January 21st, 2013… Christian Ahlmann (GER) wins the 9th leg of the World Cup in Leipzig…
Well, the enthusiastic German crowd certainly got quite a show yesterday for the 9th leg of the Western European World Cup series held in Eastern Germany. The world number one ranking rider proved his worth yet again when he finished first, ahead of a very competitive field in Leipzig. A total of 40 top-combinations consumed the start list, with nine of the top ten riders in the World Rankings in attendance. The only top-ten ranked rider not in attendance was Nick Skelton, so with the likes of Pius Schwizer, Steve Guerdat, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, Edwina Tops-Alexander and Kevin Staut warming up, we knew it would be a tight competition from start to finish.
Belgium’s much-talked about Olivier Philippaerts was first in the ring with his grey stallion Cabrio van de Heffinck. The proven combination made the technical track look very smooth, coming out with only 4 faults. Their single fence fault “was more of a reflection of his growing partnership with Cabrio van de Heffinck than an indication of the difficulty of the track” said Louise Parkes of FEI. Cabrio’s scopey stride and elastic nature proved well suited for the track, so any rider’s looking for an early giveaway on the course’s difficulties would have to wait a little longer.
The first clear came with Sweden’s Jens Fredricson aboard the aptly-named Lunatic and shortly after, seventh on the start list, 24 year old Dutch Silver medalist Maikel van der Vlueten would also join the list for the jump off with his Olympic stallion VDL Groep Verdi. Maikel attacked the course head on, with the same confidence this young superstar shows at every event. In case you didn’t know, Maikel was the youngest rider to grace the Olympic podium last summer in London. You wouldn’t guess the young Dutchman is as young as he is, when speaking to him he displays a clear and quite-confidence that exudes older years and yet, Maikel will turn only 25 years old next month.
Marcus Ehning and Plot Blue, who was the oldest horse of the competition at 16 years young, jumped an exceptional round for the home crowd but had an unfortunate 4 faults. Next in for Sweden, was Malin Baryard-Johnsson with the adorable H&M Tornesch. A frustrating time fault would keep this competitive duo from joining the jump off. The same fate would wait for Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and the talented Bella Donna, who also jumped a picture perfect round but suffered a single time fault at the end.
Luciana Diniz and Lennox, winners of last week’s first CSI5* event of the year, executed a strong clear for Portugal while Edwina Tops-Alexander and her 9 year old Belgian-bred gelding Ego van Orti gave the 1.60 track plenty of room. I know Edwina would have been very happy with that round, mentioning before the course walk, that she had hoped to jump Ego a bit more during the 4 days in Leipzig as to manage the young gelding’s blood but alas, the combination tackled the track very well. Serving up yet another top World Cup finish for the leading lady rider.
After Edwina and Ego, clear rounds followed in quick succession with Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer, Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, Dutchman Marc Houtzager, Ireland’s Denis Lynch, Dutchman Gerco Schroder and France’s Kevin Staut.
With the Western European series moving into the final stages, all but three further qualifiers remains, the battle for a qualifying spot at the Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April is intensifying with every round and yesterday was no exception. With a ten horse jump-off, the Leipzig World Cup winner would have to fight for the title.
A hopeful Jens Fredricson and Lunatic started things off for Sweden, as the first combination in the jump off. Fredricson made it all the way to the third element of the former triple combination before earning a fault. Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten was only one fence from home when VDL Groep Verdi gave it a slight rub. Unfortunately for Portugal’s Luciana Diniz, Lennox touched two rails to earn a score of 8 faults, leaving everything wide open for the remaining seven riders.
Edwina, winner of the sixth leg in Geneva with the lovely Itot du Chateau, issued out the first fault free round with a moderate time of 41.21 seconds. Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer followed suit, picking up the pace only slightly, with a time of 40.56 seconds.
Christian Ahlmann, currently ranked number one in the world, made a breath-taking turn to fence three that gave Taloubet Z only two strides on approach. The number one ranked rider, who was not fashioning his Rolex armband, attacked the course from start to finish. Taloubet Z, ears forward, handled the pace with ease, stopping the clock at an amazing 36.45 seconds. The time was sure to put the pressure on the remaining four riders. Would Christian win for a second year in a row?
Marc Houtzager and Tamino Z, winners of the World Cup event in London Olympia before Christmas, had two down while Ireland’s Denis Lynch and Abbervail van het Dingeshof handled the quick pace well. Denis’ time was strong enough to put him into second place, despite being more than two seconds off the pace with his big bodied gelding.
Marc’s Olympic team mate Gerco Schroder was also clear but slightly cautious with a time of 39.53 seconds with his kind-hearted stallion London. Last to go was Frenchman Kevin Staut, who is currently second on the World cup standings under Sergio Alvarez Moya. The number one ranked Frenchman set his pace early, aboard his trusty grey mare, Silvana HDC.
The mare, who crushed the opposition in the thrilling fifth leg at Stuttgart, Germany in November, was looking strong enough to catch Taloubet Z. Unfortunately, Kevin took a wide turn back to fence three and, arriving on awkward distance, Silvana reached out and paddled through the red poles before accidentally dislodging Kevin. Luckily, the Frenchman landed on his feet and made a quick but smooth exit. (Both horse and rider were fine).
It was all over! Christian had won for the home crowd of 9,000 spectators and ensured his second World Cup win in a row in Leipzig, Germany. A perfect way for Taloubet Z to end his winter season, the stallion now goes to stud for a few months, before returning to work later in the spring.
“For sure, he was in great shape today, he was amazing in the first round”, said Ahlmann. “He gave me such a super feeling, so I tried to take all the risks in the jump-off because of that. In Mechelen we were placed (10th) and I took him to Basel last week but we had a bad Grand Prix so it is great to finish the season in such good shape!” he added.
Referring to Taloubet’s extraordinary record of success at this show in Leipzig, Christian said “it’s a super, super show, everything is perfect for the riders and the horses and Taloubet always goes unbelievably well here!” The world’s number one rider plans to compete at Zurich next Sunday, “I will probably ride Codex there” he pointed out, but he is unsure what horse he will take to the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April. “Maybe Taloubet will be ready again, who knows, we will wait and see!” he concluded.
Well done Christian and his team for this wonderful win! See you in Zurich!
1, Taloubet Z (Christian Ahlmann) GER 0/0 35.45; 2, Abbervail van het Dingeshof (Denis Lynch) IRL 0/0 38.65; 3, London (Gerco Schroder) NED 0/0 39.53; 4, Picsou du Chene (Pius Schwizer) SUI 0/0 40.56; 5, Ego van Orti (Edwina Tops-Alexander) AUS 0/0 41.21; 6, Lunatic (Jens Fredricson) SWE 0/4 38.48; 7, VDL Groep Verdi (Maikel van der Vleuten) NED 0/4 39.29; 8, Sterrehof’s Tamino (Marc Houtzager) NED 0/8 38.92; 9, Lennox (Luciana Diniz) POR 0/8 40.34; 10, Silvana HDC (Kevin Staut) FRA 0/Elim.
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 9 at Leipzig (GER):
1. Sergio Alvarez Moya ESP – 75
2. Kevin Staut FRA – 69
3. Pius Schwizer SUI – 59
4. Christian Ahlmann GER – 57
5. Jens Fredricson SWE – 48
6. Denis Lynch IRL – 41
7. Luciana Diniz POR – 41
8. Marcus Ehning GER – 40
9. Roger-Yves Bost FRA – 39
10. Malin Baryard-Johnsson SWE – 38
11. Edwina Tops-Alexander AUS – 36
12. Jeroen Dubbeldam NED – 35
13. Marc Houtzager NED – 34
14. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum GER – 34
15. Maikel van der Vleuten NED – 33
16. Penelope Leprevost FRA – 33
17. Steve Guerdat SUI – 30
18. Gerco Schroder NED – 26
December 30th, 2012… Hendrik Van Eckermann (SWE) wins the 8th leg of the World Cup in Mechelen…
What I love the most about this World Cup series is that you just never know who will win each leg. From the beginning of this Western European World Cup season, it has been action-packed and spontaneous and this afternoon was no exception. It was so lovely to see the lively Hendrik van Eckermann win today’s World Cup aboard the equally lively mare, Gotha.
The story of these two is a great one. Hendrik trains and works with Ludger Beerbaum in Germany and that is where he bases himself when he is not on tour. Gotha is the daughter of Ludger’s prize stallion and well known champion Goldfever. Ludger had been riding Gotha earlier this year with high hopes. He eventually decided to pass the scopey mare onto his star pupil and confidant, Hendrik, because he felt that the two could possibly make a stronger combination. Well today, Ludger’s foresight and wisdom was proven right!
It was a tricky track with plenty of 4 faults. In fact to be exact, a total of 20 horse and rider combinations out of 40 riders in total had a disappointing 4 fault result. The first two riders, one for South Africa and one for Austria, had some difficulties, but we didn’t have to wait too long for the first clear round. That first clear round came from yesterday’s winner of the Landrover Masters, Francois Jr. Mathy and D’Atlantique Royal. Francois, who has had a wonderful week in Mechelen, rode to a grand applause from the home crowd.
The course proved to have several taxing lines but it was the last part of the triple combination, in particular the back rail, that proved most frustrating for so many. The second clear came from one of Belgium’s pride and joys, Jos Lansink and Cavalor Valentina van’t Heike, who jumped one of my favorite rounds of the day. Valentina is a true tribute to Jos’s expert touch and it was a treat to watch the pair attack the course with ease. So it was confirmed, we were to have a jump off and so far it was between two of Belgium’s finest.
Hendrik’s fellow Swede, Jens Fredricson and the one-and-only Lunatic were also able to clear the track. Just as soon as Jens was out of the ring, France’s top jockey Kevin Staut would match the difficult feat with his eight year old mare Estoy Aqui de Muze.Last year’s winner Gregory Wathelet had 8 faults while Italy’s Juan Carlos Garcia, the Netherland’s Harrie Smolders, Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Ireland’s Denis Lynch all suffered the same fate with a frustrating 4 faults. We were particularly disappointed for Ireland’s Denis Lynch whose full bodied bay, All Star, had been jumping incredibly well all week. It was as though he could never touch a pole but alas it was the back rail of the wide oxer, set at the end of the triple combination, that would dash Denis’ hopes of a win.
Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat showed everyone how it was to be done with his lovely mare Nasa. It would be back-to-back textbook performances, with Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann and Ludger Beerbaum’s Gotha FRH displaying plenty of ease and athleticism despite losing his stirrup after the triple combination. Even though Hendrik was unable to regain his stirrup for the remaining course, him and Gotha finished fault free.
Many of us were betting on Scott Brash, who was riding his reliable gelding Hello Sanctos, but unfortunately it was again the frustration of the triple combination that would dash the hopes for this year’s Olympic Team Gold medalist. But Scott, along with Roger-Yves Bost and Nippon d’Elle, would leave the ring with 4 faults.
However, another clear round was on the way. The 7th clear round came from Britain’s very own Laura Renwick with Oz de Breve. She was overjoyed with Oz and patted the little chestnut gelding over and over. Sure enough, the 8th clear round was close behind with Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer and his bay gelding Verdi III. Pius is currently number four on the overall Western European World Cup standings, and after today’s performance he will have likely secured a place in the final in Gothenburg this spring.
More four faults would follow for Olympic silver medalist Maikel van der Vlueten, Olympian Ludo Philippaerts, Rik Hemeryck and Germany’s Hans-Dieter Dreher. Christian Ahlmann, who sported his new Rolex armband, would be second to last with a very fast 4 faults. Fast enough to secure him 9th place aboard the stallion Taloubet Z. Christian received his new Rolex leading rider armband just today and fashioned it for the last Rolex World cup of the year.
With changes afoot, and the new Longines sponsorship with FEI, we will no longer see the Rolex name fastened to much of what we saw today. An official release will be issued by Rolex on the 15th of January, so we can expect more details to follow.
So it would be 9 horses and riders to follow through to the jump off. It would be an entertaining jump off with plenty of possibilities. Francois Mathy Jr. would certainly look to continue his strong streak with D’Atlantique Royal. Steve Guerdat looked very determined, as he usually is, and many did wonder whether Pius would make Mechelen his second World Cup win of the season.
The first of the nine riders was Belgium’s very own Francois Mathy Jr. who rode a clean and fast clear round. He stopped the clock at 35,89, so we wondered would that be enough? Second to go was the highly acclaimed Jos Lansink. The 2006 World Champion was sure not to fluster his mare too much. Jos kept a strong but steady rhythm and finished on four faults with the time of 40,19 seconds.
We could not say the same about Jens Fredricson on the other hand, who clearly wanted to chase Francois’ time. Surprisingly enough, the Belgian crowd cheered him on. As usual, Jens and Lunatic were fast and tight and everyone seemed assured that the speedy Swede had taken over second place. But alas, as Lunatic lept across the finish line, we all glanced at the time of 36,08 seconds. Indeed, Francois had been faster then many of us had expected and he would remain in lead despite Jens attempts. What a weekend for Francois, who won Saturday’s Masters class and finished second in today’s World Cup.
The man who has been much talked about this year, Steve Guerdat, rode Nasa to a strong clear, but were unable to take over the lead with a time of 37,77 seconds. They would finish fifth in the end.
Henrik once again proved his brilliance and exactly why Ludger has entrusted the lovely Gotha to his expert hands. Henrik steered Gotha around the shorted track with confidence and ease and took over the lead with a time 0.6 second faster then Francois Mathy. As Hendrik glanced up at the scoreboard and saw his time of 35,29 seconds, he fashioned a big smile and punched the air with incredible exuberance. And rightly so, for it would only take the short time to wait through 3 more riders to add to this exuberance.
Laura Renwick gave it her all, as we all expected. Laura is infamous in England and abroad for her speed. Many often say, that if Laura jumps clear, her time is rarely beaten. But today would be the exception to the rule. Oz de Breve jumped very well, but her time of 37,00 seconds would not be the leading time of the day.
Hendrik stood at the in gate in anticipation as Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer entered the ring with Verdi III. But alas, it would not be a double win for Pius Schwizer today. Verdi would unfortunately touch two fences and Hendrik would express a sigh of relief. Simon Delestre was last to go, but despite being the Leading Rider of the Show, today would not be his first World Cup win of the 2012/2013 season.
A very happy Henrik von Eckermann threw his hands up in the air and celebrated his first and much deserved World Cup win. Congratulations Hendrik!
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 8 at Mechelen (BEL)…
December 22nd, 2012… Marc Houtzager (NED) wins the 7th leg of the World Cup in Olympia…
Well today’s Olympia World Cup track may not have been as mind-blowing as Geneva but it certainly presented its challenges. Bob Ellis (GBR) set a tough track within the tight confines of the Olympia stadium and plenty of riders were confronted with it’s difficulties. 35 horses in total were entered, including Bronze medalist Cian O’Connor, all four members of the British Olympic team and all three Whitaker boys; Robert, John and Michael. Geneva’s World Cup winner Edwina Tops Alexander, leading French rider Kevin Staut along with Penelope Leprevost and Roger Yves Bost, as well as US Olympian Laura Kraut were also amongst those to grace the start list. The youngest rider to compete was 19 year old Spaniard Manuel Anon riding his lovely bay mare Rackel Chavannaise. The oldest rider to compete today was the legendary John Whitaker at 57 years young. John’s younger brother, Michael Whitaker, was also in attendance riding Antello Z. Michael is in fact the rider who has ridden in the most World Cup events and the most World Cup finals then any other rider in history.
Well Marc may not have thought so but his jump off time this afternoon for the 7th leg of the World Cup series would prove to be the fastest by 2 whole seconds. Holland’s Olympic Team silver medalist shook his head as he left the international ring, clearly not confident that his time would be fast enough to stay on top with Gerco Schroder, Nick Skelton, Luciana Diniz and Penelope Leprevost still left to go in the eight horse jump off. But sure enough, Marc’s jump off proved to be very fast and very well executed with none other then his big bay Sterrehof’s Tamino. The towering combination, well known for their ability to jump big and technical tracks rather then their speed, proved to be the best today in the second to last Western European World Cup event of the year.
Marc Houtzager became the first Dutchman in 4 years to win the London Olympia World Cup title today beating his fellow Olympic team mate Gerco Schroder and the ever-ready Eurocommerce London. Crowd favorites Peter Charles and Nick Skelton were also amongst those who just couldn’t better the time and score of the Dutch combination. Sweden’s Malin Baryard Johnsson and the show’s sponsor’s very own H&M Tornesch would call on all their experience today as they were one of only three clear rounds with a time of 36.63 seconds. Malin, who states London Olympia as her favorite show of the year, had expected great hopes of winning in London. Malin, who lived in England for many years, training with the legendary John Whitaker was very clearly at home with the H&M banners flying high.
Britain’s very own Guy Williams and Titus were the first combination in the ring for the competitive jump off. They had both the second vertical and the famous London bus down proving that this jump off would be a battle to the end. Peter Charles was the only Brit clear in the jump off with Murka’s Odie de Frevent. Making London Olympia his first five-star international event since the Olympics, Peter had a moderate time of 37.54 seconds.
Malin Baryard-Johnsson, fashioning a very festive H&M green jacket, would follow Peter with efficient time, making quick work of the fast track with her reliable stallion Tornesch. The Swedish jockey was clearly very happy with the round as she left with a smile and plenty of pats for her stunning bay steed. Marc and Tamino would be the first of two Dutchman in the jump off. Picking up speed from the start, Marc piloted the towering Tamino around the track with expert precision, displaying all the competitive fervor from the Global Champions Tour final in Abu Dhabi to the Gucci Masters in Paris. Clocking in at 34.67 would prove to a tough time to beat.
Marc’s fellow Olympic team mate Gerco Schroder would enter the ring next. Riding his classy stallion Eurocommerce London, even Marc had doubts that he could remain in the lead as Gerco and London have proven time and time again to be a very fast combination. But alas it was not to be, as the Individual silver medalists had two rails down and finished with a time of 35.48 seconds.
Next was crowd favorite Nick Skelton and Big Star, highly regarded amongst their peers and thoroughly loved my the British public. You knew who it was as the applause rose and rose, as the bell was sounded Nick and Big Star looked determined to make it a British victory for the Olympia crowd but alas Nick and his beautiful bay stallion would rather ironically have the London bus blocks down. Despite a disappointing finish, the Olympic combination received the biggest applause from the adoring crowd. Clearly as highly regarded amongst the public as they are amongst their fellow competitors.
We all held our breadth as Portugal’s Luciana Diniz entered the ring with her Olympic mount Lennoxx. Luciana is often very fast and wastes no time at all around the turns but it would be the end of the course that would be Luciana’s undoing with 8 faults in total and a time of 35.57 seconds.
France’s leading lady rider would be the last to attempt the jump off and try to unseat the flying Dutchman. Her partner Kevin Staut, France’s leading rider, would watch on but despite both their hopes Penelope and the 11 year old bay mare Nayana would touch 1 rail and earn a time of 36.16 seconds.
It was all over and despite Marc’s humble expectations and doubts of his time, the towering combination would earn their first World Cup win of the 2012/2013 Western European World Cup series. With his win today, Marc pushes himself into 13 position of the World Cup standings, just under Scott Brash. Leading ladies, Malin Baryard Johnsson (now #9) and Penelope Leprevost (now #8) were rewarded well for their efforts today as they jumped up to top 10 and pushed Edwina Tops-Alexander and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum out of the top 10.
Sergio Alvarez Moya still keeps strong hold of his lead despite not attending this week’s World Cup event with 75 points. Kevin Staut inched a little closer with 63 points. Roger Yves Bost jumped from 5th to 3rd place with 39 points and Pius Schwizer dropped down one spot to 4th with 38 points. Marcus Ehning is barely ahead of Oslo World Cup winner Jeroen Dubbeldam with 36 points.
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 7 at London Olympia (GBR):
1. Sergio Alvarez Moya – 75 points
2. Kevin Staut – 63 points
3. Roger Yves Bost – 39 points
4. Pius Schwizer – 38 points
5. Marcus Ehning – 36 points
6. Jeroen Dubbeldam – 35 points
7. Luciana Diniz – 33 points
8. Penelope Leprevost – 33 points
9. Malin Baryard-Johnsson – 32 points
10. Christian Ahlmann – 30 points
December 9th, 2012… Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) wins the 6th leg of the World Cup in Geneva…
Wow!! What a competition it was today in Geneva for the 6th leg of the Western European World Cup league. 40 entries for the demanding class and demanding it most certainly was.
The course was set big, wide and fast with riders such as Ben Maher remarking that the course, set by Switzerland’s very own Rolf Ludi, required riders to make decisions fast, with no time to spare. The time allowed was originally set to 76 seconds but Mr. Ludi pushed the time to 79 seconds at the last minute, just before the first horse was set to enter the ring.It seemed the Swiss course designer was already concerned about the tight time allowed.
Eight horse and rider combinations had qualified for the jump off but as they went over the track for the last time, many analyzed just where the best time could be made up. It was a big jump off set with plenty of space to gallop. If your horse spent little time in the air and had a big stride, this would be an advantage.
Sure enough, Janika was first to go and she set a great time and jumped a clear round. As could be expected, Hansy was right in after Miss Swiss and beat her time with his stallion Magnus Romeo. Ireland’s Denis Lynch had an unfortunate run with 2 fences down on Abbervail van het Dingeshof.
Then it was Edwina and Toti who would enter the ring. Short, compact with a HUGE stride, this jump off could prove to be light work for the 16 year old French bred gelding… infamous to all within our sport and one of the most widely respected little horses on the circuit. Sure enough, it was! Edwina and Itot du Chateau stopped the clock over a second faster then Hans-Dieter Dreher’s time with 40.40 seconds.
With Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, Marco Kutscher, Roger Yves Bost and Sergio Alvarez Moya left to go, would the Australian leading lady be able to hold on to the title and earn her first World Cup win of the year?
Sure enough, none of the boys could catch her, even the often-fast Bosty and the previous World number one Rolf-Goran Bengtsson. It would prove that the little chestnut gelding, with his small, athletic frame and deceivingly large stride, would be unbeatable today. As soon as Sergio crossed the finish line with 41.64 it was all over and Edwina and her groom embraced in the paddock.
Overjoyed, Edwina’s groom could not hold back her tears as she patted Toti over and over. Edwina was congratulated by her friend Rolf and Hymne Rydant before being swept up by her husband and trainer, Olympian Jan Tops.
The legendary Toti was the best and the fastest and the first person to credit her tiny warrior was Edwina. “He deserves it” she said to the stands of Swiss spectators. “He just keeps getting better and better” beamed Edwina as she could not hide her smile, clearly overjoyed as she has only recently come off her Global Champions Tour season win for 2012.
“One of the best days in my career. Toti is incredible and he deserves all the credit” said Edwina.
Today is Edwina’s first World Cup win of the season and her second World Cup win on Itot du Chateau. Her last World Cup Qualifier win was in Vigo, Spain aboard Cevo Socrates in 2010. She also won the World Cup qualifying Grand Prix almost exactly 4 years ago, in London Olympia with the one-and-only Cevo Itot du Chateau.
Edwina, who was ranked 46th in the Western European World Cup Rankings looks likely to move into the Top 10 with her win today in Geneva which will earn her 20 points and bump her score up to 24 points. Sergio Alvarez Moya will take a strong win once again with his 2nd place finish today. He will lead the standings with 75 points.
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 6 at Geneva (SUI):
November 18th, 2012… Kevin Staut (FRA) wins the 5th leg of the World Cup in Stuttgart…
Kevin Staut became the second Frenchman since Philipp Rozier (1985) to win the Grand Prix of Stuttgart, presented by Mercedes-Benz, BW-Bank and Walter solar.
The class, which was watched by 6,400 enthusiastic spectators in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, marked the culmination of the 28th International Stuttgart German Masters. One hundredth of a second was all that separated the 2009 European Champion and German Marcus Ehning in the fifth stopover on the ROLEX FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 tour.
It was a well-deserved reward for a scintillating ride on the 13-year-old mare Stute Silvana HDC when going clear in the jump-off in a time of 42.66 seconds. His performance earned him a Mercedes-Benz ML 250 Off-roader worth 60,000 euro plus 20 points for the Western European League World Cup ranking where he is now in second place but level on points with the leader, the Spaniard Sergio Alvarez Moya. ”I’m unbelievably happy to have won here,” said the delighted winner.
“All the best horses and the best riders were in the line-up here in Stuttgart.” In coming second, Marcus Ehning only just lost out by a whisker. Though he left all the fences standing in the jump-off on his 15-year-old mare Stute Noltes Küchengirl he could “only” clock 42.67 seconds. His ride brought him 30,000 euro prize money and 17 points for the World Cup rankings.
Having now won 28 points, the German is currently lying seventh. Though he also came second on Friday in the Mercedes German Masters he appeared to be well-satisfied: “It was a very good weekend for me. Especially, as I had no faults.” Brazilian-born Luciana Diniz, who has been riding for Portugal for a number of years, won 23,000 euro and 15 points for her efforts. In the saddle on the grey stallion Winningmood, she passed the finishing line clear in 43.90 seconds. “I was very surprised as nothing was working for me earlier in the week.” But after her day with her children back home she decided to “end the Stuttgart horse show on a high note.
”Course designer Christa Jung built a 440-metre course with 13 fences and 16 jumps for the 40 competitors. “We had a fantastic surface and I had to think of something to separate the horses,” said the German who continued modestly “I’m quite satisfied with myself.” World Cup director John Roche was full of praise for the Stuttgart German Masters: “The horse show is a crown jewel in the Western European League.“Kevin Staut is the first foreigner to win the Rolex World Cup Jumping class since it has been staged in Stuttgart. All the previous winners have been from Germany: 2006, 2007 and 2008 Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, 2009 and 2011 Ludger Beerbaum and 2010 Carsten-Otto Nagel.
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 5 at Stuttgart (GER):
November 11th, 2012… Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) wins the 4th leg of the World Cup in Italy
Well sure enough, the man who leads the Western Europeans World Cup standings is the man who wins the 4th leg of the World Cup season today in Verona, Italy. This competition was special for a number of reasons, not least because the Spaniard was riding a horse that was just eight years old, and because Italy’s Luca Moneta was so proud and yet so humble when filling runner-up spot.
The excitement generated during the 12-horse jump-off was electrifying as horses and riders rose to the occasion to produce a piece of pure theatre that had spectators gripping their seats. As third-place finisher, Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson said afterwards, “the sport was amazing, I haven’t competed in a class as exciting as this in a very, very long time!”.
Moya was understandably ecstatic afterwards. “I started with Zipper at the end of March in 1.40m competitions and he jumped in the Queen’s Cup in Madrid but he doesn’t have a lot of experience and he was wonderful today. He is a horse with a lot of blood and he hasn’t always been easy. I have had a lot of control problems, but it’s amazing when you compete a difficult horse and you get him to work with you instead of against you like he did today – and he is still so young!” he pointed out.
For Moneta it was an emotional evening. “I am so happy” said the man who hails from just north of Milan, “not just for the place I have won in this Grand Prix but because I’ve been trying for a very long time to build a relationship with this special horse. Some people didn’t believe in him, they thought I was crazy to continue trying with him, but on Friday here in Verona I said to myself ‘I’m so happy because he’s not fighting against me’ – it wasn’t perfect but it felt like we were finding a connection. And today he offered me his very best – for me that is huge!” he explained with quiet delight.
This was an important day for all the leading riders. Malin Baryard-Johnsson pointed out that “it’s been a hard year” for her. “My horse was injured just two weeks before the Olympic Games, and that was my big goal for the year” she said. “My first big show since before the Olympics was at Lyon last weekend but today it felt much better and it was very exciting to get into the jump-off – the sport was fantastic for everyone, including the riders!” she added.
The Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 series now moves on to Stuttgart, Germany next weekend with Moya heading the league table by a long margin. Today’s ninth placing has moved Kevin Staut up to second, but with 38 points the Frenchman still has more work to do and the same applies for Dutchman Jeroen Dubbeldam who won the opening leg at Oslo, Norway in style and who is lying third with 35 points to his credit.
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 4 at Verona (ITA):
1. Sergio Alvarez Moya ESP – 58
2. Kevin Staut FRA – 38
3. Jeroen Dubbeldam NED – 35
4. Pius Schwizer SUI – 32
5. Scott Brash GBR – 25
6. Eric Van der Vleuten NED – 23
6. William Funnell GBR – 23
8. Christian Ahlmann GER – 22
9. Roger-Yves Bost FRA – 20
9. Manuel Anon ESP – 20
9. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum GER – 20
12. Beat Mandli SUI – 18
12. Ludo Philippaerts BEL – 18
14. Luca Maria Moneta ITA – 17
15. Malin Baryard-Johnsson SWE – 15
15. Paul Estermann SUI – 15
17. Marie Hecart FRA – 14
18. Robert Smith GBR – 13
18. Tim Gredley GBR – 13
20. Marco Kutscher GER – 12
November 4th, 2012… Pius Schwizer (SUI) wins the 3rd World
Cup in Lyon, France
Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer galloped to victory with his mare Verdi in the thrilling and tense third leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League series at Lyon, France. The big guns were out in full force including a heavyweight line-up of home runners, but Frank Rothenberger’s course saw just seven of the 40 starters go through to the second-round jump-off.
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 3 at Lyon (FRA):
October 21st, 2012… Roger Yves Bost (FRA) wins 2nd World Cup in Helsinki, Finland
After a fourteen-horse jump-off, the second leg of the 2012/2013 Rolex FEI World Cup season in Helsinki went to birthday boy Roger Yves Bost and Castles Forbes Myrtille Paulois (Dollar du Murier x Grand Veneur). Bosty was celebrating his 47th birthday today so perhaps he gave himself the best gift of all. 14 horses were included in the jump off including Scott Brash, Jeroen Dubbeldam, Italian rider Giovanni Consorti, Emanuele Gaudiano, Henk van de Pol, William Funnel, Philipp Weishaupt, Sergio Alvarez Moya, Steve Guerdat and Maikel van der Vlueten. But alas, it was Roger and Castles Forbes Myrtille Paulois with the winning time of 37.39 that landed the Frenchman the World Cup win and €30,000 richer.
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 – Standings after Round 2 at Helsinki (FIN):
- Helsinki Horse Show enjoyed its largest attendance figures ever this weekend, with 50,500 spectators enjoying the event.
October 14th, 2012… Olympian Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) wins 1st World Cup in Oslo with BMC Utascha
|1||371||BMC Utascha SFN – KWPN
Mare \ dBay \ 2001 \ Lux x Indoctro
Springpaardenfonds Nederland & J. van Rens
|Land Rover Car||0||0||43.79|
|2||428||Louis 162 – OLDBG
Gelding \ Bay \ 2000 \ Lord Pezi x Ultraschall
|3||316||Carlo 273 – HOLST
Gelding \ Grey \ 2001 \ Contender x Cascavelle
|Sergio Alvarez Moya
|4||379||VDL Groep Verdi – KWPN
Stallion \ Bay \ 2002 \ Quidam de Revel x Landgraf I
|Maikel van der Vleuten
Stal vd Vleuten, Team Nijhof & C.A.M.vd Oetelaar
|5||328||Hello Sanctos – sBs
Gelding \ Bay \ 2002 \ Quasimodo vd Molendreef x Nabab de Reve
Lady P Harris & Lady P Kirkham
|6||331||Billy Congo – AES
Stallion \ Bay \ 2001 \ Vechta x Animo
W. Funnell & D. Barnwell
|7||432||Powerplay – HOLST
Gelding \ Bay \ 2004 \ Casall x Limbus
|8||436||Carusso LS La Silla – SLS
Stallion \ Black \ 2002 \ Portofino x Joost
Club Hipico La Silla & Rolf-Göran Bengtsson
|9||325||Silvana HDC – KWPN
Mare \ Grey \ 1999 \ Corland x Widor
Haras des Coudrettes
|10||322||Mylord Carthago*HN – SF
Stallion \ Grey \ 2000 \ Carthago x Jalisco B
|11||424||Winningmood – BWP
Stallion \ Grey \ 1999 \ Darco x Cassini
Edouard de Rothschild Equestrian Sports LDa
|12||340||Cash 63 – HOLST
Gelding \ Bay \ 1996 \ Carthago x Lavall II
Facts and Figures:
- Oslo presented the first round of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League series.
- A total of 12 qualifying competitions will take place in the Western European League before the final at Gothenburg, Sweden next April (24-28 April 2013).
- Riders from 16 leagues are battling it out for a qualifying spot at the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2012/2013.
- Youngest rider in today’s competition was Victoria Gulliksen, 20 year old daughter of Norwegian team stalwart Geir Gulliksen.
- Youngest horse was the 8 year old Holsteiner gelding Powerplay (Casall x Limbus), owned by Swiss legend Max Hauri and ridden by Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer – this partnership finished seventh.
- A total of 40 riders from 17 nations were in action.
- Three individual Olympic gold medallists competed – reigning champion Steve Guerdat (SUI), 2004 champion Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and 2000 champion Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED).
- 8 horse-and-rider combinations qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock including two each from Great Britain, The Netherlands and Switzerland.
- A total of 6 riders retired in the first round – Norway’s Morten Djupvi (Valle Blanche), Italy’s Luca Moneta (Neptune Brecourt), Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa (HH Rebozo), Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet (Kronos d’Ouilly), Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander (Guccio) and Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt (Catoki).
September 8th, 2012… Team Germany win the $350,000 BMO Nations Cup for the 7th time
Team Germany won the 2012 BMO Nations’ Cup today at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament. In front of a record crowd of 80,961 Team Germany jumped in championship form to win one of the richest Nations’ Cup events in the world, with total prize money of $300,000.
Nine teams started the coveted BMO Nations’ Cup at Spruce Meadows, each with four members selected by their Chef D’Equipe to compete for their country. They battled over a course designed by Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.
“This was my first time here at Spruce Meadows and it is amazing. Not only one ring, but four rings that are so beautiful,” said Philipp Weishaupt from Team Germany. “It’s quite different from Europe, not easier and not harder, just different. It takes special horses to win here.”
“This was our 35th year sponsoring the BMO Nations’ Cup at Spruce Meadows and it couldn’t have been more exciting. The performance of both the riders and horses from the nine countries was world class,” said Frank Techar, President and Chief Executive Officer, Personal and Commercial Banking Canada, BMO Financial Group.
Presenting the winning trophy to Chef D’Equipe Sonke Sonksen, Frank Techar remarked, “Germany is to be congratulated for putting on a magnificent show in this year’s team show-jumping event.”
Team Germany, the reigning World and Nations Cup Top League Champions came to Spruce Meadows following a very disappointing team result at the London Olympics. Germany put on a great show, winning their seventh BMO Nations’ Cup.
Chef D’Equipe: Sonke Sonksen
Hans Dieter Dreher
Chef D’Equipe: Robert Splaine
Chef D’Equipe: Sven Harmsen