The 36th FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final is set to take place in Lyon, France, on April 17 2014.
20 nations will be represented by 41 competitors and 72 horses. You can watch the competitions LIVE on HORSE TIMES FEI TV on: http://tinyurl.com/br9md3a
The Arab League was won by Morocco’s Abdelkabir Quaddar, who competed in six of the 13 legs and notched up 102 points after winning three of them. He got off to a great start when victorious at each of the first two legs staged on his home turf in Tetouan and Rabat (MAR) last September, and was runner-up at the third round at El Jadida, also in Morocco, in October.
The League then moved on to Amman (JOR) for two further rounds in October and to Riyadh (KSA) for two rounds in November and December. There was a double-bill of qualifiers at Doha (QAT) in December while the new year opened with the 10th qualifier in Abu Dhabi (UAE).
Quaddar returned to action with the third of his three victories recorded at Sharjah (UAE) in January, and with strong placings at both Dubai (UAE) and Al Ain (UAE) in February he claimed the Arab League title. The 51-year-old rider picked up his points with a number of horses including the 10-year-old Selle Francais stallion Quickly de Kreisker and the 11-year-old French-bred gelding Porche du Fruitier.
Qatar’s Hamad Ali Mohammed A Al Attiya finished a very close second on the League table when picking up 101 points. He lined out at every one of the 13 legs of the series and picked up points every time, including the maximum 20 for wins at the fourth leg in Amman (JOR) and the penultimate leg in Dubai (UAE) in early February. At just 18 years of age, this young rider has an enviable string of horses that includes the brilliant mare Bella Donna, formerly ridden by Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and his Dubai winning ride LB Casanova, formerly campaigned by Switzerland’s Christina Liebherr.
A double of wins, at El Jadida (MAR) and Riyadh (KSA) helped Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly slot into third in this series, which attracted 92 participants. A total of 65 horse-and-rider combinations collected points and the best seven results from the 13 legs counted towards qualification.
This was the 10th season of the Arab League which has experienced rapid growth during that time. Its introduction has brought about the steady improvement, in quantity and quality, of riders in the region and has provided the opportunity for venues, officials, organisers and all those involved in the sport to develop their skills.
Talking about the impact of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series on the region, FEI World Cup™ Jumping Arab League Co-ordinator, Jihad Ibrahim, says: “It provided a background where Arab athletes could develop and nourish and where regional National Federations could plan and implement strategies and visions that needed a solid, dependable, transparent and progressive programme. The impact, presence and results of FEI Arab League athletes during the last decade within the equestrian sphere of events are unmistakable: they are there at the top.”
FEI World Cup™ Jumping Arab League 2013/2014 - 1, Abdelkabir Quaddar (MAR) 102; Hamad Ali Mohamed AAl Attiya (QAT) 101; 3, Abdullah Waleed Sharbatly (KSA) 97.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND:
There were 11 competitions in the Australian series which kicked off in Sydney last March with victory for Sharon Slater. Jamie Kermond was runner-up here, and then came out on top at the second leg in Gatton, Queensland in August. With seven results to count, Kermond made sure almost every one of his eight efforts was a good one, consistently finishing at the top-end of the line-up and winning again at Wodonga in Victoria in November.
The Australian League also included legs at Caboolture in August, at Gawler, Adelaide and Melbourne in September, in Sydney again in November and, following Wodonga, at Shepperton and Sale in November before drawing to a close at Sydney in December.
Kermond, who originally hails from Warmambool in Victoria, now lives in Ebenezer, New South Wales, about 70 miles north-west of Sydney, and the 2013 season was a particularly good one for the 28-year-old rider. Apart from his significant success-rate in the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series, he crowned a great year by winning the Australian Jumping Championship in Werribee in September riding the relatively inexperienced grey stallion Caracas, which was only an eight-year-old at the time. Emphasising his strength, Kermond also slotted the 12-year-old stallion, Valhalla, into third.
This is a man whose career is on an upward trajectory and, with his Certificate of Capability now secured, he is campaigning the European circuit with a view to vying for a place on the Australian team for the forthcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy. He has already produced some impressive placings at Dortmund (GER) and Lier (BEL) in recent weeks and has accepted the invitation to compete at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Lyon from 17 to 21 April.
Runner-up in the Australian series was Billy Raymont from Cooran in Queensland. The experienced 34-year-old is no stranger to success in the FEI World Cup™ Jumping regional series, and is always a close contender. He pinned 32-year-old Tim Clarke into third place on the leaderboard. A total of 58 athletes participated in the Australian League, with 51 of them collecting points.
Two super-talented lady riders, Samantha McIntosh and Katie McVean, battled it out for the New Zealand title at the regional Final in Waitemata in January, with McIntosh coming out on top. There were six legs in this region beginning at Hastings last October and moving on to Kihikihi in November and Feilding and Taupo in December. Events at Dannevirke and Waitemata brought the New Zealand League to a close in January.
McIntosh made a big name for herself while competing under the Bulgarian flag during a 13-year stint in Europe. Riding Royal Discovery she represented Bulgaria at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and she also lined out at European and World Championship events, but in 2008 she opted to switch back to riding for her native New Zealand. Originally from Waikato, she is now based in Cridwide from where she operates a string of jumping horses and a coaching business.
McVean is a three-time FEI World Cup™ Jumping New Zealand League champion whose family is steeped in equestrian tradition. Her father, Jeff, was a triple Olympian and her mother, Vicki, competed in Nations Cups. Katie has competed across Europe and the USA and made a huge impact when finishing sixth with Dunstan Delphi at the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Leipzig, Germany in 2011.
The New Zealand series 2013/2014 Final was staged at Woodhill Sands in Waitemata on 11 and 12 January 2014 and McVean selected Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark as the horse with which she would aim to collect her last FEI World Cup™ points of the season. However just three horse-and-rider combinations jumped clear in the opening round and Kiwi Iron Mark wasn’t one of them. Instead McVean went on to win with the only double-clear of the competition from her other ride, the big chestnut Dunstan Springfield. So while eight came back in round two and she eventually collected 26 points for third place with Kiwi Iron Mark, it was McIntosh, already heading the League table following a great run that included wins at both Feilding and Taupo, who triumphed at the head of the League table when filling runner-up spot with Estina.
McIntosh completed the series with a winning margin of nine points and, as winner of the New Zealand League, was offered the opportunity to compete at this year’s Final in Lyon, but she has declined, as she feels her horses don’t have enough experience just yet. “It is probably just a season too early for them” she says.
A total of 18 athletes participated in the New Zealand League, with 16 picking up points and the four best results for each rider taken into account.
SOUTH AFRICA AND CAUCASIA:
Jeanne Engela won the South African League following a committed campaign that took the 23-year-old rider to all six of the qualifying events. Beginning at Midrand last May, the series moved on to Shongweni in June, Polokwane in August, Dromdraai in October, Port Elizabeth in November and, finally, Capetown in late November. A win at the opening leg got Engela off to the perfect start, but she only beat her nearest rival, Shaun Neill, by a single point at the end of the series, while Johan Kachelhoffer finished a close third.
Engela owes all of her success to her exceptional 12-year-old Chanel van de Zeshoek. The Holsteiner mare topped the line-up at the opening leg with the only double-clear of the class, while Nicola Sime and Sunny Park Connoisseur were runners-up ahead of Anne-Marie Esslinger and Alessio in third. Things didn’t go quite so well for Engela at the second leg in Shongweni with an opening round double-error, and it was 32-year-old Kachelhoffer who emerged to take maximum points here with Capital Shiraz ahead of Esslinger, who was second this time with Alessio while Sime and Sunny Park Connoisseur slotted into third. Germany’s Andreas Hollmann designed the courses at this leg for the fifth time, and commented on the improving standard of competition.
Less than a second separated Engela from third-round winners Grant Langley and Sissi van de Helle at Polokwane, while Jonathan Clarke and Rina were third, so Engela was now looking very strong. But Shaun Neill really got into his stride with victory with Clyde Z at Kroomdraai, where Jonathan Clarke and Rina lined up behind him and Liam Stevens and Wanda finished third. Engela was clear in the first round, but 13 faults second time out saw her having to settle for 10th place.
She bounced back with a third-place finish at Port Elizabeth however where Lorette Knowles-Taylor and Watch Me P reigned supreme ahead of Bronwyn Meredith Short and Fountain of Love, and anything less than her eighth-place finish at the final round in Cape Town would have seen victory snatched by last-round winners Neill and Clyde Z. Neill also slotted Bariton P into second here while Kachelhoffer and Capital Shiraz finished third.
A total of 40 athletes competed in the South African League, with 33 collecting points.
The Caucasian League title went to Azerbaijan’s Jamal Rahimov with Georgia’s Shalva Gachechiladze and Tsotne Tavadze slotting into second and third. Riders collected points at three legs in their region, beginning with Tbilisi (GEO) last May and in Baku (AZE) last July and again in January 2014. They were also entitled to pick up points at the Longines Western European League legs in Stuttgart (GER) in November and Mechelen (BEL) in December, and while Rahimov and fellow-countryman Patrick McEntee attempted to do so, neither succeeded. Instead Rahimov’s victory was achieved through good performances produced at the two events staged in the town in which he was born - Baku in Azerbaijan.
Rahimov didn’t line out at the opening event in Tbilisi where Gachechiladze emerged victorious when running rings around the rest of the field with the only clear from his stallion, Saturn. Georgian riders claimed all three of the top places here with Gegi Metonidze filling second spot on Erosi and Tsotne Tavadze lining up third with Omut.
But Rahimov got into his stride when collecting his first FEI World Cup™ Jumping points for fourth place at the first of the Baku fixtures last July, when fellow-countryman Seyid Musayev came out on top with the German-bred Light Limerick. Rahimov did actually line up second here with Platin E, but this was not the horse he had nominated for points. His chosen ride, Woodie, slotted in behind third-placed Aleksandra Lusina from Poland riding Tall Boy.
He transferred points-seeking responsibility to the 16-year-old Platin E for the next leg in January however, and the decision paid off with a handsome victory. Only two managed to go clear in the first round of this qualifier and when his nearest rival, Gachechiladze from Georgia, was eliminated it was Rahimov who scooped those all-important maximum points.
Although only 26 years old, Rahimov has already represented his country twice at Olympic Games - at Beijing 2008 partnering Ionesca de Brekka and at London 2012 riding Warrior. He was the first Jumping rider ever to represent Azerbaijan at Olympic level.
His family moved to Istanbul, Turkey when he was three years of age and it was there his riding career began in 1998. Now based in Belgium, he has accepted the invitation to compete at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014 Final in Lyon with his top ride, the aptly-named 11-year-old chestnut stallion, Warrior.
The vast expanse of Central Europe, where equestrian sport has been developing at a very rapid rate in recent years, was once again divided into two regions for the 2013/2014 FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifying season. A total of 107 athletes competed in the Northern Subleague, and 46 in the Southern Subleague, before the Central European League Final took place in Warsaw last weekend.
The Northern Subleague consisted of 10 qualifiers, with further opportunities to pick up points at four other fixtures. The action began last May at Vazgaikiemis in Lithuania followed by Moscow (RUS) in June and St Petersburg (RUS) in July. Round four returned to Lithuania again for the leg at Zagare and then it was on to Riga in Latvia, Bratislava and Pezinok in Slovakia and then Tallinn in Estonia where the event took place in October. Leszno and Poznan in Poland played host in November and December. Events at Lipica (SLO) last June, Budapest (HUN) in July, Celje (SLO) in November and Budapest (HUN) again in December also presented points-gaining potential.
Russia’s Vladimir Beletskiy topped the Northern Subleague, thanks in no small part to wins for the 42-year-old rider on home turf in Moscow and then at Tallinn (EST) along with second place at St Petersburg (RUS). Runner-up in the Northern Subleague was 31-year-old Tilt Kivisild from Estonia, while 41-year-old Andrius Petrovas from Lithuania finished third.
In the Southern Subleague riders were eligible to pick up points beginning in Bojouristhe (BUL) last May, at Lipica (SLO) in June, at Budapest (HUN) in July, at Celje (SLO) in November and Budapest (HUN) again in December. Bratislava (SVK) in August, Pezinok (SVK) in September, Tallinn (EST) in October, Leszno (POL) in November and Poznan (POL) in December were also qualifying events.
Turkey’s Omar Karaevli came out on top here by a long margin. Runner-up was 21-year-old Monika Martini from Greece, with Bulgaria’s Angel Niagolov finishing third.
For 26-year-old Karaevli, it was his victory at Leszno in November that ensured a big 35-point advantage at the head of the table at the end of the day. And he did well again at Warsaw last weekend when finishing fifth in the Central European League 2013/2014 Final.
A total of 34 horse-and-rider combinations lined out in the deciding Grand Prix at the Polish fixture last Sunday, with Beletskiy suffering elimination on the experienced Mats Up de Plessis while six others retired. There were only two clear performances in the first round, from Czech Republic’s Als Opatrny and Zandiro and Dutch rider Jody van Gerwen with Acord, while Poland’s Lukasz Appel and Zarco collected only a single time penalty.
The real contenders of course were the regional riders who battled it out over three separate competitions in the lead-up to this final test, and Opatrny’s Grand Prix victory left the result in no doubt on the final afternoon, with Lithuania’s Andrius Petrovas filling second spot on the leaderboard ahead of Latvia’s Kristaps Neretnieks.
All of the top three riders are eligible to compete in Lyon, and to date both Petrovas and Neretnieks have confirmed they will attend.
FEI World Cup™ Jumping Australian League 2013/2014 - 1, Jamie Kermond (AUS) 121; 2, Billy Raymont (AUS) 95; 3, Tim Clarke (AUS) 92.
FEI World Cup™ Jumping New Zealand League 2013/2014 - 1, Samantha McIntosh (NZL) 87; 2, Katie McVean (NZL) 78; 3, Susan Hayward (NZL) 67.
FEI World Cup™ Jumping South Africa League 2013/2014 - 1, Jeanne Engela (RSA) 64; 2, Shaun Neill (RSA) 63; 3, Johan Kachelhoffer (RSA) 59.
FEI World Cup™ Jumping Caucasian League 2013/2014 -1, Jamal Rahimov (AZE) 20; 2, Shalva Gachechiladze (GEO) 14; 3, Tsotne Tavadze (GEO) 8.
FEI World Cup™ Jumping Central European League 2013/2014 - 1, Ales Opatrny (CZE) 120; 2, Andrius Petrovas (LTU) 113; 3, Kristaps Neretnieks (LAT) 100.
NORTH AMERICA EAST COAST:
Kent Farrington secured a convincing victory in the North America East Coast series, which provided 27 different opportunities for riders to collect points. The East Coast League itself presented 12 fixtures across USA and Canada, beginning at Bromont (CAN) last July. Competitors were also able to collect points at events in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Western European League as well as in the North American West Coast League.
By the time it came to the last leg at Ocala last weekend, Farrington had already accumulated a massive 110 points, with Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez filling second spot on the final leaderboard ahead of America’s McLain Ward in third.
For 33-year-old Farrington, who also topped the East Coast series last year, this season’s success story began to unfold with a double of wins with Uceko at Calgary (CAN) last June which were quickly followed by another, this time partnering Zafira, at Bridgehampton (USA) in August before further reinforcing his points-gathering at Washington DC with yet another top-end finish in October riding Blue Angel. Farrington lined out at 12 qualifying events in total, but runner-up Andres Rodriguez competed just six times, securing maximum points with Caballito at Langley (CAN) in June and again in August. The 29-year-old Venezuelan completed the qualifying events on a total of 87 points.
Third-placed McLain Ward competed at 12 events, winning with Rothchild at Toronto (CAN) last November and accumulating a total of 83 points. Fellow-Americans Katie Dinan, Brianne Goutal, Leslie Burr-Howard and Charlie Jayne finished ahead of defending champion Beezie Madden on the League table, and this week it has been confirmed that they will all line out at Lyon (FRA) for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in three weeks’ time. Madden of course is automatically qualified and America’s Kirsten Coe also made the cut when finishing 12th, but when she declined the invitation it was passed on to next-in-line Charlie Jacobs who has accepted.
Venezuela’s Rodriguez, Ireland’s Richie Moloney and Russia’s Lubov Kochetova have also qualified as “extra athletes” through this League in which 110 athletes participated and 79 collected points.
NORTH AMERICA WEST:
The North America FEI World Cup™ Jumping League was contested by 78 athletes over 19 legs that kicked off in Langley (CAN) last June and concluded last weekend at Ocala (USA). For the second year running, and despite the powerful opposition presented by the home talent, it was Egypt’s Nayel Nassar who came out on top. Born in Chicago (USA) and raised in Kuwait, the 23-year-old moved to California (USA) in 2009 to study at Stanford University, and in 2011 this committed horseman took a team silver medal at the Pan Arab Games. In 2012 he made a big impression on the US circuit and last year moved his game up yet another level when competing at the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg (SWE).
Nassar won just one leg of the 2013/2014 qualifying series, at Del Mar (USA) last August, pipping French star Eric Navet in a seven-horse jump-off against the clock. He had already collected big points as runner-up at Langley (CAN) just a week earlier with his top ride, Lordan, and he completed the series with a total of 85 points. America’s Saer Coulter and Ashlee Clarke lined up behind him in second and fourth places on the League table and are confirmed for the Final along with the Egyptian who, once again, competes as an extra athlete.
South America is sub-divided into two regions, and 73 athletes contested the South America South series, with 51 picking up points. Brazilian riders took a firm grip at the top of this League table, headed by Yuri Mansur Guerios, who was followed by Cesar Almeida, Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa, Sergio Henriques Neves Marins and Jose Roberto Reynoso Fernando.
Riders counted the best four results from seven qualifying opportunities that began in Sol de Mayo (ARG) last May, before moving on to Sao Paolo (BRA) in June, and to Porto Alegre (BRA) and back to Sao Paolo (BRA) again in October. Buenos Aires (ARG) and Rio de Janeiro (BRA) played host in November. Riders also had the chance to line out at Del Mar (USA) in August, but only Brazil’s Francois Esteves da Silva chose to do so. And he made his sole outing in the entire series really count when finishing third with Cord ll in the Del Mar qualifier in which Egypt’s Nayel Nasser lined up second behind Frenchman Eric Navet.
The 15 points collected by da Silva however were a long way from the 51 that earned Guerios his ticket to Lyon, where he will be joined by Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa in representing the region.
Just seven riders, all from Colombia, contested the South America North League in which two of the three qualifiers staged in Bogota (COL) counted for points, and where Juan Manuel Gallego came out on top. Gallego finished second at the opening leg in Guaymarai, Bogota and then won both of his next two outings with his stallion, Ban Ban.
The 37-year-old rider won the FEI World Jumping Challenge Final in Caracas (VEN) in 2012, but South America North will not be represented at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final next month.
CENTRAL AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN ISLANDS:
Colombia’s Manuel Espinosa Pla won the Central America and Caribbean Islands League which also embraced just three events, the first staged in La Aurora (GUA) and the second and third both held at San Jose Pinula (GUA). A total of five athletes battled it out for points, but 25-year-old Espinosa proved untouchable throughout, winning the first two legs with his 10-year-old grey stallion, Zippo CG, and the third with his 12-year-old bay stallion, Cento per Cento CG.
Guatemala’s Alvaro Enrique Tejada Arriola and Juan Pablo Pivaral Aycinema slotted into second and third places on the final leaderboard.
Espinosa was a member of the Colombian team that finished seventh at the second leg of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2014 season staged in Wellington, Florida (USA) last month.
Meanwhile the line-up of athletes who will compete at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2013/2014 Final in Lyon, France in three weeks’ time is taking shape.
Despite his incredible run of form on the US circuit of late, Ben Maher will not compete, while fellow-Briton Joe Clee has also withdrawn. However the world number one ranked rider on the current Longines rankings, Scott Brash, will be flying the British flag alongside FEI World Cup™ Jumping veteran, Michael Whitaker. Taking up the spots vacated by Maher and Clee are Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Simon Delestre from France.
Following the withdrawal of League winner Ales Opatrny from the Czech Republic, Russia’s Natalia Simonia joins Andrius Petrovas (LTU) and Kristaps Neretnieks (LAT) in representing Central Europe.
CLASH OF CHAMPIONS:
Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and America’s Lucy Davis have both qualified as “extra athletes”, and although there may be some further changes to the start list over the coming weeks, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014 Final looks set to be a true clash of champions.
All-comers will, of course, be taking on the might of the Western European League contenders who have dominated this series with 20 wins from 35 Finals to date. And with three-time FEI World Cup™ Jumping title-holder Marcus Ehning and his German counterparts Lars Nieberg, Daniel Deusser and Christian Ahlmann - winner in 2011 - along with reigning Olympic champion Steve Guerdat and his Swiss team-mate Pius Schwizer all seeking to add this most coveted trophy to their already large collections, it will be a hard-fought battle to the end.
Francois Mathy Jr and young Nicola Philippaerts, surprise winner at the last Western European League qualifier in Gothenburg (SWE) earlier this month, will fly the Belgian flag, Luciana Diniz will represent Portugal and Billy Twomey will be joined by Richie Moloney in representing Ireland. Only one Dutch rider, Maikel van der Vleuten, will compete.
Perhaps the ones they all have to watch out for however are the French, who have been on the crest of a wave for quite some time now. Winning one leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League is a major achievement, so the only double-victory of this series produced by Patrice Delaveau, at Helsinki (FIN) last October and at Leipzig (GER) in January, suggests that he will definitely be one to watch.
But the Americans are title-defenders having made a great come-back after a 25-year drought to take the title for the last two seasons, and they won’t be keen to let it go again anytime soon. With less than three weeks to go, the excitement and anticipation ahead of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014 Final is already bubbling away.
Check out all the latest information on the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2014 at website:http://www.feiworldcupfinals-lyon.com/
Or contact Press Officer Pascal Renauldon, Email email@example.com, Tel +333 44 620 621
FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2013/2014 League Results:
FEI World Cup™ Jumping Central America and Caribbean Islands League 2013/2014 - 1, Manuel Espinosa Pla (COL) 16; 2, Alvaro Enrique Tejada Arriola (GUA) 10; 3, Juan Pablo Pivaral Aycinema (GUA) 4.
FEI World Cup™ Jumping South American South League 2013/2014 - 1, Yuri Mansur Guerios (BRA) 51; 2, Cesar Almeida (BRA) 46; 3, Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa (BRA) 42.
FEI World Cup™ Jumping South America North League 2013/2014 - 1, Juan Manuel Gallego (COL) 25; 2, Juan Clavijo (COL) 16; 3, Mauricio Guevara (COL) 11.
FEI World Cup™ Jumping North America West Coast League 2013/2014 - 1,Nayel Nassar (EGY) 85; 2, Saer Coulter (USA) 79; 3, Mandy Porter (USA) 71.
FEI World Cup™ Jumping North America East Coast League 2013/2014 - 1, Kent Farrington (USA) 110; 2, Andres Rodriguez (VEN) 87; 3, McLain Ward (USA) 83.
Information source: FEI
Jamie Kermond, here in action at Neumunster, Germany last month with Quite Cassini, will compete at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Lyon, France next month following his victory in the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Australian League.
© FEI/Jacques Toffi.
Morocco’s Abdelkabir Quaddar won the FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2013/2014 Arab League and now heads for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Lyon, France next month.
© FEI/Morocco NF
Kent Farrington, winner of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping 20132014 North America East Coast League.
© Shawn McMillen Photography