Category Archives: Competitions

Ronan McGuigan and Elvis Are Kings with Win in $25,000 Ford’s Garage Grand Prix

Ronan McGuigan and Elvis. ©ESP.

Wellington, FL – June 6, 2021 – The first week of the ESP Summer Series took place June 3-6, 2021 at Equestrian Village, with the ESP Equitation Day #1 kicking the week off on June 2. In the week’s highlight event, the $25,000 Ford’s Garage Grand Prix, Ireland’s Ronan McGuigan piloted Blythe Masters’ Elvis to their second major win for the week after topping a field of talented competitors and mastering course designer Andy Christiansen’s (ECU) track.

“It feels great to cap off this week with a victory. Elvis has been super all week. We won the first day, then got second the second day, and I was very happy to win today. I didn’t even get to walk the course since I had to go to another ring, so I relied on some of the other competitors to let me know,” McGuigan admitted. “Rebecca Conway told me to take a stride out between fence one and two, so I just trusted what she told me. I guess I did what all the amateurs do and trusted someone else! I jumped in with a little pace and gave him a little kick at the beginning, so the rest of it worked out nicely.”

The Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake on Friday saw Colombia’s Juan Manuel Gallego and Adalberto Audi Scappino, owned by Eduardo Sanchez Navarro, ride to a commanding lead of the class early in the order. With a fault-free jump-off time of 39.23 seconds, the partnership ultimately won the class by more than three seconds as the swiftest of eight jump-off contenders. Second place went to McGuigan and Elvis.

On the first day of competition earlier in the week, the results of the Omega Alpha 1.35m Stake were very similar to the leaderboard in the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake. McGuigan claimed top honors on the Derby Field with Elvis after overtaking the early frontrunners, Gallego and Adalberto Audi Scappino. McGuigan and Elvis finished in first with a jump-off time of 36.69 seconds, followed by Gallego and his mount in second with a double-clear time of 37.77 seconds.

Selcuk Koksalan kicked off Sunday’s competition on the Derby Field with a win in the Equiline Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Stake after clearing the jump-off in 38.28 seconds with Leyla Stables LLC’s entry, Carla.

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

Brilliant Bengtsson Seals Swedish Victory at St Gallen

Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Ermindo W. (FEI/Richard Juillart)

Sweden pipped Germany in a third-round showdown against the clock to win the opening leg of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2021 Division 1 series at St Gallen in Switzerland.

On a dramatic day of top sport in the Grundenmoos Arena where the tradition of wet weather conditions once again played its part, it came down to a face-off between Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Germany’s Christian Kukuk. And super-cool Bengtsson sealed it with a brilliant run on his 12-year-old stallion Ermindo W.

From a starting field of 10 nations, only nine returned for the second round when the British opted to withdraw. And on a tough afternoon, when many of the teams finished with big scores, the closing stages turned into a cliff-hanger.

Testing track

Swiss course designers Gerard Lachat and Reto Ruflin set them a testing track on which nothing could be taken for granted. Looping turns and dog-leg distances had to be accurately ridden, and the triple combination at fence four claimed plenty of victims. The bending line from the vertical at seven to the triple-bar at eight and the following water-tray oxer at nine also saw plenty of action, while the penultimate double at fence 11 was highly influential, with the flimsy white plank on top of the vertical second element falling time and again.

Team Egypt sprang a surprise when tying for the lead with Germany going into the second round with just five faults on the board, while the Swiss were in third carrying eight and the Swedes were close behind with nine at the halfway point.

Brazil, Britain, Israel, The Netherlands, Mexico, and Italy were lying in that order as round two began, but the serious business of the day was played out between the leading four countries, and it went right down to the wire.

Out of contention

The Egyptians slipped out of contention when adding 20 faults despite very smart performances from Mohamed Talaat and his lovely stallion Darshan and just four in the second round for Friday’s Longines Grand Prix winner Nayel Nassar who brought out Darry Lou, the gelding originally competed by American star Beezie Madden.

The unrelenting rain led to several breaks in the competition to attend to the grass footing in the arena, but the horses coped well and the tension increased as Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden continued to slog it out.

Christian Kukuk and Mumbai matched their first-round score of eight, but German hopes were bolstered by a brilliant clear from Maurice Tebbel and Don Diarado. However, the troublesome water-tray oxer at nine hit for the floor for Andre Thieme and DSP Chakaria and when Philipp Weishaupt’s Asathir clipped the second element of the penultimate double then Germany had to add eight more to their scoreline for a total of 13.

That left them on level pegging with the Swedes who added just four, thanks to superb double-clears from both pathfinder Douglas Lindelow and Casquo Blue and anchor rider Malin Baryard-Johnsson with the feisty mare H&M Indiana. Both Evelina Tovek and Winnetou de la Hamente Z and Bengtsson and Ermindo had a pole down, but just one of those four-fault results had to be added when taking the best three scores into account.

Delight

Meanwhile, the Swiss crowd, small in numbers due to pandemic restrictions but full of voice for their home runners, screamed with delight when their hero and individual European champion Martin Fuchs returned a double-clear with his exciting gelding Leone Jei.

Luck played its part, however, the fabulous grey clearing the open water at fence five with another spectacular leap but creating heart-stopping moments along the way when hitting the back bar of the water-tray oxer at nine very hard, and also tapping the top of the plank at the second-last which had fallen so easily for many others.

When compatriot, Steve Guerdat, retired Venard de Cerisy after having two down, then the four faults collected by both Bryan Balsiger and Twentytwo des Biches and Beat Mandli with Dsarie had to be counted bringing their scoreline to 16. Assured of third place, the home team would now sit back and watch Germany and Sweden decide the final result.

Jump-Off

First into the third-round jump-off, Bengtsson didn’t flinch, setting off with a determined run that saw him take a risky right-hand turn to the vertical second-last and clearing the final Longines oxer in a fast 43.50 seconds. It was vintage stuff from the man whose career highlights include the individual European title in 2011, team and individual silver at separate Olympic Games and fourth individually at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games™ with brilliant horses like Ninja la Silla and Casall ASK. And the 12-year-old stallion Ermindo W certainly gave his all.

Germany’s Kukuk also set off with fire in his belly, but when Mumbai hit the third fence then he took his foot off the gas to complete the course with an additional time fault. Second place would have to be good enough for his country on.

The right man

Talking about the choice of Bengtsson for the jump-off, team-mate Douglas Lindelow said he was the right man for the job. “Rolf is very experienced and always very calm, and he performed splendidly and put plenty of pressure on Christian,” he said.

Swedish Chef d’Equipe, Henrik Ankarcrona, was thrilled with his team. “We have never won the Nations Cup here and my riders were fantastic today. The Organising Committee did a great job for the second round, taking the time to have a longer break to take care of the footing and it turned out very well.”

Meanwhile, the hosts were also very happy.

“My horse is still inexperienced at that level, but he showed all his potential today. Sometimes it is not easy to handle his temperament, but today we managed it,” said Martin Fuchs. “I rode him here two years ago in the young horses classes at St Gallen, so it’s special to come back and jump a double-clear in the Nations Cup with him today!” he added.

And it was a special day for Swiss team manager Michel Sorg too. “This was my first time as Chef d Equipe at a 5* show, and being at home made it even more special.

“We are so grateful that the sport could take place, and with some public it was even nicer and we are happy with our results this week. Next week we are going to La Baule and we will have Martin, Steve, Beat, and Elian Bauman as Elian was so good here in the Grand Prix,” he said.

However, they’ll have to face the Swedes again at the French fixture. And on current form, they’ll prove tough nuts to crack.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Kent Farrington and Orafina Win $37k Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3*

Kent Farrington and Orafina ©Shannon Brinkman.

Mill Spring, NC – June 3, 2021 – Kent Farrington (USA) and Orafina scored a win in the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) at the start of Tryon Spring 5 competition, stopping the jump-off timers at 36.926 for the win. In reserve, Lillie Keenan (USA) and Fasther, the 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vigo D Arsouilles STX x Farmer) owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, cleared the short course in 37.994 seconds, while Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Gakhir, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Spartacus x Indorado) owned in partnership by Esperanza Imports, LLC and Ilan Ferder, scored the yellow rosette with a time of 38.888 over the jump-off track set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA).

After 59 entries challenged the first round of the competition, seven pairs were invited to test the jump-off track. Farrington and his own 2012 Dutch Warmblood mare (For Fashion x Canturo) have been partnered for less than a year, and have been starting small, he reported: “We started very small, and she’d only shown up to 1.35m. She’s come on strong in the last eight or nine months, and she has a lot of potential,” he said. “She’s unbelievably careful, so we’ll have to determine how big she wants to jump, but whatever level she does I think she’s going to be very competitive.”

With several smooth rounds produced in the jump-off contest, Farrington chose to ride the course in a way that would help her grow as an athlete, he shared about his jump-off strategy. “She has a very big stride, and I’ve been working on her turns and her rollbacks. I thought she did that very well today. It’s been a struggle for her in the past to rollback right, [quickly] to a vertical, which was jumps two to three in this jump-off. She’s coming on strong, so I’m very happy with her progress.”

Erynn Ballard and Bettina des Celtes Keep the Streak Going with $37,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3* Win

Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Bettina des Celtes dominated Wednesday’s $37,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3* at TIEC, navigating the speed phase of the Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) course design in a time of 24.373 seconds. In reserve, Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Boheme de Fleyres, the 2011 Selle Francais mare (Vargas de STE Hermelle x Easy Boy) she owns in partnership with Little Valley Farms, cleared the course in 25.879 seconds, while third place went to Rowan Willis (AUS) and Wellington Grey Goose, his own 2011 British-bred mare, after their 25.893-second performance over the speed test.

Ballard and the 2011 Selle Francais mare (New Boy de Logerie x Cumano) owned by Ilan Ferder were one of 36 entries to challenge the power component of the course, with 22 pairs continuing on to the speed phase. Ballard, who now has six wins under her belt and one podium finish in her last seven outings at TIEC, was able to watch most of the class and noticed that the course offered minimal opportunities to trim the number of strides between fences, but that by taking a longer route in one turn, she could set herself up to be tighter to the liverpool.

“Today was a really interesting class,” she recapped. “I actually got to sit and watch a lot. There wasn’t a huge opportunity to do more or fewer strides than everybody else. It stayed very close. The first jump in the speed portion was the green vertical at the end of the combination and everybody was going inside [to the liverpool] afterwards. I really felt that the inside turn put you on the outside [track] to get back to the liverpool.

“They were doing seven or eight [strides] and I said to Ilan [Ferder], ‘I really believe I can still do eight to the end jump, but get there in a better way, and I can be much faster to the liverpool.’ So I did seven to the Liverpool.” Ballard revealed that her later position in the order of go was helpful in securing the win, as well. “I was lucky enough that I went late, so nobody really picked up on that. Today I think it was a class that the strides really played a big role, because it was so close. To be able to leave out a stride like that to that particular jump, I think gave me an edge.”

Matt Williams and FR Yandoo Pennsylvania Win $2,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3*

Matt Williams (AUS) competed in the irons with FR Yandoo Pennsylvania, his own 2012 Australian-bred mare owned in partnership with Brigio Williams, winning the $2,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3* with a speed phase time of 29.744 seconds. In reserve, Daniel Pedraza (MEX) and Santa Rosa Yalta, the 2012 Mexican Sport Horse mare owned by Proyectos Agricolas sa de CV, stopped the timers in 30.648 seconds, while Rachel Lindsey (USA) claimed third on a speed phase time of 32.28 with Comander 16, her own 2011 Oldenburg gelding (Coup de Coeur x Lupicor). Thirty entries navigated the power phase of the track set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) with 17 horse-and-rider pairs continuing on to the speed phase of the course.

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

German Day in Baborówko

30 May 2021 was the last day of Equestrian Festival Baborówko. 200 riders with 350 horses from 25 countries all over the world competed for a prize pool unparalleled in Polish eventing – over 90 000 EUR.

In the most important class of the show, the CCI4*-S for the prize of the patron of the event, Mr Roman Roszkiewicz, with a prize pool of 70 000 EUR, the leader after dressage and cross-country was Ingrid Klimke (GER) with SAP HALE BOB OLD. However, the rider had an unlucky but harmless fall in the CCI3*-S cross country, which made it unable for her to compete in the four-star jumping trial. The second and third place after two trials belonged to Michael Jung (GER) with FISCHERCHIPMUNK FRH and FISCHERWILD WAVE. The rider confirmed his fantastic shape and finished the jumping with two clear rounds to take the first and second place. Third went to Sandra Auffarth (GER) with LET’S DANCE 73.

“I am very pleased with of my horses, especially with FISCHERCHIPMUNK FRH and FISCHERWILD WAVE, which are in a great shape. We had some demanding conditions, but that’s just eventing,” said Michael Jung (GER). “It was a hard show, but shows like that are necessary, especially in this season, where we have to take advantage of every occasion to prepare for Tokyo. I’ve been to Baborówko two years ago. Now there are new great arenas. To achieve good results, we need good conditions and that’s what we have here.”

The CCI4*-S also determined the podium for this year’s Polish National Championships, for the third time in Baborówko. We witnessed a great performance by Paweł Spisak with Banderas. The rider finished the class as the best Polish athlete, and secured his 9th gold medal of the National Championships. Mateusz Kiempa defended his silver with Libertina, and bronze went to the home rider of Baborówko Equestrian Association, Paweł Warszawski with Lucinda Ex Ani 4.

“We are very glad that some of the best eventers decided to visit Baborówko. We’re happy that in these difficult times and after a year-long break we managed to safely carry out the event, taking advantage of the potential of our new and modernized infrastructure,” says Henryk Święcicki jr., the director of the show.

There was a change in the lead after the jumping for the CCI4*-L, for the trophy of Lotto. Fouaad Mirza (IND) was in the first and second place with SEIGNEUR MEDICOTT and DAJARA 4. However, he had faults in the jumping trial and so the win went to Aminda Ingulfson (SWE) with HOT CUP VH) after a clear round. Fouaad finished second and third.

In the CCI3*-S, for the trophy of Kuhn, the first three placings went to German riders. Michael Jung was victorious with KILCANDRA OCEAN POWER, second went to Hanna Knüppel riding GEKE EQUIGRIP’S LEVINIO, and third to Peter Thomsen with COOL CHARLY BLUE.

Lotte Palmgren (FIN) with GENIALE 11 took the lead after jumping in the CCI2*-S for the trophy of Concordia Grupa Generali, and kept her position in XC. Felix Etzel (GER) was second with PROMISING PETE TSF, and Esteban Benitez Valle (ESP) with ESCARA GP was third.

The CCI2*-YH for six-year-old horses, for the trophy of Kunowo Stables, ended with the win of Andreas Dibowski (GER) riding CRISTALLIK. Merel Blom (NED) with DENIM took second, and third went to Louise Romeike (SWE) with MADAME D’ ENGELBOURG Z.

The leaderboard of the CCI1*-Intro remained unchanged since Saturday – Jerome Robine (GER) kept his lead with COBY R, Merel Blom (NED) with THE BLACK SWAN was second, and Malin Petersen (SWE) went home with the third riding HULDA.

More information can be found at:
www.festiwal.baborowko.pl

Shanghai Swans in the Lead after GCL Round #1 at Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show

May 27, 2021 — The Shanghai Swans team, already in the lead in the overall standings provisionally, after two legs of the Global Champions League, thanks to their second place in Doha and its victory in Madrid last weekend, got off to a great start in the League’s first round in Ramatuelle/Saint-Tropez.

The team, made up of Germany’s Christian Ahlmann on Solid Gold Z and Austria’s Max Kühner with EIC Caleo, didn’t waver in light of the competition and above all their main challenger, Valkenswaard United, represented on the French Riviera by Sweden’s Peder Fredricson on H&M and Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander with Identity Vitseroel, second in the overall standings before this weekend, and also second in this first round in Saint-Tropez. Both of these teams jumped clear on the perfectly balanced course, designed by France’s Grégory Bodo, while five other teams finished with four faults. The St. Tropez Pirates, the ‘local team’ made up of France’s Olivier Robert (Ilena de Mariposa) and Belgium’s Pieter Devos (Claire Z), only finished thirteenth out of the sixteen teams competing in this first round with seventeen faults.

Full results.

LAOHS’ website: https://www.athinaonassis-horseshow.com/

Daniel Koroloff – E-mail: daniel@blizko-communication.com

Erynn Ballard Is Two-for-Two at Tryon Spring 4

Erynn Ballard and Classic Penny ©Reagan Ibach, TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – May 27, 2021 – Erynn Ballard (CAN) went two-for-two to open the first week of international jumping competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC), claiming the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake win with Classic Penny in a competitive 30.238-second jump-off round after Wednesday’s $6,000 Power and Speed Stake CSI 2* win. Ashlee Bond (ISR) and the 2011 Belgian Warmblood mare (Hickstead II x Cruising) owned by Hila Moverman and Stephex Stables, Lazy, were anything but, scoring reserve with a time of 31.914 seconds. Lillie Keenan (USA) and Agana van het Gerendal Z, the Chansonette Farm LLC entry and 2011 Zangersheide stallion (Aganix du Seigneur x Topas), claimed third place after clearing the short course in a time of 34.653 seconds.

The Nick Granat (USA) course design welcomed 59 entries in the first round, with ten pairs qualifying for the jump-off round. Ballard and the 2012 Norwegian Warmblood mare owned by Ilan Ferder took a crack at Ashlee Bond’s leading time and caught them on the last line of the track, Ballard assessed.

“Following Ashlee is not so easy, and the only place where I felt like she gave me a window of opportunity was the last line. She cut into the vertical, and ended up being wide and did eight [up the last line]. I really had no choice – I had to get there in seven [strides]. Even from the beginning, Penny was quite handy – it was just one of those days where everything went the way it was supposed to go.”

Erynn Ballard and Really Electra Xango Win Their First Class Together for $6,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 2*

Erynn Ballard (CAN) competed in the irons with Really Electra Xango for the first time on Wednesday to kick off Tryon Spring 4, winning the $6,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 2* with a speed phase time of 22.783 seconds. In reserve, David O’Brien (IRL) and El Balou OLD, the 2012 Oldenburg stallion (Eldorado VD Zeshoek x Balou du Rouet) owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, stopped the timers in 23.368 seconds, while Michael Murphy (USA) claimed third on a speed phase time of 23.75 with Comedie de Talma, the 2012 Selle Francais mare (Kannan x Contender) owned by Esperanza Imports, LLC.

Forty-eight entries navigated the power phase of the track set by Nick Granat (USA), with 22 horse-and-rider pairs continuing on to the speed phase of the course. Ballard is newly paired with the 2012 Brazilian Sport Horse mare (Indoctro x Lucky Electra Xango) owned by Ilan Ferder, and revealed that their winning ride in Tryon Stadium was actually their first competition together.

“That was my first class with her! I love her,” Ballard elaborated. “She goes the way that I like to ride, and I really believe in her. She really went out there today from start to finish.”

While Ballard acknowledged that many riders were using the Power & Speed Stake as a training opportunity, she wanted to go for the win with “Electra,” choosing to take a more conservative approach with some of her other horses. “There were a lot of people who were training in that class. When we walked the course, we made a plan for the horses that we were training. I said, ‘Electra, we’re going for the win,’ and she went for the win.”

The course not only suited her horse, Ballard reported, but she thought that it was a great way to kick off the first day of FEI competition at TIEC, initiating the first week of international jumping competition of the season.

“I liked the course. It was a very fair start for a two-star. Sometimes, the lines are blurred between two, three, four, and five, so I think that it was a really nice introduction to the two-star.” Ballard concluded, “A lot of these horses haven’t had a lot of exposure [to different environments], as they’ve been in Wellington for most of the winter, so it’s a positive start for the horses at this level, and we hope to have a good rest of the week.”

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

Winning Is in the Cards for Tomas Yofre and Cardora in $25k Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake

Tomas Yofre and Cardora ©TIEC.

May 20, 2021 – The only pair to go double-clear after two rounds of competition in the $25,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake, Tomas Yofre (Lexington, KY) and Cardora produced a winning time of 39.064. Christina Webb (Raleigh, NC) and FVF Sailor Man, the Fox View Farm entry and 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Popeye K x Baby Grande), dropped one rail and finished the course in a time of 38.279 for reserve, while third place went to Ramiro Quintana (Wellington, FL) and Castana LS La Silla, the 2009 La Silla mare (Quintero x Ratina Z), after their four-fault, 41.777-second run.

The Catsy Cruz (MEX) designed course challenged 34 entries in the first round, with only four duos returning for the jump-off round. While Yofre and the 2010 Holsteiner mare (Caretino x Tamara V) owned by Stellium Sport Horses LLC have only been paired together for a few months, they are already clicking as a team, he shared.

“She is amazing. I’ve had her for four months, and she’s done very well, so I’m happy.” The trailblazers for both the first and second rounds of competition, Yofre reported that his plan was to focus on the technical difficulty of the track while keeping the time in mind. “I was the first to go in, and it was technically difficult. I had a plan, and I just stuck to the plan and it worked out. The times were very close.”

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

Caroline Mawhinney Wins U25 Grand Prix CSI3* to Conclude Kentucky Spring Classic

Lexington, KY – May 23, 2021 – The final day of the Kentucky Spring Classic and the conclusion to Kentucky Horse Shows’ spring series saw a day full of exciting show jumping competition Sunday, May 23. A total of 39 rising young talents gathered for the $15,000 U25 Grand Prix CSI3* in the famed Rolex Arena, hopeful to close out competition in Lexington with a win. In the end, it was 15-year-old Caroline Mawhinney and her own Stella Levista who emerged victorious, claiming their first U25 win together.

Christina Kelly and Monique Take Top Honors in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

The StoneLea Ring kicked off Sunday morning with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, wrapping up the final day of competition at the Kentucky Spring Classic. A total of 36 junior, amateur, and professional athletes took center stage to showcase their skills in the decorated derby ring. Three talented pairs emerged victorious, with Christina Kelly riding Monique, Libbie Gordon on Ascott, and Campbell Brown aboard Fleetwood laying down two jaw-dropping rounds to make up the podium for the class.

For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

It’s Team Gold Again for Spain as UAE Dominates Individual Podium

On left is gold medallist Salem Hamad Saeed Malhoof Al Kitbi riding Haleh, on right is silver medallist Mansour Saeed Mohd Al Faresi with Birmann Aya. (FEI/Christoph Taniere)

The defending champions from Spain claimed team gold once again at the Longines FEI Endurance World Championship 2021 at San Rossore in Pisa, Italy; the UAE dominated the individual podium when clinching the top two places.

The was the first championship to run under the new FEI Endurance Rules, and history was made when Boni Viada de Vivero became the first Chilean rider to stand on a World Championship podium when scooping individual bronze, while Brazil also celebrated their first-ever medals when taking team silver ahead of France.

In a dramatic competition it seemed that the individual title looked set to also fall into Spanish hands when Omar Blanco Rodrigo and his brilliant grey, For Ferro, moved up from fifth to first after the second loop and stayed out in front until the closing stages. However, the speed and supreme fitness of the UAE horses, Haleh, who clinched gold for Salem Hamad Saeed Malhoof Al Kitbi, and Birmann Aya, who slotted into silver medal spot for Mansour Saeed Mohd Al Faresi, saw them surge ahead in the final loop to finish neck-and-neck and hand-in-hand without a challenger in sight.

Heart rate

Haleh’s heart rate never went above 50 beats per minute and at the very end of the 160km test registered just 47. At the final vet-check, the 10-year-old French-bred gelding looked completely unfazed as he nibbled some grass while the Australian-bred Birmann Aya, who has a tremendous record for speedy finishes, was also chilled with a heart rate of 54.

Chile’s Viada de Vivero produced the most mature of rides, and the 27-year-old got a great reception from the Italian supporters as he is based in Italy. Lying 19th after the first loop he improved to 17th, 16th, 10th, and then fifth before clinching third and bronze with the nine-year-old As Embrujo.

Al Kitbi was never far off the lead, however, finishing the first two phases in third place, moving into second after loop three and staying there until the final push over the 20km sixth-phase course. In contrast, Al Faresi, who is also 25 years old, was lying 13th after the first loop but improved to third by loop four and in the end only one-hundredth of a second separated him from his gold-medal-winning compatriot.

Team

But the individual gold and silver medallists were the only two of the five-man UAE team to complete. A total of 12 countries contested the team title but just three finished, and it was a major battle for the medal placings. The strong side from Bahrain were big favourites, but HH Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa retired and his four running mates were all eliminated. The gold and silver medallists from Spain and Brazil each finished with just the essential three team-members, while the bronze medallists from France completed with an impressive four.

And although the Spanish appeared to be running away with it at the outset, they were under intense pressure when their two main contenders were eliminated for metabolic issues for their horses. Jaume Punti Dachs and Alex Luque Moral claimed individual gold and silver along with team gold at the last World Championships in Samorin, Slovakia four years ago, but Luque Moral’s Eryvan was vetted out after Phase 4 and the Punti Dachs’ JM Bucefala experienced the same fate after Phase 5.

So Blanco Rodrigo could take no chances with For Ferro over the last 20km; he must finish safely if his team was to stay in with a chance, and when he clinched individual sixth spot and Angel Soy Coll finished fourth with Warrens Hill Chayze, that bolstered the Spanish effort.

Desperately close

It was desperately close, however, because the third score posted by 2008 and 2010 individual gold medallist Maria Alvarez Ponton was critical and there was huge tension while her horse, Mandany, was closely examined at the final vet-check. But a big roar went up when he was passed, leaving her in individual 15th place and finalising the total team time of 23:10:34 which left Spain in gold but just 3:01 ahead of Brazil in silver while the French posted 23:43:01 for the bronze.

The Brazilians lost Rodrigo Moreira Barreto at the first vet-gate, but Philippe de Azevedo Morgulis (Saiph SBV), Andre Vidiz (Chambord Endurance), and Renato Salvador (Uzes Trio) stood firm to finish eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively, thereby giving the victorious Spanish a real run for their money.

The French, who claimed team silver at the last four World Championships, lost Charles Cappeau and Camil des Ormeaux after the fourth loop, but Nicolas Ballarin (Anir de la Teuliere), Gaele Ollivier Jacob (Pot Made), Margot Thomas (Kalon Milin Avel), and Roman Lafaure (Akim Cabirat) all completed to ensure their place on the podium.

Dream result

For the new individual champion Al Kitbi, it was a dream result.

“I’m in this sport now 11 years and this is my first World Championship and I’m so proud of it!” he said.

The final loop was particularly tough. “Until the last five kilometres the rest were pushing and making it hard for us, and in the final vet-check I was so nervous, I thought my heart might burst!”

For Chile’s Boni Viada de Vivero, was a day he will always remember. “I can hardly believe it! I knew I had a good horse, but to have one that’s in the top-three in the world – now that is just incredible!” he said.

Results here.

FEI YouTube

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Tori Colvin and Ipso Facto Finesse the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at TIEC

Tori Colvin and Ipso Facto ©Mackenzie Clark.

Mill Spring, NC – May 21, 2021 – Victoria Colvin (USA) and Glade Run Farm LLC’s Ipso Facto scored a two-round total of 391 to claim the win in Friday’s $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, concluding a double derby day at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC), which also featured a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Claiming reserve honors in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, Greg Crolick (USA) and Testify, the 2014 Hanoverian gelding (Cassini II x Valencia T) owned by Jon Cotton, earned a two-round score of 387. Crolick also earned fifth aboard Kuore, the 2012 Polish Warmblood gelding owned by Renaud Farm, LLC, on a total of 364. In collecting both third and fourth place, Michael Britt-Leon (USA) received a total score of 371.5 aboard Kelly Sims’ Private I, the 2012 Oldenburg gelding (Corrado x Verdi). Britt-Leon guided Kelly Sims’ entry Bacchus to fourth on a score of 370.75 with the 2013 Hanoverian gelding (Bisquet Balou x Feliz V/D Donkhoeve).

The course set by Andres Christiansen (USA) challenged 23 entries in the first round, with the cutoff to challenge the handy round set at 159. When the top 12 riders had concluded their second performance, it was Colvin who topped Crolick’s first-round lead for the win. As it was only the second international derby for the 2013 NRPS gelding (Douglas x Emmasinaa-a), Colvin was proud of her mount’s performance and thankful that the first round track “wasn’t too difficult or scary” for him.

“The first round rode nicely. It was a nice course, and it wasn’t too difficult or scary, which was nice for him. This is only his second derby,” she revealed. “He was [recently] champion in the Low Children’s at Aiken, with a 12-year-old. So, yeah, he went very well! I did one international derby with him, and this is my second. He’s very good at it!”

After watching the second round unfold, Colvin saw that tight turns were the name of the game if she wanted a competitive score. “Everyone went pretty handy [in the second round] and almost all of them had good scores, so I thought that I had to do all of the inside turns and hope he knew where I was going,” she detailed.

“There were lots of inside turns, but he was great. The tightest one was to the last jump – that oxer came up really quickly!” Colvin concluded, “He went fantastic, and I’m thankful to have the ride on him.”

Greg Crolick and Calisto Claim $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Greg Crolick (Clarkston, MI) and Jon Cotton’s Calisto conquered a field of 40 entries to earn the win in Friday morning’s $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at TIEC, scoring 184 over two rounds with the 2012 Selle Francais gelding (Arko x Kambera Vilelongue). Matt Cyphert (Argyle, TX) and Katie McDonnell’s Crimson Tide, the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Lordanos x Elfe), claimed reserve on a score of 181. In third, Jimmy Torano (Wellington, FL) and Moonlight, the Isalou, Inc. entry and 2012 Hanoverian gelding (Conthargos x Chacco Bella), added 87.5 to their first-round score to collect third and a total score of 180.5.

Crolick and Calisto have been partnered for a year and a half, he reported, and “held their own” in the first round over the Andy Christiansen track despite a tiny bobble. “He rode really smoothly in the first round. He did everything I asked him to do. He had a light rub in the first round, unfortunately, but still held his own in the score.”

Though he was hoping to navigate the handy round without executing an inside turn after the second jump, “a couple of other people did it, so that put the pressure on and I had to do it,” Crolick explained. “It worked out really well. He’s a wonderful and kind horse, and he does everything we ask him to do.”

When not dominating USHJA National Hunter Derbies, Calisto is ridden by Katherine Cotton, Crolick concluded. “Calisto is owned by Jon Cotton and his daughter, Katherine. He’s a wonderful horse. He’s a great horse for her, and he’s become a wonderful National Hunter Derby horse for me.”

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