Category Archives: Show Jumping

The Rolex Series: A New Era for Show Jumping

©Rolex/Thomas Lovelock. From left to right: Frederic Tarder, Organizer of the Jumping International de Dinard; Marco di Paola, President of the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation; Diego Nepi, Event Director of the CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena; Pierre de Brissac, President of the CSIO Jumping International de La Baule; Steve Guerdat, Rolex Testimonee; Laurent Delanney, Rolex Sponsoring Director; Conny Mütze, Steering Committee representative of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping; Stephan Conter, CEO of the Brussels Stephex Masters; Michael Stone, President of Wellington International; Pat Hanly, Deputy Chief Executive of the RDS Dublin Horse Show

Geneva, 23 May 2024 – Rolex has announced the introduction of the Rolex Series in show jumping, uniting six of the most prestigious equestrian shows in the world, each supported by the brand. Revealed at the opening Rolex Series event – the CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena – the Rolex Series will also include the CSIO Jumping International de La Baule, the Jumping International de Dinard, the Dublin Horse Show, the Brussels Stephex Masters, and the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, USA.

These six historic shows share several distinguishing qualities, with each globally renowned event offering age-old traditions, the highest standard of competition, and having been won by the very best riders in the history of the sport. The introduction of the Rolex Series will allow the six shows to work together as a collective group as they strive for continual improvement.

Rolex has been a committed partner of equestrianism for almost 70 years, dating back to 1957 when pioneering British show jumper Pat Smythe became the sport’s first Testimonee. The brand’s contribution to excellence in equestrianism encourages modernization while respecting the traditions and elegance of the sport, as can be seen with the introduction of the Rolex Series in show jumping. The Rolex Series will mark a new era in the sport, elevating the premier world-class show jumping events into unmissable sporting occasions.

Arnaud Boetsch, Rolex Global Communications Director, said: “Rolex’s contribution to excellence in equestrianism is based on almost 70 years of support, encouraging innovation while respecting the traditions of the sport. After the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, renowned as the pinnacle of the sport, the Rolex Series will build upon the legacy that the brand has cultivated over this time. The six shows within the Rolex Series are united in their qualities, each celebrated for their world-class competition, leading facilities, and notable histories, and being part of the Rolex Series will provide a mark of distinction above and beyond other five-star shows.”

Each of the shows, which take place across Europe and North America, reflect Rolex’s own enduring commitment to excellence, all having a deep-rooted history in equestrianism harnessing the tradition of the sport while embracing innovation with a continual drive for improvement. The pinnacle class of each of the six shows will be the Rolex Grand Prix, where horses and riders are required to be in complete harmony as they strive for the courage and trust needed to be victorious.

The Rolex Grands Prix at these six venues have been won by some of the best show jumping horse and rider combinations in the sport, including Bertram Allen, Daniel Deusser, Kent Farrington, Martin Fuchs, Rodrigo Pessoa, and Jessica Springsteen.

Steve Guerdat, who attended the launch, stated: “The six shows that are part of the Rolex Series are some of the best shows in the world and the ones that we all, as riders, mark in our schedule every year. They are some of the most prestigious and historically significant competitions on our calendar, and by bringing this amazing group of shows together as part of the Rolex Series, the prestige and desire to win is only going to increase.”

The CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena, the first show to host a Rolex Series event, is held at the Villa Borghese Gardens in Rome, acknowledged as one of the sport’s most beautiful venues. The show has a rich history, with roots dating back more than a century. Combining elegance and style with world-class sport and athleticism, the show attracts competitors from around the world to the Italian capital from 22-26 May.

In June, attention will turn to the CSIO Jumping International de La Baule, where for more than 60 years, the event has hosted the world’s best horse and rider combinations on the picturesque shores of the Atlantic Ocean in western France. This year the Rolex Grand Prix Ville de La Baule takes place on Sunday 9 June.

The prestigious Jumping International de Dinard, taking place from 18-21 July, dates back to 1912 and is now among the most popular and respected events on the international show jumping calendar. Bertram Allen (2015) and Martin Fuchs (2021, 2022) have both claimed the Rolex Grand Prix, which is located on the stunning Brittany coast in France.

Supported this year for the first time by Rolex as the Official Timepiece and Title Sponsor of the CSIO5* Grand Prix, the CSIO Dublin Horse Show, taking place from 14-18 August, has almost 150 years of history, and is the most elite equestrian event in Ireland.

Bertram Allen, who has won the Grand Prix at the CSIO Dublin Horse Show (2014), CSIO Jumping International de La Baule (2015), and Jumping International de Dinard (2015), said: “Whenever you jump in one of these historic Grands Prix, you know you are going to be up against the very best riders and horses in the world, so to win these Grands Prix is always an ambition every year. I am very proud of my wins at these shows and they remain amongst the highlights of my career to date.”

The world’s best horse and rider combinations will head to Belgium for the Brussels Stephex Masters. The show, which in 2024 is celebrating its tenth edition, is known for its intense competition and vibrant atmosphere, and is considered to be one of the finest show jumping events in Europe. Rolex has been the Official Timepiece of the event since 2015, with the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday 1 September once again providing the highlight of the five-day event.

The Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, USA will host the final Rolex Series event in its inaugural year. Hosted at Wellington International, the show is one of world’s leading hubs for equestrian excellence, attracting the best equestrian athletes from across the globe. The 12-week festival, running from January to March 2025, sees the highest levels of competition, with the Rolex Grand Prix providing a fitting culmination in Week 12.

2024/2025 ROLEX SERIES EVENTS

CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena, 23-26 May 2024
CSIO Jumping International de La Baule, 6-9 June 2024
Jumping International de Dinard, 18-21 July 2024
CSIO Dublin Horse Show, 14-18 August 2024
Brussels Stephex Masters, 28 August – 1 September 2024
Winter Equestrian Festival, WEF Week 12 2025

Delphine Clavel
Rolex SA
delphine.clavel@rolex.com

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com

Swiss Set for Strong Challenge at St Gallen

Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei clinched victory for Switzerland in a thrilling two-way jump-off against Brazil at CSIO St Gallen (SUI) in 2023. (FEI/Martin Dokupil)

They’ve had it all their own way at the last two editions of CSIO St Gallen, but Team Switzerland faces a mighty task in their quest to make it a hat-trick of victories on home ground, when the third leg of the brand new Longines League of Nations™ 2024 gets underway on 31 May 2024.

The ten competing countries are battling it out for the eight places on offer at the inaugural Final, which will take place at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain on 6 October. After two thrilling legs so far, the leaderboard is headed by Ireland, winners in Ocala, USA in March, while Team Germany, who came out on top in the opening leg of the iconic new series at Abu Dhabi, UAE in February, lies close behind in second place.

Switzerland lies third ahead of USA, Brazil, Sweden, and The Netherlands. Already battling it out for that eighth and last place with only two more legs to go are Belgium, France, and Great Britain. Ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, every nation wants to look strong, so it’s no surprise that amongst the athletes signed up for the penultimate qualifier are the top three in the world rankings who, between them, hold the individual Olympic, World, and European titles.

Selection

The British selection includes Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher, along with Harry Charles, Tim Gredley, and Robert Whitaker, and they know they have a job to do to move their country off that bottom end of the LLN leaderboard.

The same applies to Team Belgium, and Chef d’Equipe Peter Weinberg sends out a sharp side with Abdel Saïd joined by rising star Gilles Thomas and the experienced duo of Koen Vereecke and Gregory Wathelet, the latter a member of the bronze-medal-winning team in Tokyo three years ago.

The French are also sharing that eighth and last place with just 85 points racked up to date, and Henk Nooren has chosen Francois Xavier Boudant, Marc Dilasser, Aurelien Leroy, and Olivier Perreau to buoy up their chances at the next leg.

The Dutch need to add to the 115 points they have collected in order to stay well out of the danger zone, and with Willem Greve, Harrie Smolders, and the Van Asten brothers Leopold and Mathijs on call-up this time around, they look well set to do just that.

Just five points ahead of The Netherlands is Team Sweden, who finished third in the opening leg of the series but ninth last time out. World number one, double World Champion, and the man who collected his second successive Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title in thrilling fashion in Riyadh, KSA last month, Henrik von Eckermann, was on both of those teams, jumping double-clear in Abu Dhabi but picking up eight faults in Ocala where Henrik Ankarcrona’s side failed to make it into the second round. They’ll be expected to be back to their normal level of brilliance in St Gallen where von Eckermann will be joined by Wilma Hellström, Amanda Landeblad, and Fredrik Spetz.

Fifth

In fifth place on the leaderboard is Team Brazil, and although St Gallen is known as something of a fairytale town in Swiss folklore, it was no fairytale for the South American visitors last year when they lost out to the hosts in a two-way third-round jump-off against the clock. They’ll be wanting to put that to rights this time out, and with Luciana Diniz, Santiago Lambre, Yuri Mansur, and Pedro Veniss saddling up, they look ready to present powerful opposition to the rest of the field.

The Swiss are taking no chances either. It was Martin Fuchs who clinched that 2023 victory, all the sweeter for the fact that it was two-in-a-row after a drought of 22 years for the host nation. The world number five rider is backed up by 2012 Olympic gold medallist, multiple World Cup champion, and reigning individual European champion Steve Guerdat once again, along with Alain Jufer and the rock-solid Pius Schwizer. The home team won’t be giving anything away easily, that’s for sure.

They lie a comfortable third on the leaderboard, with a 15-point advantage over the fourth-placed Americans who carry 135 points. Robert Ridland’s US team consists of Natalie Dean, Katie Dinan, Callie Schott, and Spencer Smith, who will be aiming to improve on that running tally.

At the top

At the top of the League table, the Irish have a 30-point advantage over Germany in second place, but German team manager Otto Becker is bringing out more of his big guns in an effort to alter that. His very much on-form foursome of Hans-Dieter Dreher, Andre Thieme, Richard Vogel, and Jana Wargers are a formidable force, and Michael Blake’s Irish side of Bertram Allen, Denis Lynch, Mark McAuley, and Cian O’Connor will probably need to be at their very best to keep them from moving ahead before the final qualifier in Rotterdam in The Netherlands at the end of June.

Of course, the format for the newly minted Longines League of Nations™ adds a whole new level of pressure for every team, with only the top eight sides and only three of the four team members returning to decide the result in the second round.

by Louise Parkes

press@fei.org
www.fei.org

Faurie’s Fairytale Freestyle at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Emile Faurie (GBR) and Bellevue @RoyalWindsorHorseShow/Peter Nixon

Dressage once again was at the forefront of the action on day two of Royal Windsor Horse Show. Competitors pulled out all the stops with high-energy performances accompanied by complex musical productions in The Defender CSI4* FEI Dressage Freestyle in the Castle Arena.

Elsewhere across the private grounds of Windsor Castle, Showing got underway with Championships taking place for the Working Hunter sponsored by Irish Horse Board, the Coloured divisions sponsored by the Leeman Family, and the RoR Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Horse supported by Royal Windsor Racecourse.

National Showjumping saw some of the country’s best up-and-coming horses take centre stage in The Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship, sponsored by Martin Collins Enterprises, with The LeMieux National 1.40m Open Jumping Competition providing a thrilling competition for spectators.

BELLE(VUE) OF THE BALL

The pinnacle class of the day, The Defender CSI4* FEI Dressage Freestyle, took place with 10 combinations competing for the highly sought-after prize. Ever-popular, the Freestyle sees horses and riders competing to their own specifically chosen music track and floorplan, matched to a set number of the complex moves required at this level of Dressage. Unlike in the Grand Prix, judges provide two sets of marks, one for the technical execution and the other for artistic impression.

First into the Castle Arena was Britain’s Lisa Marriott, who was making her debut at the Show. Set to the iconic soundtrack from ‘The Holiday’, Marriott impressed judges to set the standard with a total score of 67.160%. Compatriot Nicholas Kröncke and Flanell – competing in only their second Freestyle test together – then took the lead with 71.100%. The German-born rider, who took a 17-year hiatus from top level sport and returned in 2021, changed nationalities at the beginning of this year to compete for Great Britain, having previously ridden successfully as part of the German Youth teams.

Australia’s Championship combination of Jayden Brown and Willingapark Quincy B could not quite match the personal best of 75.485% they set at CDI3* Hartpury last summer. However, their score of 74.415% was enough to put them into the top spot at this stage of the competition. Two further riders took to the iconic arena prior to the midway break – China’s Sarah Rao and Italy’s Nathalie Wahlund – however, neither could reach the score set by Brown.

After an interval, it was the second placed combination’s turn to canter down the centre line. Emile Faurie once again proved why he has represented Britain at Championship level so many times as he – much to the delight of the crowd – set the new standard of 76.280% with Bellevue. None of the remaining combinations, which included Gareth Hughes and Classic Goldstrike, could produce a test which matched the harmony and precision set by Faurie. Faurie’s victory in The Defender CDI4* FEI Dressage Freestyle capped a fabulous competition at Windsor, with Britain’s Lewis Carrier taking second and Singapore’s Caroline Chew completing the top three.

Following his win, Emile Faurie said: “It’s been a weird build-up to the Show because she [Bellevue] threw a splint six weeks ago, but she’s such an incredible, honest mare and she came and did her thing. Unfortunately, at the beginning of last year, I was diagnosed with cancer, so that led to significant time off and some serious operations, but I luckily had my great team and my rider Tom behind me to be able to get back on and go on to win today.”

Faurie went on to say: “I kept the programme quite simple as this was only Bellevue’s third ever Freestyle, but the music was composed by Tom Hunt especially; it’s an original score for us as a pairing.”

The victor closed with: “It’s always special to be here at Royal Windsor; it has that little extra magic – you don’t find that backdrop of the Castle anywhere else in the world. The English are such a ‘horse nation’ so the atmosphere from the crowd is amazing; you can feel their energy, and even when they’re silent you can hear them willing every rider on.”

HERE COME THE GIRLS

National Show Jumping got under way with the Redpost Equestrian Senior Foxhunter – First Round, sponsored by Martin Collins Enterprises. Of the 98 starters, it was Sally Goding with the seven-year-old mare Red Head who triumphed with a double clear in a time of 31.81, almost a second faster than Natasha Hewitt in second. Goding is a previous winner at Royal Windsor Horse Show, having also won The LeMieux 1.40m Open Jumping Competition in both 2022 and 2023. The 12 highest placed six-year-olds from this class qualified for The Walwyn Novice Jumping Championship, sponsored by Martin Collins Enterprises. Of these, five combinations made it through to the jump-off against the clock, with the Billy Stud’s Billy At Last coming out on top under Lucy Townley, and Nicole Lockhead Anderson coming in second by just a third of a second.

It was a successful day for Lockhead Anderson, who went one better in the next class to claim The LeMieux National 1.40m Open Jumping Competition with the eight-year-old gelding Mecoblue PS, by Messenger. The ‘Single Phase’ competition is always hotly contested, and this year included notable entries from World No. 2 Ben Maher and Royal Windsor Horse Show Ambassador Joseph Stockdale, who placed seventh and eighth, respectively.

Lockhead Anderson stated: “It’s great to be here riding in the beautiful Castle Arena in the LeMieux National 1.40m Open Jumping Competition at Royal Windsor Horse Show, we’re very lucky in Britain to have a show like it, and winning makes it even more special!”

Talking about her horse, Lockhead Anderson said: “Mecoblue PS is fantastic; he just gets better and better.” She went on to say: “He is very green but finds jumping the big jumps easy – he’s definitely one for the future – he gives you the feeling he could be here in the 5* next year.”

The British rider closed by saying: “We ended up flying to the last fence; he has a huge stride and luckily he trusted me to go for it; it paid off because we only just beat Ronnie Jones by a second.”

HM THE KING TAKES THE CROWN

HM The King struck gold twice in the Showing at Royal Windsor Horse Show, courtesy of First Receiver.

His Majesty’s ex-racehorse First Receiver first strode to victory in the hugely popular RoR (Retraining of Racehorses) Tattersalls Thoroughbred In-Hand Show Series Qualifier (Flat) supported by Royal Windsor Racecourse for the second year running, and then captured the overall Championship, exhibited by Chris Hunnable. Not long afterwards, First Receiver changed modes to win the RoR Tattersalls Ridden Show Series Qualifier (Flat) supported by Royal Windsor Racecourse with Katie Jerram-Hunnable in the saddle. To Jerram-Hunnable’s amazement and delight, they went on to land that Championship too.

Essex-based Jerram-Hunnable has shown horses for the Royal Family for many years, and one of her major success stories came with Her Late Majesty The Queen’s ex-racehorse Barbers Shop, who took every title on the show circuit in his second career and even stood overall Supreme of Show here at Royal Windsor.

First Receiver, a seven-year-old bay gelding, joined Jerram-Hunnable three years ago, after Her Late Majesty The Queen was considering a replacement for Barbers Shop.

“Her Majesty asked me to go to Sandringham and give her an opinion on this one,” said Katie. “He was still entire then, but I thought he had enormous potential as a future riding horse — three weeks later he came to my yard and he hasn’t left since!”

Jerram-Hunnable said: “It’s always very special to win at Windsor, but to do so with a horse belonging to the reigning monarch is a moment to treasure and I was amazed to take the Ridden Championship against some very strong competition.”

As a five-year-old, First Receiver won the Novice RoR title at the Royal International Horse Show, and the SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Final at Horse of the Year Show.

“We put him away after Windsor last year, as we felt he would benefit from some time out,” added Jerram-Hunnable, who intends to show him in Novice Riding Horse ranks.

Courses for the popular Working Hunter classes proved as testing as ever, and after two absorbing competitions, the overall Working Hunter Championship sponsored by Irish Horse Board title in the Castle Arena went to first-time Royal Windsor winner, Lancashire-based Adele Hanson with her upstanding Heavyweight victor, 12-year-old Irish-bred The Top Drawer.

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

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

Simon McCarthy Speeds to Victory on Opening Day of ESP Spring III

Simon McCarthy & Gotcha © Sportfot

Ireland’s Simon McCarthy opened the second week of the 2024 ESP Spring Series, presented by Florida Coast Equipment, on Thursday with a win in the $32,000 Florida Coast Equipment CIS3* 1.45m on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village, home of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival during the winter season.

For a field of 63 horses, Andy Christiansen Jr. (USA) set the two-phase course. McCarthy, 28, and Gotcha, owned by Rock Ridge Farms, topped the clock of the speed phase in 30.42 seconds, only fractions over the runner-up, Kelli Cruciotti-Vanderveen (USA) riding Forever SFN for owner Serenity Farm Show Stables, in 31.02 seconds. Third went to Grace Debney (GBR) riding Boheme de la Roque, two one-hundredths slower than Cruciotti-Vanderveen in 31.04 seconds for owner Temple Equestrian, LLC.

“I knew I needed to get through the first phase and then go for it,” said McCarthy. “In the last couple of lines there was a leave out, which I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do. When I was there, I kicked, closed my eyes, and hoped I got there. And she was right with me, so I think that’s what was the winning factor at the end.”

John French Dominates Professional Hunters

2023 USEF Equestrian of the Year, John French, was a force in the International Arena to highlight professional hunter competition on Thursday during week two of the 2024 ESP Spring Series. He piloted Royale AM to champion in the Greenberg Traurig 3’6”/3’9” Green Hunter division and Crooner Brimbelles Z to top position in the All Paws Animal Hospital High Performance/3’6” Performance Hunters.

French of Wellington, FL broke into the 90s with Royale AM, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Lasandos, owned by Robinson Ridge, LLC. Together they scored three wins and third over fences and finished third in the under saddle among Green Hunters.

The reserve champion tri-color in the Greenberg Traurig 3’6”/3’9” Green Hunter division was awarded to Corino, owned by Victoria Chaconas. Jacob Pope of Columbia, MD piloted the gelding with a win in the under saddle highlighting their performances.

Later in the day, French went on to claim top call in the All Paws Animal Hospital High Performance/3’6” Performance Hunter riding Crooner Brimbelles Z, owned by Crooks Show Jumping. The nine-year-old Zangershiede gelding by Windows vh Costersveld scored two wins and two reserve finishes over fences as well as a second-place ribbon under saddle.

Wellington International
news@wellingtoninternational.com
www.wellingtoninternational.com

Dujardin Dances to Victory on Second Day of London International Horse Show

Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) riding Imhotep @LondonInternationalHorseShow/Ashley Neuhof

Charlotte Dujardin and Imhotep set the ExCeL alight on day two of the London International Horse Show as they took the victory in the FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle to Music presented by Bret Willson Dressage International Ltd supported by Horse & Hound. The International Arena also saw action from the Extreme Driving supported by Karen and Hugh Scott-Barrett and the Yeti Under-25 British Show Jumping Championship.

Meanwhile, in the New Horizon Plastics London Arena, Showing kicked off with highlights coming from the Rising Star of Cob Type Championship, and the Rising Star of Hunter Type Championship. Spectators were also treated to the first of the LeMieux Masterclass series, ‘Dressage Unwrapped’ featuring FEI Eventing World Champion, Yasmin Ingham, Richard Davison, and Gareth and Ruby Hughes.

FABULOUS FREESTYLE

The pinnacle class of Thursday’s schedule came from the FEI Dressage World Cup Freestyle to Music, which saw a packed International Arena wowed by perfect piaffes and exceptional extensions.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and the 10-year-old chestnut stallion Imhotep followed up on their Grand Prix victory, and produced a breathtakingly beautiful performance to the sheer delight of the home crowd to take the win with a score of 89.465%.

It was once again a British top three, with double FEI World Championship gold medallist Lottie Fry claiming the runner-up spot. Fry, who was last to go in the competition with the stunning black stallion Everdale took to the arena with a brand-new Freestyle routine that featured numerous highlights including their phenomenal final line. It was a father-son one-two, with the success of Everdale, the sire of Charlotte’s Imhotep, proving the strength of this bloodline.

Third place went to Becky Moody and her homebred Jagerbomb with a score of 83.675%. The combination was not only making their debut at the Show, but also in the FEI World Cup Qualifier Series. The highest placed international rider was Denise Nekeman, who scored a personal best of 77.035% to claim the fourth spot.

Speaking on her win, Dujardin stated: “This was Imhotep’s first indoor show, and it was a full house tonight; you could hear the crowd in the warm-up, which was really incredible. I was so proud of him; he has never been in that kind of atmosphere before, and so it was a great learning experience for him. Even though he was nervous, he was still with me, which is all I can ask for. He is still a young horse and has so much more to give. I am very excited for what is to come next year!”

Third placed Moody continued: “You dream about riding at this Show. It is somewhere that we all aspire to compete at. I was incredibly nervous in the buildup, and my horse is a legend. Being on the podium with Lottie Fry and Charlotte Dujardin is amazing. They both inspire me on a daily basis. They are incredible role models, and it is incredible being sat next to them. But I do have every intention of beating them in the future!”

THE STARS OF THE FUTURE

24 British pairings faced the challenging 1.45m course in the Yeti Under 25 British Show Jumping Championship. The difficulty of the course became evident as the initial three combinations encountered issues with early faults. The fourth participant, Oliver Fletcher, son of Tina Fletcher – one of Britain’s leading female riders of recent decades – rode Hello William, owned by Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, securing the first flawless performance of the competition. The second faultless round was delivered by Alexander McLean and Gino F, who wisely steadied their stride in the triple combination towards the finish, a section that posed challenges for many. The third clear round came from the winner of the 2023 Ella Popely Award, the Shane Breen-trained Lauren Caroline, riding Gait L.

By halfway – after Nicole Lockhead Anderson, with the small but mighty chestnut stallion I Am a Harley, and Jennifer Billington, with Flipper Darco Uk Z, both jumped clear rounds – it meant only those with a faultless first round score would progress to the jump-off. To take the total number of second-round contenders to eight, there were three more clears from Jessica Hewlett, followed by London International Horse Show Ambassador and the Show’s 2022 leading rider, Jodie Hall McAteer, as well as Antonia Platt and Marvin van de Waterhoeve – 2023’s Royal Windsor Horse Show Under 25 Grand Prix winners.

The eight-fence jump-off had the audience gripped to their seats, with the young riders giving their all to win. The number of strides between the penultimate and last fence proved to be the differentiating factor in overall time. Jennifer Billington and Flipper Darco Uk Z led from the outset, being the only clear with the next to follow all having four faults – often, including the likes of Oliver Fletcher, heartbreakingly at the last fence. The only other clear round came from Scotsman Alexander McLean and the meticulously careful Gino F, who, building on their intelligently crafted first round, jumped fence one on an angle, taking out one stride to the second fence, resulting in them becoming champions.

Speaking on his win, McLean said: “I am over the Moon. I didn’t think we were going to be anywhere near fast enough, but we battled hard and performed under the pressure. I’m so proud of Gino; he has done so much for me over the last two years and is the horse of a lifetime. The atmosphere at the London International Horse Show is fantastic; it’s my second time competing here and I love this show – it’s one of the best shows in Britain by far, with a great Christmas feel to it.”

STUNNING SHOWING TO START THE NEW SERIES IN THE NEW HORIZON PLASTICS LONDON ARENA
Written by Nicola Jane Swinney

It is appropriate that the Showing programme for the London International Horse Show began with the Rising Stars sections — looking forward to the New Year with some names to watch.

Sections include Hunters and Cobs, and there was plenty to like. Sarah Moreland, who won the opening class for Small and Lightweight Hunter Types, was quite overcome, kissing her beloved horse before pulling herself together to comment, admitting she was “quite emotional.”

Coulthard, a bay gelding bred in Aberdeenshire, means everything to Sarah, not least because when buying him four years ago, she had to choose between him and a car.

“He is incredible,” she said. “He does everything. He also jumps so we are doing the Working Hunter class on Saturday.”

The judges, Robert Walker and Jenny Banks, clearly agreed with Sarah’s opinion of her splendid horse, awarding him the Rising Stars Hunter Type Championship over the Middleweight and Heavyweight winner, Eleanor Liddle riding Val Doidge’s Cu Chulainn Carrabawn Rebel. A former hunt horse, Bruce — which is much easier to say — has taken to showing with aplomb, although he hasn’t always been easy. Hunt horses are not used to standing still!

Relishing the atmosphere at the London venue, Carly Chapman and Frazer Foxes Covert headed the Rising Stars Heavyweight Cob class and claimed the Championship.

“It was a fantastic experience; the ring is absolutely great and he gave me a great spin in the go-round, so I’m really delighted,” said Carly. She was enthusiastic about the new venue at the ExCel, the New Horizon Plastics London Arena, saying the atmosphere was “really buzzy.”

The Maxi Cob class and reserve went to Alex George and his six-year-old Paulines Boy, who, he says, “has done very well for a young horse, very well behaved. He’s a good boy.”

The electric atmosphere at this centre is appreciated by riders, horses, and the public alike, and the showing classes over the next few days look set to end 2023 on a high note.

More information about The London International Horse Show can be found at www.londonhorseshow.com.

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

Kent Farrington Claims Top Spot in the Trophée de Genève for the Sixth Time

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Thomas Lovelock)

The beautiful city of Geneva once again welcomed the world’s most talented horse and rider combinations to what is often considered to be the best indoor equestrian show in the world, the CHI Geneva. The show hosts the final Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of the calendar year.

In total, 48 combinations started in the feature class of the day, the coveted 1.60m Trophée De Genève. The competition also provided the first chance for riders to secure their place in the pinnacle event of the show, the Rolex Grand Prix. As is often the case at the CHI Geneva, the field was truly star-studded and included the current Olympic, World, and European individual Champions of Ben Maher, Henrik von Eckermann, and Steve Guerdat.

First to canter into the Palexpo’s iconic Geneva Arena was Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam riding the chestnut gelding, Cjoxx Z. The duo produced a faultless jumping round, but picked up an agonising time fault. Fourth to go, the in-form Vitor Bettendorf, winner of two of the classes, produced the first clear round. Next to jump, Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer, secured a jump-off after a super performance, much to the delight of the home crowd. At the halfway point, there were eight clear rounds, with faults coming throughout the masterfully designed course.

Read more here.

© 2023 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Champion Jockeys to Jump at London International Horse Show

Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy at London International Horse Show 2022 (London International Horse Show/Peter Nixon)

The ever-popular Markel Jockeys Jumping in aid of The Injured Jockeys Fund class returns to London International Horse Show on the evening of Monday 18 December. The Show, which takes place from 13-18 December at its new home of ExCeL London, is a true equestrian Christmas extravaganza filled with top-level competition and entertainment.

This unique class sees two teams of five world-class jockeys each put their Show Jumping skills to the test in the prestigious International Arena – all in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

This year’s class comes with exciting additions: Great Britain’s Eventing Chef d’Equipe, Dickie Waygood, will be responsible for setting the height of the course, having watched the jockeys warm up, and a Markel Joker fence will be included as the last obstacle in the course, which, if cleared successfully, will subtract four seconds off the jockey’s time – making the competition even more exciting. In addition, Team Trainers Pippa Funnell and Nick Skelton CBE will be on hand prior to and throughout the competition, offering the jockeys guidance and Show Jumping tactics.

The 2023 teams, who have over 16,000 winners between them, will be captained by the legendary Sir Anthony ‘AP’ McCoy and Tom Scudamore. McCoy is a 20-time Champion Jump Jockey and has ridden 4,358 winners, making him the most successful jump jockey of all time. McCoy is also the President of the Injured Jockeys Fund, and a regular at London International Horse Show having led his team to victory in last year’s competition.

His rival captain, Tom Scudamore, is one of the UK’s most successful jump jockeys and is the third generation of the famous Scudamore Racing dynasty. Whilst he retired in February of this year, Scudamore rode an impressive 1,499 winners over jumps and 12 on the flat throughout his career.

Full teams will be decided in the run-up to the Show and released in due course; however, fans will be excited to learn that Harry Skelton, son of Olympic gold medallist show jumper, Nick Skelton CBE, will join the line-up. Harry will also be looking to retain his title from last year, and with a Show Jumping background, he will be one to watch.

Jim Crowley, who names London International Horse Show as his ‘favourite event of the year,’ will also be seen in action. Crowley used to be a jump jockey before he switched paths to become a flat jockey, becoming Champion Flat Jockey in 2016. The three-time and current Champion Jump Jockey, Brian Hughes, is another of the headline names set to fly around the International Arena at the Show.

Representing the women are Joanna Mason and Saffie Osborne. Mason rode as an amateur for many seasons before turning professional on the flat in 2020 and has an impressive tally of over 100 winners already. Meanwhile, Osborne is the daughter of famous jockey turned trainer, Jamie Osborne; having turned professional this year, she is undoubtedly one of the rising stars of the weighing room. Currently recovering from a knee injury, she hopes to make a return to the saddle for the class.

Rounding off this stellar line-up are James Doyle, Ryan Moore, and Harry Cobden. Doyle rides for the mighty Team Godolphin and has just announced a new retainer as a jockey to the Wathan Racing operation for 2024. Moore is a three-time Champion flat jockey, who has ridden over 3,000 winners and won at all the major Classics, including the recent Breeders’ Cup on the Derby winner, August Rodin. Finally, Cobden is one of the UK’s leading jump jockeys as stable jockey to Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls. With over 750 winners to date, Cobden is undoubtedly a superstar jockey; however, he has stated he has ‘never jumped a course of Show Jumps in his life!’ and so will be looking for expert guidance from the Team Trainers.

Juliet Redfern, Head of Equine Insurance at Markel, added: “Markel is delighted to be sponsoring this fabulous event again and supporting a charity that looks after its own so well. As a specialist equine insurer, we are committed to supporting the wider equine industry through such charitable initiatives, and this is one of our favourite events!”

The Markel Jockeys Jumping in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund will be part of the Show’s thrilling final performance, which also includes the 5* London Grand Prix, featuring the finest international Show Jumping horse and rider combinations.

For more information, including how to purchase tickets to watch the jockeys at London International Horse Show, visit www.londonhorseshow.com.

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

Oh No, It Doesn’t; Oh Yes, It Does – Pantomime Comes to London International Horse Show

Manuel Fernández Saro dressed as Olaf at London International Horse Show 2022 (London International Horse Show/Peter Nixon)

London International Horse Show, which takes place at ExCeL London from 13-18 December 2023, is excited to announce that following last year’s successful reintroduction of the fan favourite Fancy Dress Relay, the class will return on Sunday 17 December, this time with a Christmas Pantomime twist!

2022 Fancy Dress Relay competitors at London International Horse Show (London International Horse Show/Peter Nixon)

The evening class promises to be a highly entertaining festive celebration and is not to be missed. The competition will see nine pairs of riders from all disciplines of the equestrian community, including top international Show Jumpers such as John Whitaker and Harry Charles, compete against each other wearing ingenious fancy dress costumes, with prizes awarded to the fastest partnership and the most entertaining pair.

Last year saw characters such as Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story franchise and Olaf from the Frozen movies fly around the International Arena at London International Horse Show to the sheer delight of the packed-out crowds. This year, fans will be treated to an evening of merriment as family favourite pantomime duos, including Peter Pan & Captain Hook, Snow White & the Wicked Queen, and Robin Hood & Friar Tuck, race against each other to claim the top spot.

The whole evening will be rounded off in the Champagne Taittinger Bar and Brasserie with a ticketed After Party, where you can join in the fun and dance the night away with your favourite riders and celebrities to a sensational live band from 22:30 until 00:30. Additionally, anyone attending the evening’s performance wearing Fancy Dress will receive free entry to the fabulous After Party.

Looking ahead to party night, Show Organiser Simon Brooks Ward said: “The Fancy Dress Relay is always such a high-energy class, which has been a highlight of the Show for spectators and riders alike over the years. We are thrilled to have reintroduced the class last year, and following its huge success, the class will be back with some of the sport’s most successful stars, in even better costumes.”

Tickets to watch the Fancy Dress Relay and the After Party can be found here.

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

CAS Upholds FEI Tribunal Decision Imposing 10-Year Suspension for Horse Abuse Case

Following lengthy appeal proceedings, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has confirmed and upheld the FEI Tribunal’s decision in the case against Andrew Kocher delivered in June 2021, which saw the US Athlete suspended for 10 years for the use of electric spurs on several horses throughout a prolonged period of time.

Other sanctions in the FEI Tribunal decision rendered two years ago also included the disqualification of results from eight FEI events between June 2018 and November 2019 where evidence supported the athlete’s use of electric spurs on horses, alongside a CHF 10,000 fine and legal costs to the amount of CHF 7,500. Kocher appealed the said FEI Tribunal decision on 1 July 2021, seeking to eliminate or otherwise reduce the sanctions imposed.

The FEI Tribunal decision was the result of a lengthy investigation by the FEI, starting in June 2020 following allegations of electric spur use reported to the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU). It was alleged that Kocher had used electric spurs on a number of FEI registered and national horses in international and national events, as well as during training.

Upon the conclusion of the investigation, the FEI formally opened disciplinary proceedings against Kocher in October 2020. During the proceeding before the FEI Tribunal, it was also discovered that Kocher instructed his employees to use the electric spurs on specific horses. For that purpose, Kocher provided to his employees several electric spurs devices which he manufactured himself.

In its decision, the CAS Panel reached the same conclusion as the FEI Tribunal, to the effect that a ten-year suspension was merited, during which Kocher is barred from participating in or attending, in any capacity, including as a spectator, any competition or event that is authorised or organised by the FEI or any National Federation. The provisional suspension served by Kocher since 28 October 2020 shall be credited against this period of suspension, which will therefore come to an end on 27 October 2030. The CHF 10,000 fine was also upheld, and Kocher is furthermore ordered to pay costs of CHF 7,500.

“We are extremely satisfied with this outcome and that the sanctions the FEI Tribunal imposed, to reflect the severity of the offenses committed by Mr Kocher, have been upheld by CAS,” said FEI Legal Director Mikael Rentsch.

“It may have taken two years to complete this process, but it confirms that we had the right decision to start with, and that there is no room for leniency when it comes to cases of horse abuse.

“We have rules and regulations in place to protect the integrity of our competitions and the wellbeing of our horses, and when these rules are breached and their welfare is jeopardised, we will continue to seek to impose maximum sentences.”

The full CAS decision is available here.

The FEI Tribunal Decision is available here.

Media contact:

Olivia Robinson
Director, FEI Communications
olivia.robinson@fei.org

FEI Issues Decision Regarding Eric Lamaze (CAN) Tampering Violation

The FEI has suspended Eric Lamaze (FEI ID 10000439) for a period of four years (12/09/2023 – 11/09/2027) following an anti-doping rule violation under the Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes ADRHA Article 2.5 (Tampering), due to the submission of fabricated medical documents during an ongoing CAS proceeding.

A summary statement has been published here explaining the FEI decision in relation to the tampering violation within the ongoing CAS proceeding. Therefore, because the CAS proceedings are still ongoing, the FEI will not be providing any further details at this moment.

Media contact:

Olivia Robinson
Director, FEI Communications
olivia.robinson@fei.org