The Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final takes place tonight in Geneva, and below we have collected our presentations of the Top 10 riders. The riders are presented in the order of the latest published Rolex Ranking nr. 142, but will ride in a different order in tonight's final - click here for the start list.
Rider Nr. One: Steve Guerdat
What a year it’s been for Steve Guerdat! The Swiss rider is currently number one on the Rolex Ranking, after making the big climb to the top last month. Steve is reigning Olympic Champion – a title he won on Nino des Buissonnets, as well as holding the 2012 vice-champion title from the World Cup Final with the same horse. On Nino Steve also won the Grand Prix in Rio this autumn. Big triumphs this season also include wins in St Gallen, Cannes, Dublin and Lyon on Jalisca Solier, wins in Aalst, Humlikon, Neuendorf and Aachen on Ferrari – and a big win in the Rolex Grand Prix in Zürich on Nasa.
Steve has won the Top 10 Final before; in 2010 on home soil in Geneva.
In other words: There’s a reason why Steve has his own fan club and over 41 000 likes on Facebook!
Steve will ride Nasa tonight; an 11 year old mare by Cumano x Prince d'Elle.
Click here to read our WoSJ Exclusive with Steve from December 2011.
Rider Number Two: Christian Ahlmann
Christian Ahlmann is currently number three on the Rolex Ranking after having a great 2012-season. Although Christian and his famous partner Taloubet Z were not able to repeat their 2011-success in the Rolex World Cup Final when they came to Den Bosch in 2012, the German rider has nevertheless climbed the rankings this year after big wins in Leipzig, Gothenburg and Verona with Taloubet Z, wins with Lorena in Hamburg, Aachen, Chantilly, Münster, Lyon, Stuttgart and Paris – in addition to winning on Aragon in Spangenberg, Estoril and Calgary, and on Codex One in Hannover. The soon-to-be 38 year old was also on the winning German Nations Cup teams in Rome and Calgary this year.
Christian is a fighter, and the next win is never far away!
Christian will ride Taloubet Z tonight; a 12 year old stallion by Galoubet A x Polydor.
Click here to read our WoSJ Exclusive with Christian from earlier this year.
Rider Number Three: Rolf-Göran Bengtsson
Rolf-Göran Bengtsson is currently number four on the Rolex Ranking after being on top of it for ten months in a row. Rolf is the reigning European Champion and he has an individual silver medal from the Olympic Games in Hong Kong.
This year Rolf was the runner-up for the overall win of the Global Champions Tour after being second in Hamburg, Cannes and Lausanne. Rolf was a part of Swedens winning team in the Nations Cup on home soil in Falsterbo in July, and together with Casall La Silla he competed at the Olympics in London in August.
Click here to read our WoSJ Exclusive with Rolf from earlier this year.
Rider Number Four: Pius Schwizer
Pius Schwizer is currently number five on the Rolex Ranking. The Swiss rider has enjoyed some good wins this season; he won the Prix French Tour EADS in Lyon earlier in the autumn – as well as winning the Rolex FEI World Cup qualifier at the same event on Verdi III. Pius also won a 1.45 class in Helsinki with Coolgirl, and with the promising Powerplay in Ascona in July. With Graciella 51 he also recorded a win in St. Gallen in May – in addition to tons of other ribbons during the season.
The team gold medalist from the 2009 Europeans at Windsor also took part in last year’s Top 10 Final – ending 6th.
Pius will ride Verdi III in the final; a 10 year old gelding by Hors La Loi II x Cantus.
Rider Number Five: Kevin Staut
Kevin Staut has it all; he has been France’s best rider on the international showjumping circuit over the last years, he has modeled for Gucci, written a book, has his own clothing line and is a member of the FEI Executive Board. Currently he is rank number six on the Rolex Ranking, but from September 2010 to June 2011 he was world nr. one and wore the Green & Gold armband.
This year Kevin won the World Cup qualifier for the 2012/2013 season in Stuttgart on Silvana HDC, and it was also Silvana HDC that brought him the World Cup victory in Bordeaux in February – on that occasion for the 2011/2012 season. Staut was on the winning French team in Gijon on Reveur de Hurtebise HDC in August, and on the same horse he won the GCT Grand Prix in Monaco this summer.
Kevin won the individual gold medal with Kraque Boom at the European Championships at Windsor in 2009, and has team silver medals from both the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games and the 2011 FEI European Championships.
Kevin also took part in last year’s Top 10 Final.
Kevin will ride Silvana HDC; a 13 year old mare by Corland x Widor.
Click here to read our WoSJ Exclusive with Kevin from October 2011.
Rider Number Six: Marcus Ehning
Marcus Ehning is another rider with a list of results that will blow your socks off. The German rider is currently number seven on the Rolex Ranking, and is one of the riders in this year's final that have won it before – in 2009 he took home the win on Plot Blue in Paris.
Marcus has had a great year; with Noltes Küchengirl Marcus won the Grand Prix in Hannover and was Best of Champions in Aachen, he was on winning German team in Rotterdam and Rome on Copin van de Broy, with whom he also won the Nörten Hardenberg GP. Ehning was also on the winning team in St Gallen with Plot Blue, the horse he also won the Grand Prix of Mannheim on as well as a five star class in Gothenburg in February. The German rider also won the Grand Prix in Bordeaux on Sabrina at the beginning of the year, and had a win in Münich with the Sandro Boy-daughter as well.
Marcus has Olympic team gold from the Sydney Games, team gold from the WEG in Kentucky 2010, two team gold's from the Europeans in 1999 and 2003 – and not to forget that he has won the World Cup Final three times!
Marcus didn't ride last year's Top 10 Final, and when WoSJ asked him what he was going to do to get back in the Top Ten in 2012 he replied; "I'm going to produce the same results as in 2010. When things are not just right it's important to not change things too much. Also it's important to think that you can do it; it means a lot for the results and it's a part of the motivation. To be good you need to be consistent in your work, but at the same time think you can do better."
Marcus kind of seems to know what he is talking about.
Marcus will ride Copin van de Broy; a 10 year old stallion by Darco x Brownboy.
Click here to read our WoSJ Exclusive with Marcus from December 2011.
Rider Number Seven: Edwina Tops-Alexander
Edwina Tops-Alexander is ranked as number eight on the Rolex Ranking, which means she is the world's leading lady rider. Edwina is from Australia, but now divides her time between glitzy Monaco and the beautiful yard in Valkenswaard, Holland – homes she shares with her husband and GCT-boss Jan Tops.
This year Edwina became historic – winning the Global Champions Tour title for a second year in a row. Edwina also became the first ever GCT millionaire in 2011. Together with Cevo Itot du Chateau – 'Toty' – the Australian has become a crowd favorite around the world, and this year they competed at the Olympics in London. The pair also won the opening 2012 GCT leg in Doha. Tops-Alexander has also collected several victories on Mel d'Argences, Vienna Olympic and Rackham 'Jo this year in addition to numerous other top five placements.
Last year Edwina ended 4th with Vleut in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final.
Edwina will ride Cevo Itot du Chateau tonight; a 16 year old gelding by Le Tot du Semilly x Galoubet A.
Click here to read our WoSJ Exclusive with Edwina from earlier this year.
Rider Number Eight: Marco Kutscher
Marco Kutscher is currently number nine on the Rolex Ranking, and in reality needs little introduction as one of the world’s premium riders. Marco works together with Ludger Beerbaum, and has done so since 1999.
Marco is without doubt one of the most sympathetic riders on the circuit, and a smile is never far away.
Marco has enjoyed some great results this year; he won the five star Grand Prix in Oslo with Spartacus TN, a five star class in Rio with Cornet’s Cristallo, was on the winning German team in Rotterdam and Rome with Cornet Obolensky as well as taking home the World Cup qualifiers in Zürich and Gothenburg on Cornet Obolensky and Satisfaction FRH respectively – in addition to a truckload of top five placements in 2012.
The 37 year old German rider has medals from both the Olympics and European Championships.
Marco will ride Cash tonight; a 16 year old gelding by Carthago x Lavall II.
Rider Number Nine: Penelope Leprevost
French rider Penelope Leprevost is the definition of style and elegance. Few can match her flawless riding, and she is always a highlight to watch. The 32 year old is currently rank eleven on the Rolex Ranking, but gets to ride the final in Nick Skelton’s absence. Penelope won the five star Grand Prix in Helsinki in October on her long time partner Mylord Carthago *HN, as well as winning the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Vienna in September. Leprevost was also on the winning French team in the Nations Cup in Gijon and Aachen – both times riding Mylord. She has also notched up big wins on Oscar des Fontaines, Nice Stephanie, Nayana and Modena this year.
Penelope has a team silver medal from the WEG in Kentucky 2010 and a team silver medal from the 2011 Europeans on Madrid; both medals were won with Mylord.
Penelope will ride Mylord Carthago *HN tonight; a 12 year old stallion by Carthago x Jalisco B.
Click here to read our WoSJ Exclusive with Penelope from July 2011.
Rider Number Ten: Roger Yves Bost
Rider number ten Roger Yves Bost is replacing Beezie Madden in the Top 10 Final. Bosty has been in the spotlight for decades, and at 46 he is still as competitive as ever. After a very good season Bosty is currently number fourteen on the world ranking and he recently won the Equita Masters in Lyon and the World Cup qualifier in Helsinki, as well as the Longines Speed Challenge in Paris. Bosty has also been a part of several French Nations Cup teams over the years including their winning team in Aachen in July.
Bosty will ride Myrtille Palouis; a 12 year old mare by Dollar du Murier x Grand Veneur.
Click here to read our WoSJ Exclusive with Bosty from November 2011.
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