Tag Archives: Show Jumping

Interview with Niels Bruynseels, Current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender

Niels Bruynseels riding Gancia de Muze (Photo: Kit Houghton)

What have you been up to since winning the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters?

“Straight after winning the Rolex Grand Prix I celebrated with my team; we were all so excited! It was a late finish that evening, but because I only live an hour away from the show we went back to my house and continued the celebrations there.

“We went to Paris a week later and came second in the big competition there, but since then my horse has had a bit of a rest. This week she will start competing again as we start our preparations for CHIO Aachen and the next stage of the Rolex Grand Slam.”

Can you tell us a bit about your horse?

“Gancia de Muze is a very special horse; she is a 12-year-old Belgian-bred mare and has a very unique character! She is very stubborn sometimes, and I have to do everything for her otherwise she gets in a bad mood! She receives a lot of special treatment; she has lots of time in the field and because she doesn’t like flat work, so she is lunged and jumped more frequently. She is very set in her ways! But she really loves her job and enjoys herself so much at the events. Every time we compete together, she really fights for me; she has a competitive nature and wants to win!”

Are you planning on attending CHIO Aachen? If so, how are you preparing for the next part of your Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey?

“Of course, I plan to ride in the Rolex Grand Prix at Aachen; it is one of my goals to win there. This week I plan go to Madrid and will see how my horse is performing on grass. I have scheduled some competitions on grass, specifically to prepare for the Rolex Grand Prix, with the hope to continue my Rolex Grand Slam journey.”

Do you have any superstitions?

“You could say I do have one superstition… When I arrive at the hotel, I always layout my riding clothes in the same order, separating them out into ‘Day one’, ‘Day two’, and so on. It is a routine that I always go through. Aside from that I don’t have any other superstitions, just hope that my training pays off and I can perform to the best of my ability.”

Can you talk us through your daily routine when training?

“The grooms start at 6.30am; they do the morning feeds and prepare the horses. I arrive at 7.30am to begin riding the horses. Each morning, before I arrive at the stables, I make a plan for the whole day which outlines the team’s responsibilities. We have a total of 25 horses, so it is important that I stay really organized to make sure everything at the yard runs smoothly. I will then spend the day riding seven to eight horses, so I am very busy, but I love it! I concentrate fully on the training of the horses, so the days when I am not competing are completely focused on that.”

How did it feel to win a Major? What was going through your mind?

“Winning a Grand Prix is always nice, but to win a Rolex Major is very unique and so special, the feeling was unreal. The media hype is on a whole different level, and the attention I have received since then is greater than ever. Everybody is focused on the Rolex Grand Slam as it is one of the biggest parts of our sport, so everyone is talking about it which adds to the excitement. It was a magical moment and one of the best in my career so far. I hope there will be more occasions like this!”

If you weren’t a rider, what would you be?

“I have always loved horses; they are my absolute world. So, if I wasn’t a rider I would have to be something that is still horse orientated, therefore I think I would be a horse dealer.”

Do you have any hobbies?

“No hobbies, only horses! If I am at a show and have some free time I enjoy sightseeing and trying the food of the local area, but other than that it’s all about the horses.”

What is your advice for young riders?

“My advice to young riders would be: you can always keep learning from other people. Make sure when you are at events, you are watching the other competitors and seeing how they ride. If you want to improve and progress you shouldn’t rush or be frustrated when you don’t reach the top straight away; it is a step-by-step process and you can never stop learning.”

Do you feel that there is added pressure as the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender?

“I don’t feel too stressed right now, but there is certainly a different sort of pressure that comes with being the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender. You are aware of more people talking about it and I have had a lot of people ask me if I am going for the Rolex Grand Slam. It is a different feeling right now, but I am sure at Aachen I will feel the extra pressure as I don’t want to give up my position of live contender!”

What do you want to achieve in your career; what is your dream?

“Aside from winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, I want an Olympic gold medal, whether it is with the team or as an individual – that is a big goal for me. I also hope to compete at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon this September and a medal there would be nice too!”

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

A Royal Victory on Opening Day of Royal Windsor Horse Show

CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show kicked off in style with a win for Her Majesty The Queen, who was present to enjoy the victory of Whalton Highwayman, ridden by 15-year-old Kinvara Garner. The private grounds of Windsor Castle were resplendent in the sunshine on the opening day of the five-day Show, as the Showing and National Show Jumping took centre stage.

SHOWING: HM THE QUEEN’S HORSE SHINES ON OPENING DAY OF ROYAL WINDSOR

Kinvara Garner took the Part Bred and Anglo Arab Championship, having headed a good 148cm class on HM The Queen’s 11-year-old Whalton Highwayman.

“This is his second Royal Windsor,” said Kinvara. “He has only been out twice before but has qualified for the Royal International Horse Show as a Show Hunter pony, and also as a Part Bred Arab. I couldn’t be more pleased with how the season started.”

Cheshire showman, Robert Walker, won his fourth Cuddy Hunter title against stiff competition, this time riding Jill Day’s outstanding lightweight View Point.

Local rider Jayne Ross won the Small Hunter, sponsored by Rosettes Direct, on Kay Campbell’s five-year-old Church Rock Cashel, attending only his third Show.

“I thought he would be next year’s horse,” said Jayne. “I am so surprised and delighted for him to win.”

The Amateur Hunter Championship title went to a former ladies’ winner, Time 2 Reflect, ridden this year by her owner Lucy Cameron.

SHOW JUMPING: LAURA RENWICK AND GEORGIA THAME MAKE IT LADIES’ DAY AT ROYAL WINDSOR

Britain’s leading lady, Laura Renwick, got the Show Jumping at Royal Windsor off to a flying start, winning the Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter – First Round, a two-phase National competition, with a double clear in a time of 34 seconds. Riding Arkuga, a seven-year-old homebred by Arko, out of her former top mare Beluga, Renwick used her international experience in the prestigious Castle Arena to knock over a second off the time of runner-up Charlie White.

The top twelve six-year-old horses from the Equitop Myoplast Foxhunter qualified for The Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship later in the day, a class which was won by Australian Rowan Willis, riding Hadyvola. The 1.30m course proved demanding for the novice horses, with only four combinations jumping clear, but Willis’ tight turn to an oxer approaching the final line made all the difference as he stormed to a four second victory.

The biggest class of the day, The 1.40m Land Rover Grades A & B Jumping Competition, went to Georgia Thame with Z7 Qamar. 15 of the 43 starters went through to the second phase against-the-clock, however speed proved the downfall of many, with only four managing to produce a rare double-clear. As second to go in the arena, Marie-Louise Thomas set the pace early on, producing a lovely clear in 35.90 seconds; however, Thame took the lead midway through the class with a time of 31.46 seconds, which proved unbeatable. Keith Doyle, riding Harlequin Dunraven, came close, but his double clear in 32.07 seconds was only good enough for second place.

Tickets for Royal Windsor Horse Show are still available via www.rwhs.co.uk.

Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)203 176 0355

Leslie Burr-Howard and Donna Speciale Best Field in $70k Tryon Resort Grand Prix CSI 2

Leslie Burr-Howard and Donna Speciale. Photo Credit ©Sportfot & TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – May 5, 2018 – An electric atmosphere came to a hush at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Saturday night, as Leslie Burr-Howard (USA) and Donna Speciale took to Tryon Stadium as the final combination in the jump-off round of the $70,000 Tryon Resort Grand Prix CSI 2*. The duo leapt to a fast, first place finish to revive the highly anticipated “Saturday Night Lights” competition and mark the first FEI show jumping victory of the 2018 season.

A total of 45 combinations took to the arena to contest the Richard Jeffery (GBR) designed course, with only eight returning to take their turn around the fast track. The field saw a battle until the very end, with Howard and the 2008 Dutch Warmblood mare (Cavalier x Concorde) claiming the blue ribbon after securing the fastest time as the last pair on course for the evening, stopping the timers in 42.167 seconds.

“I thought Richard [Jeffery] did a great job,” Howard explained of the night’s track. “It’s a sign of a good course when you have somewhere between six to eight clean. It’s a nice number. I think he did a great job because he had a bit of a mixed bag of horses. There were some young horses, some older horses, some young riders and I think he did well to get the eight clean that he did.”

Second place honors went to Ireland’s Paul O’Shea aboard Tequestrian Farms, LLC’s 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding, Imerald Van’t Voorhof (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Bacardi-Orange de Muze), after racing around the jump-off track in 42.374 seconds. Third place was captured by Catherine Tyree (USA) and Mary Tyree’s Catungee, a 2006 Holsteiner gelding (Contact Me x Liatos), completing their round in 42.534 seconds.

Howard and the mare, owned by Laure Sudreau-Rippe and Peter Howard, rode to the top of the leaderboard just two-tenths of a second ahead of O’Shea, who was then knocked into second place. Despite the speed, Howard noted that she didn’t necessarily have one particular spot in the jump-off that shaved off time and credited the mare for her overall quickness.

“She is a very fast horse across the ground,” Howard said. “If you counted strides everywhere, I probably did more strides than the ones that were second and third, but she is such a quick horse that I knew I could have the luxury of not feeling like I had to leave out a stride in every line.”

The duo just returned from a light yet successful winter show season in Wellington, Florida, where they were the victors during the eleventh week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival. Howard, who still considers the mare a less experienced competitor, intends to ask for more from the talented young mount as the summer progresses.

“I showed her very sparingly in Florida because I’m breaking her into the 1.60m level. I didn’t do a lot with her because I consider her to still be young. She’s ultra-careful, ultra-fast. We have a lot coming up in the summer, so I went for an easy Florida with good results before coming here. We will go to Lexington next week, then a month off, then off to Calgary.”

Howard concluded by complimenting the facility at TIEC and the atmosphere as a whole. She commented, “They’re doing an amazing job with the facility. I have to say tonight the footing was lovely. They’ve done a great job. It’s a great atmosphere here and they’re turning this into a world-class venue very quickly, probably faster than they thought they would be!”

To learn more about TIEC, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Lambre Stamps His Name on First Week of 2018 FEI Jumping CSI 2* Competition at TIEC

Santiago Lambre and Doloris. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – May 3, 2018 – The Tryon Spring I CSI 2* kicked off this week at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) with an FEI victory for Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and Doloris, continuing a competitive first week of international jumping at the venue. Lambre started the week with a blue ribbon in the FEI $6,000 Power & Speed 1.40m CSI 2* aboard D’Artagnan, and came out strong once again in the $35,000 1.45m Welcome Stake CSI 2* to secure top honors.

Lambre and his Dutch Warmblood mare (Harley VDL x Colinda D) blasted through the Richard Jeffery (GBR) designed track with a quick round, stopping the clock in 38.11 seconds and besting the class of 64 original horse-and-rider combinations.

Lambre has had the ride on the mare since she was a six-year-old and began competing her about a year and a half ago. With both consistent and impressive performances, the pair has continued their success this season, having notched five top five CSI finishes last fall at the venue, while tossing two champion placings into the mix as well.

A total of 13 entries contested the jump-off, while Lambre rode three different horses in the class. At the conclusion, it was Doloris who ultimately returned to prove her place at the top of the class. The final ride of the day went to Carlos Ramirez (COL) aboard his own 2007 Belgian Warmblood stallion Happy Wandor Van’t Roosakker (Wandor van de Mispelaere x V Cento).

The duo nearly took the lead, finishing just tenths of a second behind Lambre to receive second place honors with a jump-off time of 38.76 seconds. Third place was captured by Ireland’s Richie Maloney, who piloted Equinimity LLC’s Belgian Warmblood gelding Merqusio (Cicero Z x Flamenco de Semilly) to a jump-off time of 39.04 seconds.

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Harrie Smolders Debuts as Longines World Number One

Photo: Harrie Smolders and Don VHP Z (FEI/Libby Law)

Dutch Olympian Harrie Smolders has secured the number one spot of the Longines World Ranking for the first time in his career, taking the reins from Olympic silver medallist Kent Farrington (USA) who held the position since May 2017.

Smolders, who turns 38 next week, made his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Games, has been snapping at the heels of Farrington (34) for several months from second position. Now at the top of this elite list on 3158 points, he earns further recognition after his incredible year in 2017 which was marked by one dominant performance after another. Smolders took individual silver with Don VHP Z at the 2017 Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg, and shortly after clinched victory for his country at the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP).

He was awarded the Rider of the Year in the Netherlands in 2017, another first in his career, as an acknowledgement of his accomplishments in a single season and also made history with his double victory winning both the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour and the 2017 Longines Global Champions league.

Kent Farrington (USA) who is well on the road to recovery after breaking his right leg in a fall in mid-February now sits in second position on 2913 points, followed closely by Peder Fredricson (SWE) who remains at number three on 2821 points.

After her electrifying win at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping final in Paris in April, Beezie Madden (USA) has moved up from number 21 to 11, with Germany’s Daniel Deusser leaping back into the top ten from 17th position.

About Harrie Smolders

Harrie began riding at age eight, but was not initially keen on equestrian jumping. He won dressage and eventing competitions at the start of his career, and at age 16 he chose jumping over football.

Making his international début in 2000, Smolders has been part of the Netherlands Team at four FEI European Championships taking team bronze in 2001 Gijon (ESP) and individual silver in 2017 Gothenburg (SWE). He has competed at five FEI World Cup™ Jumping finals securing the silver medal in Gothenburg (SWE) in 2016. He also competed at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Lexington 2010 and will be looking to make his mark at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 in September.

Media contact:

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

Swiss Sweep to Victory at Opening Leg of Europe Division 1 Series in Šamorín

Photo: Martin Fuchs and Chaplin (FEI/Łukasz Kowalski)

Irish finish second ahead of Belgians in third

Switzerland secured a definitive victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Slovakia in Šamorín. With seven nations chasing points at this first leg of the 2018 Europe Division 1 qualifying series, it was a hotly-contested affair, and the eventual winners already looked well poised for success when leading at the end of the first round on a zero scoreline.

However, the second tour of the track designed by Uliano Vezzani saw a big shake-up, with Italy dropping from runner-up spot to joint-fifth and replaced by the Irish, while Belgium finished third ahead of Brazil in fourth place. Sweden lined up joint-fifth while the German team collected a total of 24 faults for seventh place and Spain accumulated 38 faults to finish last of the eight competing countries.

The Swiss picked up nine faults in round two, but that was without the services of anchorman Steve Guerdat (35) who didn’t have to return to the arena with his mare, Hannah, because the result was already decided, the Irish finishing on 13, Belgium on 16 and Brazil on 18 faults apiece.

“I managed her really well in the first round, and then the team did so good they made it a nice Sunday afternoon for me!” — Steve Guerdat (Team Switzerland)

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Swiss Chef d’Equipe Anky Kistler, however, because he had to give Paul Estermann (54) a late call-up after selected team-member, Jannike Sprunger, had taken a fall. And Estermann’s 10-year-old stallion, Curtis Sitte, was competing in his very first Nations Cup. The pair collected the discard score of eight faults in round one and put five more on the board in round two, but when youngest team member Martin Fuchs (25) produced one of four double-clears on the day then just the single mistake by pathfinders Werner Muff (44) and Daimler at the influential vertical one fence from home had to be added for the final winning scoreline.

“We brought a really good team here and we were aiming for the win – we knew we could do it!” said Fuchs, whose 11-year-old stallion, Chaplin, was sensational. He was particularly delighted because the horse is just returning to top level after injury.

“He won the Grand Prix in Mexico and in Zurich and Doha but after the GCT in Miami he got hurt and this was his first big show back,” Fuchs explained. About the course, he said, “The back bars on the oxers were wide and square so there were quite a few faults, but for me it felt quite easy because Chaplin was jumping so well. He was fresh all the way to the last fence in the second round and this makes me very happy because I knew my planning was right – I gave him more time instead of going to some more indoor shows and today he was fit and just perfect!”

The Swiss now head into the second round of the eight-leg Europe Division 1 series in La Baule (FRA) in three weeks’ time at the top of the league table but only 10 points ahead of the Irish whose runner-up finish was bolstered by a brilliant double-clear from US-based Paul O’Shea riding Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu. The other double-clears came from Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts (Chilli Willi) and Brazil’s Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (Comic).

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

McLain Ward Claims Stunning Victory in Longines Grand Prix of New York

McLain Ward and Clinta. Photo by Sportfot.

McLain Ward (USA), hailing from Brewster, NY, thrilled a hometown crowd with a flawless triumph in the $382,800 Longines Grand Prix of New York during the final day of the highly-anticipated Longines Masters of New York on Sunday, April 29. Making its long-awaited debut in the heart of the Empire State as the American Grand Slam, the Masters celebrated its 25th competition with an event on American soil as part of Season III of the Longines Masters Series after events in Paris and Hong Kong earlier in the season.

In front of an exhilarated crowd at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion and three-time U.S. Olympic medalist led a victory gallop that represented the world’s greatest show jumping talent. Ward and Clinta, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare by Clinton x Lord Pezi, was the pair to beat in a star-studded jump-off over courses conceived by Dutch course designer Louis Konickx.

The Longines Masters of New York saw top sport throughout four days of competition and Konickx’s tracks rose to the occasion each day. Stopping the short-course clock in a blistering 34.92 seconds, Ward commented on the course designing team, saying, “[Course design] is a real art and I thought it was fantastic for the inaugural event. You have a big crowd, an exciting jump-off, and the course was challenging but it allowed for a few clear rounds and great sport in the jump-off, which is great for the fans.

“It’s always nice to win on your home soil in the U.S. and extra special in New York,” continued Ward. “I can remember years ago when I was a young kid, I won a grand prix at [Madison Square] Garden and that was very special because it was the home state and the home city. It was very special again today here.”

Erynn Ballard (CAN) was poised to become only the second woman to ever win a Masters Grand Prix along with Pénélope Leprévost of France, who earned a Paris title in 2011, when she went clear from the first position in the order. Setting the pace again in the jump-off, Ballard sat in the lead on a time of 35.89 seconds riding Fantast, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Toulon x Rubens du Ri d’Asse owned by Sagamore Farms.

“New York has always been good to me and I would say this is a career best for me from start to finish,” said Ballard after a banner week that also included a win in the $100,000 Longines Speed Challenge on Friday evening. “I had a big win in the Maclay Finals at Madison Square Garden [in 1998] and everyone was saying New York was my place. I think that’s true for this week. I was hoping for two top 10 finishes and I got three podium finishes. There’s not much more you can do than that.”

Two-time Olympic silver medalist Peder Fredricson (SWE) was hungry for a win and gave a lesson in speed with Hansson WL, the 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Indra WL x Iowa owned by Måsel AB. He stopped the clock at 35.43 seconds to claim second and bump Ballard to third, but was no match for Ward.

“It’s always difficult to beat McLain,” said Fredricson, who is the reigning Longines FEI European Champion. “He is always quick, but I was really happy with my round. My horse jumped fantastic. If I could have done something, maybe I could have turned tighter to the second to last [jump].

“As a rider, it’s fantastic to ride here,” continued Fredricson on his time in New York. “You really feel the crowd and also in the prize giving, you get really good contact with the people in the audience. I really enjoyed my time here.”

Rounding out the top placings, Olympic team gold medalist Kevin Staut (FRA) took fourth in 36.26 seconds riding Vendom d’Anchat HDC, while Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) was fifth aboard Cristalline in 38.35 seconds.

Ward and his winning mount recently joined forces after he added the ride to his already stacked string, which is made up of five grey mares including Clinta along with his World Cup champion HH Azur.

“It’s great to see her showing all that I thought she could be,” said Ward of the mare he owns with Sagamore Farms. “I saw her in Aachen last summer and fell in love with her, but it took me seven months to get her. She made a great effort today and it was my day.”

A New York native, Ward was complimentary of the Longines Masters of New York and the efforts of its management to introduce unparalleled sport and entertainment to the American market, saying, “They’re really making this an entertainment spectacle, which is phenomenal. It’s something that’s been missing in promoting our sport; making it more exciting to a more diverse audience.”

McLain Ward is now the new contender for the Grand Slam Bonus of €1,000,000 for winning three Longines Grand Prix consecutively in New York (Season III), Paris (Season IV), and Hong Kong (Season IV).

Christophe Ameeuw, CEO and Founder of EEM, had dreamt of bringing the Longines Masters to New York since he conceived the idea of a high-performance show jumping series.

“On behalf of the entire team at EEM and the Longines Masters Series, we want to thank the riders, our partners, our exhibitors, and most importantly, our fans, for making Season III a successful and historic event,” said Ameeuw. “The past four days have exhibited the world’s top athletes and showcased some of the best performances in show jumping history. Bringing the Longines Masters Series to New York has always been a dream and we’re thrilled to have received such a warm welcome. We look forward to continuing this legacy for years to come.”

Madison Goetzmann Wins Prestigious Masters Two Sam Edelman Grand Prix

In a thrilling finale to the Masters Two division at the inaugural Longines Masters of New York, 17-year-old Madison Goetzmann (USA) displayed talent well beyond her years to win the $35,000 Sam Edelman Grand Prix following a seven-horse jump-off.  Riding Prestigious, her 11-year-old Westphalian gelding, Goetzmann of Skaneateles, NY took every risk in the jump-off before galloping through the timers in 35.55 seconds.  With 1984 World Cup champion Mario Deslauriers (CAN) last to go in the jump-off, the crowd was on the edge of its seat as the two-time Canadian Olympian gave it his best effort aboard Bardolina 2, a nine-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Wishing Well Farm.  It was close, but not close enough, as the pair stopped the clock in 35.70 seconds to finish runner-up.  Megan McDermott (USA) rounded out the top three after incurring four faults in the jump-off in a time of 35.42 seconds.

“It’s amazing!” said Goetzmann of her Longines Masters debut.  “I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it’s managed so perfectly, it’s a beautiful atmosphere, and the crowds are amazing.  I’m really sad that it’s over!”

With top results throughout the Masters Two division, including a win in Saturday’s Mark Cross Trophy riding Curo, Deslauriers, who resides in New York City, was crowned the Stephex Leading Rider.  His reward was a one-year lease on a Stephex STX 2 horse van.

Serena Marron Saves the Best for Last!

The Masters Three Devialet Grand Prix 1.15m kicked off the final day of show jumping competition at the Longines Masters of New York with a nail-biting finish for Serena Marron (USA) riding Donar J.  Clear rounds were elusive in the opening round until the final two riders, Alexandra Cherubini (USA) riding her 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Lando, and Marron aboard her 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, both jumped clear to ensure a two-horse jump-off.

First to go in the tie-breaker, Cherubini was going for broke when she ran into trouble at the double combination, forcing her to circle and costing her a total of 13 faults.  With some breathing room, Marron was able to incur four faults yet still take the win.  Joining Marron and Cherubini on the third step of the podium was fellow American Gabrielle Freund riding No Sunday Sales.

Following four days of intense competition in the Masters Three competition, Summer Paulos (USA) captured the Leading Riding Title with three podium finishes, including two victories.  In recognition of the honor, Paulos was presented with a custom Top Jock x Longines Masters Double Door Trunk, Blanket Box, and Saddle Rack.

For full information on the 2018 Longines Masters of New York, visit www.longinesmasters.com.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Oliver Townend Crowned Winner of Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

The final day of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event started in dramatic fashion with both Michael Jung and Christopher Burton’s horses instructed to go to the holding area during the final horse inspection. Tensions were high as the packed crowds waited eagerly for the leading riders to re-present, with both horses eventually passed by the judges.

Over 25,000 spectators flooded the stadium in anticipation of one of the closest competitions in history at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event with only 1.2 penalties separating the top three riders, Michael Jung, Christopher Burton, and Oliver Townend, respectively.

Fifth-to-go, Marilyn Little aboard RF Scandalous, displayed a text-book clear round, finishing to an eruption of applause from the patriotic home crowd, hoping to see a US rider victorious for the first time since 2008. This dream was short-lived as next in to the arena was Great Britain’s Oliver Townend who produced the ride of his life to go clear, celebrating in style with his fist punching the air in recognition of his incredible round. This heaped further pressure on the final two riders. Australia’s Christopher Burton followed but had an unfortunate eight faults pushing Townend closer to the coveted prize. Only one rider could have prevented Townend’s success: all eyes fell on the three-time defending champions, Michael Jung and FischerRocana FST, as they entered the arena, hoping to make history once more. On this rare occasion Jung was unable to clinch the title with four faults dropping him into second place to give Townend a well-deserved victory and keys to a 12-month lease of a Land Rover Discovery vehicle.

“It’s a different world; it’s something I have dreamt of for a long time. We have come a long way to be here and the owners have funded it, so I am so grateful to them for this opportunity. The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is one of, if not the best events in the world; the atmosphere is amazing and the fans are fantastic; it’s been the best week!” — Oliver Townend, Great Britain

Townend continued to pay tribute to Cooley Master Class. “I have had him since he was four years old; he has won at nearly every level and never lets us down. He has suffered with injuries in the past and at some points we weren’t sure if he would even come through, but the last two seasons he has been amazing; he has always been cheeky and extremely talented so it’s great to be here with him.”

Michael Jung commented on his performance. “I am sad for FischerRocana as that was absolutely my mistake, but I am happy with our performance and I love this event; it is so beautiful. FischerRocana has been amazing and is incredible to ride, so I am pleased with her.”

Marty Bauman
Chief Press Officer
Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event
508.698.6810
marty@classic-communications.com

Riders Europe Claim Narrow Victory over Riders USA in Riders Masters Cup

Harrie Smolders and Cas 2. Photo by Jump Media.

Team competition was at its finest in a transatlantic showdown between Riders USA and Riders Europe in the innovative $200,000 Riders Masters Cup, presented and created by EEM in collaboration with the European Equestrian Federation.  Show jumping fans were on the edge of their seats as the two teams faced off in a rematch that began at the Longines Masters of Paris back on December 2.  Riders USA chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland (USA) spent the past five months formulating his strategy for a win on home soil and sent out the best of the best to duel against Riders Europe, led by chef d’Equipe Philippe Guerdat (SUI).

In the opening duel, Kevin Staut (FRA) took the win over two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) when the American left an uncharacteristic two rails on the floor riding HH Gigi’s Girl.  Georgina Bloomberg then looked like she would emerge victorious with a quick clear aboard Manodie II H but was nipped in the end by Harrie Smolders (NED) to make it two to nothing in favor of Riders Europe.

Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) scored another point for Riders Europe when Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) struggled with her mount, Pembroke, for 12 faults.  Beezie Madden (USA) gave hope to American fans with a clear round aboard Con Taggio to score the first point for Riders USA after Gregory Wathelet (BEL) left a rail on the floor riding MJT Nevados S.  When the final competitor for Riders Europe, 2016 Olympic individual silver medalist Peder Fredricson (SWE), put a clear round on the board with H&M Zaloubet, Laura Kraut was unable to match his faultless performance with Hello Guv’Nor, leaving the opening match score at four to one in favor of Riders Europe.

As the saying goes, especially in show jumping sport, it isn’t over until it’s over.  Facing off in the speed match where double points were on the line, Riders USA had a chance to bring it back for the home crowd.  Ridland adjusted his strategy and sent Kraut back as the lead-off rider.  Riders USA’s confidence swelled when she came out victorious over Philippaerts riding Goofy van T Laerhof with a time of 61.20 versus the Belgian’s time of 61.83 seconds.  That put the score at four to three, with Riders USA quickly gaining on its opponents.

Staut was next in, posting a fast time of 57.43 riding Ayade de Septon et HDC that was soon eclipsed by Madden.  The newly-crowned Longines FEI World Cup Final champion brought in a fresh mount, Jiva, and raced to victory in a time of 57.02 seconds as the crowd went wild.  Suddenly Riders USA had pulled into the lead five to four.

New York City’s sweetheart Bloomberg laid it all on the line in the speed duel, leaving Wathelet in the dust with a brilliant ride.  Riders USA was staging a comeback of epic proportions, surging ahead seven to four.

The excitement continued to mount as Riders USA’s hopes looked bright, but Riders Europe were still breathing down its neck.  Sternlicht gave it her best shot with Pembroke, but when a rail fell Fredricson claimed two valuable points for Riders Europe, tightening the gap and making it seven to six in favor of the Americans.

It all came down to the final duel, which saw two of the fastest riders in the world pitted against each other.  Ward took no prisoners, guiding HH Gigi’s Girl home in a blistering fast time of 54.82 seconds.  Smolders had the weight of a continent riding on his shoulders, but the Dutchman never faltered, taking every risk to cross the timers in an unbelievable 52.91 seconds – by far the fastest time of the night – with Cas 2.  His perfectly calculated and executed performance gave Riders Europe the edge, putting the defending champions from Paris ahead by a nose to win eight to seven over Riders USA.

“It went right down to the wire!” exclaimed Guerdat of his team’s victory.  “We knew USA would be strong tonight because, as Robert said, after Paris they wanted to win back at home.  I have a team who are all champions and the best in the world at the moment.  It would be difficult to get a better team than this!”

Ridland was quick to promise that Riders USA will put up a strong fight the next time the two teams meet.

“We’re not giving up,” the American chef d’Equipe pledged.  “We went down to the wire in Paris and we went down to the wire again tonight.  That final duel was really one for the ages.  We put up one hell of a fight and a great second-half comeback.  We clawed our way back, and that’s what sport is about.

“It’s really exciting to see the top riders in the world going for speed,” concluded Ridland.  “It’s a great format, and I think everybody got their money’s worth tonight.  We’ll be back again!”

While Riders Europe claimed the first edition of the Riders Masters Cup, Riders USA promise a strong comeback for bragging rights when the next edition of the Riders Masters Cup is staged at the Longines Masters in Paris from November 30 to December 2, 2018.

Next Generation of Show Jumping Superstars Showcased in U25 Grand Prix EEM

The show jumping stars of the future were put in the international spotlight Saturday night by EEM with the U25 Grand Prix, open to athletes aged 25 and under.  Founder and producer of the Longines Masters, EEM affirmed its commitment to propelling the next generation forward in their sporting careers.  It was an all-American podium finish, much to the delight of the home crowd, with Catherine Wachtell (USA) of Long Valley, NJ, snatching the win following a five-horse jump-off.  Coached by Todd Minikus (USA), who is competing in the Masters One division in New York, Wachtell, 23, earned the victory with a time of 34.96 seconds aboard Indy van de Roten, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Autumn View Farm.

Hot on her heels was 17-year-old Samantha Cohen (USA) and Carmen, her 11-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood mare.  With Olympic team gold Medalist Laura Kraut as her coach, Cohen gave it her best effort trying to catch Wachtell but fell short of the win when stopping the clock in 35.75 seconds to finish runner-up.  Taking third step on the podium was Samantha Wight, 20, who took a conservative approach, jumping clear in a time of 40.92 seconds aboard Edison.

“It’s a great division and I think it’s one of the most competitive because you have all the young talent and really amazing horses,” said Wachtell, a recent Georgetown University graduate who will be attending Fordham Law School in New York in the fall.  “It’s tough, but it’s really awesome to be a part of!”

Harrie Smolders Scorches to Victory in Masters One Kingsland 1.45m

The world’s best show jumping athletes were once again showcased at the Longines Masters of New York in the $60,000 Masters One Kingsland 1.45m on Saturday, April 28.  Dutchman Harrie Smolders (NED), who is poised to ascend to the number one position in the Longines World Rankings, topped a six-horse jump-off to take the win.  Riding the 13-year-old Holsteiner stallion Capital Colnardo for owner Copernicus Stables, Smolders took charge of the jump-off by blazing around the shortened jump-off track in a time of 33.12 seconds, overtaking the lead from Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA), who had stopped the clock in 34.05 seconds aboard the nine-year-old Oldenburg stallion, Chalou.  Edward Levy (FRA) took third position on the podium riding Rafale d’Hyverniere after posting a clear jump-off performance in a time of 34.84 seconds.

“It was quite a good class with only six clears,” said Smolders of the Masters One 1.45 competition presented by leading European apparel company, Kingsland.  “(Course designer) Louis Konickx did a good job; it was quite delicate.  It was not very big, but still tough in enough to jump.  The time was perfectly set.  In the jump-off, there were very fast ones straight away.  I saw Emanuele Guadiano and thought he had a good pace; into the double combination he could have gone maybe a little faster.  That is the only place he left a little gap, and that is where I tried to beat him.”

Of his appearance in the inaugural Longines Masters of New York, which joins Paris and Hong Kong in the series, Smolders noted, “It is always a high-standard event, very exclusive with high quality service.  We are always happy to come to the Longines Masters anywhere in the world!”

American Victory as Devin Ryan Tops the Lamborghini Masters Power Six Bar

Requiring horsepower in its own right, the $20,000 Lamborghini Masters Power Six Bar saw the fences grow higher and higher as competitors fell by the wayside.  The last man standing was Devin Ryan (USA) and his 12-year-old Hanoverian mare, Florida, the only pair to successfully clear the final height of 1.80m and claim victory.

Hot off his impressive second-place finish in the recent 2018 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Paris, the Longines Masters of New York was Ryan’s first appearance back on American soil.  Hailing from nearby New Jersey, Ryan did not disappoint the home crowd, who willed the pair over each of the six fences on their way to the win.

“I decided I was going to do it for the spectators,” said Ryan, 36, of his decision to enter the Lamborghini Masters Power Six Bar with Florida, a horse he started riding last fall that goes by the nickname ‘Bambi’.  “She’s a really careful mare and it’s always good for a horse to go in a ring and do something a little different.  It was just like doing a gymnastic at home.  I don’t normally jump this high at home but if the horse can do it, it can do it.  She’s super easy to deal with, but when she puts her eye on a jump she turns into a spitfire and she lights up.”

Three riders tied for the runner-up spot after having a fence down in the final test.  Longines Ambassador of Elegance Jane Richards Philips (SUI) partnered with Calinesse de Guldenboom and two up-and-coming American female show jumping stars, Mavis Spencer (USA) aboard Dubai and Kristen Vanderveen (USA) riding Bastian 86, all tried their best, but only Ryan successfully left all the rails in the cups in a true demonstration of horse power.

Canada atop Masters Two Mark Cross Podium

Kicking off Saturday competition at the Longines Masters of New York, two-time Canadian Olympian Mario Deslauriers climbed to the top of the podium after claiming the Masters Two Trophy Mark Cross 1.40m. Deslauriers and Curo, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding were fastest in the one-round speed event to cross the timers clear in 57.11 seconds for the win.

“Curo is a blast to ride,” said Deslauriers, who competes for his home country of Canada, but now calls New York City home. “It was a nice change to bring him inside and show him the new fences, the crowd, and all the activity. He really grew up a lot this week.”

Deslauriers is at the Longines Masters of New York with his 18-year-old daughter Lucy, who is competing in the Masters One CSI5* division, saying, “Overall, the event is great and a nice new flavor. To have an indoor event with all the background performances, the boutique area, and this level of sport is a fresh look and I think we need more of that.”

Fellow Canadian competitor Wesley Newlands took second and Samantha Wight (USA) finished third.

Jennifer Kocher Wins Masters Three Oscar de la Renta 1.25m in Fine Fashion

Saturday’s highlight competition in the Masters Three division, the Oscar de la Renta 1.25m, was won by Jennifer Kocher (USA).  The win did not come easily as eight riders passed the first round test to advance to the jump-off over the course set by Louis Konickx of the Netherlands.  Four riders again jumped clear in the tie-breaker with Kocher posting the winning time of 36.02 seconds riding Elion V, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by her husband, Andrew Kocher (USA), who is contesting the Masters One division at the Longines Masters of New York.

Tori Corts (USA) finished second with a time 36.90 seconds riding the 14-year-old Chico Bello while Sweden was represented on the podium by Sophie Mörner, the only rider to qualify two horses, both owned by Lövsta Stuteri, for the jump-off.  It was her younger mount, the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Elliot, who stopped the clock in 38.46 for third place.

For full information on the 2018 Longines Masters of New York, visit www.longinesmasters.com.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Fantastic Finish for Erynn Ballard in Longines Speed Challenge of New York 1.50m

Erynn Ballard and Fantast. Photo by World Red Eye for EEM.

Canada’s Erynn Ballard (CAN) emerged victorious riding Fantast in the $100,000 Longines Speed Challenge at the Longines Masters of New York.  It was an all-female podium finish as the women outran the men in one of the only Olympic sports where the sexes compete as equals.  Contesting the identical track that riders already faced in the Season III Longines Masters of Paris and Hong Kong, Ballard’s speed prowess allowed her to take a two-second penalty for a dropped rail yet still emerge victorious with a time of 60.62 seconds.  Considered the world’s speed championship, Ballard’s time in the Longines Speed Challenge was faster than the 60.99 achieved by Julien Epaillard on home ground in Paris and eclipsed the time of 63.47 that Philipp Weishaupt of Germany posted riding Chacon in Hong Kong.

Leading into the competition, Longines Ambassador of Elegance and Co-founder of The Golden Hat Foundation Kate Winslet met local New York children with Autism and accepted a check on behalf of The Golden Hat Foundation, the Longines Masters of New York official nonprofit partner. The Longines Masters of New York also honored Long Island military with a procession by the Marine Corps color guard and mounted police, and EEM received an official citation issued by Nassau County officials, welcoming the Longines Masters Series to New York.

“The Golden Hat Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the way people on the autism spectrum are perceived, by shining a light on their abilities and emphasizing their potential. With proper education and career training, these individuals can truly realize their dreams. Tonight is a shining example of how organizations, like Longines and the Longines Masters of New York, can make an impact to further Autism Awareness in their community,” said Winslet.

New York’s Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) kept all the rails in place aboard Fineman, owned by Rose Hill Farm, but finished more than a full second behind Ballard’s time, stopping the clock in 61.86 seconds.  As the first rider on course, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) set the early pace with a time of 62.04 seconds that kept her on the podium in third place with Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili.

“I don’t think there’s anything better!” said Ballard of her Longines Masters debut.  “I was excited to ride here tonight in front of a big crowd; they were cheering for you and cheering for Canada.  As soon as you walk in the ring, you are excited to be here.  It’s really an honor.”

Speaking of the key to her victory with the13-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion owned by Sagamore Farms, Ballard said, “I think the biggest difference is that my horse has so much natural speed.  His legs are fast, he has a big-stride, and he can turn fast.  I think we won from start to finish.  He’s that fast!”

Created in 2010 by EEM, Founder and Producer of the Longines Masters Series Paris Hong Kong New York, the Longines Speed Challenge is the fastest show jumping competition in the world and always a crowd favorite.  The Longines Speed Challenge is presented by Longines, Title Partner and Official Timekeeper of the Series.

Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet Tops International Jump-Off in Masters One Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.50m

Gregory Wathelet stood atop an international podium following his sensational win in the $35,000 Masters One Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.50m on Friday evening, April 27, at the Longines Masters of New York. As the first of six riders to contest the shortened jump-off track set by Dutch course designer Louis Konickx, Wathelet laid down the gauntlet by steering Iphigeneia de Muze to a clear round in a time of 31.74 seconds. None who followed was fast enough to catch the Belgian Olympian, with French speed master and 2014 World Championship double silver medalist Patrice Delaveau posing the biggest threat with a time of 32.13 seconds aboard Aquila HDC, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Haras des Coudrettes. Canada’s Erynn Ballard ensured podium representation from north of the U.S. border by taking third with Catoki’s Son Z for owners Ilan Ferder and Tal Milstein.

“She is ten, but she hasn’t done so much at this level,” said Wathelet of his winning mount, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Dawa Invest – JL Horses. “I have had her for three years, but I took my time. In the last few shows she got better and better. This was the first time she has been on the plane and I was a bit worried, but she did fine.

“We are all familiar with the Longines Masters in Paris and Hong Kong and this is the same concept with a big show that has a great atmosphere,” continued Wathelet. “This is new and the place is good. I hope the weekend brings the same kind of atmosphere as Paris because that is what makes a show!”

Mavis Spencer Reigns over Masters Two 1.45m

Los Angeles, CA native Mavis Spencer dominated the jump-off of the Masters Two Eastern Hay 1.45m competition to earn her first win at the Longines Masters of New York. Riding Sweet Tricia, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare that she characterizes as having everything one looks for in a top horse, Spencer bested a three-horse jump-off with a double-clear performance in 39.10 seconds.

“I did the Longines Masters of Los Angeles two years ago and I think it is incredible to have the European environment and horse show that they are able to create here,” said Spencer, whose family spends a lot of time in New York, making it her second home. “This is a super venue and the Longines Masters has done a really nice job. I was really excited to be able to come and show here in New York.”

Joining Spencer on the podium, New York, NY resident and trainer at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, Lucy Davis (USA) rode Cassis 54 to second. They were also clear over the short course in 44.27 seconds. Canada’s Bretton Chad rounded out the top three with The Pugilist on five faults.

Ireland Victorious in Masters Two 1.35m

Jonathan Corrigan won for his home country of Ireland in the first class of Day 2 at the Longines Masters of New York on Friday, April 27. Fifth in the ring from a field of 21, he claimed the Masters Two Écuries d’Ecaussinnes 1.35m accumulator competition with a clear round for 65 points – the class sponsor is the breeding and sport stable founded in 1997 by Christophe Ameeuw, CEO of EEM. A time of 44.14 seconds riding Javas Keltic Mist, a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, gave the Irish duo the win. Also jumping clear for podium appearances, Tori Corts (USA) took second on Chellini and Cara Raether Carey (USA) finished third riding Cocarie.

Summer Paulos Can’t Be Beat

For the second day in a row, Summer Paulos stood atop the Longines Masters of New York podium after winning the Masters Three The Fuel Stop 1.25m speed competition. Hailing from Newtown, CT, Paulos and Balans RV, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, topped the field by recording a clear round in 49.53 seconds. The time was just over a second ahead of runner up and New York native Charles Stevens. He and Balando finished second, while Lilli Hymowitz took third riding Cylana.

Alexandra Cherubini Has the Speed

Speed was key in the Masters Three Old Salem Farm 1.15m competition. Alexandra Cherubini of Boston, MA had just that to top the field riding her own Lando, a 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding. They broke the timers clear in 49.03 seconds for the victory. Gabrielle Freund set an early lead as the first to go, but settled for second riding No Sunday Sales. Rounding out the podium positions was Grace Busch, who took third for the second day in a row aboard Royal Landor.

For full information on the 2018 Longines Masters of New York, visit www.longinesmasters.com.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com