Tag Archives: Show Jumping

Scott Brash Finishes ahead of Edward Levy in the Hubside Jumping de Grimaud’s CSI 4* Grand Prix

© Ljuba Buzzola pour HUBSIDE JUMPING.

Sunday evening, Scotland’s Scott Brash, currently the tenth best rider in the world, won the HUBSIDE JUMPING de Grimaud’s CSI 4* Grand Prix for the second time with Hello Jefferson, after an initial victory last October with Hello Senator. He finished ahead of France’s Edward Levy, who has been performing very well recently and Belgium’s Jos Verlooy.

“I’m delighted with Jefferson’s performance. He really is an exceptional horse. It took a while for me to be able to handle him; he is really powerful. But now we have formed a real combination and it works very well. I have been riding him for two years, but it took several months before we really became a combination. But he is brilliant, very intelligent. There were only seven jump-off riders this evening, but I really want to congratulate the course designer who did a fantastic job. He didn’t have an easy task and had to deal with an extraordinary line-up: there were virtually exclusively riders and horses that usually compete at 5* shows. So he had to create a 5*-level course; otherwise there would have been twenty clears after the first round, which is not what you want. So well done to Andrea Colombo: his courses were fair; there were rails down on all the fences. I watched the jump-off round of Edward Levy, who was first to go. His mare has a very fast stride, but it seemed shorter than Jefferson’s. So I really focused on my horse’s powerful stride to take out a stride before the final fence. It’s possible that I took out other strides elsewhere on the course as well. It’s the second 4* Grand Prix that I’ve won here at the HUBSIDE JUMPING. I would love to add next week’s CSI 5* Grand Prix to my list of wins! All of the riders agree that Sadri Fegaier has done an exceptional job as an organiser and we are all very grateful to him. Tonight’s Grand Prix which was held in the evening reminded us all of this really special atmosphere that we all love which is really great.  We all needed to experience that.”

Full results here.

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

The Grand Prix of the CSI 2* at the Hubside Jumping de Grimaud for Belgian Gregory Wathelet

© Ljuba Buzzola for HUBSIDE JUMPING.

Penalized by an unfortunate point of time exceeded in the Grand Prix of the CSI 4* of the HUBSIDE JUMPING of Grimaud, the Belgian Grégory Wathelet wins in the Grand Prix of the CSI 2*, associated with Iron Man van de Panderborre. He is ahead of Scott Brash on Hello Mr President and the American Jessica Sprinsgteen on Volage du Val Henry. Best Frenchwoman, Marion Skalli, is fifth in the saddle on Rialto de Chassignol.

“To come back to yesterday’s Grand Prix, the course manager’s task was not at all easy. On paper, he had to offer a 4* course, but in fact, he had to deal with a 5* target. Already Friday evening in the big event, the first three are horses with a lot of experience, including experiences in the championship. So it is very difficult for the course manager, who despite everything did a very good job last night. Of course, the time was very short and I paid the price, but I will not give him wrong. In the end, the jump-off was of great quality, with seven clear rounds, which we riders prefer, really to a jump-off at eighteen for example. If he had set a time longer than two seconds, then there would have been fifteen additional jump-offs, which is not necessarily better. It was certainly against me yesterday, but the sport was beautiful and I was delighted with my horse.

“Today, in the 2* Grand Prix, it was different: we are not in the same range, in the same odds. But there is always this top plateau, of a much higher level than that of a traditional 2*. So again, I find the work of the course manager very good. There was no race at the jump-off, with twenty-five qualified, which would not have been very happy. I had decided to hire Iron Man van de Padenborre for his return to competition, when he is more used to CSI 5*. This Grand Prix was in a way a training. It was the first real horse show since December last year. In January he got a break, then I got a shoulder injury. We had to start over at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, but the competition was canceled at the last minute. Then we received a lot of breeding requests. So much so that we meet here for its cover. He did a little competition three weeks ago, but his real recovery was this week, in 2*. No doubt that next week, he will stay on this level to resume a few kilometers, even if he jumped well today. I do not want to go too fast; we will see week after week to get him going again: I am listening to him.”

Full results here.

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

Master Ehning and His Prêt à Tout in Superb Form in Grimaud

© Ljuba Buzzola for HUBSIDE JUMPING.

For this second nighttime event, the public of the HUBSIDE JUMPING in Grimaud was spoiled, with the victory, in the race over 150 of the CSI 4*, of the German Marcus Ehning, on his seventeen-year-old gelding, Prêt à Tout. In a jump-off which counted twelve qualified among the best riders in the world, the master is ahead of another exceptional couple, the French Simon Delestre on Hermès Ryan, and the Swede Peder Fredricson on H&M Christian K.

“I have to admit that it was a superb event to ride. The jump-off was really perfect. My horse, Prêt à Tout, is now seventeen years old; he is undoubtedly one of the most experienced horses in the world; he has a crazy intelligence and is very, very fast. You could say that he made it very easy for me. You can’t imagine how happy I am to see him still jumping at this age, in such a state of freshness. I’m on the HUBSIDE JUMPING for two weeks. Tomorrow he won’t be skipping the Grand Prix; however, I plan to run him in the CSI 5 * Grand Prix next week. He won’t do a lot of racing. ‘trials by then: he is the age we know him; it is hot here; it must be preserved. But I am so happy, not only for the victory, but also and above all for Prêt à Tout. The feeling in the saddle was wonderful and I am particularly proud of this horse, of his motivation, of his desire. Keep doing well. Tomorrow, it will be A La Carte who will participate in the CSI 4* Grand Prix. He’s twelve; we haven’t been together that long, but I believe in his potential. Every lap is good to take in terms of experience. I continue to learn from each test, and the same is true for the horses!”

Full results here.

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

Gregory Wathelet and Indago Win out of 145 at Hubside Jumping de Grimaud

© Marco Villanti for HUBSIDE JUMPING.

The Belgian Grégory Wathelet, reigning European team champion, wins the big event of the day of the CSI 4 * of the HUBSIDE JUMPING of Grimaud, in the saddle on the BWP Indago. In this speed test, he was more than two seconds ahead of German master Marcus Ehning, at the helm of Funky Fred, and the reigning Olympic team champion, Frenchman Philippe Rozier, third, associated with Prestigio Ls La Silla.

“On a speed course, you have to take risks from start to finish. But it was an opening event for this week: everyone wants to take the risks, without doing anything the first day. As soon as I entered the track, I felt that Indago was in good shape; he jumped well from the first obstacle; I was confident. I had planned to take a stride off number 2 and the last: it saved me a little time. Then we had to tighten the turns, stay in the gallop, and be a little shorter than the competition in two or three places. Indago is a horse who likes speed, who is respectful and at these heights, 145-150; he is very competitive. In June-July, I participated in three of the four weeks offered by HUBSIDE JUMPING. I got some rankings, but no wins. One of the explanations is simple: my best horses weren’t on the way yet. Let’s not forget that we came out of a period of several months without a competition. The horses had to be put back on levels 4 and 5*. From now on, horses are once again in the rhythm of competitions. Indago will come out on Saturday at 145; Full House will skip the Grand Prix. My championship horse, Nevados, was previously at the service. It really picks up here. He will jump tomorrow’s big event and next week’s Grand Prix.”

Full results here.

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

The Best Is Yet to Come: Federico Fernandez

Federico Fernandez and Landpeter de Feroleto on their way to helping seal victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ at the Royal Dublin Society showgrounds in Dublin (IRL) in 2018. (FEI/Jon Stroud)

Mexican showjumper, Federico Fernandez, had just arrived in Madrid (ESP) by train when I spoke with him last week. He was en route to a business meeting and had intended travelling by air from Valencia (ESP), but the flight was cancelled at the last moment.

Considering his story, I asked him if he has any fear of flying. Federico was one of just three people who survived an horrific air-crash back in 1987, but he has more than come to terms with the tragedy that claimed the life of his friend and team-mate Ruben Rodrigues and at least 50 others. The horse transporter carrying the Mexican contingent to a Young Riders Championship in Chicago (USA) fell out of the sky and ploughed into rush-hour traffic on the eight-lane Mexico-Toluca highway before slamming into a restaurant on a drizzly Friday afternoon 33 years ago.

“To be honest, I never think that something bad can happen to me – the place I sleep the best is on a plane!” he says.

My first close encounter with this remarkable man, who has competed at three Olympic Games and six FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG), was in the aftermath of his team’s historic victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ in Dublin in 2018, when Mexico claimed the coveted Aga Khan Trophy for the very first time. I moderated the post-competition press conference that evening, and in all my years in the sport I have never experienced so much immense joy and such wild celebrations.

And Federico’s words that day embedded themselves into my memory. “After what happened to me, I feel an obligation to be happy, and today was one of the happiest days of my life!” he said.

Family passion

His uncle, Fernando Senderos, won individual gold and team silver at the Pan-American Games in Mexico City in 1975, and Federico inherited the family passion for horses. He was nine years old when he first climbed into the saddle, and when I ask him about his childhood heroes he tells me that the legacy of individual champion Humberto Mariles and his gold-medal-winning military team-mates was still very much in place when he was growing up. They swept all before them at the London Olympic Games in 1948.

“Captain Mariles rode a small, one-eyed horse (Arete) and was a fantastic rider. It was the Mexican golden era of showjumping when they were the team to beat for about 10 or 12 years, we’ve never had anything like that since,” he says.

However, US riders were the big stars on his own horizon when he was child. “We heard a lot about Nelson Pessoa and the d’Inzeo brothers, but they were faraway legends because we didn’t get to see them. The guys we had around the corner were Americans like Rodney Jenkins and Michael Matz, great horsemen. And at home, Gerardo Tazzer was my trainer and I was lucky enough to jump on many Nations Cup teams and at the Olympics in Athens (GRE, 2004) with him,” Federico explains.

Business

Riding hasn’t been the only thing in his life, however. Federico is one of those exceptional people who successfully manage to combine careers in both business and sport. He was something of an entrepreneur in his teens. “I sold hot-dogs outside my school, and then got more and more hot-dog cars as I went along!” he says.

“Mexico is an incredible country that gives you amazing opportunities,” he points out. He began his career by creating companies that functioned as service-providers to big corporations. “Then a few big international companies came to start businesses and I partnered with them and ended up selling the business to them. After doing that a few times I have a business with two arms – one providing small/medium businesses with a high level of services in terms of payroll, administration and human resources, and the other providing small businesses with loans to help them grow.

“In Mexico we really need to support young entrepreneurs. I’m proud of what we do, and it makes me really happy when we can help people source a loan and build a secure business,” he explains.

However, while researching his competition profile I was staggered by the number of horse shows Federico attends. How does he manage to combine his business commitments with his sporting endeavours?

“I’m an incredibly lucky man, I have an amazing team and with today’s technology you can stay on top of your business even if you are on the other side of the world. It works well because sometimes when you are doing horses it’s good to take the focus off them for a while, because we can forget that they are animals and need some time alone. When you dedicate too much time to thinking about new things to do with them then sometimes it goes backwards! And the same thing happens in business. Sometimes you need to step away so you can see the wood for the trees,” he points out.

Federico talks a lot about having balance in his life. “I try to understand the things I need to get that balance, like family, horses, entrepreneurship. I love to eat and I love to travel, so I put everything in the mix and every few years check that the mix I have is the right one. Because that’s very dynamic, it changes, so you have to adjust from time to time,” he says wisely.

He is married to Spanish-born Paola Amilibia, ‘the love of my life,’ who also competes for Team Mexico, and Federico has three children from a previous marriage – Juan Pablo, Eduardo, and Federica.

Mature young man

He was already a mature young man in his early 20s because he had been through a lot. He had only just returned to competition after back-packing across Europe for a year when the air-crash happened. The cargo plane was an all-but-obsolete 4-engine propeller-driven Boeing 377 that dated back to the 1940s, and it came down just seven minutes after take-off.

I ask him if it’s difficult to talk about the crash, and he insists it is not. “Incredible things came from it. At this point in my life it’s easy to say that, but if I could re-live my life I wouldn’t change it,” he insists.

His clothes were ablaze, and he suffered severe burns but survived along with two other people and just one of the horses on the flight. Hard as it is to believe, that surviving horse, Pepito, went on to compete with Mexico’s Everardo Hegewisch at the Seoul Olympic Games the following year.

Federico doesn’t dwell on the horror of it all. “Everything happens for a reason,” he says.

“It’s your will, your spirit, your determination, your power that turns a thing like this into something good instead of something that goes against you.

“Since that day I learned to not be worried about things that don’t matter, to really focus on the things you can change and not on the things you can’t, and to live every day like it’s your last. To create a life so that you go to bed hoping the night goes fast, because you really want the next day to start again. If you can make this your every day then you are a very happy person!”

He had surgery on his face at least 50 times. In the end he decided he’d just had enough of it. “The difficult part was I was just 19 years old, and when you get your face destroyed at that point in your life you have to really spend some time re-organising your feelings. It made me completely change my scale of importance, and I started looking more into the inside of things and less into the superficiality of life. And I found a lot of comfort and happiness in that.

“It made me grow up very fast and made me a person I like better today. All kids are superficial; I loved riding and everything to do with it which in many ways is very superficial. Success – or not – with the girls was important to me, and my work was all about making money. But those things changed in a positive way,” he insists.

Back in the ring

He spent six months in a hospital burns unit in Galveston, Texas, and the doctors told him it would be a long, slow path to recovery. But he was back in the ring and winning his next Grand Prix in Mexico City a year later, and in 1989 he qualified for the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Tampa, Florida (USA). That would be his first, and his last Final….

“In Mexico we don’t have an indoor circuit because of our fantastic weather, so I qualified at outdoor shows and when I went into the indoor I realised for the first time that my eyes had some issues after they were burned. When I was looking at the light that came from lamps I couldn’t see where I was, and I’ve never competed in an indoor again. Daylight is OK and in stadium lighting (under floodlights) I see even better, but the problem is lamps. My pupils are in only one position and can’t adjust, so when I go from bright to not-so-bright then it’s like looking into a cloud,” he explains.

I ask him what sporting successes he treasures most, and he tells me that every Grand Prix win is special. “I’m good at enjoying the moment when it happens. I try to enjoy it deeply because this sport is cruel in many ways, the next competition you have a fence down and the magic is gone very quickly! The good thing about Grand Prix classes is that they are on Sundays, so you’ve a whole week to feel proud knowing that maybe the next one won’t be so lucky for you!”

That Nations Cup win in Dublin two years ago and the team silver medal he earned alongside Gerardo Tazzer at the Pan-American Games in the Dominican Republic in 2004 are stand-out moments, along with finishing 13th at the WEG in Jerez (ESP) in 2002.

Favourites

When I ask about his favourite horses, he doesn’t hesitate. “My darling Bohemio! He’s Irish-bred and the most amazing horse. He has been Mexican National champion and took me to the Pan-Ams, the Olympic Games and the WEG. In the Masters at Spruce Meadows (CAN) the Cana Cup is the big class on Friday, and there were only two clears and we went into a jump-off against Jos Lansink and Cumano who had just won the World Championships (in 2006) and we beat them; it was amazing! In 2008 he was the top horse in the summer series (at Spruce Meadows) but he was injured after winning a class. That injury ended his career, but he finished the best possible way with a win! He’s 28 years old now and enjoying his retirement out in my fields.”

And then there is Gitano, “a great Grand Prix winner in Mexico, not scopey enough to do the same in big Grand Prix competitions in Europe but a fantastic character and a winner. In Mexico he gave me so many successes that I really love him, for that and for his character. These two horses were not just very special in the ring, they also had so much personality; they gave you their best every time you rode them. When you feel that your horse is completely with you and willing to do anything for you, that creates a kind of magic!”

I ask Federico if there are any famous horses he would have liked to sit on, but he replies that he prefers watching them with their own riders, “because I truly believe some couples are made in heaven!”  He lists Hugo Simon and ET, Jos Lansink and Cumano, and John Whitaker ‘in my opinion the best rider in the history of the world’ with Milton as some of his favourites, along with Eddie Macken and Boomerang and Rodrigo Pessoa with Baloubet.

And then he moves on to Rio 2016 individual Olympic champion Nick Skelton from Great Britain with Big Star. “Since London (Olympics 2012) Nick didn’t ride another horse; he was just determined to win that gold medal and he spent those four years helping the stallion to recover from a bad injury and getting him back into the sport only to show up at the Games and win that gold – just brilliant!” he says.

Tokyo

I ask him if Landpeter de Feroleto, the horse that carried him to that historic Nations Cup victory in Dublin two years ago, had been aimed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games before the world was brought to a halt by the pandemic. The horse is 18 years old now, however, so hardly surprising that the answer was in the negative….

”I had planned with our Chef d’Equipe to give Peter his retirement tour this year, he’s been an amazing horse for many riders, he gave me the win at Dublin and also in the Nations Cup in Mexico and was very generous with me. Unfortunately, with the Covid situation there have been no Nations Cups so it would be very unfair to stretch his retirement one more year. He isn’t on my list of favourite horses because he came to me when he was 15. If I’d had him since he was eight who knows what we might have done together. But he is a special horse with a huge heart who would do anything for you,” he points out.

Feredico is placing his hopes for Tokyo elsewhere, and the hiatus caused by the virus may just work to his advantage. “Coming into this year I was not in the best situation because I had a horse that was coming along but not ready. However, one year more really benefits me in terms of my possibility; I have a horse that needed the extra time and now he will have it. His name is Grand Slam and I got him three years ago, but he had a bad injury and was out for one year. Now he is strong and healthy and jumping great, so I think he’ll be in super shape.”

Thoughts

Finally, I ask for his thoughts about the pandemic and its effect. “I don’t want to sound like a preacher,” he says with a laugh, “but we’ve had the opportunity to slow down in a world that normally goes so fast. At some stage we have all felt annoyed and anxious, and in many cases – including my own – it was financially disruptive and took away our peace of mind. But we’ve been given a chance to take a really good dive inside ourselves, to understand who we are and to regain the understanding of how incredibly beautiful life is, and liberty, and the right to walk in the streets and breathe the air and smell the flowers, all of that.

“And I honestly think that you always have to believe that the best is yet to come. We’ve been given a fresh start, so now is the time to re-prioritise things in your life, to put some dreams on the table, and to try to make them real. It’s in everyone’s hands to make that happen….”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Kent Farrington and Kaprice Secure $137,000 EquiSafe Global Grand Prix CSI 3* Win

Kent Farrington and Kaprice ©SportFot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 18, 2020 – In a close finish, Kent Farrington (USA) and Kaprice secured victory in the $137,000 EquiSafe Global Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers at 39.477 seconds. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and Akuna Mattata, a 2008 Holsteiner mare (Quinar x Landwind II) owned by Carol Rosenstein and Silver Raven Farms, claimed second place with a clear jump-off score of 40.345 seconds, while Karen Polle (JPN) and her own With Wings, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x L.Ronald), sailed to third place just milliseconds behind with a time of 40.695 seconds.

Farrington and Kaprice, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood mare (Echo Van T Spieveld x Carthago) that Kent owns with Haity McNerney, bested a class of 37 entries and 10 jump-off contenders, sailing over jumps in the Ken Krome (USA)-designed course.

Free live streaming at www.Tryon.com/streaming.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Sweetnam and Indra Van De Oude Heihoef Win $37k Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3*

Shane Sweetnam and Indra Van De Oude Heihoef ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 16, 2020 – Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Indra Van De Oude Heihoef sped through the timers in 34.857 seconds to best the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Sharn Wordley (NZL) and his own Casper, the 2006 Oldenburg gelding (Contender x Baloubet Du Rouet), cleared the short course in 35.191 seconds to take second, while Lillie Keenan (USA) and Fasther, a 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vigo D’Arsouilles x Farmer) owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, produced a 35.2 second jump-off round to claim third.

Sweetnam and his own 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare (Casantos x Action-Breaker) were one of 60 entries to test the first-round track set by Ken Krome (USA), and one of 12 pairs to qualify for the jump-off round. “It was a tricky course. Ken did a good job. There were a lot of good riders and partnerships out there today. It was quite strong for a ranking class,” he shared. “I’m sure it set the horses up well for Saturday night. It was a bit more of a test than yesterday [$37,000 Wednesday Classic CSI 3*],” where Sweetnam and Indra Van De Oude Heihoef claimed second.

Sydney Shulman and Villamoura Speed to $37,000 Wednesday Classic CSI 3* Win

July 15, 2020 – Sydney Shulman (ISR) and Villamoura sped around the short course in 36.536 seconds, winning the $37,000 Wednesday Classic CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), with Shane Sweetnam (IRL) taking second in a time of 37.522 seconds aboard his own Indra Van De Oude Heihoef, the 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare (Casantos x Action-Breaker). Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Baloppi, the Seabrook LLC 2007 Danish Warmblood mare (Balou du Rouet x Unknown), stopped the timers at 38.39 seconds to earn third.

Shulman and the 2009 Selle Francais mare (Diamant de Semilly x Unknown) owned by Jill Shulman were one of 21 pairs to qualify for the jump-off out of 54 entries challenging the Ken Krome (USA) course design, and Shulman shared that Villamoura is a top mount in her string: “She really stepped up this winter, and is one of my top horses. She jumped the Nations Cup for Israel and had a clear round there, and she won a five-star class at Deeridge. She’s on a roll! She jumped two national classes here last week and felt great. She was just all over this class today! It was so much fun.”

Highlight classes are available for free live streaming at www.Tryon.com/streaming.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Niels Bruynseels Wins the Hubside Jumping’s 4* Grand Prix

© Marco Villanti pour HUBSIDE JUMPING.

Experience was the keynote of the Grand Prix which gathered together the best riders on the planet, bringing these four weeks of competition to an end in the South of France. Three experienced riders finished on the HUBSIDE JUMPING’s final podium for this summer season, ahead of the young generation, which was very threatening in this Grand Prix. Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels was the winner riding Gancia de Muze. He finished ahead of Ireland’s Denis Lynch with Cristello and Italy’s Emanuele Guadiano with Chalou. The best French rider, and the leader of this young generation of rising stars, was Edward Levy, fifth with Uno de Cerisy. Last week, during the HUBSIDE JUMPING’s 5* Grand Prix, he had already finished in an amazing second place.

Forty-six horse and rider combinations took part in the final 4* Grand Prix of the HUBSIDE JUMPING, which for four weeks played host to the best horses and riders on the planet. Fifteen horse and rider combinations jumped the first round perfectly and went through to the jump-off of the course designed by France’s Cédric Longis, whose track was praised by the riders.

“I know that my mare Gancia de Muze can be very fast, but faced with a jump-off and riders and horses of this level, it was no easy matter (laughs). I tried to take all the risks possible. I was rather concerned when I saw that some riders were getting dangerously close to my time. I wasn’t guaranteed to be the winner… But no words are strong enough to describe Gancia. She really is an incredible mare. She has won everything in her life and even the long break due to the lockdown didn’t hinder her round. These weeks at the HUBSIDE JUMPING in the South of France have been very positive. Everything is perfect here: the facilities on offer to the horses and riders are really outstanding. I really want to praise the organisation for what it is doing for the sport and thank the whole team!”

Full results here.

The press kit can be downloaded here.

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

Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili Win $73k JTWG, Inc. Grand Prix CSI 2*

Kristen VanderVeen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili ©Sportfot.

Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili sped to a 36.579-second jump-off round to take the win in Saturday’s $73,000 JTWG, Inc. Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort. Brittini Raflowitz (ISR) and Hilton van de Breepoel, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Contact Van de Heffinck x Opium) owned by ESI Show Jumpers, Maarten Huygens & Darragh Kerins, claimed reserve honors with a time of 39.153 seconds, with the yellow rosette going to Todd Minikus (USA) aboard the Bit by Bit Group’s Amex Z, the 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris), stopping the timers in 36.764 seconds with four faults.

The Guilherme Jorge (BRA) course design saw 39 contestants in the first round, with 10 horse-and-rider pairs returning to challenge the jump-off round. VanderVeen and the 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC used both speed and tight turns to their advantage in the jump-off, she explained. “The jump-off, I really liked. The jump-offs are always fun with Frosty because he turns and he goes fast, so it’s fun.”

Highlight classes are available for free live streaming at www.Tryon.com/streaming.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

The Oscar of the Day for Usual Suspect and Julien Epaillard

© Filippo Gabutti for HUBSIDE JUMPING.

Frenchman Julien Epaillard, in the saddle on his Usual Suspect d’Auge gelding, won the major event of the day at the HUBSIDE JUMPING in Grimaud (Var). He is ahead of the young Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (Brazil) associated with Icarus, and Christian Kukuk (Germany) on Botaro.

“This week, Queeletta was penalized by a small 4 points yesterday in the 150cm race with jump-off, and Quincy, who usually runs the 140, will come out tomorrow for the Grand Prix: in view of this test, his schedule was deliberately quiet for the last few days. As for Usual Suspect, I have downgraded him a little. He raced the Grand Prix 4* a fortnight ago and we had a little incident: he left a stride before on an oxer. Last weekend, I engaged him in small tests to restore his confidence. He ran a 140 on Thursday: I found him quite relaxed; he had forgotten our mishap a little. Today, he did a magnificent first lap. I found it great, available, very relaxed. I am happy to see that this incident did not leave too many consequences. But this is the reason why I decided to downgrade it weekend, so that he continues to regain confidence.

“The big event of the day had a large number of roadblocks: it happens. It is not easy for the track chief to build a 145 barrage with the plateau that there is here, with horses which normally are very comfortable on this height. Even the slightly tricky triple did not give mistakes… The weather was fairly wide, and even if it had been tight, given the size of the track, we would always have found a place or two where to save time. Really, I maintain that the job of the track manager is not simple at all, who must respect the rules of 145 while the plateau is worthy of a 150, 155, or even a 160.

“In short, the results of these weeks are very positive. The horses are fine; they have all had different programs. Kzoom ran his first 5* Grand Prix last week: I am really satisfied even if we still have to get to know each other a little. I make a mistake on the last obstacle because I don’t know it well enough. Regarding Queeletta, I started really quiet, and we will race the Grand Prix tomorrow. I think the mare is not yet at 100% of its potential, so the Grand Prix will be more of a restart. I do not set myself any obligation of result. Especially since we must already think about the important deadlines to come, and in particular Barcelona, if the competition is maintained, which is an important objective of the season. ”

The CSI 2* event, on 140cm with jump-off, was won by the youngest of the competition, Eden Leprévost Blin Lebreton, sixteen, on Quivoila. Eden is ahead of a certain Pénélope Leprévost, reigning Olympic champion with the French team, and also her mother.

Full results here.

Reactions from all the winners here.

All tests are transmitted live on https://grandprix.tv/fr.

The press kit can be downloaded here.

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