The LGT Private Banking Prix in Zurich…

Luciana and Fit for Fun made the 1.50 JO look like a walk in the park

Luciana and Fit for Fun made the 1.50 JO look like a walk in the park

Ludger Beerbaum and Chaman win the Private Banking Prix in Zurich…

Ludger & Chaman got to enjoy the Swiss National anthem instead of the German.... rather comical error!!

Ludger & Chaman got to enjoy the Swiss National anthem instead of the German…. rather comical error!!

Well another tough course set by Switzerland’s Rolf Ludi. Tough lines and very little room to breath, riders were again challenged by today’s course. A few more qualified through to the jump off then yesterday. Out of the 56 entries on the start list, ten comb combinations qualified for the jump off, including Olympic medalists Jeroen Dubbeldam, Marc Houtzager, Gerco Schroder and winner Ludger Beerbaum not to mention WEG notables Marcus Ehning and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum.

Hendrik and Camilla

Hendrik and Camilla

The track was difficult with tight lines and challenging angles. The course’s difficulty meant a few strong combinations didn’t make it through such as Denis Lynch and All Star, Katharina Offel and Fidji Island, Kevin Staut and Cheyenne HDC, Christian Ahlmann and Asca Z, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Carusso la Silla as well as Hans-Dieter Dreher and his newly acquired Colore.

Nonetheless, a ten horse jump off would prove to be competitive enough to say the least and Dutch Silver medalist Marc Houtzager was the first to start things off with Sterrehof’s Opium. Marc and Opium were fast and clean, with a time of 38.26 seconds, which put the Dutch duo into the lead.

Switzerland’s Christina Liebherr was second but a disappointing 4 faults would keep one Swiss rider from winning. California-born German rider Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and the aptly named gelding Unbelievable. Unfortunately for Meredith, the German combo were just 0.02 seconds behind Marc’s time, putting them in second place with a time of 38.28. So close!!

Switzerland’s Werner Muff, leading rider for the show at the moment, was next to go. Hopes of a Swiss victory were evident as the crowd grew silent. Fashioning his armband, Werner had a frustrating 8 fault score and a time of 38.35 seconds. Another Swiss off the list.

Ukraine’s winner of the 2012 Global Champions Tour Finale in Abu Dhabi, Katharina Offel and Fidji Island, were next in the ring, sure to give Marc a run for his money. But alas, it was not to be, with a surprising 12 fault score.

Gerco and Seoul are reunited

Gerco and Seoul are reunited

Gerco Schroder and the newly named Seoul were next up with a good chance at matching his Dutch team mates time. It was interesting to see all of Gerco’s mounts with new names for the new year. Eurocommerce has now been omitted from the horses’ registered names. Gerco and Seoul beat Marc and Opium’s time with a fast and efficient round, stopping the clock at 37.77 seconds. Very well executed, but with Ludger, Luciana and Jeroen Dubbeldam to come, would it be enough?

Alas, it would not! Ludger was next up aboard his stunning bay stallion Chaman. Clearly fixated on a win, the four-time Olympic gold medalist made quick work of the jump off, crossing the finish line with a time of 36.55 seconds.

In typical Ludger fashion, the German combo looked to be in a strong place for the win.

A truly beautiful round by the leggy Brazilian beauty; Miss Luciana Diniz. Truly textbook but unfortunately not fast enough to match Ludger’s time. Luciana and Fit for Fun finished with a time of 39.82 seconds, putting her under Meredith, Marc and Gerco.

Second last to go was Olympic gold medalist Jeroen Dubbeldam aboard the feisty grey BMC Quality Time. Making the shortened track look easy, the Dutch combination finished smooth, perhaps too smooth, with a time of 37.97.

So all hopes were raised when Swiss beauty Alexandra Fricker came in to finish the class aboard Albfuehren’s Memphis. Alexandra has been serving up some strong rounds over the last two days and today was no exception. Clean and relatively fast, Alexandra and Memphis stopped the clock at 38.05 seconds, which would be good enough for 4th place.

The Swiss crowd cheered for Alexandra regardless and the young Swiss miss offered her mount a well-deserved pat for a job well done.

Congratulations to Ludger and Chaman for a great win! A great set up for tomorrow’s big day!!

Chaman attacked the tough course with ease!!

Chaman attacked the tough course with ease!!

LGT Private Banking Prix

1.50 FEI Art 238.2.2 (Zurich, Switzerland)

1. 37 Chaman Beerbaum, Ludger GER
B 14-j.H v.Baloubet du Rouet/M.v.I Love You/KWPN/MEX01925/B: Winter-Schulze, Made GER
2. 62 Seoul Schröder, Gerco NED
B 12-j.W v.Thunder van de Zuuthoeve/M.v.Lancer II/BWP/NED41598/B: Gevi Internatio NED
3. 55 Quality Time TN Dubbeldam, Jeroen NED
SCH 11-j.H v.Quantum/M.v.Cantus/HOLST/NED40905/B: H.J.Nijhof NED
4. 79 Albfuehren’s Memphis Fricker, Alexandra SUI
B 12-j.H v.Quinar/M.v.Carthago/HOLST/NED07642/B: Hofgut Albführen GmbH SUI
5. 58 Sterrehof’s Opium Houtzager, Marc NED
B 17-j.H v.Polydor/M.v.Bormio/WESTF/GER23567/B: Stoeterij Sterrehof B.V. NED
6. 45 Unbelievable Michaels-Beerbaum, Meredith GER
B 12-j.W v.Manhattan/M.v.Democraat/KWPN/GER42182/B: Windward Farm GER
7. 67 Fit for Fun Diniz, Luciana POR
F 9-j.S v.For Pleasure/M.v.Fabriano/HANN/103IB23/B: G.R.O.W. Horses & Jünger, Ral POR
8. 88 L B Con Grazia CH Liebherr, Christina SUI
B 10-j.S v.Con Spirito R/M.v.Karondo V. Schlösslihof/CH/102OR73/B: La Baumetta Sa SUI
9. 95 Landthago Muff, Werner SUI
SCH 10-j.W v.Landjunge/M.v.Carthago/HOLST/102QP50/B: Muff Werner SUI
10. 122 Fidji Island Offel, Katharina UKR
F 12-j.S v.For Feeling/M.v.Wanderer/HANN/GER44709/B: Llc Vian Group UKR
11. 30 Voila Smith, Robert GBR
B 11-j.S v.Calvados/M.v.Concorde/KWPN/102QD90/B: Robert Smith GBR
12. 44 Sabrina Ehning, Marcus GER
B 14-j.S v.Sandro Boy/M.v.Landadel/BAY/GER40673/B: Winley Farm Llc & Gölkel, Judi GER

Christian wins for Hickstead…

“The one who could fly without wings and conquer without sword”

The biggest and perhaps, the class laden with the most emotion, was this evenings Hickstead Memorial Prix dedicated to Canada’s Olympic gold medal winner Hickstead. The Olympic stallion, that tragically passed away during the World Cup in Verona last year just after the first round, found himself back in the ring at Verona in a lovely evening of remembrance and recognition.

Due to the tragic and sudden death, the class last year was cancelled and the prize money was set to be shared amongst all the riders. Instead, the riders suggested that a class be created in Hickstead’s memory the following year, and tonight we see that consideration come to life in the most fitting recognition of the amazing stallion’s tragic death.

Tonight’s Hickstead’s Memorial Prix 100,000 Euro was won by Christian Almann and Taloubet Z.

The top 3 rider’s in tonight’s memorial Prix were in fact all German riders. Ludger Beerbaum came in 2nd with his stallion Chaman while Marco Kutscher landed in 3rd place with his gelding Cornet’s Cristallo. It was a full class, with 42 top international riders and what better way to remember one the world’s greatest horses then a Prix with his past competitors.

100,000 Hickstead Memorial Prix Results

Who won this weekend…

Ludger Beerbaum and his great stallion Chaman added another win to the list, and took home the 6th leg of the DKB Riders Tour in Hannover on Sunday. Twelve riders made it into the jump-off, and Ludger was just slightly faster than the Brazilian born Cassio Rivetti on Lord if de Chalusse 3 who rides for the Ukraine. Clarissa Crotta, feeling good after her excellent result in Rio, ended up in third with her long-time partner West Side v. Meerputh.

Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Bluebuster landed in 5th place while one of my favorites, Michael Whitaker ended up 6th riding his Zangerseide stallion Antello Z.

Speaking of DKB Riders Tour, Luciana Diniz has taken over the lead after the sixth leg at the German Classics in Hannover this weekend. Ludger Beerbaum climbed up to 2nd place and Katrin Eckermann, who was leading before Hannover, fell down to 3rd place. Only one show remains in the DKB Riders Tour, and that takes place in Munich the coming weekend.

The two star Grand Prix in Strazeele went to Gregory Wathelet aboard his lovely Baloudana. The Belgian rider was one of six double clears in the class. In second place followed British rider Louise Saywelle on Winner with the time of 32.30, while Belgian rider Francois Brichart was third on Azimut Chavannais Z.

The two star Grand Prix in Genk, Belgium went to Joy Lammers (NED) and T Sellie. In second was Belgian rider Guido Hornesch riding Concorde followed swiftly by Mike Busschops aboard Covia Z. It was a full class with the likes of Stephex stables’ Eiken Sato (JAP), Farid Ladjouan (HAI), Ashford Farms’ Marlon Zanotelli (BRA), GBK Horses’ Pilar Cordon (ESP), Neil Jones Equestrian’s Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) and Olympians Kamal Bahamdan (KSA), Jos Lansink (BEL), Dirk Demeersman (BEL) and James Paterson-Robinson (AUS) also in attendance.

The best combinations of 2011…

FEI actually ranks the performance of the top horse and rider combinations present for that year of competition. As we come closer to the end of the 2012 season, I look at the 2011 standings and wonder how different or how similar the standings will be for 2012.
A few changes will of course be seen. Beezie Madden now has Simon rather then the Netherland’s Jeroen Dubbeldam. The beloved Hickstead is no longer with us and Eric has ended his 2012 season early with a much needed sabbatical.
We have some double appearances on the list which is most impressive. It takes quite a lot of work to make your way onto this list, let alone twice. Pius Schwizer (SUI) has made the list twice however one of his mounts, Carlina, now resides with Trevor Coyle (IRL) in Belgium. Another jockey to make the list twice is Canada’s Eric Lamaze however with his break from all things show jumping, it is unlikely he will get the same results this year.

1. Nick SKELTON CARLO 273 (GBR) 1641
2. Jeroen DUBBELDAM SIMON (NED) 1630
3. Beezie MADDEN CORAL REEF VIA VOLO (USA) 1560
4. Richard SPOONER CRISTALLO (USA) 1538
5. Eric LAMAZE HICKSTEAD (CAN) 1458
6. Luciana DINIZ WINNINGMOOD (POR)
7. Ludger BEERBAUM CHAMAN (GER)
8. Michel ROBERT KELLEMOI DE PEPITA (FRA)
9. Ian MILLAR STAR POWER (CAN)
10. Rolf-Göran BENGTSSON CASALL LA SILLA (SWE)
11. Kevin STAUT SILVANA HDC (FRA)
12. Pius SCHWIZER CARLINA (SUI)
13. Margie GOLDSTEIN-ENGLE INDIGO (USA)
14. Harrie SMOLDERS REGINA Z (NED)
15. Ludger BEERBAUM GOTHA FRH (GER)
16. Christian AHLMANN TALOUBET Z (GER)
17. Christine TRIBBLE McCREA ROMANTOVICH TAKE ONE (USA)
18. Pius SCHWIZER VERDI III (SUI)
19. Carsten-Otto NAGEL CORRADINA 2 (GER)
20. Edwina TOPS-ALEXANDER CEVO ITOT DU CHATEAU(AUS)
21. Lauren HOUGH QUICK STUDY (USA)
22. Olivier GUILLON LORD DE THEIZE (FRA)
23. Ben MAHER TRIPPLE X III (GBR)
24. Penelope LEPREVOST MYLORD CARTHAGO*HN (FRA)
25. Rich FELLERS FLEXIBLE (USA)
26. Kent FARRINGTON UCEKO (USA)
27. Billy TWOMEY TINKA’S SERENADE (IRL)
28. Laura KRAUT CEDRIC (USA)
29. Maikel VAN DER VLEUTEN VDL GROEP VERDI (NED)
30. Eric LAMAZE CORIANA VAN KLAPSCHEUT(CAN)
31. McLain WARD ANTARES F (USA)