Tag Archives: Simon Delestre

Daring Delestre and His Super-Fast Ryan Race to Home Victory in Lyon

Photo: Simon Delestre and Hermes Ryan. (FEI/Christophe Tanière)

Size really doesn’t matter as the diminutive Hermes Ryan proved yet again when racing to victory with Simon Delestre (36) onboard at the fourth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League leg on home ground at Lyon, France. In the 11-horse jump-off the little chestnut gelding, who carried the Frenchman to individual European bronze at Aachen, Germany two years ago, simply destroyed the opposition with his amazing turn of foot to finish ahead of Mary Lou, ridden by Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (36), while Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (35) and Bianca lined up in third.

French course designer, Grégory Bodo, received many compliments for a track that wasn’t over-tall or wide but which brought the top combinations through to the decider against the clock. And that was a thriller, Belgium’s Pieter Devos and Claire Z setting a new target in 39.28 seconds when fifth to go, and first to take a daring short-cut to the double, three fences from home. Twice series champion, Steve Guerdat, shaved almost a quarter of a second off that when next out but, with just three horses left to run, Delestre scorched through the finish in 37.72 seconds to leave the remaining two with a near-impossible task.

Fellow-countryman, Roger Yves Bost, had two fences down while trying to catch him and although von Eckermann was quick, his decision to take the longer route to the double saw him settling for second place in 38.85 seconds.

“I was lucky to go near the end of the jump-off because I knew the best route to take, but Ryan is a naturally fast horse and in Verona I tried to go as fast as I could but we had a fence down. Today I asked even more and he jumped amazing! It’s especially nice for me to win this leg at home!” — Simon Delestre FRA (1st)

Meanwhile, Von Eckermann, third-place finisher at the 2017 Final, was delighted to find himself heading the Western European League going into the fifth round in Stuttgart, Germany in two weeks’ time. With 34 points already accumulated he is well on his way to the 2018 Final in Paris (FRA) next April, and that is his main goal right now. He is a big fan of Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping.

“This is the leading series in our sport – it’s fantastic competition and always attracts a great crowd – I just love it!” — Henrik von Eckermann SWE (2nd)

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Simon Delestre Regains Top Spot in Longines Rankings

Simon Delestre, pictured in the first round of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2016 in Gothenburg (SWE). FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst

Lausanne (SUI), 5 July 2016 – Olympic athlete Simon Delestre is back as world number one, having leapt to the top of the Longines Rankings, the world Jumping rankings.

The Frenchman took over the number one slot in March of this year from London 2012 Olympic team gold medalist Scott Brash, ending the Briton’s 11-month reign at the top of the leaderboard.

Three-time Olympian McLain Ward (USA), who held pole position in last month’s Longines rankings, now drops back to third behind Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, who is just 21 points behind Delestre.

Rio in sight

The French superstar Delestre was recently named with two horses, Qlassic Bois Margot and Ryan des Hayettes, on the long list for the French team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, now just 31 days away. Also named for the French squad was world number four Pénélope Leprevost with horses Vagabond de la Pomme and Flora de Mariposa.

View full Longines Rankings here.

Simon Delestre – early career

Simon Delestre has been lived and breathed equestrian sport since his childhood, when he watched his father Marcel compete.

His father, a national pony Jumping coach, and his close relationship with the pony Panama Cassou, owned by the French National Stud, were key to Delestre’s early career success. He won back-to-back national pony Jumping championships in 1994 and 1995. In 1999, he scored individual gold at the French Junior Championships and team bronze at the FEI European Junior Jumping Championships. The following year, he won team gold at the FEI European Jumping Championships for Young Riders and in 2009 stood top of the individual podium at the Mediterranean Games.

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

Simon Delestre Jumps to Top of Longines Rankings

Simon Delestre (FRA), the new world Jumping number one at the top of the Longines Rankings, pictured on the stallion Qlassic Bois Margot in Bordeaux (FRA), last qualifier of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League before the Final in Sweden. (FEI/Eric Knoll)

Lausanne (SUI), 2 March 2016 – France’s Olympic athlete Simon Delestre has jumped to the top of the Longines Rankings, the world Jumping rankings, breaking the 11-month run of Great Britain’s Scott Brash, now world number two.

Delestre, who competed at his first Olympic Games at London 2012 with Napoli Du Ry, scored individual bronze at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) and team silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014.

Gothenburg calling

The 34-year-old from Metz (FRA), who finished second in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League standings, has earned his spot at the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg (SWE) on 23-28 March, which starts on the day marking 135 days to go to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

He has made it to two FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals, in 2014 in Lyon and 2011 in Leipzig, and is now in pole position for this year’s Final.

Delestre, who has a 23-point lead over Brash, is now top of a leaderboard featuring world number three Kent Farrington (USA), who recently won the inaugural Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League on the East Coast, and new world number four and three-time Olympian McClain Ward (USA).

View full Longines Rankings here.

Simon Delestre – early career

Simon Delestre has been immersed in equestrian sport since his childhood, when he watched his father Marcel compete.

His father, a national pony Jumping coach, and his close relationship with the pony Panama Cassou, owned by the French National Stud, were key to Delestre’s early career success. He won the national pony Jumping championships twice in a row in 1994 and 1995. In 1999, he scored individual gold at the French Junior Championships and team bronze at the FEI European Junior Jumping Championships. The following year, he won team gold at the FEI European Jumping Championships for Young Riders and in 2009 he finished top of the individual podium at the Mediterranean Games.

FEI Media contacts:

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

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

Delestre Dashes to Victory in Verona

French winners Simon Delestre and Hermes Ryan pictured with Juan Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice-President and Head of International Marketing and Elisa Gasparini, Brand Manager Longines Italy after winning today’s fourth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League at Verona, Italy. (FEI/Stefano Secchi)

Verona (ITA), 8 November 2015 – The French combination of Simon Delestre and Hermes Ryan won the adrenalin-filled fourth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2015 Western European League in sensational style at Verona, Italy today.

The 15-horse jump-off against the clock was full of thrills and surprises, with the unusual occurrence of superstars Ludger Beerbaum (Chaman) from Germany and Scott Brash (Hello M’Lady) from Great Britain tied for the lead at the halfway stage after breaking the beam in precisely the same time. But at the end of the memorable competition they eventually had to settle for joint-third place when overtaken by Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (Cantinero) in runner-up spot and Delestre with his brave and agile chestnut who came out on top.

Rose to the challenge

It was a day when many promising young horses really rose to the challenge of top-class sport over a big, demanding but straight-forward course designed by Italian maestro, Uliano Vezzani. Max Kuhner’s fabulous grey stallion, Chardonnay, is only eight, yet still found the key to the track that included a testing triple combination at fence six and a difficult line from the triple-bar at eight to the following double – vertical to oxer. Coming up on a four-stride distance from the previous obstacle, elements of the latter constantly hit the floor, while the penultimate oxer also took its toll throughout the afternoon.

Chardonnay was clear once again for the Austrian rider in the jump-off, setting the target when sixth to go in a time of 47.84 seconds.

Vezzani’s new track proved a bit of a puzzle for the early runners, and Kuhner opted for a careful tour with his talented young charge. So when Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson broke the beam in 38.89 seconds with Unita ASK he went well into the lead only to be immediately overtaken by Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten and the ever-reliable VDL Groep Verdi who were half a second quicker.

However, it was the man who claimed the coveted FEI World Cup™ Jumping trophy for Germany for the very first time back in 1993 who really set today’s competition alight, Ludger Beerbaum steering Chaman home in 37.83 seconds to throw it down to the rest of the field. The knowledgeable crowd jumped to their feet in appreciation as he cleared the line, convinced that this could not be bettered, but there was plenty more excitement to come.

Critical points

Critical points on the jump-off track were the rollback to the vertical at fence three, and another from the water-tray oxer at five to the two remaining elements of the triple combination. World No. 1, Scott Brash, produced a brilliant turn to the third fence with the nine-year-old Hello M’Lady and galloped down to the last, but the crowd gasped with amazement when the clock showed exactly the same time as it did for Beerbaum. The prospect of joint-winners seemed very much on the cards, but Delestre had other ideas about that.

The Frenchman said afterwards that he was determined not to push Hermes Ryan too hard, but that “he’s a small horse with a lot of scope so that always gives you an advantage against the clock. I decided I would just try to be fast without going crazy, and it worked like a dream as they broke the timers in 36.46 seconds to go out in front. It still wasn’t quite over, however, as, second-last to go, Henrik von Eckermann, on the considerably bigger gelding Cantinero, was well in touch coming down to the final fence. “Maybe I could have done one less (stride) to the last,” the Swedish rider mused after posting his time of 36.72 seconds for second place.

A little fresh

“Verona is my first show with Ryan since the Europeans at Aachen, and he was a little fresh the first day,” said 34-year-old Delestre who claimed individual bronze at this summer’s Championships at the hallowed German venue. He changed his plan for the weekend when he realised his little Selle-Francais gelding was on his toes. “Usually I would jump him in a small class and then the Grand Prix, but instead I did the big class yesterday because I wanted him to settle, and anyway I didn’t want to shock him with the size of the fences today,” he explained.

“Ryan is a typical French horse and the best I’ve ever had in my life – when he’s relaxed like he was today it’s easy to be fast with him – he’s very special, he has only had three fences down in this whole season!” said the rider who, having already collected points at both the first leg in Oslo (NOR) and the third leg in Lyon (FRA), is now qualified for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2016 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next March.

He has taken over at the top of the leaderboard, ousting his compatriot, Penelope Leprevost, who has won two other legs of the series so far, and when asked this evening if the Western European League is turning into “the French World Cup series,” Delestre replied, “Yes, we are in great form right now, and the French team are feeling very, very happy!”

For further information on the fourth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League series in Verona, Italy, visit www.jumpingverona.it or contact Press Officer Caterina Vagnozzi, c.vagnozzi@gmail.com, +39 335 6107070.

The fifth leg will take place in Stuttgart, Germany on Sunday 22 November. For details of the German fixture, visit www.stuttgart-german-masters.de or contact Press Officer Joerg Klopfer, joerg.klopfer@in.stuttgart.de, +49 (0)7 11 / 95 54 31 28

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

The fourth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League at Verona, Italy today.

The competition took place within the context of the world-famous equestrian extravaganza, the Fieracavalli, which celebrates its 117th edition this year.

The inaugural Italian leg of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series took place in Milan back in 1983 when Irish legend, Eddie Macken, came out on top with El Paso.

39 starters in today’s competition.

15 athletes from 12 different countries qualified for the jump-off against the clock.

9 double-clear rounds.

The winners were the European individual bronze medal horse-and-rider combination of Simon Delestre from France with Hermes Ryan.

Runner-up was Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (Cantinero), while two riders (Ludger Beerbaum GER and Scott Brash GBR) shared third place when both stopped the clock in exactly the same time in the jump-off round.

The fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League will take place in Stuttgart, Germany on Sunday 22 November.

Quotes:

Scott Brash GBR (3rd) – “It was a good course today – a few less clears would have been perfect but that’s how it is! I’m very happy with Hello M’Lady. We need to learn how to get the jump-offs a bit smoother but it was great to share third with Ludger today – that doesn’t happen very often!”

Simon Delestre FRA (1st) – “I have Ryan and Classic; they are two great horses and you need a few good ones if you are to be competitive at this level.”

Henrik von Eckermann (2nd) – “There were a lot of clear rounds but I prefer it like this – not to ask everything from horses so they can go to another show again soon.”

Simon Delestre FRA (1st) – “I like it very much here in Verona – the first time I came here was in 1994 when I competed in the pony competitions!”

Full standings here.

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Social media: #FEIWorldCupWEL

Rider biographies: view online and download from http://www.fei.org/bios.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Verona:

Caterina Vagnozzi
Press officer
Email: c.vagnozzi@gmail.com
Tel: +39 335 6107070

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Qlassic Victory for Delestre at Longines Leg in Mechelen

The French partnership of Simon Delestre and the stallion Qlassic Bois Margot produced a devastating turn of speed to win today’s eighth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League at Mechelen in Belgium. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Mechelen (BEL), 30 December 2014 – Simon Delestre produced a devastating turn of speed from the stallion Qlassic Bois Margot to clinch victory at the eighth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014 Western European League at Mechelen, Belgium today. Last to go in an intriguing nine-horse jump-off, the 33-year-old Frenchman shattered the early target set by Britain’s Joe Clee to scoop maximum points and set himself firmly on the path to the series Final in Las Vegas, USA next April.

The first-round course set by Belgian course designer, Lucien Somers, presented a tough test for the 39 starters, with the double at fence seven and the triple combination at fence 12 proving particularly influential. “The triple was very difficult – the double of oxers with one stride followed by a vertical at the end of the course meant you needed a fit horse with a lot of scope today,” Delestre commented afterwards.

First to go

Clee really threw down the gauntlet when first to go in the jump-off with the 10-year-old stallion Utamaro d’Ecaussines who gave it everything he had to set a strong target in 32.42 seconds. And the 36-year-old rider who is married to the youngest daughter of the late Eric Wauters, in whose memory the popular Belgian fixture is staged, then had to stand back and watch the rest try to better that.

America’s Lucy Davis and Barron lost their chance at the very first fence, but Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow left all the timber intact when steering Casello home in 35.07, and he wouldn’t regret being a little cautious when this eventually proved good enough for third place.

The packed stadium of spectators gasped with dismay when the first of the two Belgian contenders, Judy-Ann Melchior and her grey mare Cold as Ice Z, also fell afoul of the opening vertical, but they were gripping their seats with excitement as Jos Verlooy galloped down to the last well up on the clock with the 11-year-old gelding Domino. One of the new wave of super-talented young Belgians blazing a trail on the international circuit right now, the rider who turned 19 just two weeks ago decided to take a stride out to the final oxer, however, and paid the price as it came crashing down for four faults in 34.60 seconds. He couldn’t forgive himself afterwards. “I made a terrible mistake and I’m so disappointed. I will never get the chance to win a competition like this again!” he insisted, but of course a young man of his calibre has a great future ahead of him.

Could be beaten

He had shown that Clee’s target time could be beaten, and although French stars Kevin Staut (Qurack de Falaise HDC) and Roger Yves Bost (Nippon d’Elle) each left a fence on the floor, and Germany’s Christian Ahlmann played the percentage game with a safe but slow clear from Cornado ll which would earn them fourth place in the final analysis, Delestre and his black stallion never looked like they were ready to compromise.

The precision of their opening round suggested they are a pair right on form, and when the Frenchman asked for a colossal effort at the last, the horse never flinched, galloping through the timers more than two seconds faster than Clee to put the result beyond doubt.

Tried to do my best

“I thought Joe was very quick and I wasn’t sure I could do a better time but I tried my best without going crazy. It was a good jump-off track for my horse; we could take one stride out in every line and he’s always very quick, but I was sure to be careful because twice before in the qualifiers this season I have been really fast but picked up four faults!” said Delestre afterwards.

The pair has had a busy and super-successful year, with the team silver medal at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy followed by a second-place finish at the Global Champions Tour in Vienna, fifth at the Longines qualifier in Lyon (FRA) and 12th at Stuttgart, “and now we won – I’m really so happy with him!” Delestre said of his horse. “He will do Basel (SUI) and Bordeaux (FRA) and then go breeding for seven weeks. Last year he covered about 300 mares; he is a great stallion for the French mares with a fantastic bloodline,” he added.

Very special

Talking about his stallion, he continued, “Qlassic is special in many ways; he’s full of energy, but not stupid energy, and he’s usually very careful. He can be sensitive sometimes if things are not going well, but we understand each other. He’s best when he’s been jumping over a few days. On Thursday we jumped a class, and then we went in a jump-off but we went slowly. He needs a few times in the ring to be happy, and today he was really ready!” he added.

With 37 points the Frenchman has now moved up to eighth place on the Western European league leaderboard and is already planning his trip to the Longines Final. However, he’s not sure which horse he will take. “I will think about it closer to the time. It’s a very small ring there for a horse like Qlassic, so I might take Ryan (Ryan des Hayettes) instead,” he pointed out this evening.

For further information on the eighth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League at Mechelen, Belgium, check out website www.jumping-mechelen.com or contact Press Officer Edith de Reys, Email edith.dereys@skynet.be, Tel +32 475 659281.

The next leg takes place in Leipzig, Germany on Sunday 18 January 2015. For all information on the German fixture, visit website www.engarde.de or contact Press Officer Andreas Kerstan, Email andreas.Kerstan@comtainment.de, Tel +49 177 75 32 624.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

Mechelen in Belgium presented Round 8 of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League today.

This is the 34th edition of the fixture created by the late Eric Wauters whose family continues to be deeply involved in the staging of the event.

9 horse-and-rider combinations qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock including two from both Belgium and France.

4 produced double-clear performances.

Course designer was Belgium’s Lucien Somers.

Winner was 33-year-old Frenchman Simon Delestre partnering Qlassic Bois Margot, the 10-year-old stallion with which he helped the host nation claim team silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy.

Quotes:

Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow, who took the Leading Rider of the Show award – “The oxers were quite big but they suited the capacity of my horse. The short distances were difficult for him in the first round but he was great in the jump-off. Sweden only has two places at the (Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping) Final so I am hoping for more invitations to the qualifiers so that I can get to Las Vegas. I’m the leading Swedish rider in the standings right now so I’m hoping I can get there!”

Joe Clee GBR – “This was my first World Cup of the season so to finish second was great!”

Joe Clee GBR – “I’d love to go to Las Vegas but we also have the European Championships to think about next year so even if I do qualify for the Final we will have to have a discussion about whether it will be right for my horse to go.”

Joe Clee GBR, joking about Simon Delestre’s victory which pinned him back into runner-up spot – “Last year in the Small Grand Prix Simon also beat me, so I don’t think we should send him an invitation next year!”

Full standings here.

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Rider biographies: view online and download from http://fei.org/fei/your-role/media/biographies.

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.

Longines’ passion for equestrian sports began in 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and its mount. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with equestrian sports. In 1912, Longines was proud to partner with its first Jumping event, the Grande Concurso Hippico Internacional, in Portugal.

Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing.

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By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Mechelen:

Edith de Reys
Email: edith.dereys@skynet.be
Tel: +32 475 659 281

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45