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La Baule sets the scene for a clash of titans

Monday, 03 June 2024
CSIO5* Jumping International de La Baule 2024

Photo © PSV Photos "It's one of the best events of the season, no doubt about that," Steve Guerdat says about Jumping International de La Baule. Photo © PSV Photos.


Edited press release from Jumping International de La Baule



The horses and riders for this week's CSIO5* Jumping International de La Baule - Officiel de France (6–9 June) has been unveiled, and once again the best riders in the world will be seen in action in the François André Stadium. Many of the riders on the start list will be representing one of the nine teams entered for the prestigious Barrière Nations Cup, and every single one of them will be eager to produce a stellar performance over the four-day event, with the Rolex Grand Prix de la Ville de La Baule as the icing on the cake.  

The 2024- edition boasts a star-studded field of riders, with a whole constellation of world, European, North American and South American champions, as well as Olympic gold medallists. 

Several action-packed moments stand out from the programme between Thursday and Sunday. On Friday, the Barrière Nations Cup will put 36 combinations representing nine nations to the test, with the top eight progressing to the second round. It will be a golden opportunity for all the chefs d'équipe to make the last few tweaks before the Olympic event in Versailles next summer. 

France, which last finished on top of the class in 2017, will be eager to shine on home turf again. The national coach Henk Nooren and the federal team have selected Roger-Yves Bost and Delph de Denat HDC, Simon Delestre and I Amelusina R 51, Olivier Robert and Iglesias DV, Jeanne Sadran and Dexter de Kerglenn as well as Kevin Staut and Visconti du Telman to represent the Blue Jackets.

Photo © Mr Timmy Photos Brazil won last year's Nations Cup in La Baule, and returns for the 2024-edition. Photo © Mr Timmy Photos.

The reigning champions and 2018 winners, Brazil, will be relying on Luiz Felipe de Azevedo Filho, Luciana Diniz, Luciana Lossio, Yuri Mansur and Santiago Lambre for a successful title defence.

Sweden, the current world champions and Olympic gold medallists, never perform better than when faced with a real challenge. The Swedes will be hoping to add their names to the honour roll for the first time with Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli, Peder Fredricson, Amanda Landeblad, Petronella Andersson and Linda Heed on the team. 

Meanwhile, Switzerland, who triumphed in 2019 and 2021, will be fielding a fiercely competitive team in the shape of Steve Guerdat (world no. 3), Martin Fuchs (no. 5), Pius Schwizer, Edouard Schmitz and Alain Jufer. "It's one of the best events of the season, no doubt about that," said Guerdat, an Olympic gold medallist in 2012. "It has an extraordinary ring and a fantastic stadium with an atmosphere that blows you away. The event features my three favourite competitions: the Grand Prix, the Nations Cup and the Derby. It has also managed to change with the times without sacrificing its tradition. It's the whole package."  

Despite being one of the major powers of the sport for many decades, Germany has not won in Loire-Atlantique since 2007, and will be counting on Marcus Ehning, Kendra Clarica Brinkop – the recent victor of the Grand Prix 4* in Bourg-en-Bresse – Jörne Sprehe, Philipp Weishaupt and David Will to end their drought.  

The United States, whose last success in La Baule dates back to 2005, are bringing some serious power to Loire-Atlantique, with Kent Farrington (no. 6) and McLain Ward (no. 9) leading the charge and Karl Cook – the recent winner of the Rolex Grand Prix de Rome – Lillie Keenan and Aaron Vale bringing up the rear. The Americans came up second in their latest appearance, back in 2016. 

Belgium has emerged victorious from La Baule four times (1999, 2008, 2012 and 2022) and will be counting on Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts (no. 15), Jérôme Guéry, Wilm Vermeir and Grégory Wathelet.  

Spain, back on the shores of the Atlantic for the first time since 2018, has clinched a single edition, in 2002. The top 100 riders Eduardo Álvarez Aznar and Mariano Martínez Bastida will be among those flying the flag for the Spanish in La Baule.  

Austria, who has been building on their bronze medal at the last European Championship, will also be in the mix with Max Kühner as the biggest name on the team. 

International riders who have signed up as individual entrants include the Irishman Shane Sweetnam (no. 12), the Briton Lily Attwood, the Liechtensteiner Jennifer Hochstadter, the Italians Lorenzo de Luca and Gampiero Garofalo, the Norwegian Victoria Gulliksen, the Mexican Federico Fernández, the Dutchman Lars Kersten and the Colombians Roberto Terán and René López.  


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