23 August 2010 – For the first time in history a female athlete from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has competed at an Olympic event. Dalma Rushdi Malhas, a member of the Saudi Youth Olympic Games Team, participated in the Equestrian competition this week. Her participation has been facilitated by the FEI working in conjunction with the IOC to widen the participation quota.
Dalma competed in the two rounds of the Team competition hors concours (out of competition) as she was not part of an official team, picking up 16 faults in the first round and then going clear in the second when she was first into the arena. She had her first taste of full Olympic competition yesterday in the opening round of the individual, completing with just four faults. She is now in equal 10th place going into tomorrow’s individual final, the equivalent of one fence behind the nine riders on zero who are battling it out for individual glory.
FEI President, HRH Princess Haya said, “We in the FEI are enormously proud to have one of our athletes record this historic event.”
Lexington, KY – August 22, 2010 – It was a beautiful and sunny Kentucky afternoon, for the final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Today riders competed for top prizes during the jumper divisions in the new Indoor Ring at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park. The highlight event of the day was the $30,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix where Georgina Bloomberg and Fiedi 3 stole the show after completing an incredible double clear-effort with a blazing jump-off time of 40.83 seconds.
Today’s class featured a course designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England. The first round included an oxer-vertical double combination and a vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination, with numerous bending lines.
Six riders were able to show perfection over the technical first round track and advance to the short course. For the shortened tiebreaker test, they began by jumping a wide oxer in the corner and then made a right turn to the double combination before galloping to the end of the ring to jump a single vertical. Next they made a left turn to another oxer and then had a long gallop to an oxer-vertical bending line. Riders finished by galloping home off the left lead over a tall, single vertical.
23 August 2010 – German youngsters continued their extraordinary run of form through the 2010 sub-senior FEI Championship calendar as the Junior squad claimed the team title as well as individual gold and silver at the FEI Junior European Eventing Championships in Bad Segeberg at the weekend. In command from the outset, the winning team completed 15 points clear of the silver medallists from France, while Italy claimed bronze ahead of Ireland. And in the individual rankings the formidable strength of the German challenge was set in stone as the home runners filled five of the top six placings.
A total of 74 competitors from 16 nations lined out at the German venue from 19 to 22 August, and 2009 bronze medallist, Celina Nothofer, demonstrated her determination to improve on her result of 12 months earlier when stamping her authority on the dressage arena with the leading score of 35.20. However time penalties on the cross-country course would rob her of the ultimate accolade and she had to settle for silver as team-member Alina Meister, lying second after dressage, overtook her when adding nothing to her first-phase score of 39.00. Individual bronze went to Tim Rogers, the only member of the British team to escape penalty on cross-country day.
22 August 2010 – Britain’s Emily Baldwin spearheaded a competitive international field to win her first ever HSBC FEI World Cup event, at the inaugural Haras du Pin (FRA) CIC3*-W, the penultimate competition in the 2010 series.
Baldwin, 29, and her 14-year-old Dutch-bred Drivetime, are an experienced combination and are renowned for producing elegant, expressive Dressage tests, so it was no surprise to see them lead this phase.
They slipped to fourth with a handful of Cross-Country time penalties, but then regained the top spot with a clear Jumping round to finish just 2.2 penalties ahead of Belgium’s Karin Donckers on Lamicell Charizard.
Baldwin and Drivetime, by Zuidhorn, are now heading for the Pau CCI4* (FRA) in November, the last of the five 2010 HSBC Classics. “I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Baldwin. “It’s my biggest win to date. I have won a CIC3* before, but not an HSBC FEI World Cup event. My horse is quite a character in the stable yard anyway, and now he will be very pleased with himself!”
22 August 2010 – Another steamy day in Singapore greeted competitors and spectators for round 1 of the Youth Olympic Games Individual Jumping Competition, with all the riders going back to zero scores for a brand new start after the Teams medal decider.
Singaporean precision meant that the first competitor from Chile rode into the arena today at exactly 9.30am, ready to jump the course presented by international Course Designer, John Vallance (AUS). The fences were a little higher and wider, with oxers looking squarer than those for the Team Competition. This is appropriate now that the horse and rider combinations have got to know each other better and should be able to handle the elevated degree of difficulty. Distances in the course were very even and fair with a flowing line. A triple combination was also included to test the riders.
There were nine clear rounds in today’s competition, with most of them being ridden very smoothly and effectively. Competitors who went clear were Marcelo Chirico (URU), Thomas McDermott (AUS), Mohamed Abdalla (EGY), Timur Patarov (KAZ), Dominique Shone (CAN), Guilherme Foroni (BRA), Samantha McIntosh (RSA), Wojciech Dahlke (POL) and Mario Gamboa (COL).
Lexington, KY – August 20, 2010 – Another incredible crowd turned out at the new Indoor Ring tonight, this time to watch riders compete for the top prize during the $50,000 CSI-W Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. It proved to be an interesting night when the first four riders all completed clear rounds to start, but as the class progressed no other combinations were able to duplicate the effort and join the jump-off. Lauren Crooks and Cincinnati La Silla led the victory gallop after they laid down the fastest clear effort over the short course, continuing their winning streak after taking the top prize in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic during the Kentucky Summer Classic.
Tonight’s long and winding course was designed by Richard Jeffery. The first round course featured 16 jumping efforts and included a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination, an oxer-vertical double combination, and a number of tall, single verticals. At first it looked as though the course was too simple when the first four riders to take to the track all posted clear efforts, but as the evening continued, the rails began to come down and no one else was able to advance to the short course.
The jump-off round began over a single oxer followed by a bending line to a single vertical. Riders then made a left turn to another wide oxer before jumping through the oxer-vertical double combination. Finally, the competitors made an inside turn and galloped to a tall vertical just before the finish line.
20 August 2010 – Team Europe has won the coveted team gold at the Youth Olympic Games after a nail biting jump-off between three teams in a day of unsurpassed excitement in the jumping arena.
Three teams – Europe, Australasia and Africa – were all on four penalties going into today’s second round and it proved to be a battle to the end for these continents. It looked as though Europe would clinch gold when their last rider, Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), cleared fence after fence with Gippsland Girl in what was looking like another wonderful clear for Europe. But a rail down at the last fence left Europe, Australasia and Africa tied on eight penalties, forcing a jump-off against the clock over a shortened course to determine the medal placings.
Both Europe and Australasia picked up four faults in the crowd-pleasing jump-off, but Europe’s faster overall time earned the gold, Australasia got silver and Africa bronze, to the huge delight of the riders and their supporters. After the historic presentation of medals for the first ever Youth Olympic Games equestrian competition, the riders galloped joyously around the ring on their lap of honour, elation at winning an Olympic medal evident on every smiling young face.
Edwina Alexander is writing a diary for horsesinthesouth.com as she prepares for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Here are Edwina’s third and fourth entries.
The last couple of months…
Itot has recovered well from his slight injury and we have both been very busy over the last couple of months on the Global Champions Tour (GCT), and have competed in Cannes (which I won with Itot, and was the only rider with three clear rounds), Monte Carlo, Estoril and Chantilly (I came third and was beaten by two ladies – Laura Kraut (1st) and Pénélope Leprevost (2nd). He really feels back to his normal self which is great and he’s been jumping extremely well.
I went to the Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco where we stayed with some friends and had a spectacular view as the cars came out of the tunnel. It was great to see a fellow Aussie (Mark Webber) win, although it was disappointing that the National Anthem was played a day late and not in Hamburg!
After the GCT round in Turin I went to Wiesbaden where I had a really good show, and on the first day I was second with Socrates (Cevo Socrates), and my young horse, Kisby (8-y-o), was second in the young horses. The following day I won the final of the youngster tour and Socrates was fourth in one of the other classes. Zorro rode in the Grand Prix and he was clear, but he just got a little bit green in the jump off and he had a couple down, which was a shame.
16 August 2010 – Niklas Lindbäck scored a popular home win in the 10th leg of the HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing at Malmö (SWE) and boosted Swedish spirits at what was an important national team trial before the forthcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky (USA) next month.
Lindbäck, who rose from 10th after Dressage on Mr Pooh to take the top spot after Cross-Country with the second-fastest round, held on to win with a clear over the coloured poles. “I’m so very pleased with my horse and with my whole team. It’s great to win on home ground and I’m glad the crowd appreciated it. It’s been a good competition in which riders were certainly put to the test,” he said afterwards.
Two other Swedish riders finished in the top 10, Katrin Norling and her experienced Pandora Emm, third, and Malin Larsson on Piccadilly, ninth. But aside from Australian visitor Clayton Fredericks’s eighth place on Brookleigh, German riders were the main beneficiaries.
Dressage leader Simone Deitermann (GER) was second on her Badminton hero Free Easy NRW, while three of her compatriots are now making serious headway on the FEI HSBC World Cup rankings, which are still led by Michael Jung (GER).
14/08/10 – There was no stopping Laura Kraut at Valkenswaard today. Having already won the warm up speed class on Unique, she proceeded to cap a memorable day by jumping three clears for the second time in two weeks to clinch her second GCT Grand Prix victory in the same period! The American who prior to Chantilly had never won a Grand Prix on the series, now has a back to back double, something that has not happened in recent GCT history, if ever. Today’s show was also especially notable as His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Monaco was among the audience.
The first round was another Uliano Vezzani masterpiece. With nearly every fence falling at some point the bogey fences were probably the combination (vertical, two strides, oxer, one stride, vertical) and the early line which included the open water with five strides to a double. But the course still produced 12 clear rounds from 50 starters, including Laura, GCT rankings leader Marco Kutscher (Cash) and former GCT Champion Jessica Kurten (Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois). With a share of the million Euro bonus at stake and only Rio left to score points towards winning it, there was a lot to play for as the second round started over a changed but slightly shorter course. Pressure was put on the leaders by the first of the four faulters from the first round, Judy Ann Melchior with Levisto Z. The grey made it all look easy although Kevin Staut matched the feat on another grey, Silvana, but it was looking for a while as if a double clear would never happen. The capacity crowd groaned as Patrick McEntee (Chivas Mury Marais), Penelope Leprevost (Topinambour), Jos Lansink (Valentina Van T’Heike), Beezie Madden (Coral Reef Via Volo), Alvaro de Miranda (AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan) and Jessica Kurten all lowered one rail each leaving all of them on a total of four over two rounds. Laura was the first to go double clear and then she was joined by Christian Alhmann and Taloubet Z, Denis Lynch with Latinus and almost inevitably, Marco Kutscher.