In this article, we concentrate on the top current riders in the world and their achievements rather than simply listing who did what and when. Showjumping has once again had an awesome year with many many highlights around the world. As usual, there have been several worldwide championships, the main ones being the Nations Cup Series, the Longines Global Challenge Tour, The Rolex Grand Slams, the current World Cup Series and this year, the European Championships.
We have to start with Steve Guerdat of Switzerland who is the current world number one rider, a position he has held since January 2019.
Thirty seven year old Steve started riding aged nine, and was soon noticed by the Swiss selectors and was riding successfully in the Swiss junior and young riding teams. Initially trained by his father and retired showjumper, Phillippe, Steve soon became a protégé of Biat Mandli. After a spell riding for Jan Topps in Holland, he returned to Switzerland and was selected for the senior Swiss teams. His medal count is astonishing. His best most prestigious win was at the London Olympic Games in 2012 riding Nino des Buissonets. Prior to that in 2009, again in Great Britain at Windsor, he won his first team European title. He is the winner of the World Cup on three occasions, the first in Las Vegas in 2015, and retained his title at Gothenburg in 2016 and is current World Cup Champion, again at Gothenburg in 2019 riding his top current Grand Prix ride, Alamo. He has also won several CSI 5 stars in 2019 including the Rolex Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows, Waregem in Belgium, St Gallan in his home country on his up and coming ride Venard de Cerisy. He also got several placings in the top echelons of the sport to give him the number one ranking in 2019.
The second ranked showjumper in 2019 was Martin Fuchs, also from Switzerland. He is ten years younger than his team mate Steve Guerdat. He has been a constant member of the Swiss teams for the Nations Cups and also was in the team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. As a junior rider, he won several championships, both individually and as a team member. His first major victory came in 2014 when he won the Gucci Paris Masters. He was on the team for the 2015 European Championships when he was a medalist. In 2018, he was on the Swiss team once again in the World Equestrian Games in Tryon and got an individual silver medal. This year, he won the individual gold medal at the European Championships in Holland riding his best horse Clooney 51. He also teamed up with Ben Maher in the Global Champions Tour which he won. He was successful at St Galan and several other venues around the world. His most recent win was at Lyon for the World Cup Qualifier a couple of weeks ago. He ends up currently being ranked number two in the world.
The third rider, currently world ranked number three is 38 year old Daniel Deusser from Germany. As a youngster, Daniel was a very keen all round sportsman. His family had horses and encouraged him to ride from an early age. He turned professional at 19 year of age and soon riding for Frankie Sloothaak. While he was with him, Daniel represented Germany on young rider teams. In 2014 he claimed both the German Championships and won the World Cup Final in Lyon, France riding Cornet d’Amour. In 2015 and 2016 his ride to the top continued with a Silver Team medal at the European Championships and a year later a Bronze Olympic medal in Rio together with another Bronze Medal at the World Cup Finals in Gottenburg. This year has been another successful one for Daniel Deusser. He won the Hamburg Grand Prix early in the year riding Jasmien vd Bisschop. He was second at Aachen in a very tight contest and he has been a stalwart of the German Team in the Nations Cup. He was one of the team members to take silver medal in the European Championships in Rotterdam. Although born in Germany, for some years now, Daniel has been riding from the Stephex Stables operating out of Belgium.
Currently, the fourth ranked rider is Great Britain’s Ben Maher. Born in 1983, Ben started riding at eight and was soon making a mark. In 1993 and 1997, he was part of the Pony British Team at the European Championships to win a Gold medal. In 2004, he was part of the Team for Great Britain winning the European Championships for young riders. He spent some time with Biat Mandeli of Switzerland before returning to the UK as his base. In 2011, he was again part of the team which won the bronze medal at The European Championships riding Triple X. In 2012, In London, again riding Triple X he won the team Gold in the Olympics. After the Olympics following a difficult situation with the ownership of Triple X, he lost the ride, but had Cella as a replacement, upon which he won Team Gold again at the European Championships as well as Silver Medal as an individual at the same event. He ended up being the first British rider for 20 years to be ranked number one. This year, after a couple of quiet years, Ben brought out his new ride Explosion W, a horse he has described a sensational. He competed on the team for Great Britain at the European Championships and won a bronze medal and individually, he was literally just pipped for Gold in Rotterdam. He also won the Longines Global Tour in New York. He currently stands as fourth rank rider and is expected to compete in the London Horse Show at Olympia in the World Cup round in December, where he must be hoping and have a good chance in improving his ranking for the end of the year. Since this article was published, Ben won the Longines Global World Tour Final in Prague riding Explosion W in late November.
The final rider we look at in this article is currently, the fifth rider in the world rankings – Peder Fredrickson from Sweden. Born in 1972, he is one of the older permanent rides on the world circuit. Before turning his attentions to showjumping, Peder was an event rider and competed for Sweden in the Olympics of 1992 in Barcelona. Since being a show jumper, he has been a constant fixture on the Swedish teams, gaining success at the Olympics in Athens in 2004, winning a team Silver medal and again winning an individual Silver medal in the Rio Olympics in 2016. This year, Peder won the Global Champions Tour in Stockholm. He was then part of the winning team at Falsterbo for the Swedish leg of the Nations Cup. Again, at Hickstead he was part of the Swedish team where he was very influential in winning the British leg of the Nations Cup. He was also second in the King George V Gold Cup at the same event riding Zacromento. He went onto Rotterdam for the European Championships where he was Individual Bronze medallist, this time riding H&M All In. He is currently competing in several of the World Cup qualifiers, bit as yet has not been on the scoreboard.
Other riders of note this year have been Peter Devos of Belgium who has been in good form recently with his World Cup win at Stuttgart riding Appart and he was also third in Lyon. Bezzie Madden from the United States, well known in Europe has been competing in the USA and Canada this year and won the World Cup qualifier in New York. She also won the Grand Prix at Calgary riding Darry Lou as well as getting good results at the Pan American Games. Another of note is Darragh Kenny from Ireland who was recently second in the World Cup in Verona riding Romeo 88 as well as having some success in the USA. He has also won the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona riding Balou de Reventon and the London leg of the Global Tour on the same horse. He was second in the Irish Classic Grand Prix in Dublin on Romeo 88 earlier in the year.
While the World Cup Indoor series continue, the final end of year rankings may well change, but with outdoor jumping season ended, now seemed like a good time to review the showjumping highlights of 2019.
The editor Bernard Simpson has been involved with horses and the industry for over 40 years. Together with his wife, he bred many flat racehorses including some which were Royal Ascot winners. He is also experienced in equine media using video, photography and journalism. Bernard currently lives in Wiltshire. He and guest authors now present this blog and hope you like our articles.
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