Tag Archives: Show Jumping

Awesome Ahlmann Scores Again at Longines Leg in Leipzig

Christian Ahlmann with Caribis Z. (FEI/Leanjo de Koster)

It’s long been one of his favourite venues, and Germany’s Christian Ahlmann had his home crowd in the palm of his hand once again when scorching to victory in the eleventh leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League at Leipzig.

Just three weeks ago, the man who currently holds 17th spot in the world rankings clinched a thrilling last-to-go victory in Mechelen (BEL) with the spectacular nine-year-old Clintrexo to shoot up the series leaderboard. Here it was another grey stallion, the 12-year-old Caribis Z, that carried him into pole position when last into the seven-horse jump-off, and he now stands top of the Western European League table with just two qualifying legs left to run.

Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jr (Uno de la Roque) and Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca (Armitages Boy) produced the only other double-clears to finish second and third, while Ahlmann’s compatriot, Daniel Deusser, posted the quickest round against the clock with Tobago, but had to settle for fourth with an unlucky fence down.

Ahlmann’s record at Leipzig is quite something. This was his seventh win at the fixture which celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year, and it was here that he steered Taloubet Z to claim the FEI World Cup™ Jumping title back in 2011. It was also here that he retired that great stallion after their final and emotional winning performance 12 months ago. It holds a very special place in his heart.

“This has always been an amazing show for me, and for my horses!” Ahlmann said as the fixture celebrated a record attendance of 74,700 spectators throughout the weekend.

German course designer, Frank Rothenberger, was determined he wouldn’t have a repeat of what happened in the last two Longines qualifiers at Leipzig Exhibition Centre. In 2018 a total of 15 went into the jump-off, and in 2017 there were 16 horse-and-rider combinations racing against the clock. However, a relentlessly testing first-round track, and a tidy time-allowed of 72 seconds, ensured there were just seven battling it out in the closing stages.

The Netherlands’ Leopold van Asten and VDL Groep Beauty led the way with a fence down in 40.83 seconds, and when Germany’s Tobias Meyer tried a very tight inside turn to the third, he paid the price when Queentina slammed on the brakes. Third to go, Mathy Jr, set a strong target when breaking the beam with a clean round in 41.49 seconds.

Deusser crossed the line in 39.53 seconds but left the same fence as van Asten, the planks at fence five, on the floor and although de Luca was foot-perfect, his time of 42.19 left Mathy still out in front with just two left to go. The crowd gasped when home hero and three-time Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion Marcus Ehning kicked out the first before steaming around the rest of the track with the fearless Comme Il Faut, so Ahlmann knew exactly what he had to do, and Caribis Z made it look very easy when cruising through the finish in the winning time of 40.70 seconds to a massive roar of approval from the packed stadium.

“Caribis jumped very, very well – the course really suited him; the short distances were good for me so that was our luck today!” Ahlmann said.

“He’s always been a bit in the shadow of Taloubet and Codex, but he’s taken a huge step forward over the last season and he’s ready for big things now. He jumps really light and he’s very quick in a jump-off; he’s a very sporty horse!” he said of the stallion he knows well, because they’ve been a partnership for the last five years.

Ahlmann said he is unlikely compete at the last two Western European League qualifiers which will take place in Amsterdam (NED) next weekend and Bordeaux (FRA) two weeks later. But with a massive 72 qualifying points Christian Ahlmann can happily relax ahead of the Longines 2019 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April. “I have two horses in great shape at the moment, so I’m really looking forward to the Final now!” he added.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Darragh Kenny and Billy Dorito Win Opening Class during Second Week of WEF

Darragh Kenny and Billy Dorito. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — January 16, 2019 — The second week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off on Wednesday, January 16, in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL with a win for Ireland’s Darragh Kenny aboard mount Billy Dorito. The pair went early in the lineup and held the lead all the way through in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Open Jumper class.

WEF continues with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition through March 31, 2019. The second week of competition at WEF is sponsored by NetJets and features the $72,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI2* during “Saturday Night Lights” on January 19 at 7 p.m. in the International Arena. The week will also host a variety of other FEI-rated two-star events in jumper divisions, along with top hunter and jumper competition.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Swiss Bliss as Brilliant Fuchs and Clooney Win at Basel

Martin Fuchs and Clooney. (FEI/Katja Stuppia)

Swiss spectators were treated to a superb moment of top sport when homegrown hero, Martin Fuchs (26), stormed to victory at the tenth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League at Basel (SUI).

This was the tenth anniversary of the fixture staged in the medieval Swiss town, but the first time for the venue at St Jakobshalle to host a leg of the Jumping World Cup series. The young man who scooped individual silver at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ made it all the more memorable when steering his faithful grey gelding Clooney to a last-to-go win in a nail-biting three-horse jump-off against the clock.

“It’s amazing! So many people came here today, lots of my friends and my family, so to win at home in front of them is always so special – this was a great day for me and my amazing horse Clooney!” — Martin Fuchs (SUI)

The Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager (48) had to settle for runner-up spot with Sterrehof’s Calimero while Belgium’s Pieter Devos (32) and Apart slotted into third on a day when a first-round clear proved very difficult to achieve.

The opening course designed by Germany’s Frank Rothenberger was no walk-in-the-park, with testing turns, difficult stride distances, and a tight time-allowed of 68 seconds ensuring that only those horse-and-rider partnerships that were completely in sync would leave all the timber intact. A total of 21 had given it their best before Houtzager put the first clear on the board and, as so often happens, that was followed by another from Devos who was next to go. Two horses later Fuchs would add his name to the very short list of successful contenders to make the cut into the second-round race against the clock.

Houtzager was first to take on the jump-off track and set the target with a great clear in 38.84 seconds, but Devos upped the pace considerably when next to go with his Stuttgart winner, Apart. However, the influential double at fence 11 was still in place and when the pair lost impulsion after a tight turn on the approach the first element fell for four faults in the very quick time of 36.98 seconds.

So as Fuchs entered the arena the result was still wide open and the crowd was buzzing in anticipation. Clooney was crowned Swiss Horse of the Year this week and hopes were high that the dynamic duo whose stellar career already includes ninth place individually at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, a fourth-place finish at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Omaha (USA) in 2017 and that individual silver at last year’s World Championships would steal the last-minute limelight.

It was some pressure, but they didn’t disappoint, the gallant 13-year-old grey responding with all the willingness in the world as his rider asked him to lengthen his stride between the two oxers at the midway stage, putting in a supreme effort to clear the tricky double three from home and then turning super-tight to the penultimate red vertical. Fuchs kept his eye on the finishing line as they cleared the final fence, and when he turned to check the time, he threw his hat in the air in celebration as 37.61 seconds left him the clear winner. The crowd went wild.

“He was a bit fresh and spooky in the first round and the short time-allowed didn’t make it any easier – I was just inside time which was a bit lucky!” he said afterwards. But he did have a plan. “I saw the riders going before me and I discussed what to do with Steve (Guerdat) and my dad (Thomas Fuchs),” said the man who also topped the fourth leg of the Western European series in Lyon (FRA) in November.

He has now moved back up to third on the Western European League which continues to be led by his fellow-countryman and World No. 1 rider Steve Guerdat, while Devos is in second place. With 55 points on the board Fuchs is well qualified for the Longines 2019 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April and is now heading off to compete in Florida, USA for the next few weeks and is taking Clooney with him.

Basel’s entry to the Western European League circuit got the thumbs up from FEI Jumping Director John Roche. “The event has been organised to the highest standard; there was a completely full house today and the atmosphere was electric. A home win went to the last man into the arena, so you couldn’t have written a better script for a fantastic day of sport!” he said.

The League now moves on to Leipzig, Germany next weekend.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Counting Down to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup 2019 Series

Nicola Philippaerts of the winning Belgian team at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Barcelona 2018 Final (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Celebrating the 110th season of team sport at its very best

The excitement is already building ahead of the opening round of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2019 series which will kick off at Deeridge Farm in Wellington, Florida (USA) next month. This top-class team sport, which combines national pride and passion with super-sharp competition, is as fresh as ever as it celebrates its 110th season.

Trust and understanding between horses and their riders, solidarity amongst the team members and their support crews, and the unique camaraderie between athletes from a wide range of countries as they challenge for the title they all want to win sets this series apart from the rest. It’s the battlefield of the greats, and each and every horseman and horsewoman want to place their names amongst those who have gone before them in pursuit of Nations Cup glory.

The Wellington fixture is part of the three-leg North America, Central America & Caribbean league that also includes a visit to Coapexpan (MEX) in May and to Langley (CAN) in June. There will be a single qualifier for the Middle East region at Abu Dhabi (UAE) in February, while the sole Europe Division 2 qualifier looks set to take place in Athens (GRE), with full details yet to be confirmed.

For the 10 Europe Division 1 teams the edge-of-the-seat action gets underway at La Baule (FRA) in May, and from there it moves on to St Gallen (SUI), Sopot (POL) and Geesteren (NED) in June, and then to Falsterbo (SWE) and Hickstead (GBR) in July. This league is always hotly contested, with emotions running particularly high when riders are flying their country’s flag in front of their home crowd. The last of the seven legs in this division will take place in Dublin (IRL) in August, and each team has been allocated four specific qualifying opportunities, with all four results counting in the battle for a qualifying spot at the 2019 Final.

The reigning champions from Belgium have been allocated points-gaining opportunities at La Baule, Sopot, Geesteren, and Hickstead, and after their heady win in 2018 they will be hoping to do it all over again.

Peter Weinberg’s “Never Give Up Team” demonstrated the very essence of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ concept when producing a gutsy, determined performance to clinch victory in the super-tough finale at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona (ESP) last October. They had only just climbed back into Europe Division 1 after relegation, so their victory was all the sweeter.

“We call ourselves the “Never Give Up Team” because we were fighting to the very last rider!” said the Belgian Chef d’Equipe that day.

For the seventh successive season the Final will return to the Spanish venue from 3 to 10 October this year, and there will be an extra-special edge to it. Because along with the hugely prestigious Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2019 trophy, the last remaining qualifying spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will also be up for grabs. This will go to the highest-placed team not already qualified, so as the race to earn a starting spot at the 2019 Final begins there is a whole lot hanging in the balance, and fantastic days of superb sport ahead.

Don’t miss a hoofbeat….

Calendar details here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
Communications Department
Vanessa.Randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

Laura Kraut and Cleopatra Reign in Turf Tour $5,000 Rising Star Classic

Laura Kraut and Cleopatra. Photo: Equinium Sports Marketing/The Ridge at Wellington.

Wellington, FL (January 10, 2019) – It would be a challenge to find a more beautiful destination for a horse show. During the first day of Turf Tour week 2 competition, Mida Farms provided the backdrop for a day of show jumping accented by exemplary footing, water views, large shade trees, and complimentary hospitality. US Olympian Laura Kraut won Wednesday’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic, while a field of competitors used the quiet atmosphere, perfect turf footing, and unique setting to begin their winter competition on the right ‘hoof.’ With classes running through Saturday, The Ridge Turf Tour and Hunter Derby Days round out this week’s competition with the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix, along with full jumper divisions, on Friday and the USHJA $5,000 National and $10,000 International Hunter Derbies at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center on Saturday.

Acquired by Cherry Knoll Farm in October of 2018, Cleopatra is a relatively new mount for Kraut, who also jumped Galiano Vm and Goldwin during the day’s 1.30m and 1.20m-1.25m classes. In the same field, .80m-1.10m classes running concurrently with the higher courses were the perfect starting point for young or green horses to get their first experience jumping on the grass. One such team, Linda Sheridan and her gelding Can’t Wait, put in multiple clear rounds in the .90m despite an initial onset of show nerves for Can’t Wait. Founders of The Ridge, US Olympian Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio, believe that positive horse show experiences for young horses, new horse and rider combinations, and even decorated Olympians are key to maintaining the quality and well-being of today’s sport horses.

For full schedules and prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

McLain Ward Clinches First International Victory of WEF 2019

McLain Ward aboard Tradition De La Roque. Photo by: Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — January 9, 2019 — Athletes at the first day of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off competition in Wellington at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The festival is home to 12 consecutive weeks of elite hunter, jumper, and equitation competition and will run through March 31, 2019.

With only 12 entries, the first jumper class of the season was as efficient as the round performed by winner McLain Ward (USA). Repeating his victory from the opening day of WEF 2018, Ward piloted Tradition De La Roque to a flawless victory in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Open Jumper in 28.986 seconds in a power and speed format over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck of the United States. The Kessler Show Stables Europe BV’s 12-year-old Selle Francais mare by Kannan x Karioa Grand Pre has been well-versed in international competition with previous rider Reed Kessler.

Second place went to Kaely Tomeu (USA) aboard the Sibony Ranch’s 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare Cassandra F, falling short of Ward by four seconds with a time of 32.755 seconds. Sarah Scheiring (USA) closed in only seconds apart from Tomeu to take third place with Cheval Equestrian LLC’s Dutch Warmblood gelding Dontez in 33.009 seconds.

The experience of both Ward and his mount was obvious as the team maintained their lead throughout the power-and-speed course and crossed the timers in a blazing 28.986 seconds.

“She’s an experienced horse of Reed Kessler’s, and since she went back to school, her horses are on the market,” he commented. “Until then I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to ride her.”

As for his first win of the 2019 season, Ward was pleased with their debut round. “This class is always a bit light because it’s the first morning, so if you have an experienced horse you don’t have to go too fast to win it. We were able to just have a nice, smooth round and start the circuit off well.”

For full results please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Sweetnam Sails to Victory with Kirschwasser SCF in $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix

Shane Sweetnam and Kirschwasser SCF. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – January 8, 2019 – Shane Sweetnam (IRL) jumped into first place in the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix in the ESP Holiday Finale at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Sweetnam crossed through the timers in 40.154 seconds to secure the win with Kirschwasser SCF, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab De Reve), owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC. Sliding into second, Lauren Tisbo (USA) stopped the clock in 40.754 seconds aboard Coriandolo Di Ribano, a 2007 Sella Italiano stallion (Cassini II x Baldini), owned by Tequestrian Farms, LLC. Tomas Yofre (ARG) claimed third place with a time of 39.265 seconds riding Fantasy, a 2005 Hanoverian mare (For Pleasure x Acord II), owned by Oakland Ventures LLC.

Sweetnam stayed ahead of the 35 competitors in the course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). “He [Kirschwasser SCF] jumped very, very well. It was a nice track and it was a great way to start the year,” commented Sweetnam.

“He felt great and he’s improving all the time. He’s one of Spy Coast Farm’s homebred, so it’s great that they’ve bred something that’s good and can win a grand prix already. He’s very scopey, and very careful, but he’s still learning, so I still think there’s still room for improvement,” he said.

On preparing for the upcoming season, Sweetnam stated, “We know the routine, so we’re preparing for a busy 12 weeks ahead and hopefully we will have some success.”

For full results from the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix, click here.

For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Watch Equestrian Film “Desert Flight” for Free with US Equestrian

US Equestrian and the producers of the new equestrian documentary “Desert Flight” invite you to the film’s USEF Network premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 15. The 39-minute documentary, a love letter to equestrian sport that examines the joy horses bring to our lives, will stream free on demand for US Equestrian members on USEF Network. To take advantage of this special opportunity, go to US Equestrian or sign up for a free fan membership using the promo code DESERTFLIGHT.

“Desert Flight,” which received awards for Best of Festival and Best Sports Documentary at the EQUUS Film Festival in September, follows the stories of several top jumping athletes and reveals how they got their start in horses and why they love equestrian sport. Riders appearing in the film include Olympic team gold medalist Will Simpson, Richard Spooner, Rich Fellers, Ashlee Bond, and Mandy Porter. Impressive desert scenery serves as the backdrop for horses and riders as they aim to peak for the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix at the end of the 2017 HITS Thermal winter circuit.

Association équestre Centaure Thanks Donors and Partners

Photo: Jonathan McCrea & Aristoteles.

Bromont, Quebec – Jan. 3, 2019 – Association équestre Centaure would like to thank its donors and partners who made organizing its 2018 season events possible.

Under Roger Deslauriers’s management, Association équestre Centaure organizes close to a dozen events and competitions every year in the hunter, jumper, dressage, three-day eventing, and driving disciplines. Events are held at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park in the Eastern Townships region of Canada.

Organizers of the International Bromont CSI3*, Bromont International Driving, and the CDI Autumn Classic, notably, and the Association équestre Centaure acknowledge the support of the Quebec Government, the Town of Bromont, Assante, the National Bank of Canada, Back on Track, Volta Électrique, Soltek Agrégats, as well as everyone who contributed to the 2018 season events.

Many athletes participated in the events organized by Association équestre Centaure, and the organizing committee hopes than 2019 will be just as successful. General manager, Deslauriers, said, “We are happy with the participation in the different events over the past year, and would like to thank the athletes for their trust and support. We are already at work on our 2019 season and hope that many of them will join us.”

Association équestre Centaure will organize seven competitions in 2019, including four international jumping, dressage, and driving horse shows.

Contact: Hélène Sactouris, event co-ordinator, via email: co-oc@internationalbromont.org or by phone: 450-534-0787.

Swiss Olympic Champion Guerdat Back to World Number One in Longines Rankings

Lausanne (SUI), 2 January 2019 – Steve Guerdat, the Swiss star who took individual Jumping gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, has reclaimed the world number one slot in the Longines Rankings.

The 36-year-old, who was previously 140 points off the lead in second place behind Harrie Smolders, has now jumped ahead of the Dutch athlete with a 55-point advantage in the rankings published today by the FEI.

The four-time Olympian last topped the world rankings in November 2012 and his return to the number one slot, on 3,050 points, follows a series of impressive results last month, most notably an emotional victory in the IJRC Top 10 Final on home turf at Geneva.

Individual bronze medallist at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 last September, Guerdat also leads the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League standings and will be aiming for a third victory in the seasonal Final at Gothenburg (SWE) in April after back-to-back wins in 2015 and 2016.

Germany’s Marcus Ehning, fourth in the rankings published at the beginning of December, has now switched places with McLain Ward (USA) to sit third on 2,936 points, 59 adrift of Smolders and just 16 clear of Ward. European champion Peder Fredricson (SWE) remains fifth on 2,815.

Daniel Deusser (GER), Ben Maher (GBR), Henrick von Eckermann (SWE), Beezie Madden (USA) and Guerdat’s compatriot Martin Fuchs (SUI) complete the top 10.

View the complete Longines Rankings here.

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42