Category Archives: Eventing/H.T.

OS and Holsteiner Mares Claim 2021 Titles

Kevin McNab and Cute Girl. (FEI/Libby Law)

Mares topped both divisions at this year’s FEI WBFSH Eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses 2021 at Lion d’Angers in France, where Germany’s Anna Lena Schaaf steered the OS studbook’s Lagona 4 to victory in the 6-Year-Olds, while Australia’s Kevin McNab and the Holsteiner, Cute Girl, topped the 7-Year-Old category.

The hugely popular event, which is designed to help develop future stars, attracted a massive 40,000 spectators along with many of the world’s best Eventing athletes and super-talented young horses once again.

6-Year-Olds

Anna Lena Schaaf only turned 20 in August, but she already has a reputation for producing quality horses, and with Lagona 4 (Lavagon/Ile de Cartina/Cartani 4) she led the 6-Year-Olds from start to finish. Posting 25.8 in the Dressage phase, the pair had a narrow advantage of just 0.7 penalties over Thomas Carlile and the mare Fair Lady des Bourcks in second.

Fellow Frenchman Nicolas Touzaint was lying third with another Selle Francais, the gelding Fibonacci de Lessac HDC, who was awarded a score of 26.8 by judges Nice Attolico Guglielmi (ITA), Xavier Le Sauce (FRA) and Nikki Herbert (GBR), while newly-crowned Olympic individual Eventing champion Julia Krajewski from Germany was lying fourth with the Hanoverian gelding Chintonic 3 on a score of 27.9 going into Saturday’s cross-country phase.

A total of 46 starters set off over the 22-fence cross-country track and three were eliminated while one retired, but the top six places remained unchanged.

Schaaf said, “It’s still a really crazy feeling being in the lead in such a good competition! It was great riding the cross-country today; my horse was really focused and I had the feeling she really enjoyed the crowd so I’m super excited for tomorrow! Usually she is a great showjumper but we have to see… maybe she will be a little bit tired after the cross-country but I’m looking forward to it.”

As it happened, Lagona was foot-perfect once again to leave the final result beyond doubt. But three fences down saw Thomas Carlile and Fair Lady des Broucks plummet to 17th place, so when Touzaint was clear, he rose to runner-up spot. Meanwhile, a single error saw Krajewski and Chintonic drop from fourth to fifth and two new names appeared at the top of the final leaderboard.

Bounced up

Rebecca Chiappero was lying 14th with the Irish Sport Horse Bonmahon Chelsea after dressage, but bounced up to tenth on Saturday after a brilliant cross-country clear. When the pair collected just 0.8 for time in an otherwise flawless showjumping round, their final tally of 31.7 saw the Italian rider stand on the third step of the podium. Fourth went to Australia’s Isabel English and the ACE-bred Cil Dara Dallas who were ninth after dressage, eighth after a clear cross-country run, and who moved up four places when collecting just two time faults.

This win adds yet another gold medal to the collection Schaaf has already accumulated. It’s only five years since she won double-gold at the FEI Eventing European Pony Championships in 2016; she was a double-gold medallist again in Juniors in 2019 and she claimed team gold and individual silver at this summer’s Young Riders European Eventing Championships in Sweden.

She was delighted for her winning mare: “Like yesterday, she was focused and concentrated, and in the end she really enjoyed the galloping around after the prizegiving and listening to everybody screaming. I think she felt ‘Yes! I’m the best!’”

Also happy was Schaaf’s former trainer at Junior level, Julia Krajewski, who sees big things ahead for her former student. “Anna Lena is an excellent rider as she has proven this weekend, and last weekend when she won her first 4* event. The German team always needs new talent, particularly those who are capable of training young horses,” said the Olympic champion.

7-Year-Olds

In the 7-Year-Old division Australia’s Kevin McNab and Cute Girl (Coventry/Caligula/Clearway) also took the early lead and didn’t let go. Judges Emmanuelle Olier (FRA), Katarzyna Konarska (POL), and James Rooney (IRL) scored their test at 26.9, and they added nothing over the following two phases.

Also competing on their dressage score were second-placed Laura Collett and the Trakehner, Outback, whose dressage mark of 27.2 left them only fractionally ahead of British compatriot Hayden Hankey and Heads Up on 27.4, while yet another of the British contingent, Selina Milnes, was lying fourth with the Irish-bred Cooley Snapchat on 27.5 going into cross-country day – just 0.6 penalty points separating the leading four.

It was a star-studded line-up after dressage, 43-year-old McNab a member of the Australian silver medal winning team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where 32-year-old Collett claimed team gold, while 42-year-old Hankey is one of the best-known and successful show-horse competitors on the British circuit.

His versatile Irish Sport Horse, Heads Up, was Working Hunter champion at the Horse of the Year Show in 2019 and finished second in the British 7-Year-Old Eventing Championship at Osberton this year. But the pair paid a big price when just over the cross-country optimum time of 9’ 04”, which left them with two time penalties and dropped them to overnight ninth place.

A total of 58 combinations headed out on the cross-country track in the 7-Year-Old championship and five were eliminated, while three retired and just 13 made it home within the optimum time.

McNab had every reason to get it absolutely right. A year ago, he and Cute Girl were eliminated in the 6-Year-Old Championship when missing a fence, but this time the pair cruised home and maintained their lead.

Surprised

“I was actually surprised I didn’t lose more time towards the end, so I came in a little bit quicker than I’d planned. But the round felt really good; she was really solid and she’s matured a lot from last year,” he said.

Collett was equally pleased after her cross-country run. “I’m very, very happy; he was a bit scared of the crowds, but he stayed very honest and kept answering the questions. It’s an awful lot for them to come here if they don’t have much experience and to see so many people and the fences. They are very beautiful and well-built but they are quite spooky for the horses, so it was a very educational day and I’m delighted with him,” she said after galloping home comfortably within the time with Outback.

“It’s such a big atmosphere here and tomorrow is another day and hopefully he comes out feeling well. He’s already exceeded all our expectations this week; he has performed brilliantly and fingers crossed he can do the same tomorrow.” And he did, leaving all the poles in place in the final phase while McNab’s Cute Girl did likewise.

Milnes added 0.8 time penalties to her tally, but still held on for third ahead of compatriots Gemma Tattersall with Johan-Some in fourth and Hankey who climbed back up to fifth when adding only 0.4 for time. British riders filled all the places from second to seventh, and the most prolific studbook in the top-seven was the ISH, taking third, fifth, sixth, and seventh spots.

But the Holsteiner, Cute Girl, was the golden girl, and after numerous attempts to make the podium at this prestigious fixture, McNab was plenty pleased with his result.

Great event

“Le Lion is one of those events we always love coming to, and it’s great when you are at this step of the podium, but at the same time it’s always a great event regardless. It’s great for the horses looking towards their future and even if we weren’t winning, we still enjoy it,” he said.

Collett said that in the final showjumping phase, “The time was very tight and the atmosphere in there was like a Championship, like a Badminton; these young horses haven’t experienced that, so I’m so proud of my horse!”

She echoed the sentiments of many when showering praise on the event organisers. “A massive thank you to the team at Le Lion. Every year they put on a phenomenal event and it’s so important for these young horses to bring them to a place like this – it’s a real honour to be here,” she said.

Results here

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

British Rider Victorious in the 4* Class in Strzegom

Libby Seed with the 10-year-old Heartbreaker Star Quality was the winner of the CCI4*-L, the highest ranked class of Strzegom October Festival.

Libby Seed took the lead after a smooth cross-country, although she crossed the finish line six seconds late. That still made her jump up from fourth after dressage. She went over the showjumping clear on the fences, with only 0,8 for time. Second place went to her compatriot James Sommerville with Talent, and Miroslav Trunda from the Czech Republic was third riding Shutterflyke.

Victory in the 3*-L after clear cross-country and jumping rounds belonged to a veteran of Strzegom’s events – Germany’s Andreas Dibowski riding Calahari. Vanessy Bölting with Ready To Go W was second, and Swedish rider Sara Algotsson Ostholt with Dynamite Jack was third.

Female riders dominated the podium in the 2*-L. The winner was Australia’s Katja Weimann with Jeu de Blanc W before German riders Julia Schatzmann with Golden Evo KPSC and Anna Lena Schaaf with Lorsandos.

Saturday’s cross-country rounds ended the rivalry in the short-format 3* and 4* classes. The podium went to German athletes in both. Anna Lena Schaaf riding Fairytale 39, the best one in the 4*, took the lead after dressage and did not lose it until the end. Sandra Auffarth with The Phantom of the Opera was sitting in 8th after the first trial, but a clear jumping round and only some time penalties in the XC secured her second place. Antonia Baumgart riding Lamango had some time faults and had to settle for third.

Libussa Lübbeke with Darcy F was victorious in the 3* after going through the cross-country only 4 seconds late. Pia Münker with Cascada was second, and Sandra Auffarth with Viamant du Matz was third.

The win in the CCI1*-Intro, after flawless showjumping and cross-country runs, belonged to Poland’s Karolina Miś with Go Jack.

The European Youth Eventing Masters was dominated by Germans, who took the win in all age categories, both as a team and individually. Julia Warner with Clara, Christina Schöniger riding Schoensgreen Continus, Brandon Schäfer-Gehrau with Parkmore Emper, and Felicia Von Baath with Quantum E were the best in the young rider category. The last one of them was also the winner individually.

The best junior team was Emily Roberg with Donna Lena MV, Jule Krueger with D’Artagnan 216, Isabel Kristin Dalecki riding Caruso JH, and Hedda Vogler with Niagara de Champenotte. Individually the best result belonged to Sophia Rössel with Nickel 21.

Neele Hinrichsen riding Golden Gadget, Pita Schmid with Sietlands Catrina, Amelie Nottmeier with Katleen 3, and Merle Hoffmann na Penny Lane WE were the winners of the pony class, while Hoffmann also took home the individual best score.

Strzegom October Festival was a jubilee 50th international show at the hippodrome in Morawa. 12 classes were played out, with almost 400 pairs from 23 countries.

Online results: http://results.strzegomhorsetrials.pl/event.php?event=10

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

It’s Go Time for Strzegom October Festival

Photo: Mariusz Chmieliński.

Almost 400 horses, 12 classes, top athletes, and a chance to celebrate – Strzegom October Festival, a jubilee 50th edition of the international competitions in Strzegom starts on Wednesday 13 October at the hippodrome in Morawa.

Strzegom October Festival traditionally finishes the eventing season at Stragona Equestrian Centre. This year it will be a unique event, as it marks the 50th international competition in Morawa. 12 classes will be played out, including the youth categories: ponies, juniors, and young riders will battle it out in the European Youth Eventing Masters. The arenas in Morawa will host almost 400 horse and rider combinations, representing 23 nations.

The entry list includes some of the world’s top eventers, including Ingrid Klimke, the double European Champion, world champion Sandra Auffarth, and the Olympic silver medalist Sara Algotsson-Ostholt.

Strzegom October Festival starts on Wednesday with dressage tests. Cross-country, the most exciting part of the equestrian triathlon, will be played out over three days. The final trials and prizegiving ceremonies will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Entry and parking are free of charge. The audiences will also have a chance to cheer on their favourites during the cross-country livestream, via Eventing.strzegomhorsetrials.pl, Clipmyhorse.tv, and Facebook.

Contact:
www.strzegomhorsetrials.pl
press@strzegomhorsetrials.pl

Polish Rider Victorious in the 4* at Baborówko Autumn Show

Mateusz Kiempa (POL) & Lassban Radovix. M&R Photo.

The showjumping trial for the highest ranked class at Baborówko Autumn Show 2021, the CCI4*-S, presented by LOTTO, brought changes in the leaderboard. The course designer prepared a demanding challenge for the athletes, which resulted in only three clear rounds inside the time. Even the leaders had poles down. Amanda Staam (SWE), who was in the first position overnight, had two knockdowns, which added 8 points to her account with CORPOUBET AT and cost her the win. Mateusz Kiempa (POL) with LASSBAN RADOVIX finished with 4 penalties, but the solid foundation he built in two previous trials secured his victory. Kamil Rajnert (POL) jumped up into third riding GOUVERNEUR.

In the CCI3*-S, for the prize of Kuhn, the win went to Antonia Baumgart (GER) riding LAMANGO after their clear round inside the time. Julia Gillmaier (POL) advanced from fourth to second with RED DREAM PRINCES, and Pia Münker (GER) with JARD finished third.

The leaderboard was shuffled in the CCI2*-S, presented by the Wielkopolskie Voivodeship Local Government, as well. Josephine Schnaufer-Völkel (GER) with GINGER SPICE 3, the leader after dressage and cross-country, had two poles down, which knocked her into 10th position. A clear round secured the win for Jerome Robine (GER) riding AVATAR 42. Caro Hoffrichter (GER) with JUST JAQUES jumped up into second, and third belonged to Pia Münker (GER) riding CASCABLANCA, who was clear on the fences but had to add 0,8 for time.

More information can be found at:
www.equestrian.baborowko.pl
www.facebook.com/baborowko.equestrian

Changes in the Lead at Baborówko Autumn Show

Amanda Staam (SWE) & Corpoubet AT. M&R Photo.

Baborówko, October 2nd, 2021 – The cross-country trial brought a change in the lead in the highest-ranked class of the show – the CCI4*-S, presented by LOTTO. The new best result belongs to Sweden’s Amanda Staam with CORPOUBET AT. Mateusz Kiempa (POL) with LASSBAN RADOVIX fell into second, and Paweł Warszawski (POL) with HATTERIA II is now third.

The leaderboard changed in the CCI3*-S for the prize of Kuhn as well. Caro Hoffrichter (GER) is now in the pole position riding LUCKY V/H TRAPPERSVELD. Second place still belongs to Antonia Baumgart (GER) with LAMANGO. Pia Münker (GER) went up into third riding JARD.

The top three in the CCI2*-S remains unchanged. Clear rounds inside the time meant that Josephine Schnaufer-Völkel (GER) with GINGER SPICE 3, Jerome Robine (GER)

The cross-country trial ended the rivalry in with AVATAR 42, and Pia Münker (GER) with CASCABLANCA kept their respective first, second, and third places. the CCI1*-Intro. The winner was Stella Maria Stöhr (GER) with CATWALKER. Second place went to Ann-Catrin Bierlein (GER) riding MAGIC MOMENT, and third to Kerstin Häusermann (SUI) with JIM KNOPF P.

More information can be found at:
www.equestrian.baborowko.pl
www.facebook.com/baborowko.equestrian

The First Day of Dressage in Baborówko

Baborówko, 30 September 2021 – The dressage trial for the CCI3*-S for the prize of Kuhn and the first part of the dressage for the CCI2*-S presented by the Wielkopolskie voivodeship Local Government have played out in Baborówko.

The best result in the CCI3*-S after dressage belongs to Felix Etzel (GER) with Promising Pete TSF. Antonia Baumgart (GER) with Lamango is second, and third place for now belongs to Caro Hoffrichter (GER) with Lucky V/H Trappersveld. The best Polish athlete is Julia Gillmaier, riding Red Dream Princes, currently in the sixth position.

The best round in the first part of the CCI2*-S dressage goes to Pia Munker (GER) riding Cascablanca. Caro Hoffrichter (GER) lies in second with Just Jacques, and Katharina Frahm (GER) is third with Liberty and Independence. The highest-ranked home athlete is Agata Piskadło with Broadway, who currently occupies the fifth position.

The organisers have prepared a livestream of the main classes, available at the show’s website (www.equestrian.baborowko.pl), the Baborówko Equestrian Facebook profile (https://www.facebook.com/baborowko.equestrian), and Świat Koni.

All Glory for Great Britain’s Golden Girls at Avenches

L to R – Sarah Bullimore (bronze), Nicola Wilson (gold), and Piggy March (silver). (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

British riders have long had a phenomenal record in the sport of Eventing, and they proved untouchable once again when not only clinching the team title but taking all the individual medals at the FEI Eventing European Championships 2021 in Avenches, Switzerland.

In the lead from day one they held on tight, and when this result is added to double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 and the team title along with individual silver at this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, they clearly reign supreme in every sense.

It was a tough day for the defending champions from Germany as the dream of a seventh victory for the team and a third consecutive individual gold medal for Ingrid Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD didn’t come true, as they had to settle for silver. But in true sporting fashion the German team “elder,” Andreas Dibowski, said, “We won the silver, but we didn’t lose the gold. The Brits did an amazing job, and we just couldn’t beat them!”

Team Sweden stood on the third step of the podium.

First

Ros Canter and Allstar B were first of the British into the ring as the final showjumping phase got underway. Theirs was not a counting score for the team standings that left her side still out in front last night, but the pair who claimed double-gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 were back to their classy selves when producing a quality clear, and that proved a good omen for the rest of their team.

A total of 52 horse-and-athlete combinations made it through to this final test, with 13 nations still in the mix, and by the time it came down to the last ten riders the tension was palpable. As the action began, the Germans were just under 10 penalty points behind the British at the head of affairs, with France lying in bronze medal position another 18 points further adrift but with only three team members left after the elimination of Gwendolen Fer. So when Stanislas de Zuchowicz and Covadys de Triaval hit the first element of the double at fence nine and Jean Lou Bigot’s Utrillo du Halage left three fences on the floor, then French chances were slipping away.

Andreas Dibowski and FRH Corrida produced an opening clear for Germany before Anna Siemer and FRH Butts Avondale also fell victim to the first element of the triple combination. But Michael Jung steered fischerWild Wave home with nothing to add, and then only Klimke and SAP Hale Bob OLD were left to go.

However, it was only an individual medal Klimke was chasing by the time she took her turn, because as Dibowski said later, the British were just too good for the rest. Team member Kitty King’s Vendredi Biats hit the second fence, but Piggy March’s Brookfield Inocent was foot-perfect. And when Nicola Wilson’s JL Dublin went clear, she not only finalised the British tally at 73.1 for the winning team score, but she also had individual gold in her grasp while, lying fourth as the action began, March had the silver and British individual Sarah Bullimore had the bronze. It was a staggering result.

Pressure

Fifth-last to go, Bullimore piled the pressure on the remaining four with a fabulous clear from Corouet. And when Frenchman Maxime Livio, lying in bronze medal spot, faulted in the middle of the combination and then Klimke, holding silver, hit the vertical three from home, it would be an all-British individual podium for the seventh time in the history of these Championships. The last British threesome to do the same were Ian Stark (Glenburnie), Richard Walker (Jacana), and Karen Straker (Get Smart) at Punchestown (IRL) in 1991.

Meanwhile, Sweden also had plenty to celebrate when clears from both Malin Jesefsson (Golden Midnight) and Malin Petersen (Charly Brown) and a single error from Sara Algotsson Ostholt (Chicuelo) saw the team, that also included Christoffer Forsberg (Hippo’s Sapporo), rise from overnight sixth place to take bronze.

“I’m back in the team for first time in ten years and it’s great to be with the girls!” Forsberg said. “I’ve been really happy with the team spirit, and I want to thank the organisers very much for putting on this show.” And that was echoed by everyone else at the end of this extraordinary event that was put together so successfully in a few short months.

Trainer

At the post-competition press conference, Germany’s Ingrid Klimke said with a laugh, “I have one thing to say to the Brits – they stole our trainer!” referring to Britain’s Eventing High Performance coach Chris Bartle, who helped her country to many successes in previous years. “But I’m very happy for them; they did a wonderful job!” she added.

Her compatriot, the effusive Anna Meier, was thrilled to earn her first medal at Senior Championship level. “I feel like I’m always in a team with my horse, but to be in a team with these guys is wonderful; they’ve won millions of medals between them but this is my first!” she said, looking around at Dibowski, Klimke, and Jung.

Bullimore described her 10-year-old gelding Corouet as “just a freak of nature! He’s phenomenal in all phases; he could do pure show jumping and pure dressage; he’s unique,” she said. “He has a huge attitude in a small package, he knows how cool he is, and he’s been fantastic all week,” she added. Her individual bronze was an especially precious result because she bred the horse and also competed his dam at the FEI European Championships in Blair Castle (GBR) in 2015.

March, team gold medallist at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018 and team silver medallist at the last FEI European Eventing Championships two years ago, described her individual silver medal winning ride Brookfield Inocent as “definitely one of the best I’ve ever ridden – in all three phases he couldn’t have done any more!” And she added, “Personally, I think that if we’re ahead of Ingrid Klimke and Micky Jung then that’s a medal in itself, wherever we’d finish! This has just been a fabulous week!”

Reflected

Meanwhile, newly crowned individual European champion Wilson reflected on the enormity of it all with her trademark modesty. “This has been very very special, being with this fantastic group of girls who all get along really well. It’s been fun all the way and the horses have been phenomenal.

“It’s a first championship for Dublin; he missed a bit of time when I injured my neck (two years ago) and then Covid came long, but now I’m so proud for my owners. I was delighted with his dressage; it just felt very solid and good and then he stormed around the cross-country and produced a beautiful round in the show jumping. How lovely it is to have had him since he was a young horse and to build that lovely partnership and trust between us,” she said with quiet pride, adding, “Thank you to Switzerland for putting on these Championships!”

Gratitude

Everyone expressed their gratitude to the Organising Committee headed up by Jean-Pierre Kratzer, President of the Institut Equestre National d’Avenches, where this week’s event has taken place. A total of 21,000 spectators came through the gates of the fabulous venue, including over 10,000 on cross-country day.

“I built this place 20 years ago for racing, and to expand our business we then built a training centre for 150 horses. Last year during Covid, we were asked to help riders in preparation for Tokyo and we took the opportunity to plan for the future and help develop Eventing here,” he explained.

“When we got the opportunity to organise these Championships I talked with Mike Etherington-Smith in July about how to make it the best, and he asked if he could work with Martin Plewa. It was one opportunity for a lot of people and we took it and put it together in a few weeks with good team spirit. So I’m delighted to see all the teams happy and hear them say they want to come back; that’s the best thank you we could get!”

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Mixed Cross-Country Fortunes, but British Hold Fast Going into Final Day

Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin. (FEI/Richard Juillart)

When asked what she thought of the cross-country course after completing her Dressage test with JL Dublin at the FEI Eventing European Championships 2021 in Avenches, Switzerland on Thursday, Great Britain’s Nicola Wilson described it as “positively terrifying!” But on a day of mixed fortunes for the British side who still managed to maintain the lead they established on the opening day, the pair rose from third to the very top of the Individual rankings after a spectacular run that further stretched the gap between her team and the defending champions from Germany.

And it was a very exciting afternoon for France. An unfortunate tip-up for Gwendolen Fer and Romantic Love in the water at fence 23 piled plenty of pressure on her compatriots who, however, rose gallantly to the challenge to hold on to bronze medal spot going into the final Jumping phase.

The British tally of 69.1 leaves them just over nine penalty points ahead of Germany, while on 96.8 the French are a good distance behind. Team Switzerland shot up from ninth to fourth while the Irish climbed from eleventh to fifth, and the stage is set for a sizzling conclusion to the 35th edition of these Championships, which are taking place against the odds during these troubling Covid times.

It’s only six short weeks since course designer, Great Britain’s Mike Etherington-Smith, started work on the track that embraces the beautiful racing venue at Avenches, but the horses, riders, and the enthusiastic crowd that turned up to see Europe’s best battle it out were treated to a great day of sport.

And the British maintained their supremacy despite a disappointing performance from the reigning World Championship partnership of Ros Canter and Allstar B. Sitting in Individual silver medal spot as the day began, the pair plummeted to 55th with two run-outs late in the course.

Set things up

Piggy March and Brookfield Inocent produced one of just seven fault-free rounds to set things up for the British side.

“Everything is easy when you have a horse like him. The time was tight enough but he’s a real cruiser. What a horse and how lucky am I to have him!” she said.

And when Wilson followed suit, they were already looking very secure. Despite her earlier reservations, Wilson admitted that “the course rode beautifully, and my horse was very honest.” So when Kitty King and Vendredi Biats added just 0.8 time penalties to her dressage mark, then Canter’s additional 56 penalties could be dropped as they were comfortably in control.

German pathfinder Anna Siemer also had a great day, adding just 1.6 to her scoreline with FRH Butts Avondale. She was over the moon after her ride. “It was so much fun!” she said. “For her the dressage was done and now this is what we are here for! She’s like a pony; I know her for 10 years now, and from the moment she jumped her first cross-country fence, she was a cross-country machine!” said the rider who walked the track seven times in order to ensure she met with no surprises.

Andreas Dibowski was next out for the German side, adding 15.2 penalties to his scoreline with FRH Corrida. But Michael Jung pulled it back with a classic clear with the nine-year-old fischerWild Wave, demonstrating the skill that has earned the German superstar the title “The Terminator.”

“He’s a young horse but amazing, with a lot of talent in all three disciplines. Today he showed how light and easy he can gallop, and he has super endurance, he’s fast, and has a lot of scope for the bigger, tougher courses. Right now, all he needs is just more experience – to learn to be clever and to think. I’m really happy with him,” Jung said.

Weight of expectation

Now only the individual leader, Ingrid Klimke, was left to go for the German side, with a huge weight of expectation on her shoulders. If she can take the individual title she will be the first athlete in the long history of the FEI Eventing European Championships to do so with the same horse on three consecutive occasions. But 1.2 time penalties saw her lose her grip on pole position and she goes into the final phase just 0.5 penalties behind Wilson at the head of affairs.

“He was bold and brave, like he always is,” Klimke said of her beloved Bobby. “I had lots of time at the 7-minute mark, and then in the end there were two seconds (added) because I just couldn’t go any faster, especially in the turns. I had to take my time so I didn’t have a run-out. I had to be precise to the end and I felt it was the fastest I would like to go through the corners and the deeper ground. I thought I would make it, but unfortunately we didn’t – but he did a lovely job really and he finished full of himself!” she said.

Meanwhile, Jean Lou Bigot got the French off to a great start when delivering a fault-free run with Utrillo du Halage, but Gwendolen Fer’s fall left them looking very vulnerable. However, when Stanislas de Zuchowicz and the lovely grey Covadys de Triaval added only 14 time penalties to their score, the French situation began to stabilise. And he was thrilled with his result, produced under pressure.

“It was his first time at 4-Star level and my Chef d’Equipe told me I had to be clear, but my horse was fantastic! My job was to be careful about his balance because his jump is always fantastic, and his canter is always very good. We had a slip on the turn after fence 15 and that was a tricky moment, but I had the face of my coach in my head, and I knew we had to stay on our feet!” said the man from Fontainebleau who first rode for the French team in 2009.

Great round

And then Maxime Livio secured that bronze medal position definitively with a great round from Api du Libaire.

“The trainer told me to be quick enough to secure the bronze medal place but not to take any stupid risk like I might if I was only an individual rider, but the plan was not to take too big risk with that horse because he’s not really experienced. So I was quite comfortable with that. He (the horse) allowed me to take the straight route at 6/7, because he’s very straight. So I took that risk and he answered very well, but I just felt when I jumped the water when I came back on the race-track that his jumping was not as energetic at the beginning. So I decided okay, now we try to hold it together. He was a bit tired in the body but not in the mind. He was listening to me, looking at the fences, fully focused, and I’m very pleased because he fought with me to the very end for the French team. And also, his score is really good, so I am very happy!” Livio said.

It’s all so very close, and the result could go any which way on the exciting final day.

Results here.

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

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

Tryon Fall Horse Trials: Boyd Martin Aces Advanced

Boyd Martin and Wabanaki ©Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Mill Spring, NC – September 13, 2021 – Boyd Martin (Cochranville, PA) and Wabanaki conquered the White Oak Cross-Country Course to win the Advanced A Division at the Tryon Fall Horse Trials at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) with a final score of 47.3. Sitting fourth after the Dressage and Show Jumping phases, Martin stepped up to the occasion and put in the fastest Cross-Country round of the day to add only 7.2 time penalties and take the win. Wrapping up her weekend in second place with a final score of 51.1 was Lillian Heard (Cochranville, PA) and Dasset Olympus, the 2013 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Debbie Greenspan. Third place honors were awarded to Lucienne Bellissimo (Wellington, FL) and Atlantic Vital Spark, the 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Horse Scout Eventing LLC with a score of 51.6.

Martin, who topped the competition aboard Wabanaki, the 2011 Hanoverian gelding owned by The Dawnland Syndicate, began on top after a Dressage test that earned the duo a score of 32.1. Though the tough competition proved to be no big deal for Wabanaki, Martin shared that his mount is still new to the Advanced division: “It’s his third crack at the level. He was absolutely fantastic for where he is in his training. He still needs to grow, learn, and get more seasoned. Tryon put on a spectacular event. Obviously, it was a difficult and tough competition, but it was a great learning experience for the young ones.”

Martin galloped to a time of 6:43 seconds in the cross country phase of the competition, over ten seconds ahead of Heard’s time of 6:54 seconds. The White Oak Cross-Country Course with tracks set by Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) offered Martin the perfect number of challenges, while still building Wabanaki’s confidence. Martin commented, “There were a lot of difficult combinations followed by easier fences. It was good for the young ones to have a tough question and then nice and easy ones to keep them confident.

“Hats off to Tryon, because the footing feels like the golf course it is. The footing out there is spectacular,” Martin emphasized. “I love Tryon and everything about it. The venue is world class from the Dressage rings to jumping under the lights last night in front of the crowd. There’s great stabling. The Cross-Country course takes a bit of riding because it used to be a golf course, so it has those mounds and dips, which is good practice,” Martin relayed. “Tryon has been unbelievable with the irrigation system. Walking out on the course, the grass was all spongey, which the horses love.”

For full results from the Tryon Fall Horse Trials, click here.

For more info and results, visit www.Tryon.com.