WoSJ Exclusive; Scott Brash on his amazing year and life after London
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 16:44
Scott Brash has every reason to be happy about his achievements the past year. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Riding Hello Sanctos, Scott Brash made a dream come true at the age of 26 as he was a part of the British team taking Olympic gold at home soil in London in August. The Scotsman originally from Edinburgh, started riding at the age of seven as his dad bought him a pony. He jumped his first fence at the age of ten and who knew that sixteen years later he would be one of the world’s top riders.
Based in Peebles on the Scottish boarder Scott has about 40 horses at his yard where he also does a little bit of home breeding. “We do about 8 foals a year, and we do have some home breds coming up.“
Scott has some very good horses at the moment and explains that he bought both Intertoy Z and Bon Ami as four year olds and has produced them himself. “Intertoy is a big friendly giant. He sort of started me off,” Scott explains about his partner from the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010. “When you produce a horse yourself, anything that goes wrong is your own fault, “ Scott laughs as he also explains to us how important the partnership you get with the different horses are. “Bon Ami is kind of my second horse. I use him a lot for speed classes. He is a very useful horse and he wins a lot.”
WoSJ Exclusive; Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final - The 10 Riders!
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 15:44
Rider nr. one Steve Guerdat winning the Rolex Grand Prix in Zürich at the beginning of the year with Nasa. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.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.
WoSJ Exclusive; Haras des Coudrettes HDC – a French showjumping force
Monday, 26 November 2012 10:48
Three top French riders are flying the HDC-colors; Patrice Delaveau, Kevin Staut and Olivier Guillon. Photo provided by Haras des Coudrettes. Haras des Coudrettes HDC owns some of the world’s greatest showjumpers of today’s circuit; Silvana HDC, Ornella Mail HDC, Orient Express HDC, Reveur de Hurtebise HDC, Carinjo HDC, Cheyenne 111Z HDC, Estoy Aqui de Muze HDC, Lacrimoso HDC, Poète de Preuilly HDC, Marquis de la Lande HDC... And the list of fantastic horses goes on and on, as Haras des Coudrettes has stepped up on numerous occasions to make sure top horses stay within France’s boarders – keeping and adding equine partners for big names like Kevin Staut, Patrice Delaveau, Olivier Guillon and Franck Schillewaert. With HDC Competition Jump Five being launched this year, Haras des Coudrettes has taken new steps to develop further – and WoSJ sat down to talk with the people behind HDC: Emmanuèle and Armand Perron-Pette.
Reveur de Hurtebise *HDC will be Kevin's partner for several legs. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.This time it's the French rider Kevin Staut that is telling us about his thoughts of this World Cup season.
How important is the Rolex FEI World Cup for you this season?
"This circuit is very important for me because it allows me to compete at indoor shows in very high quality arenas. Moreover, of a sporting point of view, to take part in the Rolex FEI World Cup circuit is a real goal, as to qualify for the final. It is a real sport challenge. I consider this circuit a true championship."
Which horses are you planning on using for the World Cup qualifiers?
Will Cornado NRW do his World Cup debut this season? Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.We have asked some of the World Cup riders about their thoughts on this World Cup season, and next out is Marcus Ehning.
How important is the Rolex FEI World Cup for you this season?
"The World Cup season is important to me. I will be starting my season in Verona and Stuttgart, and in December I will be in Geneva and London. I am planning on going to all of the remaining legs next year as well."
WoSJ Exclusive; What about the World Cup Clarissa?
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 12:06
West Side v Meerputhoeve will be Clarissa's partner for the World Cup. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.We have asked some of the World Cup riders about their thoughts on this World Cup season, and second out is Clarissa Crotta.
How important is the Rolex FEI World Cup for you this season?
"It is not that important since my big goal for 2013 is the European Championship. But I will compete in Verona, Geneva and Zurich and after that I will see if I do any more World Cups this season depending on if I have some points or not."
Jens and Lunatic are heading for the final in Gothenburg. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.We have asked some of the World Cup riders about their thoughts on this World Cup season, and first out is the Swedish rider Jens Fredricson.
How important is the Rolex FEI World Cup for you this season?
"With the final in Gothenburg this season it is really important for Swedish showjumping. And it would be fantastic to ride a World Cup final. But I know that it is really hard and that we have very few spots at the qualifications. Earlier on the nation that organized the final had an extra spot for a non-qualified rider, but as far as I know that's not the system anymore. So if no Swedish rider qualifies, none of them will ride the final which is a shame."
Which horses are you planning on using for the World Cup?
"Lunatic. And maybe London Calling will do a qualification."
WoSJ Exclusive; Kamal Bahamdan – “I’m obviously in love with Tess!”
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 10:51
Kamal Bahamdan and Noblesse des Tess on their way to the Olympic medal cermony. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Be sure to be pleasantly surprised by Saudi Arabian rider Kamal Bahamdan! At least we did not expect him to be so openhearted, so outspoken, and so committed for showjumping and for his horses, Tess, Delphi and Cezanne. In this interview he speaks about how he started showjumping both as a hobby and professionally, his coordination between a full time job in investment and the sport, learning from the best, pushing out of the comfort zone – and Tess, Tess and Tess!
WoSJ Exclusive; A visit to Shutterfly and the rest of the oldies!
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 08:05
Shutterfly is looking as good as ever! All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.World of Showjumping made a trip to the Meredith and Markus Beerbaum's stable to meet up with their grooms Anu and Ninna. We were curious about how Shutterfly and the other "oldies" are doing now when they are retired - and we can assure you that they are having a great time!
At the moment five old top showjumpers are enjoying their retirement at Meredith and Markus' yard. It is Meredith's Shutterfly, Stella and Le Mans, then there is Markus' Constantin and last but not least Felix - a horse belonging to Meredith's horse owner Nancy from Octavia Farms LLC. Markus' mare Lena will also join the gang if she doesn't get into foal this year.
Cornet Obolensky did his last show with Marco Kutscher in Rio this past weekend. In four weeks time the amazing stallion will return to his owners and dedicate himself to breeding. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson
WoSJ Exclusive; Alberto Michan – “It felt like I had the best horse in the world!”
Sunday, 16 September 2012 19:58
Alberto Michan with Rosalia La Silla. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.In London Alberto Michan showed that he is should be counted with when he rose to the occasion and ended fifth individually on Rosalia La Silla. An exciting and relatively new star on the showjumping sky, Alberto has reached the top in a different way than most other top showjumpers – coming from a quite normal life in Mexico with a job in the textile industry that he held right until 2011. But the Mexican showjumper has some qualities that he shares with those who are the best in the world; he is humble and empathic – and extremely passionate about his horses.
WoSJ Exclusive; Stevie Macken – “Everybody is looking for the same kind of horse”
Thursday, 16 August 2012 08:57
"When everybody is looking for the same kind of horse, it drives the prices up," says Stevie Macken. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Stevie Macken runs an international horse sales business, and has clients all over the world. Macken has grown up in a showjumping home – his father Eddie is known as one of the world's best riders – and Stevie also has a career as an international showjumping rider behind him, so who better to talk to about the horse market? WoSJ sat down with the Irishman – now based in the Netherlands – to have a chat.
WoSJ Exclusive; Katharina Offel - on Vivant, riding for Ukraine & taking one day at a time
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 11:21
Katharina and the fantastic Vivant - who will be her partner in London. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.In all honesty; Katharina Offel is one on the nicest riders we have ever met! Down to earth, honest, reality oriented – with a great sense of humor; all these qualities made Katharina one of the new WoSJ-favorites during our meeting with her. And of course, she is a fantastic rider who we love to watch in the ring. We sat down to talk with Katharina about her beautiful partner Vivant, what made her decide to ride for Ukraine, her co-operation with Ukrainian oil-billionaire Alexander Onischenko and her plans for the future.
WoSJ Exclusive; Rodrigo Pessoa – an equestrian super star, and an extraordinary athlete and horseman
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 12:25
Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Rebozo in action during the 2010 WEG. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Rodrigo Pessoa must have been raised well. Upon our request to meet up for an interview, he – yes he, the equestrian super star Rodrigo – calls us up to ask where to meet. This has never happened in WoSJ-history before; it’s usually a case of us hunting our objects down – but with Rodrigo we can skip the hunt. Whether it is because he just wants it done with (he’s probably done a thousand of these interviews before), or if it’s because he is extremely professional and polite – we don’t know. But happy as we are that Rodrigo will meet us we go with the latter, and run off to meet the Brazilian rider.
WoSJ Exclusive; Stephex Stables – a success story!
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 20:48
Stephex Stables; a success story! All photos by Hanne Christensen.Stephex Stables has housed some of the best horses in the world. But, only temporarily. Because this is one of the busiest trading stables in Belgium, if not in Europe – and horses that come here, often find themselves a new home with top showjumpers around the globe. The most famous of them all is probably the now legendary Hickstead, whom Eric Lamaze found at Stephex – and as we all know the rest is history! “I was following Hickstead at shows; he had a nice jump and a special character,” Stephan Conter – founder and owner of Stephex – explains. “So, I bought Hickstead and then after Eric had tried him I sold him to Mr. Fleischhacker that is Eric’s sponsor. I had a great feeling about the horse!”
WoSJ Exclusive: Giulia Martinengo Marquet – “Loro Piana Athletica is the perfect horse!”
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 10:07
Giulia and her top horse Loro Piana Athletica in action in Rome. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Giulia Martinengo Marquet is one of Italy’s best riders, and is hugely popular in her home country. We met up with this lovely Italian 33 year old, who has all the qualities needed as a top showjumper – and in addition she is a lovely person with a unique presence. It is also clear that Giulia loves her horses, and treats them as the individuals that they are. There is no way we could not like Giulia after meeting her!
WoSJ Exclusive: Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on his choice between Ninja La Silla and Casall La Silla
Saturday, 07 July 2012 16:16
“Casall La Silla has jumped many big Global Champions Tour Grand Prix classes, as well as other big Grand Prix’s. But I have never before put him in such a situation as the Olympics will be." All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Being ranked as number one in the world brings a lot of expectations. Especially in an Olympic year. And with expectations comes speculations. So, it’s not a surprise that there is a lot of talk around which horse Rolf-Göran Bengtsson will take with him to London. Will it be his Olympic silver medal winner from Hong Kong and 2011 European gold medalist Ninja La Silla, or will it be his faithful partner Casall La Silla ranked as the best horse in the world at the moment? WoSJ sat down with Rolf to find out.
WoSJ Exclusive; Gregory Wathelet - “I liked it and wanted to do more”
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 07:37
Gregory Wathelet talks about his way from riding ponies to becoming one of the world's best riders. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Gregory Wathelet is not as young as we thought as he has reached the age of 32. Not that 32 is old of course, but for some reason when we first opened our eyes for this brilliant rider last year we somehow thought he was younger. Why we assumed so is hard to say because Gregory has done a lot over the years and has been lucky to ride some brilliant horses like Lantinus, now seen with Denis Lynch, and Cortes, one of Beezie Madden’s top horses.
So how did it all start? Gregory explains that he started riding ponies when he was seven or eight years old. He did some national shows and when he was ten his parents bought him a horse that he competed with at some smaller shows. “I liked it and wanted to do more,” Gregory states. So he was lucky enough to get a couple of more horses. Nothing expensive, but horses he could ride some smaller classes on.
WoSJ Exclusive; Shane Sweetnam – on life in the US, Amaretto D’Arco & top owners
Monday, 18 June 2012 20:16
Shane in action in Rome on Amaretto D'Arco. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Shane Sweetnam took a chance and left Ireland to work as a rider in the US. That choice really paid off. Now Shane is one on the world’s best showjumpers and a regular on the Irish jumping team. We sat down with Shane to talk about his giant leap, his top ride Amaretto D’Arco, breeding in the US and his sponsors Spy Coast Farm.
WoSJ Exclusive; Abdel Said on his business, the horses and being an Egyptian rider in Europe
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 16:50
Abdel Said is always a happy face to meet at shows. All photos by Jenne Abrahamsson.WoSJ first met the 22 year old Egyptian rider Abdel Said during Oslo Horse Show in September. We were so impressed by this nice guy that we wanted to know more about his background, how he ended up in Europe, his business, goals and dreams for the future.
“I moved with my family to Europe when I was 11 so I could ride,” Abdel explains. “I rode in Egypt as well. My parents saw that I was in to the sport and decided to move. We first moved to Holland and I trained with Emile Hendrix. He did all the management while I went to school during the day and rode in the evening,” Abdel continues.
“Then in 2009 I started working for Jos Lansink in Belgium and I stayed there until I got a new sponsor in 2010 who gave me the chance to compete at bigger shows. I had a good horse called Avenir that I had great success with. We won some big classes together, like at Olympia,” Abdel says with a big smile when talking about his former partner which now is competed by Christine McCrea in the US. “Eventually Avenir was sold which often is the case with the best horses, and at that point I decided to start up on my own,” Abdel continues.
WoSJ Exclusive: Julie Baker – on life on the road for Peter Charles, missing gloves & loving America
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 20:51
Julie with the lovely Murka's Vindicat W in Rome. Photo by Hanne Christensen.Julie Baker started up at Peter Charles’ as a pony groom for his kids, but before she knew it she had hit the road as his show groom and has stayed there since. Currently she spends the days on the road with Murka’s Vindicat W, Murka’s Nevada and Murka’s Odie de Frevent. “I started working for Peter about six years ago. I got there to help the kids out with the ponies, and to take some of the pressure of Peter’s wife. I came there from Andrew Davies, with whom I had worked for ten years,” Julie tells us. “So, I was supposed to stay at home, but Peter’s show groom got sick and had to have some time off. I had to step in, and was a bit nervous about it actually as I hadn’t done it for quite a time. But I really liked it, and when Peter’s groom had to quit I stayed in the job and kept doing it ever since!”
WoSJ Exclusive; Judith Gölkel - the Ehnings' multitasking horseowner
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 16:28
“We are really good friends! That is just as important as the horses and the shows,” Judith says about her relationship with the Ehnings. Photo by Hanne Christensen.Judith Gölkel must be every showjumper’s dream. She is the multitasking veterinarian who buys great horses. And as long as they are good enough she hardly ever sells them again. Judith has a great smile and it is refreshing talking to this German wonder-woman who almost turned American. Unfortunately for all other show jumpers out there, Judith is already taken by the Ehning family (Marcus and Johannes), and in our opinion it is not easy to find anyone like her.
When talking to Judith you start wondering about her nationality as she sounds more American than German. The explanation is that Judith moved to the States in 1994, and stayed there for twelve years. Her sister still lives there and runs their family farm in Millbrook, New York - The Winley Farm.
WoSJ Exclusive; Richard Spooner – “Cristallo is an extraordinary athlete”
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 08:04
Richard on Cristallo - who he decribes as an extraordinary athlete. Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson and Hanne Christensen.When WoSJ met with Richard Spooner – also known as the Master of the Faster – we discovered that there is a lot more to the US rider than his nickname suggests. Spooner did indeed live up to his name by winning two of three speed classes in ‘s-Hertogenbosch [where this interview took place], but he is also a very stylish, sensitive and technical showjumper that rides one of the most eccentric horses on the circuit. And; he seems like a genuinely nice guy who really appreciates his horses and their different personalities.
Richard has been a regular sight on the international showjumping scene for the past decade, and it was his family who originally got him into the equestrian business. “My mother loved horses,” Richard says. “So, when I was ten years old I started to ride – and I was hooked! Until I was eighteen I did equitation, and then I decided to get some experience and went to work with riders such as Hugo Simon, Ian Millar and George Morris. I then returned to the Los Angeles area, and my first wife and I started up our own business. We did that together for a few years, but the marriage dissolved and so did the business along with it,” Spooner lets us know.
Axel and Nena Verlooy at their lovely yard in Grobbendonk. All photos by Hanne Christensen.The closer we get to Axel and Nena Verlooy’s farm in the Belgian countryside of Grobbendonk, the more beautiful the scenery gets. When we finally turn up the last little lane we’re so off the beaten track that we think we’re lost. But a helpful man – who looks like a figure out of Postman Pat – gently tells us that we are indeed on the right road, just continue over the little bridge (where we wonder how anything bigger than our tiny rental car can get through), over the pond and then follow his directions and we’ll be at Axel and Nena’s. So, we follow his instructions through hens and cockerels – past a castle and some big Belgian Ardennes horses and suddenly we spot Harrie Smolder’s truck and know that we are where we should be.
WoSJ Exclusive: Alvaro de Miranda – on AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan, Olympic plans & Rio show organizing
Monday, 30 April 2012 20:00
Doda & the amazing AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Alvaro de Miranda is currently ranked as Brazil’s best rider in the world, and recently he paid a first time visit to the Top Ten on the Rolex Ranking. WoSJ sat down with the 39 year old to talk about his business AD Sports Horses, show organizing in Rio, the importance of the grooms, Olympic plans – and of course his famous white partner AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan.
WoSJ Exclusive; Dermott Lennon - on Hallmark Elite, Liscalgot-"babies" & loving his work
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 08:38
Dermott in action on Hallmark Elite. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Dermott Lennon needed a bit of convincing to sit down and do an interview with WoSJ. “I’m not so good at it,” he tried when we called him up. But at WoSJ we don’t give up so easily and after a few minutes we had an appointment with the former World Champion – and armed ourselves with a recommended Mars-bar and some nearby tea in the press room. Dermott is a man of – no, not few, but not so many words at the time. He is also a great horse man, and in Gothenburg he was without his groom – who was on the way to Spain and the Sunshine Tour – so Lennon did most of the work in the stables and with the horses on his own, and according to sources in the stables he did a great job, and “was really good at it”. No resting on laurels here!
WoSJ Exclusive; Who will claim this year’s World Cup title?
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 10:54
Will Christian Ahlmann and Taloubet Z take a double? Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.As always this is an impossible question to answer, but WoSJ will try and bring you some of the hottest candidates for the title as we take a look forward to the final and a look backwards at the World Cup season that will conclude in Den Bosch.
Kevin Staut was once again the overall winner of the Western European League - this year with 88 points. "It's nice to be on top, it shows consistency throughout the season. I have also been using three different horses in the different qualifiers; Zeta de Hus, Silvana HDC and Le Prestige St Lois* De Hus," Staut said to WoSJ after the last qualifier in Gothenburg were he ended up in third place. "I will bring Silvana to the final I think. She has been jumping really well and has experience enough to not go too many shows before the final. I will jump her in Paris and then go to the final," Kevin stated at the press conference in Gothenburg. With Silvana HDC and Kevin in form they are without a doubt candidates for a World Cup title.
WoSJ Exclusive; Christian Ahlmann – on hard times, returning to the top & perfect partner Taloubet Z
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 08:11
Defending World Cup champion Christian Ahlmann sat down to talk with WoSJ. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Christian Ahlmann has been forced to deal with rough sea. But instead of throwing the oars away, Christian found a way to ride the waves. And as everybody knows; what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. That was just what Ahlmann showed everybody last year. First he returned to the German A-team after over three years absence, and then in April he won the Rolex FEI World Cup title on Taloubet Z. In October Ahlmann witnessed CAS throwing the Osaka Rule in the bin, bringing him back in the Olympic contest. WoSJ sat down to talk with Christian about his ups and downs, how he has fought his way back, the support that he found in those closest to him – and of course his winning ways, Taloubet Z, the Olympics 2012 and forthcoming fatherhood.
WoSJ Exclusive; Daniel Neilson – one of Great Britain’s biggest talents
Thursday, 22 March 2012 08:08
Britain's Got Talent; Daniel Neilson and Varo M in action. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Daniel Neilson is one of Great Britain’s biggest talents, and in February he made his World Cup debut in Gothenburg. WoSJ sat down to find out more about the recently turned 22 year old, who rides incredibly well and picked up prizes in every class he rode in the Les Talents Hermès classes in Paris in March!
Despite of not coming from a ‘horsey’ family, Daniel has been one of Britain’s most successful riders as a pony, junior and young rider. His mother rode a little – but just as a hobby, and his father was more into football. “I’ve played football myself and I also did boxing up to county level until I was 16 – as well as show jumping at pony level. When I reached 16 it was time to make a decision,” Daniel explains on how he ended up going professional. “I got offered a job with Jason and Katarina Moore in Essex, and decided on doing show jumping full time!”
WoSJ Exclusive; Rik Hemeryck – “For me it’s a dream to go to the Olympics”
Monday, 12 March 2012 21:36
Rik Hemeryck and his 'home made' super star Quarco de Kerambars. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.2011 was a good year for Rik Hemeryck. To mention a few achievments the Belgian rider won the Grand Prix at the Sauté Hermes in Paris, was third in the World Cup qualifier in Mechelen and in the Sires of the World in Lanaken – as well as being picked for the team for Rome, St. Gallen and Aachen. Could 2012 be even better? WoSJ sat down to talk to Rik about his background, horse power, his family, breeding – and of course; his Olympic hopes.
“I come from a family with a great interest for horses. My parents were breeders and I grew up at our yard where they had about ten stallions and a breeding business. I have been riding since I was ten years old, and as a junior I won the European Championships for Belgium. At 18 I decided to quit school, and it has been all about showjumping for me ever since,” Rik smiles. “In the beginning of my career I stayed with Peter Charles for one year. My parents told me I had to learn English,” he laughs. “Then I went on to work for Albert Voorn for two years and then another two years for Hans Günter Winkler.”
WoSJ Exclusive; Edwina Tops-Alexander – on her road to success, right ingredients & superstar Itot!
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 21:13
Edwina & her superstar Itot du Chateau in action. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Edwina Tops-Alexander has done what every little showjumping-fan dreams of doing; gone from pony club rider without horsey parents to becoming one of the world’s best riders with the stable full of fantastic horses – as well as being a much sought after sponsor object with huge global brands such as Gucci and Jaeger-LeCoultre behind her. Tops-Alexander has everything there is to dream of, but as WoSJ sits down to talk to the famous Australian rider we discover a hard-working girl who remembers exactly where she came from.
WoSJ Exclusive; Billy Twomey – on the Olympics, Tinka’s Serenade and some new exciting horses!
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 23:11
Billy and his top horse Tinka's Serenade competing in Paris. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Billy Twomey is one of Ireland’s best riders; last year he won the Rolex Grand Prix in Zürich, the Global Champions Tour in Valencia, was on the winning Irish Nations Cup team in La Baule and at the end of the year he won the Rolex IJRC Top 10 final in Paris. About the latter Billy says; “I didn’t really realize how big the class was until I got to Paris and saw how serious everybody was about it and how much hype there was surrounding the class! So it was really nice to win it!” Now Billy is on top of the FEI Olympic Athlete’s ranking; and will fight for the opportunity to go to London this summer. WoSJ sat down to talk to Billy about his Olympic chances, plans for 2012, his top horse Tinka’s Serenade and new arrivals.
WoSJ Exclusive; Harrie Smolders – “If you really want to go to the World Cup final it’s worth it”
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 08:21
Harrie and Regina Z have been on good form in the World Cup qualifiers. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Harrie Smolders has a habit of taking his horses to the US in autumn time to compete for World Cup points on the other side of the Atlantic. 2011 was no different, apart from the fact that last year he added Azerbaijan to the map when he went there to compete as well. In the end of February he flies off to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. WoSJ decided to find out why Smolders keeps leaving Europe.
WoSJ Exclusive; Victoria Gulliksen – a future super star that just decides to do it!
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 08:12
Victoria and Storm 16 in Zürich. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Victoria Gulliksen must have nerves made of steel; the 19 year old Norwegian rider made her World Cup debut in Zürich around one of the most imposing tracks this season – and in style. WoSJ decided to find out more about this cool headed girl who rides on whatever horses she gets, and that has not been getting anything for free through her father and showjumper Geir ‘Jimmy’ Gulliksen.
With only days to go before she turns 20 we ask Victoria how on earth she has managed to get as far as she has in such a short time – she is still only a young rider, but ride with the big guys in the biggest classes. “It’s true – I’m still a young rider for another two years,” Victoria smiles when one of the WoSJ reporters believes that she has a few more years under her belt – definitely not because she looks it, but because she rides like it.
WoSJ Exclusive; Merrick Haydon on sponsorship and travelling to Dubai for a coffee
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 16:34
Merrick Haydon - a familiar face in the press room. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson. When traveling around at different shows during the year, there are some people you always meet at certain shows. During the Rolex events we normally find one or two British polite and well dressed men. These men are in charge of the Champagne bottle in the press room which is given to the member of the accredited press who guesses the right winner of the Rolex event. A very important job of course, but we had a feeling that these well dressed men had more responsibility than just handing over the champagne - which is why we got hold of one of these gentlemen to find out what they actually do.
Our British target was Merrick Haydon, Director of Revolution Sports Marketing Group. Merrick launched Revolution Sports together with Rod Kohler back in 2003 after working with three other big sport agencies. His business partner Rod has some of the same background as Merrick as they both have worked with sports marketing and developing sponsorship programmes and strategies for big clients such as adidas, BMW and Coca-Cola.
WoSJ Exclusive; Terri Fitton – “I love this job! You get paid to travel the world!”
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 21:41
Terri at work in Paris. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Terri Fitton works for Marco Kutscher, and is no less than a primary school teacher turned top international show groom. But who says that the skills of a teacher for children in the age from 5-11 won’t come in handy on the showjumping circuit? This 25 year old English girl from Manchester – who has a great sense of humor and made us laugh several times during our talk – left her safe haven as a teacher at the age of 20, and started working for British top rider Ben Maher. Terri stayed on for almost five years, before she left for Germany – and horses such as Cornet Obolensky, Cash and Satisfaction FRH.
WoSJ Exclusive; Marcus Ehning – on consistency, management and the Olympics in London
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 09:04
Marcus & Noltes Küchengirl in action. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Marcus Ehning is one of show jumping’s true superstars. Ehning is three times World Cup winner, has team gold medals from the Olympics, World Equestrian Games and the Europeans – not to forget that he won the GCT overall in 2010 – as well as winning so many Grand Prix’s that listing them here would take up several A4 pages. WoSJ decided to sit down with the German rider to hear a little of his plans for 2012 and how he will repeat his success.
WoSJ Exclusive; Emilie Martinsen – “The more I did it the more I wanted to learn and compete”
Monday, 16 January 2012 21:40
Emilie Martinsen & VDL Al Cantino. Photo by Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com.By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Pursuing a goal after her tooth was knocked out on a horse while not having a great time riding in the fields and forests of Denmark as a kid says a lot about Emilie Martinsen's determination to be a top international rider.
And she volunteers she was not born with a lot of talent and did not work hard when younger.
WoSJ Exclusive; Teun van Riel – the way from groom to creator
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 10:57
Teun van Riel is a well known face in the showjumping world. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Almost everyone that has been to a big show in Europe has seen Teun van Riel´s big blue lorry on the showground, packed with high quality products and often with Teun himself sitting and discussing things with a groom or a rider outside of the lorry. WoSJ just had to speak to the Dutch businessman and find out more about him and his companies; Horse Supplements, Equine Industry and the brand Trust Equestrian and what new products we can look forward to see in the nearest future.
We heard you were a groom before you started your business, is it true?
WoSJ Exclusive; Michael Stone – on the Winter Equestrian Festival & the importance of Nations Cups
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 20:37
ESP-president Michael Stone. Photo by/copyright Equestrisol.Michael Stone must have one of the most exciting jobs in the world; as president for the company Equestrian Sport Productions he is responsible for the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida – the largest and longest running horse show in the world, packed with weeks and weeks of showjumping with top riders and horses. We decided to have a word with Stone about the festival – but also about which issues he would have liked to work with if he was still in his previous job as Secretary General in the FEI.
How did you end up as president for Equestrian Sport Productions? “I came from my previous job as Secretary General in the FEI. Equestrian Sport Productions were looking for someone with international jumping experience to run the festival. So the one week I was in the FEI, the next I was in Florida. I have been here for four years now, and I love the States – I have always wanted to live here,” Michael explains happily. “I also used to be a professional showjumper, and rode internationally myself. I have also been the Secretary General of the Irish Equestrian Federation and have been involved in horses all my life. In the FEI I was responsible for many of the championships so I also had experience from organizing big shows.”
January: Kevin opens the year as nr one in the world, and stays on top until June. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson, WoSJ. The showjumping year of 2011 has been filled with top sport, some spectacular wins, thriller championships with deserved medalists, horse sales ahead of next year’s Olympics, retirements of superstars – and tears over the loss of one of the best horses through the times. This is the story of the ups and downs in the world of showjumping in 2011.
Kevin Staut opens the new year as number one in the world on the Rolex Ranking – for the sixth month in a row. Kevin stays on top until June. There is also good news for Rodrigo Pessoa and his wife Alexa when they become parents to a little daughter named Sophia. On the other hand it’s time to wave good bye to Franke Sloothaak’s former top ride Joli Ceur when he passes away at the age of 25. Sloothaak and Joli Coeur won team gold for Germany at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and at the WEG in Rome in 1998. At the WEG they also claimed the individual bronze medal. Another big name leaves the sport; No Mercy – Christina Liebherr’s top ride – is retired, and thanked of during the five star show in Zürich.
Clarissa has had a great season together with West Side v Meerputhoeve. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson - worldofshowjumping.comClarissa Crotta was a part of the Swiss winning team at the Europeans at Windsor in 2009. While the 2010-season was a bit disappointing, Clarissa is one of several Swiss riders who have delivered strong results this year, including earning back their place in the Top League. For Clarissa‘s part she has been at the price list at five legs of the Global Champions Tours; Cannes, Monte-Carlo, Estoril, Chantilly and Valkenswaard. And the last weekend in November she was number six at the Global Champions Tour final in Abu Dhabi after three strong clear rounds.
As we have seen that Clarissa’s great progress has happened after she moved to Breitenburg in Germany a little over a year ago to train with Bo Kristoffersen and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, we wanted to have a chat with her to find out about how her “new” life in Breitenburg is like, her goals for 2012 and how she ended up there in the first place?
WoSJ Exclusive; Beezie Madden – on Simon, Vanilla and the Olympics
Monday, 12 December 2011 21:40
Beezie Madden; one of the strongest cards for the American team in 2012! All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson/worldofshowjumping.com.Beezie Madden’s strong string of horses makes her one of the best cards for the US team in 2012. With Coral Reef Via Volo Beezie was on the gold winning team at the Pan Am Games this autumn, as well as claiming individual silver. The pair also won the Grand Prix in Rotterdam in August. On her other top horse Cortes C Beezie also took home the Global Champions Tour leg in Valkenswaard. In November Beezie added two new exciting horses to her string; Simon and Vanilla. WoSJ sat down to speak to Beezie about the purchase of Simon and Vanilla – as well as how she will prepare towards the Olympics in London in 2012.
WoSJ Exclusive; Steve Guerdat – “I like my sport, and I gladly fight for it”
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 12:16
Steve and Jalisca Solier at the Europeans in Madrid. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson/worldofshowjumping.com.Steve Guerdat is one of Switzerland's best riders; on Tresor he was third in the World Cup final in Las Vegas in 2007, he won European Team gold in 2009 and last year he won the Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final in Geneva – the latter two on Jalisca Solier, not to forget his numerous Grand Prix victories. WoSJ had a chat with Steve and learned that he is a rider who also cares about contributing to the sport outside the ring, especially through his engagement in the International Jumping Riders Club.
WoSJ Exclusive; Roger Yves Bost – “My calendar looks a little different than before this year!”
Monday, 28 November 2011 22:35
AnRoger Yves Bost & Ideal de la Loge flying in Hamburg. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.introduction of Roger Yves Bost – or Bosty as he is often called – almost seems unnecessary. The popular French rider has been in the spotlight for decades, and at 46 he is still as competitive as ever. On Ideal de la Loge (Dollar du Murier x Joyau d’Or) he has won a pretty collection of big classes, and the icing on the cake came with the victory in the Global Champions Tour final in Abu Dhabi this past weekend. Nikyta d’Elle (Richebourg x Papillon Rouge) is also one of his winning partners. Earlier this year Bosty’s horses got company of Jessica Kürten’s former rides Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois (Dollar du Murier x Grand Veneur) and Castle Forbes Vivaldo(Clinton X Randel Z) in addition to some younger ones.
WoSJ Exclusive; Wout-Jan van der Schans "The Eurocommerce horses & I seem to bring each other luck"
Monday, 21 November 2011 22:06
Eurocommerce Seoul is one of Wout-Jan's super stars. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Wout-Jan van der Schans has enjoyed huge success this year; he has won big classes in Aalst, Eindhoven, La Boissière Ecole, San Giovanni, Hardelot, Dortmund – and recently he won the Gold Cup in Munich as well as taking home a first prize in Oldenburg. WoSJ decided to find out more about Wout-Jan and his winning ways.
When did your cooperation with Eurocommerce start? “I started to ride some of the Eurocommerce horses in January 2010. Mr. Visser phoned me between Christmas and New Year’s 2009 as there were some changes in their team. He wanted to buy a horse for me, but as time progressed we didn’t find any to buy,” Wout-Jan smiles. “Eurocommerce has so many good horses in their stable, so I said to Mr. Visser that he must have some for me among his own,” The Dutch rider laughs. “And turns out he did!”
The stunning Triple X III and Ben in Madrid. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson. Ben Maher caught our eye in Hong Kong in 2008 when he made a surprisingly big impression at the Olympics on Rolette. A short time after the games Rolette was sold, but it didn’t take Ben more than a few months before he was back at the top – this time on a new horse; Robin Hood W. This year Ben has brought another exciting prospect on to the international scene; Triple X – bred by Ben himself. WoSJ decided to find out Ben’s secret; how does the British rider turn the horses he touches into gold?
Ben does not come from a particular horsey family, but nevertheless ended up on the horseback due to his mother. “My mother rode as a hobby, and at the age of six or seven I was on the back of a pony. Then it went from there, and I joined the local Pony Club. After a while I started competing and I ended up doing the European Championships as a pony rider,” Ben tells us – excusing himself extremely politely as he has to take a phone call regarding a horse he is about to buy and the money needs to be transferred as we speak.
Like we will always remember him; Hickstead at the WEG in Kentucky. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.The amazing stallion Hickstead will go into history as one of the world’s greatest showjumping horses ever. During his fantastic career with Eric Lamaze he achieved unbelievable good results – he was truly a horse of a lifetime. This is our tribute to a wonderful horse who have created some of the best showjumping moments in history.
Hickstead came to Eric in 2004and stayed with the Canadian rider up until his sudden death yesterday. Already at the WEG in 2006 Eric Lamaze was sure he had a fabulous horse as he said; "He's a great horse and a very good competitor. He's got a great personality, and he's a fun horse to ride because I know him so well. He's feisty, he knows why he is out there, and he knows that knocking down a rail is not good! Some horses just don't get it."
WoSJ Exclusive; Henrik & Allerdings - an unexpected combinaton
Saturday, 05 November 2011 11:54
A happy Henrik after his good round with Allerdings in Verona. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.The Swedish rider Henrik von Eckermann is in Verona at the moment and is riding his colleague Marco Kutscher's fourth horse Allerdings. Yesterday the new couple ended up in second place.
"Yesterday was the first time I ever jumped Allerdings and that went well," Henrik tells us. "I started to ride him on Tuesday and then I rode him Wednesday as well at home before we left for Verona. The reason that I ride him is because Coupe de Coeur is having a break until the World Cup in Stuttgart. Allerdings is a totally different horse compared to Coupe de Coeur, he is kind of spooky."
WoSJ Exclusive; Natale Chiaudani – on fly fishing, his riding philosophy, water jumps & steeplechase
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 21:57
Natale at the Europeans on Almero 12 - a horse he really believes in. Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson. Natale Chiaudani is certainly a refreshing breeze; not only through his unique style with Ray Ban Aviators and glossy riding boots – WoSJ also discovers him to be a man who once painted horses instead of riding them, that loves fly fishing in addition to horses and who has clear opinions on the sport.
The first time Natale really caught our eye was during the Europeans at Windsor in 2009. The Italian rider was hard to miss on the lovely Seldana di Campalto – he produced the sole double clear of the team competition, which was a big contribution to Italy’s silver medal. This also caught the attention of the international showjumping community; a year after her performance at Windsor Seldana was sold to Abdullah Al Sharbatly who won the WEG silver medal on her in Kentucky.
WoSJ Exclusive; Cayetano Martinez de Irujo – “Without the horse the sport would not happen”
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 20:30
Cayetano Martinez de Irujo & Eleonora Ottaviani from the IJRC. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.The International Jumping Riders Club is the voice of many of the international riders. It was founded in 1977 by a group of 25 international riders; amongst them were David Broome, Paul Schockemöhle and Nelson Pessoa. The goal of the club was – and still is – to promote the image of the equestrian sport in the jumping section to forward the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play.
The club has worked out the formula behind the Rolex world ranking,and they own the Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final –the latter means that if a rider has not paid the membership fee participation in the final is not possible. To learn more about the club’s work WoSJ sat down to speak to the club’s newly elected president Cayetano Martinez de Irujo, also one of Spain’s best riders.
Peder Fredricson and his tophorse H&M Arctic Aurora Borealis. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.All riders on the top level have to plan several trips for both themselves and their horses. But some riders have longer ways to travel than others. WoSJ sat down with Peder Fredricson from Sweden to talk about getting the horses from A to B.
Peder’s horses H&M Arctic Aurora Borealis, Holliday Klg and H&M Cash In just got back to Sweden after more than six weeks on the road together with their groom Malin Henlöv.
WoSJ Exclusive; Eric comments on loosing VDL Groep Utascha SFN
Saturday, 15 October 2011 14:45
Eric comments to WoSJ on loosing Utascha. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Yesterday the Springpaarden Fonds Nederland (SFN) announced that Eric van der Vleuten no longer will be riding their horse Utascha. Today Eric comments on the loss of the horse to WoSJ. “They came on Wednesday and told me that they had decided that somebody else would be riding Utascha in the future,” Eric says.
“My reaction was that I found this action low, and I felt they were behaving unacceptable. You just don’t take a horse from a rider that have been riding that horse for five years and brought it on to top level – ten months before the Olympic Games. I told them that I would not accept this kind of behavior, and especially not from horse people like that [SFN]. Who can do such a thing?”
WoSJ Exclusive; Kevin Staut – The Journey from Windsor to Madrid
Monday, 10 October 2011 20:21
Kevin in Madrid with Silvana de Hus. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.At 30 years old Kevin Staut has already managed to win an individual European gold medal, a European team silver and team silver at the WEG – not to forget that he stayed on top of the Rolex world ranking for ten months. WoSJ sat down with this brilliant French rider to talk about the journey he has had from Windsor to Madrid.
WoSJ Exclusive: Preview on the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping season
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 10:00
Hugo Simon is one of four legendary hat-trick title winners, and still going strong over thirty years after his first title. Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.As the World Cup season for 2011/2012 in the Western European league kicks off next week, WoSJ takes a look at previous winners, last year’s season and what it will take to win the final. The first winner of the World Cup Jumping title was Austria’s Hugo Simon on the legendary Gladstone (by Goetz), who in 1979 won the trophy in the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg. Seventeen years later in Geneva Simon would yet again take the title home – this time on another legend of a horse; the special chestnut gelding E.T. FRH (by Espri). The following year – 1997 – Hugo Simon was back in Gothenburg to claim the title again. These three wins have made Hugo Simon historical; he is one of four riders who have recorded a hat-trick of victories.
WoSJ Exclusive; Mark Mc Auley – an Irish rider to watch out for
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 16:44
Marc went from young horses to Grand Prix level in a very short time. Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Four months ago Mark Mc Auley started to work at the Menada-family’s stable in Italy, and after just two weeks he was competing at the Global Champions Tour in Doha. “Everything went really fast and now I have seven horses that are mine to ride. I also ride the two horses that belong to the daughter in the family; Maddalena Valenzano.
WoSJ Exclusive; Sylve Söderstrand on the Promotional League Final.
Thursday, 22 September 2011 17:59
Sylve Söderstrand is hoping for a win for Sweden. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Sylve Söderstrand, the Swedish chef d’équipe, tells WoSJ about Sweden’s chances in the final in the Promotional League in Barcelona; “We are going to Barcelona to win the final and I think we are going to do just that. Ukraine is of course dangerous, but I think we are a bit better. But we shall still not underestimate Canada. It probably will stand between these three countries.”
Most of the Swedish riders that were riding at the Europeans are going to ride in Barcelona as well. Henrik von Eckermann is the only one that will not ride so Peder Fredricson will go to the league’s final.
WoSJ Exclusive; Alfonso Romo – the man behind La Silla
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 23:02
The man behind the La Silla horses; Alfonso Romo. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.The La Silla-horses are among the most known in the world of showjumping; who hasn’t heard of Ninja and Casall La Silla – especially after the Europeans this weekend where Ninja La Silla won the gold. Much work, high ambitions and a thought of always getting better lies behind much of the success of the studbook and its horses – and of course Mr. La Silla himself: Alfonso Romo.
WoSJ Exclusive; Twomey, Beerbaum and Eder on the favorites for the individual final
Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:05
Billy believes in Carsten-Otto, Nick and Luciana. Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.WoSJ had a quick chat with Billy Twomey, Ludger Beerbaum and Stefan Eder about their top three favorites ahead of today’s final in Madrid.
Billy Twomey: I think Carsten-Otto Nagel will win. The only thing that could stop him is a total disaster. The way Nick’s horse is jumping I think he has a good chance of a medal. And Luciana Diniz has a good horse as well. So I say; Carsten-Otto will win, then silver to Nick and bronze to Luciana.
WoSJ Exclusive; Svante, Dirk and Natale on the European team final
Friday, 16 September 2011 14:07
Dirk believes in Holland. Photos by Hanne Christensen.WoSJ took a quick check on the favorites for the three team medals before today’s final.
Dirk Demeersman: I think Holland will win. I don’t imagine they will do any mistakes. I also think Germany will be on the podium. Then it’s very open for the third spot; maybe France will claim the bronze, but it could also be Britain, Belgium or Sweden. I hope for Belgium of course!
WoSJ Exclusive; Harley Brown – about Cassiato and Olympic hopes
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 12:07
A proud winner in Del Mar; Harley Brown with happy supporters. Photo by CapturedMomentPhoto.com.Australian rider Harley Brown won the US West Coast league World Cup qualifier in Del Mar, California, the first weekend in September. WoSJ decided to find out a little bit more about Brown and his winning horse – the wonderful thirteen year old grey gelding Cassiato. Harley Brown comes from Melbourne, Australia, but in 2003 he set sails for the US to compete and train. As often happens Brown stayed, and he is now based with his business and family in San Luis Obispo in sunny California.
WoSJ Exclusive; Sergio Alvarez Moya – A Spanish Superstar
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 07:24
Sergio and Wisconsin. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.With his good and accurate riding Sergio Alvarez Moya has impressed the WoSJ crew over the last couple of years, and in Aachen we finally got the chance to interview this talented and young Spanish rider.
Sergio comes from a family with an interest for horses and he became naturally involved with them from a young age; "My uncle was into horses, and I and my brothers started riding when I was seven years old. I did quite well already as a junior and young rider, and in 2001 I won the European Championship for juniors in Gijon with Flash de la Ramee.
WoSJ Exclusive; Rolf-Göran Bengtsson – about his luxury problem
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 08:43
Ninja La Silla is going to the Europeans. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Last weekend it became official that Rolf-Göran Bengtsson is going to ride the 16 year old Ninja La Silla at the Europeans in Madrid. WoSJ asked Rolf for a comment about his choice of horse. “It for sure wasn’t easy to choose between Ninja La Silla and Casall La Silla. It really is a luxury problem to have such good horses to choose from, and I’m lucky to have a great sponsor in Alfonso Romo from the La Silla stud that lets me ride them. Ninja La Silla has been jumping excellent, and he is fresh and happy and just feeling great at the moment so that’s why I decided to give him another chance to do a championship. I also know him really well in that kind of situation.”
WoSJ Exclusive; Heidi Mulari – “Jalisca and Tresor are my favorites!”
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 19:56
Tresor - one of Steve's top horses - is "fantastic for a stallion" according to Heidi. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Heidi Mulari has a job that many would envy her; she looks after Steve Guerdat’s super stars Jalisca Solier, Tresor and Ferrari. WoSJ sat down with Heidi to hear more about Steve’s horses, how she ended up in Switzerland and memorable career moments. Heidi is from Finland, and when she finished school she left her home country to work with horses in Holland. Her stay was only meant to last for a year, but has stretched on – and moved the 30 year old to Steve’s base in the Swiss countryside.
WoSJ Exclusive; Penelope Leprevost - French style and elegance
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 14:14
Super stylish; Penelope and Mylord Carthago. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Penelope Leprevost has been the “leading lady” in French showjumping over the last years. The one girl you see on every French Nations Cup team together with the guys. We met Penelope in Falsterbo in July and we got to know a little bit more about this fantastic rider, her amazing horses and what it is like to be one of few girls at this level.
WoSJ Exclusive; Peter van der Kallen – ”Selling a horse is like selling a dream”
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 11:26
Peter van der Kallen gives his views on the horse market to WoSJ. Photo by Hanne Christensen. Peter van der Kallen – or Dutch Pete as many call him – is one of Europe’s many horse dealers. We decided to let Pete tell us about how the horse market is at the moment.
Could you tell us a little bit about your job? “I’m a horse dealer, and sell quite a few junior jumpers to the US. I also buy young horses and sell them on later, and have a few young ones placed with different good local riders – amongst them Malin Parmler. It’s important that the riders are good at training young horses, and that they can bring them on properly. I also have a nice horse – Cardoso– with Harrie Smolders, and it’s jumping international 1.50 classes now,” Pete says. “Selling a horse is like selling a dream; everybody is looking for that one big time horse.”
WoSJ Exclusive; Maikel van der Vleuten – ”Verdi has all the scope in the world!”
Tuesday, 02 August 2011 08:49
Maikel sat down with the WoSJ team in sunny Falsterbo in July. Photo by Hanne Christensen.Maikel van der Vleuten has certainly made his mark lately; together with VDL Groep Verdi he was a key player on the winning Dutch team in St. Gallen. And this is only the beginning when it comes to the good results; Maikel and Verdi were also third in the Longines Grand Prix in Falsterbo, aboard VDL Groep Sapphire Maikel won the Grand Prix in De Steeg back in June, in May the talented 23 year old was third in the Global Champions Tour in Valencia and he also won the Grand Prix in Lummen in April together with Verdi.
WoSJ Exclusive; Rob Ehrens – on European candidates, the Top League and a call for change
Monday, 25 July 2011 17:39
A part of the Dutch formula for success; Rob Ehrens. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.The Dutch showjumping team has been on fire lately, and has won the Top League legs in Rome, St. Gallen and Aachen bringing them to number one position in the league. WoSJ sat down with the man behind the Dutch success; chef d’equipe Rob Ehrens. “Our start in the Top League this year was good, actually it’s the best we have ever had,” Rob smiles. “It’s the first time in seven years that we have had such a good start, and it feels good because we have always had to fight hard to stay in the league. I have always tried to plan on a good start at the first leg in La Baule, but it’s never really happened. This year we did ok in La Baule, and after that leg we have done really well,” Ehrens continues.
WoSJ Exclusive; Pablo Barrios – “Competing in Europe has been a great experience”
Thursday, 21 July 2011 13:31
In action in Aachen; Pablo and G & C Quick Star. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson. Venezuelan rider Pablo Barrios has made his mark on the European showjumping circuit this summer; in June he won the five-star Prix Generali in Cannes, and Barrios has also enjoyed several other good results in the Global Champions Tour. WoSJ met up with Pablo to find out more about him, his sponsor and how he finds Europe.
WoSJ Exclusive; Angelica Augustsson – a Swedish Superstar
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 07:08
Super stars; Angelica and Mic Mac du Tillard in Falsterbo. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson. A moment of magic was created when Angelica Augustsson won the World Cup qualifier in Gothenburg in February this year; this young and extremely talented girl blew us all away, and stole the limelight from riders such as Ludger Beerbaum and Edwina Alexander. Four months later WoSJ sat down with Angelica, and discovered her to be a girl with great respect for her horses, competitors and for how this sport works.
WoSJ Exclusive; Cian O’Connor – “I believe the next star is around the corner!”
Thursday, 14 July 2011 10:00
K Club Lady will in the future be seen on the Ukrainian team. Here with Cian at the WEG. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Cian O’Connor has been one of Ireland’s best riders for several years and looked like one of the strongest cards for the Irish team, until he recently sold three of his top horses. WoSJ met up with Cian to find out more about the sales and his plans for the future, and discovered that O’Connor is a man whose focus is on opportunities instead for limitations.
WoSJ Exclusive; Simon Crippen – “The easiest thing about showjumping is showjumping”!
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 07:18
Simon Crippen with the wonderful stallion Voss in the Falsterbo Grand Prix. All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Simon Crippen is maybe not the most familiar name on the international showjumping scene yet, but as WoSJ sits down with this 30 year old Brit we discover there is every reason it will be. This weekend Crippen made his five star debut in Falsterbo, and with several good rounds with the flashy Voltaire-stallion Voss he made his mark as one to watch.
Simon comes from a family full of horse traditions, and his father was “the real horseman in the family,” Simon explains. “My father started out riding when he was quite young, and he was the type of rider who rode what he got in his hands – he didn’t have the means to be picky. After some time he was known as a guy who could sort the difficult horses out,” Simon tells us. “My father rode at national level, and his interest was so strong that I started out riding as a small boy.”
WoSJ Exclusive; Henk Nooren – on the Top League, the Europeans and rising stars
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 08:07
Henk at work in Hamburg. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.
Henk Nooren is a well known name in the world of showjumping. Nooren was a part of Holland’s showjumping team for several years, and has medals from both European and World Championships. Over the last years the legendary Dutchman has been one of the most popular and sought-after trainers in the sport. He has trained several individual riders such as Marcus Ehning, Eric van der Vleuten and Peter Wylde as well as national teams such as Sweden and Spain – but for the last years he has achieved great success as a trainer for France. In April Nooren also took on the role as the French coach after Laurent Elias – a contract that runs towards the Olympics in London in 2012.
WoSJ had a talk with Nooren to learn a little more about his thoughts on the season, his new role and to try and get some names on talented younger riders to look out for in 2011.
WoSJ Exclusive; Marc Houtzager – on Tamino, Opium, Dutch super sponsors and team-spirit!
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 09:26
"He's always fighting for me!"; Sterrehof's Opium with Marc in Aachen. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Marc Houtzager is one of Holland’s best riders, and with his top horses Sterrehof’s Tamino and Sterrehof’s Opium he is a regular sight when the big occasions are on for the Dutch team. WoSJ sat down to find out more about Marc, his horses and his sponsor Stud Sterrehof. Marc himself has ridden the Olympics, the WEG, the Europeans – you name it. He was also on the Dutch winning team in the Super League in Dublin last year. Not only is Marc a brilliant rider, he is also a fun and easy-to-be-around kind of guy.
WoSJ Exclusive; Robert Splaine on the Top League, the Europeans and the importance of good owners
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 21:58
Robert Splaine has had a successful season with Ireland so far. Photo by Hanne Christensen.Robert Splaine is Ireland’s chef d’equipe, and has had a very successful Top League season so far. WoSJ sat down with Splaine to find out more about the Irish team, and about the priorities for the rest of the outdoor season.
WoSJ Exclusive; Russell Parkin – on Denis’ love for Lantinus and the favorite Abberuail
Monday, 20 June 2011 08:05
Russell Parkin looks after Lantinus, Abberuail and the rest of Denis' superstars! Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.To work for Denis Lynch, and travel the world with horses such as Lantinus, All Inclusive and Abbervail van het Dingeshof seems like a pretty good deal. WoSJ sat down with the guy who does exactly this; Russell Parkin.
Russell is from England, and is the kind of guy that will bring a smile to your face. Most of his professional life has been spend in his home country working for John and Robert Whitaker; “I worked there for 14 years, and then Denis asked me if I wanted to come work for him – I fancied a change, so I said yes and now I’ve been working for Denis for seven months,” Russell explains. “It was hard to leave the Whitaker’s horses behind. Lucky for me Lacroix – who Robert used to ride – is with Denis now and that way I could continue to follow him, which is really nice. I was promised once that he’ll be mine when he retires,” Russell says with a smile on his face.
WoSJ Exclusive; Christina Niemand – on dating a professional showjumper
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 11:57
Henrik von Eckermann's girlfriend Christina Niemand. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Swedish showjumper Henrik von Eckermann has been a successful stable jockey at Ludger Beerbaum’s stable in Germany for several years. Last year during the World Cup show in Gothenburg he told us that he had met a cute German teacher that he was dating. When we found out the two of them were still dating a year later, and that this girl was coming to Gothenburg together with Henrik this year – the WoSJ-team decided to find out a little about how life is like when you’re dating someone who is usually away at shows every weekend throughout the whole year. There should be no secret that dating a professional athlete within any sport can be a challenge.
WoSJ Exclusive; Harrie Smolders – on his horses, family & digging poles into the ground
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 09:57
A happy guy; Harrie Smolders. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Harrie Smolders is at the age of thirty one of Holland’s best riders with an impressive career behind him, but also a promising future ahead of him. WoSJ decided to find out more about the top rider, and discovered Harrie to be a true family man and somebody who will easily bring a smile on your face.
Horses have been in the Smolders’ family for generations. Harrie’s grandfather had horses working in the fields at home, and the Dutch rider’s father is also a horseman. So, Harrie and his sister started riding ponies as small kids – Harrie was then eight years old. “At first I didn’t like it, I played soccer as well and I liked that more. But when the pony that belonged to my sister was to be sold, I decided to take it on,” Harrie says. “At first I was really scared; they had to dig the poles into the ground the first year to make me jump,” Harrie laughs.
WoSJ Exclusive; Nelson Pessoa on the key to success – “Listen, be modest and patient”
Monday, 30 May 2011 20:53
A living legend; Nelson Pessoa. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Nelson Pessoa is a living legend in the sport of showjumping; during his career as a rider he won several championships and over 150 Grand Prix’s in Europe. WoSJ was lucky enough to get an interview with this exceptional horseman.
Pessoa keeps himself busy with his yard Haras de Ligny outside Brussels, where he keeps sixty horses. At the age of 75, Nelson – or Neco as he is often called – still does quite a lot of coaching. His son Rodrigo, Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze and the winner of this year’s Global Champions Tour in Doha Alvaro de Miranda, are among the riders who are lucky enough to take part of his wisdom. “We also have riders who come in for one or two weeks at a time – often they are junior or young riders. They come from all over the world, but many of them are from North or South America,” Nelson explains.
WoSJ Exclusive; Anu Harrila – “Shutterfly behaves like a king, and Checkmate like a show man”
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:11
Legends; Shutterfly and Meredith. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.The sport has many superstars; but one of the biggest of them will forever be Meredith Michaels Beerbaum’s Shutterfly. We sat down with Shutterfly’s head girl Anu Harrila to find out more about the historic veteran, his successful stable mate and travel companion Checkmate, as well as their future successors.
Next to Meredith, Anu must be the one who knows Shutterfly the best. The 33 year old Finnish girl has worked for Meredith for 13 years, and has known Shutterfly since he arrived at the yard in 1999 as a 6 year old. “Shutterfly is truly something special, and he is also a bit weird,” Anu says about the 18 year old gelding. “He is a really nice horse, and he likes people – as long as they are not strangers,” Anu smiles.
WoSJ Exclusive; Lars Nieberg about his plans for 2011
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 11:43
Lars Nieberg is lucky to have some good horses at the moment. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.The German rider Lars Nieberg has his plans ready for 2011. He wants to take part of the Global Champions Tour and if the horses are in good form the goal is the European Championship in Madrid in September.
“I am lucky to have some really good horses at the moment,” Lars explains. Lord Luis (Lasino x Alcatraz), who has been with Lars for the last one and a half year, is his best horse. Then he has the eighteen year old mare Lucie (Landadel x Gralsritter). “Unfortunately Lucie is already eighteen… But she is in a very good shape at the moment so I hope that I can still ride her for some time.”
Nina and Mouse winning the speed final in Gothenburg in February. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Finnish rider Nina Fagerström works as a stable jockey in one of Belgium’s biggest trading stables, Stephex Stables. At the beginning of 2010 Nina was ranked somewhere between 150 and 160 at the Rolex ranking. In April 2011 she had become number 46. To make that big a climb in a year is nothing less than remarkable. If you have seen Nina ride you might not be that surprised though – this is a girl who always chases victory. She recently won the pair competition at the Saute Hermes show in Paris together with Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze after two speedy rounds. WoSJ sat down with Nina to hear about how she ended up in Belgium, learn a little about her horses and of course we wanted to find out about her goals and hopes for the 2011-season.
WoSJ Exclusive; Alana Gamble – “Tinka is really special, and Je T’aime is easy going”
Monday, 09 May 2011 20:20
Alana and Tinka relax at the WEG. Photo: Private. Alana Gamble works for Irish rider Billy Twomey, and travels around the world with Billy’s best horses Tinka’s Serenade, Je T'aime Flamenco, Tackeray and Romanov. WoSJ had a chat with Alana to find out what it’s like to be on the road most of the year, what it takes to be a groom for an international rider and if she ever feels the urge for a holiday.
WoSJ Exclusive; Eric van Grunsven – a successful owner
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 08:47
Eric van Grunsven. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Behind most successful riders there is also a very supportive owner. WoSJ sat down to speak to one of them; Eric van Grunsven – one of the men behind BMC Van Grunsven Simon (Mr. Blue x Polydox and BMC Van Grunsven Whisper (Querelle x Wendekreis).
The two horses are familiar names on the international circuit, and together with Jeroen Dubbeldam Simon won the Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows, the World Cup qualifier in Verona as well as being overall third in the World Cup final in Leipzig as one of only two horses with a double clear on the final day. Whisper won the Dutch championship in 2009, and has several Gran Prix prizes on the record.
WoSJ Exclusive; Pessoa, Nieberg, Lynch and Ehning give their bets for tomorrow’s final!
Saturday, 30 April 2011 16:34
Nelson Pessoa speaks to WoSJ about his favorites tomorrow. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Nelson Pessoa has just given his tip to WoSJ on who will win the Rolex FEI World Cup final tomorrow. To WoSJ Pessoa said; “I have believed in Christian Ahlmann from the beginning. His horse is in good form, and is strong enough to take the win. Eric Lamaze is a little bit behind, but I believe he can win the third round tomorrow. Maybe it’s a bit long up to take the title, but Hickstead is an unbelievable horse and Eric is a good rider.”
WoSJ Exclusive; The World Cup final will be the biggest class ever for Daisuke
Sunday, 24 April 2011 13:28
Daisuke has been preparing for Leipzig with some 145 - 150 classes in Germany. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.The 24 year old Daisuke Kawaguchi from Japan is one of the non-European riders that are in Germany preparing for the World Cup final in Leipzig. He managed to qualify for the big final by just riding four of the Asian league qualifications, but in Leipzig he will make his debut in a 160-class.
“In Japan the qualifications aren't that big and we don´t have any indoor shows there, so it will be a big challenge for me, but I am not nervous because I really love challenges”, Daisuke tells WoSJ.
The 12 year old Snowy River II is the horse that will accompany the Japanese rider in Leipzig. The horse has been with Daisuke she was six. “She is a very hot horse but with a strong heart. Snowy River never stops; and she always wants to be clear over the fences.”
Alberto Martinez and Leonard are making their last preparations before Leipzig. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Several non-European riders are in Germany preparing for the World Cup final in Leipzig, and one of them is Alberto Martinez from Mexico. The day before his travel to the big showground in eastern Germany he competes at a national outdoor show in Lastrup at Stall Böckmann. The horse he's riding – Leonard (Liberty Life – Gardestern) - was actually born at Lastrup 14 years ago.
WoSJ Exclusive; A look forward to Leipzig - who will claim the title?
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 18:30
Meredith and Shutterfly. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Who will win the Rolex FEI World Cup final in Leipzig that is just one week ahead? Well, we won’t attempt to answer that question – simply because it is an impossible task and pure guesswork. What we will do though, is to bring you some of the hottest candidates for the title as we take a look forward to the final and a look backwards at the world cup season that will conclude in Leipzig.