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“You have to believe”: Yuri Mansur and Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm win the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe at CHIO Aachen

Wednesday, 28 June 2023
CHIO Aachen 2023

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ “This is about life; you have to keep trying and keep fighting – and you have to believe," Yuri Mansur said after winning the Turkish Airlines – Prize of Europe at CHIO Aachen with Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



It was all about Brazilian belief in Wednesday’s CSIO5* 1.60m Turkish Airlines – Prize of Europe at CHIO Aachen, which ended with an emotional win for Yuri Mansur riding the 10-year-old mare Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm (Chacco-Blue x Zirocco Blue VDL). In 2018, Mansur’s heart horse Vitiki suffered a near career ending injury when breaking his leg in the jump-off of the Prize of Europe – so to five years later win the class had many different dimensions to it for Mansur, who always wears his heart on his sleeve when competing but especially so at this venue, which holds so many memories for him. That the victory came on a Brazilian bred horse made it taste even sweeter for Mansur. 

“Like I said before, if I could go back and change my past, I would not. What happened with Vitiki caused me a lot of pain, but I improved so much as a horseman, as a rider and as a person because of it,” Mansur said to World of Showjumping. “This is about life; you have to keep trying and keep fighting – and you have to believe.”

“To be honest, I felt quite calm,” Mansur said about the emotions that went through him when he took the lead in the Prize of Europe. “I was happy of course, but it was more a feeling of being at peace – and this is probably the best feeling you can have.”

Tough nut to crack

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The winners: Yuri Mansur and Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

As expected, Frank Rothenberger’s fourteen-fence track was a tough nut to crack. The line from the open water at no. seven with six strides to an oxer followed by four short strides to an airy white gate with a skinny plank on top claimed plenty of victims, as did the white triple combination at 11abc, but it was the last combination that came on six very short or five flowing strides that really got the horses in trouble – the six slightly broke the rhythm and the five made most of the horses a bit flat, especially on the black plank leading in. It fell time and time again, causing agony for many of the world’s absolutely best but most of all for reigning Olympic Champion Ben Maher who was eliminated after Faltic HB (Baltic VDL x Concorde) threw in two refusals at the a-element. Additionally, the time allowed was short – which the riders had to keep in mind when making their choices for the different distances. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Runners-up: Edouard Schmitz and Gamin van’t Naastveldhof. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

The first ones managing to leave all the poles up was Marc Houtzager (NED) and Sterrehof’s Dante (Canturano x Phin-Phin), but a cautious approach to the last line resulted in two time penalties for the Dutch rider. It was Swiss super-talent Edouard Schmitz who was the first to solve Rothenberger’s riddle – opting for a daring five strides to the last double – and crossing the finish line clear with Gamin van’t Naastveldhof (Chacco Chacco x Toulon). Two riders later, a jump-off was secured as Yuri Mansur and the lovely Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm delivered the second clear of the competition with the Brazilian rider punching the air in delight. Another six horse-and-rider combinations joined the jump-off; Simon Delestre (FRA) and Dexter Fontenis Z (Diarado x Voltaire), Alain Jufer (SUI) and Dante MM (Diarado x Luxius), Richard Vogel and the exuberant United Touch S (Untouchable x Lux Z) – who made the crowds gasp when opting for three strides to the plank and then six to the last combination to jump it almost from a standstill – Philipp Weishaupt (GER) and Coby 8 (Contagio x Escudo 19), Gerrit Nieberg and Blues d’Aveline (Baloussini x Coriall 2), as well as Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Conner Jei (Connor 48 x Cosimo). A further four riders were caught out by the time; Roberto Teran Tafur (COL), Donald Whitaker (GBR), Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) and Olivier Perreau (FRA) – keeping them out of the jump-off. 

Excitement to the end

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ The third place went to Martin Fuchs and Conner Jei. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

With three home riders in the jump-off, the German spectators were at the edge of their seats as the sun went down and the floodlights came on at Soers. As Delestre opted not to jump off, it was a battle between seven and first out Schmitz opened by putting pressure on the rest with a great round in 42.43 seconds – using Gamin’s huge stride to his advantage. Getting a great angle to the penultimate upright and then doing eight strides to the last Turkish Airlines oxer, the clock stopped at 42.43 seconds and there was no time to waste for those to come. Mansur opted for similar solutions as Schmitz, and managed to be slightly quicker around the shortened course – shaving the time to beat down to 42.27 seconds. Jufer had to see two poles fall to the ground, and much to the disappointment of the home crowds the front pole of the oxer at no. three hit the grass for Vogel while Weishaupt had two rails down in the combination – leaving them with only one hope left for the win. However, it was not to be for Nieberg either – in Aachen to defend his 2022 Grand Prix title – as Blues d’Aveline clipped the top rail of the Rolex upright with the hind legs to leave them on four faults.

As last to go, it all came down to Martin Fuchs, but the Swiss rider was unlucky as Conner Jei slipped in the turn to the oxer at no. three – losing time, and although they did a fabulous finish to their jump-off, the clock showed 42.78 seconds and the two slotted into third place behind Mansur and Schmitz. 

Brazilian born and bred

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ “There are not many horses like this mare,” Mansur said about Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

That Mansur’s win came aboard Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm – Brazilian bred by Haras Rosa Mystica out of Magnolia Mystic Rose, who has been successful at international Grand Prix level with Eduardo Pereira De Menezes in the saddle – made the victory extra special for Mansur. While the mare only did her first international start in July last year, she has in no time turned into Mansur’s 2024 Olympic hope. 

“There are not many horses like this mare,” Mansur said about Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm. “It’s an unbelievable story behind how she ended with me. I was at the Olympics, but I could not sleep in the village as I am not a good sleeper and in the bus to where I was staying I met another Brazilian rider who showed me a video of Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm. He told me the mare was really good, but that he did not know whether she would be for sale. Later on, I was talking with an American rider and showed him the video – he was excited about the mare, but we ended up not being able to close the deal. Six months later, on Christmas day, the owner called me and asked me if I wanted to ride Miss Blue-Saint Blue Farm – she would send the mare to me to go to Paris. To be honest, I did not think that much about it, but about six months later she arrived. My first feeling as I jumped her was ‘wow’ – she was like a machine. As a young horse she did only three or four shows in Brazil, and from July last year, she has gone from doing her first ever international 1.30m to now be jumping consistent clear rounds at this level – so I am definitely hoping I will be able to aim her for Paris next year.”



28.6.2023 No reproduction of any of the content in this article will be accepted without a written permission, all rights reserved © World of If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply. 

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