All posts by Associate Editor

New Retirees Arrive at Old Friends

Bordonaro (left) and Next Shares (Photo Mary Greene)

Graded Stakes Winners Next Shares and Bordonaro

GEORGETOWN, KY – SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 – Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Facility in Georgetown, KY, has welcomed new retirees.

Next Shares, winner of the 2018 Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs, and multiple graded stakes winner Bordonaro.

A Richard Baltas trainee and owned in partnership, Next Shares (Archarcharch – Two Dot Slew, Evansville Slew) retires after seven seasons with a record of seven wins from 49 starts and earnings of $1.891,971.

A multiple graded stakes winner, Next Shares also captured the 2018 GR1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, the GR2 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita, and the GR2 Seabiscuit at Del Mar in 2019.

Bordonaro (Memo – Miss Excitment, Rajab), comes to Old Friends through the United Pegasus Foundation in Tehachapi, CA. A William Spawr trainee, the now 20-year-old gelding won the 2006 GR1 Ancient Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Oak Tree and is a two-time winner of the GR3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (2006 and 2007) at Oaklawn Park. He retired with 10 wins from 20 starts and earnings of $938,128.

“We’re so thrilled to have both of these wonderful athletes,” said Old Friends founder and president Michael Blowen. “Richard Baltus, who entered Next Shares in the Old Friends Stakes because it guaranteed his retirement, and Bill Spawr, who trusted us with Amazombie, are two very special old friends.”

Old Friends Welcomes Rocketry

SEPT. 24, 2021 – Old Friends has welcomed multiple graded stakes winner Rocketry.

The son of Hard Spun, now 7, retired from racing in August of this year following a fourth-place effort in the Birdstone Stakes at Saratoga. At that time, he was sent to owner Centennial Farms’ Middleburg, VA facility to unwind.

He retired after five seasons on the track with six wins from 29 starts and lifetime earnings of $811,577.

A fan favorite thanks to his thrilling late-running style, Rocketry truly came into his own as a 4-year-old under conditioner Jimmy Jerkens. He captured the 2018 Temperence Hill Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park by crushing a 98-year-old track record for 1 5/8 miles held by Man o’ War, and, later that year, he earned his first graded stakes victory in the GR2 Marathon Stakes at Churchill Downs, again setting a new track record for the 1 ¾ miles.

In his 6-year-old campaign Rocketry added a third track record to his resume, this time going 1 5/8 miles in 2:42.57 at Keeneland, and picked up another graded victory in the GR2 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Stakes.

“Just like the movie character, Rocketry could not have lived up to his nickname of ‘Rocky’ any better,” said Don Little, Jr., President of Centennial Farms. “He consistently campaigned in stakes carrying the Centennial flag with honor every time he set foot on the track. He was sound throughout his career while breaking three track records over a distance of ground. Being involved with a horse like this was truly a joy, thrill, and one that will be cherished by all the partners involved,” Little continued. “While he will be missed on the oval, we look forward to him showing off to visitors at Old Friends.”

“Who doesn’t love Rocketry?” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “We’re very fortunate that Centennial Farms trusts us to care for their great marathoner. Thanks to Don Little, Jr. and Jimmy Jerkins for allowing us to showcase him to his many fans.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Super-Tight Contest Going into Cross-Country Day

Maxime Livio with Api du Libaire. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Great Britain maintained the lead in the Dressage phase, but there will only be a hair’s breadth between them and the defending team champions from Germany when the cross-country phase of the FEI Eventing European Championships 2021 gets underway.

A margin of 4.9 penalty points is all that separates the two sides as the best horse-and-athlete combinations from all across Europe continue to battle it out for the prestigious team and individual medals at these 35th bi-annual Championships.

Germany’s Ingrid Klimke took another step towards an historic first-ever three-in-a-row individual title with the same horse, when steering the brilliant SAP Hale Bob OLD into pole position in the Dressage arena. But Great Britain’s Ros Canter and Allstar B, who took double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games two years ago, came dangerously close to toppling them when third-last to go.

Scoring 20.6, Canter lies just 0.4 behind Klimke when the horses set out to take on the challenging cross-country track designed by Great Britain’s Mike Etherington-Smith, which consists of 40 jumping efforts and 32 fences over a distance of 5,678 metres that must be covered in 10 minutes 7 seconds to avoid time penalties.

And lying third, only 0.3 further behind, is Canter’s team-mate and first-day Dressage leader Nicola Wilson with JL Dublin, while a super test from Maxime Livio and his attractive 11-year-old grey gelding Api du Libraire leaves him individually fourth and secured third place for Team France.

Reshuffle

Klimke was always expected to reshuffle the order with her 17-year-old gelding whose career record includes Olympic team silver, individual World Championship bronze, and four European gold medals, the last two of the latter clinched on home ground in Luhmuehlen two years ago. He certainly didn’t disappoint again, but Bobby was full of beans before starting his test.

“Maybe he thought we were in cross-country already! I didn’t warm up for long because he knows all the movements and I thought it would be good if he was a bit fresh, because the ground is a bit deep (in the arena), but I didn’t know he was that fresh! I should have cantered a few more rounds outside!

“I had to take an extra loop to calm him down, but the moment I entered the ring, I knew exactly that he knows his job inside out and I could really enjoy it and I could ride very precisely from point to point. After so many years now, it is really a pleasure to ride through the test knowing he is absolutely focused and there is so much trust between us,” she pointed out.

She says the cross-country course reminds her of the track at Wiesbaden in Germany, “which feels like seven minutes in a jump-off – you can’t breathe very much!” But Bobby is a past-master over fences. “The good thing is that he has a very handy canter for the turns, and he doesn’t mind the ground,” she explained.

His lazy self

Canter gave the German star a real run for her money when third-last to go. Albie, as her 16-year-old horse is known to his friends, didn’t make it entirely easy for her though because, as she explained, “He was his usual lazy self! I wanted everyone to clap and cheer as we came in and he pricked his ears for about half a second but then he went ahhh… he’s always listening to me, and in a way it’s a benefit, but I was possibly sweating more than he was!” she said.

“But honestly, he’s just the most rideable horse I’ve ever had in a dressage test. He doesn’t change, regardless of the atmosphere or anything else; he just lets me ride for every mark, and that’s where his heart shines really and always has done. Time and again, he does mistake-free tests. It’s a lot of pressure coming out on him again (after their World Championship success), but I want to try and enjoy every minute because I know I haven’t got many left with him,” she added.

Impressive

While both Klimke and Canter’s horses are super-experienced, Livio’s fourth-place ride with Api du Libaire was all the more impressive because it’s this pair’s first Championship together, and you’d never have guessed it.

“We knew since the beginning this horse’s talent for the three phases is really nice; he can fight with the best horses in the world. This is his first Championship so it’s good to be where we are today and it’s a good score for the team, but it’s a three-day event also so we take it day by day,” said the 34-year-old Frenchman.

He described his handsome and characterful gelding as “a strange horse; he’s like a kid but not a bad kid, just someone who is pleased to be here and wants to see everything! My job is to show him a lot, and I’m pleased because he was totally connected to me, and when he is like that, he is a super student because he tries all the time,” he added.

Challenging

Meanwhile, looking ahead to the cross-country test, Canter said, “It’s a really challenging course in terms of the full circles we do and all the accuracy questions and the difference in surfaces which will affect horse’s balance. We’ll need to prepare for every fence, riding and planning the bits in between. Albie gets very wound up at the start but he’s a wise old man, so I’ll keep his warm-up limited and keep his energy and adrenaline for the course.”

Klimke said the most important thing will be to maintain the horse’s rhythm and “not lose any stride, just keep a wonderful flow,” all very possible perhaps when you are partnering a creature of the calibre of SAP Hale Bob OLD who she affectionately calls “the professor.”

Livio agreed. “The rider who can be fluent in their riding will do the best. This course is a good test of the ability of the rider to be fluent – if we manage to do that it will go well,” he said.

Team France lies only 7.6 penalty points behind the Germans who currently hold silver medal spot. But the French will need to be on the button because fantastic tests from Harald Ambros (Lexikon 2), Robert Mandl (Sacre-Coeur), and Lea Siegl (van Helsing P) moved Austria up into fourth, less than two points behind.

The Dutch team is in fifth place, Italy in sixth, Sweden in seventh, and Belgium in eighth, while the hosts from Switzerland lie ninth. Spain, Ireland, Russia, and Czech Republic fill the last four places.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

EQUUS Foundation Awards over $631,000 in Grants in 2021

The EQUUS Foundation announced the award of over $631,000 in grants, including awards of new and gently used riding apparel, valued at $313,864, to individual riders in need, scholastic riding programs, pony clubs, equestrian camp programs, and equine charities through The Rider’s Closet program.

Primary support is awarded to equine charities nationwide that save and re-home increasing numbers of horses from abuse, neglect, and slaughter and charities that partner with horses to improve the well-being of people through the Foundation’s Transparency Awards program. The EQUUS Foundation awarded small grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to 142 charities that earned the EQUUS Foundation Guardian Seal of Transparency by completing the EQUUS Foundation’s comprehensive and unique verification process.

EQUUS Foundation Horse Whisperers are a select group of individuals and organizations who are committed to ensuring that America’s horses are safe and live with dignity throughout their lives and are recognized by the EQUUS Foundation for their extraordinary kinship with horses by the establishment of an award in their names to honor deserving equine charities.

The EQUUS Foundation Board of Directors honors those charities from among the grant recipients that best align with the interests of the Horse Whisperers with a Horse Whisperer Award.

“The work of the EQUUS Foundation begins each time the career of a horse comes to an end. It is only through engaging passionate supporters and collaboration that we are able to identify and invest in effective programs that are finding homes for at-risk horses and horses in transition, providing a safe haven for aged horses, and increasing opportunities for more people to benefit from the magic and power of horses,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Jackson Mountains Wild Horses Need Your Voice

As you read this, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is conducting an “emergency” roundup – removing hundreds of wild horses from the Jackson Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA).

The agency claims limited water and forage is the reason — but, while the BLM cries “emergency” and rounds up our wild horses, they added commercial livestock to this same area just months ago!

This cannot go unopposed.

BLM is taking public comments on this roundup plan in Jackson Mountains as the roundup is taking place!

It is ESSENTIAL to have strong public opposition ON THE RECORD for this unfair, unscientific, and inhumane treatment of animals who are supposed to be protected.

Please take quick action to oppose the BLM and be a voice for the Jackson Mountains wild horses.

The Cloud Foundation
www.thecloudfoundation.org

Hard Work, Dedication, and Perseverance at the Heart of Time to Beat Campaign

The FEI has set in motion the Time to Beat campaign which highlights the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of equestrian athletes who dedicate their lives to reaching World level sporting success.

Launched at the start of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2021-2022 season, the cross-media campaign brings together the FEI, its Top Partner Longines, and the Organising Committees of the North American League and Western European League to celebrate the human and equine athlete journey to the elite levels of the sport.

“The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ competitions are full of edge-of-your-seat moments where winners can be determined by fractions of a second and it is this sporting drama which engages fans and keeps them coming back for more each season,” FEI Commercial Director Ralph Straus said.

“But these moments of brilliance are the culmination of years of hard work, patience, and endless repetition. And when it comes down to that critical moment in a competition, it is the communication between the athlete and horse that is often the determining factor for a win. This horse-human connection takes years to create, and it is this journey in time that we want to celebrate through the Time to Beat campaign.”

The video, released to mark the start of the campaign, connects the in-competition performance of the human and equine athletes with powerful images of the daily dedication and perseverance that athletes need to cultivate over time to reach their sporting goals.

“The values of the Time to Beat campaign resonate strongly with Longines, as we know from first-hand experience that excellence can only come from years of commitment,” Longines Vice President Marketing Matthieu Baumgartner said.

“Perfection does take time, and with our experience in creating digital engagement campaigns with the FEI over the past year, we can now tell this story in a more authentic way and deliver a message that people from diverse backgrounds, not just equestrian, can identify with.

“The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ has inspired large numbers of fans and we believe that by adding powerful initiatives like the Time to Beat campaign, we can take equestrian sport to another level.”

The FEI’s partnership with Longines has come a long way since it became the International Federation’s Top Partner in 2012. The initial collaboration included a number of major rights packages including the Longines Jumping Rankings, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™, FEI World Equestrian Games™, and the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™.

Over the years, the partnership has grown to include Longines as Partner of the FEI Solidarity project on the retraining of racehorses, as well as Title Partner of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series and Presenting Partner of the FEI Awards Gala. In early 2019, Longines extended its agreement as Title Partner of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League series.

The Time to Beat campaign has found strong support with the Organising Committees of the North American League and Western European League where Longines is the Title Partner. The first leg of the North American League for the 2021-2022 season will kick off in Langley, British Columbia (CAN) on 26 September while Oslo (NOR) will host the first leg of the Western European League on 17 October.

“The pandemic situation has brought home to the sports world that our lives can also change dramatically from one minute to the next,” said Chris Pack, President and Operations Director at the Thunderbird Show Park in Langley.

“While this campaign is meant to highlight the hard work that goes into the making of a sports star, it is also a celebration for our community who have worked hard to find solutions and ways to ensure that our athletes and fans have the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ competitions to enjoy.

“The Time to Beat campaign messages of persistence, tenacity, and dedication are universal and we are looking forward to communicating these values to our local communities to bring them closer to the action and emotion that the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ competitions have to offer.”

Time to Beat will be a three-year campaign that will see a number of activations around the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ competitions to boost fan engagement and involvement.

“We are looking forward to working on this campaign, not just to increase the visibility of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ series, but also to create a meaningful conversation around the power of equestrian sport,” said Tomas Torgersen, Show Director Gothenburg Horse Show.

“Both the human and equine athlete require a strong mental connection and it is this special bond that always shines through during the Longines FEI World Cup competitions. It’s always a magical moment when an athlete gets the best out of their horse at that crucial moment of the competition. It’s in those few seconds that World champions are created and we want the world to see and experience this with us.”

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ was created in 1978 and is currently made up of 12 leagues across all continents. The top placed athlete-horse combinations from all Leagues are invited to attend the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final™ which will be held in Leipzig (GER) in April 2022.

Media contact:

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
vanessa.randin@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 73

CHIO Aachen Highlights News Film

Aachen, Germany, 20 September 2021 – The 2021 Rolex Grand Prix of CHIO Aachen was won by Daniel Deusser riding Killer Queen VDL. Second place went to Brian Moggre and third place to Gregory Wathelet. The German produced a masterful display on the final day of CHIO Aachen to capture the prestigious 5* Grand Prix, and in doing so, becomes the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender.

The two-round competition saw 18 riders progress to the second round, 12 through on a zero score. These included Steve Guerdat, riding Venard de Cerisy, fresh from their victory in the previous Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major at CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, as well as former Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping winner Scott Brash.

Seven horse and rider combinations produced faultless double clear rounds to head into a jump-off. Deusser, the current World No. 1, was first into the arena to face the final test against the clock, setting the pace with a stunning clear in a time of 41.85 seconds. Those to follow were unable to challenge Deusser, either failing to catch his time or amassing jumping faults. American young rider, Brian Moggre, came closest as last to go, putting in an impressive round, just 0.31 seconds slower than Deusser on 42.16, to finish in eventual second.

The Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen is the third of four equestrian Majors in 2021, which together form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, considered to be the sport’s most demanding challenge. All eyes will now look ahead to the final instalment of the year at CHI Geneva in December.

The highlights film can be seen here:

FINAL RESULTS OF THE ROLEX GRAND PRIX

  1. Daniel Deusser (GER) riding Killer Queen VDM
  2. Brian Moggre (USA) riding Balou du Reventon
  3. Gregory Wathelet (BEL) riding Nevados S
  4. Ben Maher (GBR) riding Explosion W
  5. Laura Kraut (USA) riding Baloutinue
  6. Scott Brash (GBR) riding Hello Jefferson
  7. Jérôme Guery (BEL) riding Quel Homme de Hus
  8. Martin Fuchs (SUI) riding Leone Jei
  9. Gerrit Nieberg (GER) riding Ben 431
  10. Steve Guerdat (SUI) riding Venard de Cerisy

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

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0) 7748 186 833

Eva Froio and Emily Dougherty Earn Low Junior and Low Amateur Jumper Championship Titles

Emily Dougherty and SLF Peanut.

Devon, Pa. – Sept. 19, 2021 – The final day of the Devon Fall Classic kicked off early Sunday morning, this time featuring the final championship rounds of the show’s various jumper divisions in the famous Dixon Oval. The $5,000 Low Junior and Low Amateur Jumper Championship classes rounded out the day of festivities, with Eva Froio and Emily Dougherty taking home the top honors in their respective divisions.

New Jumper Division Champions Crowned

Prior to the $5,000 Low Junior and Low Amateur Jumper Championship classes, new champions were crowned in the $3,000 High Adult Amateur Jumper Championship, the $3,000 High Children’s Jumper Championship, the $1,500 Low Adult Amateur Jumper Championship, and the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Championship. Click here to read the full day’s results.

For additional information, please visit our website at www.DevonHorseShow.net.

EQUUS Foundation Announces 2021 Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award Recipients

The EQUUS Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Awards. Five EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities received a $500 cash award and a $500 gift card for Platinum Performance products to be used by the charity for the care of one of their horses. In addition, another five horses received $250 gift cards for Platinum Performance Equine, and 26 horses received gift cards for a bucket of Platinum Performance Equine.

“We are truly honored to support the EQUUS Foundation and the incredible work that they do to keep America’s horses safe with purposeful lives and loving homes. Congratulations to the recipients of the 2020 Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Awards. We celebrate all the deserving applicants for their complete transparency and wonderful effort in protecting horses and appreciating the impact they have on each of us,” said Emily Smith, MS, Platinum Performance.

“We are so proud to be associated with Platinum Performance,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President. “The Platinum Performance Awards program is really special because it benefits specific horses. It’s wonderful to be able to provide comfort to horses being rehabilitated by charities that are making them ready for their next homes and charities that are partnering with horses to improve the well-being of people.”

Only those charities that undergo the EQUUS Foundation’s comprehensive and unique verification process and receive the EQUUS Foundation Guardian designation are eligible to receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation.

View all the Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award Recipients here.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Luiz Francisco de Avezedo and Collin Win $25k Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix

Luiz Francisco de Avezedo and Collin. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – Sept. 19, 2021 – The ESP September show reached its pinnacle on Sunday as 23 entries took to the Derby Field for a chance to win the lion’s share of the prize money in the $25,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix. The course, designed by Andy Christiansen (ECU), proved to be a difficult one to master as only three starters advanced to the jump-off, but was no match for the only double-clear contenders of the contest and the class winners, Luiz Francisco de Avezedo (BRA) and Collin, owned by Santa Cecilia Stables. The win is one of many victories earned by the Brazilian and Collin during their longtime partnership, which amazingly began by purchasing the horse before he reached the slaughterhouse.

Competition on the Derby Field kicked off Friday morning with the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Steak. Diego Vivero (ECU) and his own entry, Zambia Mystic Rose, sped their way to the top of the leaderboard after clearing the jump-off in 37.15 seconds.

Vivero found himself in the winner’s circle once again on Saturday after topping the Ford’s Garage 1.35m Stake. He and his own Flipper Lady posted double-clear rounds with a jump-off time of 35.74 seconds to take home top honors.

In Sunday morning’s $2,500 Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Equiline, six pairs advanced to the jump-off over the 1.30m fences, led by Catalina Peralta of Geneva, FL on Wendy Peralta’s Amore from Second Life Z. The duo won the class with a double-clear time of 38.85 seconds.

Isabel Beltran and Sazerac Secure First Derby Win in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Isabel Beltran of Jupiter, FL and IMB of Jupiter LLC’s Sazerac captured the win in ESP September’s highlight hunter class, the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline. The class took place on Friday at Equestrian Village and marked a special occasion for the duo as it was their first derby win together.

In the Amateur-Owner 3’3”/3’6” Hunters, sponsored by Vita Flex, Jennifer Speisman of Wellington, FL piloted her own Totality to the championship honors. The duo earned three first-place results, along with a second place and third place, to secure the highest number of points on the overall scorecard.

Stephen Lengyel of Wellington, FL rode Carolyn Teneyck’s Formal Attire to the championship tricolor in the USHJA 3’ Hunter division, presented by Perfect Products. Over the course of five classes, the pair received three second-place ribbons and two fourth-place ribbons.

The Junior 3’3”/3’6” Hunters, sponsored by #1 Education Place, saw Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA and her own Grand Remo ride away with victory in the division after earning three blue ribbons and two red ribbons.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Daniel Deusser Wins Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen, Becomes New Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

The world’s most distinguished show jumpers and their equine partners contested the highlight class of 2021’s edition of CHIO Aachen: the Rolex Grand Prix. The third Major of 2021’s Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the 1m60 test, created by leading course designer, Frank Rothenberger, comprised 40 starters from 15 nations. Amongst them was current world number one, Daniel Deusser, current world number three, Martin Fuchs, winner of the 2021 CP ‘International’, Steve Guerdat, reigning Olympic Individual champion, Ben Maher, plus another 11 of the world’s current top 30-ranked riders.

The tense action played out in front of approximately 19,000 knowledgeable show jumping fans in CHIO Aachen’s Hauptstadion, a truly iconic stadium which also hosted the sport’s World Championships in 2006 and European Championships in 2015. The format was simple: following the Rolex Grand Prix’s first round, the best 18 riders would qualify for Round 2, with a jump-off triggered should any riders’ combined scores be tied. In the case of a jump-off, the rider with the fewest penalties and fastest time would be crowned champion.

Clear rounds combined with fast times saw three of the sport’s greatest riders comfortably progress to the second round: Great Britain’s Ben Maher and his 12-year-old megastar gelding, Explosion W; the first and only rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam, Scott Brash and his 12-year-old gelding, Hello Jefferson; and Steve Guerdat and his 12-year-old gelding, Venard de Cerisy. However, it was Mexico’s Patricio Pasquel who topped the leader board at the end of the first round, after he and his 14-year-old gelding, Babel, finished over two and a half seconds ahead of next fastest rider, America’s rising talent, Brian Moggre.

Other riders of note to make the cut of 18 included the sport’s current highest-ranked rider, Daniel “Double D” Deusser of Germany, Frenchman Kevin Staut, Martin Fuchs from Switzerland, winner of the Rolex Grand Slam Major at CHIO Aachen in 2017, Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet, and the next generation of show jumping talent, 22-year-old American rider Lucy Deslauriers and 23-year-old Sanne Thijssen from The Netherlands.

Consisting of 15 fences, and over a very slightly shorter course than the first, home favourite Deusser soon assumed control of the second round, the first of the 18 riders to go double clear. He was followed by Belgian, Jérôme Guery, confirming a jump-off would decide who would become the new Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender, after the last Major winner, Steve Guerdat, failed to record a clear round. Guery’s Tokyo 2020 Team bronze medal-winning teammate, Gregory Wathelet, started a procession of double clears, with Laura Kraut from the USA, Scott Brash, Ben Maher, and Brian Moggre all booking their places in the final showdown, thereby making it a seven-way jump-off.

First to go in the jump-off was Daniel Deusser and his 11-year-old mare, Killer Queen, meticulously navigating the nine-fence course and recording the first double clear. Deusser held on to top spot after Gregory Wathelet finished clear, but was over a second off his pace, while Scott Brash, Ben Maher, Laura Kraut, and Jérôme Guery all recorded faults. Last to go, Brian Moggre and his 15-year-old stallion, Balou du Reventon, were Deusser’s last remaining threat; however, despite an impressive clear round, the 20-year-old from Texas crossed the line 0.31s off Deusser’s time, which meant a new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender was crowned.

On his first Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major victory, Deusser commented: “The Rolex Grand Slam is part of equestrian history. So far, I haven’t been in this position of winning one of these four Major Grands Prix, but I’m now looking forward to trying my best at the next three stages.”

On his partner, Balou du Reventon, runner-up Brian Moggre commented: “I really think our personality types are similar. I didn’t really give myself a chance to not get along with him, so I’m glad he liked me. We have just gone step by step, and he wants this just as much as I do. He’s a really competitive horse and I find myself a bit of a competitive rider, so we mesh well and I’m very thankful for him.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam