Rolex in Geneva – Horseview Introduce Review – FEI Talk Children – Latest Rankings

As the end of term approaches, there is news aplenty regarding equine sports. There are three main shows in Europe over the festival period starting with this weekend’s Geneva Rolex Grand Prix along with many other showjumping and driving classes at international level. The second is the London International Horse Show for dressage, showjumping and driving, the traditional closing show for the year in the UK and finally the third, which quite often starts the day after Christmas is the Mechelen show in Belgium, again for dressage and showjumping.

Geneva Arena

In Switzerland, there were forty starters for the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva from fourteen different nations. The course was for 14 obstacles with 18 jumping efforts required in a twisty course set by Gerald Lachet from Switzerland with Louis Konickx from the Netherlands. With three tight turns throughout the first eleven fences, the last three were along a straight down one side of the arena. Despite the twists and turns, 13 riders went clear in the first round. The next 13 in the results list collected just 4 faults, including the trail blazer for the class, Wilm Vermier from Belgium. The second in however, did get a clear round, that was Ben Maher riding Dallas Vegas Batilly. Following Ben, there was a constant supply of clear rounds throughout the class including one of the last to go, McLain Ward riding HH Azur for the United States.

McLain Ward takes this round of Rolex Grand Prix

The first to go in the jump off was Ben Maher who had 4 faults. He was followed by Danial Deusser for Germany riding Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z who went clear. He held the lead for a short time before Simon Delestre riding Cayman Jolly Jumper went clear. Deletre’s lead was short lived as the young Gilles Thomas from Belgium riding Calleryama also went clear and faster in just 40.88 seconds and finishing just off the podium in fourth place. A couple of riders later, Shane Sweetham from Ireland riding James Khan Cruz took the lead with 40.48 seconds on the clock and finished in third place. The second last to go was Martin Fuchs for Switzerland riding Leone Jei and the leader board changed yet again. Fuchs went clear and faster finishing with 39.77 seconds. Would that be enough to keep the Grand Prix on home soil? The final rider was McLain Ward and he rode a composed clear round but in electrifying speed, taking more than a second off the Martin Fuchs round, finishing as the winner with 38.43 seconds. The series of Rolex Grand Prix are well supported in prize money and this round was not exception with the winner getting 400,000 Swiss francs. The whole prize pot was 1 million 186,000 Swiss francs and paid down to sixteenth place.

Other News

The European Equine review 2022 front cover

Horseview are most excited about their about to be published European Equine Annual Review. It has been a vintage year for our sport with some incredible performances from both horses and riders in all the sectors of equestrianism we cover. The review covers horse racing in four countries, sales in three; eventing in three countries and several countries for dressage and showjumping. It will be out later this week and we will post on this site where and how it can be found and read.

As Horseview reported recently, Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl came back after just three months of maternity leave to carry on winning classes in World Cup Qualifiers. This has found some considerable controversy. The FEI have now stepped in to rule on what is permissible with maternity leave. They have now ruled that providing they are given four weeks notice, a rider can return to competition after just three months. It used to be six months, although no one was really that concerned until Bredow-Werndl came back so quickly to deny some others who would have liked to take their opportunity to take classes in the same way as ‘while the cats away’. Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl must be the first rider to leave the stage as number one ranked athlete in the world for dressage to have a child and then return, still as number one and further increase her grip on the top spot by winning even more classes?

Tim Price will end the year as world number one

While we are on the subject of World ranked number one athletes, the eventing year, which has now all but finished until the spring, The Price husband and wife team of Tim and Jonelle must be basking in their glory as they are the first and second placed riders with Tim as number one. Ross Canter is in third on the ranking’s list. The figures were released by the FEI on 30th November and any changes before the year’s end are unlikely.

More recently, the showjumping Longines rankings from the FEI has Henrik Von Eckermann as the world number one ranked athlete; and has been for the past consecutive five months. He is currently just over 200 points above Martin Fuchs. However, Fuchs will have done his chances of ending the year at number one no harm by being second in Geneva this week and with his expected arrival in London shortly. If he does well in London, Von Eckermann may get demoted as he was not anywhere the shake-up in Geneva as his ride King Edward was obviously not on form, and he is not expected in London.

While the dressage and eventing rankings for the year are almost certainly decided, the showjumping leader board could still have some significant changes.

Horseview have reported on the huge prices paid at thoroughbred sales this year. It appears to be contagious as in the 43rd PSI auction broke the record with a Chyazint, a six year old mare by Casallco out of a Heart Breaker mare went for 4 million euros. A 7 year old gelding by Vancouver also broke the million barrier providing an average price for the horses on offer of 546,200 euros. The sale totalled 13 million plus.

And finally, looking forward to the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, the FEI have announced that the course designers for the showjumping will be Santiago Varela from Spain and Gregory Bodo from France.

Images courtesy Goldeneye Photography and FEI editorial free to use under fair policy

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