It’s an Italian Job as Luca Leaps Puissance Wall at Olympia

Olympia, London 19 December 2013 – Italian rider Luca Moneta won the hearts of a packed house at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, when he cleared 7ft 2in in a thrilling Alltech Christmas Puissance.

Unbelievably, it was Luca’s first puissance win, but he is having a fantastic visit to London as he is currently H & M Leading Rider of Show.

The competition went to five rounds with only Guy Williams, on Richi Rich lll, and Luca on the gallant nine-year-old mare Quovo de Vains making it through to the final round.

Guy’s grey mare just brushed a brick with his knee, leaving Luca to take the gamble. He admitted afterwards that he had been apprehensive, but was encouraged by the audience. “The crowd here are real horsemen; they make you feel as if they are riding with you,” he said.

“I’m really emotional. The mare wasn’t just jumping with her body, but with her heart. What made me really happy is that she led me to the fence. She really wanted to do it.”

The evergreen John Whitaker, 58, who has won this epic class more times than any other rider, was cheered to the rafters for finishing third on Zantos. Laura Renwick was fourth on the appropriately named Roller Coaster.

The Duchess of Cornwall, again enjoying her annual visit to Olympia, presented the prestigious Raymond Brooks-Ward trophy, which is given in memory of the late commentator and show director by his three sons, Simon, James and Nick, to the most promising young rider of the year.

This year’s recipient was showjumper Louise Saywell, 23, a member of the Lottery-funded World Class Development squad, who was a last-minute call-up to the British team at the FEI Nations Cup final in Barcelona in September.

Olympia first-timer Jur Vrieling from the Netherlands made the most of his horse VDL Babalu’s fast pace to win the Kingsland Christmas Stakes, a speed class.

“I’d not seen [eventual runner-up] Pius Schwizer’s round, but I did see Harrie Smolders go,” said Jur. “My horse is not as good as making tight turns as Harrie’s, so I made the most of jumping off his good gallop.”

Jur, a team silver medallist at the London 2012 Olympic Games with VDL Bubalu, joked about how this city must be lucky for him.

“I hope I get to come back here again, particularly to this show,” he said. “When you arrive, everything looks beautiful. But when the crowd turns up it is something amazing. They stand right behind you and make you want to win.”

Anticipation of a first British winner is now running high at Olympia. The afternoon jumping class, the Snowman Stakes, sponsored by Shelley Ashman International, was won by Sweden’s Peder Fredericson on H & M Siborn, who beat Luca Moneta on Connery by nearly two seconds.
Audio Link
Luca Maria Moneta (ITA) –

Final Placings
For details of the final placings in the Alltech Christmas Puissance, please click:

Olympia, The London International Horse Show will be televised throughout the week on BBC Online, the BBC Red Button and Eurosport. Live coverage of the Longines FEI World Cup presented by H&M will be broadcast on BBC 1 between 13:45 and 16:30 on Saturday 21 December 2013.

For more information, please visit the website at

Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Throughout the week of 16 December, the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington, London will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts a total of over 80,000 visitors. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup Jumping, Dressage and Extreme Carriage Driving with family entertainment, such as The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art display and the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Olympia Horse Show celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007 and is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest equine competitions. Olympia Horse Show’s official charity for 2013 is veterinary charity, the Animal Health Trust, which works behind the scenes to monitor equine disease around the world and undertakes extensive on-going research to minimise the risk of injury to sport horses. The evening performance on Wednesday 18 December will be dedicated to the Animal Health Trust and 50p from every seat sold will go to the charity.

For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207

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