Tag Archives: Show Jumping

Olympia Horse Show Statement Regarding Tim Stockdale

The Organising Committee of Olympia, The London International Horse Show was deeply saddened to hear of the death of one of its longest serving members, Tim Stockdale. Tim was Jumping Rider Representative on the Olympia Committee from 1992. His highly valued advice and knowledge of the sport helped to shape the Show into the international event that it is today. Nothing was too much trouble and his advice and counsel was sought and always listened to.

He competed at Olympia for many years and, recently, became a stalwart of the BBC commentary team, promoting his sport with insight and expertise.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “Tim and I joined the Olympia team in the same year – he on the Committee and me as Show Director. He was not only a great friend to all of us; he was also passionate about doing his best for the show and show jumping. He represented riders when he thought it was right to do so, yet Tim understood the challenges of organising large-scale international events.

“He possessed huge integrity, was selfless and self-effacing, and combined his love for the sport with a great sense of humour. His smile, his energy, and his words of wisdom will be much missed in the Grand Hall at Olympia this year. I will miss him. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Laura and his sons Joe and Mark.”

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

For more information on Olympia, The London International Horse Show, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

Kentucky Three-Day Event Early Bird Pricing Ends Dec. 6

The best tickets at the best prices for the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event are available now.

If you haven’t bought yours yet, HURRY. Early Bird pricing ends Dec. 6 at midnight.

The “Best Weekend All Year” returns to the Kentucky Horse Park April 25-28, 2019.

Visit KentuckyThreeDayEvent.com/tickets for ticket information.

The Official Event Program is half price when you pre-order it. Just $5 when pre-ordered, the program is the ultimate guide for planning and navigating your Best Weekend All Year. Add a program to your order here.

The Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix is coming back to LRK3DE 2019. Get your tickets now.

Another Golden Bonanza for Brazil

The Chilean Pre-Junior and Junior team silver medallists. (FEI/Cristian León/TopComunicaciones)

Chilean delight with double team silver; Argentina claims three podium places

Brazil dominated once again when taking all the gold on offer, and more, at the FEI Jumping South American Championships for Young Riders, Juniors, Pre-Juniors and Children 2018 at San Carlos de Apoquindo in Las Condes, Chile. These Championships are a great test for the next generation of Jumping athletes in the region, and a total of 93 horse-and-rider partnerships from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela competed at this year’s edition.

With medals on offer in seven categories, the Brazilian haul was little short of spectacular as they scooped 16 of the 21 sets on offer. However, there was plenty for the hosts to celebrate as they produced their best performance of the last four years when claiming both Pre-Junior and Junior team silver, while Argentina claimed bronze in the Children’s Team competition along with Young Riders Individual silver and bronze.

Children

The Children’s Championship was one of the most exciting of the week, coming down to a three-way jump-off for individual silver and bronze. Brazil’s Eduardo Coelho Barbara (13) was already in gold medal position after a brilliant series of performances with Quatuor de Coutol before his compatriots Antonio Johannpeter Cirne Lima and Gabriela Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan took on Argentina’s Lucas Guevara in the race against the clock.

Guevara had enjoyed a brilliant run with CT Chamaco, winning the first qualifier, contributing to his country’s team bronze medal success, and then coming out on top in the Individual Final competition. It seemed the 14-year-old must be destined to take a podium placing, but he left a fence on the floor in the jump-off and had to settle for fourth place behind Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan in bronze and Johannpeter Cirne Lima in silver.

A zero score for the Brazil Amarelo side of Augusto Bonotto Perfeito, Maithe Carolina Gabriel de Limo Marino, Camila Alvares Correa de Siqueira, Henrique Maranhao, and Audrey Jean Paranaiba McKinnon clinched the Children’s team title. Coelho Barbara was joined by Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan, Johannpeter Cirne Lima, Lara Ozores de Souza, and Joao Felipe de Albuquerque Maranhao Gomes to claim silver while Argentina’s Guevara, Delfina Spinella, Bautista Jaled, Camila Sensever, and Thiago Brown bagged bronze.

Pre-Junior

All eyes were on Philip Greenlees in the Pre-Junior Championship after his victory in the 2017 FEI Children’s International Classics Final in Beijing last December, but the 15-year-old had to settle for individual silver behind Maria Luiza da Silva Martha Vieira, while Lys Katherine Park Kang sealed another completely Brazilian podium.

Da Silva Martha Vieira and Park Kang were joined by Caroline Souza Chade, Joao Pedro de Almeida Chaves, and Leandro Jose Abrahao Duarte Alecrim to take the Pre-Junior Team title, and Greenlees was on the bronze-medal winning Brazil Amarela side. But strong performances from Trinidad Soffia, Benjamin Fuente-Alba Vignola, Maria Ignacia del Pedregal Villalobos, Jose Tomas Duran Ramirez, and Guillermo Garin put smiles on Chilean faces as they easily slipped into silver medal spot.

“The work begins to be reflected in the results, which is very important. We have developed an arduous process and this medal reflects an advance because in this category we have won two consecutive bronzes.” — Joaquín Larraín (Coach, Team Chile)

Juniors

Brazil’s Thales Gabriel de Lima Marino took double-gold in the Junior division to increase his South American medal tally to five. The 17-year-old who won team gold and individual bronze in Buenos Aires (ARG) last year was joined by the experienced trio of Laura Bosquirolli Tigre, Marcelo Gozzi, and Pedro Malucelli Egoroff to clinch the team honours yet again. However, the Chilean foursome of Carmen Novion, Magdalena Pena, and brothers Mateo and Raimundo Guarda was less than 10 points adrift in silver medal spot, while the Brazil Verde team claimed the bronze.

The host nation made a great start when Raimundo and Mateo finished first and third in the opening individual competition. But De Lima Marino was unstoppable on his way to individual glory, and when Gozzi seized silver and Felipe Pereira Teixeira took his second bronze medal of the tournament, it was another all-Brazilian party on the podium.

Young Riders

There were just five contenders for the Young Rider title and while gold went to Brazil, it was Argentina that took silver and bronze.

Argentina’s Richard Kierkegaard and Contiki won the opening round, but Brazil’s Victoria Junqueira Ribeiro de Mendonca (20) topped the next two competitions partnering the Holsteiner Una Bella to complete on a score of just 7.91 penalty points. That left her way ahead of Argentina’s Emilia Grimaldi in silver and Victoria Garcia Colombo in bronze when the final scores were counted.

This was Junqueira Ribeiro de Mendonca’s seventh South American Championship and brought her tally of gold to four. She scooped double-gold at the South Americans in Sao Paolo (BRA) in 2016 when she was also on the team that finished second in the FEI Junior Nations Cup at Wellington, Florida (USA).

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

McLain Ward Triumphant in $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto

McLain Ward and HH Gigi’s Girl. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario -Two-time U.S Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward claimed the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto, presented by GroupBy, in front of a sold-out crowd on Saturday night, November 10, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.

Ward topped a 21-horse starting field over tracks set by 2018 World Championship course designer, Alan Wade of Ireland, to claim the ninth Royal Horse Show World Cup title of his career. As the final challenger in the jump-off, Ward saved the best for last, executing a brilliant round to stop the clock at 32.42 seconds riding HH Gigi’s Girl. Ward’s U.S. gold medal teammate at the recent World Championships, Devin Ryan, posted a time of 33.88 seconds with his World Championship partner, Eddie Blue, to finish runner-up.

“It was nice to have the last spot in the order,” said Ward, who was presented with the Hickstead Trophy, given in memory of Eric Lamaze’s legendary 2008 Olympic gold medal partner, and a Longines timepiece for his win. “I know Devin and his horse are quick because he has beat me a few times. Sometimes you get lucky.

“This was a gymnastics test, which is what courses are now at the highest level,” continued Ward of Wade’s track, one that HH Gigi’s Girl, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Vingino x Celano) owned by Double H Farm, conquered with style. “The mare performed beautifully the whole second part of this year and is really putting things together, and it’s a great way for her to finish her season. She has always been a spectacular jumper and I feel she has a really exciting future.”

Ward, 43, estimates that he has been competing at the Royal Horse Show for almost a quarter of a century, saying, “I love it here. Obviously, I’m not Canadian, but I think of this as a second home. The show is being run beautifully and the organization is phenomenal. As you saw, we had a sold-out crowd, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”

The victory earned Ward coveted qualifying points for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final, an event he won in 2017. The 2019 edition will be held next April in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Ward, who had also won the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open one night earlier riding Tradition de la Roque, earned the Leading International Rider title.

Ryan’s second-place finish placed him closer to his goal of qualifying for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final after a spectacular year for him and his mount, Eddie Blue, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by LL Show Jumpers LLC.

“As I always say, take it one day at a time, but this year I am going to try to make it back to the World Cup Final,” he said. “We’ll see how the cards play out, but he’s had quite a big year this year, and I think he’s a really special horse, so I don’t want to over use him.

“You always think about what you would you have done differently,” continued Ryan, 36, of his position behind Ward. “I didn’t take quite the shot that McLain took. I probably should have tried it, but that’s show jumping for you!”

Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC posted the first clear round of the evening riding her 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Hermelien vd Hooghoeve, and opened the jump-off by again jumping clear in a time of 34.62 seconds for third place.

“It’s always harder going first because you know you have to go clear,” said Ramsay, 26, who first attended the Royal Horse Show in 2012 when she won the Running Fox CET Medal Final. “I think my horse did everything I asked of her. We are really lucky to have this Canadian indoor venue here at The Royal and having this crowd is really unlike anything else.”

Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire also posted a double-clear performance in a time of 35.20 seconds to finish fourth riding Roulette BH for owner Gochman Sport Horse LLC, while New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley rounded out the jump-off field in fifth place after having a rail down over the short course aboard Barnetta, owned by Sky Group.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Nassar and Lordan Repeat Longines Victory in Thermal

Nayel Nassar and Lordan. (FEI / Ashley Neuhof)

For the second year in a row — and third overall — Nayel Nassar (EGY) and his indelible mount Lordan led the victory gallop in the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Thermal (USA).

Besting a jump-off field of five, Nassar and his 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding crossed the timers of Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) shortened course in 43.89 seconds. The duo narrowly edged Eve Jobs, who recorded the best World Cup finish of her career with her own Venue d’Fees des Hazalles; their time was 43.97 seconds. Lisa Carlsen (CAN) finished third aboard Parette after recording the winning time but pulling the rail at the final fence.

“I’m just thrilled with my horse and thrilled to be sitting here again!” — Nayel Nassar (EGY)

Nassar has been partnered with Lordan for more than seven years. In addition to winning last year’s event, the pair also topped the class in 2016. Nassar used his longtime partnership to his advantage, creating his own jump-off plan based off his horse’s quick, yet smaller, stride.

“I tried not to focus too much on what the other riders were doing,” Nassar said. “I know that Lordan is a very different kind of horse with a different kind of stride. I just wanted to know whether my jump-off pace was going to be fast enough or if I needed to take any extra risks.”

The pace proved to be just enough, resulting in a close, eight-hundredths of a second margin of victory.

“It ended up being a lot closer than I expected,” Nassar said, “but luckily we were on the right side of that today.”

Consistency Proves Key

With consistent, points-earning performances in Vancouver (CAN), Columbus (USA), Del Mar (USA) and Thermal, Jobs took over the lead in the west coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with 48 points.

Should Jobs qualify to compete at Gothenburg (SWE) in April, it would be her first appearance in a World Cup Final.

“If everything goes as planned, and I can continue to feel comfortable competing at such a high level, I would be honored to go,” she said. “I’m very excited.”

Richard Spooner (USA), a 15-time World Cup Finals veteran, including last season, moved into second in the standings after finishing fourth in Thermal. He has 36 points, four ahead of Zazou Hoffman (USA), who won the World Cup qualifier at Del Mar (USA) in October.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ward Wins Weston Canadian Open

McLain Ward. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Speed was the name of the game and none were faster than McLain Ward of the United States to win the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open on Friday night, November 9, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

The premise was simple: leave all the jumps in place over the course designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade and do it in the fastest time. Six riders left all the rails up, with Ward accomplishing the feat in a time of 62.71 seconds. His mount was Tradition de la Roque, an 11-year-old black French-bred mare owned by Kessler Show Stables.

Canada’s own Keean White of Rockwood, ON gave it his best effort riding Leilani, an eight-year-old grey Oldenburg mare owned by Lisa Marie Gauthier and Angelstone Farm. With a time of 63.49 seconds, White finished as the runner-up. Capt. Brian Cournane riding Penelope Cruz and Conor Swail aboard GK Coco Chanel took third and fourth places for Ireland respectively with times of 64.11 and 64.70 seconds. Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire was fifth with a clear round in a time of 68.17 riding Roulette BH while 2017 Canadian Champion Amy Millar of Perth, ON posted the only other clear round of the night to finish sixth with Heros.

Ward, 43, estimates that this is his 23rd or 24th time competing at the Royal Horse Show.

“I love it here,” said Ward, who was a member of the gold medal team at the recent World Championships. “I think this is one of the great events in our sport throughout the world. The atmosphere, the way that they have been able to hold on to so many traditional aspects of the event – I think it’s a phenomenal evening. It’s one of the few places where I come to watch something other than show jumping.

“The Royal is something that is very special to me,” continued Ward. “The environment here is brilliant. This is a crowd that really understands the sport and appreciates the animals. It still has great ties to agriculture. People make an effort to dress up and make it an important evening. I think it creates an environment that is electric and special to be a part of.”

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Daniel Bluman Wins for Israel at Royal Horse Show

Daniel Bluman riding Ladriano Z. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Israel’s Daniel Bluman won the $85,000 GroupBy “Big Ben” Challenge on Thursday night, November 8, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

Twenty-two of the world’s top show jumping athletes entered the Coca-Cola Coliseum in the hopes of scoring victory in the $85,000 GroupBy “Big Ben” Challenge, a sentimental favourite at the Royal Horse Show named for Ian Millar’s former mount. Eleven mastered the track set by 2018 World Championship course designer, Alan Wade of Ireland, to advance to the jump-off.

In the tie-breaker, Bluman saved the best for last, cruising to a clear round in a time of 32.34 seconds riding Ladriano Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Alexa Schwitzer and Blue Star Investments. As the final challenger, Bluman knew the victory was his, and celebrated along with the packed house. Devin Ryan, who recently helped the United States become World Champions, rode his top mount, Eddie Blue, to a clear round in a time of 32.53 seconds to finish runner-up.

“I had the advantage of going last,” said Bluman, who represented the Israeli Show Jumping Team in its first World Championship appearance in September. “Devin’s horse is a very fast horse. It has pretty much the same weapons that mine has to win a class like this one. I won by a fraction of a second. I got lucky also. I could have been second place, but it was meant to be for me tonight.”

At 28 years of age, Bluman has been competing at the Royal Horse Show for several years and appreciated the crowd’s support as he went for the win.

“My first year competing here was 2011; Eric Lamaze got me an invitation,” said Bluman. “I’ve come almost every year since then. I really, really love it. It’s a fantastic city, and it’s a fantastic crowd. When you jump in a place that has a crowd and has an atmosphere, the whole energy changes and your desire to win also changes. We go to a lot of competitions, but when you’re at a show like this, every class you compete in, you want to perform. Forget about the prize money, forget about the world ranking points, forget about anything else; you just want to be the best that you can be for the crowd. That’s what makes it fun!”

Catherine Tyree of the United States took third place with a clear round in a time of 33.32 seconds riding Bokai while Australia’s Rowan Willis and Blue Movie were fourth after crossing the timers in 34.52 seconds. Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON set the pace as the first to go in the jump-off, delivering a fantastic clear in 35.26 seconds aboard Count Me In, owned by Sandy Lupton, to round out the top five.

Captain Brian Cournane Captures $36,000 Brickenden Trophy Victory

Captain Brian Cournane of Ireland enjoyed a win in the $36,000 Brickenden Trophy International Jumpers riding Penelope Cruz on Thursday afternoon.

From a starting field of 19 entries representing eight different countries, nine combinations advanced to the jump-off over Wade’s course. The leading time continued to get progressively faster throughout the jump-off, with the final entry of Cournane and Penelope Cruz, his 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, stopping the clock in 28.69 seconds to take the win.

“She’s naturally a very quick horse, so I knew that if I could do the distances and be tight, she covers the ground very quickly,” said Cournane, who acquired the mare from fellow Irishman Darragh Kerins a year ago. “I had to have a lot of confidence in her to do the tight turns and trust that those jumps would stay up and that we’d be fast.

“I’m so honoured to be here,” continued Cournane, who is competing at The Royal for the first time. “It’s a wonderful show, and I’ve heard so many great things about it. I was first reserve on the invited riders’ list for a couple of weeks; I was really hoping I’d get in and, at the end, I did!”

While Cournane is new to the Royal Horse Show, he’s very familiar with this year’s Royal Horse Show course designer.

“It’s very funny; when I was a kid doing hunter trials in Ireland, I was 16 or 17, and Alan was building the courses back then,” said Cournane, 36. “Now we’re at The Royal, and he’s building! It’s incredible.”

With less than a second separating the top four finishers, second place with a time of 29.09 seconds went to Canada’s Keean White aboard Tahiorn while third place was awarded to Daniel Bluman of Israel with a time of 29.18 seconds riding Colestina H. Rounding out the top four with a time of 29.58 seconds was Kent Farrington, the defending champion of the Royal Horse Show’s marquee event, the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto, riding Daddy Cool.

Sam Walker Rides Winning Streak Into Royal Horse Show

Also claiming a major victory on Thursday afternoon was 16-year-old Sam Walker of Nobleton, ON. Fresh off a win in the prestigious ASPCA Maclay Final at the National Horse Show in Lexington, KY on Sunday, November 4 – where he became only the fourth Canadian winner in the event’s storied history – Walker returned home to Canada to also top the Running Fox CET Medal National Final.

“It feels a little bit surreal!” said Walker of his dual wins, first aboard Waldo on Sunday at the National Horse Show and then four days later riding Willem, a mount owned by Nicole Loochtan that was a last-minute ride for Walker after his intended mount for the final was sold.

“He came up here for the CET from Castlewood Farm in Wellington, FL,” said Walker, who trains with his parents, Scott and Dee Walker of Forest Hill Farm, and John Brennan and Missy Clark at North Run. “He was amazing this week; I couldn’t be happier with how he performed. I’m just really, really grateful that I got the opportunity to ride him.”

Reserve Champion in the Running Fox CET Medal National Final was Beatrice Daviault of Saint-Damase, QC riding Lia; third place went to Mackenzy Nadeau of Carleton Place, ON aboard Ferraro K, owned by Brookstreet Stables. Rounding out the top four was Kyara Semrau of Foothills, AB with Cori Coletta.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

International Show Jumping Stars Set for Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Kent Farrington aboard Voyeur. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Kent Farrington to Defend $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto Title

Toronto, Ontario – U.S. Olympian Kent Farrington will headline a star-studded field as the international show jumping division gets underway at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running November 2 through 11 at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, ON.

Four days of international show jumping competition will culminate in the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy, on Saturday night, November 10. Having won last year’s featured event riding Voyeur, Farrington plans to saddle up Creedance as he attempts to defend his title against some of the best show jumping competitors in the world.

“I love the Royal Horse Show,” said Farrington, 37, of Wellington, FL. “It’s a throwback in time with everyone wearing black tie and a packed house. All of the classes feel important. It’s one of my favourite shows in a beautiful city.”

Of Creedance, an expressive 11-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by the rider and R.C.G. Farm, Farrington said, “I’ve had him since he was seven and he’s really stepped up to be a very competitive grand prix horse on the biggest level. He has won classes at The Royal and other five-star events and is very fast indoors. Now that he’s more mature, he’s gotten more predictable and easier to manage. He was quite difficult to manage when he was young but he’s getting better with age.”

Joining Farrington in representing the United States are three of the four 2018 World Championship gold medal team members, Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, and McLain Ward. Molly Ashe-Cawley, Margie Goldstein-Engle, Andy Kocher, and Catherine Tyree will also represent the stars and stripes in this year’s international division.

The eight international competitors invited to this year’s Royal Horse Show include Daniel Bluman of Israel, Capt. Brian Cournane, Cormac Hanley, and Conor Swail of Ireland, Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire, Karen Polle representing Japan, Rowan Willis of Australia, and New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley.

Canada will also be represented by eight competitors to make up the total of 24 athletes who contest The Royal’s international division each year. Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Keean White of Rockwood, ON, and Ian and Jonathon Millar, both of Perth, ON, qualified based on their standings in the Longines World Rankings while Jump Canada’s high-performance committee named Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC and Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON as its two picks for the international division. Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON and Amy Millar of Perth, ON earned their tickets into the international division as the newly crowned Canadian Show Jumping Champion and Reserve Champion, respectively.

The international show jumping division officially opens on Wednesday, November 7, featuring the $36,000 Jolera International Welcome in the evening session. A sentimental favourite, the $85,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ International Challenge highlights Thursday evening while the popular $50,000 Weston Canadian Open is featured on Friday evening’s Royal Horse Show schedule.

Saturday afternoon, November 10, is Family Day, presented by McDonald’s, at the Royal Horse Show. The entertaining K9-Equine Challenge, presented by the Toronto Star, pairs show jumping horses with agility dogs to see who can complete their respective courses in the fastest time. In an unparalleled evening of horse sport, the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy, will bring down the curtain on closing night of the Royal Horse Show.

In entertainment, Australia’s Guy McLean will demonstrate his unique form of natural horsemanship throughout the Royal Horse Show while Pogo Puissance by Xpogo will take jumping to new heights as young athletes attempt to set records by jumping obstacles on pogo sticks.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Fuchs Flies to Victory at Longines Leg in Lyon

Martin Fuchs and Clooney. (FEI/Christophe Tanière)

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs (26) and Clooney produced a spectacular victory as the fourth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League more than lived up to expectations at Equita Longines in Lyon, France. In an edge-of-the-seat 10-horse jump-off that included four riders flying the host-country flag, it came down to a race to catch the target-time set by Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and Ensor de Litrange, who were fifth to go.

And the last three chasing down that time were Rio 2016 Olympic team gold medallist Kevin Staut from France and the silver and bronze medallists from this year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™, Fuchs and fellow-countryman Steve Guerdat.

“I was always going for the win, but I wasn’t sure I could beat Lorenzo – I’m not always super-fast with Clooney and Lorenzo looked really fast on the screen. I didn’t know what time I had going through the finish, but when I looked up, I saw first place and I was very, very happy!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

With a third-place finish last weekend in Verona, Italy, the Swiss rider now heads the Western European League table carrying a handsome 35 points, so only needs a few more to book his ticket to the Longines Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.

French course designer, Gregory Bodo, gave them plenty to think about in the first round in which the 75 seconds time-allowed proved highly influential. “With the top riders and horses present, it’s not easy to find the right balance, but the time was perfect and riders had to keep the right tempo from the start to the end to be in time,” he explained.

Italy’s de Luca really put it up to the rest of them in the jump-off when stopping the timers in 37.78 seconds with a great run from his powerful 14-year-old gelding and, with just three left to go, Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten was his nearest rival after posting 38.00 with Dana Blue. The 7,000-seat stadium was packed with French fans who held their collective breath as Staut set off with For Joy van’t Zorgvliet, but despite their best effort the pair didn’t threaten the lead when breaking the beam in 38.32 seconds.

Second-last into the ring, however, Fuchs had his foot to the floor all the way, and with a brilliant turn to the vertical three from home and a breathtaking gallop to the last, he stormed through the timers in 37.25 seconds and not even Guerdat and his brilliant mare Bianca could match that. De Luca held on for runner-up spot, while 2012 Olympic champion Guerdat, twice-winner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title, had to settle for third when stopping the clock on 37.89.

“Clooney had a one-month break after Tryon (FEI World Equestrian Games) and then we came to Verona and Lyon because I really want to qualify for the Final. I’m going to Wellington (USA) in January, so I wanted to focus on the World Cup qualifiers now,” Fuchs explained. He’s had an extraordinary year with the horse he competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and with which he claimed two European team bronze medals, in 2015 and again in 2017.

They kicked off 2018 with 5-Star Grand Prix wins at Basel and Zurich (SUI), but Clooney then had to undergo colic surgery in April and that was a worrying time. He bounced back, however, and just a few weeks after claiming World Championship individual silver, the grey horse is continuing to show incredible form.

“He’s such a tough horse; he always fights. When I got him in the beginning, I was struggling a lot because he has his own mind and he’s so strong. But over time we have come to work really well together, and now we can do anything!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

The Swiss rider now plans to compete in the next leg of the series at Stuttgart in Germany in two weeks’ time and at Olympia in London (GBR) in December.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Nicole Walker Claims Canadian Show Jumping Championship Title

Nicole Walker riding Falco van Spieveld. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON claimed the $125,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship title on Saturday night, November 3, at the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

“I will never forget this! It feels amazing. I’m very excited for my whole team, and I think the horse deserves a title like this because he’s such a special boy. I’m glad he could have a title to his name.” ~ Nicole Walker, who will celebrate her 25th birthday on Sunday, November 4

Having claimed victory in Friday’s $25,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship – Round One, presented by Lothlorien, Walker held the lead coming into Saturday night’s two-round competition. The defending Canadian Champions, Amy Millar, 41, of Perth, ON and Heros piled on the pressure by opening Saturday night’s competition with a clear round while Walker incurred four faults.

When the top six in the standings went through to the all-deciding final, Walker kept her cool to deliver another clear jumping round, picking up one time fault over the course set by Ireland’s Alan Wade to bring her total score to five faults. When Millar and Heros faulted the second time out, their final score of 7.13 penalty points left them in second place, handing Walker her first Canadian Show Jumping Championship title riding Falco van Spieveld, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding.

Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON delivered a clear round riding Count Me In to finish in third position, while 12-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion Ian Millar, 71, of Perth, ON took fourth place riding Calvin Klein for Brookstreet Stables. Olympic team silver medalist Mac Cone of King City, ON guided Zaia di san Giovanni to fifth for owner Mark Samuel’s Chadburn Holdings Inc., while Hyde Moffatt of Brantford, ON also made the cut for the top six riding Granturo.

As the defending Under 25 National Champion at the Royal Horse Show, Walker has grown up competing at the annual Royal Horse Show.

“I had a lot of friends and family here tonight as it’s very close to home,” said Walker, who trains with 2012 Irish Olympic individual medalist Cian O’Connor and his assistant trainer, Mark Kinsella. “But beyond everything, the atmosphere is incredible here. It has so much tradition. I would recommend every rider to come visit it at some point, even if they’re not riding. It’s just such a cool experience.”

With their top finishes on Saturday night, Walker and Amy Millar earned their tickets into the international division as the two highest placed finishers in the Canadian Show Jumping Championships not already qualified. Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Keean White of Rockwood, ON, and Ian and Jonathon Millar, both of Perth, ON, qualified based on their standings in the Longines World Rankings while Jump Canada’s high performance committee named Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC and Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON as its two picks for the international division. The international division opens on Wednesday, November 7, featuring the $36,000 Jolera International Welcome in the evening session.

Lauren Kieffer Rocks $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge

The popular $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge rocked the house on Saturday night as competitors tackled a mix of delicate show jumping fences and challenging cross-country obstacles set by course designer Mark Phillips. Lauren Kieffer of Middleburg, VA made her Royal Horse Show a winning one, riding Glendening Avis, a 13-year-old buckskin Canadian Sport Horse mare owned by Callie Evans, to victory.

“I’m thrilled.  The mare is just incredible; she tries her guts out,” said Kieffer, who was riding a borrowed mount that she rode for the first time on Friday.  “It’s very rare that you hop on something and sync together so quickly.  It was so much fun to do this on her, and I felt so in sync with her.

“Brandon and Kendal certainly put the pressure on; I was hoping for a little bit more breathing room!” joked Kieffer following her indoor eventing debut.  “The format is fun; it’s energetic.  If it gets one person to leave here and go Google ‘eventing’ and get into it, then it did its purpose.”

Finishing second was Toronto’s own Brandon McMechan riding Oscar’s Wild to a clear round in a time of 92.78 seconds to hold off third-placed Kendal Lehari of Uxbridge, ON, who was also clear riding Totally Frank in a time of 94.30 seconds.

At the conclusion of the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge, World Championship and Pan American Games medalist Selena O’Hanlon of Kingston, ON was presented with the Michael Gutowski Award, donated by Mr. Iain Gilmour, as the highest-ranked Canadian athlete on the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Eventing World Athlete Rankings.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.