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German wins with last-to-go daredevil ride

German wins with last-to-go daredevil ride

By Louise Parkes

Daniel Deusser (37), winner of today’s third leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League, admitted this evening that it was a last-minute change of plan that gave him victory.

“The first question we all had when we saw the jump-off course was, is it possible to do six strides from fence one to fence two? I was thinking for me it was definitely seven because my horse would be hard to turn…and actually I only did the six because I saw Niels going in six, and I know that he has not the biggest horse and he was in the lead so I had to do the same!” the German rider said after bringing the crowd to their feet with a breathtaking last-to-go run with Calisto Blue.

There’s something about Jumping Verona that always guarantees a thriller, and this was vintage stuff.

“I’ve been here a couple of times with my best horses in good shape, and every year we have big sport with close results and a lot of people in a very exciting jump-off. So to be one time the winner here makes me very proud!”

Daniel Deusser (GER)

The Italian fixture attracted a spectacular line-up including all three medallists from the individual podium at last month’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, USA, and their horses too. However new world champion, Germany’s Simone Blum, had a tumble with DSP Alice on Friday and although both are fine she decided to ride her young horse Cool Hill who had eight first-round faults. So when bronze medallists Steve Guerdat and Bianca also faulted in the opening round then silver medallist Martin Fuchs and his brilliant gelding Clooney were the only ones to make it through to the 14-horse jump-off.

Fifth to go against the clock, Italy’s Luca Marziani set the crowd alight when storming home with Tokyo du Soleil in 39.69 seconds, but then Bertram Allen (23) raised the bar with a brilliant round from his 2014 Verona winner Molly Malone in 38.60 seconds to take the lead. However the young Irishman was immediately demoted by his Swiss friend Martin Fuchs who shaved 0.2 off that, and then Niels Brynseels and his incredibly quick mare Gancia de Muze re-set the target once more when blazing through the timers in 37.03 seconds.

With just three to go it seemed that just couldn’t be bettered, and that the Belgian had it in the bag. Even Deusser doubted he could do it –

“but I was last to go, and with the public and the atmosphere like that, I just stopped thinking about it and went in and I really wanted to try!”

Daniel Deusser (GER)

The roar of the crowd was enough to tell him he had succeeded, by an incredibly narrow margin of just 0.2 seconds. His expression of sheer delight said it all.

He has only been riding the 11-year-old gelding Calisto Blue since July and it hasn’t all been plain sailing. “In the beginning it was very difficult, he’s scopey, very careful and fast but he’s very nervous. Especially with me with my long body, it was difficult to find the co-ordination because he was very sensitive. I’ve had good results in Grand Prix at Berlin and Brussels, but I was always fourth or fifth and he was never really able to win a class for me” explained the tall German. That was until today of course.

Fuchs was very happy with his third-place finish and some valuable early points in the battle for one of the top-18 places in the Western European League that will take riders to the Longines Final in Gothenburg (SWE) next April.

“This is my first big show since Tryon so many riders I haven’t seen since my (silver) medal have been coming to me to say congratulations and so it has been a very nice show!”

Martin Fuchs (SUI)

Deusser was reminded this evening that he has finished first, second and third on the World Cup podium. “Yes my history in the World Cup sounds quite good if you look at it like that, but every year we start on zero again! It’s nice to start the season with 20 points, but it’s still a long way to the Final and I’m definitely hoping to qualify!” said the man who line out again next week in Lyon (FRA), the place where he posted his memorable series victory in 2014.

Watch highlights of Daniel Deusser’s win here


1. Calisto Blue (Daniel Deusser) GER 0/0 36.83
2. Gancia de Muze (Niels Bruynseels) BEL 0/0 37.03
3. Clooney (Martin Fuchs) SUI 0/0 38.40

Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League after Round 3 at Verona (ITA):
1 Hans Dieter Dreher GER 28
2 Kevin Staut FRA 22

Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Verona Daniel Deusser and Calisto Blue (GER)
Photo FEI/ Massimo Argenziano

3 Gudrun Patteet BEL 21
4 Luca Moneta ITA 21
5 Daniel Deusser GER 20
5 Douglas Lindelow SWE 20
7 Niels Bruynseels BEL 17
8 Steve Guerdat SUI 17

Madden & Breitling Reassert Themselves With Longines Win in Washington

Breitling LSElizabeth Madden (USA)

Madden & Breitling Reassert Themselves With Longines Win in Washington

By Catie Staszak

As the defending champion of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, US Olympian Beezie Madden is prequalified for next year’s Final in Gothenburg. Saturday night in Washington, D.C. (USA), she reminded everyone why she’s earned such a distinction.

Madden, aboard her World Cup Champion Breitling LS, put on an absolute clinic to win the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington. On a night that celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Washington International Horse Show, the duo topped a four-horse jump-off, crossing the timers of Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER)’s shortened course in 30.74 seconds. It was an all-American female podium, as Katie Dinan (USA) and Dougie Douglas finished second (32.93 seconds), and Lucy Davis (USA) and Caracho were third (33.44).

“This was Breitling’s first indoor this year…nice to see he’s in form. It just shows why he was so good at World Cup Finals!”

Beezie Madden (USA)

“This was [Breitling’s] first indoor event of the year,” Madden said. “It’s nice to see that he’s in form. It just shows why he was so good at World Cup Finals. He walked right in here, and he’s clever, rideable, adjustable, careful, and he can handle tight spaces like this.”

Coming back third in the jump-off, Madden and Breitling were able to shave more than two seconds off Dinan’s time thanks to their swift turns—particularly one taken to the penultimate vertical.

“My horse has natural foot speed and is quite good at turning,” Madden said. “I think I made [the time] up on the turns at both ends [on the ring], particularly on the last turn.”

A Closer Race in the East

Washington’s results made the World Cup standings tighter than ever. Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) remains at the top of the east coast sub league standings of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League with 29 points, but with her third-place finish, Davis is now tied with Georgina Bloomberg (USA) in second. They each have 28 points. A point behind them is Mattias Tromp (USA), and just four points separate the top five, with Madden (26 points) now sitting in fifth.

The North American League continues in Lexington, KY (USA), on 3 November 2018.

1. Breitling LS, Beezie Madden (USA) 0/0 30.74
2. Dougie Douglas, Katie Dinan (USA) 0/0 32.93
3. Caracho, Lucy Davis (USA) 0/0 33.44

Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League -East sub league standings:
1 Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) 29
2 Georgina Bloomberg (USA) 28
3 Lucy Davis (USA) 28

Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League -West sub league standings:
1 Zazou Hoffman (USA) 32
2 Eve Jobs (USA) 31
3 Uma O’Neill (USA) 24

Germany’s Wilhelm Genn Puts On a Show in Sacramento to Notch First Longines Victory

Germany’s Wilhelm Genn Puts On a Show in Sacramento to Notch First Longines Victory

By Catie Staszak

Less than three hours from the city of Columbus, which hosted its first ever Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier this weekend, is German rider Wilhelm Genn’s Rheinland Farm. Genn wasn’t there, but found himself on top in the World Cup competition, more than 2,400 miles away.

Genn (GER) and his mount Bugatti topped a nine-horse jump-off to win the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento, their first victory in a World Cup event. With a clear jump-off in 36.88 seconds, the duo topped Karrie Rufer (USA) and Georgie d’Auvray EC (37.31 seconds) by just under a half-second. Karl Cook (USA) and Caillou finished third, crossing the timers with a clean round in 38.47 seconds.
“I was hoping I got a chance to run for it today, and it worked out. Bugatti likes the footing, and he likes the crowd—it gets him a little excited, and that makes him better, because normally he’s a very lazy horse. It all kind of played a little bit in my favor.”

Wilhelm Genn (Germany)

The stands were packed to capacity Saturday night at the Murieta Equestrian Center as 25 combinations lined up to take on Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) 1.60m course. The first clear round did not come until the 14th horse in the order, but eight others quickly followed suit.

“My horse felt great,” Genn said. “I like to plan things, so before we came here, we showed in Kentucky, because they have a grand prix Friday night under the nights [indoors]. That was our warm-up, and we jumped very well there, so I felt pretty confident.”

Genn had not originally planned to compete on the west coast, but when his son Theo, who also jumped Saturday night with Taylor Reid’s Boucanier, elected to make the journey, he decided to join him. The decision proved to pay off in spades.

“I really came here for my son,” Genn said. “And then I thought, ‘I’ll bring my two horses.'”

Two New Leaders

New names sit atop the standings in both the east and west coast sub leagues of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League. Genn, who is declared on the east coast, now leads those standings. He is tied at the top with Molly Ashe Cawley (USA), who earned her first Longines victory in New York. Both have 20 points.

Rufer may have finished second in Sacramento, but she also ended the night a winner, going to the top of the west coast standings with 21 points. She earned 17 points for her runner-up finish, combined with the four points she received in at Vancouver (CAN) in August, the first qualifier of the 2018-2019 season.

The North American League continues with a double-header weekend. On the east coast, Columbus, OH (USA) hosts its first World Cup qualifier on 07 October 2018 at 1:00pm ET.

1. Bugatti, Wilhelm Genn (GER) 0/0 36.88
2. Georgie d’Auvray EC, Karrie Rufer (USA) 0/0 37.31
3. Caillou, Karl Cook (USA) 0/0 38.47

Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League -West sub league standings:
1 Karrie Rufer (USA) 21
2 Uma O’Neill (USA) 20
3 Carlos Hank Guerreiro (MEX) 17


Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League -East sub league standings:
1 Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) 20
2 Wilhelm Genn (GER) 20
3 Conor Swail (IRL) 17

USA finishes second ahead of Brazil in third

Marcus Ehning of Germany rides Come IL Faut 5 as the Germany team wins the Challenge Cup in the Real Club de Polo where during the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, Spain, 06 October 2018. The Finals run on 07 October 2018.
Photo FEI/Jim Hollander

USA finishes second ahead of Brazil in third

by Louise Parkes

by Louise Parkes

Marcus Ehning was the hero of the hour when clinching the Challenge Cup for Germany at the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final 2018 in Barcelona (ESP) tonight riding Comme Il Faut. Team-mate Philipp Weishaupt produced a foot-perfect pathfinding run from the lovely mare Asathir, but when Hans-Dieter Dreher left two fences on the floor with Berlinda and youngest team member Maurice Tebbel had a fence down and a time fault with Chacco’s Son, then all the pressure was piled on Ehning’s shoulders. He knew exactly what he had to do because he’s done it so many times before.

“I had to go clear to win the class. This last 20 years I’ve been doing the sport I’m used to the pressure. Especially this year I had a few rounds where I had to be clear and I was lucky I was clear, but I hope that will change and that in future years the pressure is on someone else!”

Marcus Ehning (Team Germany)

he said with a smile tonight after his team won through on a total of five faults.

Of the seven competing nations there were two with just three team-members, Canada who started out that way in yesterday’s first round of the Final and USA whose numbers were reduced when Jessica Springsteen and RMF Zecilie were a late withdrawal this evening. But Alex Granato, who was on the reserve bench yesterday, really rose to the occasion by steering Carlchen W through a foot-perfect round. So when all the US had to count was a double-error from Andy Kocher and Kahlua and a single time fault from Lucy Deslauriers with Hester then their nine-fault total was good enough for runner-up spot.

That time fault was costly however, because Deslauriers was the last of the five riders chasing down a €50,000 bonus on offer to anyone producing clear rounds both yesterday and today. If she had been just that little bit faster she would have had it all to herself.

Brazil lined up third on 10 faults ahead of Spain with 15, Canada with 16, Great Britain with 20 and the United Arab Emirates on a big score of 40 faults.

The Germans had mixed feelings about tonight’s success. The competition was open to the teams that did not qualify in yesterday’s first round for tomorrow’s top-eight Final. Philipp Weishaupt said it was tough to miss the cut by such a narrow margin when time was taken into account after four teams completed with an eight-fault scoreline. “We missed out by less than a second, and it wasn’t so easy to keep the motivation up today. We put our breeches on in the hotel and came out to jump tonight but all the other teams had their jeans on. But we knew we had to do it and we knew we had to try our best”, he added.

Ehning, who along with Tebbel was a member of the German team that claimed bronze at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Tryon, USA two weeks ago when their team-mate, Simone Blum, also took the individual title with the lovely mare DSP Alice, is one of the world’s most admired horsemen. Tonight he had the crowd spell-bound as he cruised at high speed around the track to bring glory to his country once again.

Asked how he prepared to go into such a pressure round he explained that Comme Il Faut had been jumping too high in the practice arena, so he schooled him over small fences to get him to jump lower which would allow them to take on the course at greater speed.

“Especially at the first fence I wanted him to be fast. The time was a bit tight…but if you can flow with him then you just have to follow him and he makes it very easy for the rider, he’s a very clever horse!”

Marcus Ehning (Team Germany)

Meanwhile his Chef d’Equipe described the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ series as “the biggest thing we have in our sport! All of our different stakeholders are fighting for it, the breeders, supporters, owners, the riders, the Chefs’ d’Equipe, the Federations, everybody. It’s something special to be in a team, to fight with a team, to lose or win together for your country. I love this!” Otto Becker said.

Plenty of surprises on the opening day

Plenty of surprises on the opening day

by Louise Parkes

Longines FEI Nations Cup™ final Barcelona 2018 Julia Houtzager-Kayser AUT riding Sterrehof’s Cayetano Z
Photo FEI/ Lukasz Kowalski

“We won already!” said Austrian Chef d’Equipe Marcus Wallishauser after his team shared top spot with Italy at the end of the first round of competition at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2018 at the Real Club de Polo in Barcelona, Spain tonight. But there’s still a long way to go before the new champions are crowned on Sunday afternoon when the top eight teams from tonight’s class return to the arena for the second and deciding round.

The Austrians and Italians collected just a single time fault each, and with just four faults apiece Sweden, Belgium and The Netherlands have also made the cut along with the Irish who picked up five faults. But it came down to the combined times of team riders to separate the Swiss, French, Germans and Americans when they all completed with eight faults on the board.

And when the calculations were done it was the Swiss and French who were signed up for Sunday afternoon, while the Germans and Americans will join Canada, Great Britain, Brazil, the UAE and host nation of Spain in tomorrow night’s Challenge Cup for those that didn’t make it.

Wallishauser’s team booked their tickets to Barcelona when winning the Europe Division 2 qualifier in Budapest (HUN), but they were not hot favourites coming into tonight’s competition even though that victory in August was a convincing one when they trounced the opposition with a zero score.

“For us to be in the final is already perfect – now we just need to focus like we did today and let’s see what we can do!” said the Austrian team manager who is hoping that Roland Englebrecht (Chambery), Julia Houtzager-Kayser (Sterrehof’s Cayetano Z), Felix Koller (Captain future 3) and Max Kuhner (PSG Final) can continue this run of great form.

But as Italian anchorman, Lorenzo de Luca, pointed out tonight, the next challenge from Spanish course designer Santiago Varela is going to be considerably more testing.

“There’s still a big day ahead – Sunday is going to be huge!”

Lorenzo de Luca (Team Italy)

He picked up four faults with Ensor de Litrange but was under absolutely no pressure when last to go because team-mates Luca Marziani (Tokyo du Soleil) and Riccardo Pisani (Chaclot) had both jumped clear while Bruno Chimirri (Tower Mouche) clocked up just a single time fault. So that was all they would have to put on the board when the best three scores were taken into account.

“It was a very good night for Italy, my team all jumped great so I didn’t have to jump but I decided to bring my horse in to let him see the fences. We are going to celebrate tonight but we will still be focused for Sunday, I promise you!” de Luca added.

In stark contrast to the Italian rider, Irish anchorman Darragh Kenny had no room for error when he came into the ring. With five faults already on the board, another four would leave his team well outside the qualifying zone, but he kept a cool head to steer Balou du Reventon through the finish with nothing to add. “Our goal was to get into Sunday, that was the most important thing for us so we were very happy we did that. We have a great team and we’re all working really well together so I think we should do well. We’ll go out there trying to do our best and see what happens, that’s for sure!” he said.

Thrilling 10-horse jump-off sets Finnish crowd wild

Helsinki International Horse Show; Longines FEI World Cup Helsinki; Gudrun Patteet – Sea Coast Pebbles Z BEL
Photo FEI /Satu Pirinen

Thrilling 10-horse jump-off sets Finnish crowd wild

By Louise Parkes

Gudrun Patteet (33) and Sea Coast Pebbles Z won the sizzling second leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League in Helsinki, Finland today. Second-last to go in an edge-of-the-seat 10-horse jump-off, they scorched through the finish to post the Belgian rider’s first-ever World Cup success and to firmly grasp those maximum qualifying points on the road to the Longines Final next April.

And it wasn’t the easiest of tasks because the second-round decider was stacked high with some of the most formidable opposition on the showjumping planet. Swiss supremo Steve Guerdat set a blistering target with the great mare Hannah when third to go against the clock, but they just kept getting quicker and quicker. However Patteet, who has an outstanding reputation as a producer of top-class young horses, is no shrinking violet, and neither is her quirky 12-year-old gelding.

“He’s not normal, he’s very complicated and very, very hot, but he’s so brave and very talented. I’m really happy for him, he was super today!”

Gudrun Patteet (BEL)

Guerdat looked to have really thrown down the gauntlet when galloping home in 40.10 seconds over the jump-off course set by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge. And when French rider Olivier Robert and the handsome Tempo de Paban and Belgium’s Christophe Vanderhasselt with identity Vitseroel were clear but slower, the Swiss star remained in front.

But when Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt and the 11-year-old mare Asathir broke the 40-second barrier despite a wide run to the last, and then reigning European champion Peder Fredricson from Sweden was faster still when breaking the beam in 39.51 seconds with the 10-year-old Hansson WI, the lead kept changing. The 2011 series champion, Christian Ahlmann from Germany, didn’t threaten when stopping the clock in 40.43 seconds when third-last to go with his exciting nine-year-old grey stallion, Clintrexo Z, who looks set for future-stardom.

However Pateet and Pebbles most certainly did, racing through the track with absolute determination and scorching through the finish in the winning time of 39.30 as the crowd went wild with excitement. Last in, Hans-Dieter Dreher and the flamboyant 17-year-old stallion Embassy ll gave it their best shot, but when the Longines clock showed 39.47 seconds the German duo had to settle for runner-up spot ahead of Fredricson in third.

Pateet, who is based in the heart of Belgium’s horse-country between Brussels and Antwerp, won gold in 2013 and bronze this year at the prestigious FEI WBFSH Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken, Belgium. “I used to ride them from four-year-olds but now I start riding them at six, and I want to continue doing that because you become more of a team with your horse when you ride them from when they are young”, she said today.

She only acquired Pebbles as an eight-year-old however, and he was never easy. He still isn’t. She has an unusual warm-up routine before going into the ring.

“First he goes on the lunge, and then I get on him with 10 horses to go because if I warm him up any other way he just loses it! I know how to handle him now, but I have to follow my plan carefully. He’s one of the fastest horses in world so if the plan goes well he can beat anybody!”

Joe Bloggs (Team Country)

Today’s win leaves her in second place on the Western European League table going into next week’s third leg of the series in Verona, Italy with Germany’s Dreher sitting in pole position when adding points from last weekend’s open in Oslo (NOR) where he finished sixth.

Irish Sport Horse Studbook reigns supreme once again

French-bred Cristal Fontaine tops 6-year-olds, Brandenburg mare Asha P wins 7-year-old category

By Louise Parkes

GBR-Kitty King rides Cristal Fontaine during the Cross Country for the CCI1*6YO. Interim-3rd. 2018 FRA-Mondial du Lion World Breeding Championships for Young Horses. Saturday 20 October.
Photo FEI/ Libby Law Photography

The Irish Sport Horse Studbook won the overall title for the second consecutive year at the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses 2018 which drew to a close at the Haras National at l’Isle de Briand in Le Lion d’Angers (FRA) yesterday. The title is decided by the best three scores of each Studbook in both categories, and it was the performances of Emerald Jonny ridden by Great Britain’s Piggy French, Cooley Moonshine with America’s Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Universal Cooley with Britain’s Camilla Millie Dumas that decided the result when these three finished second, third and fourth in the 6-year-old division.

The combined score for the Irish-bred horses was 79.5, giving them almost three points of an advantage over the second-placed Selle Français Studbook while the KWPN Studbook of The Netherlands finished third on a score of 102.0.

There were 25 Irish horses representing eight nations in the two categories, but it was the Selle Français gelding Cristal Fontaine that claimed the 6-Year-Old title for Britain’s Kitty King while the Brandenburg mare, Asha P, was steered to success in the 7-year-old class by Germany’s Ingrid Klimke.


King and the French-bred grey owned by Alex Wakeley posted a score of 25.4 for third place on Dressage day and never faltered. America’s Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Moonshine were the dressage leaders ahead of Dumas and Universal Cooley in second while British compatriot, Piggy French, sat in fourth spot going into cross-country day when the 20-fence track presented relatively few problems.

However single showjumping errors cost the top two dearly yesterday, dropping Halliday-Sharp to third and Dumas to fourth while clears for King and French saw them claim the top two places.

King (36) is an Olympian and a veteran of multiple Young Horse Championships at Le Lion where she previously finished third with Zidante as a 6-year-old before returning to win the 7-year-olds with the same horse the following year. She was filled with emotion yesterday when she realised she’d done it again, and was mighty proud of her lovely grey gelding.

“He’s just tried really, really hard. I always said to the owner he was as good as Zidante…..and I’m just chuffed to bits with him. Millie (Dumas) and Liz (Halliday-Sharp) are on really good jumpers, I know what their English form is like so I would have been delighted to just finish third on my dressage score. It’s wonderful, I’m so pleased for my team at home, my sponsors and especially my owners!”

Kitty King (GBR)

A total of 40 horse-and-rider combinations started in this category and 36 completed.


In contrast to the younger horses, the 7-year-olds found the cross-country test set by master course designer Pierre Michelet much more challenging, with 19 different horse-and-rider combinations racking up penalty points including three that retired and seven that were eliminated. A total of 69 started in this category, and 56 completed.

Newly-crowned team and individual world champion, Great Britain’s Rosalind Canter, made it all the way to fence 20, four from home, before her Irish-bred Rehy Royal Diamond collected 20 penalties for a refusal. Well down the line in 17th place after dressage she finished 44th in the final analysis, while dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, was eliminated for a fall with Chocolat at fence 8 which left the three-time Olympic gold medallist with a shoulder injury.

As a result second-placed Klimke and Asha P rose to pole position when cruising round the cross-country track well inside the time-allowed of 9’14”, but going into yesterday’s final phase they had only 0.3 of a lead over Britain’s Nicola Wilson and JL Dublin who posted the second-quickest cross-country time. However a fence down yesterday saw this pair drop to fifth and it was Great Britain’s Tom Jackson with the Irish-bred Capels Hollow Drift who slotted into runner-up spot behind Klimke and her bay Brandenburg mare who never put a foot wrong. Third place went to Astier Nicolas from France with Babylon de Gamma (SF) and Belgium’s Karin Donckers and Leipheimer van’t Verhah (BWP) finished fourth.

Double Olympic and double World Championship team gold medallist Klimke, who clinched individual bronze with SAP Hale Bob at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA last month, was delighted with her result.

“It’s my third win at the Mondial du Lion and the happiness is still the same! I love more and more bringing young horses to top level, and winning here is really important. My mare is really good and I believe she will easily rise to 3-Star level. I have no doubt she will step into Hale Bob’s shoes!”

Ingrid Klimke (GER)

FEI Dressage World Cup™ WEL: Home win for Daniel Bachmann Andersen at opening leg in Herning

Germany’s Langehanenberg second, Sweden’s Vilhelmson Silfven takes third

By Louise Parkes

Daniel Bachmann Andersen (28) and Blue Hors Zack were definitive winners of today’s first leg of the new FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League season on home ground in Herning, Denmark. All five judges put the Danish duo into pole position while Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg (36) steered Damsey FRH into second spot ahead of Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (51) and Don Auriello in third.

“It was a fantastic Freestyle today – no mistakes and very easy, very light and smooth. Yesterday Zack felt tight during the Grand Prix and we had a few mistakes. But today he was suppled up a little bit more and that paid off a lot”, Bachmann Andersen said.

Daniel Bachmann Andersen DEN riding Blue Hors Zack 21/10/18
Photo FEI/ Ulsø Olsen

Langehanenberg won yesterday’s Grand Prix ahead of Vilhelmson Silfven in second and Bachmann Andersen in third. But the Danish rider who became part of the Blue Hors Stud team four years ago was determined to do better.

“I felt I had a chance to win today but I knew I had to be humble. Helen and Tinne could also do good so I had to ride really well – I took my chance and I rode my chance!”

Daniel Bachmann Andersen (DEN)

The bar was raised to over 80 percent by six-time Olympian, Vilhelmson Silfven, when third-last to go with her 16-year-old gelding. The pair finished second at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE) two years ago and were on the Swedish team that finished fourth at last month’s FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA.

However their mark of 80.90 was immediately bettered by London 2012 Olympic team silver medallist Langehanenberg whose brilliant record at the FEI Dressage World Cup Finals includes victory with Damon Hill NRW in 2013. A score of 81.40 with the 16-year-old stallion Damsey FRH put her out in front when second-last into the arena today, but her advantage was short-lived.

Big marks included two scores of 9.9 for Degree of Difficulty from judges Katrina Wuest (GER) and Mariette Sanders-Van Gansewinkel (NED) as Blue Hors Zack soared to the top of the leaderboard on a final tally of 83.37 for victory. Bachmann Andersen was delighted with the horse who he says has “an amazing temperament, he’s sharp and yet he’s still very calm”.

“He’s also a breeding stallion and he’s not just my horse, he’s my friend and my partner, he’s everything to me! He was given up a bit by other riders who had him before, he wasn’t easy because he’s very sensitive, so I had to get into his heart and get him to trust me – now what we have is very special!”

Daniel Bachmann Andersen (DEN)

And Zack is also special because he’s blind in one eye. “There were a few issues to work on and a lot of bumps along the way, and he was actually 12 years old when he made his debut at this level of of the sport but he just got better and better from show to show after that”, Bachmann Andersen added.

However after today’s great result, Zack will take a break because he’s had a busy year, finishing seventh at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final 2018 in Paris (FRA), competing successfully in Aachen (GER) in July and finishing 10th individually in the Grand Prix and 17th in the Special at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ last month.

“My plan now is to give him a rest until the qualifier in Amsterdam (NED) in January, and I definitely want to make it to the Final in Gothenburg with him” the Danish rider said this evening.

Watch highlights here

Let’s face it falling off is never fun! This article by Malila Wollan has some tips, and the statistics are startling!

How to Fall Off a Horse

“Don’t jam yourself into the ground like a lawn dart,” says Austin Anderson, a trick rider and horse stuntman from Troup, Tex. You’ll have a few fractions of a second in the air before you land; use them to protect yourself by tucking your chin to your chest and preparing to roll, which will increase your deceleration time and distribute the force of the impact over more of your body.

“Your priority should be protecting your head and neck,” says Anderson, who estimates that he has fallen from horses 150 times since he started performing at age 4. Many training courses on how to fall off a horse encourage riders to be careful about breaking their descent with their arms, but Anderson says that if you’re going down head first, you should use your arms as a bumperlike “crumple zone”: A broken wrist is better than brain trauma. Researchers have found that helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by as much as half, but fewer than a quarter of riders wear them, including Anderson, who opts for a cowboy hat instead.

In his stunt work, Anderson is usually being paid to look as though he has been shot off his horse, which means he needs to tumble in an uncontrolled, limbs-akimbo way and often land directly on his back or belly. For this type of fall, wear a protective vest and prepare the ground ahead of time by removing rocks and laying down sand or peat moss to make for a softer landing.

If you ride horses enough, you will eventually fall off; equestrians are admitted to the hospital at a rate of about once per 2,000 hours of riding, which is more than motorcyclists. Horse riders suffer higher rates of severe brain and body injuries than skiers, automobile racers and rugby and football players combined. Anderson has spent much of his life atop horses; he can ride standing with a foot planted on the back of two steeds galloping side by side. No matter how comfortable you are, though, horses are powerful animals: Some can weigh thousands of pounds; some can run 40 miles per hour. In comparison, you are slow and fragile — eminently breakable, really. “When you’re young, you recover easier,” says Anderson, who is 49. “But as you get older, you end up paying for those falls.”


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Fellow-American Ryan finishes a close second, Sweden’s von Eckermann takes third

Fellow-American Ryan finishes a close second, Sweden’s von Eckermann takes third

Fellow-American Ryan finishes a close second, Sweden’s von Eckermann takes third 

By Louise Parkes

Elizabeth Madden of USA (C), winner of the FEI Longines World Cup Final in Jumping sprays Champagne on Henrik von Eckermann (R) of Sweden, who took third place, as Devin Ryan (L) of USA, runs away from the podium during the awards ceremony in Paris, France, 15 April 2018.
Photo FEi/Jim Hollander

America’s Beezie Madden (54) held on to win the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2018 title in Paris (FRA) today, but she didn’t do it the easy way. In a cliffhanger of a second round she faulted for the first time over three tough days of jumping when last to go with the brilliant Breitling LS. And the crowd had to hold their breath until she crossed the line to a roar of approval, separated by just two penalty points from compatriot Devin Ryan (36) in second place.

The biggest surprise package of the week, the relatively unknown Ryan was relentlessly cool yet again as his apparently bomb-proof grey gelding son of the great stallion Zirocco Blue continued to make the super-tough courses designed by Spain’s Santiago Varela look fairly elementary.

The hard-luck story of the final afternoon was that of Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (37) who had to settle for third place for the second year in a row. In runner-up spot and carrying four faults as the afternoon began, he might have forced Madden into a jump-off but for a mistake with Tovek’s Mary Lou in the closing moments. This evening he wasn’t forgiving himself for that. Madden knew she’d been in a fight.

“When I had that rail down I was a little nervous, but I still felt my horse was jumping well and I knew I had to pull it together to finish on four (faults) and try to get it done!”

Beezie Madden (USA)

The rider who previously claimed the title in 2013 said it was “double-exciting” to post her second win, and particularly with this 12-year-old stallion. “We’ve really believed in him but he’s taken time to mature, so for him to come through today is fantastic! It’s taken a little while to replace Simon (her 2013 World Cup winning ride) and Cortes (team silver 2016 Olympic Games) but it’s happening!” she added.

Her two nearest rivals kept all the pressure in place when making no mistake in today’s first round, von Eckermann carrying his four points forward and Ryan still sitting on a total of six.  A little rattle at the oxer at fence three on the 13-obstacle course, and another at vertical no. 7 set American hearts beating a little faster, but Madden cleared the line with nothing to add, so the top end of the standings looked the same when the top 20 returned for round two over a new track.

And Ryan, who hails from Long Valley in New Jersey, did it again, steering Eddie Blue home with apparent ease once more. At just nine years old the horse was the youngest in the Final but you’d never have guessed. “His brain is unbelievable, he never knocked a pole as a five or six-year-old, he won the American Gold Cup as an eight-year-old and was second at Devon, one of our biggest shows in the US – he’s just a fantastic horse!” said the man who qualified from the US East Coast series.

Second-last into the ring von Eckermann knew he would pressure Madden with a clear, and this evening he was beating himself up about having the second fence down this time out. “It was my mistake, my horse jumped fantastic as always, but we got too close and I interfered – I should have trusted her quality and it wouldn’t have happened”, said the clearly disappointed Swede.

You could hear a pin drop after Madden’s stallion hit the middle element of the triple combination at fence six. One more error would hand the title to fellow-American Ryan, but the lady who has two Olympic gold medals in her trophy cabinet along with a whole lot more valuable hardware didn’t crumble, bringing Breitling home with nothing further to add for a very popular victory.

Only five female athletes have taken the title in the 40-year history of the series that every rider wants to win, and they all have one thing in common. Like today’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion, Melanie Smith (1983), Leslie Burr Lenehan (1986) and Katharine Burdsall (1987) all flew the American flag, while three-time winner Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum from Germany (2005, 2008, 2009) was born in Los Angeles, California. It seemed history was repeating itself, as Burdsall’s victory was also posted at exactly the same Paris venue when the Jumping Final was last staged in France 31 years ago.

The final standings showed three US riders in the top four places tonight as 2017 winner, McLain Ward, slotted into fourth spot. The happiest of all was new double-champion Madden. “I love the World Cup Final – each year I make it a goal to get there, and to win, and I did it again!” said the lady who will be aiming join the elite club of three-time champions when the Final returns to Gothenburg in Sweden for the 23rd time next April.