Monday, October 31, 2011

Dressage: Olympics: Australian Dressage Team aims for Olympic qualification this week

The Australian Dressage Team’s bid for Olympic qualification got underway on Friday 28 October at the Australian Dressage Championships, Sydney International Equestrian Centre.

The Grand Prix CDI-W class served as the first leg of the Dressage Regional Olympic qualifier. Due to quarantine restrictions, the qualifier will be held in two parts, one in each hemisphere, as riders and horses are based in both Australasia and Europe. The Sydney competition was the first leg whilst the second leg will be in Ermelo (NED) on 2 November.

The qualifier is open to teams from the FEI Olympic Groups F (Africa and Middle East) and G (South East Asia and Oceania). Three nations – Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa – are seeking Olympic qualification. The two best placed teams overall will join Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the USA, which have already qualified.

The same Ground Jury will judge at the two events. The panel consists of FEI 5* judges Stephen Clarke (GBR), who will also be the President of the Ground Jury at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Gotthilf Riexinger (GER) and Susan Hoevenaars (AUS), plus FEI 4* judges Mariëtte Sanders-van Gansewinkel (NED) and Raphaël Saleh (FRA).

On Friday Australia was represented by Rachael Sanna on Jaybee Alabaster and Chantal Wigan on Ferero, with the remaining two Australian team members (Mary Hanna on Sancette and Lyndal Oatley on Potifar) to compete in the Ermelo event on Wednesday. The full South African team will also compete in Ermelo.

Sanna was the best performed rider winning the class on 69.11%. Wigan finished the class in 11th position overall scoring 62.47%.

New Zealand fielded their full team in Sydney. The New Zealand Team finished with a total score of 194.77. Louisa Hill and Bates Antonello posted the highest percentage for the Kiwis (66.13%) followed by Vanessa Way on KH Arvan (65.51%) then Nicky Pope on Fabarchie (63.13%). The discard score was Shiwon Green on Gosh (61.36%).

“We were really really happy with our performance,” commented New Zealand’s Louisa Hill following their team performance in Sydney.

“It is now up to the riders in Ermelo,” said Equestrian Australia High Performance Manager Brett Mace. “We managed a solid result in Sydney so it depends on the performance of our second two riders and of course the South African team.”

A notable absence from the Australian Team was Brett Parbery and Victory Salute. Parbery was not available for selection due to an injury sidelining Victory Salute for the remainder of the year.

Results will be posted in the Equestrian Australia web site following the competition.

Results for the Grand Prix CDI-W Sydney 28 October can be found here

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The US gold medal winning Jumping team at the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico (L to R) Kent Farrington, Christine McCrea, Beezie Madden and McLain Ward. McCrea also clinched the Individual title yesterday ahead of Madden in silver-medal position.  Photo: FEI/

Guadalajara (MEX), 30 October 2011

American Jumping riders showed their class yesterday when adding Individual gold and silver to the team title they claimed last Thursday at the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.  The team victory was utterly convincing, as all four riders kept a clean sheet to leave them with a final tally of just 2.90.

And yesterday Christine McCrea rose from runner-up spot to snatch the Individual title from team-mate Beezie Madden who paid a very heavy price for a single time fault in the second round of the decider.
Individual gold medal Show Jumping winner for USA, Christine McCrea and Romantovich Take One at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. (
Despite their obvious strengths, there was plenty of pressure on the US side from the outset, as the defending Olympic champions had not yet qualified for London 2012.  So Thursday’s result was more than pleasing for US Chef d’Equipe, George Morris, who, typically, was as impressed by his side’s skill in the ring as he was by what they achieved.  “It’s the way they rode. I'm an ideological horseman. I'm not interested in it unless it’s beautifully ridden,” he said after Madden (Coral Reef Via Volo), McCrea (Romantovich Take One), Kent Farrington (Uceko) and McLain Ward (Antares) delivered the goods.

The Brazilian side of Alvaro Miranda Neto (AD Norson), Bernardo Alves (Bridgit), Karina Johannpeter (SRF Dragonfly de Joter) and Rodrigo Pessoa (HH Ashley) claimed silver while Mexico’s Antonio Maurier (Callao), Alberto Michan (Rosalia la Silla), Enrique Gonzalez (Criptonite) and Daniel Michan (Ragna T) took the bronze.

“I have to be honest, it was a lot of stress, this Olympic qualification,” Ward said afterwards. “I felt a little more pressure today and yesterday than I have in past Olympic Games. But it was obviously a fantastic event and I think this is a great team. We came here with a very serious plan to not only try and win but obviously to try to qualify for the Olympic Games. To not qualify would have been a disaster for us. We’re proud of that, and everyone pulled together. We have a great team around us, not only George, and of course pretty good horses so that makes the job a little bit easier,” he added.  It was a superb result, as, for the first time since 1975, the US claimed Pan-American gold in all three disciplines.

Such was the quality of the US performance, that Madden was only competing on her own behalf when jumping last for the US side, as her team-mates had already clinched the team title.  And with another lovely clear from the 13 year old Coral Reef Via Volo, she led the way into the Individual final with a zero score.

But championship debutante McCrea was close behind on a score of 0.88 with the bold-jumping 11 year old Romantovich Take One.  And bolstering the US position going into the Individual fine, which was restricted to the top three riders from each nation lying within the leading 25, was US team pathfinder McLain Ward with Antares F in third.

There wasn’t a fence between the top five as the second and deciding round got underway in the afternoon, and Madden and her Belgian-bred horse continued to demonstrate the jumping prowess that gave them the advantage they established in Wednesday’s opening Speed class.  But it was the clock that punished them in the end as, to the near-disbelief of the spectators, they over-ran the time-allowed of 66 seconds by an excruciating 7/100ths of a second for a single time fault.

So when McCrea completed her fifth clear of the tournament, she overtook her team-mate for the title.

Madden was gracious in defeat. "It cost me a lot," she said, referring to her time fault. "But thank god I have a strong team here and Chris was to take it up - I am happy it was an American (who won), we were still Gold and Silver and with the Team Gold it was a fantastic week for us so no complaints."  Ward, meanwhile, lost his grip on the bronze with one rail down so it was Brazil’s Bernardo Alves who stood on the third step of the medal-winners podium with a foot-perfect performance from Bridgit.

"I did not anticipate that, I'm sure Beezie didn't anticipate that," said McCrea on finding herself with the gold medal around her neck. "It just happened. That's sports.  My overall impression was this was a fabulous week," she continued. "It was great. Our country needed this - we needed it," she added.

And her team manager, George Morris, agreed. "We had a great week here, we had a great unit of people, they get along well - they're lovely people," he pointed out. "We had a great chemistry of people, this club, this whole venue - this is just as nice as any competition I've ever been to at any level anywhere... the atmosphere was great.”

With a clean sweep of team gold and all but two of the Individual medals on offer, the 2011 Pan-American Games will go down in the record books as the most successful ever for US riders.

Team: GOLD - USA 2.90 – Uceko (Kent Farrington), Coral Reef Via Volo (Beezie Madden), Romantovich Take One (Christine McCrea), Antares F (McLain Ward); SILVER – Brazil 11.58 – AD Norson (Alvaro Miranda Neto), Bridgit (Bernardo Alves), SRF Dragonfly de Joter (Karina Johannpeter), HH Ashley (Rodrigo Pessoa); BRONZE – Mexico – Callao (Antonio Maurer), Rosalia la Silla (Alberto Michan), Criptonite (Enrique Gonzalez), Ragna T (Daniel Michan).

Individual: GOLD – Romantovich Take One (Christine McCrea) USA 0.88; SILVER – Coral Reef Via Volo (Beezie Madden) USA 1.00; BRONZE – Bridgit (Bernardo Alves) BRA 2.09.

Facts and Figures: The Jumping course designer was Javier Fernandez.
16 nations took part in Jumping: Argentina, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, USA, and Venezuela.
11 nations participated in the Jumping team competition – USA, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Ecuador, Uruguay.
Three teams qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games: USA, Mexico and Chile. Colombia and Argentina qualified two individual riders each; Bermuda qualified one rider.
US Chef d’Equipe, George Morris – “We have lovely horses down here - the support staff that helps each of these riders are real professionals. It's all preparation."

Individual gold medalist Christine McCrea (USA) speaking after Thursday’s team victory – “I’m just really, really proud of us as a team. We really came together. We came here with a goal and we achieved it, and I’m just really proud.”

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eventing: HSBC: William Fox-Pitt moves up to world number one in HSBC Rankings

William Fox-Pitt (GBR), a member of the British bronze medal team at last weekend’s HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships, has overtaken team mate Mary King at the head of the HSBC Rankings. Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI


Lausanne (SUI), 1 September 2011

William Fox-Pitt (GBR) has taken over from team mate Mary King as world number one in the HSBC Rankings. The British rider, who is competing at the second last leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™ at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this week, is now seven points clear of King and will be wearing the HSBC armband at Burghley.

Both Fox-Pitt and King were part of the British team that secured bronze at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships in Luhmühlen (GER) last weekend, but King failed to finish after a Cross Country fall.

Newly crowned European champion Michael Jung, who picked up team and individual gold in Luhmühlen, has moved up from ninth to fifth in the HSBC Rankings behind Andrew Nicholson (NZL) and Piggy French (GBR) who remain in third and fourth.

Mary King was the first rider to wear the new HSBC armband when it was launched at the beginning of July this year. She remained out in front last month before being overtaken by Fox-Pitt in the new rankings published today. The rider at the top of the HSBC Rankings at the end of the 2011 Eventing season will receive a 50,000 USD bonus.

The HSBC Rankings were launched in 2008, when HSBC became the global sponsor of FEI Eventing.

HSBC Rankings (top 10)

1,   William Fox-Pitt (GBR), 641 points

2,   Mary King (GBR), 634

3,   Andrew Nicholson (NZL), 513

4,   Piggy French (GBR), 495

5,   Michael Jung (GER), 476

6,   Oliver Townend (GBR), 460

7,   Clayton Fredericks (AUS), 456

8,   Andreas Dibowski (GER), 442

9,   Mark Todd (NZL), 437

10, Pippa Funnell (GBR), 383


Györgyi Bardos of Hungary, pictured right, is the individual FEI European Driving Four-in-Hand Championship title holder. He won the last edition of the event held in 1981.
Lausanne (SUI), 1 September 2011

The FEI Open European Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand are back on the FEI calendar for the first time since 1981. Outdoor Brabant, formally known as Breda Hippique, is proud to host the seventh edition of these Championships, which will be held on the traditional show grounds of the Prinsenhoeve Estate in Breda, The Netherlands, from 1 to 4 September 2011.

Breda has hosted the only national team competition (CAIO) for Four-in-Hand in The Netherlands for many years. In 1995, Breda hosted the first ever European Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand ponies as well as the FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships in 2010.

The FEI European Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand were first organised in 1971 in Budapest (HUN) and were held every two years until 1981 at which stage they were discontinued.

The titleholder is Gyorgy Bardos from Hungary, the individual winner of the last 1981 Championships which took place in Zug, Switzerland.

This year’s edition is open to European and non-European drivers. The competition counts as a qualifier for the indoor FEI World Cup™ Driving, which is held during the winter season. Only competitors from Europe can claim the individual and team medals.

Thirty-seven four-in-hand drivers from 12 nations have convened for the event. Nine teams will be measuring their merit in the nations competition.

No less than five World Champions will compete against each other in Breda. Current FEI World Champion and FEI World Cup™ Driving Champion Boyd Exell from Australia is one of the three competitors who will not be able to claim a European medal, but knowing Boyd he will do everything to challenge his European colleagues and to become the winner of this wonderful event. Boyd can expect strong competition from four-time World Champion IJsbrand Chardon (NED), four-in-hand and pair World Champions Zoltan Lazar (HUN) and Werner Ulrich (SUI) as well as double World Champion Tomas Eriksson (SWE).

The FEI Open European Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand will be decided in the usual three phases of the Driving competition; the driven dressage, the spectacular marathon with eight beautiful obstacles and the exciting decisive obstacle driving competition.

For more information on the FEI Open European Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand 2011, please visit the event’s official website

Eventing: Burghley: HSBC FEI Classics™: Fox-Pitt swoops to conquer at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

William Fox-Pitt (GBR), the new world number one in the HSBC Rankings, heads the field after the first day of Dressage at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI.
 Lausanne (SUI), 1 September 2011

William Fox-Pitt (GBR), the new world number one, is on top again, this time at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), the second-last leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™, where he leads after the first day of Dressage on a mark of 39.7.

Fox-Pitt (GBR), who is wearing the special armband as leader of the HSBC Rankings, has posted the only sub-40 mark so far on his first ride, Catherine Witt’s 11-year-old Parklane Hawk, winner of the Blenheim CCI3* (GBR) last year.

The British pair lead Andrew Nicholson (NZL) and the attractive grey Avebury by 2.3 penalties. Elizabeth Power (IRL) and the ex-racehorse Kilpatrick River, back in action after their fall at Badminton (GBR) in May and making their debut at Burghley, are third. Mary King (GBR), current leader in the HSBC FEI Classics™, is fourth on Apache Sauce.

Andrew Nicholson riding AVEBURY (NZL), 2nd place after 1st day of dressage at Burghley. (Kate Houghton/FEI)
Fox-Pitt, who has been penalised for one error of course – halting at the wrong marker – described scoring in the 30s as a “psychological boost”. He says of the New Zealand-bred Thoroughbred by Grosvenor: “He has a superb brain and a lovely trot. He’s all the things you dream about in a horse.”

Fox-Pitt, Nicholson and King, who have decades of experience at Burghley between them, are viewing with interest the new-look Cross Country course, designed by Mark Phillips (GBR) to have a more traditional look in honour of the event’s 50th birthday.

Fox-Pitt, a five-time Burghley winner, said: “It’s a big, attacking course. It feels quite long, but it’s flowing, which should help riders get into a rhythm.”

Nicholson, the winner in 1995 and 2000, commented: “The first part is quite intense with some difficult lines, and then it’s a lot of big, plain fences. I think the key will be working out where to save energy. It’s a good change of style and I hope we’ll all enjoy it.”

King, the 1996 winner, said: “It looks amazing. The fences are beautiful and much bigger than usual. Apache Sauce is capable of doing it, as long as his rider doesn’t get it wrong!”

Australian rider Chris Burton, paying his first visit to Burghley since 2004, was more blunt: “It’s very big, very long and very scary. A proper four-star track.”

Winner of Adelaide CCI4* in 2008 on Holstein Park Leilani, and currently lying 17th on 54.5, Burton added: “We went through a style in Australia of lots of skinnies and angles. There isn’t much of that here – it’s pretty meaty out there. I just hope I get further than I did last time, when I fell off at the fourth fence.”

Elizabeth Power riding KILPATRICK RIVER (IRL), 3rd after 1st day of dressage at Burghley. (Kate Hougton/FEI)
Another rider who has seen Burghley’s differing styles over 20 years is Blyth Tait (NZL), winner in 1998 and 2001. He is back from a seven-year retirement from the sport and is due to perform his Dressage test tomorrow morning on Santos, a horse by the same sire, Grosvenor, as Parklane Hawk.

Other tests to look forward to include Burghley first-timer Sinead Halpin (USA), who is currently lying seventh in the HSBC FEI Classics™ after finishing third at Rolex Kentucky (USA) in April on Manoir de Carneville, and the German pair Simone Deitermann and NRW Free Easy.

Seven former Burghley winners will come before the Ground Jury of Angela Tucker (GBR), Michel Asseray (FRA) and Christina Klingspor (SWE) tomorrow: Lucinda Fredericks (AUS), defending champion Caroline Powell (NZL), Pippa Funnell (GBR) and Oliver Townend (GBR), as well as Fox-Pitt, King and Nicholson on their second rides.

Follow the action on

Results after first day of Dressage:

1 William Fox-Pitt/Parklane Hawk (GBR) 39.7 penalties

2 Andrew Nicholson/Avebury (NZL) 42.0

3 Elizabeth Power/Kilpatrick River (IRL) 43.3

4 Mary King/Apache Sauce (GBR) 44.8

5 Laurence Hunt/Pheobus (GBR) 45.3

6 Sam Griffiths/Happy Times (AUS) 45.5

7 Gaby Cooke/Sir Roscoe (GBR) 46.3

8 Oliver Townend/Neo du Breuil (GBR) 46.7

9 Fiona Hobby/Roma M.L. (GBR) 48.0

10 James Robinson/Comanche (GBR) 48.8

HSBC FEI Classics Standings™ (after 3 of 5 events)

1 Mary King (GBR) 28 points

2 Piggy French (GBR) 20

3 Mark Todd (NZL) 15

4 Andreas Dibowski (GER) 15

5 Sandra Auffarth (GER) 12

6 Clayton Fredericks (AUS) 12

7 Sinead Halpin (USA) 10

8 Frank Ostholt (GER) 10

9 William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 10

10 Oliver Townend (GBR) 9

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jubilant Germans take double gold at HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships at Luhmühlen, by Kate Green

Michael Jung and LaBioesthetique Sam (Kit Houghton/FEI)
Lausanne (SUI), 28 August 2011

There were jubilant scenes as Michael Jung (GER) was crowned European Champion and his team deservedly took gold in a nail-biting finale to the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships at Luhmühlen (GER).

Although a German victory had never been in doubt, the final score sheet was considerably re-arranged after the unfortunate Ingrid Klimke (GER), who had led the first two phases with such flamboyance, suffered the devastating experience of hitting six fences and dropping to 11th place.

The individual medals were still a German whitewash, though, as the hugely talented Sandra Auffarth jumped clear to take individual silver and Frank Ostholt moved up two places to achieve his first individual medal.

Ostholt’s wife, Sara, who was best of the fourth-placed Swedish team, also suffered a dramatic drop down the order. There had been a run of clear rounds as the higher-placed riders found the key to this technically-demanding track. Algotsson-Ostholt had her much-admired mare Wega jumping beautifully until a misunderstanding on the approach to the final double at fence 11. The mare hit the first part and then ran out at the second element. Eighteen penalties dropped her to 12th place but the team held onto fourth and, more importantly, earned their ticket to next year’s Olympics in London.

“It’s very disappointing for my wife,” Ostholt said. “I know how she’s feeling and feel very sorry for her. Most of the year she’s always been ahead of me. Normally her horse jumps so well so it was a real surprise. She’s completely devastated, but pleased that Sweden has qualified for the Olympics.”

The French were only fifth after Dressage but the dashing trio of Donatien Schauly, Nicolas Touzaint, and Stanislas de Zuchowicz (Pascal Leroy was eliminated after a Cross Country fall) all jumped superb clear Jumping rounds and moved up to take team silver and earn their slot at London 2012.

“We’re very happy with the result,” former European Champion Nicolas Touzaint said, “and I’m especially happy with the horse. It’s only his second three-day. He’s learnt a lot this week and is definitely a horse for the future.”

Great Britain dropped to bronze – the first time they’ve missed gold since 1993. The defending champions started to look vulnerable when Nicola Wilson and Opposition Buzz hit the first fence and, with another error from Piggy French, William Fox-Pitt had no room for error. When Cool Mountain rapped the third fence, it was all over.

“We knew it had to end some time,” said Fox-Pitt. “This might be the result that gives us the motivation for the Olympics in London next year, which is our big goal.”

The last time there was a one-nation whitewash of the medals was in 1991 when Great Britain took team gold and all three individual medals. Naturally enough, the Germans were ecstatic with the result.
The victorious German Team (Kit Houghton/FEI)
Michael Jung – “It’s an absolute dream,” Michael Jung said, “and that it happened in Germany and here in Luhmühlen is even more exciting. To have four first places is exceptional for any nation."

Jung now joins Mary Gordon Watson (GBR), Ginny Elliot (GBR) and Zara Phillips (GBR) in the elite band of riders who have held World and European titles simultaneously. He is Germany’s first individual European Champion since Bettina Hoy in 1997, and this is Germany’s first European team gold since Kiev (RUS) in 1973.
Germany claimed team gold and all three individual medals on home ground at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships at Luhmühlen - (from left) Sandra Auffarth (silver), Michael Jung (gold), Frank Ostholt (bronze). (Kit Houghton/FEI)
Ulrich Sprenger of HSBC Trinkaus was thrilled with the way the Championships had gone. “I’d like to thank the remarkable organising committee,” he said. “Julia Otto and her team have done the most remarkable job. I’d also like to than the volunteers for their dedication and hard work that brings this event together, also the the riders and their horses, and the incredible teams behind them. We told you in the beginning of 2011 that we had extended our sponsorship contract for a further three years, and now we’re looking forward to seeing you at the Championships in 2013 in Malmö.”

Event Director Julia Otto was of course delighted with the German result, but was quick to compliment all the riders. “I raise my glass to all the riders, to your wonderful horses and your chefs d’equipes. I’m glad you’re all back here and smiling today. It’s been a fantastic European Championships and we look forward to seeing everyone back here in June 2012.”


Gold: Michael Jung (GER)

Michael, 29, is perhaps the most talented natural horseman to emerge from Germany in recent years. He made his CCI4* debut in 2009 at Luhmühlen and won, on La Biosthetique-Sam, following up with victory in the HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing™ Final at Strzegom (POL) and an individual bronze medal in the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships at Fontainebleau (FRA) in the same year. In 2010, he again topped the HSBC FEI World Cup rankings and went on to win the individual World title at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, again on Sam, owned by Sabine Kreuter. His family runs a riding establishment at Horb, in the south of Germany near Stuttgart.

Silver: Sandra Auffarth (GER)

Sandra, 25, has been the discovery of the championships, making her debut on the senior German team. She won a team bronze medal in the Young Rider Europeans in 2006 and is a former national Young Rider champion. She took over the ride on Opgun Louvo, one of the youngest horses in the championships, three years ago and finished ninth at Boekelo CCI3* last year. She made her CCI4* debut at Luhmühlen in June, finishing second. Sandra is based at Warendorf.

Bronze: Frank Ostholt (GER)

Frank, 36, has been a member of the senior German team since 1993. Riding his best-known horse, Air Jordan, he was a member of the fourth-placed German team at the Athens Olympics in 2004, won European team bronze in 2005 and World team gold in 2006. They also won Luhmühlen CCI4* in 2006 and were placed at Badminton CCI4* in 2007. Riding Mr Medicott, he won Olympic team gold in 2008 in Hong Kong. Frank is married to Swedish team member Sara Algotsson-Ostholt. they are based at Warendorf and have one young daughter, Wilma.

HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships Individual standings:

1 Michael Jung/La Biosthetique Sam FBW (GER*) 33.3 + 0 + 0 = 33.3

2 Sandra Auffarth/Opgun Louvo (GER*) 35.4 + 1.6 + 0 = 37.0

3 Frank Ostholt/Little Paint (GER) 34.0 + 6 + 0 = 40.0

4 Dirk Schrade/King Artus (GER) 36.7 + 6 + 0 = 42.7

5 Stefano Brecciaroli/Apollo van der Wendi Kurt Hoeve (ITA*) 35.8 + 9.2 + 0 = 45.0

6 Donatien Schauly/Ocarina du Chanois (FRA*) 45.6 + 0 + 0 = 45.6

7 William Fox-Pitt/Cool Mountain (GBR*) 42.7 + 0 + 4 = 46.7

8 Nicolas Touzaint/Neptune de Sartene (FRA*) 37.9 + 9.2 + 0 = 47.1

9 Piggy French/Jakata (GBR*) 40.4 + 6.8 + 4 = 51.2

10 Joris van Springel/Lully des Aulnes (BEL*) 51.0 + 1.6 + 0 = 52.6

(* denotes team member)

Team standings

1 Germany, 124.3; 2, France, 151.1; 3, Great Britain, 154.6; 4, Sweden, 199.2; 5, Ireland, 206.7; 6, Italy, 209.2; 7, Netherlands, 217.5; 8, Spain, 316.0; 9, Switzerland, 373.2; 10, Belgium, 1,121.6; 11, Poland, 1,229.2

Full results on

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Eventing: Luhmuhlen: European Championships: German “dream team” enjoy golden day at HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships - by Kate Green

Ingrid Klimke and FRH Butts Abraxxas jump out of the HSBC water complex on their way to a superb clear that put them on top in the individual standings and Germany at the head of the teams after the Cross Country.  Photo: Kate Houghton/FEI

Lausanne (SUI), 27 August 2011

An inspired German team rode like true champions across country at a rain-soaked HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships at Luhmühlen (GER) today and, with a massive 42.3-penalty lead over Great Britain, they now have the treasured gold medal well in their sights.

France have risen to bronze medal position, thanks to superb rounds by Donatien Schauly and Nicolas Touzaint, and have overtaken the Swedes, whose Sara Algotsson-Ostholt on the lovely grey mare Wega is in individual bronze position after a faultless performance.

Michael Jung (GER) riding La Biosthetique - Sam FBW 2nd place after the cross.
German team members Ingrid Klimke, Michael Jung and Sandra Auffarth flew through the testing conditions and all finished on their Dressage scores to lie in individual first, second and fourth positions.

The top three teams each had a rider eliminated, and the Germans were under immediate pressure when their pathfinder Andreas Dibowski suffered a surprise fall at the big spread at fence 22.

“A bit of pressure makes you stronger, and the crowd was a fantastic help,” said Klimke. “It has been a dream of a day. My horse kept his rhythm all the time. It was really enjoyable.”
Sara Algotsson-Ostholt (SWE) riding Wega 3rd after the cross.
Sandra Auffarth (GER), who has been the discovery of the championships, looked foot-perfect on her athletic Opgun Louvo, and world champion Michael Jung (GER), the last rider on course, had perhaps the class round of the day. He rides La Biosthetique Sam with the lightest of touches, and said that his practising at water jumps had paid off handsomely.

Nicola Wilson had been Britain’s discard score after Dressage, but she was the star of the first part of the day, finishing 15 seconds inside the optimum time of 10 minutes 5 seconds despite taking the long route at fence 27, the Rolex Turn. The springy Opposition Buzz jumped so big over the first element that Wilson had to work hard to line him up for the corner that followed, and her fabulous little jumper virtually cleared it from a standstill.

“It was like switching on the ‘cruise control’ button,” said an ecstatic Wilson afterwards. “He was a joy to ride. I’m not used to taking long routes, but it was team orders and I wouldn’t dream of going against that.”

Britain’s number two, Piggy French, had a difficult ride on Jakata, the horse becoming strong and on the forehand, and French was visibly distressed at clocking up 6.8 time penalties.

“I’m just so frustrated, but the further I went, the lower his head went,” she explained. “I’m not cross with him, because he’s built “downhill”, but I’ve got to find a way of working with it. But at least I had a clear round, as that was the priority. It means a lot to me to be on a British team for the first time and I didn’t want to be a dud.”

The British team lost their highest-placed rider, Mary King, when Imperial Cavalier hit the “tea-cup” fence out of the second water complex (fence 15) and fell. Characteristically, King was smiling bravely and thanking the medical staff as they helped her off the course. A subsequent examination found her to be no more than bruised.

There are few better men in such a pressurised situation than William Fox-Pitt (GBR), however, and the British anchorman performed heroics to stay on board after Cool Mountain pecked on landing in the water at fence 14.

The horse got water in his ears and Fox-Pitt lost his stirrup, but they continued undeterred, suffering a near miss at the Rolex Turn when the horse hit the corner but then showed his genuine nature by aiming straight at the narrow third element.

“It was all down to the horse,” said Fox-Pitt. “I’d lost my stirrup and he was so honest.”

Britain’s best chance of an individual medal evaporated when Laura Collett’s horse Rayef was eventually eliminated for three refusals, the first of which was at the second arena complex (fence 10).

Swiss rider Eveline Bodenmuller fell when her horse banked a corner in the arena (fence 9) and the brave Italian rider Susanna Bordone, who went across country in torrential rain in the middle of the day, had a run-out at the same complex.

The Belgium team was relegated to 11th after Sarah van Hasselt fell at 22 and anchorwoman Karin Donckers was submerged in the pond at the Jeep Station (fence 20).

Sweden’s Dag Albert was first out on course and produced a typically confidence-building round, but the team lost ground when the well-placed Niklas Jonsson incurred 40 penalties for two run-outs.

Ireland’s pathfinder Mark Kyle was equally assured and finished inside the time, but Jayne Doherty was another victim of the accuracy fences in the arena and Sam Watson had a stop going into the second water at 14.

The most pleasing aspect of the day for Course-Designer Mark Phillips (GBR) was that 10 out of 11 teams completed, as did 56 out of 70 riders. There were 44 clear rounds, eight of them inside the optimum time.

Event director Julia Otto admitted that the previous evening’s violent thunderstorms and monsoon-like rainstorms had given her a sleepless night, but she was full of praise for her team of officials, especially David Evans’s course-building team who had been up from 4.30am making sure the ground was as good as possible.

“I cannot say thank you enough to them, and also to our spectators, who were amazing, as I would have preferred to stay home and watch television!” she joked.

The home crowd now look set to enjoy a major thrill in tomorrow’s Jumping phase, but, as Ingrid Klimke said: “We are just in the ‘bubble’ for today, and we are going to have a great party tonight. Tomorrow is another day.”

HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships, individual standings after Cross Country:

1 Ingrid Klimke/FRH Butts Abraxxas (GER*) 30.0 + 0 = 30.0

2 Michael Jung/La Biosthetique Sam FBW (GER*) 33.3 + 0 = 33.3

3 Sara Algotsson-Ostholt/Wega (SWE*) 36.0 + 0 = 36.0

4 Sandra Auffarth/Opgun Louvo (GER*) 35.4 + 1.6 = 37.0

5 Frank Ostholt/Little Paint (GER) 34.0 + 6 = 40.0

6 William Fox-Pitt/Cool Mountain (GBR*) 42.7 + 0 = 42.7

7 Dirk Schrade/King Artus (GER) 36.7 + 6 = 42.7

8 Stefano Brecciaroli/Apollo van der Wendi Kurt Hoeve (ITA*) 35.8 + 9.2 = 45.0

9 Donatien Schauly/Ocarina du Chanois (FRA*) 45.6 + 0 = 45.6

10 Nicolas Touzaint/Neptune de Sartene (FRA*) 37.9 + 9.2 = 47.1

(* denotes team member)

Team standings

1 Germany, 100.3; 2, Great Britain, 142.6; 3, France, 151.1; 4, Sweden, 173.2; 5, Ireland, 196.7; 6, Italy, 201.2; 7, Netherlands, 205.5; 8, Spain, 291.0; 9, Poland, 299.6; 10, Switzerland, 334.2; 11, Belgium, 1,120.6.

Full results on

Coverage of tomorrow’s final Jumping phase from the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships will be broadcast live on FEI TV at 11.30 CEST. Visit for live schedules and highlights.

HSBC has renewed its support for a further three-year term to include title sponsorships of the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships in 2011 and 2013 and the HSBC FEI Classics™ until the end of 2013.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Driving FEI: Pairs Driving Championship: Dancer, Wrigley-Miller and Yoder in Fifth Place at Their First FEI World Pair Driving Championship; Yoder Drives to Sixth in Dressage

Joe Yoder (USA) currently in 5th place (Marie DeRonde photo)

From the USEF Communications Department

Joe Yoder at the 2011 FEI World Driving Pair Championship.
Photo: Marie de Ronde.
Lexington, KY - At the 2011 FEI World Pair Driving Championship in Conty, France, American Joe Yoder drove to sixth place Friday in the dressage and the American team - all three drivers making their International Championship debut - sits in fifth place heading into Saturday's marathon.

Led by Chef d'Equipe Chester Weber and Coach Michael Freund, the U.S. is being represented by Yoder, the 2011 USEF National Pair Driving Champion, and Katherin Dancer and Misdee Wrigley-Miller. The trio drove at Reisenbeck CAI in July and earned valuable international experience as they represent their country this week.

Thursday morning marked the beginning of the dressage competition phase and it was Wrigley-Miller drawn as the first and only U.S. competitor on opening day. Wrigley-Miller is in the top half of the pack of 69 drivers, in 20th place on a score of 52.86.

The pressure then passed to Dancer and Yoder on Friday. Dancer is in 34th individually with a score of 58.88. Yoder's impressive sixth-place mark of 44.03 means the team sits in fifth with 96.9 penalties. Germany leads with 84.1 over Switzerland, The Netherlands, and France. The top two scores from each phase count for the Team Classification.

Individually, German Driver Carola Deiner leads with a score of 35.58.

Joe Yoder and Misdee Wrigley-Miller at the 2011 FEI World Driving Championship.
Photo: Marie de Ronde.
"It was extremely muddy and we had to work through it," Yoder said of his dressage test. "It was a good test and the horses were good, but it was quite muddy throughout the test. It is a lot more work when it is like that, a lot more rein handling to keep the horses more supple and more forward. You do lose some impulsion in the mud, it is more difficult for the horses. I am quite pleased with how the horses went, and I'm pleased with the score I received."

Yoder, 30, who began to make a name for himself in 2010 driving a four-in-hand, recently relocated from his Montana home to Aiken, SC, where he drives for Jack Wetzel.

The U.S. Drivers will now turn their focus to Saturday's marathon.

"The marathon is tight and open in the hazards, there are multiple routes to take," Yoder said, adding that the course shouldn't get any muddier as Friday the sun is expected to come out. "If you want tight you can take tight lines, but overall the marathon looks fairly decent. It is a tough, tight course but it looks doable."

Eventing: European Championships: Britain poised in second place after dressage at the HSBC FEI Eventing European Championships 2011

Dressage at the HSBC FEI Eventing European Championships may not have all gone GB’s way but despite this the professionalism of the British quartet has won through. The team of Mary King, Piggy French, William Fox-Pitt and Nicola Wilson chased every mark, pulling through to maintain their overnight position and finish in second place after the dressage phase of the competition on 121.90.

The score keeps them in touch of home nation Germany who leads the competition by 23.20 points going into the cross country phase. It also sees off competitive scores from the Italians in third and the Swedish in fourth on 128.30 and 128.70 respectively.

Four of the five Brits currently lie in the top 20 of the individual standings with championship rookie Laura Collett top of the bunch. Cantering down the centre line for her first senior call-up as an individual the 21 year old proved she can more than hold her own with Mr Jason Houghton’s 12 year old gelding Rayef. The pair rode a polished test for 35.4 to go into joint fourth place after dressage, scoring 9’s for their trot work.

“He was such a good boy, I’m so chuffed with him” said Laura. “He’s been quiet all week as there’s not much atmosphere elsewhere but he got quite bright going into the arena. As soon as we went in he knuckled down though and is becoming a real performer as he gets used to these bigger occasions. Apart from one mistake in his final change he was faultless; this test is definitely up there with his best.”

Mary King ends the dressage best of the team riders in 10th position with the 14 year old Irish Sports horse Imperial Cavalier owned by Miss Janette Chinn and Mr & Mrs Edwin Davies. They rode a smooth, consistent test to produce their best score together of 38.80.

“Thank goodness the test wasn’t yesterday!” said Mary “Today Archie [Imperial Cavalier] got control of his nerves, he was very bright but much more relaxed; at WEG he was uncontrollable; better in Badminton and now finally seems to be beginning to settle. There’s quite an atmosphere in there and the wind has picked up but I was pleased he let me ride him; I’m really thrilled.”

Just behind her team mate, Piggy French’s 40.40 she posted yesterday proved good enough for 11th place after a confident ride with the 13 year old bay gelding Jakata owned by her father, Wally French and Michael Underwood. Meanwhile trailblazer Nicola Wilson’s 52.70 with Opposition Buzz places them 39th in the individual standings.

Reigning world silver medallist and team anchorman William Fox-Pitt recovered from a shaky start in the arena on Cool Mountain, regaining their poise and producing some wonderful work for 42.70 to go into 17th place.

“He got edgy towards the end of his warm up and carried this into his test” explained William. “He’s usually very reliable and steady but I presume this atmosphere just reminded him of all the excitement in Lexington! It’s a shame as overall the horse has improved so much and is a stronger, much more capable horse. It’s disappointing that he just didn’t quite do it here.”

Germany currently occupies the top four spots with Ingrid Klimke heading the leader board on 30.00 penalties after a sublime test that rocked the crowd with FRH Butts Abraxxas. They may may have won the dressage phase but it’s still all to ride for as we head into the cross country tomorrow.

Captain Mark Phillips has designed the course that he hopes will “keep the attention of the best riders while giving those with less experience a way to get round.”
Commenting on the test ahead William said: “It’s an inviting, galloping course that should ride really well, there are lots of little places where things could go wrong but it’s the timing of the course that will prove crucial, it needs to be tight enough to force some penalties.”


Britain come into the championships as World and European team Champions and are chasing their ninth successive European title as well as individual honours.

The host nation Germany are bidding for a first European team gold since 1973

All the British riders are on the UK Sport funded World Class Programme which works with talented riders to maximise their potential and deliver success on the world stage in the three Olympic sports of dressage, eventing, showjumping and the Paralympic sport of para-equestrian dressage. The Programme has been funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, through Exchequer and National Lottery funds, via UK Sport since 1998.

Eventing: FEI: European Championships: Record-breaking Germans lead the field at HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships

Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and FRH Butts Abraxxas lead the individual standings at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships and Germany is on top in the teams after the Dressage.  Photo: Peter Nixon/FEI.

Lausanne (SUI), 26 August 2011

Outstanding performances by Germany’s Ingrid Klimke and Michael Jung have put the home side into a fabulously strong position before tomorrow’s Cross Country phase at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships at Luhmühlen (GER).

The host nation, bidding for a first European team gold since 1973, is now more than 20 penalties ahead of defending champions Great Britain as the first team to score under 100 in the Dressage at European level. The Italians, who won silver in 2009, hold a fractional advantage in third over Sweden, who last won gold back in 1993.

Klimke is no stranger to brilliance in the Dressage arena, but even she was overwhelmed by FRH Butts Abraxxas’s mark of 30.0, which included six 10s: three for the entry and halt; two for her final halt and one, from Ground Jury member Christoph Hess, for her riding.

“Hans Melzer [German team trainer] told me I should do a 29, so he put me under pressure,” Klimke revealed.

The ever-smiling Klimke also admitted to despondency after her fall at Badminton (GBR) in April, in which she suffered a knee injury which kept her out of the saddle for 12 weeks.

“I was very depressed about it all because I just love to ride,” she said. “But then Abraxxas was in good shape at Aachen and Mälmo and now I’m just thankful to be here.

“It’s wonderful because we have so many friends here on home ground and, with Germany running 12 riders [as host nation], it’s a case of ‘one team, one dream’. Our team atmosphere is full of positives.”

Michael Jung (GER) riding La Biosthetique - Sam FBW, 2nd place after dressage.
Jung showed the mark of a World Champion, holding it all together to post a score of 33.3, despite a nervous start when La Biosthetique Sam broke in the first medium trot.

“I tried to take a break, breathe hard and relax,” he said. “I had to make the horse concentrate, but I wasn’t sure how much I could ask for.”
Frank Ostholt (GER), who was also revelling in the atmosphere, chose a good day to score his first ever 10s, for his entry and for his final halt. He is now lying third on Little Paint.

“I know I have a fantastic horse, but it’s another thing in the arena. However, I don’t think this is going to be a dressage competition,” he said.

Frank Ostholt (GER) riding Little Paint 3rd place after dressage.
Ostholt has been a member of the senior German squad since 1993, but individual glory has eluded him, his best result being fourth place at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Aachen (GER).

“I didn’t expect to be on the team this time,” he explained. “Little Paint has had two years off and, although it was fantastic to be third at Luhmühlen CCI4* in June, our preparation has not been 100%. But I have never won an individual medal, so maybe this year will be it.”

Britain’s Laura Collett got her senior championship debut off to a flying start. She is lying equal fourth with Sandra Auffarth (GER). Her only mistake in a beautifully presented test was when her horse Rayef bounded forward in the second flying change.

“He went to change early, I said ‘no’ and it all happened too early – he was a bit surprised,” explained the 21-year-old, who has already won Junior and Young Rider European titles on Rayef. If she completes the set this weekend, it will be a record.
Sandra Auffahrt (GER) riding Opgun Louvo currently is tied for 4th. Peter Nixon/FEI Photo

Ten riders achieved sub-40 marks. Stefano Brecciaroli (ITA), former dual European Champion Nicolas Touzaint (FRA), riding the relatively inexperienced Neptune de Sartene, and Mary King (GBR), who managed to contain the exuberant Imperial Cavalier, all pulled their respective team scores up.

William Fox-Pitt (GBR), whose test on World silver medallist Cool Mountain was marred by resistance, notably in the rein-back, commented: “We’ll need a bit of luck on our side tomorrow.”

Like all riders, he is viewing Course-Designer Mark Phillips’s Cross Country track with respect. “There’s a lot of room for error, and it’s definitely got a sting in the tail,” he said. This is a reference to the penultimate combination, the Rolex Turn (fence 27) where a big ditch and brush is followed by a four-stride turn to a corner and another four strides to a narrow fence.

“I think most riders will take the long route,” predicted Fox-Pitt. “The risk factor seems greater than the time factor.”

The course runs in a reverse direction to usual, so even though Luhmühlen is a familiar venue for many, it will be a completely new test for all.

Course-builder David Evans has excelled himself with his trademark carvings, which include fishing bears in the pool at the far end of the course from which spectators can see seven fences.

The ground is perfect, the weather is forecast to cool down, and, although the Germans appear to be running away with the medals, they know accuracy and focus are key.

“Horses will need to be able to see exactly where they are going and riders will have to be precise,” warned Ingrid Klimke.

Her father, Dr Reiner Klimke, was the most medalled Dressage rider of all time; how proud he would be to see his daughter add a couple of gold medals to the family trophy cabinet in this thrilling HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships, the marks the 30th of these Championships.

Individual standings after Dressage:
1 Ingrid Klimke/FRH Butts Abraxxas (GER*) 30.0
2 Michael Jung/La Biosthetique Sam (GER*) 33.3
3 Frank Ostholt/Little Paint (GER) 34.0
4= Laura Collett/Rayef (GBR) 35.4
4= Sandra Auffarth/Opgun Louvo (GER*) 35.4
6 Stefano Brecciaroli/Apollo van der Wendi Kurt Hoeve (ITA*) 35.8
7 Sara Algotsson-Ostholt/Wega (SWE*) 36.0
8 Dirk Schrade/King Artus (GER) 36.7
9 Nicolas Touzaint/Neptune de Sartene (FRA*) 37.9
10 Mary King/Imperial Cavalier (GBR*) 38.8
(* denotes team member)

Team standings
1 Germany, 98.7; 2, Great Britain, 121.9; 3, Italy, 128.3; 4, Sweden, 128,7; 5, France, 136.6; 6, Netherlands, 140.7; 7, Belgium, 142.9; 8, Ireland, 158.9; 9, Switzerland, 163.9; 10, Spain, 173.0; 11, Poland, 184.4

Full results on

Equestrian Australia’s “roadmap to success‟ released

26 August 2011

A new framework for Equestrian Australia‟s (EA) High Performance Program has been released, as the sport looks to develop an integrated pathway for competitors across all equestrian disciplines.

With the additional funding received from the Federal Government through the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and based on EA‟s strategic priorities (Creating our future: 2010-2016), EA was able to expand its High Performance Program (HPP).In addition to increased benefits for elite level competitors the program will now better capture up-and-coming athletes and horses through talent identification programs for the Olympic/Paralympic disciplines and will now also include non-Olympic disciplines.

The new framework was developed in consultation with EA‟s National Performance Directors along with program partners ASC, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Australian Paralympic Committee (APC).

As the sport gears up for the London 2012 Olympic Games EA CEO Grant Baldock, said the new program will look to strengthen the solid foundations that have already been established in the sport.

“Our record at the Olympic Games has always been strong and that is a testament to the solid foundation the sport has provided over many years in delivering quality programs.

“But as we look to the future, we recognised the need to create a centralised national pathway to better support our athletes, both at home and abroad, as well as to incorporate our non-Olympic disciplines into the framework.

“While the centralised national pathway will provide added support to all athletes, from the  “developing”  to the “world-class” athlete, it will also extend to better support our owners, vets and team staff who all have a vital role to play in achieving excellence,” he said.

·         The major features and changes to the program include:
·         National pathway that focuses on providing a centralised support program to all
·         Olympic/Paralympic disciplines across Australia and abroad
·         Recognition and support of the non-Olympic disciplines within the High Performance
·         framework
·         Creation of a national talent identification program across all disciplines
·         Working closely with the State Branches in program delivery
·         Expanding the High Performance Squads – more than 250 athletes will be part of HPP - an increase from 80 athletes
·         Increase of financial support to Olympic discipline elite athletes
·         Dedicated owners program
·         Development of a European training base to better support athletes participating
·         overseas
·         Using Information Technology infrastructure to support the overall HPP.

The “roadmap to success” is not only about medal performances and success in the short term, but designed to ensure athletes and horses are identified early on and bought into the HPP so that they can be monitored and guided throughout their career.

Australian Sports Commission’s Deputy General Manager of Funding, Andrew Collins, said it was important for the national sporting organisations to have sustainable plans in place to be able to build on success.

“The Australian Sports Commission is working hard with all their key sports to ensure they have the right planning in place ahead of London.

“We are pleased with the work Equestrian Australia has put in with their program that has been about building on the success in the past to deliver success for the future,” he said.

The full High Performance Program clearly outlines the key objectives for each discipline which EA CEO Grant Baldock explains are geared towards international results.

“Our international results and rankings allow us to attract funding and profile, so there is no secret that our High Performance Program aims for international excellence.

“In Beijing, we saw the team qualify in every discipline for the first time and at the World Equestrian Games we fielded a full team in every discipline as well as won Australia’s first WEG gold medal. We now want to take that to the next level and establish the system to create long term success,” he said.

The Equestrian Australia High Performance Program “Roadmap to success‟” 2011-2016, is now available on the EA website

Dressage: FEI: EXQUIS NADINE RETIRES - by Louise Parkes

Exquis Nadine, the 16 year old mare ridden to great success by The Netherlands' Hans Peter Minderhoud, was retired on the final afternoon of the FEI European Dressage Championships 2011 in Rotterdam (NED) last Sunday.  Photo: FEI/Peter Nixon.
Lausanne (SUI), 26 August 2011

There was an emotional moment for Dutch rider, Hans Peter Minderhoud, on the final afternoon of the FEI European Dressage Championships 2011 in Rotterdam (NED) last Sunday when the great mare, Exquis Nadine, was officially retired.

The 16 year old Dutch warmblood, by Partout x Roemer, was bred by G.C Vervoorn at Brakel in The Netherlands and descends from a very distinguished dam bloodline.  During her highly successful career, she won team gold at the FEI European Championships 2007 in Turin (ITA) and team silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong.  She was reserve for the 2009 European Championships and won team gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, USA last year.

Last week Exquis Nadine was part of the bronze-medal-winning Dutch side in Rotterdam, and on Sunday the chestnut mare said goodbye with a lovely performance that earned eleventh place in the hotly-contested Freestyle to Music finale.  Tears trickled down Hans Peter's face as he rode her past the grandstand and acknowledged the crowd's applause on behalf of his great chestnut mare.

"After the ride I felt quite bad" he said, "she gave everything in the Freestyle, but there was no better moment for her to retire."


"I want everyone to remember a special horse, not one that goes on and on until she has nothing left" Hans Peter continued. "She will slow down over the winter months and we will put her in foal in the spring - I know this is the right thing to do, because I've noticed over the last year or so that when I'm riding her past the fields it's hard to get her to concentrate because she's looking at the foals, I think she would love to have one, and it's time for her to have another life.   She has been doing Grand Prix for five years now".

Hans Peter pointed out that the decision to retire Exquis Nadine was only finalised last Sunday, and it wasn't an easy one to make.  But, along with the mare's owners, he had been thinking about it for a while. "She's done such a lot" he pointed out, "she needed an extra page in her passport because she had travelled so much around the world!"

He must now depend on some new rides to ensure he maintains his own profile.  "It's time for Tango to step up a bit now and I have two really nice nine year olds coming along" he said.  But filling the gap left by Nadine's retirement will not be easy - "it is like it is!" Hans Peter said with a tinge of sadness in his voice on Sunday night.  He added that he will miss her greatly as a competition companion, but that she will remain on his farm, "so we will still see each other every day!" he said.

Polly Stockton out of competition following a minor injury to her horse Regulus

Note:  Ingrid Klemke (GER) Currently in the Lead on 30.0
Polly Stockton out of competition following a minor injury to her horse Regulus

Unfortunately Polly Stockton’s ride Regulus, owned by Mrs Anne Henson, has sustained a minor injury that will prevent him from competing this weekend at the FEI European Eventing Championships 2011, Luhmulen, Germany. The combination were selected to compete as individuals in the championship and due to contest the dressage element of the competition this morning.

Team GBR Eventing Performance Manager Yogi Breisner commented: “Regulus came out for exercise this morning and Polly reported he didn’t feel quite right. It was decided it was in the horse’s best interests not to run him. It’s nothing serious and his long term health will be unaffected but it’s obviously very disappointing for all concerned.”

Polly will remain in Germany until the end of the Championships to support her team mates who are chasing their ninth successive European title as well as individual honours. Their chances remain unchanged by the unfortunate withdrawal of Polly and Regulus.


The selected team comprises:

• William Fox-Pitt riding the Hon. Mrs Teresa Stopford Sackville’s Cool Mountain
• Piggy French riding Mr Wally French and Mr Michael Underwood’s Jakata
• Mary King riding Miss Janette Chinn and Mr & Mrs Edwin Davies’s Imperial Cavalier
• Nicola Wilson riding Miss Rosemary Search’s Opposition Buzz
Competing as an individual:
• Laura Collett riding Mr Jason Houghton’s Rayef

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jumping: Fieldstone: Halifax: Charlie Jacobs Goes One-Two in $7,500 Open Welcome Stake at Fieldstone Summer Showcase

Halifax, MA - August 24, 2011 - The Fieldstone Summer Showcase hosted its first major class of the week on the Grand Prix Field with the $7,500 Open Welcome Stake. Charlie Jacobs of Boston, MA, rode Leap of Joy to first place in the class and was second on Flaming Star. The Fieldstone Summer Showcase features top hunter/jumper competition at their beautiful facility in Halifax, MA.

Today marked the second day of competition for the Fieldstone Summer Showcase, which will now run through Saturday, August 27. The MHJ Finals will run at the same times and in the same rings but now on Saturday instead of Sunday. The $25,000 Herb Chambers Companies Grand Prix start time has been moved to noon on Saturday, August 27 (from 3 p.m.). The $7,500 Herb Chambers Companies Speed Stake has been moved to Friday, August 26, at approximately 11 a.m. (from Saturday).

In today's class, Jacobs rode both horses with no faults in the opening round. He returned in the jump-off first on Flaming Star and posted another clear round with a time of 43.696 seconds. Six more would follow Jacobs into the jump-off but none were able to catch his time with no faults.

Jacobs bested himself when he entered the ring on his second horse, Leap of Joy. They were clear and very quick through the rollback turns over the course designed by Eric Hasbrouck. Jacobs and Leap of Joy stopped the timers in 43.556 seconds.

Charlie Jacobs and Leap of Joy
Four more would contest the jump-off, but no other could match his feat. Third place in the class went to DJ Volandre on Tequila, owned by Gina Volandre. They were clear in 45.324 seconds.

Jacobs said he enjoyed competing on the grass field, "I like this field a lot. It's very beautiful. It's really level, and the ground is very forgiving. I enjoy riding out here. It's very nice."

As the Principal & Alternate Governor of the Boston Bruins hockey team, Jacobs is no stranger to competition. He has been a top rider since he was young, and he continues to excel in equestrian sport. With the Fieldstone horse shows, Jacobs feels lucky to have a top horse show "basically in my backyard."

He added with a smile, "I slept in my own bed last night, drove down this morning and rode my horses. I feel very fortunate first and foremost for my string of horses but also to come here and show. My kids showed this morning and this afternoon. My niece is here. It's very much a family affair."

Charlie Jacobs and Leap of Joy with Fieldstone Vice-President Shawn Clawson
Jacobs has owned Leap of Joy, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Lavari, for three years. He purchased the talented horse from top British show jumper Peter Charles and has brought him along through the Low Amateur-Owner Jumpers up to the open classes this summer. This past winter, they were the circuit champions in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

"(Leap of Joy) was a young eight so to speak; he was a little green," Jacobs described of his winning mount. "We took our time in the Amateur division and he has been great. He is leading the country for the Show Jumping Hall of Fame standings. He's had a great year. Who knows? Maybe we'll be able to do something even more interesting this winter!"

Flaming Star, a 12-year-old Irish-bred gelding by Fairman, had more experience up to the 1.50m level in the United Kingdom before Jacobs purchased him last winter. "He came with more of a resume than Leap of Joy. He was more established," Jacobs said. "When I got him, I spent time during Florida trying to get to know him in the Low Amateurs, then the Mediums followed by the Highs. He was champion the last week of WEF in the High Amateurs. He did some really great things this summer. He's been really good for us."

Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star
Jacobs is looking forward to showing both horses in the $25,000 Herb Chambers Companies Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Fieldstone Summer Showcase continues tomorrow with a full day of competition in six rings. The highlight classes of the day are the $10,000 Pony Hunter Derby Finals and $10,000 2'9" Hunter Derby Finals on the Grand Prix Field.

Final Results: $7,500 Open Welcome Stake
1.    Leap of Joy, Charles M. Jacobs, Deeridge Farms (East Aurora, NY): 0/0/43.556
2.    Flaming Star, Charles M. Jacobs, CMJ Sporthorse, LLC (Wellington, FL): 0/0/43.696
3.    Tequila, D.J. Volandre, Gina Volandre (Norwell, MA): 0/0/45.324
4.    Apropos, D.J. Volandre, D.J. Volandre (Norwell, MA): 0/0/47.824
5.    Wednesday Morning, Wendy L. Smith, Diane Denby (Somers, CT): 0/0/47.996
6.    Sangre Azul, Elizabeth Kenny, Alvaro J. Lozada: 0/0/48.573
7.    Quipit L.F., Ragan B. Roberts, Ragan B. Roberts (Little Rock, AR): 0/0/49.419
8.    Carisco, Molly W. Ashe, Sarah E. Ryan (Westport, CT): 0/4/43.148
9.    Vienna, David J. Tromp, Beyaert Farm Inc. (North Salem, NY): 0/4/43.245
10.    Valdez, Olivia Jack, Olivia Jack (Fairfield, CT): 0/4/47.228

Conveniently located just 28 miles south of Boston in the heart of southeastern Massachusetts, The Fieldstone Equestrian and Show Facility is bar none in the New England region. The outstanding competitions provide a great opportunity for riders, owners, and trainers to experience something new and different from their standard horse show destinations. This beautiful, scenic facility is the perfect option for competitors looking to give their horses a breath of fresh air and compete in a beautiful, relaxed environment. Centrally located, the horse show is easily accessible from Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and anywhere in the northeast region.

The stunning show grounds offer competitors, guests and spectators beautifully manicured grounds, miles of trails and an exhibitor friendly atmosphere. The facility boasts nearly 100 acres, equipped with nine all-weather show rings by GGT footing, permanent and temporary stabling, ample parking, and a beautiful all-grass Grand Prix field. Renovated in 2009, this field is a world-class venue for the facility's premier classes. With show schedules boasting over $100,000 in cash and prizes and great exhibitor parties and events, these horse shows are not to be missed!