Tag Archives: Show Jumping

CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’: SUNCOR Winning Round 1.50m

Philipp Weishaupt (Photo: Spruce Meadows Media / Mike Sturk)

29 horse and rider combinations navigated the Leopoldo Palacios-designed course in Spruce Meadows’ iconic International Ring, each hoping to take home the spoils in the SUNCOR Winning Round at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’.

Local favourites Eric Lamaze and his 22-year-old prodigy, Kara Chad, wowed the excited spectators in the arena’s packed stands, both going clear and posting impressive times of 71.10 s with Chacco Kid and 71.45 s with Viva, respectively, well within Palacios’s 74-second limit. Also progressing to the second round was Calgarian Jim Ifko and his 10-year-old bay stallion, Un Diamant des Forets, who went clear in a time of 71.80 s. Seven further riders from six nations successfully negotiated the Venezuelan course designer’s tough challenge to set up a 10-pairing showdown in the Winning Round, with notable top-class riders including The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt.

First to go was Ireland’s Connor Swail, setting the early pace after going clear in a time of 54.38 s. Five-time Major winner Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid demonstrated the strength of their bond by going double clear, while Lamaze’s mentee, Kara Chad, piloted Viva superbly before clipping the final rail. France’s Edward Levy, Ireland’s Daniel Coyle, and Australia’s Rowan Willis all put rails down to finish below Chad in the final standings. Jim Ifko notched up a double clear, fractionally beating Lamaze’s time. Philipp Weishaupt and Solitaer 41 entered the Ring looking sharp and impressively knocked Swail off top spot in a time of 53.25 s. Last to go was Maikel van der Vleuten, but his best wasn’t good enough to deny Weishaupt a well-deserved victory.

Weishaupt – who has had a memorable week after securing victory aboard Sansibar 89 in Thursday’s CANA Cup – etched his and his 10-year-old grey gelding Solitaer 41’s names on to the SUNCOR Winning Round trophy after a jumping display of the highest order.

Having won the CP ‘International’ in 2017 aboard LB Convall, the duo heads into Sunday’s $3 million blue ribbon class full of confidence and are sure to push the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender and Weishaupt’s fellow countryman Marcus Ehning all the way.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Eric Lamaze Opens Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament with a Win

Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid, Photo by Starting Gate Communications.

Calgary, Alberta – Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze opened the five-day Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ show jumping tournament in Calgary, AB with a win in the $70,200 1.60m Akita Drilling Cup on Wednesday, September 5.

Lamaze closed out the four-week Spruce Meadows ‘Summer Series’ with a win, claiming the $500,000 CSI5* ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday, July 7 with his 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5.  His winning mount on opening day of the ‘Masters’ was Chacco Kid, his mount for the upcoming Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC.

“In two weeks, we are off to the world championships and I’m using Spruce Meadows as his training ground,” said Lamaze, currently ranked number three in the world.  “I think I’m doing the right thing!”

Lamaze and Chacco Kid, a 12-year-old chestnut Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Come On), faced off against 37 entries in the $70,200 1.60m Akita Drilling Cup with six advancing to the jump-off over the course designed by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.  With a time of 35.32 seconds over the short course, Lamaze took the win over Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat who stopped the clock in 35.53 seconds riding Alamo while Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan delivered another clear round in a time of 35.67 to take third.

“It’s always good to win on the first day because you don’t know what is going to happen the rest of the week!” laughed Lamaze.

Lamaze will saddle up Coco Bongo, owned by Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable, for the $460,000 BMO Nations’ Cup at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament on Saturday, September 8.  He will join Lisa Carlsen of Okotoks, AB, Kara Chad of Calgary, AB, and Ian Millar of Perth, ON in representing Canada in the prestigious team event.

Based in Wellington, FL and Brussels, Belgium, Lamaze is the all-time money winner at Spruce Meadows with career earnings in excess of $5.8 million at the Canadian venue.

For more information on Eric Lamaze, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games: 11 Nations Making Their YOG Debut

Photo: YOG 2014 individual medallists Emily Fraser (NZL) gold (centre), Martina Campi (ARG) silver (left), Jake Hunter (AUS) bronze (right). (Richard Juilliart/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 5 September 2018 — A total of 30 highly talented equestrian athletes from six continents have earned their tickets to represent their nations at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) – the world’s largest multi-sport youth event – in Buenos Aires (ARG) next month. And 11 nations will be making their YOG debut.

The athletes, aged between 15 and 18 years, have made the grade after a series of tough global qualifiers, including the FEI World Jumping Challenge series, European and Regional Championships and wider international youth events.

“Representing your country at a young age, at such a prestigious event, is an undeniable honour,” said FEI President Ingmar De Vos. “The YOG is a springboard to the Olympic Games and to the FEI World Equestrian Games. The international equestrian community wishes all our YOG athletes the best for this very important equestrian career stepping stone!”

Team spirit

Every equestrian athlete at the YOG will have the challenge of competing on borrowed horses, which is a major test of earned trust and combined courage.

The athletes will be introduced to their horses, which have been carefully selected by a group of experts in the months running into the Games, for the very first time on 4 October, just four days before the equestrian events start on 8 October.

All athletes will then compete in the Team competition – with a twist – on 8-9 October followed by the Individual competitions on 12-13 October.

“The YOG teams are composed of athletes from the same continent, so this is not just a test of the ability of our athletes to bond with their horses, but also their capacity to bond with each other as they bid for a team medal,” the FEI President explained.

Historic venue

The YOG Equestrian events will be held at the historic Club Hipico Argentino, founded in 1909, and nestled in the Buenos Aires’ Green Park district, famous for its forest and lakes.

The YOG Equestrian events will see 30 athletes from 30 nations compete: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Great Britain, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Qatar, South Africa, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Eleven National Olympic Committees will be making their YOG debut: Bolivia, Haiti, Hungary, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Zambia.

About the Youth Olympic Games (YOG)www.buenosaires2018.com

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which were launched in Singapore 2010, were created to reach out to young athletes worldwide, inspiring young people to take part in sport and adopt and live by the Olympic values.

The 2018 YOG will bring together almost 4,000 talented young athletes aged from 15 to 18 from 206 countries around the world for a 12-day period.

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will take place from 6-18 October 2018.

Inside the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Steve Guerdat riding Alamo at CHIO Aachen 2018 (Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

On 9 September 2018 the international equestrian community will focus its attention on the world’s top show jumpers, as they compete at the third Major of the year, the CP ‘International,’ presented by Rolex, at the CSIO 5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’. More than 87,000 spectators are expected to descend on the show and organisers are promising five days of spectacular competition.

Leopoldo Palacios, the experienced Venezuelan course designer, will set the course for the CP ‘International’ and is expected to lay down a demanding but fair challenge. Show jumping’s finest horse and rider combinations will take centre stage, all hoping to add one of the year’s most prestigious competitions to their record of top-level achievements.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

With the sport’s most revered horse and rider pairings due to compete in the CP ‘International,’ there are several strong contenders on target to take this Rolex Major title win.

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Marcus Ehning (GER) – who started his Rolex Grand Slam journey at the CHIO Aachen in July riding Pret a Tout to victory in the Rolex Grand Prix – comes to Spruce Meadows in scintillating form. He won the Rolex Grand Prix at the Stephex Masters on another one of his talented horses, Comme Il Faut 5. The former world number one ranked rider will be vying for victory in the CP ‘International’ in the hope that his Rolex Grand Slam journey continues, setting him up for a shot at the Rolex Grand Slam title at the CHI Geneva in December.

Having impressively competed in all 17 Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Majors since the initiative’s inception in 2013, Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat (SUI) undoubtedly has the skill and firepower to ride his way to the top of the leaderboard in the CP ‘International’. The Swiss maestro jumped clear in the first two rounds of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen 2018, finishing in a respectable fifth place.

Shortly after winning the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in 2017, Kent Farrington (USA) had a fall at the Winter Equestrian Festival that resulted in a broken leg. Back in action three months later and on top form, Farrington is fresh from his victory in the Winning Round class at the Spruce Meadows CSI 5* in July and is looking to add a Rolex Major to his tally of wins in 2018. The internationally renowned athlete is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the world making him a formidable contender for the CP ‘International’ title.

Rolex Testimonee and local hero, Eric Lamaze (CAN), has notched up multiple wins this year. In July he won the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at CSI 5* Spruce Meadows riding Fine Lady 5, who jumped an immaculate two rounds, recording the only double clear. Lamaze will be aiming to replicate this in the iconic International Ring where the CP ‘International’ is held. With home advantage on his side and an impeccable knowledge of the arena, Lamaze is a firm favourite.

A consistently solid competitor at Spruce Meadows over the past few years is Lorenzo de Luca (ITA). De Luca and his chestnut gelding, Halifax van het Kluizebos are looking an impressive partnership after picking up multiple victories this year, including the Rolex Grand Prix of Rome at the CSIO 5* Rome Piazza di Siena in May.

After jumping well in the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen in July 2018 – a title that he brilliantly won in 2017 – Gregory Wathelet (BEL) will be aiming to secure his second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of his career in the CP ‘International’. With a large selection of top horses to choose from and a wealth of experience of what it takes to win events at the very pinnacle of the sport, Wathelet will be in a strong position to take this Major.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Japan Impresses with Three-Time Gold in Jakarta

Malaysia’s Qabil Ambak Dato’ Mahamad Fathil with Rosenstolz. (FEI/Yong Teck Lim)

All-gold in Eventing along with victory in Team Dressage and silver medal spot in Team Jumping ensured Japan was the winning-most nation in the equestrian events of the 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta – Palembang, Indonesia. Held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle, the Asiads, as the Games are also known, is the biggest sporting event in the world with a massive 12,000 athletes taking part. Equestrian sport was introduced at the 9th Games in New Delhi (IND) in 1982, and competitions are conducted under FEI Rules.

Dressage

Jacqueline Siu (35) was the show-stealer in Dressage when securing Hong Kong’s first-ever equestrian medal at an Asian Games while also realising a dream of her own. The British-based rider narrowly missed the individual podium when finishing fourth twice before. However, this time around, partnering the 13-year-old JC Fuerst on Tour which was acquired by the Hong Kong Jockey Club from young German star Anna Abbalen, she climbed all the way to the coveted top step with victory in the Freestyle ahead of Malaysia’s Mohd Qabil Ambak Dato’ Mahamad Fathil (Rosenstolz) in silver and Korea’s Hyeok Kim (Degas K) in bronze.

Qabil Ambak topped the scoreboard in the Prix St Georges which decided the Team medals, but it was the consistency of the Japanese foursome that included Rio Olympians Masanao Takahashi (Fabriano) and Akane Kuroki (Toots) along with Shunsuke Terui (Alias Max) and Kazuki Sado (Djuice) that decided the destination of the 2018 Dressage team title. A second-place finish individually for 23-year-old Hyeok Kim helped Korea to silver, while Thailand’s bronze medal result was bolstered by a good performance from 24-year old Pakjira Thongpakdi (Hispania).

Eventing

The Japanese really got into their stride when taking both team and individual gold in Eventing. They enjoyed a convincing 38.9 margin of victory over India in the team competition in which Thailand claimed the bronze. And to put the icing on the Japanese cake, Yoshiaki Oiwa (42) pinned India’s Fouaad Mirza and China’s Alex Hua Tian into silver and bronze on the individual medal podium.

Yoshi, as Oiwa is best known, is a three-time Olympian with many successes during his long career. And when he shared the spotlight in the medal ceremony with team-mates Takayuki Yumira (37), Kenta Hiranaga (30) and Ryuzo Kitajima (32) he wasn’t taking all the credit.

“As a competitor, you do what you can – the others could have won gold without any help from me!” — Yoshiaki Oiwa (Japan)

It was a much closer affair on the individual leaderboard, however, when, riding Bart L JRA, his gold-medal-winning margin was a relatively modest 3.7 penalty points as he completed on 22.7 while India’s silver medallist Mirza was not far behind on his final tally of 26.40 with Seigneur Medicott. The last individual medal awarded to a rider from India went to Raghubir Singh in 1982, so there were big celebrations in the Team India camp with this result after a long 36-year wait.

Bronze medallist, Hua Tian, said these Asian Games were his “first steps on the road to the Tokyo Olympics,” and that’s a road that many of those competing in Jakarta are also hoping to follow over the next year and more.

Jumping

Japan had to settle for silver in Jumping when a world-class group of athletes from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dominated. However, Abdullah Al Sharbatly (Carrera), Khaled Al Eid (Kayenna of de Rocky Mounten), Khaled Al Mobty (Desert Storm II), and Ramzy Alduhami (Ted) only edged out the Japanese by fewer than two points at the end of a tight competition in which Qatar lined up in bronze, almost eight points further behind.

The Saudi side were super-experienced, Al Sharbatly (35) claimed individual silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) in 2010 and team bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Al Eid (49) took individual bronze at the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000, and four-time Olympian Al Duhami (46) was standing on an Asian Games podium for the third time in his career. A total of 17 teams started, and it was a member of the fourth-placed Kuwaiti side, Ali Alkhorafi (28), who claimed the individual title.

Riding the 11-year-old mare, Cheril, he produced one of just two double-clear performances on the final day, the other posted by UAE’s Sheika Latifa Al Maktoum (Cobolt 8) who eventually lined up in seventh spot. Qatar’s Sheikh Ali Al Thani (35), who finished sixth individually at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, stood on the second step of the individual podium while Saudi Arabia’s Alduhami claimed the bronze.

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

O’Neill Stands Alone with Only Clear to Earn First Longines Victory in Vancouver

Uma O’Neill with Clockwise of Greenhill Z. (FEI/Cara Grimshaw)

It only took one round of jumping to determine the winner of the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver (CAN). Uma O’Neill (USA) jumped the only clear round aboard Clockwise of Greenhill Z to win the class without a jump-off.

Second to jump the Alan Wade (IRL) designed track, O’Neill’s round held sway as the only faultless performance throughout the remainder of the 29-strong field. Defending champion Conor Swail (IRL) and Rubens La Silla finished second with the fastest 4-fault round (74.26 seconds), knocking only a careful plank vertical that fell often throughout the afternoon. Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Tino la Chapelle (4, 75.87) finished third. O’Neill’s win was her first in a World Cup qualifier.

“I am ecstatic. I just went out and gave it everything I could today and asked a little bit extra of myself and my horse, and it really paid off!” — Uma O’Neill (USA)

Wade challenged the riders with numerous technical nuances on course. The course designer from the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris (FRA) said he never designs with a number of clear rounds in mind.

“There were a lot of little tests out there,” he said. “[The course] was solved very early on — second horse in — so we knew it was solvable. There were a lot of riders with 4 faults that, I believe, felt that if they had a second chance, they would have gone clear. But that’s one of the great things about show jumping: You get one chance, and you have to take it. We got a lot of excitement and anxiety from people knocking polls late [in the class]. It doesn’t all have to be about speed [in a jump-off]. It is showjumping after all. I think it was good sport.”

The competition at Vancouver was the first of the 2018-2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, which will send seven east coast U.S. riders, three west coast U.S. riders, two Canadian riders, two Mexican riders and defending World Cup Champion Beezie Madden (USA) to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE) in April 2019. O’Neill, 23, now leads the standings of the west coast sub league with 20 points.

Swail declared for the east coast sub league, so he takes over those standings with 17 points. Salgado, meanwhile, will move into the runner-up slot in the west coast with 15 points.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Equestrian Aid Foundation Is a Proud Partner of 43rd Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show

Wellington, Florida — August 24, 2018 — The Equestrian Aid Foundation is proud to return for the second year as an official partner of the Hampton Classic Horse Show.

The Hampton Classic Horse Show and its exhibitors hold special significance to the Equestrian Aid Foundation. “Since our inception in 1996, the Hamptons equestrian community has been an integral force in the work we do,” said foundation board member and co-founder Scot Evans. “The Hampton Classic itself is characterized by a unique international-yet-local energy. Its organizers and exhibitors are truly committed to the equestrian community and never hesitate to turn their conviction into action.”

The Equestrian Aid Foundation is one of ten charities that will participate in the horse show’s signature Jump for Charity presented by Sea Shore Stables. The event will be held during Friday’s $75,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier, where riders will compete to raise money for ten designated charities with connections to the Hamptons community. Catherine Tyree will captain the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s team.

Funds for the Jump for Charity are generated through the sale of team ball caps and a raffle to win a course walk with a Grand Prix rider. Click here to make your purchases to support your favorite team, or visit the Hampton Classic’s information booths or souvenir stand.

Last year, a Jump for Charity win by Daniel Bluman earned $12,000 for Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Joining Tyree as team captains in this year’s competition are Georgina Bloomberg, Daniel Bluman, Beezie Madden, Callan Solem, Adrienne Sternlicht, Shane Sweetnam, Jimmy Torano, McLain Ward and Andrew Welles.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Interview with Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender Marcus Ehning

Marcus Ehning and Pret A Tout victorious in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen. Photo: Rolex / Kit Houghton)

To win the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen in front of your home crowd must have been amazing. What was going through your mind?

This was my second Rolex Grand Prix victory at the CHIO Aachen, so I knew already what an amazing reception I would receive if I won; however, when it actually happened, the feeling was indescribable and even louder than what I remembered. Each year the crowd gets better and the noise is incredible. I actually think winning the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen is one of the nicest victories in my career and certainly a moment I will never forget.

How did this year’s Rolex Grand Prix victory compare to when you won in 2006?

The first time you win a Major like this is always so special. When I competed at the CHIO Aachen 12 years ago in 2006 I really didn’t expect to win. I was younger and less experienced, so it was a bit of surprise for me! This year I felt like I had a horse who could go the distance; he was feeling good and I knew I had a very strong chance if everything went to plan. They were very different situations and many years apart, but I think both feel equally special.

Can you tell us about Pret A Tout?

Pret A Tout is 15 years old now, so he has lots of experience as well as such enormous talent. We have won some big competitions together and he is a horse I really believe in. He is very intelligent, very consistent and always knows his job. You put him in the right spot, point in him in the right direction and he will do his best for you every single time. We really put our trust in each other and it often pays off.

At the CHIO Aachen, when we entered the arena for prize-giving, I could just let go of the reins and wave to the crowd, as Pret A Tout is so relaxed, he knows he has done his job and can just enjoy the atmosphere – I think he enjoys the crowd and receiving the prizes more than me! You can see in his body language he really loves it.

How do you produce a talented horse like Pret A Tout?

You need to have a big support network behind you; producing a top Grand Prix horse does not come down to one person. It starts with the groom, the riders at home and the programme you put together with your team. The horse needs to be focused but also needs to be happy at home in order to learn and develop. I do my best to form a strong bond with all the horses; it is so important to build their trust and develop the partnership.

You have had a long and very successful career. How has the sport changed with the introduction of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

I think Rolex have chosen four of the best shows in the world to form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. All four Majors have the best atmosphere, footing, stabling conditions – all the assets that create the best environment for the riders and horses.

The introduction of the Grand Slam created a big step up for our sport; it has helped it to grow and develop and also creates a whole new element for spectators; it certainly makes it more exciting!

You weren’t sure whether you would be able to compete at CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters.’ How did you make your final decision?

With the FEI World Equestrian Games™ being so close to Spruce Meadows, I didn’t want to make any decisions without consulting my team, but now we have had discussions and have decided we have the horses to make it work. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping bonus system was a big pull for us, as if we don’t attend Spruce Meadows our Grand Slam journey would be over and there would be no opportunity to compete for the bonuses at CHI Geneva and The Dutch Masters. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is an exciting journey to be a part of, so I felt we needed to try and make it work. I am lucky to have an amazing selection of horses at home, so we will see what happens.

Which horses are you taking to CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’?

I am hoping to take Cornado NRW and Funky Fred.

Which horse are your hoping to ride in the CP ‘International’ presented by Rolex?

I don’t know which horse I will ride in this class. I haven’t competed at Spruce Meadows for such a long time, so I want to arrive and familiarise myself with the place before making any decisions. I will also see what the weather is like and how the horses are feeling as all these elements can affect which horse I choose.

What has been your career highlight so far?

The biggest highlight of my career so far has to be winning a gold medal at the 2000 Games in Sydney with the German team. It was such a special moment and one I will never forget.

What motivates you each day?

For me, my biggest motivation is not the big shows, it’s not the winning; my biggest motivation is the relationship with the horses. I love working with them, competing with them, and growing with them. To build a partnership with a horse, see how it evolves and develops and be on a journey with them is such an incredible feeling.

If you weren’t a professional show jumper, what would you be?

I honestly can’t answer that question. I am so lucky to combine my hobby and my passion with my work.

What advice would you give to a young up-and-coming rider?

I have learnt so much in my career, but I think the best advice I can give is to remember this: ‘most of the faults you accumulate in the ring are due to rider error and not a horse’s mistake. So, when it does not go to plan, you must not blame the horse; you must look at what you as a rider could have done better and that’s the only way you will improve.’

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

FEI Jumping World Cup North American League Enters Season with 2nd Straight World Champion

Beezie Madden (USA) clinches her second World Cup title riding Breitling LS in a cliffhanger at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals 2017/18 Paris, (FRA). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

When Beezie Madden (USA) landed off the final fence at the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris (FRA) with Breitling LS, her final, nearly perfect score of 4 not only secured the Cazenovia, NY native her second career victory in a World Cup Final, but it also marked the second straight year the North American League (NAL) produced the World Cup Champion.

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League will begin its fourth season Sunday 26 August 2018 at 2:00 pm (PT) at Thunderbird Show Park, Langley (CAN). The CSI 4*-W event kick-starts a league that has continued to grow in stature, as Madden’s Parisian victory followed up a win for McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur in Omaha (USA) the previous year. The back-to-back American triumphs in show jumping’s most prestigious individual indoor championship give the North American League a 2/3 strike rate at the World Cup Final since the league’s inception in 2015.

The North American League is divided into two sub-leagues, with both the East Coast and West Coast receiving a new location in the 2018-2019 season. Columbus (USA) will serve as the second stop on the east coast on Sunday 7 October 2018, while Leon (MEX) will conclude the west coast sub league on Saturday 9 February 2018.

In addition to Madden, who receives automatic qualification as the event’s defending Champion, seven east coast USA riders, three west coast USA riders, two Canadian riders, and two Mexican riders will punch their tickets to the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE), which begins on 3 April 2019. Riders may earn points in up to seven qualifying events throughout the league season, and their four best results from those classes will count toward their final league standing.

An exciting cast of riders is headed to Langley, including the USA’s Jennifer Gates, Eve Jobs, three-time World Cup Final veteran Karl Cook, and 2012 World Cup Champion, Richard Fellers. The entries also include the California-based Ashlee Bond, who is set to represent Israel in the upcoming FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (USA) in September. Alison Robitaille (USA) and Richard Spooner (USA) who both qualified for the World Cup Final last season, are also slated to compete. Together, they have 20 World Cup Final appearances between them.

“The World Cup Final is the type of competition where you really have to have the right horse at the right time, and all cylinders have to be firing…” — Richard Spooner (USA)

“Anytime you start a World Cup season, you’re just hoping to get some good points early, so there’s not a lot of pressure on you at the end,” said Spooner, who led the west coast standings of the North American League last season. “The finals are in Gothenburg this season, and it’s a nice, big arena with a lot of history — that’s where it really all began with the World Cup. It’s an exciting year.”

Spooner plans to compete the 9-year-old Quirado RC in the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Langley. The big grey, who finished fourth in Thermal’s World Cup class last season, won two five-star ranking classes this summer at Spruce Meadows (CAN). The gelding also finished fourth in the CSIO5* $235,000 Longines Grand Prix at Langley in May. His partner in Paris was the 11-year-old Chatinus, who won the World Cup qualifier at Las Vegas in 2017.

“I’m looking forward to [Langley],” Spooner said. “Quirado is a 9-year-old and a little green, but he’s an extraordinary horse. I’m hoping to have Chatinus do some of the indoor [qualifiers] in the tighter indoor rings later in the season.”

“The World Cup Final is the type of competition where you really have to have the right horse at the right time, and all cylinders have to be firing,” Spooner said. “The [North American League qualifiers] really set you up for that and let you know if everything is going in the right direction, or if you’re better off waiting for another year and another opportunity. The World Cup Final is always the highlight of the indoor season, and as a major, I enjoy it.”

View the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League Calendar here.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Spencer Smith Wins Third Consecutive Grand Prix in Europe

Spencer Smith and Theodore Manciais. Photo by Solenn Rispail for R&B Presse.

Valence, France – For the third Sunday in a row, Spencer Smith of the United States claimed a grand prix victory in Europe.  Under the tutelage of 2008 Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, Smith won the CSI2* Grand Prix at Global Champions Tour London, England on August 5; the CSI2* Grand Prix at Global Champions Tour Valkenswaard, Netherlands on August 12; and the €100,000 CSI4* Grand Prix in Valence, France on August 19.

Smith’s first victory in London came aboard Happiness, an 11-year-old chestnut Belgian Warmblood mare (Quadrillo x Burggraaf) owned by the Watermark Group.  Nine riders contested the jump-off, with Smith jumping clear in a time of 32.62 seconds to claim victory over Great Britain Show Jumping Team veteran, Amanda Derbyshire, who stopped the clock in 33.32 seconds riding Cornwall BH.

Valkenswaard was the next stop on the Global Champions Tour and Smith had his work cut out for him.  From a starting field of 91 entries, 38 qualified for the jump-off in the €26,100 CSI2* Grand Prix with another 18 pairs again jumping clear.  With speed being the name of the game, Smith and Theodore Manciais, an 11-year-old bay Selle Francais gelding (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Power Light) owned by his family’s Ashland Farms, stopped the clock in 34.21 seconds to win by exactly one full second over Brazil’s Yuri Mansur riding van het Indihof Hunter and relegating Simon Deleste of France to third with Conbelleza.

With two wins at the two-star level to his credit, Smith stepped up to the four-star level in Valence, joining 39 other horse-rider combinations to contest the €100,000 CSI4* Grand Prix, presented by Axeria – SFAM.  In a repeat of their win in the $132,000 CSI3* Horseware Ireland Grand Prix earlier this year in Wellington, Florida, Smith and Theodore Manciais posted the only clear round to take the win without a jump-off.

“This is the third week in a row that Spencer has won the grand prix,” said Lamaze of his 21-year-old protege.  “The grand prix he won today was big; for him to be clear in the four-star grand prix in Valence was amazing.”

Winner of the 2014 Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Finals, Smith made his United States Equestrian Team debut this spring as a member of the Nations’ Cup in Rome, Italy.  In addition to being one of several athletes that train and compete alongside Lamaze at show jumping’s highest level, Smith also works as a rider for his Torrey Pines Stable with bases in Brussels, Belgium and Wellington, Florida.

“Spencer is a great kid; he works hard, listens, and truly wants to be a student of the sport,” said Lamaze, who has long done business with Smith’s parents, professional trainers Ken and Emily Smith, of Ashland Farms based in Lexington, Kentucky.  “I saw something in Spencer.  He rode well, and he has been brought up in our sport by true professionals.  He had a background in hunters and equitation, and now he’s finding success at the biggest and most competitive show jumping venues in the world.

“He is a big part of our business at Torrey Pines and is a huge asset to our team, and he deserves every congratulation on what he has accomplished,” concluded Lamaze.

For more information on Eric Lamaze and Torrey Pines Stable, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca