In a relatively quiet week, there was a World Cup qualifier in Leipzig and several other FEI show jumping events around the globe. John Whitaker announced the retirement of his successful Grand Prix horse Argento and confirmation from the FEI of all the qualifying nations who will appear at the Tokyo Olympic Games starting in just seven months time.
Leipzig – The star event of the weekend.
The main competition for the week was the 5 star showjumping World Cup qualifier in Leipzig Germany. There were forty starters from 12 nations tackling the Frank Rothenberger and Christian Wiegrand 13 obstacle designed course with 16 jumping efforts required in the first round. There was a time allowed of 74 seconds with a top height of 1.6 metres. There were sixteen clears in the first round in the Sparkasse sponsored class to go through to the jump off. The final result between the top five was very close with Denis Lynch from Ireland prevailing with a double clear and in 33.16 seconds. He was riding the 14 year old GC Chopin’s Bushi. Second spot was won by the currently on form German Christian Ahlmann riding Dominator 2000Z and in third was fellow German Marcus Ehning riding Comme Il Faut. After eleven rounds of fourteen in the World Cup qualifying Western European League, Swiss rider Steve Guerdat is in the lead with 80 points with Belgium’s Pieter Devos in second position with 70 points followed by Marcus Ehning from Germany in third with 61 points.
Olympic Qualifying nations for show jumping and dressage confirmed.
The final tally for qualification for show jumping at the Tokyo Olympics, now only seven months away has closed with 35 tickets being issued. Twenty teams will take part with a further fifteen individual riders allowed, which makes the 35 nations to be represented. In dressage, also the finish line for team and individual qualification has been passed. Fifteen national teams have been accepted with a further fifteen riders allowed to compete as an individuals. There will be a total of thirty nations with representatives taking part. As with previous Olympic Games, there will be seven judges for the dressage. These have also been appointed and are: Karina Wust (GER), Andrew Gardner (GBR), Hans-Christian Matthiesen(DEN), Janet Foy(USA) Francis Verbeek(NED), Susie Hoevenaas(AUS) and Magnus Ringmark from Sweden. There is no Japanese judge despite the games being held in Tokyo as the Japanese have no well enough qualified judges.
Argento – Winner of 16 Grand Prix retires from competition
John Whitaker has announced the retirement of his showjumping Grand prix Horse Argento at the age of eighteen. Argento is by the great Arko and retires with sixteen Grand Prix titles under his belt. He was a very careful jumper, and John Whitaker said “that if he got through the first round, he would usually go on to win.” He is to continue his stud duties.
Abu Dhabi – Florida and Kronenberg (Holland) host FEI showjumping events.
There were several other FEI showjumping classes around the globe at 2 and 3 star level. One of these in Abu Dhabi was won by Kristaps Neretnieks from Latvia riding 15 year old Westphalian gelding Moon Ray. In second was Great Britain’s William Funnell riding Billy Diamo and third was Jack Whitaker, again from GB riding Elucar VE. These were the only three of the 49 starters to get two clear rounds. Another minor FEI international Grand Prix (2Star) took place in Wellington in Florida. In this class there were 45 starters and four completed two clear rounds. The winner was Santiago Lambre riding Cetano Van Espervan Z from Mexico with Eric Lamaze from France standing as runner up. The top rider from the home nation was Maclain Ward in third place. The final Grand Prix for showjumping of interest with a very international feel was the Van Mossel Automotive Grand Prix in Kronenberg in The Netherlands. There were 59 starters with 20 getting through the first round clear. There were riders from 17 different nations competing including two riders from Japan. The winner was Leopold Van Astern from Holland riding VDL Greop Falco. In second was Rossen Raitchev from Bulgaria riding Chester and in third was Wilma Marklund from Sweden. Seven of the twenty clears in the first round went on to get a double clear.