Tag Archives: Show Jumping

Granato and Carlchen W Outrace the Field for First Longines Victory in Wellington

Alex Granato and Carlchen W. (FEI/Kathy Russell Photography)

In 2018, Alex Granato (USA) and Carlchen W made their Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ debut in Wellington. A year later, they earned their first World Cup victory at the same venue.

Granato and ‘Carl’ topped a competitive nine-horse jump-off to claim the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington under picturesque conditions at the Jacobs family’s Deeridge Farms. Using footspeed to their advantage, they tore around Alan Wade (IRL)’s shortened track in 42.70 seconds, nearly a second ahead of Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Bardolina (43.48 seconds). Beat Mändli (SUI) and Dsarie were third, finishing with a time of 44.16 seconds.

“It’s all very surreal. It’s been an amazing week. It’s a privilege to ride at a venue like this, against riders like this that I’ve looked up to for a long time.” — Alex Granato (USA)

Granato has had Carl, an 11-year-old Mecklenberg gelding, for five years. Originally meant to be a sales prospect, he put together a partnership with owner Paige Tredennick to develop the horse for top sport.

“He’s a naturally fast horse, so I got to play that to my advantage and let him run at his pace and stay focused on my track and turns,” Granato said. “We got a bit lucky with a rub in the jump-off, but my horse is very fresh, and we were gearing him toward this week. He came out fresh, strong and ready for it.”

World Cup Race Tightens

Reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final Champion Beezie Madden took over the lead in the east coast sub league standings of the North American League with her fifth-place finish but is already pre-qualified based on her 2018 Finals victory in Paris (FRA). She currently has 58 points, three ahead of Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) with 55.

Just five points separate the following three placings — Germany’s Wilhelm Genn (47), the USA’s McLain Ward (45), and American teammate Laura Kraut (42) — with one east coast event remaining at Live Oak (USA).

Richard Spooner (USA) leads the west coast sub league standings with 49 points. Granato sits ninth with 24 points.

“Coming into the season, World Cup Finals was a big goal, but after jumping at Nations Cup Finals in Barcelona, I missed many of the early qualifiers,” Granato said. “I’ll take a look at my points, and if I’m in contention, I’ll go to Live Oak.”

The North American League continues next on the west coast. The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Leon (MEX) gets underway 09 February 2019.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Sergio Marins Captures First WEF FEI Victory in $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Jumper CSI 4*

Sergio Marins and Elvis Santa Monica. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL — January 30, 2019 — A field of almost 90 horse-and-rider combinations kicked off the fourth week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with a change of scenery as the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m class took to the Derby Field. Brazil held both top positions in the class as newcomer Sergio Marins executed a flawless and lightning-fast round to take the win.

Week 4 is sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance/Great American and features a fan favorite, the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments®, during “Saturday Night Lights” on February 2 at 7 p.m. in the International Arena. The week will also host a variety of top hunter and jumper competition, including Saturday’s $209,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance/Great American Grand Prix. Jumper riders will have the opportunity to enjoy new surroundings as each day will feature competition on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village as well as in the typical Palm Beach International Equestrian Center setting.

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

Beezie Madden Named Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider for WEF Week 3

Left to right: Beezie Madden battled the weather to accept her Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider title from Martha Jolicoeur and Dr. Stephen Norton. Photo by Jump Media.

Wellington, FL – Reigning FEI World Cup™ Final champion Beezie Madden was awarded the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider title following Saturday Night Lights competition on January 26 during Week 3 of the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) running through March 31, 2019, in Wellington, FL.

Madden, a four-time Olympian for the United States, qualified for grand prix competition with her performance in the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 CSI3* on Thursday before jumping to third in the featured $134,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI3*.

“It’s always exciting to win an award like this,” said Madden, who hails from Cazenovia, NY, and piloted new mount Chic Hin D Hyrencourt, a 10-year-old SBS gelding (Taran de la Pomme x Elanville) to the podium for owner Abigail Wexner. “Martha always provides great prizes, and it’s nice that the ladies are recognized each week.”

For her WEF 3 title, Madden was presented with a bottle of champagne, bouquet of flowers, and gift certificate to a shopping spree at Hunt, Ltd. from Martha Jolicoeur.

A leading South Florida real estate broker and part of the elite Douglas Elliman Real Estate Sports and Entertainment division, Jolicoeur has supported WEF as an integral sponsor for the past nine consecutive years. Throughout WEF, the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award, given in memory of fellow realtor and horseman Dale Lawler, is presented weekly to the high-score female rider based on performances in the weekly WEF Challenge Cup Series and grand prix events.

During the 12th and final week of WEF, the Martha Jolicoeur Overall Leading Lady Rider Award will be presented to the female rider who accumulates the most points throughout the 2019 season.

By Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

Sensational Victory for von Eckermann in Amsterdam

Henrik von Eckermann with Toveks Mary Lou. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (37) worked the Dutch crowd into a frenzy and booked his ticket to the series Final with a sensational victory partnering the brilliant mare, Toveks Mary Lou, at the twelfth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League in Amsterdam (NED).

Last to go in a breathtaking eight-way jump-off, the rider ranked No. 8 in the world did what seemed all but impossible when pinning Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer (56) into runner-up spot by more than half a second, and pushing Germany’s Daniel Deusser (37) down to third.

“I knew it was all or nothing! When you’re last into the ring you have to believe you can do it – if you have any doubt in your mind then it will never work!” — Henrik von Eckermann (SWE)

This marked the most perfect return for the FEI Jumping World Cup™ series to the Dutch capital city after several years of a break. And amongst those celebrating the Diamond (60th) anniversary of Jumping Amsterdam was The Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander who, like all the spectators packed into the RAI arena, was treated to an unforgettable afternoon of superb sport.

Only one of the eight Dutch contenders made it into the jump-off which began with a superb second clear for the exciting Portuguese pair, Rodrigo Giesteria Almeida and GC Chopins Bushi. That sole Dutchman, Eric van der Vleuten, was more than a half-second slower with Wunschkind when next into the ring but, as expected, Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels and the ever-ready Gancia de Muze roared into the lead in 35.09 seconds when third to go.

Two rides later, however, Frenchman Kevin Staut and For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC out-paced them, only to be immediately overtaken by Germany’s Daniel Deusser with his Madrid winner Tobago Z, who broke the beam in 34.67 seconds. Dutch course designer, Louis Konickx, had set them a superb final test, and both Staut and Deusser risked super-tight roll-backs to the vertical three from home.

But penultimate competitor and former world no. 1, Schwizer, who has been rocketing back up the rankings in recent months, found an even tighter line with his 10-year-old gelding Cortney Cox, and galloped through the timers in 33.34 seconds which looked to have surely settled the matter.

However, when it comes to the will to win, there’s no man quite like von Eckermann. Setting his jaw, he started out like his tail was on fire, and the great 13-year-old mare who has carried him to the third step of the podium at the last two Longines Finals gave him her all. Konickx had ensured that courage on the long run to the final fence would be rewarded, and with the Dutch spectators screaming them on, the Swedish pair threw everything they had at it to break the beam in the astonishing winning time of 33.01.

“I could hear the crowd coming down to the last, so I had to tell myself to stay calm! Mary Lou was lacking a bit of power at that stage so I needed to hold her and not go too much, but she is amazing!” he said.

“She has made me in this sport – I’ve had many good ones along the way, including Gotha, but she is the one that has won the most for me and I’m so very grateful to her owner, Mr Tovek, who has given me the opportunities by keeping a horse like her!” — Henrik von Eckermann (SWE)

With Mary Lou he also helped secure team silver for Sweden at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 last September.

As competition began, von Eckermann was lying 19th on the Western European League table, but he has now rocketed up to seventh ahead of the last qualifier in Bordeaux (FRA) in two weeks’ time. He’s missed out on the glorious Longines title by the smallest of margins over the last two seasons, and he’s hungry to try for it again when the 2019 Final kicks off in Gothenburg on 3 April.

“The way to the Final this year has been very stoney, but getting there was my biggest goal for the year. I’ve had two great Finals with Mary Lou before, and I’m so happy to be coming home to my own country to fight for it once again!” the Swedish star said.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Onate and Big Red Break Through in Guadalajara for First Longines Victory

Salvador Onate and Big Red. (FEI/Anwar Esquivel)

Salvador Onate (MEX) had a few anxious moments, but luck was on his side when he rode Big Red to victory in the $1,900,000 (~$100,000 U.S.) Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Guadalajara (MEX) on Saturday.

Onate, the first to keep all of the jumps up over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) challenging first round track, originally picked up a single time fault, crossing the timers in 79.60 seconds — six-tenths of a second over the original 79-second time allowed. However, the time was eventually adjusted to 81 seconds, securing Onate’s place in the jump-off.

Jumping first over the shortened track, Onate picked up a rail, but his 42.66-second time held again. With no double-clear performances, he came away with the win over Spain’s Paola Amilibia and VIP (4/46.49 seconds). Simon Nizri (ISR) and D Amour from Second Life Z finished third (4/47.71), with Andres Torres Hernandez (MEX) and Chabacon (8/51.89) taking fourth as the only other pair to qualify for the jump-off.

“Big Red is super smart…. He’s been ridden by many of the best, but it’s funny – this was the first time he’s ever won a grand prix!” — Salvador Onate (MEX)

“I knew there weren’t going to be many clear rounds, and when I had the time fault, I felt very bad for myself — because it’s a rider’s fault, not the horse,” Onate said. “Then, they switched the time, and I got into the jump-off. I was lucky today, all the way.”

The victory marked Onate and Big Red’s first in World Cup competition. The rider credited his quick reaction to pick up the pace in the jump-off as his key to victory.

“It’s kind of a disadvantage to be the first one to go in [in the jump-off],” he said. “I just wanted to go as fast as I could. I knew there were fast riders. As soon as I had one rail, I knew that I had to go very fast. That’s what I did, and it worked.”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

USET Foundation Celebrates 2019 Award Winners at Gold Medal Club Reception

The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to recognize the generous support of their Gold Medal Club (GMC) members. The GMC is the lifeblood of the USET Foundation, accounting for nearly 80 percent of individual contributions each year and is comprised of members who contribute a minimum of $1,000 or more annually. On Friday, Jan. 18, the USET Foundation hosted the Gold Medal Club Reception at the International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida, where GMC members who have made the USET Foundation a priority in their charitable giving for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years were recognized.

USET Foundation Presents 2019 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy to Rising Star Daisy Farish

The USET Foundation is pleased to honor the talented young show jumping athlete Daisy Farish of Versailles, Kentucky as the recipient of the 2019 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy. This prestigious award is presented annually to a junior/young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who demonstrates the team’s values of sportsmanship and horsemanship.

USET Foundation Awards 2019 Whitney Stone Cup to Dressage Icon Laura Graves

The USET Foundation is pleased to announce that dressage star Laura Graves is the recipient of the 2019 Whitney Stone Cup. The award is presented annually to an active competitor who displays consistent excellence in international competition as well as high standards of sportsmanlike conduct, while serving as an ambassador for the United States and equestrian sport.

S. Tucker S. Johnson Honored with R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award

In 2015, the USET Foundation announced the creation of the R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award in honor and recognition of the late Bruce Duchossois. On Friday, Jan. 18, S. Tucker S. Johnson was presented with the 2019 award during the USET Foundation’s Gold Medal Club Reception held at the International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Laura Kraut and Confu Kick It Up to Secure Second Turf Tour Grand Prix Win

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

Wellington, FL (January 22, 2019) – Friday’s final day of Turf Tour competition at Black Watch Farm proved to be as exceptional as the property itself. In caliber of rider, quality of footing, flow of the course design, and mildness of temperature, the third $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix of the 2019 season and all classes from the .80m to the 1.20m at Black Watch provided an un paralleled show experience for Florida winter equestrians.

Olympian Laura Kraut and the athletic 11-year-old German-bred Holsteiner gelding Confu performed some show jumping ‘karate’ on the competition, jumping off in a not to be topped time of 35.027. The decorated rider and accomplished international mount out-jumped a field containing some of the world’s top Olympic, international, and World Equestrian Games competitors: Ben Maher, Jessica Springsteen, Adam Prudent, Daniel Bluman, Mark Bluman, Steven Bluman, Paul O’Shea, Leslie Howard, Ali Wolff, Todd Minikus, and Schuyler Riley, to name just a few. Daniel Bluman and Cartouche finished second with a jump off time of 35.702, while Todd Minikus and Chaventyno ended in third with a jump-off time of 35.738.

Renowned French international show jumping rider and coach Henri Prudent, along with his son Adam and group of students including 3-day eventer Allison Springer, jumped at the opportunity to spend a few days showing on the beautiful fields at Black Watch. In total they brought 8 horses during week 3 to show at a variety of levels from the 1.10m to the Grand Prix. “It is a different experience than a bigger show circuit and it is always good for horses to jump on grass,” said Prudent. “It’s a nice change of scenery and a relaxing and convenient option.”

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

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