Ucello Massuere had suffered the same fate as Bles at the final fence, but team-mate Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot were beautifully clear, so the 12 faults collected by Santiago Nunez Riva could be dropped if their anchor partnership could master Varela’s course.
The deafening noise that had been reverberating around the stadium descended into a complete hush as Alvarez Moya and his relatively inexperienced nine-year-old gelding set off. But the sound-barrier was nearly broken when he cleared the last and punched the air with delight.
When asked afterwards if he noticed the silence and could feel the tension as he went into the arena, he replied, “I don’t really think much once I go in the ring. I focus on the job and try to ride as good as possible. Once you do that, if you have a rail down that’s the sport – I just try my best. I have to say today it gave me great confidence to have my colleagues doing such a good job before me. And it’s a lovely position to go in the ring with the chance of a win – it doesn’t happen very often so I loved it!”
He wasn’t the only one who savoured this success. “It’s a moment of great happiness!” said Marco Fuste who has been Spanish Chef d’Equipe the last 14 years. “Winning a Nations Cup at this level makes me very happy, especially here in my hometown where I have been living for 46 years!”
The main feature of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Saturday, March 23, was the $209,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI 4*, held on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Emil Hallundbaek (DEN) and Chalisco raced to victory in the field full of top competitors.
There were 45 entries that went to post in the $209,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI 4*, and five of those recorded a clear round and advanced to the jump-off.
First to return was Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) riding Dacantos Group’s Hunters Conlypso II. He and the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Contendro I x Calypso II had a rail at the ‘a’ element of the “bogey” double combination for four faults in 45.35 seconds to finish in fifth place.
Hallundbaek and Chalisco were next in, and they galloped around the field and cleared every jump presented to them, crossing the timers clear in 42.37 seconds.
Sergio Alvarez Moya Tops $134,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final
Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya scored a comeback victory in the $134,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final during “Saturday Night Lights,” after a six-month recovery from ACL knee surgery. Alvarez Moya bested a field of 60 entries over tracks designed by Steve Stephens and Nick Granat (USA) in the International Arena at WEF by posting one of only three double-clear performances riding his own MHS Attraction.
The top fifteen horse-and-rider combinations based on faults after the first round (25% of the original entries) of the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final advanced to a second phase to decide the ultimate winner, and faults were cumulative through the two rounds. Alvarez Moya crossed the final timers in 49.59 seconds for the win over Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) aboard Soory de l’Hallali.
Sophie Gochman and Garfield Reunite to Win Palm Beach International Academy Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 and Under Division
Kicking off Saturday competition in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Field, Sophie Gochman and Garfield secured the champion title for the Week 11 Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 15 and Under division. After parting ways when Garfield was purchased by Bikoff Equestrian LLC, the pair reunited in the hunters this circuit and landed the championship after winning both of the day’s over fences classes.
Gochman owned the 16-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Coriano x Love Touch), whom she affectionately calls ‘Kitty’, for a period of time before he was sold a year and a half ago. With his current owner, Ella Bikoff, competing several other horses in the Junior Hunter 3’3” divisions, Gochman was given the opportunity to take the ride on Garfield again and the pair have picked up right where they left off.
Gochman and Garfield held the highest scores in three out of the four over fences classes with two rounds earning 87.00 points and a third earning 88.00 points.
25 March 2017, Wellington, USA – Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya riding Charmeur took title place on the podium in the Rolex Grand Prix, the highlight of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
After a sun-drenched day and spectacular sunset, the bright lights of the arena were illuminated, ready to welcome 40 of the world’s best horse and rider combinations, from 17 nations, to contend for one of the world’s toughest 5* Grand Prix. The passionate crowd was treated to a typically demanding course set by the world-famous course designer, Guilherme Jorge. The technicality of the course proved too much for many of the elite riders. From the first 20 combinations to go, there was only one clear round to count for, and in total, only five riders proceeded through to the jump-off.
Although Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington rode to victory earlier in the day, fortune was not on his side in the Rolex Grand Prix. A tense crowd hushed to near silence ready to cheer on the home favourite, until the very last rail was gently rolled from its bracket by a stray hind foot.
Rolex’s newest Testimonee Jeroen Dubbeldam also suffered an unlucky four faults, halting his chances of reaching the jump-off. However, his quick time placed him in an eventual ninth place. Despite a valiant effort from Rolex’s longest serving equestrian Testimonee, Rodrigo Pessoa, he was also unable to progress through to the jump-off.
Karen Polle from Japan was the first rider to enter the arena for the jump-off and set an impressive time of 39.54 seconds, although unfortunately knocked a pole, incurring four faults. Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya aboard Charmeur was next to go and recorded an incredibly fast time of 37.76 with no faults, putting pressure on the remaining three American riders left to go. USA’S Beezie Madden and Laura Kraut were unable to challenge Alvarez Moya, leaving it up to McLain Ward, a home favourite and current world number four. Even after a daring round, Ward’s time could not beat the triumphant Spanish rider, who claimed the Grand Prix by just eight hundredths of a second.
Speaking after his win, Alvarez Moya commented, “I’m delighted with how my horse jumped; it’s the Grand Prix everyone wants to win. The Rolex Grand Prix is the final and biggest of the circuit. I couldn’t have finished the Winter Equestrian Festival in a better way.”
Kent Farrington and Dublin Top $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final; McLain Ward Takes 1.50m Series Overall
Wellington, FL – March 25, 2017 – Olympian Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) was the big winner in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* riding Charmeur on Saturday, March 25, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Alvarez Moya beat out two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) aboard veteran partner Rothchild, and young up-and-comer Karen Polle of Japan riding With Wings.
Earlier in the night, Kent Farrington (USA) took the win in the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final riding Dublin, and McLain Ward (USA) won the 2017 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Series overall.
Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the course for the highlight event of the WEF circuit featuring 40 of the season’s top competitors from 17 different countries. Five entries conquered the first round course without fault to jump-off, and only two were clear in the tiebreaker.
Polle and With Wings were first to jump the short course in 39.54 seconds, with one rail down, and ultimately finished third. Alvarez Moya and Charmeur followed, setting the challenge with a clear round in 37.76 seconds. Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Coach had one rail in 40.20 seconds to place fifth. Laura Kraut (USA) and St. Bride’s Farm’s Confu also dropped one rail in 39.81 seconds to take the fourth place prize. Last to go, Ward and Sagamore Farm’s Rothchild raced through the course, taking a different inside turn that no one else tried, but still crossed the timers in second place with a time of 38.30 seconds.
“I am super happy. My horse jumped amazing,” Alvarez Moya said of his ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Numero Uno x Gelha’s VDL Emilion). “I just went as fast as I could. I saw Karen go, and then I knew I had to start fast from jump one, and keep going to the end. My plan was to go one more stride to the combination, but I had a good eight strides, and I just trusted my horse. Then to the next oxer I had a good gap as well, so I could go and keep on pushing. I actually saw one stride less to the next vertical, but I thought that was maybe too much. I don’t think I left much room for the others, and it worked out well.”
Alvarez Moya had a fantastic WEF circuit, placing third in week three’s $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* and second in week four’s $216,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 4* with G&C Unicstar de l’Aumone, third in week seven’s $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5* aboard Arrayan, and again third in week nine’s $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5* with Charmeur before taking the biggest prize in week eleven.
Remarking on his success, Alvarez Moya stated, “For me, this is one of the best shows in the world. Most of the best and most competitive riders in the world are here. I think that to have so many weeks here, and to be so consistent, is a great opportunity to bring a horse up like this. I have had Charmeur since he was six years old, and I just feel very happy and very proud that we got to win a five-star grand prix here. I have a feeling that this is the grand prix that every rider in the circuit wants to win, and I was just lucky that I won this one, and not the others.
“The horse does not have so much experience at this level,” Alvarez Moya continued. “He just got better and better here at this show. I think it is a great place to bring horses up, and obviously to jump such a grand prix they have to be really ready. I think from here on, we can go anywhere in the world.”
Saturday night concluded Alvarez Moya’s time in Wellington for the winter circuit. The Olympian, European Championships silver medalist, and reigning Spanish champion is now headed to compete in next week’s FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final with top mount Arrayan before continuing his season in Europe.
For Ward and longtime mount Rothchild, the pair gave it their best on Saturday night, but settled for second place. Detailing his round, Ward stated, “I have to watch (Rothchild) a little bit on the slice to the verticals, so the first two jumps were a bit of a challenge for me. I went in and I looked at the cut inside the gazebo, and I decided not to do it. Then when I turned back on the oxer, I kind of saw the line, and I knew I was too slow one to two to have a chance, so I figured at that point it was worth the risk. I thought maybe at that point, the turn did so much that I did not have to go as fast to the last fence. I took a little bit off, but Sergio did not leave much room.
“I’m thrilled with the horse,” Ward said of the 16-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Artos x Elegant de l’Ile). “This is his eighth year jumping grand prixs in Palm Beach. He is just a remarkable animal. I am blessed to have had him, and I am really excited to be able to keep doing it with him.”
Polle and her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x L. Ronald) With Wings also finished out an excellent 2017 WEF circuit with their top three finish. The pair earned back to back victories in week nine’s $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup and $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, leading up to Saturday night.
“It is definitely a great feeling,” Polle noted. “I am really happy that Wings and I are so consistent at this level now, and that we are in these jump-offs. I thought the course tonight was really, really tricky. It was definitely the trickiest grand prix that I have jumped this circuit. It was very big. I had to work hard, but I thought it was very nice to ride.”
Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo wrapped up a fantastic evening of show jumping with his remarks and congratulated the top riders.
“I think there is consistently great sport at WEF,” Bellissimo stated. “The crowd has become a lot more engaged, and you can see the people really following the sport. I think there is top sport here, and we are very excited about it.
“I want to thank Rolex,” Bellissimo continued. “This festival went into a different transition when Rolex came on board. We started four five-star events and have some of the best riders in the world competing. I am hopeful that next year will be even more exciting and an even better series of outcomes.”
Margie Engle (USA) earned the Leading Lady Rider Award for week 11, presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Farrington Tops Suncast® 1.50m Final; Ward Takes Suncast® Series Overall
2016 U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and his mount Dublin were the winners of the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final on Saturday night at the Winter Equestrian Festival. After the final competition of the 2017 series, two-time Olympic team gold and one-time team silver medalist McLain Ward (USA) secured his lead in the standings and took home the championship title overall.
The 1.50m final held its first round on Saturday afternoon, with forty-nine entries starting over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) first-round course, and 13 advancing to the evening jump-off. Only four riders cleared both rounds without fault.
Portugal’s Luciana Diniz was first to clear the short course in 44.26 seconds aboard her own and Arnaldo Diniz’s Lennox to end in third place. Ali Wolff cleared the track next in 48.93 seconds riding Quirie 2 to a fourth place finish. Canada’s Tiffany Foster upped the pace in 43.05 seconds with Artisan Farms’ Brighton to place second. Last to go, Farrington took the win in 41.90 seconds with his own and Tanma Corp.’s Dublin.
“I am really excited. I thought the horse went great today; I thought both of my horses did,” Farrington stated following his win, as well as an eighth place finish aboard Sherkan d’Amaury. “I have been bringing them along this winter really slowly. I started them both in the 1.35m and built them up this whole winter. To finish off with them both going clear in the 1.50m final was a great accomplishment for them regardless of their results. The win was a bonus.”
Farrington purchased Dublin, a ten-year-old German Sport Horse (Cobra x Calido), at the start of the winter. The gelding previously showed with Carly Anthony (USA) under the ownership of Artisan Farms.
“He is extremely careful,” Farrington detailed. “He is actually quite difficult to ride. He is so careful that he borderlines on too careful almost, where he goes too high. I think this horse really needs to bond with a rider and have a lot of confidence. I actually carry a lot of speed with him, even in the first round, to give him confidence so that he does not go too high.
“Whether or not he will allow you to really have total control over him, I do not know,” Farrington continued, “but if we can find a good compromise in the middle like today, then I think he has a big future. Time still has to show us, but we are off to a great start, and we will see where it takes us from here.”
Remarking on his jump-off, Farrington added, “I trust that horse’s quality, so I know that I can really go at high speed to the jumps and trust that he is going to miss the rails. I thought he did an incredible roll back to the vertical by the in-gate. I do not think I even touched the reins there; he just flew back on that jump. That is probably where he won it.”
Saturday’s competition brought the overall Suncast® 1.50m Series standings down to the wire, but USA’s McLain Ward held onto his lead coming into the night’s event and earned the championship title for 2017. Ward qualified for the jump-off with two mounts, Tina la Boheme and HH Carlos Z, finishing sixth and seventh in the final class to secure his lead overall.
For his win, Ward was presented a two-year lease on a beautiful new Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE. Ward remarked, “It feels great to win the series. It would have been nice to win the final, but the horses jumped well all winter. I had some nice young ones that really stepped up well. I am really proud of how Tina La Boheme has continued to be a great competitor, and it is nice to have Carlos back. He is still maybe a touch rusty, but close.
“I think it is a great series, a very competitive series,” Ward continued. “These classes are hard. I think it gives an older horse a chance to get going in the season, and it gives a younger horse a class to step up into where hopefully they are not over-faced by the height. I was happy with both of my horses tonight, and we had a nice year.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, David Oberkircher and Southfield Farm’s Castelino van de Helle won the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Engel & Völkers. Giavanna Rinaldi topped the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch, aboard Nuvolari Holdings’ Commissario.
Gochman Sisters Prevail in Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under
Mimi Gochman captured the championship honors in the Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, while her younger sister, Sophie Gochman, earned the reserve title. Both girls show out of Palm Beach, FL. Mimi Gochman piloted Scott Stewart’s Caldwell to the win in the handy and in one over fences trip, to second place finishes under saddle and in the stake round, as well as a sixth place ribbon over fences.
Mimi Gochman and the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding have come a long way over their two years partnered together.
“The first year I rode him, I had some complications getting his leads and stuff,” she detailed. “Now, I have him in a good stride, and he is a very good boy. He is very lazy, and it just took me a while to get things right on him. He tries so hard and is so sweet around the barn. I am really proud of our trips this week and happy that we finally got it right.”
Commenting on the success she has achieved with her sister at WEF, Mimi Gochman said, “It is really nice to do so well down here with my sister. We switch on and off all the time, sometimes she is champion, and today it was my turn. It is nice we share the victory.”
Sophie Gochman guided Garfield, an entry owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, to two second place finishes over fences, a third place ribbon under saddle, and a third place finish in the stake round.
“Garfield is 15, so he really knows what he is doing,” Sophie Gochman said of the chestnut Holsteiner gelding by Coriano. “I can trust him with any distance. He is so sweet and cute, but he can also be a bit of a shark at home and when jogging. I love him a lot! It feels really good to be reserve and have my sister be champion because WEF is a really competitive show, and there are so many good riders here.”
The eleventh week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 2* in the International Arena. The Visse Wedell, Realtor Small Pony Hunters will determine championship and reserve honors in Ring 11. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Neigh-mar! FC Barcelona recently welcomed equestrian sport to its iconic Camp Nou stadium. Sydney 2000 Olympic Jumping gold medallist and current World European champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), right, and Sergio Álvarez Moya (ESP) in fighting mode as they lead their teams onto the FC Barcelona pitch at Camp Nou in the countdown to the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final at Real Club De Polo de Barcelona (24-27 September). Polo Club members (from left) Victor Gonzalez, Sofía Zambrano and Virginia Graells joined the Spanish team for the day, with Carlota Vilarrubí, Blanca Gil and Yago Mercé making up the Dutch squad. (FEI/Dan Rowley)
Barcelona (ESP), 23 September 2015 – The buzz is building! All the atmosphere, excitement and anticipation ahead of tomorrow’s €2.3 million Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final 2015 is captured in a superb 30-second video clip shot at FC Barcelona’s iconic Camp Nou stadium.
Watch Dutch superstar, Jeroen Dubbeldam, and Spain’s leading rider Sergio Alvarez Moya as they lead the battle of the giants onto the hallowed turf here: https://youtu.be/68n6YzSeHS0. It’s going to be a thriller!
Former Olympic and reigning World and European champion Dubbeldam and Alvarez Moya had determination written all over their faces during behind-the-scenes filming at Camp Nou. The Spaniard said that day, “When it comes to the Furusiyya Final in my home country, I will be giving it 100 per cent!”
How the teams line out
A massive field of 19 nations has qualified for the event that will decide the fate of the 2015 Furusiyya title when the action draws to a spectacular close next Saturday night.
Team Poland will be first into the ring when the Furusiyya Final 2015 gets underway tomorrow afternoon at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona (ESP).
The draw took place today, and the order-of-go for tomorrow’s first competition is as follows:
It’s a tough call for the Polish side who battled hard to qualify from the Europe Division 2 qualifying series along with Czech Republic. However, Dutch Chef d’Equipe, Rob Ehrens, insisted this evening, “There is nothing between the teams when the competition begins tomorrow; every country has the same chance.”
His side is the firm favourite to take their second Furusiyya title in a row, however. Ehrens has brought the dream-team that began an extraordinary sequence of victories when scooping team and individual gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, France last September. They were back on the top step of the podium at the 2014 Furusiyya Final the following month and, just a few short weeks ago, swept all before them at the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER). They seem like an unstoppable force right now.
With typical modesty, however, Ehrens insisted this evening that the anything can happen over the coming days. “We have already achieved more than we could ever have imagined; it has been incredible what has happened for us over the last year. But we all keep our feet on the ground. The difference between winning and losing is so very little; we have returned to Barcelona to do our best job, but a couple of mistakes tomorrow and it could all be over already. That’s our sport. We embrace the moments when it goes well, but we always stay grounded,” said the man who is widely admired for his exceptional team leadership.
All 19 nations will line out in tomorrow’s opening class from which the top eight countries will qualify for Saturday night’s €1.5 million Final. The teams that don’t make the cut will compete in Friday’s €300,000 Longines Challenge Cup.
This year’s line-up of nations underlines the success of the concept that inspired the Furusiyya series, drawing more and more countries into the sport of Nations Cup Jumping and watching them develop and grow. Few could have guessed that revitalizing a much-loved format with a history that goes back for over a century would be such a success story. It met with some resistance at first but, in its third season, the series that was once restricted to an elite group of nations has expanded and thrived to such an extent that a total of 45 countries participated in 19 qualifiers across six regions worldwide this year.
As FEI Jumping Director, John Roche, said this evening, “We have great representation here in Barcelona from all across the globe this year, and we also have many of the best riders in the world.”
For further information on the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final 2015 at Real Club de Polo in Barcelona (ESP) from 24 to 27 September, visit www.csiobarcelona.com or contact Press Officer Isabel Suter, email@example.com, +34 760 258 222.
For further information on the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping series, check out this link.
Sydney 2000 Olympic Jumping gold medallist and current World European champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), right, and Sergio Álvarez Moya (ESP) wrestle with the Furusiyya trophy at FC Barcelona’s iconic Camp Nou stadium in the countdown to the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final at the neighbouring Real Club De Polo de Barcelona (24-27 September). (FEI/Dan Rowley)
FC Barcelona HQ (ESP), 2 September 2015 – World football giants FC Barcelona today welcomed equestrian sport to its iconic Camp Nou home in a ground-breaking venture.
The legendary Catalan club, winners of five European Cup and Champions League crowns, plus 50 domestic league and cup titles, achieved another first in its illustrious 116-year history when top Jumping riders Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED), Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) and Jessica Mendoza (GBR) helped mark three weeks to go to this year’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final in Barcelona.
The Final, which takes place at the neighbouring Real Club De Polo de Barcelona (24-27 September), is the highlight of the world’s oldest team Jumping series, bringing together the best Jumping athletes from 19 nations that have qualified from all over the globe.
And for Spaniard Sergio Alvarez Moya, especially, the chance to walk down a players’ tunnel that has been graced by superstars like Barcelona heroes Lionel Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta and be pitchside where some of football’s most memorable action has unfolded, proved an awe-inspiring occasion.
“It’s an amazing feeling being here at FC Barcelona, even though my team is Real Madrid!” he said. “It won’t be long now before Barcelona and Catalonia welcome the world’s best Jumping athletes and thousands of equestrian fans to the Polo Club right next door.”
“The Barça player’s tunnel is really amazing with all the messages of support from fans,” said Jeroen Dubbeldam, who 10 days ago added the European title to his Sydney 2000 Olympic and 2014 world crowns. “Our sport is just as passionate and exciting as football, and we’ll all feel that competition fever again very soon in Barcelona when the Furusiyya Final gets underway, and the Dutch will be aiming to win it again this year!”
The three Jumping stars made their way pitchside to get a full view of the famous Nou Camp stadium, with its “More Than a Club” (Més Que un Club”) slogan.
“The ’More Than a Club’ idea really makes my heart beat faster,” said British teen sensation Jess Mendoza who, at 19, was the youngest British team member for nearly 40 years when she competed at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) 10 days ago, helping Great Britain secure its place on the Rio 2016 Olympic startlist. “In our sport, you can’t do it alone; it’s all about team work. We’re like a big club, with a network of amazing grooms, vets, trainers, family and friends, whose only focus is to make sure you and your horse are ready to go out and win. The equestrian community is one big family and we’re all really close.”
“We are very happy to receive the elite of the show jumping world in our stadium,” Carles Vilarrubí, 2nd Vice-President of FC Barcelona said. “FC Barcelona is the reference point in world football and we welcome the best global events in other sports, and that’s exactly what the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final at the CSIO Barcelona is, and that contributes to our city being on top of the sports world.”
Share the excitement: #FCBarcelona #Furusiyya #SupportYourNation #Jumping.
About the athletes:
Sergio Álvarez Moya: Spain’s most successful Jumping athlete started riding with his brothers at the age of seven. The 30-year-old made his international début in 1999, and at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 last month helped to secure Spain’s team jumping qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. www.fei.org/bios/Person/10007927/ALVAREZ_MOYA_Sergio
Jeroen Dubbeldam: The Dutch Jumping legend scored individual gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, was crowned world Jumping champion at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA), taking team and individual gold, and did the same golden double at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) just 10 days ago. Dubbeldam (42) also led the Dutch team to victory in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in Barcelona 12 months ago. www.fei.org/bios/Person/10000412/DUBBELDAM_Jeroen
Jess Mendoza: At just 19 years old, she became the youngest British team member for nearly 40 years when she competed at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) 10 days ago, helping Great Britain secure its place on the Rio 2016 Olympic startlist. She began riding aged two, and by the age of seven she knew she wanted to become a professional rider. Now, her ultimate goal is to ride in Rio! www.fei.org/bios/Person/10047109/MENDOZA_Jessica
About FC Barcelona
On November 29, 1899, Hans Gamper founded Futbol Club Barcelona, along with 11 other enthusiasts of ‘foot-ball’, a game that was still largely unknown in Europe. He could never have imagined how huge that initiative would eventually become. With over 100 years of history, FC Barcelona, or Barça, has become for millions of people around the world a symbol of their identity, and not just in a sporting sense but also in terms of society, politics and culture.
Throughout the most difficult times, Barça was the standard that represented Catalonia and the Catalan people’s desire for freedom, a symbolism that has continued to be closely linked to the club and its members to this day.
The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping is the contemporary version of the historic FEI Nations Cup™ series for team Jumping, which dates back 106 years.
The 2015 season, the third to be sponsored by Furusiyya as part of its €16m four-year sponsorship package, boasts 19 qualifiers around the world, with 45 nations being whittled down to just 19 for the spectacular €2.3 million showdown at the Real Polo Club of Barcelona (ESP) on 24-27 September.
Qualified nations to date are: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Great Britain, Egypt, France, Ireland, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Netherlands, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Venezuela. Spain, as the host country, gets an automatic place on the starting grid at the Barcelona Final. And Finland, Czech Republic, Denmark and Ukraine will be battling it out to claim the last two places at the Final at the qualifier in Arezzo on 4 September. http://www.feinationscup.org
Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya takes the lead in the Individual competition
Aachen, Germany, 21 August 2015 – In a sunbathed Aachen arena, in front of a sell-out crowd of 40,000 spectators, the all-conquering team from the Netherlands won the Team competition at the FEI European Championships. The team of Jeroen Dubbeldam, Maikel van der Vleuten, Jur Vrieling and Gerco Schroder, the same four riders who so memorably won the gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2014, put on an outstanding team performance accumulating only one time penalty between the three riders whose scores counted towards the final result. It was all change in the Individual competition, with Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya taking over the lead, then a brilliant clear round propelled Cassio Rivetti from Ukraine into second place leaving Jeroen Dubbeldam in third.
The remaining medal places in the Team competition were claimed by Germany in second and Switzerland, who performed a remarkable recovery following a disappointing performance on the first day of competition, in third. With the Dutch, German and French already qualified for Rio in 2016, they will now be joined by Switzerland, Great Britain, who finished in fourth place and Spain who finished sixth.
On a day that featured 10 clear rounds, the Individual competition saw the overnight leader Penelope Leprevost swap standings with fifth placed Sergio Alvarez Moya, who is enjoying an outstanding Championships so far. The Jumping competition now enjoys a rest day, with the Individual final taking place on Sunday 23rd August.
Rolex Testimonee Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum on board Fibonacci 17, rode a clear round to move two places up the leaderboard into 14th place. Bertram Allen and Kevin Staut both suffered tough rounds and accumulated faults which moved them further down the standings.
Jerome Dubbeldam (NED) “This team is unbelievable, and it’s amazing to be part of this team. Everyone in this team watches as an individual; we leave each other alone and that is the strongest point about this team, as everyone knows what they have to do. Everyone knows their horses best and in the night we go and eat and have fun together, and during the day everyone does their own thing.”
Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) “I don’t think about a lot that is going on actually; I just try and jump as many clear rounds as possible and my horse is jumping great. I’m so happy for myself and all my team mates for the Olympic qualification. We do not have so many horses and riders in Spain, so it’s quite a big effort for all of us just to get the horses ready. We are only four or five riders, so always have to rely on each other if one does not jump so well.”
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) “My horse is wonderful and he was really fighting for me today. It’s an incredible feeling to ride in this arena, with so many people cheering for you and praying for you – I really enjoyed the day.”
Rolex is a major supporter of the biennial European Championships, an event which brings together Europe’s best equestrian pairs. For the first time, the FEI European Championships in Aachen, Germany, this summer (11-23 August) unites five equestrian disciplines – Show Jumping, Dressage, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. Competitors test their mental strength and show their equine discipline in front of crowds of up to 40,000.
Rolex is proud to support an occasion where the values that the leading luxury watchmaking brand holds dear – courage, precision, empathy, sportsmanship and passion – will be so clearly demonstrated.
Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo pictured with (left) Chief Steward Matheus Locher and (right) Mr Charles Villoz, Longines’ Vice-President and Head of International Sales, after winning today’s tenth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League at Zurich, Switzerland. (FEI/Karl-Heinz Freiler)
Zurich (SUI), 25 January 2015 – Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo returned to top form today to win the tenth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series at Zurich in Switzerland. The grey gelding had not been showing his usual sparkle over the winter months, but this afternoon, with his 30-year-old rider in determined mood, he out-galloped the Irish partnership of Bertram Allen and Molly Malone by one-tenth of a second for a convincing victory.
Just seven qualified for the jump-off, and it was the Irish pair who were the ones to beat despite clears from both Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall ASK who had to settle for third and Penelope Leprevost and Flora de Mariposa who lined up fourth. Host nation representatives, Martin Fuchs (PSG Future) and Romain Duguet (Quorida de Treho), filled fifth and sixth places, while team world champion, Maikel van der Vleuten from The Netherlands, finished seventh with VDL Groep Verdi.
Big and difficult
The first-round course presented by Swiss designer, Gerard Lachat, was big and difficult, requiring a lot of lengthening and shortening of strides and with tall verticals all the way. Duguet was first to leave all the timber intact, and Fuchs was next, despite a massive stand-off at the final oxer with PSG Future.
Ridden off an awkward bending line, and immediately following the testing triple combination (vertical, oxer, vertical) at fence 12 which took a huge toll, the last fence proved a bogey for many of the 40 starters who arrived on a bad distance only to make their sole error there. Among its victims were The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder with Glock’s London and World No 2, Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum riding Chaman. Allen, however, ensured he was well within the 64-second time-frame so he could provide his brilliant little 11-year-old mare with a more generous approach, while Leprevost’s lively mare also bounced home cleanly.
Bengtsson and Casall ASK made it all long quite elementary, but Moya’s first run was considerably less smooth as he admitted himself afterwards. Having successfully negotiated the two big oxers down the long side of the arena at fences seven and eight, Carlo arrived really deep to the 1.60m Longines vertical at fence eight. But he wriggled his way up and over, showing just how positive he was feeling about things today. “He tried so hard for me!” his delighted rider later said.
Duguet’s stallion was another tryer, and in the jump-off he put in a monumental effort to clear the new oxer at fence 15 from a long way off when first to go. But despite negotiating the following double successfully, the pair finished on four faults when the penultimate oxer, formerly fence six, hit the floor. And when Fuchs‘ gelding hit the first element of the double then the door was still wide open for the remaining five.
Allen and Molly set off with their usual gusto, making a supremely tight turn to the double and galloping home to record the first clear in 39.48 seconds, and that was always going to take some beating. Leprevost opted for caution, leaving all the fences in place but over five seconds slower, and Bengtsson gave it his best shot, falling short of the young Irishman’s target-time by more than a second, however.
Then Moya set off, and from the outset he looked like he meant business as did Carlo who seemed to relish the challenge with an attitude he has not shown all season. Jumping and turning seamlessly, the pair cleared the penultimate oxer and, where Allen had taken nine strides to the last, the Spanish rider urged his horse forward on eight to land fractionally ahead and seal the deal by less than a tenth of a second.
A reflective Sergio Moya said this evening, “Our poor results were not his (Carlo’s) fault for the last few months. My head was not focused on the sport as much as it should have been, but that’s changed now and we are riding together again with great confidence. When you don’t have good results you try to change things, and that isn’t always the right thing to do, so we went back to our olds ways and now we are jumping really well together again!”
Allen said, “I thought someone might beat me in the jump-off, and Sergio did one stride less to the last, but I’m happy with my result. Molly’s such a fantastic mare! I’ll give her another break, and then we’ll start getting ready for Las Vegas – it’s great to have picked up the points for the Final and I’m looking forward to it now!”
He has rocketed right up to third place on the Western European League leaderboard, shadowing only Olympic champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland and French star Kevin Staut, while reigning Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion, Germany’s Daniel Deusser, lies behind the 19-year-old Irishman in fourth. Moya has moved into 18th position, but on 31 points, and with just two remaining qualifiers left to run, he knows he has more to do if he is to make it to the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Final in three months’ time.
“I’ve always said that going to the Final is not one of my goals, but if I get qualified I will go,” the Spanish rider pointed out this evening. “I am still young, and the last time we went to a Final (2013) Carlo jumped really well. So we will compete in Bordeaux, and if we are close to winning and close to qualifying for Las Vegas then we will see. If not, then we will make a different plan.”
For further information on the tenth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series in Zurich, Switzerland, check out website www.mercedes-csi.ch or contact Press Officer Roman Gasser, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel +41 79 635 5005.
The next leg will take place at Bordeaux, France on Saturday 7 February 2015. For details of the French fixture, visit www.jumping-bordeaux.com or contact Press Officer Pascal Renauldon, Email email@example.com, Tel +33(3) 44 620 621.
Zurich, Switzerland presented the tenth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series.
40 starters, and 7 jumped clear in the first round.
Winner was 30-year-old Sergio Alvarez Moya from Spain riding Carlo, the horse with which he finished fourth at the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2013.
Runner-up was 19-year-old Bertram Allen from Ireland whose result today has ensured qualification for the Final in Las Vegas, USA in April.
Course designer was Gerard Lachat assisted by fellow-Swiss, Rolf Ludi.
10 competitors from the host nation of Switzerland.
2 horse-and-rider combinations completed the first round with just a single time penalty – last weekend’s winner in Leipzig, Germany’s Hans-Dieter Dreher with Cool and Easy and Great Britain’s Robert Whitaker with Catwalk lV.
4 double-clear rounds.
Zurich Organising Committee made a special presentation to Irish rider, Jessica Kuerten, who competed in the final international competition of her career when taking part in the Longines FEI World Cup™ qualifier at the Swiss venue today.
Just two qualifying rounds of the Western European League are left to run – at Bordeaux, France on Saturday 7 February and at Gothenburg, Sweden on Sunday 1 March.
Sergio Alvarez Moya: “I’ve been having a bad time for a while now, not so lucky here and there with four faults all the time, but it just paid off today and I can’t be happier!”
Bertram Allen: “Today’s course was big but fair. There were a lot of faults, but no disasters.”
Irish Chef d’Equipe, Robert Splaine: “Today was a remarkable achievement for young Bertram Allen. He not only came second against the very best in the world, but also achieved enough points to ensure his qualification for the World Cup Final at Las Vegas. He is an outstanding talent and an outstanding ambassador for both his country and for the sport.”
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.
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Verona (ITA), 11 November 2012 – On an afternoon of pure magic in the jumping stadium at Verona, Italy, today Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya produced a stunning victory in the fourth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League. This competition was special for a number of reasons, not least because the Spaniard was riding a horse that was just eight years old, and because Italy’s Luca Moneta was so proud and yet so humble when filling runner-up spot.
The excitement generated during the 12-horse jump-off was electrifying as horses and riders rose to the occasion to produce a piece of pure theatre that had spectators gripping their seats. As third-place finisher, Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson said afterwards, “The sport was amazing; I haven’t competed in a class as exciting as this in a very, very long time!”
Today’s result has left Moya well on the road to the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April. Already at the head of the leaderboard before today’s class began, he has now accumulated a massive 58 points, so has no more worries about qualification.