Category Archives: Events

Sweden Takes Command in Compiègne

Antonia Ramel (SWE) and Curiosity. (FEI/Laurent Zabulon)

Heading into the final day of competition at the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ in Compiègne (FRA), it was apparent it would take a monumental shift in momentum for Sweden to relinquish its grasp on the lead. Still, the dominance with which the squad of Juliette Ramel (Buriel K.H.), Antonia Ramel (Curiosity), and Patrik Kittel (Touchdown), led by Chef d’Equipe Jo Bena, executed victory was eye-opening. When Kittel and Touchdown received an 82.025 percent score for their Freestyle, it left Sweden’s final margin of victory at 32 points. Spain (48 points) finished second, with Belgium (51 points) third.

The win marked the third for Sweden at Compiègne in the last five years, having also triumphed in 2018 and 2021.

“We were a bit ahead of the others this time, and I’m very happy about that. They are doing so well in the ring and also in their training, and it looks very promising for the future,” said Chef d’Equipe Jo Bena (SWE).

Each point was equal to an athlete’s placing, with lower numbers reflecting top performances. All athletes competed in Saturday’s Grand Prix before splitting across Sunday’s Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle tests, with the three best results tallied. No Swedish rider received a point tally in double digits, with all three making the podium in at least one test. After recording just 10 points from the Grand Prix, Sweden was even more dominant on Sunday, adding just six points to their score. While Kittel was the highest placing Nations Cup rider in the Grand Prix Freestyle, Juliet Ramel finished second in the Special (75.277%), with Antonia Ramel just behind her in third (72.043%).

“The horses have done very fault-free tests, and if there have been small faults, we have still be able to pick it up with high points,” Kittel said. “I think that’s what I’m most happy with. The thing is: the horses have all just been there for us through the entire weekend.”

Sweden put forth a squad of veteran riders — each an Olympic veteran — but the horses brought forward were mixed in experience. Touchdown had only performed two previous Freestyle tests at the CDI5* level and had never before contested a CDIO event. Curiosity, formerly trained in jumping, is also new to the level, having represented Sweden in one previous Nations Cup event at Aachen (GER).

“He’s been with me for a long time,” Antonia said. “He was in the beginning a jumping horse, which he did until he was six. I’ve educated him on my own, and I’ve had him now for seven years.”

With three appearances in the Olympic Games and a bronze medal from the European Championships, Buriel K.H. stood tall as the equine veteran of the group. The gelding performed with remarkable consistency, recording just 3 points in the Grand Prix (75.391%) and two points in the Grand Prix Special.

“He’s an amazing character. He always has my back,” Juliette said. “I’ve had him since he was 7; now he’s 16. So we’ve had a long partnership.”

Sweden’s win put them atop the standings for the 2022 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ season with 15 points. Spain sits second with 13 points, two ahead of Belgium (11 points). The FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ returns 23-26 June in Rotterdam (BEL).

“It means a lot [to start the season strongly]. It’s always good to have a victory in a five-star Nations Cup to start with, and then we can go on with the rest,” Bena said. “And we have been lucky and also good, I would say, [in previous years], because we have won in Compiègne before. We like it very much here.”

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

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

Jordan Allen and Carino B Take Ariat Adult National Medal Win at Kentucky Spring Classic

Jordan Allen and Carino B. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Lexington, Ky. – May 20, 2022 – Equitation competitors kicked off a beautiful morning at the Kentucky Spring Classic II in the Claiborne arena Friday with the Ariat Adult National Medal. Adult amateur riders took to the arena to show their style on their partnered mounts in the hopes of claiming the top honors. In the end, it was Jordan Allen piloting Carino B, owned by Ashland Farm, who took the blue ribbon and the highest score.

Spring Storms Can’t Stop Cathleen Driscoll and Arome at $37,000 Kentucky Spring Classic 1.45m CSI3*

International show jumping competition at the Kentucky Spring Classic II returned to the picturesque Rolex Arena on a stormy Thursday evening. A field of 56 horse-and-rider pairs planned to enter the stadium to beat the weather and take home the win in the $37,000 Kentucky Spring Classic 1.45m CSI3*. After 29 rounds, Kentucky weather had other plans, ultimately leading officials to pause the class and resume at 8am Friday morning. Although the new two-day format wasn’t typical, it didn’t stop Cathleen Driscoll (USA) and Arome from leading the victory gallop at the conclusion of the class.

Chris Payne and Kelley Farmer Take the Victory Gallop Side by Side for Grand Hunter Championship Title

After successful rides in the StoneLea Hunter Ring at Kentucky Spring Classic, two sophisticated riders emerged victorious as they both claimed the Grand Hunter Champion title. Christopher Payne and Axel, owned by Blue Mountain LLC, and Kelley Farmer on Casting Call, owned by David Glefke, took the hunter ring by storm and tied for the Grand Hunter title on Thursday afternoon following their stellar performances.

Charlie Jacobs and La Fille Rouge Reign Supreme in High Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper

The famed Rolex Stadium welcomed junior and amateur show jumping competitors Friday afternoon to contest the High Junior/Amateur 1.40m Jumper. Continuing with the second week of the Kentucky Spring Classic series, a total of 27 talented horse-and-athlete combinations vied for a top spot on the leaderboard in a one-round competition against the clock. In the end, it was Charlie Jacobs aboard CMJ Sporthorse, LLC’s La Fille Rouge who emerged victorious.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

Robert Mendoza and Queen B Win 6-Year-Old Jumper at Kentucky Spring Classic

Robert Mendoza and Queen B. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Lexington, Ky. – May 18, 2022 – Show jumping competition kicked off the Kentucky Spring Classic II Wednesday, May 18, at the Kentucky Horse Park. The young show jumping mounts stepped foot into the Walnut Ring Wednesday morning, hoping to claim the victory ribbon in the 6-Year-Old Jumper class. It was Robert Mendoza aboard Coruscant Stables LLC’s, US Bred by Bannockburn Farm, Belgian Warmblood mare Queen B who were the pair to emerge victorious.

Tess Fortune and MVP Lead TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter Division

Hunter competition got underway Wednesday, May 18, to kick off the first day of the Kentucky Spring Classic II. Setting the stage in the Murphy Ring, riders and their thoroughbred mounts took to the TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter division to showcase versatility off the racetrack. Starting the first day of competition strong, Tess Fortune leads the way aboard her own MVP, hopeful to close out the division Thursday with the championship.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

World’s Elite Riders Return to Eternal City for Rolex Gran Premio

Geneva, 18 May 2022 – The world’s elite show jumpers will gather in the magnificent gardens of Villa Borghese from 26-29 May to contest the 89th edition of the CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena. Staged in the heart of the Italian capital, the five-day event will feature some of the world’s finest horse and rider combinations and culminate on the Sunday with the 5* Rolex Gran Premio.

The CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena is steeped in history and tradition, having first been staged at this beautiful venue in 1926. In 2018, the 18th century oval was re-grassed, returning it to its original splendour. The organizers have strived for continuous improvement, ensuring the event’s stature as one of the most revered in the equestrian calendar.

Switzerland’s World No. 2 Martin Fuchs will be aiming to emulate his uncle Markus Fuchs, who won the Grand Prix here in 2001. He will face stiff competition from compatriot Steve Guerdat, with whom Fuchs won team gold at the 2021 FEI European Championships. Both riders won Rolex Majors last year – at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament and the CHI Geneva, respectively – and appreciate the horsemanship, precision, and refinement required to win in Rome.

Looking ahead to the show, Fuchs said: “The CSIO Roma Piazza Di Siena is always one of my favourite events of the year. It is so magical to compete in such an amazing setting right in the centre of the city. With it being a Rolex show, you know the standard will be high and that you will face the toughest competition in the world, which always pushes riders to perform at their best.”

Bertram Allen, part of the Rolex New Guard, will be striving to become the first Irishman in 13 years to win this prestigious Grand Prix, along with in-form Kevin Staut and Scott Brash, the only rider to have claimed the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

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

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

Natalie Dean and Dotcom D’Authuit Dominate the $25k IDA Development Grand Prix

Natalie Dean and Dotcom D’Authuit. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – May 15, 2022 – The final week of the ESP Spring Series came to a close on Sunday, but not before the USA’s Natalie Dean and Dotcom D’Authuit placed the winning jump-off ride in the $25,000 IDA Development Grand Prix to capture the final Grand Prix win of the Spring Series. As the groom of the winning Grand Prix horse, Marlon Huete was the recipient of the Schneiders Groom Award for the $25,000 IDA Development Grand Prix.

Sunday morning’s $2,500 Medium Amateur/Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic consisted of 18 horse-and-rider combinations to go on the Derby field. Mia Green (USA) aboard her own, Fiero, took home top honors stopping the clock at 44.127 seconds defeating Lacy Moorone Cramer (USA) and Cincinnati, owned by Equi-Sport, LLC, who crossed the timers at 44.297 seconds. Erin Haas (USA) and North Face Farm’s Larkin finished in third place with a time of 46.848 seconds.

Topping a field of 12 competitors, Paula Portocarrero (USA) and her Queretaro 2 were victorious in the $2,500 NAL Low Amateur/Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Equiline. Madeline Thatcher (USA) and Tou La Moon, owned by Pony Lane Farm, finished in second place after stopping the clock at 44.454 seconds, while Emily Ablin (USA) and Cassini Miaflores, owned by Leeann Ablin, finished in third place with a jump-off time of 46.426 seconds.

Diego Javier Vivero Viteri (VEN) and Eickendorf Horses’ Quinn 33 took home Friday’s top spot in the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake. Against a 20-horse jump-off, the pair stopped the clock with a winning jump-off time of 36.868 seconds. Just off the pace, John Perez Bohm (COL) took home second with his mount Gigi-Carmen in 37.231 seconds. The final spot on the podium was claimed by Abigail Mc Ardle (USA) and Samuel Parot Jr’s I&H Boogy Woogy after clearing the jump-off in 37.878 seconds.

On Thursday, Diego Javier Vivero Viteri (VEN) and Quinn 33 also topped the $5,000 Omega Alpha 1.35m Classic against a field of over 30 competitors. The pair raced to first with a time of 41.081 seconds in the jump-off. It was a close second for David Blake (IRL) and Pine Hollow Farm’s Nixon Van D’Abelendreef with a jump-off time of 41.591 seconds, followed by John Perez Bohm (COL) and Voodoo 10, owned by Julio David Vainer, with a clear jump-off time of 41.628 seconds.

Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) and Baroness, owned by Leeann Ablin, topped Thursday’s 7 Year Old Young Jumper class, presented by QBS Equestrian LLC and M. Michael Meller Sport Horses. The pair placed double-clear rounds, stopping the clock at 35.234 seconds in the jump-off to top the class. In reserve, Taylor Kain (USA) piloted The Gelt Group’s Havanna C2 to a second-place finish with a clear jump-off time of 37.554 seconds. Jad Dana (LBN) rounded out the podium with DK Daisy, owned by Abigail Perry.

Thanks to consistent placings over the course of the Spring Series, Kent Farrington (USA) was awarded the $1,000 Assets Risk Management National Grand Prix Rider Bonus.

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

International Stars Shine Bright on Final Day of Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Rolex Grand Prix provided a fitting finale to the four-day Show, with the finest horse and riders in action to compete for the prestigious prize, which went to Gregory Wathelet. The CAIO4* Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix came to a close following three days of intense competition, with Boyd Exell taking the spoils. Elsewhere, the Champagne Laurent Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society, featuring Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor, provided a fantastic spectacle and the final of the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games was won by Wales.

WATHELET RIDES TO GLORY IN THE ROLEX GRAND PRIX

The feature CSI5* class of the day, the Rolex Grand Prix, saw the world’s best horse and rider combinations battle it out for the prestigious title. Bernardo Costa Cabral’s up-to-height 1.60m course proved challenging, with only three riders making it through to the jump-off. The likes of World No. 2 Martin Fuchs, World No. 3 Henrik von Eckermann, and London International Horse Show Grand Prix winner, Harry Charles, all accumulated four faults in the first round.

First to go in the jump-off, Belgian Gregory Wathelet, laid down the gauntlet with the tightest of turns to the Rolex double at the far end of the arena and flying down to the final fence to set the time to beat of 34.79 seconds aboard Nevados S. Max Kühner was next to take up the challenge, and he set out meaning business with Elektric Blue P, but he was not able to match Wathelet’s time, leaving it to Daniel Bluman as the final remaining rider able to take over the lead. Bluman was able to get closer to Wathelet’s time, but in doing so accrued four faults at the very last fence, leaving him in third.

Wathelet said: “It is amazing to win a Grand Prix, especially a Rolex Grand Prix. I jumped in the Nations Cup at La Baule last week and the horse was jumping really well, so I was confident coming to Royal Windsor that he was on great form. It was a tough course which was very up to height, but I thought there would be more clears from the top combinations. Even though there weren’t many riders in the jump-off you still have to go fast and clear to win. The Show is incredible; the atmosphere and the crowds are amazing; all of the riders love coming here.”

THE CHARLES DYNASTY RULE AT ROYAL WINDSOR

The Show Jumping got off to an early start with the Protexin Equine Under-25 Jumping Competition featuring Great Britain’s top up-and-coming young riders. Of the seven combinations who went through to the second round, it was Sienna Charles riding Chinta Van Geluut Z who set the pace as second to go, jumping an immaculate round in a time of 34.93 seconds. Those who followed were unable to match Charles’ standard, with Joe Fernyhough coming closest with a clear in a time of 35.42 to finish second, ahead of Oliver Fletcher in third.

A delighted Charles said: “This class is one I’ve always wanted to win; I’ve come close a couple of times so I’m really pleased with how it’s gone today. I was off a lot of last year with injury or illness, so I took her [Chinta Van Geluut Z] to Spain to build up for the season and I’m really happy with her today.”

The Manama Rose Show Stakes was a speed class with riders jumping one round of 12 fences against the clock. Home favourite John Whitaker took an early lead, setting the standard with an impressive display of speed and agility. Compatriot Guy Williams, known for his skill against the clock, set off meaning business, but took an extra pull down to the last, which denied him pole position. It was Britain’s leading lady rider, Holly Smith, who was the first to put Whitaker’s lead in jeopardy, and with a forward stride to the last, shaved 0.61 seconds off his time to take the lead at the midway point.

Shane Breen stepped up the pace once again, galloping flat out to the last to set what looked to be an unbeatable target. However, ultimately it was Harry Charles who showed his class, taking over the lead with just four to go with a slick performance aboard Billabong du Roumois. The 22-year-old shaved off over two seconds from Breen’s time to take the victory, the perfect preparation for the afternoon’s Rolex Grand Prix.

Charles said: “He is a new horse to me, and this is our first win together. He is a fantastic horse, who is extremely fast and has a lot of potential, so I am really excited about our future together. I didn’t watch anyone in the jump-off; I just stuck to my plan which was to start off conservatively and build up the speed as the course went on. I can’t believe that we were two and a half seconds faster than everyone else – it truly is an ode to how fast the horse is. He is very similar to my top horse, Stardust. Both are naturally quick and careful – those horses are hard to beat!”

SHOWING CHAMPIONS CROWNED

Her Majesty The Queen only narrowly missed another win in the show ring. Her home-bred five-year-old Fool’s Paradise — rated “a star in the making” by rider/producer Katie Jerram-Hunnable — was second in the Novice Riding Horse sponsored by Mr and Mrs Phil Swallow. Coincidentally, this lovely gelding is the son of a mare called Stardust, whom Jerram-Hunnable rode to win the Ladies’ Show Horse class twice here in the past. The overall title went to Cheshire producer Vicky Smith with the Mears family’s Times Square.

Chief Showing steward Sebastian Garner was in celebration mode when his daughter Kinvara topped the Intermediate Show Hunters, riding the 10-year-old Irish-bred gelding Despicable Me for her employers, Steve Pitt and Vicky Smith.

Senior Castle Arena Showing Steward and long-time Royal Windsor supporter Philip Judge was also beside himself with joy when his oldest son, Harry, seven, won the Lead Rein Show Hunter Pony class with his charming grey pony, Thistledown Snowfall. Judge, who owns an international haulage company, has stewarded at the show for many years, and also competed here as a child.

At the other end of the equine size scale, Forgelands Hyde Park — Friday’s Hack Champion with producer Danielle Heath — returned to the Show to land the Intermediate Championship with his owner’s daughter, Issy Mears.

EXELL SECURES VICTORY

At the end of a thrilling three days of international action, Boyd Exell (AUS) stormed home the winner of the CAIO4* Land Rover Grand Prix nearly 16 penalties clear of his closest rival, Glenn Geerts (BEL). Having led from the start with an untouchable Dressage score, Boyd held on to his lead through the Marathon phase despite mounting pressure from Geerts and eventual third place Michael Brauchle (GER). However, Exell’s early advantage was too much for his competitors to match, and even a handful of penalties in the Cones kept him well clear of his rivals.

The Team title went to Belgium, whose line-up of Dries Degrieck, Glenn Geerts, and Tom Stokmans clinched the competition by just 0.51 of a point over Germany’s Michael Brauchle, Mareike Harm, and Rene Poensgen.

To find out more about Royal Windsor Horse Show, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com

Jennifer Bliss and Flight Soar to Top of Standings in $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Jennifer Bliss and Flight ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – May 14, 2022 – The fifth and final week of the ESP Spring Series held its featured class for hunter competitors on the grass Derby Annex at Equestrian Village on Friday. Jennifer Bliss and Flight captured their second consecutive win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Equiline, after jumping to a two-round score of 179.

Deywi Rodriguez was the recipient of the Schneiders Groom Award following the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby as the groom of the winning derby horse. As part of the recognition, Rodriguez was presented with a bag of high-quality grooming supplies courtesy of Schneiders Tack.

Derby action continued on Saturday with the $1,000 2’6”- 2’9” Hunter Derby presented by Score at the Top, which offered less-experienced horses a chance to test derby-styled courses. Topping a field of 12 competitors, Katie Giddings and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang captured the win.

In the USHJA Hunter 2’/2’6″ division, presented by 100X Equine, Ki-Juan Minors of Wellington, FL received top honors with Wiser Now, owned by Laura Ojemann. The pair championed the division after placing consistent performances in all five of the division’s classes, earning a first and a second-place ribbon, two third-place ribbons, and a fourth-place ribbon.

Keri Kampsen captured the tricolor ribbon in the 3’ Green Hunter division with Randee Cherner’s Eliot Du Banney. The partnership was awarded three first-place ribbons which included two over-fences classes and the under saddle, to accrue the most points towards the overall championship honors.

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

Sweetnam and Alejandro Claim $140k Hagyard Grand Prix CSI3* at Kentucky Spring Horse Show

Shane Sweetnam and Alejandro. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Lexington, Ky. – May 14, 2022 – Jumper competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show reached its pinnacle on Saturday night with $140,000 Hagyard Grand Prix CSI3* in the Rolex Stadium. 38 horse-and-athlete combinations gathered to vie for the victory and the lion’s share of the prize money, and ultimately it was Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam aboard Alejandro who was triumphant in the competitive field at the conclusion of the jump-off.

Austen Carries Stephanie Danhakl to Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship

Amateur-Owner hunter competition took to the StoneLea Ring on Saturday morning as riders presented their best performance to vie for the title of Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion. Awarded to the competitor with the most points accumulated in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” and 3’6” 18-35 divisions and Amateur-Owner 3’3” and 3’6” 36+ divisions, Stephanie Danhakl and Austen emerged victorious to be named Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion.

For more information about the Kentucky Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

Swiss Team Prove Age Is No Barrier in Eventing with Nations Cup Win

L to R: Beat Sax, Mélody Johner, Nadja Minder, Robin Godel, and Chef d’equipe Dominik Burger. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

It was a double victory for the Swiss, when Robin Godel’s Jumping clear round clinched the individual prize and a win for Team Switzerland. This was the first leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ and took place in Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA). France, who were overnight leaders going into the final day, finished a close second, and Sweden, who were overall winners of the Series in 2021, finished third. The home side Italy was fifth.

It was a tense finish after the French team left Godel no room for error in the Jumping phase. The 23-year-old athlete kept his cool on Grandeur de Lully CH, to incur just one time penalty which sealed the deal for his team. “I was very focused, but I tried to have only good pressure,” he said after his round. “It was an amazing week for the team. We did good on the cross-country; the four riders were very impressive and the horses gave all they had. For the World Championships it is exciting.”

Speaking about this as a test event for this year’s FEI World Championships for Eventing, Godel said, “It is amazing here; the ground is wonderful; I have never cantered on ground like this. For the World Championships, we want qualification for Paris (Olympics) and that’s the main focus and for sure we will be going for the podium too.”

Pratoni has proved a happy hunting ground for the Swiss, who won the Nations Cup here in 2019. The team this year consisted of two Nations Cup first timers: 62-year-old Beat Sax, who has just one horse to compete and has been eventing for 45 years, and 20-year-old Nadja Minder. They were joined by Tokyo Olympic riders Godel and Mélody Johner.

Six-time Olympian Andrew Nicholson has been coaching the Swiss team for several years and summed up their performance: “It was outstanding. They keep getting better, more confident, and are pulling together as a team. They are passionate and want to do it and they are making the younger ones hungry, which then pushes the older riders.”

Saturday’s Cross-Country shook up the leaderboard and left it tight at the top. Switzerland finished just 0.1 of a penalty behind France going into the final phase. Germany, who led the way after the dressage phase, was relegated to 9th after just two of their team members completed. Sweden, who was in eighth after the dressage, produced four strong Cross-Country performances to climb to third.

Pratoni del Vivaro will be hosting the FEI World Championships for Eventing and Driving, from 15-25 September. Course Designer Giuseppe della Chiesa and Director of the Championships concluded: “From a sports side the cross-country went well here this week. From the side of the organisation, there’s a lot to do yet but we are getting there, and it was very important to have this competition as a Nations Cup and also as a test event. The nature of the soil here is something unique. Horses love it and if it rains, it doesn’t change it and there are very few places in the world like that. It is an important venue as the Olympic venue in 1960 and is one of the very few Olympic venues which is still used for the same purpose.”

The FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing action moves to Houghton Hall (GBR) from 26-29 May, the second of nine events in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ Series.

Full results here.

by Eleanore Kelly

Media contact:

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

The Sun Shines on Smith at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Photo: Holly Smith pushes to the finish to claim victory in the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup.

The top class international competition continued on day three of Royal Windsor Horse Show, with the world’s best show jumpers and carriage drivers in action. Other action included the Inter Schools Show Jumping Competition supported by Mochara, which was won by Seaford College. There was also a presentation to the Best Turned Out Trooper, which was awarded to Prince Ainuson riding Northumberland.

NO CONFUSION FOR FTS KILLOSSERY KONFUSION

The opening CSI5* class of the day, the Falcon Stakes, took the top 10 riders from the first round into a jump-off against the clock. It was left to third to go, Jos Verlooy riding Fts Killossery Konfusion, to set the target with the first double clear in an impressive 39.64 seconds. The Belgian rider pulled off some impressive turns with the 11-year-old grey gelding to put the pressure on those to follow. David Will showed that the time could be beaten; however, his four faults meant he was only able to finish fifth. Wilm Vermeir gave it his best shot as last to go, but he was not able to catch his Belgian teammate, posting a time of 39.83 seconds with Linguine de La Pomme to finish in second and make it a Belgian one-two. Steve Guerdat and Dynamix de Belheme took third, with Lorenzo de Luca in fourth.

Speaking after the class, Verlooy said: “It is fantastic to win here – it is such an amazing Show, probably one of the best in the world. Fts Killossery Konfusion was great today; he is a naturally fast horse and wants to leave the jumps up, so I feel very lucky to ride him. I am very excited for the Rolex Grand Prix tomorrow – I will ride Luciano van het Geinsteinde who was second in the CSI5* Pearl Stakes yesterday, so I am feeling very confident.”

Later in the day, attention turned to the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup. The 1.55m course set by Bernardo Costa Cabral proved challenging, with just three combinations progressing through to the jump-off. First into the arena for the second round, Lorenzo de Luca, set the standard with a clear round in the time of 33.63 seconds. Holly Smith, a former winner of this class in 2019, made up time with tight turns throughout and galloping down to the last to take over the pole position aboard Fruselli. Abdel Saïd put in a strong performance to threaten Holly’s lead, but in the end could only manage enough for second place.

A delighted Smith said: “I am elated with Fruselli today – he was incredible, and I am so pleased for his owners Sue and Gordon Hall. I won this class in 2019, on the Hall’s Hearts Destiny, who sadly passed away two years ago, so to win here today on this horse feels extra special. The course rode really well, so I was surprised there were so few clears. In the jump-off, I took risks and really went for it, as the worst I could be was third, but those risks played off! I love it here and the crowd has been amazing – it is such an honour to win on home soil.”

LAND ROVER SERVICES JUMPING

In a stellar year of competition, a fantastic morning of action in Her Majesty The Queen’s Challenge Cup for Services Team Jumping Competition supported by Land Rover set the scene in the Castle Arena.

The Challenge Cup presented by Her Majesty The Queen, awarded to the first placed service team riding United Kingdom Service horses was awarded this year to the Defence Animal Training Regiment A team. The team, consisting of Captain Harry Grantham and Willow Clover Promise, CoH Andrew Mancey with Paardeburg, and WO2 Michael McGrath riding Middleham finished on a team score of 4 penalties after the latter posted a careful clear round in the second phase. The team won clear ahead of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery A Team on 12 penalties.

Of the non-horsed units competing for The Queen’s Plate, the Army 3 team of Captain Amy Lambert and Pirate’s Puzzle, Trooper Dylan Hinton and Ultimate II, and Major Daniel Gregory with Neighbourhood Watch Archie finished on a score of 0 to take the title. Lambert – nominated to ride the second phase – completed the jump-off clear with a time of 57.53 in front of cheering crowds.

The new section introduced for 2022, The Jorrocks Challenge Trophy for international teams, was lifted on its inaugural occasion by the Bahrain Defence Force team of Ahmed Mansoor Ali Maki and Zamzam, Mohamed Saif Alnairi and Consuela Van Verst, and Basel Mohamed Aldoseri on Amalfi. With a time of 43.22, the latter was also presented the prize from The Worshipful Company of saddlers to the highest placed rider in phase two.

MAJESTIC DAY OF SHOWING

Although missing out on a win, Her Majesty The Queen still had plenty to celebrate when Sunbeam, her home-bred In-Hand Coloured Reserve Champion from Thursday, returned under saddle to stand third in a very strong CHAPS UK ridden class. The delightful five-year-old gelding was ridden by producer Katie Jerram-Hunnable, whose husband Chris led him to Thursday’s win.

Her Majesty collected another rosette when young rider Libby Grota partnered the prolific-winning Highland stallion Balmoral Mandarin to stand third in an extremely strong BSPS Ridden Large Breeds Native class supported by Smart Grooming.

Chris Hunnable partnered another of The Queen’s homebred stars, the ex-racehorse First Receiver to be third in the Tattersalls RoR In-Hand Show Series Qualifier, following his second place in the ridden equivalent on Thursday.

The prestigious Royal Windsor Show Pony Championship went to Harpenden-based Poppy Baxter-Davies who delivered a great performance on the 128cm winner, Roxair’s Aphrodite.

The Show’s Chief Showing Steward, Sebastian Garner, was able to witness his niece, India Till, repeat last year’s Novice Show Pony victory with the lovely 148cm winner, Rotherwood Fancy That, who is only five years old and relatively inexperienced, but performed like a seasoned campaigner.

EXCITEMENT BUILDS IN THE INTERNATIONAL DRIVING

The top 15 four-in-hand drivers in the world drove true to form over Jeroen Houterman’s open and flowing, yet questioning, marathon course. All the drivers chose to follow different routes and show their skills to the large and appreciative crowd which had gathered round the eight beautifully designed obstacles.

Germany’s marathon specialist Michael Brauchle put in a brilliant and consistent performance to lead the Marathon and go up one place overnight to sixth. Dressage leader, Boyd Exell, had a few costly knock-down balls and although he only finished fifth on the Marathon, retains his lead after the dressage. Chester Weber drove his up-and-coming team of horses smoothly to go from fourth to second place, having flown them in from the USA on Wednesday. The heat suited the team who are used to the Florida temperatures, and they performed to their best.

The two Belgian drivers Glen Geerts and Dries Degrieck are neck and neck after the two phases, and lying in third and fourth place, respectively, with less than a point separating them. Top lady driver Mareike Harm drove an elegant round and, although not quite as fast on the clock, sits in fifth. Speaking after her round, the German driver said: “We really enjoy being here at Windsor. It was fantastic yesterday in the dressage and I was so happy to be third. The marathon was brilliant and I’m very happy.”

The three British drivers accrued penalty points for corrected errors of course. British driver Karen Basset said: “I’ve had a great time and it was a great learning curve, but I felt I let them down today as I went sailing past Gate A in the last obstacle before I corrected my course! My horses gave me everything.”

Andrew Counsell, Director of Driving, said: “A lot of work was put into the eight obstacles and we felt that they really flowed. They didn’t cause the horses difficulty and there were both tight turns and flowing routes. There was some really good driving which is what Jeroen and I planned ahead of the event. We really appreciate having the world’s top drivers here in this wonderful setting.”

To find out more about Royal Windsor Horse Show, or to book tickets, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com