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!

Eventing: USEF: Pan Am Games: Mandatory Outing for the 2011 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team Set to Begin By Joanie Morris

Lexington, KY - The journey to the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico makes its next eventing stop in Richland, Michigan. Fourteen of the 15 horses currently short-listed by the USEF head to the Midwest to contest their Mandatory Outing at the Richland Park CIC and Horse Trials August 25-28.

The Pan American Games will be contested at the CCI2* level in 2011, which gives many riders who have never before represented the United States the chance to ride on the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the first time. They will contest a modified division made up of the CCI2* dressage test, the Advanced cross country course and an Advanced height show jumping track.

Allie Slusher withdrew her horse Pierre on August 23, which moved Jennifer Taxay Kelly onto the Short list as the first ranked substitute. The second ranked substitute, Matt Flynn, also withdrew Breakthrough from consideration. This leaves 15 horses on the short list, all of which will contest the Mandatory Outing except for Cold Harbor. Boyd Martin and Cold Harbor were excused from the event as Martin prepares Neville Bardos for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England next week. Michael Pollard will ride his wife Nathalie's Schoensgreen Hanni at Richland Park before he joins Martin in England to ride Icarus at Burghley.

Both riders received Land Rover Training and Competition Grants to offset the expense of that trip. Please click here for more information:

Out of the 15 riders on the USEF Short List, three have represented the U.S. at previous
championships. Martin and Buck Davidson were teammates on the 2010 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Davidson has Absolute Liberty, an 8-year-old Thoroughbred cross mare, in consideration for his second Pan American Games. Twelve years ago, Davidson rode Pajama Game to a sixth place finish in Winnipeg. Lynn Symansky rode as an Individual in 2003 at the Pan American Games when they were held at Fair Hill International (in Maryland). She and No It Tissant jumped immaculately to finish 10th. Symansky's next star is Donner. Together they won the Intermediate division at the 2010 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Championships and were fifth at the 2011 Jersey Fresh CCI2*. 

The youngest member of the short list was also the 2009 Gold Medalist at the Adequan FEI North American Young Rider Championships. Maxance McManamy, is only 19 years old, was the 2009 winner of the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year award. On the field of play she won the 2011 Twin Rivers CCI2* in April with her colorful paint gelding, Project Runway. She is currently recovering from a broken foot.

On the senior end of the equation is Dr. Kevin Keane. Renowned as one of the premiere sport horse veterinarians in the world, he travelled with the U.S. Show Jumping Team in the 1980s and has many of the top eventing horses in the U.S. in his care. An amateur competitor, he has had a hugely successful year with Fernhill Flutter and is poised to make a bid for his first team opportunity.

Anna Collier and Upper Crust D, McManamy and Project Runway, Shannon Lilley and Ballingowan Pizzazz, Tamra Smith on Mar de Amor, Jennifer Taxay Kelly and Jolie Wentworth on Good Knight make up a strong West Coast contingent heading to Richland to vie for Pan Am selection.

Anna Collier and Uppercrust D were second at both the CIC2* at Galway Downs and the CCI2* at Twin Rivers in the Spring of 2011. Lilley was third in the CCI2* at the Event at Rebecca Farm in July, and the following weekend she served as the Chef d'Equipe of the Area VI eventing at the 2011 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North.  Her Junior Team won Silver.

Smith and Leigh Mesher's Mar de Amor won the CIC3* at The Twin Rivers event in April, Mesher owned Amy Tryon's exceptionally consistent performer, My Beau, whom Mesher rode at the 1998 North American Young Riders Championships and then went on to top placings around the world at the CCI4* level with Tryon.

Taxay Kelly owned Outlawed, the horse with whom David O'Connor was shortlisted for the 2004 Olympic Games and was most recently fourth behind Lilley in The Event at Rebecca Farm's CCI2* with Taboo.

Wentworth and Good Knight were second in last fall's CCI2* at Galway Downs and then fourth in the Event at Rebecca Farm's CIC3* in July.

Emily Beshear and Here's to You head west from their Virginia base. They are long established at this level, having won the CCI2* at Jersey Fresh in 2009. In 2011, they were eighth at the Bromont CCI3*.

Hannah Sue Burnett has been on a roll in 2011. She was second at the Bromont CCI2* on Jacqueline Mars' Harbour Pilot - the horse on which she is short-listed - and placed sixth at the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* presented by Bridgestone on St. Barths. Burnett has been preparing Harbour Pilot, a homebred Irish Sport Horse gelding, all year for this opportunity.

Jonathan Holling and his mother Constance's Downtown Harrison have rocketed through the levels. They have two top three CIC2* placings to their record and were seventh at the CCI2* at the Bromont International CCI - all in 2011. Downtown Harrison has never had a cross-country penalty since his eventing career began in 2009.

Kristin Schmolze has had a long string of success at the upper levels, highlighted by a second place finish at the 2003 Fair Hill International CCI3* with Cavaldi. She and Ballylaffin Bracken look to make their first team together.

Four Facts About the Short List:

Average age of the 15 short-listed horses: 9.6 years
Average age of the riders: 30 years
Total miles travelled to Richland Park: 38,992
Six of them travelled over 2000, Shannon Lilley came the furthest: 2322 miles.

The complete short list as of August 24th:

Emily Beshear/34/Somerset, VA/Here's to You/11/Thoroughbred/G/ Deep Purple Eventing

Hannah Sue Burnett/25/Ocala, FL/Harbour Pilot/8/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Jacqueline Mars

Anna Collier/35/Vancouver, WA/Uppercrust D/10/KWPN/G/ Anna Collier

Bruce Davidson Jr./35/Ocala, FL/Absolute Liberty/8/Thoroughbred Cross/M/Sharon Will

Jonathan Holling/34/Ocala, FL/ Downtown Harrison/7/Trakehner-Thoroughbred Cross/G/ Constance Holling

Kevin Keane/56/Kennett Square, PA/Fernhill Flutter/9/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Kevin Keane

Shannon Lilley/32/Gilroy, CA/Ballingowan Pizzaz/9/Irish Sport Horse/G/ The Lilley Group

Boyd Martin/32/Cochranville, PA/Cold Harbor/11/Canadian Sport Horse/G/ Dana Diemer

Maxance McManamy/19/Templeton, CA/Project Runway/7/Trakehner/G/ Maxance McManamy

Michael Pollard/30/Dalton, GA/Schoensgreen Hanni/8/German Sport Horse/M/ Natalie Pollard

Kristin Schmolze/28/Califon, NJ/Ballylaffin Bracken/11/Irish Sport Horse/G/ Kristin, Janet, and Bill Schmolze

Tamra Smith/36/Murietta, CA/Mar de Amor/11/Selle Francais/G/ Leigh Mesher

Lynn Symansky/28/Middleburg, VA/Donner/8/Thoroughbred/G/Lynn Symansky

Jennifer Taxay Kelly/47/Agua Dulce, CA/Taboo/7/Thoroughbred/M/ Jennifer Taxay Kelly

Jolie Wentworth/30/Martinez, CA, /Good Knight/9/Canadian Sport Horse/ Tracy Bowman


The competition runs Thursday-Sunday, please visit: for complete information and the link to live scoring.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Driving: FEI: Pairs Driving Championship: Twenty-four nations represented at 15th FEI World Pairs Driving Championships in Conty

Reigning World Champion Harrie Verstappen (NED) will defend his gold medal in Conty. Image: Rinaldo de Craen/FEI
The Driving world will gather in the Picardie region in France this week (24-28 August), when the Ateliers du Val de Selle will host the 15th FEI World Pairs Driving Championship in Conty. Sixty-nine competitors from 24 nations, will battle against each other for the individual and team medals, with 18 nations fielding teams and six countries sending individuals.

Amongst the competitors is reigning World Champion Harrie Verstappen (NED), who will not only defend his individual gold medal, but also help defend the Dutch team title, won at the 2009 FEI World Pair Driving Championship in Kecskemét (HUN). The 2009 silver medallist Beat Schenk (SUI) is one of the many medal favourites, as well as Vilmos Lazar (HUN), who has just recovered from several broken ribs.

The youngest competitor in Conty is the 15-year-old Anna Sandmann (GER), daughter of successful international four-in-hand driver Christoph Sandmann, who will act as her navigator in the marathon. Anna is competing as an individual.

The course design in Conty is in the capable hands of Barry Hunter (GBR), who is making his World Championship debut. Barry has been an international course designer since 2004 and has worked in the UK and the USA, including Lowther, Sandringham, Royal Windsor, Erddig, British National Championships, Live Oak, Sunshine State and Katydid events.

The Ground Jury is chaired by Dr Klaus Christ (GER) and the members are Anne-Marie Turbe (FRA), Bert Jambon (BEL), Hanspeter Rüschlin (SUI) and Diana Brownlie (GBR).

Conty has a long history in equestrian events, including the FEI World Single Driving Championship in 2002 and the international combined driving event (CAI) that takes place in Conty every year.

The high-level sporting centre in Conty is managed by the Ateliers du Val de Selle, an establishment that helps and supports handicapped adults and is cherished by its founder Allain Houard, who is an international course designer himself. The World Championship also holds a festivity programme including circus acts and equestrian shows, other competitions such as national farriery contests, a draft horse competition and an international friendly driving event for disabled people.


Thursday 25 August: dressage (first part)

Friday 26 August: dressage (second part)

Saturday 27 August: marathon

Sunday 28 August: obstacle driving competition and medal ceremony



Clarke Johnstone (NZL) on Orient Express seals victory in FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011. Photo: PSV J. Morel.

Clarke Johnstone (NZL) was celebrating with a large bottle of champagne, part of his spoils from Haras du Pin (FRA), where he finally sealed victory in the FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011.

 “I’ve just flown five horses from New Zealand to England, so I’m not really in credit at the moment!” joked Johnstone. “But this is a very satisfying result and I’m going to enjoy it.”

Johnstone is perennially successful in FEI World Cup™ Eventing - he finished fifth overall last year - but this time the 24-year-old World team bronze medallist set an unmatchable target right from the start of the season. He scored a win and a third place in his native New Zealand, at Kihikihi, and when he also triumphed in the next event in the series, at Sydney (AUS), the dye was cast.

For good measure, Johnstone completed Haras du Pin (FRA), the seventh and final event in the 2011 series, in sixth place on Kihikihi winner Orient Express, but his overall series victory was assured even before the competition started at the French venue.

Another of the younger riders, Christopher Burton (AUS), tracked Johnstone all the way, only finishing four points shy to take second place in the series.

Burton put up a magnificent fight. Having slotted into second at Kihkihi (NZL) and second and fifth at Sydney (AUS); riding the same two horses, Newsprint and Holstein Park Leilani, he then finished second and third at Haras du Pin to close the gap. But even if he had won the series climax, he would still have been an agonising one point in arrears behind Johnstone.

At the culmination of seven fiercely contested CIC3*s in seven countries, Belarusian rider Aliaksandr Faminou has made history as the highest placed rider from Eastern Europe in the history of the FEI World Cup™ Eventing. His brilliant achievement of three placings at Minsk (BLR) proved highly profitable, leaving him third in this year’s series.

Southern hemisphere riders filled seven out of the top 10 places at Haras du Pin (FRA), site of a French national stud and one of the most attractive venues in the calendar. In a tight finish, Clayton Fredericks (AUS), twice an FEI World Cup™ Eventing champion, riding Dunges Laurent Rose, won by less than one penalty ahead of Burton on Newsprint.

Fredericks had led after Cross Country on his other horse, the German-bred mare Be My Guest, but an expensive 16 Jumping faults dropped the partnership to fourth behind Burton’s Holstein Park Leilani.

After a relatively trouble-free Cross Country phase, the Jumping proved hugely influential - there was only one clear round from the 34 riders to complete the competition.

International FEI World Cup™ Eventing

“The efforts of New Zealand and Australia to gain points in Europe this year have really  paid off, with Clarke Johnstone, Christopher Burton, Shane Rose and Clayton Fredericks all in the top six,” said Catrin Norinder, Director of Eventing & Olympic at the FEI.

“The fact that eight nations made it into the top ten of this year’s FEI World Cup Eventing is also testament to how widely this trophy is contested globally.

“Riders from 15 countries competed on the series this year and this has really captured the imaginations of Eventing fans around the world, who have followed the series right through to its culmination in Haras du Pin.”

About the winner

Clarke Johnstone (NZL), 24, is from New Zealand’s South Island where his parents farm sheep and cattle. He started riding at the age of 12 and after graduating from Otago University, he spent three years based near Hamilton, North Island. He has now travelled to Gloucestershire, England, with five horses and the aim of competing at next year’s London Olympic Games.

He was long-listed for the 2008 Olympics with Oakley Vision, a horse he started riding when he was only 14, and made his team debut last year with Orient Express, a horse produced by 2000 Olympian Paul O’Brien (NZL), winning a team bronze medal at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Kentucky (USA).

He now heads to Burghley CCI4* (GBR) with Incognito and Taupo CCI3* winner Kolora Stud Secrets and to Blenheim CCI3* (GBR) with Orient Express.

FEI World Cup™ Eventing Standings (after 7 of 7 events)

1 Clarke Johnstone (NZL) 118
2 Christopher Burton (AUS) 114
3 Aliaksandr Faminou (BLR) 92
4 Michael Jung (GER) 79
5 Shane Rose (AUS) 70
6 Clayton Fredericks (AUS) 77
7 Yoshiaki Oiwa (JPN) 68
8 Mykhailo Nastenko (RUS) 64
9 Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) 62
10 Peter Thomsen (GER) 56

For full standings, please click here.

FEI World Cup™ Eventing Prize-Money

1 Clarke Johnstone (NZL) €15,000
2 Chris Burton (AUS) €9,000
3 Aliaksandr Faminou (BLR) €4,000

*The total prize money for FEI World Cup™ Eventing 2011 is €28,000. This year there were seven legs in the series, with each leg contributing €4,000. 

Results from Haras du Pin

1 Clayton Fredericks/Dunges Laurent Rose (AUS) 43.5 + 3.2 + 4 = 50.7
2 Christopher Burton/Newsprint (AUS) 43.5 + 0 + 8 = 51.5
3 Christopher Burton/Holstein Park Leilani 50.6 + 0 + 8 = 58.6
4 Clayton Fredericks/Be My Guest (AUS) 43.3 + 0 + 16 = 59.3
5 Alix de Herce/Minx du Mane Roz (FRA) 52.6 + 3.6 + 4 = 60.2
6 Clarke Johnstone/Orient Express (NZL) 48.9 + 0 + 12 = 60.9
7 Cedric Lyard/Narcos de Soulac (FRA) 49.1 + 4 + 8 = 61.1
8 Mark Todd/NZB Campino (NZL) 43.7 + 10 + 8 = 61.7
9 Regis Prud Hon/Debiut (FRA) 52.2 + 5.6 + 4 = 61.8
10 Paul Tapner/Kilfinnie ll (AUS) 45.6 + 0 + 17 = 62.6
11 Eddy Sans/Kramique (FRA) 45.0 + 9.2 + 12 = 66.2

Full results on

Monday, August 22, 2011

Driving: USEF: Dancer, Wrigley-Miller and Yoder Set to Drive in their First FEI World Pair Driving Championship in France - By Joanie Morris

Joe Yoder Winning the 2011 National Championship (Photo by

Lexington, KY - The 2011 FEI World  Pair Driving Championship get underway this week in Conty, France, and three American drivers are set to make their International Championships debut.
Led by Chef d'Equipe Chester Weber and Coach Michael Freund, the U.S. will be represented by Katherin Dancer, Misdee Wrigley-Miller and Joe Yoder. These three drivers drove as a team at Reisenbeck CAI in July and earned valuable international experience which Weber believes will serve them well going into the World Championship.

Dancer, a German expatriate now lives in California where she runs a riding program - she drives a team of Warmblood horses and comes off a strong spring which featured a third place finish at the USEF National Pair Driving Championships at the Live Oak CDE in March. She is guided by her husband Scott, who serves as her navigator.

Wrigley-Miller is also driving on her first international team, but she is also hugely successful in the Saddlebred world. She drives a promising group of young warmbloods and with her pair, Wrigley-Miller had top finishes at the Live Oak CDE, Sunshine State CDE and at the German National Championships. She also competed at Great Britain's Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2010. 

She has one of the best navigators in the world, Dutch superstar Koos de Ronde, on her carriage for the marathon.

"We made that decision earlier in the year," said Weber. "It seems to be going quite well. There was a small injury to one of her best marathon horses - but that horse is back for the World Championships and we are excited about that."

Joe Yoder Winning the 2011 National Championship (Photo by

Joe Yoder began to make a name for himself in 2010 driving a four-in-hand, and he recently relocated from his Montana home to Aiken, South Carolina, where he drives for Jack Wetzel. Yoder turned 30 this year, and Weber feels that he has a long career in the sport ahead of him. He is the 2011 USEF National Pair Driving Champion.

"I think Joe is an up-and-coming driver," said Weber. "He's part of America's driving future, our hope is this that he will drive teams next."

But first, there is Conty to conquer and Weber is optimistic about what the week has in store for his team:

"All of them are quite inexperienced in terms of international competition and their first Nations Cup show was in Reisenbeck, but they all have some very nice horses," said Weber. "I try to treat them all like professionals because they have all obviously merited their position at a World Championships, I try to encourage them all to have three steady days in a row. They all got a lot of perspective while at Reisenbeck. I am optimistic about them. I am smart enough to never underestimate Michael Freund's ability to coach them. And they've been based there for the last week at training camp - he will have made some progress working on their weakness from the last big event. Michael and I are about the most competitive people, so we will do our best for a good result with this good team."