Tag Archives: Show Jumping

World Jumping Champion Simone Blum Takes Fosun Best Athlete at FEI Awards 2018

FEI Awards winners (L to R): Philip Wong (CHN), Lee McKeever (USA), Simone Blum (GER), Alex Hua Tian (CHN), FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibanez (SUI), Victor Levecque (FRA), FEI President Ingmar De Vos (BEL), Leila Malki (PLE), Juan Carlos Capelli Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Natasha Baker (GBR), Juan Matute Guimon (ESP). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Manama (BRN), 20 November 2018 — Germany’s golden girl Simone Blum (29) has undoubtedly had the best year of her career to date, and she added another accolade to the list, taking home the Fosun Best Athlete Award at the FEI Awards 2018 presented by Longines in Manama (BRN).

Crowned individual world champion and winner of a team bronze medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (USA) in September, she became the first woman in the 28-year history of the Games and only the second female athlete in 65 years of the World Jumping championship to win individual gold.

“I am very proud to be the Fosun best athlete. I think it’s a dream of every rider,” Simone Blum said. “A lot of really good riders got it before and to the people I want to say thank you a lot; it was a pleasure for me and I have the best fans and supporters. Thank you.”

Hosts for the gala evening were five-time Paralympic gold medallist and multi world and European title holder, Natasha Baker (GBR), and Spain’s rising star, Juan Matute Guimon, FEI Dressage European Junior champion in 2015 and at 20, one of the youngest Dressage athletes at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.

Presenting the winners of the five categories, in front of more than 300 distinguished guests, including top sporting legends, equestrian fans, National Federations, FEI partners and stakeholders, these awards celebrate outstanding achievements within the equestrian community, tapping into the sporting excellence and celebrating the champions, the unsung heroes and the incredible individuals and organisations backstage making it all happen.

Groom to four-time Olympian McLain Ward, the USA’s Lee McKeever, took the award for FEI Best Groom. After 30 years working with McLain, he is still as dedicated about his work as when he started, going above and beyond to ensure the best possible care for his horses, and always willing to help others in the sport working tirelessly behind the scenes. McLain and Lee’s shared victories include the recent FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 team gold medal with Clinta, the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title with HH Azur in Omaha (USA), individual gold medal with Rothchild at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto (CAN), and team gold medals at the Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games with Sapphire.

French Eventing athlete Victor Levecque was presented with the Longines Rising Star Award by Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, Juan-Carlos Capelli. This award highlights the achievements of athletes between the ages of 14 and 21 who demonstrate outstanding equestrian sporting talent. At the age of 20, Victor is already multiple winner, with 10 European medals, including two gold medals and five French national champion titles to his name.

“For a second consecutive year the online public vote has become very popular and a peer to peer recognition is one of the most powerful,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The influence of one’s peers and the recognition of talent and hard work is a testament to the strengths and development of the growth of the sport.

“Development, like youth, is key to our future and has been a strong focus throughout 2018 as we can see here tonight in the results of the youth of our sport shining through. With our top partner Longines, and their ever-increasing support, their commitment to these awards and equestrian sport globally, and for the first time to celebrate the Fosun Best Athlete award, we are delighted to be here in Bahrain to reward these fantastic achievements.”

Alex Hua Tian and Philip Wong of China accepted the FEI Solidarity award for the Horsemanship charity programme in China. Ten years ago, Alex won the Rising Star Award and he was here as part of the team working to communicate the core value of “Equestrianism as Horsemanship” to the world’s fastest growing equestrian market.

Leila Malki from Palestine was presented with the Against All Odds award. Her dedication to equestrian sport and her passion have made her a role model for young women in Palestine through her encouragement of girls and women to become involved in equestrian sport in her country.

“As FEI’s Top Partner, Longines is very proud to take part in the 2018 FEI Awards Ceremony in Manama,” Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, said.

“Our connection with the equestrian world dates back 150 years, and we attach great importance to supporting events that are aligned with our core values of tradition, elegance and performance. We are particularly delighted to present the Longines Rising Star award, acknowledging our commitment in supporting new generations of athletes in each sport that we are involved in.”

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

Next Generation of British Show Jumping Talent Set to Compete at Olympia

Taking place from 17-23 December 2018, Olympia, The London International Horse Show is set to welcome the next generation of British Show Jumping talent, who will compete in front of the 90,000 visitors expected to attend. These leading junior equestrians will feature in three classes: a 128cm class, The Voltaire Design 148cm class, and The Voltaire Design Under-25 British Championship, the last of which will be held on the morning of Friday 21 December. 24 riders have been invited to take part in the Under-25 class, who will battle it out for the Championship Title in Olympia’s impressive Grand Hall.

Although still young, the Under-25 riders have already achieved a remarkable amount in their relatively short Show Jumping careers. And none more so than Jessica Mendoza, who, in 2016, at the age of 20, became the youngest competitor in 40 years to join the Team GBR Show Jumping squad, in which she was travelling reserve for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Some of these youthful equestrians benefit from receiving an incredibly high level of training. 17-year-old Robert Murphy worked in close quarters with the legendary British Show Jumper Nick Skelton at Olympian Laura Kraut’s stables in Florida, USA. Skelton became the British equestrian story of the Rio Games when he won individual gold at the ripe old age of 58. This followed his Olympic team gold four years before in London. It appears some of his success is rubbing off on Murphy who, in 2014, claimed a gold medal at the Children, Junior and Young Rider European Championships as a 13-year-old.

Fans of the sport will certainly recognise some of the surnames competing this year, including Jack Whitaker and Oliver Fletcher, who will both be attempting to emulate their parents’ many successes. Fletcher is the son of former Show Jumping Olympian, Graham Fletcher, whose wife was also a London 2012 reserve rider. In an unlikely turn of events, Whitaker – on his 17th birthday – imitated his father Michael’s phenomenal 1984 Los Angeles Olympics silver medal by claiming a Youth Olympics team silver medal in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The 128cm class has the makings of being a tightly fought contest and will see the three top-placed riders from the 128cm class at British Show Jumping National Championships 2018 go head-to-head once again. The eventual National 128cm champion, Tabitha Kyle, will compete at Olympia alongside Noora Von Bulow and Poppy Deakin, who finished in second and third place, respectively.

Meanwhile, in The Voltaire Design 148cm class, Hannah Barker is representing the third generation of successful riders in her family. Her uncle, Paul Barker, won three international and two national grand prix classes, while her grandfather, David Barker, was a member of Great Britain’s Nations Cup Team in the 1960s and represented his country at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964.

The 148cm class will also feature several members of the team that won gold at the European Pony Championship earlier this year, who will now be competing against each other. Perdita Digby, Nicole Lockhead Anderson, Shaunie Greig, and Claudia Moore will all have to put friendships to one side, as they contest for the title in what will undoubtedly be a competitive yet good-natured affair.

Tickets can be purchased at www.olympiahorseshow.com or by telephone on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Devos Delivers a Strategic Win at Stuttgart

Pieter Devos and Apart (FEI/Leanjo de Koster)

Belgian star pips Austria’s Kuehner in extraordinary 10-horse jump-off

Belgium’s Pieter Devos (32) and Austria’s Max Kuehner (44) put paid to the myth that men don’t multi-task when taking the top two places in the fifth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League on a fascinating afternoon in Stuttgart, Germany.

Unlike the majority of their opponents, they both divide their time between top-class showjumping and full-scale commitments in the business world. And they put their business-brains to work in an extraordinary 10-horse jump-off that took everyone by surprise.

“There were some options in the jump-off that were not easy to do, and there were a lot of misunderstandings from the horses so it wasn’t fluid; riders were trying everything they could, but it was not working out well. I decided I would go for a clear round, but I knew I had to keep my head and stay concentrated!” said Devos after pipping Kuehner by almost eight seconds when last to go against the clock with the chestnut gelding Apart.

The big blue wall at fence three had already created plenty of excitement in the first round, with two eliminations and several refusals, but it came as a bit of a shock when jump-off pathfinder, Germany’s Christian Kukuk with Colestus, ground to a halt in front of it this time out. German course designer, Christa Jung, had set them a track full of twists and turns, and both Sweden’s Stephanie Holmen (Flip’s Little Sparrow) and Germany’s Maurice Tebbel (Don Diarado) lost their chances on the sharp roll-back to the second and third elements of the double before Kuehner set off with PSG Final.

The Austrian, who finished a superb sixth individually with his top ride Chardonnay at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ two months ago and who manages a leasing company when not in the saddle, wasn’t taking any risks with his lovely eight-year-old gelding who is showing massive potential. He steered him home for the first double-clear of the competition, although their slow time of 56.62 seconds looked to have left the door wide open for the six yet to go.

However, Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt (Asathir) knocked a brick out of the bogey wall, Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts (H&M Legend of Love) slipped on the approach to the second-last which hit the floor, and 2012 Olympic champion Steven Guerdat from Switzerland (Alamo) faulted at the second fence. So when Germany’s Christian Ahlmann (Tokyo) decided to take a leisurely tour with his inexperienced horse, posting a clear in 57.68 seconds, then Kuehner was, even to his own obvious amazement, still out in front.

Last in, Devos knew what he had to do. “I could see I could go six or seven seconds quicker but I also knew if I knocked a fence then I would be nowhere anymore. But Apart jumped really well, he already won a lot of classes for me but never anything as big as this, so I’m really happy for him!” said the Belgian after stopping the clock in the winning time of 49.05 seconds.

He talked about the challenge of mixing his business and sporting careers and says it has just become a way of life.

“Everyone asks me how I do it and I don’t have the answer because I ask myself that sometimes too! My brother and I inherited a big fruit company from our parents when I was 17 or 18… it’s a second-generation business and I’m Commercial Director. I’ve grown up doing both jobs, the fruit business and the horse business, and it works because I have a great team on both sides!” — Pieter Devos (BEL)

Devos, now 16th in the world rankings, is lying second on the Western European League table with 39 points and is only a whisper away from qualifying for the Longines Final in Gothenburg (SWE) next April.

“I will go to Madrid (ESP) next week and then Mechelen (BEL) in December. After that I’ll make a plan for the second half of the season, but I don’t need too many more points now which is great!” he added.

Watch highlights here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Longines Streak Continues for Nassar and Lordan in Las Vegas

Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Lordan. (FEI/Andrew Ryback)

Just a week after topping the World Cup qualifier in Thermal (USA), Nayel Nassar (EGY) and his longtime partner Lordan led another victory gallop after clinching the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas (USA).

Nassar, 27, and his 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding were fastest in a six-horse jump-off set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). The pair used their natural foot speed and tidiness to their advantage, coming through the timers in 34.57 seconds, over a second fastest than their closest competitors. It was an international podium, with Wilhelm Genn (GER) and Bugatti earning runner-up honors (35.73 seconds) and Harley Brown (AUS) and Mylord Cornet finishing third (40.34 seconds).

“It was a fast jump-off,” Nassar said. “Wilhelm set a really tough time to beat, and he was really efficient everywhere on a horse that has a bigger stride than mine. I just knew I had to be nice and neat in the turns and not go too crazy down the long lines.”

“It was a fast jump-off… Wilhelm set a really tough time to beat… I just knew I had to be nice and neat in the turns and not go too crazy down the long lines.” — Nayel Nassar (Egypt)

The top three were the only combinations to turn in double-clear rounds on the evening. Brown was the first to navigate the jump-off without fault, but he was forced to take a more conservative route with his less experienced 8-year-old. Genn, who won Sacramento’s (USA) World Cup qualifier in October, jumped ahead by nearly four seconds with an outstanding right turn to the jump-off’s second fence and a bold gallop down to the final obstacle. As the last to go, Nassar knew exactly what he had to do to win his second straight World Cup qualifier, and he executed, despite having a precarious rub two fences from home.

“I had the luck of the draw a little bit. I had the pole position coming in,” Nassar said. “It always helps when you know what you need to do, and I relish the pressure as well. Lordan can feel that, too; I was getting tingly walking in [the ring], and he really tried his heart out.”

Shifting Standings

Richard Spooner (USA) may have been kept off the podium, but he took over the lead in the west coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with his fourth-place finish aboard Quirado RC. He now boasts 49 points, one ahead of Eve Jobs (USA). Nassar moved up to third in the standings; he now boasts 46 points.

“[Quirado RC] is just knocking my socks off,” Spooner said. “He’s been unbelievable in the World Cup season. He’s a huge horse — he’s about 18.1, maybe 18.2 hands — but he somehow is still very elastic with his body. I just feel graced every time I get to ride him, because the power that you feel with that horse is absolutely awesome.”

Genn took over second in the east coast sub league standings, behind only Molly Ashe Cawley’s (USA) league leading 55 points. Genn has 47 points, one ahead of defending World Cup Champion Beezie Madden (USA).

“Bugatti is 12, and every year when I take him to a new level, and I think it is about as big as he can jump, he surprises me and makes it work,” Genn said. “Who knows what the future brings? I’m super proud of him.”

After a brief holiday, the North American League resumes in Guadalajara (MEX) on 26 January 2019.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Olympia Horse Show Statement Regarding Tim Stockdale

The Organising Committee of Olympia, The London International Horse Show was deeply saddened to hear of the death of one of its longest serving members, Tim Stockdale. Tim was Jumping Rider Representative on the Olympia Committee from 1992. His highly valued advice and knowledge of the sport helped to shape the Show into the international event that it is today. Nothing was too much trouble and his advice and counsel was sought and always listened to.

He competed at Olympia for many years and, recently, became a stalwart of the BBC commentary team, promoting his sport with insight and expertise.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “Tim and I joined the Olympia team in the same year – he on the Committee and me as Show Director. He was not only a great friend to all of us; he was also passionate about doing his best for the show and show jumping. He represented riders when he thought it was right to do so, yet Tim understood the challenges of organising large-scale international events.

“He possessed huge integrity, was selfless and self-effacing, and combined his love for the sport with a great sense of humour. His smile, his energy, and his words of wisdom will be much missed in the Grand Hall at Olympia this year. I will miss him. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Laura and his sons Joe and Mark.”

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

For more information on Olympia, The London International Horse Show, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0844 995 0995.

Kentucky Three-Day Event Early Bird Pricing Ends Dec. 6

The best tickets at the best prices for the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event are available now.

If you haven’t bought yours yet, HURRY. Early Bird pricing ends Dec. 6 at midnight.

The “Best Weekend All Year” returns to the Kentucky Horse Park April 25-28, 2019.

Visit KentuckyThreeDayEvent.com/tickets for ticket information.

The Official Event Program is half price when you pre-order it. Just $5 when pre-ordered, the program is the ultimate guide for planning and navigating your Best Weekend All Year. Add a program to your order here.

The Kentucky CSI3* Invitational Grand Prix is coming back to LRK3DE 2019. Get your tickets now.

Another Golden Bonanza for Brazil

The Chilean Pre-Junior and Junior team silver medallists. (FEI/Cristian León/TopComunicaciones)

Chilean delight with double team silver; Argentina claims three podium places

Brazil dominated once again when taking all the gold on offer, and more, at the FEI Jumping South American Championships for Young Riders, Juniors, Pre-Juniors and Children 2018 at San Carlos de Apoquindo in Las Condes, Chile. These Championships are a great test for the next generation of Jumping athletes in the region, and a total of 93 horse-and-rider partnerships from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela competed at this year’s edition.

With medals on offer in seven categories, the Brazilian haul was little short of spectacular as they scooped 16 of the 21 sets on offer. However, there was plenty for the hosts to celebrate as they produced their best performance of the last four years when claiming both Pre-Junior and Junior team silver, while Argentina claimed bronze in the Children’s Team competition along with Young Riders Individual silver and bronze.

Children

The Children’s Championship was one of the most exciting of the week, coming down to a three-way jump-off for individual silver and bronze. Brazil’s Eduardo Coelho Barbara (13) was already in gold medal position after a brilliant series of performances with Quatuor de Coutol before his compatriots Antonio Johannpeter Cirne Lima and Gabriela Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan took on Argentina’s Lucas Guevara in the race against the clock.

Guevara had enjoyed a brilliant run with CT Chamaco, winning the first qualifier, contributing to his country’s team bronze medal success, and then coming out on top in the Individual Final competition. It seemed the 14-year-old must be destined to take a podium placing, but he left a fence on the floor in the jump-off and had to settle for fourth place behind Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan in bronze and Johannpeter Cirne Lima in silver.

A zero score for the Brazil Amarelo side of Augusto Bonotto Perfeito, Maithe Carolina Gabriel de Limo Marino, Camila Alvares Correa de Siqueira, Henrique Maranhao, and Audrey Jean Paranaiba McKinnon clinched the Children’s team title. Coelho Barbara was joined by Munhoz Ongaratto Furlan, Johannpeter Cirne Lima, Lara Ozores de Souza, and Joao Felipe de Albuquerque Maranhao Gomes to claim silver while Argentina’s Guevara, Delfina Spinella, Bautista Jaled, Camila Sensever, and Thiago Brown bagged bronze.

Pre-Junior

All eyes were on Philip Greenlees in the Pre-Junior Championship after his victory in the 2017 FEI Children’s International Classics Final in Beijing last December, but the 15-year-old had to settle for individual silver behind Maria Luiza da Silva Martha Vieira, while Lys Katherine Park Kang sealed another completely Brazilian podium.

Da Silva Martha Vieira and Park Kang were joined by Caroline Souza Chade, Joao Pedro de Almeida Chaves, and Leandro Jose Abrahao Duarte Alecrim to take the Pre-Junior Team title, and Greenlees was on the bronze-medal winning Brazil Amarela side. But strong performances from Trinidad Soffia, Benjamin Fuente-Alba Vignola, Maria Ignacia del Pedregal Villalobos, Jose Tomas Duran Ramirez, and Guillermo Garin put smiles on Chilean faces as they easily slipped into silver medal spot.

“The work begins to be reflected in the results, which is very important. We have developed an arduous process and this medal reflects an advance because in this category we have won two consecutive bronzes.” — Joaquín Larraín (Coach, Team Chile)

Juniors

Brazil’s Thales Gabriel de Lima Marino took double-gold in the Junior division to increase his South American medal tally to five. The 17-year-old who won team gold and individual bronze in Buenos Aires (ARG) last year was joined by the experienced trio of Laura Bosquirolli Tigre, Marcelo Gozzi, and Pedro Malucelli Egoroff to clinch the team honours yet again. However, the Chilean foursome of Carmen Novion, Magdalena Pena, and brothers Mateo and Raimundo Guarda was less than 10 points adrift in silver medal spot, while the Brazil Verde team claimed the bronze.

The host nation made a great start when Raimundo and Mateo finished first and third in the opening individual competition. But De Lima Marino was unstoppable on his way to individual glory, and when Gozzi seized silver and Felipe Pereira Teixeira took his second bronze medal of the tournament, it was another all-Brazilian party on the podium.

Young Riders

There were just five contenders for the Young Rider title and while gold went to Brazil, it was Argentina that took silver and bronze.

Argentina’s Richard Kierkegaard and Contiki won the opening round, but Brazil’s Victoria Junqueira Ribeiro de Mendonca (20) topped the next two competitions partnering the Holsteiner Una Bella to complete on a score of just 7.91 penalty points. That left her way ahead of Argentina’s Emilia Grimaldi in silver and Victoria Garcia Colombo in bronze when the final scores were counted.

This was Junqueira Ribeiro de Mendonca’s seventh South American Championship and brought her tally of gold to four. She scooped double-gold at the South Americans in Sao Paolo (BRA) in 2016 when she was also on the team that finished second in the FEI Junior Nations Cup at Wellington, Florida (USA).

Full results here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

McLain Ward Triumphant in $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto

McLain Ward and HH Gigi’s Girl. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario -Two-time U.S Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward claimed the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto, presented by GroupBy, in front of a sold-out crowd on Saturday night, November 10, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.

Ward topped a 21-horse starting field over tracks set by 2018 World Championship course designer, Alan Wade of Ireland, to claim the ninth Royal Horse Show World Cup title of his career. As the final challenger in the jump-off, Ward saved the best for last, executing a brilliant round to stop the clock at 32.42 seconds riding HH Gigi’s Girl. Ward’s U.S. gold medal teammate at the recent World Championships, Devin Ryan, posted a time of 33.88 seconds with his World Championship partner, Eddie Blue, to finish runner-up.

“It was nice to have the last spot in the order,” said Ward, who was presented with the Hickstead Trophy, given in memory of Eric Lamaze’s legendary 2008 Olympic gold medal partner, and a Longines timepiece for his win. “I know Devin and his horse are quick because he has beat me a few times. Sometimes you get lucky.

“This was a gymnastics test, which is what courses are now at the highest level,” continued Ward of Wade’s track, one that HH Gigi’s Girl, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Vingino x Celano) owned by Double H Farm, conquered with style. “The mare performed beautifully the whole second part of this year and is really putting things together, and it’s a great way for her to finish her season. She has always been a spectacular jumper and I feel she has a really exciting future.”

Ward, 43, estimates that he has been competing at the Royal Horse Show for almost a quarter of a century, saying, “I love it here. Obviously, I’m not Canadian, but I think of this as a second home. The show is being run beautifully and the organization is phenomenal. As you saw, we had a sold-out crowd, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”

The victory earned Ward coveted qualifying points for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final, an event he won in 2017. The 2019 edition will be held next April in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Ward, who had also won the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open one night earlier riding Tradition de la Roque, earned the Leading International Rider title.

Ryan’s second-place finish placed him closer to his goal of qualifying for the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final after a spectacular year for him and his mount, Eddie Blue, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by LL Show Jumpers LLC.

“As I always say, take it one day at a time, but this year I am going to try to make it back to the World Cup Final,” he said. “We’ll see how the cards play out, but he’s had quite a big year this year, and I think he’s a really special horse, so I don’t want to over use him.

“You always think about what you would you have done differently,” continued Ryan, 36, of his position behind Ward. “I didn’t take quite the shot that McLain took. I probably should have tried it, but that’s show jumping for you!”

Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC posted the first clear round of the evening riding her 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Hermelien vd Hooghoeve, and opened the jump-off by again jumping clear in a time of 34.62 seconds for third place.

“It’s always harder going first because you know you have to go clear,” said Ramsay, 26, who first attended the Royal Horse Show in 2012 when she won the Running Fox CET Medal Final. “I think my horse did everything I asked of her. We are really lucky to have this Canadian indoor venue here at The Royal and having this crowd is really unlike anything else.”

Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire also posted a double-clear performance in a time of 35.20 seconds to finish fourth riding Roulette BH for owner Gochman Sport Horse LLC, while New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley rounded out the jump-off field in fifth place after having a rail down over the short course aboard Barnetta, owned by Sky Group.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Nassar and Lordan Repeat Longines Victory in Thermal

Nayel Nassar and Lordan. (FEI / Ashley Neuhof)

For the second year in a row — and third overall — Nayel Nassar (EGY) and his indelible mount Lordan led the victory gallop in the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Thermal (USA).

Besting a jump-off field of five, Nassar and his 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding crossed the timers of Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) shortened course in 43.89 seconds. The duo narrowly edged Eve Jobs, who recorded the best World Cup finish of her career with her own Venue d’Fees des Hazalles; their time was 43.97 seconds. Lisa Carlsen (CAN) finished third aboard Parette after recording the winning time but pulling the rail at the final fence.

“I’m just thrilled with my horse and thrilled to be sitting here again!” — Nayel Nassar (EGY)

Nassar has been partnered with Lordan for more than seven years. In addition to winning last year’s event, the pair also topped the class in 2016. Nassar used his longtime partnership to his advantage, creating his own jump-off plan based off his horse’s quick, yet smaller, stride.

“I tried not to focus too much on what the other riders were doing,” Nassar said. “I know that Lordan is a very different kind of horse with a different kind of stride. I just wanted to know whether my jump-off pace was going to be fast enough or if I needed to take any extra risks.”

The pace proved to be just enough, resulting in a close, eight-hundredths of a second margin of victory.

“It ended up being a lot closer than I expected,” Nassar said, “but luckily we were on the right side of that today.”

Consistency Proves Key

With consistent, points-earning performances in Vancouver (CAN), Columbus (USA), Del Mar (USA) and Thermal, Jobs took over the lead in the west coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with 48 points.

Should Jobs qualify to compete at Gothenburg (SWE) in April, it would be her first appearance in a World Cup Final.

“If everything goes as planned, and I can continue to feel comfortable competing at such a high level, I would be honored to go,” she said. “I’m very excited.”

Richard Spooner (USA), a 15-time World Cup Finals veteran, including last season, moved into second in the standings after finishing fourth in Thermal. He has 36 points, four ahead of Zazou Hoffman (USA), who won the World Cup qualifier at Del Mar (USA) in October.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Ward Wins Weston Canadian Open

McLain Ward. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Speed was the name of the game and none were faster than McLain Ward of the United States to win the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open on Friday night, November 9, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

The premise was simple: leave all the jumps in place over the course designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade and do it in the fastest time. Six riders left all the rails up, with Ward accomplishing the feat in a time of 62.71 seconds. His mount was Tradition de la Roque, an 11-year-old black French-bred mare owned by Kessler Show Stables.

Canada’s own Keean White of Rockwood, ON gave it his best effort riding Leilani, an eight-year-old grey Oldenburg mare owned by Lisa Marie Gauthier and Angelstone Farm. With a time of 63.49 seconds, White finished as the runner-up. Capt. Brian Cournane riding Penelope Cruz and Conor Swail aboard GK Coco Chanel took third and fourth places for Ireland respectively with times of 64.11 and 64.70 seconds. Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire was fifth with a clear round in a time of 68.17 riding Roulette BH while 2017 Canadian Champion Amy Millar of Perth, ON posted the only other clear round of the night to finish sixth with Heros.

Ward, 43, estimates that this is his 23rd or 24th time competing at the Royal Horse Show.

“I love it here,” said Ward, who was a member of the gold medal team at the recent World Championships. “I think this is one of the great events in our sport throughout the world. The atmosphere, the way that they have been able to hold on to so many traditional aspects of the event – I think it’s a phenomenal evening. It’s one of the few places where I come to watch something other than show jumping.

“The Royal is something that is very special to me,” continued Ward. “The environment here is brilliant. This is a crowd that really understands the sport and appreciates the animals. It still has great ties to agriculture. People make an effort to dress up and make it an important evening. I think it creates an environment that is electric and special to be a part of.”

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.