Tag Archives: Show Jumping

Ali Wagstaff and Great Thing Capture First Win of the 2023 Surf Tour Season

Ali Wagstaff and Great Thing.

Loxahatchee Groves, FL (January 12, 2022) – Ali Wagstaff and Great Thing delivered great rounds this Wednesday during the first official day of competition on The Ridge at Wellington Groves 2023 Surf Tour. The pair cruised to a double clear effort over a course set by Hector Loyola to win the $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic at The Ridge’s Level 2 Jumper event, where .8m-1.40m classes run Wednesday-Friday at The Ridge’s newly renovated 20-acre facility on the corner of E Road and Okeechobee Boulevard.

Wagstaff and Mill Pond Farm, Inc.’s Great Thing narrowly edged out Luis F. Larrazabal aboard Leeann Albin’s Baroness in the jump-off to secure the victory. Sabrina Lefebvre and her own Happy Melody De La Defliere had held the lead most of the day before Wagstaff’s effort. Larrazabal and Baroness’s run bumped Lefebvre to third but wasn’t enough to catch Wagstaff and Great Thing.

For a full list of dates and the 2023 Prizelists, visit www.RidgeShowJumping.com.

To enter, visit www.HorseShowing.com.

Conor O’Regan Scores First Win of WEF Season

Conor O’Regan & Mendini DR. Photo © Sportfot.

Ireland’s Conor O’Regan has been producing Mendini DR since the mare’s six-year-old year. The now 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Hunter’s Scendix x Cassini I) carried O’Regan to victory in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic, the opening event of the 2023 1.50m Championship Jumper Series at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Mendini DR, owned by Erin and Jimmy Walker’s Dynomite Ranch, had a deep cheering section on Saturday afternoon as she raced to the finish line in 41.185 seconds with a second to spare over runner-up Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) riding Condara for owner Victoria Heurtematte. They stopped clock at 40.477 seconds.

Of the 28 horses that started the class, five advanced to the tie-breaking jump-off over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck (USA).

“I’ve produced this horse and we are still in a building stage with her, so to get the win today is a bonus,” said O’Regan. “She’s always had a good brain, but her style is quite unique. The biggest thing with her was just to take my time and make sure she is comfortable jumping bigger. I think she proved that she can today.”

The Boys Are Back: Men’s Team Wins Battle of the Sexes

The first “Saturday Night Lights” event of 2023 started off with a bang, bringing in huge crowds and tremendous fun on January 7 with the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center. This crowd favorite event highlighted Premiere Week of the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), which runs for 13 weeks through April 2. The men’s team broke an 11-year winning streak for the women in the 14-year history of the event.

The women’s team for Battle of the Sexes consisted of team captain Nicole Jayne, Kelly Soleau-Millar, Heather Caristo-Williams, Delaney Flynn, Samantha Mackenzie, Mia Mannis, Abigail McArdle, Catherine Pasmore, Alexis Sokolov, and Ally Worthington.

The men’s team, led by captain Charlie Jayne, also included Christian Coyle, Daniel Coyle, Jordan Coyle, Alex Granato, Luis Larrazabal, Tony Stormanns, Sohnke Theymann, Michael Tokaruk, and Simon McCarthy.

The Battle of the Sexes consists of three phases, with the first being a Table C faults-converted speed course where the riders go to head-to-head over the same course, and the one with the fastest time gains a point for their team. Following the first phase, the men’s team had a commanding lead at nine to one.

In the second phase, each team had three relay groups, where a trio of riders each did a section of the course. The women’s team fought back in the second phase closing the gap by ten points.

The final phase was a match race where riders competed at the same time over a course that mirrored itself in the ring. Scores started at 11 to 14 with the men still leading, but by the penultimate match they were neck and neck. Christian Coyle brought back hope to the men’s team by overtaking Nicole Jayne in their match race with only one match remaining.

“Going into the match race, I wanted to try and be as slick and neat as possible because my horse is naturally fast,” said Christian Coyle. “I saw after number three that Nicole was still close and then going to the skinny, I thought she was a little ahead, so I took a risk to the second-to-last and it paid off. Then I could be a little cautious and make sure I left the last up. It’s a great class. There was brilliant atmosphere here tonight and it is good fun for everyone.”

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New Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender, CHI Geneva 2022

Rolex, Geneva, 12 December 2022 – The 2022 Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva was won by McLain Ward from the United States of America, riding HH Azur. Second place went to Martin Fuchs, Switzerland, riding Leone Jei, and third place to Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam riding James Kann Cruz.

The American former World No. 1 produced an expert performance on the final day of the CHI Geneva aboard his Olympic team silver medal-winning mare, HH Azur, and in doing so, won his very first equestrian Major, becoming the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender going into 2023.

A total of 40 entries took on the exceptionally testing 5* course, carefully curated by course designer Gérard Lachat, where 13 combinations made it through to the jump-off. Daniel Deusser was second to go in the jump-off and the first to go clear, setting the standard for those who followed. Martin Fuchs, the 2019 and 2021 CHI Geneva Rolex Grand Prix back-to-back winner, did not disappoint, using his experience to cut under the leading time held by Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam, placing him in the lead with two riders to go. USA’s McLain Ward rose to the challenge, riding the tightest lines and the sharpest angles, beating Fuchs by just over a second to be named champion of the CHI Geneva Rolex Grand Prix 2022.

The Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva was the final equestrian Major of 2022, which together with the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament, and CHIO Aachen form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, considered to be the sport’s most demanding challenge.

The highlights film can be seen here:

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McLain Ward Wins Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva and Becomes Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder)

Before the Rolex Grand Prix – the highlight class of the 61st edition of CHI Geneva – got underway, 8,000 adoring fans said farewell to an all-time great horse, Martin Fuchs’ legendary gelding, Clooney 51, who was retired in August 2021. After winning this Rolex Grand Slam Major in 2019 with the now 16-year-old grey, a visibly emotional Fuchs paraded Clooney to each corner of the Geneva Arena, to rapturous applause and cheering from all who looked on, before closing with a short speech honouring his loyal companion.

The scene was then set for this year’s Rolex Grand Prix, in which 40 horse and rider combinations representing 14 nations – including 16 out of the current top 20-ranked riders – lined up, each staking a claim for one of the sport’s most sought-after prizes, as part of their Rolex Grand Slam quests. Course designers Gérard Lachat and Louis Konickx set a technical, 14-obstacle first round test, which would be followed by a nine-effort jump-off, should two or more partnerships navigate the opening round without a fault.

Great Britain’s Ben Maher (Dallas Vegas Batilly) recorded the 1.60m class’s first clear, repeated soon after by Daniel Deusser of Germany with Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z. At the halfway stage, a further seven riders had gone clear, including Gilles Thomas (Calleryama), Frenchmen Kevin Staut (Scuderia 1918 Viking d’la Rousserie) and Simon Delestre (Cayman Jolly Jumper), Andre Thieme (DSP Chakaria) and Christian Ahlmann (Dominator 2000 Z) of Germany, Dane Andreas Schou (Darc de Lux), and Irishman Shane Sweetnam (James Kann Cruz). The second half of the round witnessed just four additional riders progressing to the jump-off, with the Oxer-Liverpool (6a) proving to be the trickiest and most knocked down. These riders included crowd favourites, Martin Fuchs (Leone Jei) and Elian Baumann (Little Lumpi E), American McLain Ward (HH Azur), and a delighted Daniel Bluman of Israel (Ladriano Z), making a final shoot-out of 13 pairings.

Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender Daniel Deusser set the early jump-off pace and put the pressure on after becoming the first to go double clear in a time of 42.58 seconds. However, it wasn’t to be a second consecutive Major victory for Deusser after Simon Delestre went 0.12 seconds faster, with the Frenchman’s time soon being eclipsed by next generation Belgian talent Gilles Thomas, who went 1.58 seconds quicker still (40.88 seconds). After both Christian Ahlmann and Kevin Staut were unable to go clear, Saturday’s winner of the Credit Suisse Challenge, Shane Sweetnam, looked like a man possessed, going clear and knocking Thomas off top spot in 40.48 seconds, a time that looked unbeatable. However, next into the arena, Martin Fuchs, proved Thomas’ time in fact was beatable, going 39.77 seconds and in turn sending the crowd wild. With penultimate rider Daniel Bluman putting one down, Fuchs’ destiny lay in the hands of American McLain Ward and his 16-year-old bay mare HH Azur. Renowned for their speed and accuracy, the pair glided around the course, going faster than Fuchs at the first two sectors, eventually clearing the final fence over a second quicker than the Swiss, etching their names into Rolex Grand Slam history, with Ward ultimately becoming the Live Contender.

On his first Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major victory and where it ranks among his career wins, McLain Ward said: “To win the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva ranks right up amongst the very greatest moments. Olympic gold medals, the Grand Prix in Calgary – this is a very special moment.”

On what makes CHI Geneva such a special place, Ward commented: “Its people! I mean, it’s spectacular — the atmosphere, the environment, the organisers, and sponsors make it so special, that the competitors rise to the day.”

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward Win the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

A capacity crowd in the Palexpo’s Geneva Arena watched on in anticipation, as 10 of the world’s very best show jumpers and their equine partners battled it out for the honour to be crowned the 2022 Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final champion. Having qualified for this esteemed class, based on November’s FEI jumping rankings, the truly international line-up, comprising riders representing France, Sweden, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA, and Brazil, would undoubtedly produce unrivalled levels of show jumping.

Just four riders managed to complete the first round of the Gerard Lachat-designed course without picking up a fault, including Thursday night’s winner of the Trophée de Genève, Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, current world number one, Henrik von Eckermann, and in-form riders, Simon Delestre and McLain Ward, with the Frenchman ultimately setting the fastest fault-free time of 65.90 seconds. While those with first round faults still found themselves in contention – particularly Peder Fredricson from Sweden with just one time penalty and Dutchman Harrie Smolders with one down – unfortunately, Ben Maher and Exit Remo had a night to forget, after the pair accrued 31 penalties.

On to the second round and everything was to play for. First to go, Great Britain’s Ben Maher found a small consolation after he and his 13-year-old bay gelding went clear. Local hero Martin Fuchs and Conner Jei were unable to apply any pressure after accruing 12 penalties, while Julien Epaillard and McLain Ward both put one down. Swede Peder Fredricson was able to set the early pace after going clear, thereby finishing with one point; however, his teammate, the inimitable Henrik von Eckermann, went one better, thereby becoming the first rider to go double clear with his superstar gelding, King Edward. The final two riders to go, Marlon Modolo Zanotelli and Simon Delestre, were determined to go one better still. But it wasn’t to be after the Brazilian’s mare hesitated and put the penultimate fence down and the Frenchman, while going double clear, just couldn’t find enough pace, crossing the line over nine tenths slower than von Eckermann, who was ultimately crowned champion of the 21st edition of this revered class, much to his delight.

Thrilled after going one better than last year and achieving a bucket list goal, Henrik von Eckermann commented: “Yes, definitely – it was one of my focuses after the World Championships when I gave King Edward a bit of a rest, and wanted to build up slowly again, and this was one of the targets, absolutely. It has been a target for many years. Like I said when we had the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Stockholm when Daniel Deusser won it: I walked the course and spoke to Eleonora [Ottaviani] and said one day I would like to win this one, so it’s a very special moment for me.”

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Marlon Modolo Zanotelli and VDL Edgar M Win Trophée de Genève

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder)

Staged in the Palexpo’s iconic Geneva Arena, 50 riders, representing 15 nations, contested Friday’s feature class – the Trophée de Genève – on the second day of 2022’s edition of CHI Geneva. The stellar line-up starred no fewer than 17 of the world’s current top 20-ranked riders, including world number one, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann, and fellow Swede Peder Fredricson, Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender Daniel Deusser, local favourite Martin Fuchs, and previous Major winner Max Kühner, all of whom would be hoping for a spectacular finish in this 1.60m, 13-combination class in order to qualify for Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix.

With no obviously tricky fences standing out, at the halfway point, 12 riders out of 25 starters graduated to the jump-off after navigating the Gérard Lachat-designed course fault-free, including current Individual Olympic champion Ben Maher, the in-form American McLain Ward, and last year’s winner of the Coupe de Genève, Harry Charles with his mount Borsato. After the break, the crowd was treated to another six clear rounds and some exceptional levels of horsemanship from riders including the up-and-coming 24-year-old Gilles Thomas, a key member of Belgium’s 2022 Nations Cup Final-winning team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for CHI Geneva debutant, 23-year-old Briton Joseph Stockdale, who, after a super smooth round, picked up an agonising time fault.

Into the jump-off and it was evident early on that the shortened course was proving more of a test than the first round, with the British duo of Maher and Charles, Swedish duo of von Eckermann and Fredricson, and America duo of Kraut and Ward all accruing faults. Last year’s Rolex Grand Prix champion, Martin Fuchs and Shane Sweetnam bucked this trend, both jumping fault-free, but with the Irishman eclipsing the Swiss maestro’s time by an impressive 12.06 seconds, which appeared to be unassailable. However, the sole representative from Luxembourg, Victor Bettendorf, soon went one better than Sweetnam, beating him into second place by 0.28 seconds. With just a handful of riders left to go, Bettendorf looked to have things sewn up, but a determined Marlon Modolo Zanotelli from Brazil flew around the seven-combination jump-off over a second quicker than Bettendorf, thereby taking the victory with his superstar partner VDL Edgar M.

Thrilled with his 13-year-old chestnut gelding’s performance in both rounds, Modolo Zanotelli commented: “He was amazing – he has had such an incredible season, and this is his last show of the year. To have a victory this early in the show is definitely something incredibly special.

“I was lucky to go towards the end of the class so I could watch the rest of the riders and know what I had to do. I know my horse incredibly well now and know his strengths, which meant I could take some risks at the beginning of the course – luckily today that was enough to win.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix and when asked if he will be partnered by Edgar, Modolo Zanotelli said: “That is the plan, but I am jumping Like a Diamond in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final tomorrow so we will see how she goes and then make a final decision.”

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Rider Watch: CHI Geneva 2022

(Photo: Rolex / Ashley Neuhof)

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping returns to CHI Geneva from 7-11 December 2022 with an action-packed schedule, including the 21st running of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final on Friday evening and pinnacle class, the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon.

Held in the impressive Palexpo in Geneva, the world’s elite horse and rider combinations will tackle some of the toughest tracks of the year at is what is often considered the sport’s leading indoor show jumping venue. Taking part in this year’s show is a spectacular line-up of athletes including 17 of the top 20 riders, as well as 17 riders representing the home nation.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Rider Watch

After his sensational win at in the CP ‘International’ at The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament, Germany’s Daniel Deusser will be looking to continue his impressive form in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Majors, having won two of out the last three Grands Prix. Deusser will be aiming to continue his quest to become only the second person to have ever won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, following Scott Brash’s triumph in 2015. Deusser will also be joined by fellow countryman Gerrit Nieberg, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix held at CHIO Aachen earlier this year.

Home favourite and defending champion, Martin Fuchs, will be the one that everyone has their eyes on. Having won the last two editions of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, the World No. 2 understands the precision, bravery, and athleticism required by horse and rider to be successful in this prestigious competition. Joining Fuchs is compatriot and three-time winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at this iconic venue, Steve Guerdat, as well as FEI World Championship teammates Edouard Schmitz and Pius Schwizer.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Lumière Horses Wraps Up 2022 with Success in Tyron and Aiken

Reutter and Here I Am Z.

Mill Spring, NC (November 23, 2022) – Chilean show jumper Gabriela Reutter of Lumière Horses wrapped up her stellar 2022 show season in North Carolina this fall, jumping her three-horse string to multiple top finishes. In her final competitive appearances of the year, Reutter focused on clean rounds and bolstering the horses’ FEI experience while her top Grand Prix mount, Maharees Rock, rested after the pair’s Bronze Medal win at the South American Games in September. After North Carolina, Reutter plans to move south to Wellington, Florida in preparation for the new year at the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival.

Reutter began the end of her fall season in Tryon, North Carolina, competing in the 2022 Tryon Fall Finale I, held November 3-6. Sales horses Joselinde L.A.T, Here I Am Z, and Billy Lincoln jumped in the 1.30-1.35m divisions, with multiple in the ribbons finishes. Joselinde L.A.T, a.k.a. Jojo, took 2nd in the $2,000 1.30m Open Stake and 5th in the 1.30m Open. Here I Am Z, a.k.a. Hero, finished 6th in the $3,000 1.35m Open Stake, while Billy Lincoln finished 5th in the 1.35m Open.

The following week in Aiken, all three horses were once again finishing in the ribbons. At the Split Rock Aiken CSI2, held November 9-13, Reutter rode Billy Lincoln to a 6th place finish in the $10,000 1.40m CSI 2 and Hero to the win in the 1.30m. Hero also finished 11th overall in the $20,000 1.35m Grand Prix, while Jojo took 3rd and 12th in the 1.30m.

In addition to her competitive accolades, the hard work of Reutter’s groom Anthony Chavez was highlighted at Split Rock. Billy Lincoln was awarded the Hyaluronex Best Turned Out in the FEI Jog and Chavez received the Annie Goodwin Rising Star Fund Grooms Award.

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

To date, Gaby is currently the #1 female Chilean show jumper, and her most recent career highlight was a Bronze Medal finish at the 2022 South American Games in Paraguay with Maharees Rock. She also has multiple top finishes in international FEI classes, including her Nations Cup accomplishments, European tour, the U25 Grand Prix divisions, and victory in an FEI 4-star event. She currently campaigns her anchor show jumper, Maharees Rock (a.k.a. Rocky) and a string of sales horses. Her international equestrian CV also includes Spruce Meadows, The Hampton Classic, and several junior/young rider South American Games. She and Rocky were in the top 3 during this July’s Tryon Summer 5 $75,000 Grand Prix CSI2-star, out of 50 entries and top 3 in the $138,600 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel CSI3* Grand Prix during the 2022 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. In 2018, Reutter received her certificate of capability for the Pan American Games following a top 3 finish in the FEI 3-star 1.50m Captive One Classic, and has her sights set on representing Chile internationally this winter.

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

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

Meet the Next Gen: Thibaut Keller

(Photo: Hippofoto)

What are your plans, dreams, and ambitions for 2023?

My ambition and plan for 2023 is to achieve a podium during the European Championships at Riesenbeck International in September.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

The proudest moment of my career so far was when I received the gold medal during the 2020 Junior Swiss Championships at Chalet-à-Gobet. The horse I rode was called Cosby, and I was very proud of our performance, as we did not touch one bar throughout the whole tournament.

How much are you looking forward to CHI Geneva and how confident are you feeling?

I hope to win the prestigious Land Rover U25 Grand Prix at CHI Geneva. However, as the world’s elite attend the event, I would be very happy if I made the top three, so a podium in my age category would be amazing.

When did your love for show jumping start, and who has inspired you the most throughout your career?

I first got into horse riding and show jumping when I was 10 years old. My inspiration was the Dutch show jumper Jeroen Dubbeldam.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Meet the Next Gen: Gilles Thomas

(Photo: Rolex / Ashley Neuhof)

You have had a great year; what has been your highlight?

I have an such an amazing year; it is hard for me to pick just one highlight! I had my first 5* victory in the King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead in July, which was amazing, and then coming third in the CP ‘International’ at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament was a fantastic result. Most recently being on the Belgium team and winning the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final was incredible for me. I don’t think I can choose just one of those moments!

What are you hoping to achieve between now and the end of the year?

I am hoping to ride at CHI Geneva – that would be amazing. Then in Belgium we have the have a 5* show which includes a FEI Jumping World Cup™, in Mechelen, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This show is always very important to Belgian riders, and my family are involved in the organisation of it, so I really hope I can have a good result in the FEI Jumping World Cup™ there.

What are your hopes and ambitions for 2023 and beyond?

My ultimate dream is to compete at CHIO Aachen; in my opinion, it is the best show in the world and the Rolex Grand Prix there is one of the most prestigious classes in the calendar. I am also aiming to compete in a Belgium senior team at a big championship. I have competed in Junior and Young Rider teams, but to be part of the Belgium team at the FEI World Championships or the Olympic Games and win a medal would be a dream come true.

After your great performance in the CP ‘International’, how will you prepare for CHI Geneva?

I’m not totally sure whether I will be competing there yet, but I hope that I will. They are two very different shows, but I would still take Aretino 13, as even though the arena at CHI Geneva is indoors, it is still very big. If I go to CHI Geneva, it will be the only indoor show that Aretino 13 competes in because he is a big horse and needs more space, so he suits outdoor arenas better. CHI Geneva is such an amazing show and so I will plan to take my three best horses if I go.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam