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Beat Mändli wins inaugural JumpingClash Challenge at Madrid Horse Week

Sunday, 27 November 2016
CSI2* Madrid Horse Week 2016

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping. Beat Mändli won the first edition of the JumpingClash Challenge at CSI2* Madrid Horse Week. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

Beat Mändli (SUI) and the 8-year-old KWPN-mare Dsarie (Veron x Ahorn) won the first edition of the JumpingClash Challenge, the 1.45m Accenture Trophy, at CSI2* Madrid Horse Week.

"I think it is a great format, I am happy to have won here today," the winner said after the final. Lillie Keenan (USA) came second with Be Gentle (TIcallux Verte x Gentleman), and Markus Beerbaum (GER) finished third on Tequila de Lile (Luccianno x Etna Paluelle).

The idea of the JumpingClash Challenge is to make a jumping competition easier to follow for the audience, and it also allows riders at a lower level on the world ranking to compete against the absolute top. After the first qualifying round, the competition started with sixteen riders: Eight of the top ranked riders on the Longines Ranking present at CSI2* Madrid Horse Week and the other eight the remaining best from the first qualifier.

In every ‘Clash’ the lowest ranked rider was called the ‘Challenger’, and the highest ranked rider competed against was named the ‘Seeded’ rider. From each ‘Clash’ the winner went on: In the first edition in Madrid it was Jerome Query (BEL), Beat Mändli (SUI), Markus Beerbaum (GER), Luis Sabino Goncalves (POR), Lillie Keenan (USA), Emily Moffit (USA), Teresa Blazquez-Abascal (ESP) and Jessica Mendoza (GBR) who won their ‘Clashes’ during Friday’s first round and went on to challenge each other in Saturday's final. The riders were allowed to change their horses for the final if they wished.

"I think once you understand the concept, it is actually exciting to watch. It is interesting for the audience and I do think it is something for the future," Jessica Mendoza said after the first day. 

The eight best from Friday's first round rode against each other on Saturday and the winner of each ‘Clash’ advanced on. In the end it was a battle between the very experienced Beat Mändli and the young American talent Lillie Keenan.

"I've had a long break from showing so I am happy to come second to such a world class rider as Beat," Lillie said after the class. "I think the format makes our sport much easier for the average viewer to follow. On the other hand the horses do jump pretty many rounds, so I think there can be some adjustments to the concept."  


Text and picture © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen 

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