Category Archives: FEI

FEI Publishes Return to Competition Measures for Mainland Europe

The FEI has published the Return to Competition measures that will allow for a safe resumption of international sport in mainland Europe on 12 April following a six-week shutdown to control the spread of the neurological form of the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1).

The measures focus on six key areas: Pre-event venue preparations by Organisers; Athlete pre-event preparations; Examination on Arrival; Onsite at Event Venue; Departure from Events; and Jurisdiction.

The Return to Competition measures, which were comprehensively reviewed at a stakeholder consultation session last week and fine-tuned by both the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group and the FEI Veterinary Committee, have now been approved by the FEI Board.

Stakeholders who joined last week’s two-hour online consultation session included Athlete Representatives Pedro Veniss (Jumping) and Beatriz Ferrer Salat (Dressage), Eleonora Ottaviani (International Jumping Riders Club), Klaus Roeser (International Dressage Riders Club), Peter Bollen (Equestrian Organisers), Dominique Megret (Jumping Owners Club), Quentin Simonet and Ulf Helgstrand (European Equestrian Federation), together with international grooms Heidi Mulari (Steve Guerdat) and Kirsty Pascoe (Jérôme Guery), and FEI Events Stable Manager Patrick Borg.

The measures include a series of temporary provisions, which will remain in place until 30 May 2021, providing a science-based safety margin to allow for monitoring of any further related outbreaks. This date can be extended if required and advance notice will be provided to the community. These temporary provisions will be formalised in legally binding Bylaws which will be published during the week commencing 5 April 2021.

The FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group has agreed that there is currently no evidence indicating that it would be unsafe to return to international competition in mainland Europe as planned on 12 April, provided the mandated enhanced preventive measures are implemented and there are no further linked outbreaks. The Group will continue to monitor the evolution of the European outbreak on a daily basis.

The FEI HorseApp will be updated with new modules which will allow for enhanced traceability as part of the EHV-1 Return to Competition measures. These will be launched in the second week of April.

The Return to Competition measures, which clearly outline roles and responsibilities, are available online and for download in the dedicated EHV-1 hub. Additional documentation will be added in the coming days.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director, Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

FEI Eventing European Championships for 2021 and 2023 Allocated

Avenches in Switzerland will host this year’s FEI Eventing European Championship, and the 2023 edition allocated to Haras du Pin (FRA)

Host venues for these two important Championships and other key events were made by the FEI Board at its videoconference, with the full support of the FEI Eventing Committee and the European Equestrian Federation (EEF).

“We are pleased to have the Swiss venue of Avenches hosting the 2021 Championships,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “Following last year’s postponement of the Tokyo Games, the FEI had originally cancelled European Championships in all three Olympic and Paralympic disciplines so that the focus could remain on the Games in 2021, but our community encouraged us to review that decision and we listened to those voices.

“After carefully reviewing three strong bids, which also included Boekelo in the Netherlands and Montelibretti in Italy, the FEI Board voted to allocate this year’s FEI Eventing European Championship to Avenches.

“We are happy to be able to give our community something to look forward to during these difficult days as we tackle the EHV-1 outbreak and work to put in place protocols to get our horses and athletes back to competing again.”

The 2021 edition of the FEI Eventing European Championship will run from 23-26 September.

Haras du Pin (FRA) was named as host for the FEI Eventing European Championship in 2023. The FEI Board had originally allocated the 2021 Championship to the French venue and, when there were discussions last year about the possibility of rescheduling the event away from the Olympic Games period, the Haras du Pin organisers were unfortunately unable to find an alternative date in 2021. However, they put forward a proposal to the FEI to host the Championships in 2023 and this was agreed by the FEI Board this week. Dates for the Championship in 2023 are yet be confirmed.

The FEI Board also allocated the FEI Jumping Ponies Trophy Final 2021 to Mechelen (BEL). An experienced Organiser of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League, the Belgian city will hold the Trophy Final from 26-30 December.

Kronenberg (NED) will host the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Youth Final 2021 from 23-26 September.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

FEI Extends Shutdown of International Events in Mainland Europe Due to EHV-1 Outbreak

The FEI has imposed a further two-week extension of the shutdown of all international events in mainland Europe until 11 April 2021 due to the ongoing outbreak of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). The FEI had previously announced a 28-day shutdown on 1 March 2021.

The move, which aims to minimise the further spread of the very aggressive strain of the virus, was unanimously approved at an emergency FEI Executive Board meeting. The extended lockdown applies to all FEI disciplines.

The decision is based on detailed scientific risk assessment conducted by world leading epidemiologist Dr Richard Newton and the FEI Veterinary Department.

The extended lockdown applies to all countries that have international scheduled events in the period to 11 April – Austria, Belgium, Spain, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Sweden. However, the FEI again strongly recommends that all National Federations in mainland Europe cancel their national events in order to minimise horse movement.

The shutdown will mean the cancellation of the FEI World Cup™ Finals for the second consecutive year following the loss of the 2020 Finals in Las Vegas (USA) to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final and the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final were scheduled to be held in Gothenburg (SWE) from 31 March to 4 April 2021.

“The extension of the lockdown is difficult for everyone, and the loss of the FEI World Cup Finals for a second year is particularly devastating, especially for the qualified athletes and for our loyal Top Partner Longines,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “We know how much work Tomas Torgersen and his incredible team in Gothenburg have put into organising the 2021 Finals, which would have been part of the 400th birthday anniversary celebrations for the city, so this is a desperately bitter blow.

“We cannot eradicate EHV as it is endemic in many countries, but we need to work together to minimise the transmission of this particular strain, which has already caused the death of 12 horses in Europe. All of the original in-contact horses from Valencia, Vejer de la Frontera, and Doha are already blocked on the FEI Database, but the whole community needs to be on the alert and monitoring their horses. We strongly urge all European-based FEI athletes to avoid travel with their horses during this prolonged shutdown, as travel is a very clear risk factor.

“Sadly, this additional lockdown is crucial to slow down the spread of the virus so that we can preserve the rest of the season, get our athletes and horses back competing safely, and allow as long a period as possible for those aiming for Tokyo to earn their Minimum Eligibility Requirements and confirmation results, and of course to prepare their horses for the Games.

“Nobody wants to see an outbreak like this ever again. There will be a comprehensive and fully transparent investigation into every aspect of this outbreak and the way it has been handled, and the findings will be published so that, together with our community, we can all learn from this.

“We will be putting in place enhanced protocols to allow for a safe return to play once this outbreak is under control, and we will advise our community on those well in advance of the resumption of international events, but the priority right now has to be the treatment of sick horses and getting healthy horses back to their home countries in a safe and biosecure way. We all need to focus on safeguarding not just FEI horses, but the wider European horse community.”

Work on identifying the gene sequencing of this strain of the virus is already underway, and the FEI is continuing to monitor the evolution of the virus through the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group, which was formalised this week. The Group is composed of world-leading EHV specialists, the FEI Veterinary Director, and FEI Senior Veterinary Advisor, supported by the Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee. Reports and recommendations from this Group will be published on a weekly basis.

The FEI is also publishing daily updates on the dedicated EHV-1 hub.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Send Sahar & Whitman to the World Cup Final in Sweden

Photo by Susan J Stickle.

Israeli Sahar Daniel Hirosh and his longtime partner Whitman made history on Monday March 8th as the first ever Israeli dressage partnership to be invited to the FEI Dressage World Cup Final in Sweden this spring. He’s had a banner year this season in Wellington, and at 18 years old, Whitman has never been in better form. The total cost of overseas travel for horse and rider, especially factoring in quarantine procedures and costs to ensure both are safe from COVID-19 and the EVH-1 virus, will top out at close to $40,000.

Sahar’s generous sponsors and Whitman’s owners Salomon & Jane Suwalsky have already put up $10,000, and the FEI will be covering some costs. Sahar was totally surprised to be invited and so he’s humbly asking for your help to cover any costs and make this dream a reality.

He knows it is a tough time to be asking for donations, but even the smallest amount will be much appreciated any anything not required to fund his trip to Goteborg will be donated to the ASPCA to benefit horse, cat, and dog rescues.

Be a part of Whitman and Sahar’s journey to the top of the sport, and help send the first Israeli team to the World Cup Final.

Huge thank you to anyone who has or will support Sahar, especially Salomon & Jayne Suwalsky, the FEI, Whitman’s team of vets and grooms, Equinium Sports Marketing, and the community of riders and trainers in Wellington.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
holly@equinium.com
www.equinium.com

Host Cities for Major FEI Youth Championships in 2021/22 Announced

Host cities for the FEI Youth Jumping Competition* 2022 and this year’s FEI Dressage European Championship U25 have been finalised, with allocations agreed by the FEI Board.

These important Youth Championships will both be hosted in Germany, with the FEI Youth Jumping Competition 2022 allocated to Aachen, and the FEI Dressage European Championship U25 to Hagen, two venues with enviable track records for organising top level events.

Following the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to postpone the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) 2022 in Dakar (SEN) until 2026, the FEI sought IOC agreement for a replacement competition. The new FEI Youth Jumping Competition 2022 will mean that young Jumping athletes aged 14-18 will still have the opportunity to participate in a global competition based on the unique YOG format.

“We were delighted the IOC supported the FEI initiative for a replacement equestrian competition for the Youth Olympic Games in 2022 and that it will be hosted at the world-famous showgrounds in Aachen,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The Youth are our future and we need to safeguard the development of youth engagement in equestrian sport and continue inspiring this new generation of athletes.

“Participation at the YOG is a significant motivating factor for athletes to stay in elite-level sport. Now we can offer the FEI Youth Jumping Competition 2022 as an alternative to the next YOG generation, which they would otherwise have lost with the postponement of Dakar 2022. And it allows us to promote the Olympic values with these young athletes in a truly global environment.”

The FEI Youth Jumping Competition (28 June to 3 July 2022) will follow the same format as the Equestrian Competition at the Youth Olympic Games, with 30 athletes from 30 nations across six continents participating in a continental team competition and an individual competition. As with YOG, all Athletes will compete on borrowed horses provided by the Organiser.

The FEI Dressage European Championship U25 in 2021, originally scheduled to run in Donaueschingen (GER), has been reallocated to Hagen (GER). Host of multiple championship-level events, Hagen was the venue used for the test event for the new Olympic formats in Jumping and Dressage in 2019.

The U25 Championship will run concurrently with the Senior FEI Dressage European Championships from 8-12 September 2021.

*The final naming of the FEI Youth Jumping Competition 2022 is still to be confirmed.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Dalera Storms to Victory for von Bredow-Werndl in Salzburg

Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB (FEI/Lukasz Kowalski)

Defending champions Werth and Weihegold have to settle for second as Germans scoop top four placings

It has been a long wait since the first leg was staged last October, but the resumption of the 2020/2021 FEI Dressage World Cup™ Western European League didn’t disappoint when Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB swept to victory in Salzburg, Austria.

In a cracker of a competition, the pair who helped claimed team gold at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ threw down a superb performance when second-last to go in the field of 13. And their score of 87.960 ousted the partnership that have claimed the coveted FEI Dressage World Cup™ title on the last three occasions, Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD, who had to settle for runner-up spot on their mark of 84.720.

Reminding the world that German dressage is in great shape, Helen Langehanenberg slotted into third with Annabelle when putting 81.340 on the board, while Dorothee Schneider filled fourth place with Faustus when posting 80.650. Only one other horse-and-rider combination managed to break the 80 percent barrier, Swedish star Patrick Kittel steering Delaunay OLD into fifth on a mark of 80.125.

Halfway stage

It was another Swedish pair who held the lead at the halfway stage, Antonia Ramel and Brother de Jeu, who were on the bronze medal winning side along with Kittel and Well Done de la Roche at the 2019 FEI European Championships in Rotterdam (NED).

Ramel produced a lovely test from the 15-year-old gelding to score 77.460 but, third to go after the break, Werth moved things on to a completely different level when scoring more than seven percent higher. And when both compatriot Langehanenberg and then Kittel couldn’t get close to bettering that, it seemed the writing was already on the wall.

But von Bredow-Werndl had other ideas.

“I was really ready for it today because Dalera already felt amazing yesterday,” she pointed out. In Saturday’s Grand Prix she finished second to Werth, but that didn’t blunt her ambitions.

“I came in today with the hope to win! We had a very stupid mistake yesterday when she fell into trot before the one-tempis because she thought it was already the last line for the extended trot, and that was more than expensive because the one-tempis count double. Today I knew if we got things right then we had a really good chance!”

And they got it absolutely right, the 34-year-old rider and her 14-year-old mare nailing it with a superb test that secured pole position by more than three percentage points over Werth who may not have been all that surprised, as she clearly wasn’t happy with her own performance, shaking her head as she left the arena.

This winning partnership had already beaten Werth and Weihegold twice before – at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ qualifier in Stuttgart (GER) in 2019 and at last year’s German Championships. Werth knew perfectly well that she needed a mistake-free test to keep the pressure on her fellow-countrywoman who is always a strong challenger, so when she didn’t get that she was always going to be vulnerable.

Season

Instead of a full season of qualifiers, the Western European League has been severely curtailed by the effects of the pandemic, and this leg at Salzburg was only the second in the lead-up to the 2021 Final which is scheduled for Gothenburg (SWE) from 31 March to 4 April. In this virus-ridden era it is difficult to predict anything anymore, but another qualifier is planned for ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in March and under the revised qualifying criteria the best two results from the Western European and Central European Leagues will count towards qualification.

Von Bredow-Werndl is at the top of the qualification table with Langehanenberg in second, Kittel in third, Morgan Barbancon from France in fourth, and The Netherlands’ Thamar Zweistra and Ireland’s Anna Merveldt sharing fifth place.  Austria’s Christian Schumach lies seventh while Denmark’s Carina Cassoe Kruth, who collected eight points when finishing tenth with Heiline’s Danciera, is in eighth place. A total of nine athletes will make the cut to the Final and Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour, who won the opening leg on home ground at Aarhus last October, at this stage shares that ninth spot with Germany’s Benjamin Werndl.

Environment

As von Bredow-Werndl pointed out, it’s not an easy environment for either horses or riders these days.

“Dalera was a bit nervous yesterday but I have to admit I was too! I realise now that it is too long for me to have a competition break for over three months – I really need to compete and so do the horses. Riding the test at home and going to a competition are two completely different things.

“You need to measure yourself against the other competitors, and it’s a more honest way to look in the mirror if you do it at a competition.” — Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER)

She complimented Show Director Josef Goellner and his team for staging the Austrian event in such difficult times. The show is taking place without spectators and with rigorous restrictions. “I’m so grateful that the organisers managed to do such a great job and that it was perfectly organised. Everyone feels safe here, everyone is wearing a mask and there is hand sanitiser everywhere – it’s strange, but I’m so glad to be here!” she said.

She would like to compete in ’s-Hertogenbosch, but brotherly love may get in the way of that. “I want my brother (Benjamin Werndl) to have a chance to go there because he already won one qualifier (at Zakrzow, Poland in October) and he needs to go to another one, and there are usually only four Germans allowed to ride,” she explained.

When it comes to the Final in Gothenburg, however, nothing will hold her back. “Oh yes, I’ll be going there for sure – and with all guns blazing!” she said.

Result here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Historic Home Win for Italy, but Dutch Take 2020 Title

Arianna Schivo (ITA) and Quefira de L’Ormeau. (FEI/Massimo Argenziano)

Team Italy posted a runaway win at the third and last leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2020 series on home ground at Montelibretti, but the overall title goes to The Netherlands. In the lead after the first two legs at Le Pin au Haras (FRA) and Strzegom (POL) in August, the Dutch could only be threatened by Poland at this final competition.

A Polish victory would have left them on level pegging with the Dutch at the top of the leaderboard, but it wasn’t to be as they lined up third of the four competing nations who enjoyed a great weekend of sport in the autumn sunshine at the Montemaggiore Estate which is home to Italy’s Military Riding Centre.

Austria finished second while the three-member Swiss side lined up in fourth place. For the Italians this was a really special day because it marked their first-ever FEI Nations Cup™ success according to veteran team member Juan Carlos Garcia.

“We had a good lead after cross-country yesterday, so we had a good feeling going into the showjumping today. But you never know the result until the horses and riders are over the last jump. We are very happy this evening!” — Juan Carlos Garcia (ITA)

Held the lead

Poland held the lead after Dressage, buoyed up by a strong test from Mateusz Kiempa and Lassban Radovix who put 33.79 on the board. However, their team total of 106.00 left them only 1.5 points ahead of Austria in second and just over two points ahead of the Italians in third at this stage, and cross-country day would change everything.

“It wasn’t a difficult course, but the time (6 mins 49 secs) was tight,” explained Garcia who galloped through the finish with Ugo du Perron in 7 mins 11 secs to add 8.8 time penalties to his scoreline. All four Italian team members stayed clear over the fences and they had a commanding lead going into the final phase on a score of 132.20. Austria lay second on 159.60 but less one rider following cross-county elimination for Lea Siegl and Van Helsing P, while Poland sat in third on 178.30 ahead of Switzerland in overnight fourth on 189.4.

The Italians sealed it confidently when both Garcia and Arianna Schivo riding Quefira de L’Ormeau were foot-perfect and within the time, while both Pietro Majolino riding Vita Louise DH Z and Marco Cappal partnering Santal Du Halage dropped only a single pole and added a few time faults.

Debut

At 23 years of age, and making his Nations Cup debut, Majolino was the baby of the winning side but his team-mates have a world of experience behind them. Garcia is a veteran of two Olympic Games and four FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG), competing in both Jumping and Eventing at the very top level. Schivo and her 16-year-old mare were on the Italian team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the WEG in Tryon, USA in 2018 while Cappal finished individually 14th at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA in 1996.

The final Italian team total of 138.60 left them well clear of the rest of the field and celebrating a big moment. They finished second in the final classification after lining out in all three legs of the series this season, and as Chef d’Equipe Giacomo Della Chiesa said, “It’s been a very good competition for us and we finish the year in a very good way.”

Title

The Netherlands can also celebrate tonight after taking the title. Tim Lips (Eclips), Janneke Boonzaauer (ACSI Champ de Tailleur), Elaine Pen (Divali), and Laura Hoogeveen (Wicro Quibus NOP) flew the Dutch flag when runners-up behind French winners Thibaut Vallette, Thomas Carlile, Christopher Six, and Karim Florent Laghouag at the opening leg at Le Pin au Haras.

And when Germany’s Ingrid Klimke, Andreas Dibowski, Beeke Jankowski, and Heike Jahncke came out on top in Strzegom later in August, then Hoogeveen was joined by Merel Blom (Ceda NOP), Jordy Wilken (Burry Spirit), and Raf Kooremans (Dimitri NOP) to fill second spot.

Results from Montelibretti here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Les 5 Étoiles de Pau 2020: Let’s Go!

Kelly Houtappels-Bruder ©S. Bailly/Centaure Production.

The 2020 edition of the “5 Étoiles de Pau” began with part one of the dressage test, the first test in the FEI Driving World Championships for singles. At the end of the opening day of this international event, the Canadian driver Kelly Houtappels-Bruder is at the top of the provisional leaderboard. Fabrice Martin gave the best French performance, finishing sixth. For this 30th edition, the “5 Étoiles de Pau” is also hosting the only CCI5*-L in the world this year (full equestrian eventing competition). After the vet inspections, the leading international riders will enter the arena for the dressage test, the first in this equestrian triathlon.

From now until Sunday the Domaine de Sers will be welcoming the best international riders and drivers for five days of competition at the highest level. The starting lists, results, maps, practical information, and ticket office are available on the mobile App “Les 5 Étoiles de Pau” or on the website for the event:  www.event-pau.fr.

Juliette Feytout – E-mail: juliette@blizko-communication.com

Westphalian Cascamara Tops 6-Year-Olds, Trakehner Sweetwaters Ziethen T Wins 7-Year-Old Title

Ingrid Klimke and Cascamara. (FEI/Solène Bailly)

There was an exciting conclusion to the FEI WBFSH Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses 2020 at the Haras National at l’Isle de Briand in Le Lion d’Angers (FRA), where German star Ingrid Klimke steered Cascamara to claim the 6-year-old title and compatriot Sophie Leube topped the 7-year-old category with Sweetwaters Ziethen T.

In a world so full of uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play havoc with all things including the sporting calendar, there was both relief and delight that the annual event went ahead. Speaking during the prizegiving for the 6-year-olds, in which she finished third, Dutch athlete Merel Blom praised the tremendous effort of the organisers who ensured the much-anticipated fixture took place with careful consideration for health protocols, while also offering a strong test for the latest crop of talented young horses.

Riders from 19 countries, and horses representing 22 international Studbooks, competed for the prestigious titles.

6-Year-Olds

Mares claimed the top five places in the 6-year-old division in which there was 38 starters, but it was the Irish Sport Horse gelding MHS Brown Jack who was out in front going into the final day with Great Britain’s Tom McEwen onboard. The pair posted a Dressage score of 26.6 and added nothing on cross-country day, but two mistakes in the final Jumping phase dropped them to sixth in the final analysis.

Klimke and Cascamara (Cascadello ll and Taramanga x Templer GL XX) lay second on their Dressage mark of 27.4, and when they added nothing to that scoreline had victory in the bag. There were just four eliminations on cross-country day when 20 combinations jumped clear across the beautifully-designed 20-fence track, and amongst those eliminated were the fourth-placed Australian partnership of Kevin McNab and Cute Girl.

The leaderboard was shaken up again on the final day when clear rounds proved hard to get. A total of 31 made it through to the final test and 25 of them collected penalties. Zero scores saw Ireland’s Cathal Daniels and the Irish Sport Horse LEB Empress rocket up from 15th to eventual fifth place, while America’s Tiana Coudray make a spectacular improvement from 12th to fourth with the Holsteiner Cabaret.

Lying in overnight fifth, The Netherlands’ Merel Blom and the Holsteiner mare Corminta Vom Gwick finished third despite the addition of 1.2 time penalties, while a pole down and 0.4 for time saw Germany’s Sophie Leube and Isselhook’s First Sight drop from fourth to eighth.

All the pressure

Great Britain’s Oliver Townend was lying third with the Irish Sport Horse Cooley Rosalent and added nothing to his scoreline, and when Klimke and Cascamara followed suit then all the pressure was on leader McEwen and MHS Brown Jack. A single error would have dropped them to third, but two down saw them having to settle for sixth. Klimke’s smile was as a wide as an ocean when she stood top-of-the-line with her lovely mare at the end of the day.

“I bought her last year directly from the breeder, Helmut Bergendahl – one of the only breeders I know who still breeds for Eventing by crossing Thoroughbred mares with Jumping stallions. She competed at her first show on the last weekend in July and did a good job so I thought she could be ready for a 2-star quite quickly. She did three 2-stars and won the third, and when I brought her to Le Lion she was already more confident in the dressage,” Klimke said.

“She was a bit green in the cross-country, especially at the water and the house, but when I asked her to give it a try, she was right there – so bold and smart and clever. I thought nine minutes might be too long for her, but she galloped around easily.

“In the showjumping she right away said, ‘I know my job’, and she was never close to touching a fence; she was so easy to ride and I feel I have a new superstar coming along!”

7-Year-Olds

Leube was all smiles too when enjoying a runaway victory with Sweetwaters Ziethen T (Abendtanz and Zaria AA x Campetot AA) in the 7-year-old category. The German pair was on familiar territory having finished fifth in the 6-year-old division last year, and the stallion never put a foot wrong after posting the best Dressage score of 27.6.

There were 42 starters and 27 completions in this class in which there was an optimum time of 9 minutes 19 seconds on the 22-fence cross-country track. Leube and her handsome horse did it to perfection when crossing the finish line in 9 minutes 14 seconds, and when they kept a clean sheet, they were simply untouchable.

On his fifteenth visit to these Young Horse Championships, French star Nicolas Touzaint slotted the Selle Francais gelding Diabolo Menthe into second after Dressage on a mark of 29.1, ahead of The Netherlands’ Blom in third with the Holsteiner Crossborder Radar Love (30.3) and New Zealand’s Caroline Powell with the Irish Sport Horse Greenacres Special Cavalier in fourth place (30.6).

Powell collected 20 penalties at the middle element of fence 15 to drop out of contention, and it was Leube and Touzaint, followed by compatriot Donatien Schauly in third with the Selle Francais gelding Dgin du Pestel Mili and Britain’s Laura Collett with the Irish Sport Horse Moonlight Charmer who topped the leaderboard.

Regrouped

But Collett’s mare didn’t pass the second horse inspection so when the field regrouped, it was Italy’s Filippo Gregoroni who was lying fifth with another Irish-bred, disarmingly called Unnamed, and despite a fence down, this pair only dropped a single place in the final standings.

Two mistakes dropped Blom to eighth while French rider Camille Lejeune, 26th after Dressage and 10th after cross-country, shot up to fifth when the Selle Francais mare Dame Decoeur Tardonn picked up just 1.2 showjumping time penalties. Meanwhile Great Britain’s Alexander Bragg and the Irish-bred Ardeo Premier moved up from seventh to fourth when clear.

In the battle between the top three, Touzaint dropped a place when his fabulous big grey gelding left one on the floor allowing Schauly into runner-up spot when foot-perfect. And then Leube held her nerve to clinch the win in fine style.

As Klimke remarked, these Championships are held in high regard by the world’s top riders. “It’s one of my favourites for young horses because they learn so much here; there’s no other course with such a variety of fences and terrain. My inexperienced mare was spooky at the first water, but by the time she got to the second water she had already learned a lot and was in a nice easy rhythm. Thanks to everyone at Le Lion for giving us riders and horses a great opportunity in these difficult times!”

For more information and full results, visit www.mondialdulion.com.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Another Dream Double for Dufour at First Leg in Denmark

Cathrine Dufour and Bohemian. (FEI/Ridehesten.com/Annette Boe Østergaard)

Germany’s Werth and von Bredow-Werndl finish second and third

There’s nothing like a home victory to please the crowd, and although numbers were limited as pandemic protocols were strictly in place, Cathrine Dufour’s winning ride with Bohemian at the first leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2020/2021 Western European League in Aarhus (DEN) brought spectators to their feet.

Last season, when the opening round of the series was staged at the Boxen arena in Herning, the Danish pair claimed top honours in both the Grand Prix and Freestyle. And they did it all over again in the considerably more modest confines of the Danish National Equestrian Centre in Vilhelmsborg, but with even more confidence and flair.

Fifth-last to go in the field of 15 starters, they posted a big score of 88.200 to take the lead. And although defending five-time series champion Isabell Werth came dangerously close when last to go with Emilio, her score of 87.845 wasn’t enough to prevent another Dufour double.

Werth filled runner-up spot ahead of German compatriot Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Zaire-E in third, and the Danes had even more to cheer about when Carina Cassøe Krüth and Heiline’s Danciera put in a brilliant performance to line up in fourth.

Same top three

It was the same top-three in the Grand Prix in which Dufour’s winning margin was much wider, her mark of 88.435 leaving her more than five percentage points ahead of the two Germans who both posted 77 percent scores.

“Bohemian was really good in the Grand Prix; he was just playing with all the moves. Today I had to push him a bit more, but he’s getting more and more brave and he loves being in the ring!” — Cathrine Dufour (DEN)

She had the leading score of 82.105, set by Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and the 18-year-old Damsey FRH, in her sights as she set sail. Bohemian seemed to be listening as she spoke quietly and patted him before their music began, and the harmony between the partnership oozed through every movement, with crisp, clean piaffe and passage a particular highlight throughout a lovely test.

When they came to a halt, the horse dropped his head in complete relaxation knowing that was a job well done. And when over 88 percent went up on the board it was obvious it was not going to be an easy score to beat.

Consummate ease

Von Bredow-Werndl’s mare, Zaire-E, produced a lovely test for 85.335 while Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Delaunay Old, who presented no less than 18 one-tempi changes with consummate ease, earned a score of 82.575.

Second-last into the ring, Cassøe Krüth, whose nine-year-old mare Heiline’s Danciera gave notice of her great promise when finishing fourth at the FEI WBFSH Young Horse Championships at Ermelo (NED) two years ago, provided another Danish treat for a mark of 84.455 to slot temporarily into third place.

However, Werth was still to come, and although Emilio had not given his rider his full cooperation in the Grand Prix, few doubted the German legend’s capacity for pulling off a big result this time out. But it didn’t happen, and it was Dufour who was the one waving at the masked crowd during the prizegiving ceremony.

Achieved so much

The 28-year-old Danish athlete achieved so much with her little chestnut gelding Atterupgaards Cassidy who took her all the way from Junior level to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and on to three bronze medals at the FEI European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE) in 2017 and Grand Prix Special bronze at last year’s Europeans in Rotterdam (NED). Bohemian is now stepping into the spotlight, and Dufour believes he has a lot more to show.

“He hasn’t reached anything like his limits; he’s still developing mentally and there’s definitely more room for improvement from him – I’m delighted with him!” she said happily.

Results here.

By Louise Parkes

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