Harold Chopping and Catchphrase Collect $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Win

Harold Chopping and Catchphrase ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 9, 2021 – Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) hosted its second $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby of the season during the Tryon Summer 4/Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity II Horse Show, with top honors earned by Harold Chopping (CAN) and Catchphrase, who combined for a two-round total score of 384. Havens Schatt (USA) and Cascartini, the Holsteiner gelding owned by Ken and Amy Wexler LLC, were named to reserve after their two-round score of 378. Finishing on a score of 374, Dorothy Douglas (USA) and MTM Lolah LOL, the 2013 Westphalian mare (Los Angeles x Palma) owned by Abigail Davenport, took home third-place honors.

Chopping and the 2010 Zangersheide gelding (Marome NW x Prelude) owned by Barbara Scott were leading on a score of 181 after the classic round, and navigated the Andres Christiansen (USA) course design with a past loss in mind to maintain their lead, Chopping revealed.

“Years ago, I remember I was leading by quite a bit going into the handy round on a horse that I really trusted – he was really a winner – and I was a bit conservative and I ended up second. I cannot forget riding around in the ring that night because it drives me crazy that I didn’t just walk in there and try and win both rounds,” he explained. “So, my strategy this time was to just be aggressive and try and put in a good score.”

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

Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5 Victorious in $25k Tryon Resort Sunday Classic

Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5 ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 5, 2021 – Abigail McArdle (Wellington, FL) and Victorio 5 conquered the competition in the $25,000 Tryon Resort Sunday Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to conclude Tryon Summer 3 competition. Kady Abrahamson (Loveland, OH) and Vancouver, the 2009 Westphalian gelding (Valentino x Cocco) owned by Abrahamson Equestrian LLC, collected second-place honors with a time of 40.78 seconds. Rounding off the podium and earning third place was Hector Florentino (Rutherfordton, NC) aboard D’artagnan, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Mr. Blue x Tamellie) owned by Santiago Lambre, with a jump-off time of 41.05 seconds and one rail to the floor.

McArdle stopped the jump-off timers after a mere 39.846 seconds to take the win on Victorio 5, the 2006 Hanoverian stallion (Uccello x Graefin) owned by Victorio Equine Group LLC. Fourteen riders tackled the first round alongside McArdle and Victorio 5, but the pair topped a three-horse second round. After her win, McArdle shared that her connection with Victorio 5 has developed to cultivate a winning strategy. “He [Victorio 5] has been my mount for almost three years now. I know him very well and we’ve had a lot of Grand Prix wins together,” she explained. “I don’t want to say it was an easy class, but I know him well that I just went in, rode my plan, and came out with success!”

McArdle and Victorio 5’s long-standing partnership led to a jump-off performance that was more than a second faster than the previous leader. With a tight cohort of competitors challenging the jump-off test. “For the jump-off, I had to go all-out, because I didn’t know what was going to win it,” she admitted. “I did all of the inside turns, and it turned out great!”

McArdle and her mount will continue to compete at TIEC for the next two weeks. She hopes to have the same good fortune in the weeks to come, and plans to enter the $137,000 Night in the Country Grand Prix CSI 3* during Tryon Summer 4. “We love Tryon!” she concluded. “All of our clients and horses love showing here. It’s a great place to be with lots of space to ride, and the stables are excellent.”

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

Rolex Grand Slam Riders Watch

Ben Maher riding Explosion W (Photo: Rolex / Kit Houghton)

As the countdown to the next Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major continues, with the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ taking place from 8-12 September 2021, there is no shortage of Rolex Grands Prix action to whet fans’ appetites in the build-up.

For three weeks from 23 June will be the Rolex-supported Knokke Hippique, featuring horses and riders at all levels, from the future stars in the Young Horse competitions, to world-class international jumping, with the CSI3* Top Series Grand Prix taking place on the Sunday of each week. The Rolex Grand Prix took place on Sunday June 27th and was brilliantly won by Jérôme Guery aboard Quel Homme de Hus.

From 1-4 July, attention turned to CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show, taking place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle. Reigning champion of the Rolex Grand Prix, Henrik von Eckermann (SWE), returned to the famous Castle Arena to defend his title; however, he faced stiff competition from Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Kent Farrington (USA), also former winners of the prestigious competition. The Rolex Grand Prix was eventually won by Briton Ben Maher and his exceptional gelding Explosion W, with Guerdat finishing a brilliant second with his gelding Venard de Cerisy, and Martin Fuchs (SUI) aboard Clooney 51 and Harry Charles (GBR) with Borsato finishing in third and sixth places, respectively.

Show jumping returns to Chantilly Racecourse from 8-11 July for the Masters of Chantilly, the highlight of which will be the Rolex Grand Prix on the final day. This ground-breaking new event – which sees Rolex join as Title Sponsor and Official Timekeeper – will take place in front of the Château de Chantilly and its Great Stables, and is set to be a spectacular four days of competition.

For four days from 30 July, the Val-Porée Equestrian Center will host Jumping International Dinard CSI5*, which culminates with the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday 2 August. Located a stone’s throw from the sea and recognised for requiring precision and technicality, Jumping International Dinard is a popular show on the international show jumping circuit and is once again set to host the world’s best horses and riders as they vie to take the Rolex Grand Prix Ville de Dinard title.

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

British Show Jumpers Dazzle Delighted Crowds on Final Day of Royal Windsor Horse Show

2021’s edition of the Royal Windsor Horse Show closed in spectacular style, with champions crowned across the disciplines of Show Jumping, Driving, and Showing. Once again, the enthusiastic and informed spectators were treated to the very best displays of world-class equestrian talent by both horse and rider.

Opening the final day of the Show was the Under 25 Jumping, featuring Britain’s up-and-coming Show Jumping stars. The title went to Lily Freeman-Attwood riding Cor-Leon VD Vlierbleek Z, who jumped a double clear, posting an impressive time of 32.64 in the jump-off. Flo Norris, with her striking grey Gin Chin Van Het Lindenhof, formerly ridden at 5* level by the likes of Bertram Allen and Geir Gulliksen, was a close second with Oliver Fletcher coming home in third.

It went to the wire on the final day of the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games. With only a few points separating two of the five teams, England was just ahead on 88 points, and Wales closely followed on 83. With it all to play for, the Games began! It was fast and furious with seven disciplines to master, but it was the persistence and precision of the Welsh team that paid off. They took the glory and the win, with 141 points to England’s 138, and the Three Nations finishing third on 106 points. The Welsh team comprised Sam Hopkins, Megan Hopkins, Charlie Gallagher, Poppy Latham Hill, Sophie Locking, and Rose Connor Jones. Team Wales managed to keep their ponies’ heads cool, and they certainly look like ones to watch.

The ever-dominant Australian Boyd Exell claimed his 11th Royal Windsor title after a near flawless display in the Obstacle phase of the Driving competition. Scott Brash trounced the rest of the field in the CSI5* Manama Rose Show Stakes, while it was home favourite, Ben Maher and his exquisite chestnut gelding, Explosion W, who took the honours in the pinnacle Show Jumping class, the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix – much to the delight of the iconic Castle Arena’s vocal crowd. The Show finished on a jubilant high for Her Majesty The Queen, whose home-bred, Fools Illusion, finished a very respectable second in the Small Riding Horse class.

Scott Brash, recently announced as part of the British team heading to the Tokyo Olympic Games, landed the spoils in the CSI5* Manama Rose Show Stakes with his 12-year-old bay gelding Hello Shelby. Both horse and rider looked calm and collected in what was an incredibly neat and nippy round. The 1.50m class was one round against the clock and had a total of 17 riders taking on the 12-jump test. The course looked tight, with sharp turns required between fences two – an oxer – into three – an upright – with a similar set-up between six and seven, requiring both precision and agility from horse and rider.

John Whitaker was first to go, going clear and setting a comfortable time of 61.54. Scott Brash, next to go, wiped six seconds off Whitaker’s time, making him the one to beat. Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca recorded a time of 58.98, with America’s Lillie Keenan – fresh from her win in Friday’s CSI5* Manama Speed Stakes – one hundredth of a second slower with 58.99. In the end, however, Brash and Hello Shelby’s scorching time was unbeatable.

Speaking after his victory, Brash was full of praise for his horse: “I just tried to keep it as neat and tidy as I could. Hello Shelby is naturally a very fast horse; he is very experienced and used his strength keeping it tight, and he jumped great.”

The pinnacle Show Jumping event of Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Rolex Grand Prix, took centre stage in the Castle Arena for the final session of the 2021 Show and did not disappoint the jubilant crowd. A top-class field of 29 contested the 1.60m course, designed by international course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral. The field included five of the top six ranked riders in the world. With 10 combinations going through to the jump-off, pressure was on from the start.

First to go, Britain’s Harry Charles – travelling reserve for the Tokyo Olympic Games next month – set the standard, jumping clear in 38.21 seconds. However, with some of the best riders in the world to follow, Charles had a nervous wait as the remaining nine riders took on the challenging shortened course. Reigning RWHS Rolex Grand Prix champion, Henrik von Eckermann, as fifth to go, put in an impressive effort aboard the aptly named King Edward to take over pole position, although his lead was short lived. He was followed into the Arena by the current European Champion and World No. 3, Martin Fuchs, riding the phenomenal grey gelding Clooney 51, who made up speed across the ground, jumping clear in 36.87 and topping the leaderboard.

Next up was Britain’s Ben Maher with his Tokyo Olympic mount Explosion W. The 12-year-old chestnut gelding put in an exceptional performance, demonstrating his scope and athleticism, and posting a remarkable time of 35.16 – over a second faster than Fuchs. Swiss World No. 2, Steve Guerdat, put in a worthy challenge but his effort aboard Venard de Cerisy was only good enough for second place.

Maher, the current World No. 4, said: “I’ve said it before, but Explosion is just incredible; he helped me out a bit today, but he jumps better faster and he was fantastic. Royal Windsor is such a special show; it hasn’t been my luckiest show in the past, so it’s nice to finally win here in front of my owners and in front of a British crowd, and in the Queen’s back garden. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Five-time world champion, Boyd Exell produced a near perfect Obstacle Driving masterclass on the final day of Royal Windsor Horse Show, finishing with 131.03 points. Accruing just one time penalty, the Australian beat the Dutch contingent of Koos De Ronde (136.74 points) and IJsbrand Chardon (138.58 points) into overall second and third places, respectively. After former Royal Windsor champion and Friday’s Dressage winner IJsbrand had an Obstacle Driving phase to forget – knocking down one ball and exceeding the time limit – De Ronde leapfrogged his compatriot into second place in the overall standings, where he stayed after a flawless double clear, the only one of the final phase, a test of the driver’s competence and the horses’ obedience.

On his 11th title victory at Royal Windsor Horse Show, Exell commented: “I lived in the UK for 25 years, so it’s like driving at home. But that also brings pressure, the same as when we drive at Olympia. We’ve got a really good team of people, and really good horses. We just keep our focus over the course of the weekend, through ups and downs, and do our best for the sport. It was so nice to see everybody yesterday on the cross-country, not quite as many as other years, but that’s understandable. The good thing is that the sport carries on, and we keep fighting on for our passion and our horses. My left leader, Zac did his first cones course competition at an international, and I’m delighted that he did a really good job for me in there. Taking a young horse around an international course isn’t ideal, but it was really worthwhile for his experience.”

This year’s Showing classes concluded in fine style, and among the last finales to the 2021 Show was the Riding Horse Championship sponsored by Mr & Mrs Phil Swallow, decided against a backdrop of an appreciative crowd.

Katie Jerram-Hunnable was able to give Her Majesty The Queen further cause for celebration when her home-bred Small Riding Horse, Fools Illusion, stood a close second in a very strong class, pipped only by the eventual champions, Jayne Ross and Casino 111.

Illusion, now five, is a son of Her Majesty’s former Riding Horse winner here, Stardust – who was also ridden by Katie during her Showing career – and in only a few outings this year, has already gained his ticket to Horse of the Year Show.

The ever-popular Working Hunter Pony section saw some memorable performances, none more so than the flying 143cm class winner Charleville Farah, beautifully ridden by a delighted Bea Wheeler.

Team Walker struck yet again in Show Hunter Pony ranks when Zara Brookes piloted the consistent 153cm campaigner Parkgate Royal Visit William to the very top spot.

For full results from Royal Windsor Horse Show, CLICK HERE.

To find out more, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Kati Dagge to Campaign Zen Elite Equestrian Center’s New Grand Prix Import

Kati Dagge riding Sai Baba Plus. (Joanna Jodko Photography)

Southwest Ranches, FL (July 2,2021) — Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Kati Dagge is excited about the talented new horse she will be campaigning as part of her association with an idyllic equestrian center. The USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medalist scored the ride on Sai Baba Plus (Sir Donnerhall – Daylight, De Niro), a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, also known as “Rolex,” owned by Heidi Humphries. Humphries owns Zen Elite Equestrian Center in Southwest Ranches near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where Dagge is the head dressage trainer.

“She’s really good with the horses,” Humphries said of the 2014 Young Adult Brentina Cup Champion. “She’s really gentle with them and I like her style of riding. Every horse she gets on seems to respond to her. She’s more than a trainer; she truly cares about every horse.”

Dagge and Rolex are just getting acquainted, so the “Rollout for Rolex” is yet to be determined, but Humphries thinks their competition debut in the Large Tour in the Florida isn’t too far off. “They’re just getting to know each other, but they’re already clicking very well,” she said.

Endel Ots, who will be collaborating with Dagge as her coach on Rolex’s training, found the talented Grand Prix horse for Humphries with Kati in mind. Rolex was competing internationally in Europe and Humphries thought he was the perfect horse for Dagge to ride and represent the Zen Elite Equestrian Center.  Earlier in the year, Humphries purchased the young KWPN approved stallion King’s Pleasure (Dark Pleasure x Johnson) for Ots to develop through the levels. “Endel has an amazing eye for selecting horses. He found King’s Pleasure and now Sai Baba Plus. I am thrilled with both these horses,” Humphries shared. Dagge and Ots have known each other for about 10 years, and he has coached her on other horses she has brought up through the levels.  “Kati is young, ambitious, and a very talented rider. I am thrilled to have her as lead dressage trainer at Zen Elite. I am so excited to watch Kati and Rolex in the show arena. I truly believe this dynamic duo will be a winning team,” added Humphries.

Dagge, who grew up in a horse-loving family, knows she hit the horse jackpot with Rolex.  “I’m super thankful to Heidi for the opportunity to ride such an amazing horse and for the trust she has in me to be the one to represent the farm,” she said. “She’s got an incredible vision for what she’s doing there. I really think we’re going to have one of the top facilities.” From a huge covered arena to dry and wet treadmills to cold water therapy and an air-conditioned barn, Humphries has thought of everything to make the equestrian center first rate. “She’s an avid horse and animal lover with an amazing vision for the sport,” Dagge continued. “I’m so thankful that I’m part of it.”

Humphries’ goal when creating the facility was to develop a world-class sport horse center with the feel of a spa featuring amazing trainers and fantastic horses. She noted there are several first-class facilities in Wellington and Ocala, but there are horse enthusiasts, ambitious riders, and their equine partners in Dade and Broward county as well.  “Why should they have to drive an hour or two to Palm Beach when they can have it here in Broward County?” she said. “We want our boarders to think of Zen as their home away from home or a vacation close to home, a place where they can shoot for the stars with their amazing horses and learn from top-quality trainers at a state-of-the-art facility.” With a 20,000 sq. ft. insulated covered arena, two huge outdoor arenas, and a full rehab/spa/gym for equines and humans, Zen Elite Equestrian Center is poised to be the premier boarding and training center in the area.

For more information, email zenelite6200@gmail.com or find Zen Elite Equestrian Center on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zenelite6200 on in Instagram @zeneliteequestriancenter.

Kayla Savard and Bogota Nantuel Win $73k Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club Grand Prix CSI 2*

Kayla Savard and Bogota Nantuel ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 3, 2021 – In their first class under the lights and on the eve of America’s Independence Day holiday, Kayla Savard (USA) and Bogota Nantuel broke a tie by nearly three seconds to win the $73,000 Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club Grand Prix CSI 2* at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC), with a time of 36.653 seconds. The second-place tie was captured by two riders with a jump-off time of 39.02 seconds: Richie Moloney (IRL) and Coco Beach, a 2012 Holsteiner mare (Casall x Miss Marpel) owned by Equinimity LLC, and Victoria Heurtematte (PAN) and her own Flying Dutchman, the 2010 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Quasimodo Van De Molendreef x Burggraff).

Forty-one horse and rider combinations challenged the course designed by Andy Christiansen (ECU), with 13 pairs returning for the second round jump-off. Savard and her 2011 Selle Francais mare (Dollar Dela Pierre x Carnute) conquered the shortened course, going in with a third place standing and jumping to a first place win.

Savard praised her rookie mare for her efforts during the evening, sharing, “This is her first FEI class, and both of our first class under the lights! She’s awesome. She’s naturally so fast, so that’s how I was able to be so much faster. She just lands and goes!”

Despite being new to competing under the lights, the pair managed to pull out a win in the jump-off, finishing far ahead of the second place winners. The pair sped around the jumps starting from the second they walked into the ring. “My coach, Alberto Michan, gave me instructions to go from [jump] one to two as quickly as I could, so I did that, then the rest I just went tidy,” Savard shared. “I think jump one to two was the spot to win that people were missing.”

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

Her Majesty The Queen Triumphant on Day Three of Royal Windsor Horse Show

The action on day three of Royal Windsor Horse Show came thick and fast, opening with the Land Rover Services Team Jumping in the Castle Arena. Traditionally split into Military Working Horses and Non-Military Riding Horses, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery D, with a team made up of SSgt Shaun Kershaw, LBdr Tara Kelly, and Sgt Hiliary Oldfield, took the Challenge Cup for the former. In the latter, Army Blenheim, comprising Capt Mary Pearson, Lt Fiona Denton, and Capt Zoe Andrew, claimed The Queen’s Plate. Both teams and the individual winner, FAC Amy Pritchard from Royal Air Force 1, had the honour of receiving their prizes from Her Majesty The Queen.

Her Majesty The Queen also presented the award for The Household Cavalry Best Turned Out Trooper supported by RBO Gold, with Trooper Gemma Dickinson from the Blues and Royals Squadron receiving The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup.

Over in the Frogmore Arena, the Inter Schools Show Jumping Competition supported by Martin Collins Enterprises was won by Hurstpierpoint College. Overjoyed with the win, team member Harry Wilkins said: “The competition was a lot of fun, and in the end it felt quite easy! It’s my first time competing at Royal Windsor Horse Show – the atmosphere and the experience has been amazing, and I love competing near the Castle. My favourite memory from today was winning the Inter Schools with my teammates, Harry Wilkins, Antonia Wade, and Scarlett Chatterton-Sim, and also watching the 5* show jumping.”

Holly Smith’s striking chestnut gelding Fruselli made it two from two taking the CSI5* Falcon Stakes in style, on the back of an impressive win in the Pearl Stakes. The 1.50m class was run over two rounds, with the top 10 riders from round one going through to a jump-off against the clock. As second to go in the jump-off, Jack Whitaker set the standard, jumping clear in a time of 38.99 seconds; however, it was Jessica Springsteen who was the first to pull out all the stops to take the lead in an impressive 36.09 seconds.

Springsteen’s lead was short-lived as following her into the famous Castle Arena was Britain’s Holly Smith – full of confidence following her Olympic selection – who shaved off valuable seconds, leaving out strides in the distances and making the tightest of turns to come home in an unbeatable time of 34.10. Israel’s Daniel Bluman put in a great effort to finish second aboard the 11-year-old gelding Colestina H, just 0.02 seconds faster than Springsteen in eventual third.

Speaking after her victory, Smith was full of praise for her horse: “Fruselli is very willing, very genuine and very forward going – he’s just a great type of guy. Once I’d done [jumps] one to two in seven strides instead of eight, I knew I was going to be able to keep galloping at the fences and keep turning and he’d be fine.” Holly continued, “It’s great to be back here at Windsor; you can tell everyone is so pleased to be here and really enjoying it; it’s such a great atmosphere.”

A top-class field contested the day’s feature class, The Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup. Six combinations went through to the jump-off, with World No. 5 Kent Farrington first to go to set the target. Riding the brilliant chestnut gelding Creedance, Farrington posted a fantastic round, making all the moves to finish in a time of 34.72. Ireland’s Daniel Coyle followed, also riding a superb round, but his time was no match to that set by Farrington. Several riders incurred penalties trying to catch the time required, including two of Britain’s upcoming Olympic team members, Ben Maher and Harry Charles. With just Laura Kraut left to go, the title was guaranteed to go to America; however, despite her best efforts, she posted a time of 37.83, finishing in third place, behind Daniel Coyle in second.

Following his win, Farrington said: “I’m thrilled with Creedance; he’s one of my favourite horses – so much blood; he’s naturally fast, he’s a real winner, and he has been his whole career. It’s one of my favourite shows so I’m happy to win here today.”

Looking ahead to the Rolex Grand Prix, Farrington continued: “It’s a world class field; tomorrow’s going to be the same; it’s always a great competition here and you’ve got the best of the best. It’s big money, with the best riders, with their best horses; it’s going to be tough competition and I think the course builder will set the course accordingly, so I think it’s going to be difficult and big and fast and not so easy to win.”

All is to play for going into the final day of Royal Windsor Horse Show following the Marathon phase of the CAIO4* Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix. Five-time Four-in-Hand Driving World Champion, the ever-consistent Boyd Exell, finished in second place, matching his result in the Dressage phase, meaning the Australian becomes the overall leader with 130.68 points. Dressage winner Dutchman Ijsbrand Chardon had a disappointing Marathon phase, finishing fifth, and drops one position on the overall leader board (133.21 points), slotting into second place behind Exell. Chardon’s fellow countryman, Koos de Ronde, triumphed and moves from fifth place overall to third, meaning he’s still in with a slim chance of being crowned champion. However, it looks as though Exell and Chardon will be battling it out for supremacy, with the 10-time Royal Windsor Horse Show title-holder knowing he can’t afford to knock down any balls if he is to guarantee an extraordinary 11th title.

Her Majesty The Queen had a great start to the third day of the Show when her home-bred former racehorse, First Receiver – a bay gelding by New Approach, and out of Her Majesty’s dam Touchline – headed a hotly contested Retraining of Racehorses class in her own back garden. The four-year-old, formerly trained by Sir Michael Stoute and now produced by the Jerram-Hunnable team, won four times – netting almost £20,000 – in his two-season Flat career, running his final race in June last year under Frankie Dettori, when finishing second to Russian Emperor at Royal Ascot. Here, he was beautifully shown in-hand by Chris Hunnable who, with wife Katie, is producing him in preparation for a new career in the showring, following in the footsteps of the great Barbers Shop, a former Royal Windsor ridden Supreme.

India Till claimed the prestigious Novice Show Pony title with her new ride, the delightful four-year-old Rotherwood Fancy That. This victory went some way to making up for the sudden recent loss of her reigning Horse of the Year Show and previous Royal Windsor Champion Show Pony, Drakemyre Puttin On The Ritz.

The Open equivalent fell to an overjoyed stand-in jockey and an equally overcome breeder. Lisha Leeman’s aptly named 128cm Kellythorpes Tiny Dancer glided to the top spot and the coveted trophy, partnered by 11-year-old Macie Donaldson, who was deputising for England team junior show jumper Cate Kerr. Although the Leeman family has had many wins at this Show, this was their first with a home-bred pony.

For full results from Royal Windsor Horse Show, CLICK HERE.

To find out more, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Dutch Do Themselves Proud in Rotterdam

Maikel van der Vleuten and Beauville Z. (FEI/Leanjo de Koster)

In the presence of the former Queen of the Netherlands, Princess Beatrix, Rob Ehrens’ Dutch team did themselves proud when coming out on top in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ in Rotterdam (NED).

There was a super-sharp edge to this fourth and last leg of the 2021 series as the 10 teams took on the 12-fence track set by Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games course designer Santiago Varela. Just three days ahead of the Olympic Definite Entries deadline, every rider was out to impress, and it was the home side that proved most equal to the challenge.

A final tally of seven faults gave Maikel van der Vleuten (Beauville Z), Willem Greve (Zypria S NOP), Marc Houtzager (Sterrehof’s Dante NOP), and Frank Schuttert (Lyonel D) a narrow victory over Swedish runners-up Douglas Lindelow, Angelie von Essen, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, and Peder Fredricson who completed with nine faults on the board. It was only a foot in the open water for Fredricson’s Catch Me Not S that prevented the Swedes from making it a double in this year’s shortened series following their win at the opening leg at St Gallen, Switzerland just four weeks ago.

France pipped Germany for third place when combined times separated the two teams that finished on 12 faults apiece, while Ireland was close behind in fifth with 13. And the Tokyo Olympic hosts from Japan gave a great account of themselves. Reduced to a three-man side when Taizo Sugitani withdrew before the competition began, Daisuke Fukushima, Koki Saito, and Eiken Sato racked up just 14 faults for sixth place, and Sato and his fabulous Saphy des Lacs produced one of the five double-clear rounds posted on the day.

Close-run thing

It was a close-run thing at the halfway stage when France, Sweden, Germany, and the USA all shared the lead on a zero score, followed by Ireland and the eventual Dutch winners carrying just a single time penalty each.

But when the course was raised and the fences widened for the second round, and the evening light drew long shadows across the arena, then the competition took on a completely different complexion.

The Americans lost their grip when Beezie Madden withdrew and they had to count 16 faults, while the Germans and French also slipped when adding 12 to their scorelines.

French pathfinders Penelope Leprevost and GFE Excalibur de la Tour Vidal produced a superb double-clear and it seemed possible their side might stay in front if anchorman Kevin Staut could bring Visconti du Telman home clear for a second time. But the pair was one of many to fault at the open water in the fading light and when they also lowered the oxer at fence seven, then that had to be added to the four picked up by Gregory Cottard’s mare Bibici who, also like many before her, clipped the oxer at the end of the penultimate line this time out.

Strong

The Dutch also kicked off the second round with a double-clear from Van der Vleuten, and when Greve added just a single time fault to his first-round foot-perfect run, then they began to look strong. Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Dante faulted at the narrow vertical at fence 10 and also collected a time fault, and when Schuttert’s Lyonel D racked up the discard score of 12 faults, then they had to add six second-round faults to the single first-round time penalty for a total of seven.

As Sweden’s Peder Fredricson set off it seemed that might not be good enough. Because a clear from the World No. 7 would mean one of the four-fault results racked up by Lindelow and Von Essen could be dropped, because Bengtsson and the hugely impressive Ermindo W, who clinched that St Gallen win in a thrilling jump-off, had collected just a single second-round time fault, so they could finish with just five faults in the final analysis.

But Catch Me Not S put a foot in the water in an otherwise effortless round, so it would a Dutch celebration.

Happy

Talking after the prizegiving, Van der Vleuten pointed out, “A water jump is always difficult, but I was happy with my horse because he jumped it nice and stretched well over it both times today.”

He was really pleased with the 11-year-old Beauville Z. “He jumped fresh and it’s always nice to be double-clear. He jumped even easier in the second round.”

Talking about the increased level of faults in the second half of the competition, he said, “We started late (17.00 local time) so the shadows were maybe a factor, but also the course was bigger – the middle of the combination (fence 8) was taller and the triple bar (fence 9) went up one hole and was 10cms wider, and the next vertical went up and the last oxer was wider too – all that makes a big difference.”

Chef d’Equipe Rob Ehrens said he hadn’t had much sleep. The Dutch last won in Rotterdam in 2016, but they were waiting a long time for that to happen.

“I tried to win here so many times, so I was a bit angry with the course designer after the first round because they were so many clears! But of course you win a Nations Cup over two rounds,” he said with a smile. And course designer Santiago Varela agreed. “More mistakes in the second round is typical in a Nations Cup.”

Meanwhile, Ehrens has to be feeling positive after this great result because, as Varela added, “This was a perfect Nations Cup to get a good feeling before the Olympic Games.”

The Dutch should indeed be feeling good not just about Tokyo, but also about their chances at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2021 which will take place in Barcelona (ESP) in October where all 10 teams from Division 1 will be eligible to compete.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

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

Thrilling International Action Takes Centre Stage on Day Two of Royal Windsor Horse Show

Day two of Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021 featured another typically action-packed day of top equestrian sport, with spectators treated to not one but two international classes of CSI5* Show Jumping, which featured some of the world’s best horse and rider combinations. The CAIO4* Land Rover International Grand Prix kicked off in style with a competitive Dressage phase, which saw Dutchman Ijsbrand Chardon end the day in the lead, ahead of 10-time Royal Windsor champion Boyd Exell. Away from the Showground, Royal Windsor Endurance supported by The Kingdom of Bahrain got underway in the beautiful surrounds of Windsor Great Park, while the Coaching Marathon thrilled onlookers, as competitors were judged as they elegantly navigated their way down the iconic Long Walk.

The first of two CSI5* Show Jumping classes, the Manama Speed Stakes was dominated in the early stages by Israel’s Daniel Bluman riding Gemma W. For the majority of the two phase competition, the round was proving difficult to beat. With just six combinations remaining, Britain’s Guy Williams (fresh from success in the Royal Windsor Puissance) put in an inspired performance to take the lead by 1.53 seconds. However, with just a few to go, Guy Williams was then beaten by sensational Windsor debutante, 24-year-old Lillie Keenan (USA), who took the spoils with a time of 23.73 seconds on her 10-year-old stallion Agana van het Gerendal Z, and demoted Williams to second place. Home favourite John Whitaker delighted the expectant crowd with a fantastic display of horsemanship to take third aboard Unick du Francport.

On a day that the British Olympic Show Jumping team was announced for the Tokyo Olympics, the close of the second day in the Castle Arena at the Royal Windsor Horse Show was a real showcase with all four of the confirmed squad taking part: Holly Smith, Harry Charles, Scott Brash, and Ben Maher. A total of 26 combinations took part in the 5* Pearl Speed Stakes, with 13 managing to make it into the jump-off. The jump-off course looked tight and Harry Charles went first, going clear and setting a speedy time of 36.74 seconds. He was followed by Daniel Bluman, who, whilst fast, had an unlucky four faults. Then to Holly Smith who managed to cut the tightest of corners and set a time of just 35.52 seconds, taking the lead and holding off the competition to take the honours. From there on, the next 10 combinations – which included Great Britain’s Ben Maher on his legendary gelding Explosion W – couldn’t catch Holly’s impeccable time, leaving the Brit to take the win, making it a day to remember!

Cheshire-based Team Walker achieved their prime ambition in the Castle Arena when Robert partnered Jill Day’s amazing Lightweight Hunter, View Point, to take a third consecutive Royal Windsor Open Hunter title.

“Sean,” as the horse is known at home, won here in 2018 and 2019 – the last time the Show was held – and also stood Supreme in 2018. He pinged around the Castle Arena as if on air, not only in his seven-strong weight class in the morning, but then again – somehow producing an extra gear – in the Championship showdown against the reigning Horse of the Year Show Supreme, Jayne Ross aboard the Heavyweight victor Twinshock Warrior. The approving roar of the crowd cemented the judges’ decision when he was called forward as champion.

It was the family’s day, as wife Sarah took the last minute ride on the Wallace family’s big-winning Large Hack, Forgeland Hyde Park, and Robert landed a very strong Novice Heavyweight Hunter class with Greenhall Treasure Island.

Lincolnshire-based breeder Vanessa Compton claimed the hotly contested Horse & Hound Mountain and Moorland Supreme In Hand Championship, wowing Her Majesty The Queen – and a supportive audience – with the lovely Connemara mare Skaergaardens Delicious Love, a past Horse of the Year Show winner under saddle. She was shown by family friend Henry Hird.

The Cob section was headed by another Cheshire-based rider, Vicky Smith, who scored on her partner Alan Marnie’s super-mannerly cob, Bling Cobsby, ahead of Allister Hood’s former champion here and Horse of the Year Show and Royal International supreme, Our Cashel Blue.

Royal Windsor Endurance took place in the beautiful Windsor Great Park.  The day started with a cool misty morning when the riders in the first CEI3* 160km ever to be held at Windsor took to the course at 6.00am.  The event also hosted a CEI2* 120km, CEI1* 100km, and also for the first time a CEIYJ1* 100km.

A total of 31 competitors were entered with 12 completing.  The majority (28) were British riders but the event also welcomed riders from Australia, Italy, and The Netherlands.

John Robertson, TD, said, “In spite of the rain earlier in the week, the course rode extremely well with lovely going.  The views in this park are stunning and the variety of wildlife is exceptional.”

The winner of the CEIYJ1* 100km was 18-year-old Alicia Reeves who has been riding since she was a 2-year-old. It was her first ride of the season and her first appearance at Royal Windsor. She has been partnered with her horse, Oakley, for the past five years. Oakley was born at Bransby Rescue Centre and had to be hand reared and bottle fed. “We thought he wouldn’t make it when he was born,” said a delighted Alicia. “But he’s turned out to be a fantastic horse and we’ve had a great day today.”

Winner of the CEI1* 100km was David Yeoman with his horse, Trop Vite Azureen. “It’s been an absolutely great day and a privilege to be riding in The Queen’s Garden,” said David. “The views down the Long Walk from the Copper Horse Statue are stunning.” David has competed twice before at Windsor, coming third both times, so was delighted with his win. It was Trop Vite Azureen’s first ride in 18 months. “His fitness will have come on a lot today; he’s a fantastic horse, now 14 years old, and I’ve had him since he was a 4-year-old so I’m incredibly proud of him.”

Samantha Mowatt, winner of the CEI2* 120km aboard Lateral Thinking, said: “It’s been a challenging ride; the going was great but you had to keep aware.  When the sun came out in the afternoon, the heat was tough, but she gave me a really good ride.  She’s a home bred mare and a very willing partner.” Samantha also took time to thank the Organisers, HPower, for putting on the ride under COVID-19 conditions and to thank the Officials and Vets as well as The Kingdom of Bahrain for sponsoring.

Sadly, none of the competitors in the CEI3* 160km completed the course.  Brian Dunn, President of the Ground Jury, said: “The ride was very well organised and the ground and marking of the course were superb.  The weather was misty and cool in the morning but it became hotter in the afternoon.  Because of the pandemic, the horses have not had the chance to compete and had limited training over the last 18 months and this told on the 160km horses.  I’ve spoken to all the riders and they have all said that the going was faultless and that they were pleased to have been given the chance to participate.”

For full results from Royal Windsor Horse Show, CLICK HERE.

To find out more, visit www.rwhs.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:
Niki McEwen / rEvolution / nmcewen@revolutionworld.com

Todd Minikus and Amex Z Max Out to Win $37k Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2*

Todd Minikus and Amex Z ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – July 1, 2021 – Todd Minikus (USA) piloted Amex Z to a first place finish in Thursday’s $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 2*, stopping the jump-off timers at 34.283 seconds. Taking home second place with a jump-off time of 35.674 seconds was Kevin Mealiff (IRL) aboard Oakmont Stables LLC’s Tupac Van De Vrombautshoeve Z, the 2010 Zangersheide gelding (Thunder VD Zuuthoeve x Karioka Del Follee). Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) was awarded third place honors aboard her own San Chano, a 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Boy x Chacco Blue), with a time of 36.055.

Forty-one riders tackled the first round of Andy Christiansen’s (ECU) course design, 11 of which moved on to the shortened second round. Only five riders managed to ride double-clear rounds, but Todd Minikus and the 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris) owned by Bit by Bit Group took the win. Minikus’ plan going into the second round was “not to go too fast,” initially, but after watching a few horses go, he changed his mind. “The riders before me were faster than I thought they might be. So I thought, ‘Maybe I can do one or two fewer [strides] in that turn over to the black,’ and that’s probably where I nipped the competition,” he admitted.

Amex Z and Minikus have had successful rounds at TIEC throughout the Spring Series. Minikus noted his win on this mare has been one in the making, saying, “She’s been going great lately! She’s kind of more of an experienced horse now, so she’s relatively reliable at this point.” The pair will also compete in the $73,000 Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club Grand Prix CSI 2*, where they hope to continue the momentum of this win into Saturday’s competition.

Minikus will continue to compete at TIEC for the month of July and will return for the Fall Series of competition. He looks forward to the rest of the week, because “it’s always a beautiful day in Tryon!”

Samuel Parot Jr. and Buga Z Bolt to Blue in $10,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 2*

Samuel Parot Jr. (CHI) sprinted around the course in Wednesday’s $10,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 2* to take the win on Buga Z with a jump-off time of 23.715 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) and Diazella, the 2008 Holsteiner mare (Diamant De Semilly x Candillo) owned by Anya Bereznicki, stopped the timers at 23.973 seconds and earned a second place ribbon. Rebecca Conway (USA) rode Con Coleur, a 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Couleur Rubin) owned by Blue Hill Farm LLC, to third place, finishing the jump-off course with a clear round and a time of 24.699 seconds.

The course, designed by Andy Christiansen (ECU), saw 30 competitors in the first round, with 16 riders completing a clear round to qualify for the jump-off. Parot Jr. and his own 2010 Zangersheide gelding (Chester Z x Quality Touch Z) bested the competition and won the jump-off by a 0.2 second margin. “My horse is naturally pretty quick,” Parot Jr. explained. “I was trying to go for it a little bit today, and it paid off!”

Parot Jr. and team will remain in Tryon for the next few weeks, competing and enjoying the venue. “We come to Tryon a couple times a year to show here, so we feel at home and are happy to be here,” he revealed. Parot Jr. will return to the Tryon Stadium with Buga Z for the Grand Prix on Saturday and hopes to have similar success. “So far, [we’ve had] a good start!”

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

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