Tag Archives: Show Jumping

Cook Skyrockets to Top of NAL Leaderboard with Victory in Sacramento

Karl Cook and Caillou. (FEI/JXB Photography)

Consistency paid off for Karl Cook (USA) with a win in the CSI3*-W $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento (USA). Riding the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Caillou, he bested a six-horse jump-off to record his first World Cup victory of the season.

Last to go, Cook positively flew through the timers of Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) shortened course, finishing in 36.75 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) finished second aboard the talented 9-year-old Koss van Heiste with a time of 37.35 seconds, while Guy Thomas (NZL), first to contest the jump-off, was third aboard Jonkheer Z; that duo’s final time was 38.95 seconds.

“It’s always fun going last. You know what you have to do. It gives you a better feeling when you ride, because you know that whatever you do, you stay there.” — Karl Cook (USA)

Just two combinations were able to advance to the jump-off in the first half of the class, but four of the final six combinations produced a clear first round, including Cook, whose confidence was made evident by the relative degree of ease with which he navigated the challenging indoor track. In the jump-off, he used his advantageous position in the lineup to his advantage and planned a wider, yet efficient turn to the last fence that set him up for a strong gallop to the finish.

“Conor went inside [to the last fence] and did [one fewer stride], which I very well could have done,” Cook said, “but I saw how the turn after was, so I said I’d go around and do [one extra stride] and turn after quicker.”

After jumping well in Vancouver and finishing second in New York, Cook firmly cemented himself atop the west coast sub league standings of the North American League with 37 points. Zazou Hoffman (USA) sits second with 19 points, two points ahead of Kelli Cruciotti (USA) with 17 points.

“I’m really happy, because I feel like [Caillou] has been consistently there,” Cook said. “That’s what makes me the proudest.”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

Tracy Fenney & MTM Apple Win Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake and Power & Speed Stake CSI 2*

Tracy Fenney and MTM Apple ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 3, 2019 – Tracy Fenney (USA) and MTM Apple kicked off Tryon Fall 3 with two back-to-back FEI wins, claiming Thursday’s $36,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2* on a jump-off time of 39.032 seconds. Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace, the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Cardenio x Contender) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, earned second-place honors with a 40.401 second short-course performance, while Fenney also received third, this time aboard MTM Reve Du Paradis, the 2005 Selle Francais gelding (Crown Z x Adelfos) owned by MTM Farm, following their clear jump-off round in a time of 40.499 seconds.

Fenney shared that the 2011 Danish Warmblood mare (Favorit Ask x Willemoes) owned by MTM Farm has been improving with every round in the ring. “She was great, even better than yesterday. It was a hard 1.45m, but it was good to get her in the ring and get her in gear.”

Course designer Peter Grant (CAN) hosted 56 entries in the first round of competition, with 22 horse-and-rider pairs qualifying to attempt the short course. After being knocked out of the lead on her other mount, Fenney was determined to get back in the lead with MTM Apple. “She’s really fast and she’s super straightforward. I mean, from one to two she did that like a gem, and I was so impressed with her.”

Tracy Fenney and MTM Apple Float to $5,000 Power & Speed CSI 2* Win

Fenney and MTM Apple also dominated Wednesday’s $5,000 Power & Speed CSI 2* to start the week on a high note, stopping the speed phase timers in 30.76 seconds. Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Living, the 2009 Zangersheide mare (Quasimodo x Wolfgang) owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, claimed second in a time of 32.306 seconds, while Lauren Tisbo (USA) rounded out the all-American, all-female podium aboard Tequestrian Farms LLC’s Casco 11, the 2009 Holsteiner gelding (Caspar x Colman), putting in a speed phase time of 34.714 seconds.

“She’s fairly new, so that’s why I showed her today,” Fenney said of the 2011 Danish Warmblood mare (Favorit Ask x Willemoes) owned by MTM Farm. “She’s very straightforward and has a very good attitude about what she does. I was a little bit worried because it’s so hot this week, so I wasn’t sure if I should show her today, but because she’s so new we decided to show her in a class. I love her; she felt great.”

Fenney and the mare have been building their relationship over the past year, she explained. “We imported her last year and we have been doing little things and some Grands Prix. Every time we show her, she gets better and better.

“I guess we’ll see what our plans are this week; I’m doing the welcome stake with three horses and I’ll kind of pick and choose what I’ll do Saturday night from there. Whatever horse doesn’t go Saturday, I’ll do on Sunday,” Fenney concluded.

For full results from the $36,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2*, click here.

For full results from the $5,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 2*, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Defending Champions from Belgium Top First-Round Nail-Biter

Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados. (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Team Belgium, winners in 2015 and again last year, looked supremely confident when topping the first round of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2019 Final at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain. But the battle between the seven countries fighting for the single qualifying spot on offer for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games proved equally as intriguing during an afternoon filled with thrills and surprises.

A total of 18 countries went into battle, but only eight places in Sunday’s second-round decider were up for grabs and it was Belgium, France, Sweden, Colombia, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy who claimed them, the hosts missing out by an agonising 0.45 seconds when time was the deciding factor. So instead they go through to the Challenge Cup on Saturday night in which they will be joined by all the other nations who didn’t make the cut – The Netherlands, Norway, USA, Japan, Great Britain, Brazil, Mexico, and Egypt. Team Portugal has withdrawn from the competition.

The Belgians, newly-crowned European champions, now look well set to beat all comers once again, but Chef d’Equipe, Peter Weinberg, isn’t taking anything for granted.

“We always try very hard and we were looking forward to coming back here again and today we did very well, but there’s still the second round on Sunday which will be more difficult. The teams that have qualified are all strong and they are all very close together. We are lucky that we already have our Olympic qualification so we don’t have that pressure anymore, but we are very happy how we jumped today.” — Peter Weinberg (Team Belgium)

Olivier Philippaerts got Belgium off to a flying start when clear with H&M Extra, and Pieter Devos added just four faults with a mistake at the oxer at fence five, while Jerome Guery’s stallion Quel Homme de Hus was one of many to hit the flimsy plank topping the vertical at fence 10. But when Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados, the only horse-and-rider partnership competing this week, who were also on that history-making European gold-medal-winning team last August, were foot-perfect all the way, then Belgium completed on a four-fault tally which left them heading the leaderboard with a single-fault advantage over the French.

Sweden and Colombia shared third place on a total of nine, and the Colombians are once again proving a force to be reckoned with. Although they are not always very visible on the international circuit they have a habit of pulling off some great results at major events, and Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo produced one of just nine clears on a day when 70 riders from 18 teams took on the 13-fence track created by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela.

The Irish have their eyes fully-focused on that Olympic qualifying spot so were highly relieved when their 10-fault tally earned them fifth place ahead of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy who all completed with 12 faults on the board but who were separated by the total of their combined times. It was heartache for Spain’s Alberto Marquez Galobardes, Sergio Alvarez Moya, Santiago Nunez Riva, and Eduardo Alvarez Aznar when they were squeezed out by the Italians who will resume that Olympic qualification contest with the Colombians and Irish when the final-day action gets underway on Sunday with all eight teams starting again on a zero score.

“We came here strong!” said Olivier Philippaerts. “We’ve had a great season, so we wanted to come here with the best team possible and that’s what we did. This was a tremendous start; going into Sunday it’s good for the confidence and now hopefully we can pull it off!” he added.

Chef d’Equipe Weinberg was extra-pleased with the performance of Pieter Devos “because he had Claire (his European gold-medal-winning horse) in New York last weekend so instead he rode this young mare, Jade, here for the first time in a class like that and she jumped brilliant!” he said. And he’s excited that Niels Bruynseels, a member of last year’s victorious side who will replace Devos in his team for Sunday, will bring out another up-and-coming young talent, the 10-year-old Belgian stallion Jenson van’t Meulenhof.

Anchorman Wathelet insisted that he felt under no pressure “because everyone else had done their job and made it easier for me!” but it was in fact his clear round with Nevados that clinched that pole position. He’s a man of great experience. “I was on the team that won in 2015 when I was also double-clear, and two years ago I was also double-clear so I think I like it here!” he said. But like his team manager he is under no illusions about what can happen on Sunday.

“It’s a whole new competition and anything can happen. We know it’s going to be difficult to do the double, but that’s what we came here for – to win!” he said.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 78 750 61 46

The Battle of Barcelona Promises to Be Epic

Niels Bruynseels helped Team Belgium to victory at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup 2018 Final at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain. (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Olympic qualification adds extra spice to much-anticipated Longines Final

There’s a super-sizzle of excitement ahead of this week’s Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2019 Final which kicks off on Thursday at the beautiful Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain. This will be the seventh consecutive year for the event to take place at the iconic venue that played host to the Olympic equestrian events of the 1992 Olympic Games and, once again, it will be ace Spanish course designer Santiago Varela who will be testing the best over four days of fabulous sport.

In this 110th season of the FEI Nations Cup™, its appeal is as powerful as ever. The horses and riders proudly fly their national flags and the public love to cheer on their own teams as they chase down the prestigious title. Last year’s champions from Belgium are major contenders once again, having clinched European team gold just five weeks ago in Rotterdam (NED). They look a formidable force with just one absentee from the side that stood on the top step of that podium as they send out Pieter Devos, Jerome Guery, Olivier Philippaerts, Gregory Wathelet, and Niels Bruynseels.

After 12 qualifiers in 12 countries on three continents, a total of 18 nations have booked their tickets to the Final which offers almost €2m in prizemoney. Belgium, Brazil, Columbia, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and USA have all made the cut, and Spain lines out as host nation.

And for seven of those countries there is a lot of extra pressure, as they are all vying for the single qualifying spot left for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This week in Barcelona presents them with one final opportunity, but it’s right down to the wire and the tension is tangible.

Colombia, Egypt, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, and Spain will need to get their act together from the moment the action gets underway in Thursday’s Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final first round which kicks off at 14.00 local time. There will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, because only the top eight teams after Friday’s second round will qualify for next Sunday’s title-decider, with the remainder going into Saturday’s Challenge Cup. The fight between those seven countries for the Tokyo slot is likely to be just as fierce as the battle for supremacy in the series finale itself.

While the Belgians look super-strong contenders, there’s no looking past Andy Kistler’s Swiss selection. He’s spoiled for choice because he has the World No. 1 and reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion, Steve Guerdat, and the World No. 2 and recently crowned European champion Martin Fuchs in his side along with Arthur Gustavo da Silva, Beat Mandli, and Niklaus Rutschi. Also hot-to-trot are the Swedes who, under Chef d’Equipe Henrik Ankarcrona, have shown fantastic form of late. He sends out the incredible Peder Fredricson, currently World No. 4, whose heroics this summer have been nothing short of legendary and who will be joined by Stephanie Holmen, Fredrik Jonsson, Evelina Tovek, and Henrik von Eckermann.

And of course, every German side has to be treated with the utmost respect. With Christian Ahlmann, Daniel Deusser, Marcus Ehning, Laura Klaphake, and Maurice Tebbel on call-up, it seems very likely indeed that they will be gunning for pole position after finishing second to the Belgians in Rotterdam just a few short weeks ago. But the Barcelona Final has a history of springing surprises, and last year Germany didn’t make the cut into the last day, having to settle for victory in the Challenge Cup instead, ahead of the USA. Neither of these two nations will want to find themselves in the same position again this time around, and the Americans look like they also mean business with superstars Laura Kraut and McLain Ward backed up by Eve Jobs, Chloe Reid, and Richard Spooner.

On Wednesday 2 October, there will be a draw for the order-of-go and then it’s down to business the following day when all-comers will take on the defending champions from Belgium. If their latest exploits are anything to go by, the rest will all need to be at the very top of their game because it’s not without reason that Belgian Chef d’Equipe, Peter Weinberg, called his 2018 champions his “never-give-up team.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 78 750 61 46

Piergiorgio Bucci Wins 4* Grand Prix at HUBSIDE Fall Tour

Piergiorgio Bucci with Driandria. HUBSIDE Jumping / Marco Villanti.

Forty-six horse and rider combinations took part in the CSI4* Grand Prix on this last Sunday of September. Eleven combinations managed to qualify for the jump-off on the 1m55 course designed by Louis Konickx, boasting sixteen jumping efforts.  Although France was the most represented nation in the jump-off, Italy ended up being victorious, thanks to Piergiorgio Bucci’s wonderful performance with Driandria.

Full results here: https://online.equipe.com/fr/class_sections/459416.

Relations avec les médias

Victorious Germans in Baborówko

Nadine MARZAHL with VALENTINE 18. M&R Photo.

Baborówko, the 30th of September 2019 — Three international and two national classes finished their trials on Sunday at Baborówko Horse Sale Show.

Nadine Marzahl (GER) had taken the lead after cross country in the CCI4*-S with Valentine 18. The pair went clear in the showjumping to win the whole class. The German rider had three horses in the class, finishing on the 5th position with Vally K and 18th with Victoria 108. Another German athlete, Sophie Leube, took home the second place with Jadore Moi, and Beeke Jankowski (GER) was third with Tiberius 20.

In the CCI3*-S, for the prize of Lotto, the best pair after dressage, Leonie Kuhlmann (GER) with Hidalgo 179, kept their lead after showjumping. Second place went to Paulina Maciejewska (POL) riding Jangcy L, and third to Malin Hansen-Hotopp (GER) with Quidditch K.

The best rider of the CCI2*-S, for the prize of Duon, was Stephanie Böhe (GER) with Ashanti de la Ribiere. Jaagup Kallas (EST) was second with Olli Royal, and third place went to Elmar Lesch (GER) riding Atlanta.

Victory in the national ZK 1* class belonged to Sara Algotsson Ostholt (SWE) with Dynamite Jack. Marta Orłowska (POL) with Naomi II C was second, and Weronika Mikołajczak (POL) with Czanos was third.

The national ZK L class also went to Sara Algotsson Ostholt (SWE) riding Christmas Carol de Merignat. Aleksandra Wicenciak (POL) took home the second place, and Zofia Łękowska (POL) with Rabata finished as third.

More information can be found at: www.bhss.baborowko.pl/eng.

Kent Farrington and Creedance Fly the Flag at Close of “Amazing” LGCT New York

Kent Farrington and Creedance. Photo by LGCT/Stefano Grasso.

New York, NY – As the sun set behind the Statue of Liberty and “The Star-Spangled Banner” rang out, Kent Farrington and Creedance flew the flag for the United States of America in the closing 5* thriller in New York.

The American champion’s win was a fitting climax to the sensational inaugural LGCT and GCL Finals on Governors Island, and Kent said of the event: “[It’s an] amazing setting, one of the best shows they’ve had this year and great finale to the Tour. [It’s been a] great week, amazing competition, top riders, top horses – you can’t ask for more.”

Determined to be back for next year’s LGCT of New York, he added: “I brought two amazing horses here – I thought they were good contenders. I was very happy Creedance was able to win two. I would have liked to get the Grand Prix also, but I’ll be back next year for that.”

After three days of top sport, entertainment, and perfect weather, the crowds and guests left the showground to the iconic music of Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’. The New York stage of the team and individual championships saw Ben Maher crowned LGCT Champion repeating last year’s success and London Knights, including Maher, winning the GCL Final. Michael Bloomberg, Donna Karan, Christy Turlington, and Longines Ambassador of Elegance Andre Agassi were among the guests for the first-ever leg of the series in New York.

Kent Farrington (USA) took the win ahead of Pieter Devos (BEL) with Espoir and Harrie Smolders (NED) aboard Cas 2. Georgina Bloomberg (USA) set local hearts racing after she finished fourth with her 10-year-old gelding Chameur 137.

Julien Epaillard Races to 10th LGCT Speed Victory

Julien Epaillard lived up to his moniker as the Flying Frenchman yet again by topping the CSI5* 1.45m Speed for the 10th time this season during the final day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of New York.

Piloting the nine-year-old gelding Alibi de la Roque, Epaillard stopped the clock clear in an uncatchable 58.13 seconds over Bronislav Chudyba (SVK) and the aptly named New York, who broke the timers fault-free but several ticks off the pace in 61.42 seconds. Rounding out the top-three podium, Constant van Paesschen (BEL) was hungry for his second win of the weekend from the final spot in the order-of-go riding Vendetta Treize, but settled for third in 62.17 seconds with zero faults.

The one-round event against the clock featured a sizable but unassuming track by Uliano Vezzani’s (ITA). But when riders began to shave seconds off the clock with fewer strides and tight turns, the challenges presented themselves.

More info: www.gcglobalchampions.com.

Contact: Jennifer Wood

Phenomenal Horsepower Propels London Knights to 2019 GCL Championship Victory

Ben Maher and Explosion W. Photo by GCL/Stefano Grasso.

New York, NY – The power pairings of Explosion W and Ben Maher and Clooney 51 and Martin Fuchs propelled London Knights to victory in the GCL New York and the overall 2019 Championship with drama until the final seconds.

Four flawless clear rounds were delivered by the unbeatable Knights who secured a historic second GCL title win after a rollercoaster season saw their duel with St. Tropez Pirates dominate the team series this year.

The Knights finished three points ahead of St. Tropez Pirates, with a total of 326 points this year. Madrid in Motion secured third in the Championship with 303 points, with the Shanghai Swans just hanging onto their fourth place, meaning they too will fast-track to the semi-finals at the GCL Super Cup at the GC Prague Playoffs.

The dramatic backdrop of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty provided one of the greatest stages for top-level show jumping as the world’s top riders and horses competed in the LGCT and GCL Finals for the first-time ever on Governors Island.

New Yorkers and visitors to the City filled the grandstands and cheered on the teams including home city team New York Empire, owned by Georgina Bloomberg who was watched by her father and former New York Mayor Michael.

Among guests were tennis ace Andre Agassi, supermodel Christy Turlington, and fashion designer Donna Karan for the first ever LGCT event in New York.

It was all about big names, big views, and big guns as the Knights fielded their top horses in their bid to seize the GCL Championship.

“For me, I’m biased but I have an incredible horse. To team up like this is a unique concept, where can you bring these kinds of horses together from different countries and compete like this. It was memorable day that’s for sure.

I’ve been to New York a couple times before to visit. It’s an incredible city. I don’t think anyone was sure what to expect. But, when we came here, like Global Champions does, they make the logistics incredibly easy for the grooms and the horses. The accommodations and how we are all looked after is five star. For the first year, I think the show is a huge success. There were big crowds here; it was well advertised and when I came out of the ring there were many people saying they enjoyed the day so hopefully this will grow.” ~ Ben Maher

City of Dreams Delivers as Maher Takes 2019 LGCT Title in New York

It was ‘game, set, and match’ after Ben Maher (GBR) wrote history aboard Explosion W in an extraordinary Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of New York, taking the LGCT Grand Prix win and the 2019 Championship title just hours after helping to secure the GCL team series crown for the London Knights.

In the city that never sleeps it would turn out to be a superlative showdown with a script that sporting dreams are made of. With spectators filling the rafters of the grandstand and positioned in every inch of space, the equestrian world watched as the knife-edge Championship reached its conclusion on Governors Island.

Devos (BEL) lead the overall ranking by just one point, but with pressure reaching fever pitch it was Ben Maher (GBR) who kept a cool head in a seven-rider jump-off to catapult himself to the title win – his second after taking the 2018 Championship.

A beaming Ben said: “I knew it would be a tough weekend – the dream was to win the team [title] and the individual. It doesn’t happen often. What a horse – he’s incredible. He understands me, I understand him, we have a great connection, and it’s a pleasure to be in the sport like this.

“It’s incredible [to win the title for a second year running]. Last year was unexpected; this year I’ve used Explosion a little less; I’ve used Concona, Madame X and F One USA, so I’m lucky to have so many great horses and great owners.”

In a touching sporting moment, Maher praised his rival Pieter Devos, who was just beaten into second place in the Championship. “[Pieter] gave a great fight; it was a push all the way to the end. I’m sure he’s going to come back strong.”

More info: www.gcglobalchampions.com.

Contact: Jennifer Wood

Santiago Lambre and Diathago Deliver $25,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Grand Prix Victory

Santiago Lambre and Diathago ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – September 28, 2019 – Santiago Lambre (Wellington, FL) and Diathago sped to win the $25,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Grand Prix at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), halting the jump-off timers at 40.372 seconds. Tiffany Hammack (Hawthorn Woods, IL) and Crack Elle Chavannaise, a 2008 Belgian Sporthorse mare (Carving x Unknown) owned by Beyaert Farm Inc, took second place for their performance of 40.734 seconds, while Theo Genn (Lebanon, OH) and Firewall, a 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lexicon x Padinus) owned by Eduardo Leon, claimed third-place honors with a time of 40.822 seconds.

“Diathago is a new horse I’ve had now for two months. I jumped him three weeks ago in the 5* Grand Prix in Saugerties, which we won. We were one of only two pairs clear; it was a really tough course,” Lambre said. “Now I’m preparing him for the 5* here in three weeks.”

The course, designed by Nick Granat (Chicago, IL), challenged 29 pairs, with eight returning to pilot the short course. “It was a really nice course for a National Standard Grand Prix,” Lambre shared. “I think it was tough enough, but didn’t have terrible results.

“I wanted to jump under the lights with him [Diathago] since he’s never done that before, but he wasn’t spooky at all,” Lambre, who has big hopes for the 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Diarado x Carthago) owned by Gestut Lewitz, revealed. “The plan is next year to do the Nations Cup in Wellington and I also think this horse has the potential for the Olympics.”

For full results from the $25,000 Carolina Arena Equipment Grand Prix, click here.

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Championship Decider on Knife Edge as Knights Take Pole in New York

Ben Maher of the London Knights aboard Explosion W. Photo by GCL/Stefano Grasso.

New York, NY – In a script worthy of the Broadway stage, GCL New York Round 1 saw the London Knights claim pole position – propelling themselves back into the 2019 title fight as Saturday’s Championship decider rests on a knife edge.

London Knights’ formidable combination of Martin Fuchs with Clooney 51 and Ben Maher aboard Explosion W blew away the competition in a jaw-dropping class, taking pole position and every advantage possible heading into Saturday’s showdown.

However, just one rail away after the results are the current ranking leaders St. Tropez Pirates, with Pieter Devos and Dani G. Waldman collecting just 4 faults in the complex class to put them within touching distance of a podium – and the Championship title.

In a drama-fueled day, the Shanghai Swans – who were placed second in the overall rankings so far – were eliminated from the competition after Peder Fredricson and Zacramento unexpectedly parted ways during the first round of action. Their elimination would mean the team cannot improve on their score, dropping the Swans out of contention for the title.

Martin Fuchs spoke after their round: “It helped that we have two of the best horses in the world and are in great shape, so it’s a great start. My horse Clooney is in the best shape he’s ever been now.”

Teammate and team manager Ben Maher revealed the team’s tactics: “Martin and I sat down and we had a plan this week. We have our two best horses here, and it’s the first time we’ve teamed them up together.”

But the experienced British Olympic gold medalist remained clear-headed: “One minute you can be winning, the next you can be out, and every score counts. We’ve come with one of the best teams possible this weekend to put pressure on the others, so we’ll hope to produce more clear rounds tomorrow.”

Constant van Paesschen Dazzles in LGCT New York Opener

Victory was sweet for Belgium when Constant van Paesschen and his striking 10-year-old black stallion Vendetta Treize took top call in the opening event of the inaugural Longines Global Champions Tour New York. Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (ESP) claimed the runner-up position riding F, while Abdel Saïd (EGY) rounded out the top-three podium finishes on Axel 111 Z.

With his mount’s owner and breeder, Amandine Wittouck, watching from the sidelines, van Paesschen posted a blistering clear over Uliano Vezzani’s (ITA) opening CSI5* track. Of the round, he touted: “The horse jumped very well and it’s a very nice feeling to win. I wanted to try and leave one out somewhere, but I saw that it wasn’t coming up like I wanted so I stuck to the plan. The horse really tried, and I was crossing my fingers!

“To realize [an event] at this venue is unbelievable,” continued van Paesschen of the latest breathtaking addition to the LGCT circuit on Governors Island in New York, NY. “We have been riding all year in unbelievable locations, but this one stands out.”

Panoramic views of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty provided a quintessential backdrop for the first day of competition at the Longines Global Champions Tour of New York and the riders rose to the test.

More info: www.gcglobalchampions.com.

Contact: Jennifer Wood