Tag Archives: Show Jumping

Julien Epaillard Is Roque Solid in Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Leg

Julien Epaillard, riding Toupie de la Roque, became only the second Frenchman in history to win the Olympia leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping, thanks to a spectacular burst of speed in the jump-off which relegated last year’s winner, Scott Brash, to second place.

“It is a great honour for me to win at Olympia,” said the 40-year-old, who was 0.43 seconds faster than Scott. “It was a very difficult course, very technical – you needed scope but also great control.”

Course-designer Guillaume Jorge, who officiated at the Rio Olympics last year, set the high-quality field, which included six of the world’s top 10 riders, quite a challenge, and it wasn’t until the 21st to go, European Champion Peder Fredricson on H&M Christian K, that there was a clear round.

Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, a wild card entry, followed with another clear on Inca Boy van T Vianahof, a nine-year-old produced in Britain by Tim Wilkes, in only her sixth competition on the horse. The winner here in 2008, she now heads the Longines FEI World Cup™ rankings joint with France’s Kevin Staut, who finished fifth today with just four faults.

Scott, who pronounced the course “challenging, but well thought out and jumpable”, raised the roof with his clear round on the 16-year-old Ursula Xll and hopes were high that he might score the first back-to-back win since Nick Skelton in 1984. However, despite the fantastic jump-off speed of 37.34 seconds, it wasn’t to be.

“I know Julien well and I knew how fast he would go, so fair play to him,” said Scott sportingly afterwards. “Ursula was fantastic and, although I would love to breed a foal from her, while she’s jumping like this, she certainly isn’t ready to retire.”

Scott is now 28th on the Longines FEI World Cup™ Rankings with five legs to go before the final in Paris in April.

To find out more about Olympia, the London International Horse Show, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

Wins for AP McCoy and Maikel Van der Vleuten on Race Night at Olympia

Jockeys of a different kind stole the show on day four of Olympia, The London International Horse Show. Ten of the most renowned jockeys from the world of flat and National Hunt racing took to the Olympia Grand Hall for the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, with Sir AP McCoy’s team of ‘legends’ coming out on top.

The day kicked off with the Olympia Senior Showing Series Championships sponsored by Anthony D Evans Insurance. Jayne Harper and her 20-year-old black gelding, Crimewave II, triumphed in the ridden section and Alice Stratton and the 13-year-old Welsh Section B gelding Laithehill Pashsa won the in-hand final.

Three CSI5* Show Jumping competitions and a FEI World Cup Driving Leg provided top class international action from start to finish, with Maikel Van der Vleuten taking the pinnacle of the day’s Show Jumping, the 1.60m Longines Christmas Cracker. Meanwhile, showing his Dad how it is done, there was a win for Rocco Dettori in the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National.

Cool-headed Dutchman Maikel Van der Vleuten, who has so often set the Olympia arena alight, was victorious again, this time on the 12-year-old bay mare VDL Groep Arera C in The Longines Christmas Cracker when shaving 0.19 seconds off the time of one of the world’s best horsemen, German Olympian Marcus Ehning (Comme Il Faut).

It was an international affair with Frenchman Simon Delestre third on Teavanta ll and another Dutchman, quiet horseman Harrie Smolders fourth on Cas.

There was no home cheer until ninth place, filled by Ben Maher on Don Vito, but the London Olympic gold medallist is now lying third in the Leading Rider of Show table.

In earlier classes, Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jnr set an unbeatable target from an early draw in The Snowflake Stakes, a speed class. Riding Falco van de Clehoeve, he held off a challenge from Britain’s Cayenne Puissance winner Laura Renwick, this time riding MHS Washington.

“Because I was so early to go I was hoping for a finish in the top five, so I am happy about how it finished,” said Francois. “This is the type of class where Falco has been quite competitive. He’s a special horse with a special personality.”

Germany’s Daniel Deusser, winner of the 2014 FEI World Cup Final, triumphed in a nine-horse jump-off in The Keith Prowse Snowman Stakes on SX Hidalgo VG.

Florida-based Amanda Derbyshire was fourth and highest placed Brit on Luibanta BH. Amanda, who is trained by Nick Skelton, and used to compete Olympic champion Big Star as a youngster, admitted that her aim was to be talent-spotted for the British team.

“It’s much warmer in Florida and I did wonder whether I wanted to travel over, but then I thought maybe I’d never get another invitation!” she said. “I was really quite over-excited when I arrived but I’m a bit more relaxed now. It’s fantastic to be here at Olympia.”

A stellar team of legendary jump jockeys trounced the flat jockeys in a thrilling Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

The National Hunt jockeys, trained by Graham Fletcher and headed by the winning-most jockey of all time, Sir AP McCoy, joked that their ages added up to more than 300 years. Their best performance came from Ireland’s Charlie Swann, winner of three Champion Hurdles on Istabraq back in the 1990s, but former champions Peter Scudamore, Richard Dunwoody and John Francome, a former Junior European champion Show Jumper, showed they could still cut it.

The best performance from the flat jockeys, trained by Nick Skelton, came from captain Frankie Dettori, who said: “We gave it our best shot.”

Ijsbrand Chardon, the most experienced driver on the FEI World Cup circuit, treated the Olympia audience to a breath-taking display of rein-handling as he knocked favourite Boyd Exell into second place in the FEI World Cup Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell.

First to go, Exell (AUS) set the bar high and the next four all picked up knockdown penalties. Penultimate to go, Benjamin Aillaud from France, who hasn’t competed in FEI World Cup competition for over a decade, posted a clear round, putting him second, but the Dutchman Chardon, twice a FEI World Cup champion, then took the course by storm, his horses responding to his every command. The win was his by 1.5 seconds, putting him in prime position for tomorrow’s final.

With a new mare in the lead, Chardon felt she was more settled. “Yesterday, she was a little over-awed by the atmosphere which is always so fantastic here. Today her concentration was better. Boyd had set such a standard, but today it all came together for me.”

GB’s representative, Daniel Naprous, whose day job is horsemaster to the display and stunt team The Devil’s Horsemen – recently taking the role of Darth Vader in Star Wars – put up a more assured performance, going clear until towards the end of obstacle two.

To find out more about Olympia, the London International Horse Show, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

World’s Best Lead the Way at Olympia

Britain’s leading lady rider Laura Renwick put on a spectacular performance to win The Cayenne Puissance in front of a packed-out grandstand with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as the guest of honour in the Presidents Box.

The afternoon session saw Spaniard Eduardo Alvarez Aznar speed to victory in the opening CSI5* Show Jumping class of the Show, with Australia’s Boyd Exell dominating the Dodson & Horrell Extreme Driving Top Score. The popular Kennel Club Dog Agility returned, with a win for Tracy Moerel and Deutschlander Schnappss in the ABC Dog Jumping Grand Prix and there was an emotional arena appearance by Show charity mascots Teddy and Doris, representing Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was present to enjoy an action-packed evening of top-class sport and equestrian entertainment, taking to the arena to present the awards for the Musto Inside Edge Stakes, won by Peder Fredricson, accompanied by European gold medal winners Tina Cook and Sophie Wells. The highlight of the evening, The Cayenne Puissance, was a closely contested affair, with Laura Renwick taking the eventual spoils as the only rider to clear the final 7′ 3″ wall.

Laura Renwick was overwhelmed by her spectacular victory on Top Dollar Vl in The Cayenne Puissance. Four riders made it to the fifth round, but Karline De Brabander from Belgium on Fantomas de Muze, Ireland’s Padraic Judge on City Business and 2016 joint winner Holly Smith on Quality Old Joker all faulted and as Laura entered the ring she knew the €7,425 prize was there for the taking.

“That wall is huge and, having seen the other horses hit it, having been jumping really well, I knew it was a big ask,” said Laura afterwards. “I was a little bit lucky – I didn’t have the best stride and the horse really had to use his body to get over it.

“I’ve never won the Puissance outright and so to do it on an eight-year-old horse with not much experience but loads of scope and heart feels amazing. The atmosphere was electric.”

Earlier in the day, Eduardo Alvarez Aznar riding Fidux headed a one-two for Spain in the opening jumping class, the Santa Stakes, holding off a late challenge from his fellow countryman Manuel Fernandez Saro (Cannavaro).

“I was early to go, and Manuel was right at the end. He knew what he had to do but wasn’t quite quick enough,” joked Eduardo, winner of last season’s Zurich Longines FEI World Cup qualifier with Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot. “[Fidux] is a real fighter and very quick across the ground.”

This is Eduardo’s second visit to Olympia, where he won the Six-Bar two years ago. “It’s such a fantastic special show, and a pleasure to ride here,” said Eduardo. “I hope to continue to back here for many, many years.”

Later, there was a Swedish one-two in the Musto Inside Edge Stakes, a speed class, when 2017 European Champion Peder Fredricson (H&M Zoulbet) beat compatriot Malin Baryard-Johnsson (H&M Second Chance) by 0.77 sec to clinch the top prize.

The Dodson & Horrell Extreme Driving Top Score competition may act as a warm-up to the FEI World Cup qualifier, but the crowd was treated to a razor-sharp contest. Of the seven drivers, representing six nations, no-one was prepared to give any quarter, but it was reigning FEI World Cup Champion Boyd Exell from Australia who again proved unassailable.

Exell, a seven-time FEI World Cup Champion, already has three qualifier wins under his belt this season. The last driver into the arena, he was one of only two to post a clear round; the other came from Belgium’s Glenn Geerts, but he trailed Exell by some seven seconds.

Exell had a new inexperienced horse in the lead and explained: “He was a bit tired in the second round but he did all I asked of him. I love competing at Olympia – the atmosphere is always superb; it’s like coming home for me.”

To find out more about Olympia, the London International Horse Show, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

Kent Farrington Closes the Year Winning the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

The Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva, regarded as the most esteemed indoor Grand Prix on the global equestrian circuit, was won by Rolex Testimonee and World Number One Kent Farrington aboard Gazelle. Sweden’s Henrik Von Eckermann was second aboard Mary Lou 194 and Gregory Wathelet from Belgium riding Coree placed third.

Some 10,000 equestrian fans walked into the iconic Palexpo venue, brimming with excitement and tension as they waited for the famed curtains to open, marking the start of the most anticipated class of the four-day show, the Rolex Grand Prix.

40 horse and rider combinations had qualified to enter the iconic indoor arena at the CHI Geneva and in doing so, tackle an imposing first round course (and subsequent jump-off) designed by renowned international show jumping course designers, Gérard Lachat and Louis Konickx.

Clear rounds were hard to come by and the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Philipp Weishaupt, was unable to continue his journey in attempting to lift the most coveted trophy in the sport, as he collected nine faults in round one.

From the first 25 riders who braved the course, including Rolex Testimonees Jeroen Dubbeldam, Eric Lamaze, Bertram Allen and Steve Guerdat, none could master a clear round. It became evident that it would take an exacting and precise round to finish with a score of zero. Last year’s winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, Pedro Veniss from Brazil, produced the first seemingly clear round, until the clock stopped just over the allocated time and he collected one unlucky time fault.

A clean score was finally achieved by The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders, shortly followed by Henrik Von Eckermann and Gregory Wathelet. The crowd hushed to near silence as USA’s Kent Farrington entered into the arena, shortly displaying why he is the very best rider in the sport right now, producing a foot perfect round over the 13 obstacles. Cian O’Connor from Ireland completed the list of five riders progressing through to the second-round jump-off of the final Major of the year.

A revised course was presented to these elite athletes, reducing the course to eight obstacles. Harrie Smolders was first to go, setting the bar high with a clear round in just 46.89 seconds. This was fractionally beaten by Von Eckermann, who sped through the finishing gate with a time of 45.59. Wathelet was unable to challenge this, leaving it to Farrington and O’Connor. In true Farrington style, he sped through the course on the tightest of turns as the Geneva crowd sat on the edges of their seats, erupting in a cacophony of noise as the clock was stopped on 44.96 seconds, taking the World Number One into the lead. Cian O’Connor was last to go but despite giving everything, his brave grey horse Fibonacci just clipped one pole at the fourth fence, handing the victory to Rolex Testimonee, Kent Farrington.

After eight months as World Number One, Farrington concluded an emphatic year as the World Number One and now embarks on his very own Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey.

Commenting after his victory, Farrington said, “I’m still in shock and I can’t believe that it’s over and that we walk away with a win. I thought my horse was great today and with this win being part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, I will definitely be heading to The Dutch Masters in 2018.

“The riders are so strong here and you have the best horses in the world. With a large arena it can be difficult to set an indoor style course and in today’s sport, with as well as everyone rides, they have to make the time short. I knew it was going to be tough when I saw the course and I am so pleased with the result.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
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+44 (0)7748 186 833

Edwina Tops-Alexander Is the Queen of La Coruna

Photo: Edwina Tops-Alexander celebrating victory with her lovely mare, California. (FEI/Manuel Queimadelos)

Australian wonderwoman, Edwina Tops-Alexander (43), scorched to victory with the lovely mare California in the seventh leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League at La Coruna, Spain. In an eight-rider, eight-nation jump-off against the clock the three-time Olympian simply out-raced all the others who managed to leave Santiago Varela’s track intact, and the result leaves her within a few points of qualification for the Longines Final in Paris, France next April.

Austria’s Max Kuhner lined up second with Chardonnay while the home crowd-pleaser was third-placed Manuel Fernandez Saro with Cuidam. Tops-Alexander was filled with her trademark determination.

“California has been jumping great, but here and there we kept having stupid faults and I was getting a bit mad! I was determined to have a good class here yesterday, but it didn’t work. Today I did my best and it DID work, so now I’m really happy!” — Edwina Tops-Alexander (Australia)

Fernandez Saro produced the first clear of the jump-off when third to go, but his time of 43.89 seconds always looked beatable. Two horses later, Ireland’s Denis Lynch was also fault-free, but he didn’t pressure All Star who broke the beam in 45.77 seconds so eventually slotted into fourth place.

Tops-Alexander was taking no prisoners, however, galloping from the start and resetting the target at 40.08 seconds as she flew through the finish. She wasn’t entirely satisfied with her own performance: “I did one too many strides from (fence) 1 to (fence) 2, but that just made me go faster the rest of the way! I wasn’t convinced I was quick enough to win, I thought maybe I’d be second if I was lucky!” she pointed out afterwards. But Austria’s Max Kuhner trailed her by more than two seconds when second-last to go with his fabulous grey stallion who clinched runner-up spot.

Tops-Alexander said her 10-year-old mare had “a nice break” while the Australian star, who only stopped competing in March, waited for daughter Chloe to be born at the end of July. The horse-and-rider partnership returned to the ring in early September. “She’s an amazing horse, and when we both went back to work I came strong and she did too!” said the amazing athlete.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Kevin Staut Crowned Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final Champion at CHI Geneva

The current top 10 riders in the world gathered at the iconic CHI Geneva, Switzerland to contend for one of the most exciting classes of the year, the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. The roster of elite show jumpers who had qualified to tackle Gérard Lachat’s technically challenging and imposing course included five of Rolex’s Equestrian Testimonees: Steve Guerdat, Scott Brash, Eric Lamaze, Kevin Staut and current World Number One, Kent Farrington.

Staged over two rounds, home favourite and Swiss hero Steve Guerdat was first to go aboard his brilliant mare Hannah. The patriotic crowd was electric as he rode into the arena and despite willing the combination over every fence, the pair collected four faults.

The first clear round came from the only rider currently to have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Great Britain’s Scott Brash. Ursula XII and Brash glided around the first round, setting the bar high for the remaining seven riders. Despite nearly foot perfect rounds from the 2016 reigning champion, Eric Lamaze, and 2015 champion Kent Farrington, they both finished the 12-fence course with four faults, respectively.

For the eighth time in his career, Kevin Staut had qualified for the Top 10 Final and this experience shone through as he delivered the last clear of round one.

The second round welcomed four riders with a clean sheet, Lorenzo De Luca, Harrie Smolders, Scott Brash and Kevin Staut. Rolex Testimonee Eric Lamaze produced the fastest second round of the night, with a time of 40.27 moving him up the leaderboard.

Brash continued to impress and put pressure on his competitors, executing a faultless round with a time of 42.83, putting the passionate crowd on the edge of their seats as they waited for the last three riders of the class to challenge the British rider. It was not to be for Smolders as he attempted too tight a turn and paid the price with four faults. The stage was set for Kevin Staut and Lorenzo De Luca, who was competing in this competition for the very first time and the class’s first Italian representative.

ROLEX ONE-TWO PODIUM FINISH

Staut cut every corner in order to achieve his dramatic clear round, stopping the clock at 40.90 seconds, taking him into the lead. After a valiant effort De Luca was unable to beat the exacting precision of the French rider and world number three, as he exited the arena with four faults. The final result saw Rolex Testimonees, Kevin Staut and Scott Brash, secure first and second place on the podium.

A thrilled Staut commented on his victory: “I am really really happy as not only have I won the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final but I have qualified for the Rolex Grand Prix tomorrow also. It’s been eight years that I’ve been fighting to get a good result and I’m thrilled I’ve now achieved it, especially here in Geneva which is such an incredible show.”

Second placed Brash: “I don’t think I could have done any more. Ursula has a huge stride but is a slow mover. Kevin’s turns were much smoother than mine and Kevin was too fast for us today.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Merrick Haydon
merrick@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7748 186 833

Over 14 Hours of Live Coverage for Olympia, the London International Horse Show

Olympia, the London International Horse Show (12-18 December 2017), will be coming to homes across the UK with extensive broadcast coverage of London’s international equestrian event on the BBC.

Over fourteen hours of live action will be aired throughout the week, indicating the importance of Olympia as an international equestrian event and providing equestrian and sporting fans alike excellent access to the top-class competition.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, commented: ‘We are thrilled to be working with the BBC at Olympia once again.  The BBC coverage is important not only for the show but also for the sport.  Bringing world class Dressage, Show Jumping and Carriage Driving to a wider UK audience keeps equestrianism on the map and it provides viewers with the opportunity to see Olympic champions competing in world class competitions.’

Highlights to look out for include the FEI World Cup™ competitions in Dressage and Show Jumping in which the world’s top riders and Olympic gold medallists, including Ben Maher and Scott Brash, will compete. In addition, coverage will include international classes such as the Cayenne Puissance and the Olympia Grand Prix, as well as the Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Further coverage will include footage of Olympia’s equestrian displays, The Mounted Branch of the Metropolitan Police Activity Ride and the Chilean Huasos, along with the Kennel Club Dog Agility, The Shetland Pony Grand National and the Olympia Christmas Finale.

Internationally live coverage of the Dressage, Jumping and Driving FEI World Cup competitions is available on FEI TV and additional post-event coverage will be broadcast on Horse & Country TV.

Olympia, the London International Horse Show, may be viewed online and on TV. The day-by-day coverage listing is as follows*:

Wednesday 13 December

  • The FEI World Cup™ Dressage Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound
    19:20-22:15 – LIVE on BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV, and FEI TV

Thursday 14 December

  • The Cayenne Puissance
    21:15-22:15 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV

Friday 15 December

  • The Entire Evening Performance
    18:45-22:30 – LIVE on BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV
    Featuring The Markel Champions Challenge, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund and The Longines Christmas Cracker

Saturday 16 December

  • The FEI World Cup™ Driving
    18:30-19:15 – LIVE on FEI TV

Sunday 17 December

  • The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping
    13:30-16:35 – LIVE BBC Two HD, Online & connected TV 14:35-16:30 – LIVE on FEI TV

Monday 18 December

  • The Entire Evening Performance
    18:45-22:25 – LIVE on the BBC Red Button, BBC Online & connected TV
    Featuring The Mince Pie Stakes and The Olympia Grand Prix

Tuesday 19 December

  • Highlights
    11:00-12:00 – BBC Two HD, Online & connected TV

*All programmes are subject to change

Horse & Country TV will feature highlights from the Show from 18 December onwards, including the FEI Dressage, Driving and Show Jumping, along with the Cayenne Puissance, the Longines Christmas Cracker and the Olympia Grand Prix.

Horse & Country TV is available on Sky Channel 253, H&C Play, and Amazon Video. For more information, visit their website.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

Team Europe Edges Past Team USA in Inaugural Riders Masters Cup

Laura Kraut & Viper Vrombautshoeve Z. Photo Credit: Laurent Vu for EEM.

Paris Event Sets the Stage for the Second and Final Showdown of the Riders Masters Cup

PARIS – Dec. 2, 2017 – A brand new type of equestrian competition premiered at the Longines Masters of Paris, pitting the United States and Europe against each other in an exhilarating head-to-head matchup. Presented by EEM, in collaboration with the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), and with Longines as a founding partner, the initial stage of the two-round Riders Masters Cup captivated the Paris audience at the international Longines Masters Series. The heart-pounding competition will culminate with the second and final showdown taking place on April 28, 2018, during the inaugural Longines Masters of New York.

EEM CEO Christophe Ameeuw stated, “When we decided to move our American Leg of the Longines Masters to New York, we were living a dream to jump on the grandest stage. Our show has become known for combining glamour, lifestyle, and gastronomy with the best in show jumping; a true 6* experience! We are thrilled we have the opportunity to bring an exciting new competition along with it. The Riders Masters Cup brings the best of equestrian sport together with exhilarating team competition and is a showcase for the exhilarating event in the world’s biggest media market.”

A new annual equestrian competition, the Riders Masters Cup bridges the first and third leg of EEM’s Longines Masters Series, which presents one of the most prestigious show jumping events in the world spanning three continents: Europe, Asia, and North America. Season III of the Longines Masters Series kicked off in Paris, travels to Hong Kong in February, and premieres in New York in April.

The passion and intensity from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games continued into the Riders Masters Cup, which featured multiple Olympic show jumpers for both sides. Team USA is led by 1976 Olympian and 2016 USA Olympic Coach Robert Ridland, who brought home the silver medal last summer, while Team Europe’s Chef d’Equipe is led by two-time Swiss Olympian Philippe Guerdat, keeper of the Gold medal from the 2016 Rio Games with the French team. Six of the 10 riders from the two teams are also previous Olympians, including: the youngest competitor in show jumping history to compete in the Olympic Games, 2012 Olympian Reed Kessler of the USA; two-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic Team Gold Medalist Laura Kraut (USA); a member of the 2016 French gold medal-winning Olympic Team and current World #3, Kevin Staut, and more.

Drawn by Racing 92 rugby player Dimitri Szarzewski, the five duels of the Riders Masters Cup comprised:

  • Team USA Devin Ryan vs. Team Europe Kevin Staut* from France
  • Team USA Chloe Reid vs. Team Europe Maikel van der Vleuten* from The Netherlands
  • Team USA Laura Kraut* vs. Team Europe Grégory Wathelet* from Belgium
  • Team USA Reed Kessler* vs. Team Europe Jos Verlooy from Belgium
  • Team USA Lauren Hough* vs. Team Europe Lorenzo de Luca from Italy

* Denotes Olympian

The fans were enraptured showing their team spirit as the first two riders took to the ring to kick off the highly-anticipated Riders Masters Cup. Competing on a course designed by 2017 Longines FEI European Championship designer Louis Konickx, Team USA’s Devin Ryan and Cooper faced the daunting competition of current world #3 ranked show jumper in the world Kevin Staut and Ayade de Septon et HDC. Staut showed an incredible clear round with a time of 59.05, but unfortunately Ryan suffered a tack malfunction forcing elimination.

The powerhouse of female show jumpers then took the reins for Team USA, starting with the second duel of the evening, in which the formidable 21-year-old Chloe Reid and Sally 643 competed against world-ranked #5 Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue from Team Europe. The Team USA rising star evened the score as she raced around the course in a clear round with a time of 64.08 leaving van der Vleuten in the dust after he dropped rails at the first and last jumps.

Laura Kraut and Viper Vrombautshoeve Z took the lead for Team USA with another clear round and a time of 63.01 to beat Team Europe’s world-ranked #10 Grégory Wathelet and MJT Nevados S who had four faults after a refusal at the last jump finishing with a time of 65.85.

Then, Team Europe’s Jos Verlooy and Igor evened the score for Team Europe with a time of 59.84 just edging out Team USA’s Reed Kessler’s and KS Stakki’s time of 60.71.

Every fan in the arena was on their feet, anxiously awaiting the final duel of the first round of the Riders Masters Cup as Team USA’s Lauren Hough and Waterford entered the ring against Team Europe’s No. 4 world-ranked Lorenzo de Luca and Jeunesse Van’t Paradijs. De Luca dominated the course with a time of 60.07 and fans eagerly awaited the appearance of Olympian Lauren Hough. Unfortunately, two refusals forced Hough out of the ring and Team USA fell to Team Europe in the first round by a score of 3-2.

With a close first round and an electric crowd, the second round had riders and horses return to compete over a Table C faults converted course, where three penalties were added for every rail that fell and riders scored two points for each winning ride.

In the first match-up, Devin Ryan of Team USA redeemed himself with a clear round, adding no penalties to his time of 60.16 seconds riding Cooper and scored the first two points for his team after Kevin Staut and Ayade de Septon et HDC had a rail at the final jump and finished with a final time of 62.79 seconds after three penalty seconds were added.

Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue dropped the top plank of the Masters Riders Cup fence, adding three seconds to their time and finishing with a total of 63.12 seconds. Chloe Reid and Sally 643 also had a rail down for a time of 65.09 seconds and gave Team Europe two more points.

“I was lucky this time!” said van der Vleuten.

Laura Kraut and Viper Vrombautshoeve Z had one rail down and missed an inside turn to record a time of 64.84 seconds. Gregory Wathelet and MJT Nevados S came away with the win after they recorded a time of 61.97 seconds despite pulling rails at the final jump.

Reed Kessler scored another two points for Team USA when she and KS Stakki finished clear in 65.38 seconds, besting Jos Verlooy and Igor.

Lauren Hough and Qantas struggled again in the second round, dropping a rail and with a refusal, while Lorenzo de Luca, came back into the ring with the same gusto and took the round once again with a clear round and a time of 68.09.

De Luca’s triumphant win sealed the deal earning Team Europe the win with a final score of 9-6.

Team USA now turns its eyes on New York with renewed intensity and Ridland was extremely proud of his team, which included four female riders and faced a dominant all-male team on their home turf. “There was a little bit of the unexpected and a couple instances of bad luck. It’s probably a faster paced action event than we’re used to,” said Ridland.

When asked what he would do differently, Ridland smiled and seemed confident that his team would change the tides when they crossed the Atlantic and head to New York in April. He said, “I would leave a couple more jumps up!! For New York, I think we came in with a pretty good strategy and a very good team. The home field advantage will be for us and in our favor in New York. The spectators, riders, and the sport in general will realize what it’s about after seeing this and I really look forward to that. We’ll give them a run for their money.”

The first edition of the historic Riders Masters Cup will culminate on U.S. soil on April 28, 2018, at the Longines Masters of New York at NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Until then, each team will continue training and strategizing in anticipation of their return to the ring next spring with a renewed fervor and the goal of either revenge or continued domination.

Fans can stay updated on the news from each team at www.RidersMastersCup.com and show their support on social media with the hashtag #WaveYourFlag.

Press Contact: Jennifer Wood/Jump Media, jwood@jumpmediallc.com.

Jessica Springsteen and RMF Swinny Du Parc Top $35k Ultima Fitness 1.50m Qualifier CSI 4*

Jessica Springsteen and RMF Swinny Du Parc. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – November 30, 2017 – Competition continued with the ESP Holiday & Horses CSI 4* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) and awarded a win to Jessica Springsteen (USA) and RMF Swinny Du Parc in the $35,000 Ultima Fitness 1.50m Qualifier CSI 4*.

Second place honors in the class were awarded to Margie Engle (USA) and Royce, a 2004 Oldenburg stallion (Cafe Au Lait x Grandilot) owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC, after completing the jump-off in 40.721 seconds. Third place was captured by Ali Wolff (USA) and Blacklick Bend Farm’s Casall, a 2005 Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Capitol I), completing the short track in 40.755 seconds.

Springsteen and the 2006 Selle Francais mare (Berlin x Laudanum), owned by Rushy Marsh Farm, were one of nine returning to the jump-off, stopping timers in 39.173 speedy seconds, a full second ahead of Engle and Wolff. Of the course designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA), Springsteen said, “It was a good course today. I thought the ending was a little tricky with the triple-bar and triple combination. I think that that really caught a lot of people. She [RMF Swinny Du Parc] really kept it together and she jumped it amazingly. It was really good effort on her part!”

Springsteen recently picked up the ride on the mare, competing her for the first time this past fall at Tryon International Equestrian Center. The duo earned several top 12 finishes at TIEC, before moving on to compete in Kentucky.

Springsteen explained, “I showed her in Tryon and that was my first time showing her. We just clicked right away. She’s my kind of ride. She’s a big girl but it doesn’t feel like it when you’re riding her. She’s also very competitive. I took her to Kentucky and showed her there, and then she had a little time off after arriving here in Florida. This was her first time back out today and I couldn’t have asked for her to be any better.”

Looking ahead, Springsteen plans to compete the mare either in Saturday night’s $216,000 Holiday & Horses Grand Prix CSI 4* presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission, or in Sunday’s $25,000 Grand Prix presented by Omega Alpha.

“Moving forward after that I think that we are going to start a little slow this winter because it is such a long season. We are definitely looking forward to competing in the future SNL Grand Prix classes,” she said. “It’s nice to have these pre-Winter Equestrian Festival shows to get the horses seasoned and comfortable with their surroundings once again.”

Complimenting her mount on a job well done once again, Springsteen concluded, “I’m just so thankful to have been given the ride on this mare. She’s so much fun and I’m very excited for the future with her.”

For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Brilliant Bosty and Super Sydney Turn On Their Magic in Madrid

Photo: Roger Yves Bost and Sydney Une Prince. (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Roger Yves Bost (52) posted the second French win of the season at the sixth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League in Madrid, Spain. Riding the brilliant chestnut mare Sydney Une Prince, who he partnered to clinch team gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the enigmatic horseman set a super-hot target time when eighth to go in an epic 18-horse jump-off and couldn’t be caught.

Breaking the beam in 42.23 seconds he was a half-second quicker than Belgian runner-up Niels Bruynseels (33) who was second-last into the arena with Cas de Liberte and who pinned new Irish star Mark McAuley (30) and the grey gelding Miebello into third place by a tiny margin of just 0.01 seconds. McAuley has rocketed up to fourth on the league table, and with 37 points to his credit it seems a place at the Longines Final in Paris next April is now well within the Irishman’s grasp.

Bosty, as the Frenchman is better known, is always guaranteed to keep spectators on the edges of their seats with his unorthodox riding style, and this was no exception. He wasn’t quite convinced he was quick enough to take the win when he left the arena for the second time, however.

“I thought maybe it was good enough for third or fourth place, but I tried my best and Sydney always gives me 100 percent! I lost one stride in the middle of the course, but she is so fast over the fences and I think that’s why we won – she is so brave and so consistent!” — Roger Yves Bost (FRA)

He is determined to qualify for the Final on home turf, particularly because the venue holds some happy memories. “I won the Grand Prix in Paris Bercy in 1996 and that was special, so getting to the Final is my first goal right now,” he said. Lying eighth on the leaderboard and carrying 30 points he looks well on his way, and with seven more qualifying opportunities yet to go in the 13-leg series he still has plenty of time.

The top-18 will make the cut from the Western European League and Bruynseels holds that 18th spot going into the next round as the series moves to La Coruna in Spain’s north-west in two weeks’ time.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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