Tag Archives: Show Jumping

Winners of the Summer Season Rolex Grands Prix

With European summertime drawing to a close, so too does the Rolex Grands Prix summer season, which begins in May and ends on the final weekend in August. Over the course of this four-month period, Rolex is the title partner of six prestigious shows’ Grands Prix, each one sitting outside of the revered Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

CSIO Jumping International de la Baule hosted the first Rolex Grand Prix of the summer season, also marking the first time Rolex has sponsored the show, a firm favourite with riders. Delighted crowds witnessed 59-year-old Canadian Beth Underhill and Dieu Merci Van T&L lift the inaugural trophy. The mare was previously ridden by Eric Lamaze, who has now retired from the sport due to health issues. Lamaze is now providing his expert knowledge to the Canadian team in his new role as Chef d’Equipe and was with Underhill at the show. Second place went to Yuri Mansur of Brazil with his gelding Vitiki, with Frenchman Pierre Marie Friant claiming third with Urdy d’Astrée.

Just a week later, the world’s best horse and rider combinations made the short journey across the English Channel to the spectacular CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show in the grounds of Windsor Castle, which this year hosted a spectacular equestrian and musical performance to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 70-year reign. Equestrian royalty gathered to contest the Rolex Grand Prix, which, in typical English style, was held under grey clouds and rainy skies. Bernardo Costa Cabral’s course caused issues throughout, with only three combinations eventually progressing to the jump-off. First to go was Belgian Gregory Wathelet with his trusted partner Nevados S who laid down a gauntlet that neither Max Kühner of Austria nor Daniel Bluman from Israel could match. Wathelet and his stallion now target the FEI World Championships, both hoping to carry forward their winning form.

Next up was CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena, which is often referred to as the most picturesque show jumping event in the world. On the pristine oval arena where 49 of the world’s best partnerships competed, 13 proceeded to the jump-off. Much to his delight, Irishman Denis Lynch claimed his second Rolex Grand Prix in Roma, his first coming in 2008 with the great Lantinus. Lynch had only recently taken over the reins of his ride Brooklyn Heights, but the duo was in harmony and produced the quickest round to take the title. Germany’s Jana Wargers and her bay stallion Limbridge followed up in second place and home favourite Piergiorgio Bucci took third.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Aguilar Wins Tenth Annual EAF Grooms Class at BRCHS

Jose Aguilar, Undeniable, and EAF board member and class sponsor Missy Luczak-Smith. Photo by Cathrin Cammett.

Blowing Rock, N.C. – August 3, 2022 – Jose Aguilar topped a field of 19 entries to win the $2,000 EAF Grooms Class at the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show on Sunday. His victory with Ann Rice Ervin’s 2015 KWPN gelding Undeniable marks his return to the winner’s circle after previously winning the class in both 2016 and 2018.

Judge Scott Hofstetter had the difficult task of ranking the class’s entries. “It was hands down the hardest class at the show to judge because of the quality of the turnout and the effort that all the grooms put into horses and their setup,” he said.

In addition to prize money, class participants received supplies from Shapley’s Superior Grooming Products, along with gift certificates to BRCHS and Coffee by Design. Aguilar also received a custom silver belt buckle crafted by Kathy’s Show Equipment.

Amateur hunter rider and EAF board member Missy Luczak-Smith organizes and sponsors the annual EAF Grooms Class at Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show. Now in its tenth year, the class has become a highlight for grooms and owners alike. “I remember our inaugural class in 2013 had 11 entries,” said Luczak-Smith. “In recent years, we’ve doubled that. These grooms hold themselves to such a high standard, and it’s wonderful that the BRCHS community commits to recognizing them each year.”

Luczak-Smith thanked Shapley’s for their continued commitment to both the Equestrian Aid Foundation and the industry’s working professionals. She also expressed thanks to Caroline Moran and Ellen Weaver for their generous support of the class.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Podium Finish for Gabriela Reutter and Maharees Rock in Tyron Summer 5 FEI CSI2*

Gabriela Reutter and Maharees Rock (Photo by Nicole Schultz)

Mill Spring, NC (July 21, 2022) – Gabriela Reutter of Lumière Horses found herself on the podium this week at Tryon International Equestrian Center. She and her Grand Prix mount, Maharees Rock (OBOS Quality x Ballysimon), put in their second top 3 FEI CSI finish of the summer during Tryon Summer 5’s $75,000 Grand Prix CSI2-star out of 50 entries. The pair has been proving their mettle at the top of the sport, once again delivering a top finish after doing the same in Traverse City’s CSI3-star in June. The 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare also known as Rocky has been with Reutter for three years, making her FEI debut and subsequent top placings under Reutter’s guidance.

Reutter’s success at Tryon also marks her first podium finish in a nighttime Grand Prix, cheered on by a stadium full of spectators. Their double clear effort and jump off time of 40.21 secured their spot on the podium for Chile, finishing third behind USA’s Caitlyn Connors (37.86) and Colombia’s Roberto Teran Tafur (38.76). Reutter and Rocky also jumped to 4th out of 44 entries in the $6,000 1.40m earlier in the week.

“It was incredibly special to finish 3rd in a CSI2-star class, and to stand on the podium under the stadium lights,” said Reutter. “The evening classes have an amazing atmosphere, and I was so pleased with Rocky’s performance. She has amazing athleticism and scope, and when we are working together and on our game, she really delivers for me.”

Reutter also campaigned three top jumper prospects during Tryon Summer 5. Lumière Horses’ Here I Am Z, who was imported by Reutter from South America in 2020 placed 2nd and 3rd in the Open 1.30m Jumpers. Known as Hero around the barn, this sporty bay gelding has been placing consistently in the 1.30m divisions with Reutter and would make an exceptional Junior mount. Reutter also jumped the gray mare Joselind L.A.T., a.k.a. Jojo, to a 3rd, 5th, and 13th finish in the 1.15m & 1.20m divisions, and took Billy Lincoln, a new import, to a double clear finish in the $2,000 1.30m Open Jumper to finish 10th in their first show together.

Jojo and Hero are offered for sale and available for trial this week at Tryon International Equestrian Center.

Reutter’s passion for equestrian sport began at a young age, and has since taken her to the upper echelons of show jumping. Combining talent, horsemanship, and dedication to her dreams, she rides with the aspiration of representing Chile at the pinnacle of show jumping sport. Born in Santiago, Chile, Gaby began riding at only four years old. At 17, she moved to the United States to pursue a professional show jumping career. Since 2014, she has ridden under the guidance of Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist Chris Kappler, and completed her undergraduate degree in Economics and Business Studies at NYU.

To date, Gaby is currently the #1 female Chilean show jumper, and has multiple top finishes in international FEI classes, including her Nations Cup accomplishments, European tour, the U25 Grand Prix divisions, and victory in an FEI 4-star event. She currently campaigns her anchor show jumper, Maharees Rock (a.k.a. Rocky), and a string of sales horses. Her international equestrian CV also includes Spruce Meadows, The Hampton Classic, and several junior/young rider South American Games. She and Rocky were in the top 3 in the $30,000 Pilates Rock Grand Prix during WEF 1, and in 2018, Reutter received her certificate of capability for the Pan American Games following a top 3 finish in the FEI 3-star 1.50m Captive One Classic.

For more information on Reutter, her horses, and Lumière, visit www.LumiereHorses.com.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Hubside Summer Tour: Sebastien Duplant & Destiny of Euskadi Open the CSI2* Ball

© Sportfot/HUBSIDE JUMPING.

THE HUBSIDE SUMMER TOUR started in Grimaud, in the Var. A first day marked by the victory of Sébastien Duplant and Destinée d’Euskadi in the 1.40m class of the CSI 2*, presented by Celside. Earlier in the morning, Jérôme Ringot, Victor Laudet, and Sadri Fegaier, host of the competition, also won the opening rounds of the CSI2* and 1*.

Full results here.

Daniel Koroloff – E-mail: daniel@blizko-communication.com

Jacqueline Ruyle and Cyramo Z Win $75k Night in the Country Carolinas Music Festival Grand Prix CSI 2*

Jacqueline Ruyle and Cyramo Z ©Natalie Suto for TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – July 2, 2022 – Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) and Cyramo Z were victorious in Saturday night’s $75,000 Night in the Country Carolinas Music Festival Grand Prix CSI 2*, Ruyle’s first-ever FEI Grand Prix win. The duo stopped the jump-off timers at 42.06 seconds to earn the blue. Cinching second was Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) aboard Dior P Z, the 2011 Zangersheide gelding (Diarado x Havidoff), at 43.21 seconds. Third prize went to Catherine Tyree (USA) and Newton van het Krekelhof, a 2013 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Contact VD Heffinck) with 43.83 seconds.

Ruyle and Cyramo Z bested a field of 32 entries to top the Ivan Tangle (ARG) course, alongside seven other pairs returning for the jump-off. “I walked the course tonight and I knew it was a good course for her, and she jumped around it clean! I knew I was first to go, so I just wanted to make sure I was patient and have a clear round. It wasn’t the smoothest run I’ve had, but it panned out for me.”

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.

Gerrit Nieberg Wins Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen, Becomes New Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

Bathed in glorious July sunshine, CHIO Aachen’s 40,000 capacity Hauptstadion looked resplendent, as it was once again the venue for the 2022 edition of the Rolex Grand Prix, part of the inimitable Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Comprising 40 starters from 14 nations, including 20 of the world’s top 30-ranked riders, the World Equestrian Festival’s knowledgeable crowd was full of anticipation, ahead of being treated to unparalleled levels of skill and precision from the horse and rider combinations that had qualified for this pinnacle class.

With just the top 18 progressing to the second round, there was little room for error, as the Frank Rothenberger-designed course – consisting of 14 obstacles and 17 efforts – demanded that each pairing was on the very top of their game. Thirteen riders eventually went clear, including on-form McLain Ward, who had his sights firmly set on a hat-trick of victories, having claimed both Wednesday’s and Friday’s showpiece classes. British trio Harry Charles, Scott Brash, and Ben Maher joined the American in round two, alongside five Germans – Gerrit Nieberg, Christian Ahlmann, Daniel Deusser, Mario Stevens, and Philipp Weishaupt – much to the delight of the rapturous home crowd. Five advancing riders picked up penalties in the first round and had it all to do, including three-time Major winner, Steve Guerdat, and Harrie Smolders from The Netherlands.

After a short break, while the 12-obstacle second round course was built, two-time Major winner Philipp Weishaupt got the contest back underway, although an early refusal by his mount Asathir meant there would be no third Major triumph for the German. Eighth to go, America’s McLain Ward and his mount HH Azur was the first combination to go double clear, much to the delight of his team watching on from Aachen’s ‘kiss and cry’ area. Next to go, the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender, Daniel Deusser, and his super mare, Killer Queen Vdm, demonstrated their unwavering talent and ability, recording the contest’s second double clear, thereby triggering a jump-off. The only rider to ever win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Scott Brash, soon made it three in the jump-off, after he and Hello Jefferson navigated the 17-effort test fault free. It wasn’t to be for Irish duo Conor Swail and Darragh Kenny, Nayal Nasser of Egypt, Kevin Staut, and Great Britain’s Ben Maher, after they all accrued penalties. Penultimate rider to go, Nicola Philippaerts, would become the fourth to contest the jump-off, while last to go, Germany’s Gerrit Nieberg, also booked his place in the final showdown.

McLain Ward kicked off proceedings in the jump-off, but was unlucky to put the final fence down. Next up, Daniel Deusser made no mistake, crossing the finishing line without a fault in 41.60 seconds, thereby setting a tough target for the final three riders to try and beat. If anyone could emulate Deusser’s time, Scott Brash could, the 36-year-old Briton going over two seconds faster. Despite going clear, Nicola Philippaerts’ slightly slower time saw him slot into third spot. Last to go, current world number 106, Gerrit Nieberg, produced the ride of his life abord his 11-year-old bay gelding, Ben 431, crossing the line over half a second quicker than Brash, thereby winning the 2022 edition of CHIO Aachen’s Rolex Grand Prix and in doing so becoming the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender.

On his victory, winning rider Gerrit Nieberg commented: “Everything is still unreal – I really didn’t expect this. Dreams definitely came true today – it was an amazing feeling.”

On the winner, second placed Scott Brash said: “Gerrit did a fantastic round. I knew that there was an inside turn to the double and looked to it when I went in, but I didn’t fancy it and no one else had done it. He [Gerrit] had to do it to win and he did it very well, so all credit to him, and fair play. He rode very, very well and his horse jumped great today.”

On his horse, Hello Jefferson, Brash said: “I’m extremely proud of Jefferson today; he did an amazing job. I couldn’t have asked any more from him. We were beaten by Gerrit who did an unbelievable round.”

On his mare Katanga V/H Dingeshof, third placed Nicola Philippaerts commented: “I’m so proud, you can’t imagine – she’s a very special mare. She gave everything and jumped unbelievably well.”

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

McLain Ward Wins RWE Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia at CHIO Aachen

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

Fifty of the world’s best show jumpers and their equine partners contested Friday’s feature jumping class – the RWE Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia – in front of an excited and enthusiastic crowd, which would serve as the final opportunity for riders to qualify for Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix, one of the four Majors which comprises the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

A 1.60m competition featuring a jump-off, the Frank Rothenberger-designed course included 14 obstacles, providing a tough challenge to a line-up that included 1992 Individual Olympic champion, Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum, fellow compatriot and the current Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender, Daniel Deusser, and Swiss maestro Steve Guerdat.

Sixteen combinations eventually navigated the first round fault-free, advancing to the jump-off, which would be contested over a shorter eight-obstacle, but no less demanding, course. The first five riders to go, including Ireland’s Conor Swail and Germany’s Jana Wargers, each picked up one fault; however, sixth to go, Frenchman Nicolas Delmotte, soon broke the trend, going double clear in 42.95 seconds. Delmotte’s clear was shortly emulated by Germany’s Christian Kukuk and Jur Vrieling of The Netherlands, with the latter crossing the line in 42.79 seconds to temporarily take top spot. Vrieling’s lead, however, was short-lived, with current world number 29-ranked rider Steve Guerdat knocking over four tenths off his time.

With two riders to go, including Dutchman Harrie Smolders and McLain Ward from the USA, Guerdat faced an anxious wait, hoping his time would be unbeatable. However, Wednesday’s winner of the Turkish Airlines-Prize of Europe, McLain Ward, and his consistent partner, Contagious, soon demonstrated their harmony and class, knocking Guerdat off top spot, crossing the line in 41.70 seconds to claim the honours.

Delighted with his second win in as many days aboard his 13-year-old chestnut gelding, Ward commented: “I think he’s [Contagious] on really good form and we’re aiming him towards the World Championships; it’s one of the reasons we had this week planned for him, so we’ll stick to our plan and hopefully be able to be in the mix.”

On his partner for Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix, Ward said: “It’s always nice to have a good week, as it gives you confidence. It makes you take a breath and focus. Azur [HH Azur] is older now and I know her very well; she’s my old friend. We’ll just do what we do. I don’t think today or Wednesday has much to do with what’s going to happen on Sunday. We’ll just focus and do the best job we can on the day.”

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Athena Lekkas and Karthago Di Cabra Make 1.20m Debut at WEC Ocala

Athena Lekkas and Karthago Di Cabra (Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography)

Ocala, FL (June 25, 2022) – The World Equestrian Center (WEC) Ocala’s breath-taking Grand Arena seems to be destined as the stage for history-making equestrian performances. Flanked by majestic columns reminiscent of the Parthenon and the gorgeous white facade of the hotel and convention center, a phalanx of flags and memorial to war horse Staff Sergeant Reckless welcome competitors to this larger-than-life equestrian center. During the WEC Summer II show, held June 15-19, 2022, Athena Lekkas of Elpida Equestrian drew inspiration from the WEC to complete her highlight show weekend, jumping her highest ever class in the 1.20-1.25m with her mount, Karthago Di Cabra.

Lekkas, with the support of her family and coaching of Ashley Glica and Olympian Darren Chiacchia of ATG Equestrian, utilized her experiences at WEC to grow as a rider and horsewoman. Having competed for the past few years at the 1.10-1.15m level, advancing to the 1.20m divisions marks significant progress towards the eventual goal: Grand Prix. With only a handful of faults over two rounds at this new height, Lekkas returned home to south Florida with the determination and focus to perfect her strategies in the saddle and relationship with her horse Karthago.

“We jumped a few 1.15m rounds early in the week, and I worked on getting tight distances and using my aids to be sure Karthago jumped clean,” said Lekkas. “Darren and Ashley did a great jump tuning both he and I up for the 1.20m. Now that we’ve jumped at this height, I know what we need to work on at home so it becomes second nature. Then we can go in the arena with confidence and not think about anything but the ride. The highlight of the week was definitely riding in the Grand Arena at WEC; it really improved my confidence. My favorite thing about Karthago is in the show ring he really just feels like he can soar.”

As a rising sophomore in at The Benjamin School, Lekkas is a determined rider whose goal is to ride at the Grand Prix level before she graduates. Her main competition mount, Karthago Di Cabra, is a 17.3h Belgian Warmblood gelding. A stunning golden chestnut, Karthago’s scope and presence have helped Athena move closer to her goal of jumping the 1.20m divisions and beyond under the tutelage of Ashley Glica of ATG Equestrian. Inspired by her own Greek and Puerto Rican heritage, as well as her passion for show jumping, Lekkas competes under her brand, Elpida Equestrian.

Elpida comes from the ancient Greek word ἐλπίς (elpis) – the personification and spirit of hope in Greek mythology.

Lekkas began her riding career at 9 years old, when a birthday party and subsequent summer camp ignited her passion for horses. She competed in her first show at the Jupiter Horseman’s Association, where she received Grand Champion in the 2-foot Jumpers and Equitation. From there she progressed quickly, building her skill under the guidance of Michele Blair of Desert Rose Ranch, Michael Dorman of Wyndmont, and Sebastian Robayo of Amparo Equestrian.

For more information on Elpida Equestrian, visit www.ElpidaEquestrian.com.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Update on Kim Prince’s Progress

June 24, 2022 — Two weeks ago, accomplished Grand Prix rider and beloved trainer and friend Kimberly Prince experienced a serious fall while competing at the Upperville Colt Horse Show, suffering an injury to her spinal cord at C3, C4, and C5, as well as a broken nose and facial lacerations.  Since the accident, Kim has begun to show signs of improvement, and the community has rallied to help jumpstart her journey towards recovering from this catastrophic accident.

Numerous people helped Kim get into one of the very best spinal cord rehabilitation programs in the country, the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, and she will be transferring from INVOVA hospital in Virginia. The equestrian community has generously come together to support Kim with donations, words of encouragement, and assistance with her clients and horses.  A very significant six figure sum was raised through the Kevin Babington Foundation. These funds have been wired to Kim and are helping to supplement Kim’s insurance and are enabling her to make the move to the Shepherd Center.

Kim underwent surgery to relieve pressure on her spinal cord and is showing promising signs of improvement with feeling and movement starting to return in her upper arms, legs, and feet. With assistance, she has been able to sit on the side of the bed and even briefly stand upright. Importantly, Kim’s mind, ability to speak, and breathing were not impacted, and she is getting stronger each day.

“The road ahead will not be easy, but I am committed to getting back to the sport, the community, and the horses I love as strong as I can possibly be.  To have the support and help from so many is motivating and humbling.  I am deeply grateful to my friends, peers, clients, and family for standing by me,” said Kimberly Prince.

Please consider donating to the Kevin Babington Foundation and share this message as the journey to recovery for Kim has just begun and the expenses for her critical care, rehabilitation, and ongoing health needs are significant, as is the research and care of other equestrians under the Babington Foundation umbrella.

© 2022 Kevin Babington Foundation

Inside the Rolex Grand Slam – Road to CHIO Aachen 2022

(Photo: Rolex / Ashley Neuhof)

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping returns to CHIO Aachen from 24 June – 03 July 2022, with the Rolex Grand Prix on the final Sunday providing a fitting end to two weeks of exceptional sport. Returning to its usual slot between The Dutch Masters and Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, the event often compared toThe Championships, Wimbledon will welcome 40,000 passionate equestrian spectators back the pristine Aachen Soers showground.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Rider Watch

Daniel Deusser returns to the hallowed grounds as both the live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, following his victory at The Dutch Masters in March, and the defending champion of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen. The German, currently ranked World No. 9, brings the talented mare Killer Queen VDM with him to defend their title and continue his conquest to become only the second person to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Deusser will be joined Christian Ahlmann, André Thieme, and Marcus Ehning, among other talented riders.

World No. 1 and winner of the 2021 Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva Martin Fuchs will be looking to claim the non-consecutive bonus for winning two Rolex Grands Prix in a year. The Swiss has had an incredible first half the year securing the FEI World Cup Finals title in April and more recently winning the 5* Swiss Grand Prix. He has strength and depth in his string of horses and will be looking to carry his winning momentum into the main stadium of the Aachen Soers showground. Compatriot Steve Guerdat will also be looking to build on his vast winning experience to claim his first victory in this respected class.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam