Category Archives: Competitions

Opening 2022 WEF Grand Prix Victory Goes to McLain Ward and Catoki

McLain Ward and Catoki © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 9, 2022 – Premiere week at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, January 9, with a highlight class of the week, the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix. McLain Ward (USA) and Catoki took the victory in the class.

The Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix had 32 entries that contested a course set by Eric Hasbrouck (USA). Eight were clear to advance to the jump-off. First to return for the jump-off were Thursday’s Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup winners, Hector Florentino (DOM) and ABC Quantum Cruise, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by OBOS Quality x Cruising owned by Wyndmont. They set the time to beat at 37.677 seconds with a clear round.

Robin Schwartz Celebrates a Championship Return to WEF

Robin Schwartz and her horse Back in the Game won all three classes on Sunday to conclude the Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Hunter Older (Section B) division with the championship ribbon. Sharing the winner’s circle was Nicole Harris and her horse Le Diplomate, who finished with the reserve championship honors. Schwartz, who trains with Devan Cottrell and Matt Piccolo at Arrow Hill Farms, and Harris, who trains with Jason Schnelle at Autumn Chase Farm, both hail from Tennessee.

This was Schwartz’s first time back showing at WEF in 19 years, and it has been an emotional return.

“It feels amazing to be back at WEF, and I am blessed to have such an awesome horse,” said Schwartz. “[The E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring] was always my favorite ring to show in.”

Schwartz’s daughter’s developing passion for horses got her back in the saddle.

Schwartz explained, “I knew if she liked it, then I’d have to get back into this, because I love all things about this.”

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

Women Dominate Again in $75,000 Battle of the Sexes at WEF

Abigail McArdle and Samuel Parot Jr. face off. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 8, 2022 – The first “Saturday Night Lights” event of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival kicked off on January 8 with the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center. The women’s team won for the 11th time in the 13-year history, and the class made its return after a hiatus in 2021.

The women’s team for Battle of the Sexes consisted of team captain Kelly Soleau-Millar, Hayley Iannotti, Taylor Land, Caelinn Leahy, Samantha Mackenzie, Mia Mannis, Abigail McArdle, Jacqueline Steffens, Anna Wilks, and Heather Caristo-Williams.

The men’s team, led by captain Charlie Jayne, also included David Blake, Christian Coyle, Daniel Coyle, Jordan Coyle, Luis Larrazabal, Simon McCarthy, Samuel Parot Jr., Michael Tokaruk, and Hardin Towell.

WEF First Timer Richard Vogel Makes His Debut a Winning One

The CaptiveOne Advisors Championship series kicked off on Saturday as well. Germany’s young talent, Richard Vogel, and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z sped to the win in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Championship Jumper Classic. In a field of 26 riders, Vogel was one of 12 who jumped clear over Eric Hasbrouck’s (USA) delicate first track.

In the jump-off, Vogel’s blistering pace could not be beat as he crossed the timers in 33.011 seconds. Right behind him was Vanessa Hood (USA) who finished the short course in 33.392 seconds with Take Two LLC’s Cascalretto. Grant Seger (USA), who won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m class earlier in the week, jumped to third place with Plot Z owned by Grey Fox Crossing in 33.707 seconds.

Not only are Vogel and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z making their WEF debut this year, it is also their first time ever competing in the United States. Vogel, who is based in Germany, is delighted by what he’s seen so far at WEF.

Hayley Hewitt Holds Top Spot in THIS National Children’s Medal 14 & Under

Saturday in the FarmVet Ring 7 began with 25 horse and rider pairs vying for a top spot in the THIS National Children’s Medal 14 & Under. The course required riders to be deliberate in setting their pace, finding their line, and sticking to a plan.

Less than half of the entries had scores 80 or above and of those, only five were called back to test with only three points separating the first from the fifth spot.

After a challenging work-off which included a halt mid-line, counter canter, and trot jump, Hayley Hewitt and Harper Phipps remained unchanged in their positions securing the first and second place finishes, respectively.

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

Laskano Takes Top Spot in $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2*

Jimmy Torano and Laskano © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 6, 2022 – Hunters were the highlight on Friday, January 7, 2022, at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), as Jimmy Torano and Isalou Inc.’s Laskano took the top spot in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby 2*.

After securing the second spot in round one with a score of 182 out of 26 entries, Jimmy Torano piloted Laskano around a twisty second round with bold and precise execution to finish top of the field with a second-round score of 211 and a total of 393.

McLain Ward Notches First 2022 WEF Win

Four-time Olympic medalist McLain Ward (USA) notched his first win of the 2022 WEF circuit on Friday in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Speed Challenge on Bonnie M Z over 44 other entries. The pair sped to victory in 60.780 seconds over the Eric Hasbrouck-designed course. Finishing just off the pace in second place were Laura Chapot (USA) and Out of Ireland, owned by Chapot and The Edge, who stopped the timers in 61.304 seconds. Catherine Tyree (USA) and Newton van het Krekelhof were third in 65.324 seconds.

Ward and Bonnie M Z showed on Wednesday and improved to a winning performance in Friday’s 1.40m class. Ward got the ride on Bonnie M Z two weeks ago through the Holtgers family of Gut Einhaus LLC. Ward has started a new partnership with them and will train Ansgar Holtgers Jr. Gut Einhaus entered into ownership of the horse in 2018, and he has been ridden by Olympic champions Eric Lamaze of Canada and Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED).

“They asked me to ride the horse and see what I thought he could be,” said Ward of the 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Bentley Van De Heffinck x Berlin. “He’s done up to three-star grand prix. The Holtgers have owned him for a few years, and now we’re getting started with him.”

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

Hector Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise Capture First Adequan WEF Challenge Cup

Hector Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 6, 2022 – The series of Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup classes began on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Olympian Hector Florentino (DOM) took the win in the $35,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Premiere Round with ABC Quantum Cruise, owned by Wyndmont.

In a 35-horse field, Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise were one of five that advanced to the jump-off over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck (USA). First into the jump-off were Jordan Coyle (IRL) and Centriko Volo, owned by Celtic Park LLC, who had a rail for four faults in 38.289 seconds for third place. The only other double clear round for second place came from Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) and Cornet’s Cambridge, owned by The Berry Group LLC. They finished the jump-off in 41.001 seconds. In the final spot in the jump-off, Florentino and ABC Quantum Cruise brought the winning time down to 40.495 seconds with a clear round.

For Always and Scott Stewart Rise to the Top in Green Hunter 3’9”

The Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9” division came to a stylish finish Thursday in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring.

With an almost perfect clean sweep, Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL rode Betsee Parker’s For Always to the championship title with four firsts (including a division high score of 92) and one second place ribbon.

Stewart was quite pleased with the eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Nick Skelton’s famous Olympic show jumper Arko, noting, “He felt great, jumped great, the courses rode nice, and he felt fresh again.”

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

Canadians Trek 37 Hours to Compete at Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit

Blair Woodley and Mister Wise Guy, Cody Parmenter Photography.

Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 30, 2021 – Circuit Awards were presented in several divisions on the fourth day of the highly anticipated Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit. With riders traveling from across North America to compete at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, the Woodley family from Sudbury, Ontario, Canada showed their dedication after traveling 37 hours for a chance at the ribbons. Blair, Judi, Justin, and Tanya drove with three horses in tow to the Florida State Fairgrounds, leaving temperatures of -21° Celsius at home, approximately -6° Fahrenheit, to enjoy a balmy 80° in Tampa, Florida.

“We were more than happy to leave the weather at home behind,” Judi said. “We love this show. The weather is beautiful and the organization, the facility, and the people make it worth the trip.”

“This is our second visit,” added Blair. “We came in 2018 but could not come again until this year because our borders were shut down due to COVID-19. We had to be double vaccinated just to hit the border this time. We’ll need to fill out more paperwork and get tested before we cross the borders to get back home, but it is worth it. We love to show our horses here.”

Unlike his parents, Justin is showing at the Gold Coast for the first time. He said, “It’s fantastic here, an excellent change from our cold weather up north. It’s nice to be able to come here and do what we love in such a beautiful environment and beautiful facility.”

Blair will compete in the Open Trail and Western Riding, while his wife Judi will participate in the Select Amateur Trail and Select Amateur Showmanship. Their son Justin will ride in Amateur Trail, Western Riding, and Horsemanship. Justin’s wife Tanya also made the 37-hour trek to cheer the Woodley family on and offer added support.

As a highlight to Thursday’s competition, Circuit Awards were presented to top competitors. Jayna Lagace, 16, of Higganum, Connecticut won the Level 3 14-18 Youth Trail on Huntin Hotty Tottys. She has been competing at the Gold Coast since she was three years old and believes this is her best year yet.

Trainer Jamie Dowdy of Marshfield, Missouri made her first appearance at the Gold Coast. She brought five horses and students with her to show, and so far, she has already earned Champion or Reserve in three different Circuit Award divisions, including champion in the L2 Junior Western Pleasure riding Bestseatnthesouth and the L1 Green Western Pleasure Reserve Champion with Southern Decadence.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Amateur Riders Make Time to Shine at Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit

Jeanie Presler and Lovies Lil Rey, Cody Parmenter Photography.

Tampa, Fla. – Dec. 29, 2021 – Unlike professional horsemen, amateur riders need to make a plan in order to take time away from their careers and attend the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit. Throughout the week they come to Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds to enjoy what matters the most to them, spending time with their families and riding their horses in one of the most prestigious Quarter Horse shows in the country.

Kaleena Weakly of Shelbyville, Illinois is a part-time graphic designer and a stay-at-home mom. Weakly has a lengthy and successful show record at the Gold Coast. She took a four-year break to care for matters at home, and now she and her family use the five-day event as a holiday vacation. Weakly won the Amateur Hunter Seat Equitation class with her horse Definitely a First, making the family vacation a memorable one.

Jeanie Presler of Nokomis, Florida is a Mixed-Animal General Practitioner. She returns to the Gold Coast after a 20-year hiatus due to a demanding school and career schedule. The VRH Amateur Ranch Horse divisions were new to Presler and her Reined Cow Horse Lovies Lil Rey. It worked out well as she and her eight-year-old birthday present finished on top in the VRH Amateur Ranch Horse Reining class.

Leah Roehl of Ruther Glen, Virginia is busy as a government worker and a mother of five children. It took a great deal of planning for Roehl to make it to the Gold Coast. The support she receives from her family and friends makes the herculean effort to compete all worthwhile. Roehl and her gelding AlDoWhatYouLove won the Senior Pleasure Driving and L1 Novice Amateur Working Hunter classes.

For additional information on the Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, please visit flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Schulze Topphoff Takes La Coruña by Storm

Philipp Schulze Topphoff and Concordess NRW. (FEI/Manuel Queimadelos)

On his World Cup debut, 23-year-old German Philipp Schulze Topphoff breezed to victory with a stunning performance from his 11-year-old mare Concordess NRW in La Coruña, Spain. This fifth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2021/2022 Western European League was no walk in the park, and only seven of the 39 horse-and-rider combinations found the key to the first-round track set by Tokyo 2020 Olympic course designer, Spain’s Santiago Varela.

But with all the confidence that goes with youth, and supported by his brilliant grey mare who was clearly unfazed by the task set for her, Schulze Topphoff produced a foot-perfect run when first to go in the opening round and didn’t flinch when pathfinder against the clock to set a target that couldn’t be bettered.

“This is definitely the biggest win I’ve ever had, and I don’t know what to say except I’m really, really happy!” said the young man who has now firmly put himself on the map.

Runner-up spot went to the French partnership of Gregory Cottard and Bibici, while Sweden’s Angelica Augustsson-Zanotelli lined up in third ahead of the Ireland’s Mikey Pender and HHS Calais in fourth place.

Curiosity

When the first horse goes clear in any competition, there is always a curiosity about whether the track will jump easily, but this was a perfect example of the opposite. Varela’s test demanded a lot of stride adjustments, and the last three fences on the 13-obstacle first-round course were the undoing of many.

There was little room for error of line on the tight left-hand turn off the side of the arena to the oxer at fence eleven, and many riders had to increase acceleration on the approach to make it work. Subsequently, the following vertical with a delicate white plank on top, jumped off a curving right-hand bend, often came up awkwardly, and if balance wasn’t quickly re-established then the final oxer was the heart-breaker as it hit the floor.

That plank proved the undoing of Schulze Topphoff’s compatriot and three-time Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion Marcus Ehning, whose lovely stallion, Stargold, clipped it in an otherwise perfect round. The Dutch partnership who came out on top at the last fixture at the Casas Novas Equestrian Centre in La Coruña two years ago, Maikel van der Vleuten and Beauville Z, who together clinched individual bronze in Tokyo this summer, looked well on the way to a place in the jump-off until coming adrift over those final two fences.

Just two riders picked up a single time fault in an otherwise faultless round, and the first of these was Belgium’s Ludo Philippaerts who retired back in 2014 but, now back at the top end of the sport, looked set to make a dramatic statement of intent with his 10-year-old grey, Laurier, until over-running the 74 seconds time-allowed. His twin sons, Olivier and Nicola, and his nephew Pieter Clemens were also in action, but the only Belgian contender to make the cut into the second-round decider was Jos Verlooy who eventually finished fifth.

Threw it down

First against the clock, Schulze Topphoff really threw it down to the rest of them when turning tight inside the final fence on the new course en route to the second fence. He said afterwards that he “lost a bit of time” after the following double, but when he scorched through the finish in 37.69 seconds, it certainly looked a tough time to beat.

The Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Dante NOP lowered the second element of the double when next to go, but Augustsson-Zanotelli and the 11-year-old mare Kalinka van de Nachtegaele left all the poles in place to slot temporarily into second spot in 38.39 seconds.

Cottard then set sail, and despite taking the longer route to the second fence by going around the final oxer, came close to taking over the lead when breaking the beam in 37.78 seconds and moved into runner-up position.

Ireland’s Mikey Pender is always fast, and even though the 10-year-old HHS Calais is a tall, leggy horse, he still managed to produce the quickest time, galloping through the timers in 36.08 seconds, but carrying four faults when hitting the third-last. With just two left to go, Brazil’s Eduardo Pereira de Menezes was also quick, stopping the clock on 36.92 seconds but dislodging a pole at the second fence along the way.

However, for last man in, Jos Verlooy, it was even more frustrating when, well up on the clock coming to the last, that fell for four faults which saw him having to settle for that fifth place.

Nervous

Winner, Schulze Topphoff, said that he was more nervous watching the rest trying to beat him than riding his own jump-off round. Talking about Concordess NRW who carried him to individual gold and team bronze at the 2019 FEI European Young Riders Championship, he described her as “a bit of a diva!

“She always has her own ideas – sometimes she works with me but sometimes I have to go her way, but she’s always really fighting for me; she has a really powerful character!” said the rider who is based on his family’s small farm near Münster in Germany. The pair has been together a long time. “She is owned by my mother, and we have her since she was four years old and she went to her first shows with us. We trust each other. I choose a way to go and she knows I won’t ever ask her to do the impossible. We’ve had a lot of offers to buy her, but we are quite happy to keep her for ourselves; she is just great!” he added.

After a very successful week with a lot of top placings with his talented string of horses at La Coruña, the winner is now hoping to get the chance to collect some more points towards qualification for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2022 Final next April. For now, however, he and his horses are taking a Christmas break. “We won’t be in London (GBR) but I’m hoping to get the chance to go to Basel (SUI) and Amsterdam (NED) in January – we will see,” he said.

Result here

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Martin Fuchs Wins Rolex Grand Prix, Becomes New Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

The world watched on in anticipation, as the final Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of 2021 – the Rolex Grand Prix – played out at CHI Geneva in Switzerland, with 16 out of the world’s current top 20-ranked riders each staking their claim for a distinguished place in equestrian history. The culmination of four days of the highest level of show jumping, the Rolex Grand Prix would be decided over one round and a jump-off, should more than one rider go clear.

Representing 15 nations, the international field of 40 horse and rider combinations included the esteemed winners of the year’s previous three Majors: Max Kühner from Austria (winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters); Swiss Steve Guerdat (winner of the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’); and Daniel Deusser from Germany (winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen). As Live Contender, Deusser would settle for nothing less than victory in order to keep his Rolex Grand Slam journey alive, while Kühner and Guerdat would be looking to trigger the ‘two out of four’ bonus, which they were both in contention for.

As well as Deusser and Guerdat, Rolex was represented in CHI Geneva’s headline class by a further six of the world’s very best equestrian athletes, including Harry Charles (GBR), Bertram Allen (IRL), Martin Fuchs (SUI), Kent Farrington (USA), Kevin Staut (FRA), Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping champion, Scott Brash (GBR), and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA).

After a little over an hour, none of the first 23 partnerships to tackle the 14-obstacle, 18-effort test were able to go clear, with the majority struggling to master the course’s tricky combinations, particularly the oxer at 13a. However, that was soon to change when Ireland’s Darragh Kenny produced a faultless round, much to the delight of the well-informed crowd. Kenny’s clear was immediately emulated by local rider, Swiss hero Martin Fuchs, who cleared the final vertical to rapturous applause. Co-designed by Swiss Gérard Lachat and Louis Konickx from The Netherlands, the course then claimed the scalps of a trio of top-level riders, including Deusser, Guerdat, and reigning Olympic Individual champion, Ben Maher. The opening day’s winner of the Trophée de Genève, American Kent Farrington, was once again on top form, immaculately negotiating the course with his 15-year-old mare, Gazelle, and booking his place in the jump-off. After another handful of combinations were unable to go clear, it was Kühner and his brilliant 10-year-old gelding, Elektric Blue P, who made no mistake, ensuring they were still in the running for the non-consecutive ‘two out of four’ bonus. Representation in the jump-off from the United States was soon doubled when Laura Kraut and Baloutinue crossed the finish line without a fault. Shortly afterwards, Harrie Smolders became the final rider to go clear, and in doing so setting up a scintillating six-horse jump-off.

First to go in the jump-off, Kenny became the first rider to record a double clear. Next up, Fuchs and his nine-year-old Leone Jei made it two out of two, comfortably beating Kenny into second place by nearly two seconds in a time of 41.54 seconds. Farrington looked as though he would make it three out of three; however, after a typically blistering round, he was denied the honour after putting down the final Rolex vertical. Despite going double clear, Kühner was unable to knock Fuchs off top spot after the Austrian finished 0.68 seconds off the pace. With Kraut putting two fences down, Fuchs’ destiny would lie in the hands of last to go, 41-year-old Smolders; however, the Dutchman fell agonisingly short, eventually finishing in second place, just 0.23 seconds off the time of 2021 Rolex Grand Prix champion and the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender, Martin Fuchs.

On his special and hugely talented nine-year-old gelding, Fuchs commented: “Leone Jei is very unique in the qualities that he has. The way that he jumps – he does it so lightly and effortlessly, which is impressive to see in a nine-year-old horse. He is very good in his head, he is so motivated, and he always wants to do his best, so I really appreciate having a horse like that in my stable and being able to look forward to the future together.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Ben Maher Wins 20th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

Ten of the world’s very best show jumping athletes battled it out in the headline class on day two of CHI Geneva 2021, with each partnership vying to be crowned Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final champion in the 20th edition of this epic encounter. Contested over two rounds, the Gérard Lachat- and Louis Konickx-designed course would be the ultimate test of horsemanship, requiring a perfect balance of speed, precision, and harmony between horse and rider.

First to go, Frenchman Kevin Staut and his 14-year-old mare, Tolede de Mescam Harcour, were unlucky to put one fence down. Next up, current world number eight Jérôme Guery and his stallion, Quel Homme de Hus, crossed the finish line fault-free, much to the delight of the Belgian. Great Britain’s Ben Maher and his superstar gelding Explosion W followed Guery’s lead, making no mistake around the 12-obstacle test. Then followed a procession of five riders, Henrik von Eckermann, Steve Guerdat, Scott Brash, Kent Farrington, and Martin Fuchs, who were all unable to record a clear round. The last two riders out of the 10 starters – Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Swede Peder Fredricson – showed their class, breezing the course with ease, each without a fault.

A slightly shortened second round, made up of nine obstacles, awaited the evening’s competitors. As well as the half-time break giving the volunteers an opportunity to modify the course, the Geneva Arena’s spectators were treated to some sad but celebratory words from legendary Canadian rider, Eric Lamaze, as his adored 18-year-old mare Fine Lady 5 was retired. Lamaze and Fine Lady won the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in 2016, so the setting for a final goodbye was very fitting.

First to go in round two, home favourite Martin Fuchs picked up another fault, while compatriot Steve Guerdat and partner Victorio Des Frotards were also unable to record a clear round. Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping champion, Scott Brash, made amends for his first round penalty and time fault, going clear, but accumulating a total of five penalties. 2017’s Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final champion, Kevin Staut and his stunning grey received a huge cheer from a delighted crowd after they went clear. Current world number one Peder Fredricson wasn’t to be so fortunate, picking up a second fault to finish on eight penalties. A stunning and assured round by Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward was enough to knock Staut off top spot. Uncharacteristically, Deusser’s mount Killer Queen VDM refused the second fence putting him out of contention. The penultimate pair to go, reigning Individual Olympic champion Ben Maher and Explosion W went brilliantly clear, beating von Eckermann into second place by nearly two seconds. All eyes were then on Jérôme Guery to cause a late upset; however, a fence down and a slower time saw him slot into third, meaning Maher would be crowned 2021’s Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final champion, rounding off a truly memorable year.

On the part that his team played in his victory, Maher commented: “My team plays a huge part. My owners are here to watch this evening, and without them I wouldn’t be able to be riding Explosion W over the last few years. My groom Cormac has been with me since he was 16 years old, so he’s grown up together with me, and it’s very special for me to see him take big moments like this, and it wouldn’t be possible without him.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Kent Farrington Wins the Trophée de Genève

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

Forty-nine starters representing 16 nations – including nine of the world’s current top 10-ranked riders – contested the headline class, Trophée de Genève, on the opening day of the 60th edition of CHI Geneva. With the Palexpo’s iconic Geneva Arena filled with excited and expectant fans, many starved of witnessing top level international show jumping, the world’s very best show jumpers and their equine partners braced themselves for course designer Gérard Lachat’s 13-obstacle, 16-effort 1m60 test.

Eighth to go, 56-year-old French veteran rider, Roger-Yves Bost, demonstrated his experience, recording the class’s first clear round with his stallion, Cassius Clay VDV Z. Team gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Games, Bost was soon to be joined by compatriot Edward Levy, who went clear with his mare, Rebeca LS. At the halfway stage, the two Frenchmen were joined in an exclusive group progressing to the jump-off comprising Kent Farrington and his long-time partner, Creedance, and two future next generation riders: 22-year-old Swiss Edouard Schmitz and his 12-year-old gelding, Quno, and 24-year-old Greek, Ioli Mytilineou with her talented 10-year-old gelding, L’Artiste de Toxandra, who she refers to as her ‘big friendly giant’.

After the break, Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender and world number two, Daniel Deusser, partnered by Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z, went effortlessly clear, with a stellar list of riders joining him in what was shaping up to be a scintillating 14-strong jump-off. They included current world number one, Peder Fredricson (H&M Christian K), Austrian Rolex Grand Slam Major winner, Max Kühner (Elektric Blue P), local hero Martin Fuchs (Conner Jei), Germany’s Christian Kukuk (Checker 47), Jérôme Guery from Belgium (Quel Homme de Hus), home favourite Bryan Balsiger (Dubai du Bois Pinchet), and Nicolas Delmotte (Ilex v.) from France.

Into the jump-off and it was Farrington who proved too strong for the other 13 riders, clearly demonstrating how much he loves competing at CHI Geneva. With half of the field going double clear, Farrington and his gelding, Creedance – who possesses a superior mix of speed and accuracy – held on and had enough to beat Fredricson into second place by 0.47 seconds. Deusser slotted into third.

Thrilled with his win, Farrington commented: “It’s great to be back at CHI Geneva. It’s tough times in the world still, so I’m very happy the organisers are able to put on this great event. It feels amazing to be competing with these guys, the best riders and horses in the world. We’ll use Gazelle in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday. She’s feeling good, and the plan is to jump her in a small round tomorrow and then go from there.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam