World of Showjumping
World of ShowjumpingWorld of Showjumping

Max Kühner and EIC Cooley Jump The Q take the top honours in the CSI5*-W 1.55m Longines Christmas Cracker in London

Sunday, 17 December 2023
CSI5*-W London International Horse Show 2023

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Max Kühner and EIC Cooley Jump The Q, winners of the CSI5*-W 1.55m Longines Christmas Cracker at London International Horse Show. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Edited press release from London International Horse Show



The CSI5*-W feature class of the day at London International Horse Show was the 1.55m Longines Christmas Cracker – counting for the Longines Ranking Group C – which saw 23 of the world’s finest horse and rider combinations take on Guilherme Jorge’s masterful course.

First to canter into the International Arena was world no. 6 Julien Epaillard (FRA), who set the standard for the rest of competitors with a perfectly judged clear round aboard the 11-year-old gelding Hoover (Clinton x Carthago), before the popular duo of Joseph Stockdale (GBR) and Ebanking (Etoulon x VDL Sheraton) ensured there would be a jump–off. The young British rider’s result was also emulated by London International Horse Show Ambassadors, Harry Charles and Jodie Hall McAteer. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Runners-up: Julien Epaillard and Hoover. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

In total, 11 riders returned for the jump-off, where Julien Epaillard – one of the fastest riders in the world – lived up to his reputation with a clear in the time of 30.05 seconds. The pressure was on the remaining riders to match the flying Frenchman’s time, with leading FEI U25 rider Harry Charles scorching down to the final Longines oxer to the delight of the fans, but he was just unable to match the speed set when crossing the timers in 30.56 seconds aboard Casquo Blue (Chacco-Blue x Carthago Z).

Several other combinations tried and failed to beat the time, but it was Max Kühner (AUT) and the 10-year-old gelding EIC Cooley Jump The Q (Pacino x Obos Quality) as last to go, whose forward and positive riding was rewarded as they crossed the line in 29.82 seconds to the rapturous applause and appreciation of the London crowds. Epaillard had to settle for second this time around, followed by Conor Swail (IRL) and Casturano (Castelan x Canturo) in third, Harry Charles in fourth with Casquo Blue and Kevin Staut in fifth aboard Vivante Grafinia PS (Vivant van de Heffinck x Balou du Rouet).

Speaking after the class Kühner said: "It was a tight jump-off but that is always how it is with Julien, so I was really pleased with my horse and my round. The crowd here is fantastic and truly supports us as riders, it is what makes the London International one of the best shows in the world."

Lorenzo de Luca and Violino Il Palazetto victorious in the CSI5*-W 1.50m Agria Lifetime Equine Snowflake Stakes

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Lorenzo de Luca and Violino Il Palazetto, winners of the CSI5*-W 1.50m Agria Lifetime Equine Snowflake Stakes at London International Horse Show. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

The 1.50m Agria Lifetime Equine Snowflake Stakes – which counted for the Longines Ranking Group D – saw Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) and the 14-year-old Violino Il Palazetto (Verdi TN x Jasper) take the victory. 28 competitors lined-up for the class, which was held over two rounds with the top ten from round one going through to the second round. Great Britain’s Harry Charles was the first to jump clear as second to go, however he then faced an anxious wait to see whether he had done enough to make it into the top ten. Ultimately, 11 riders jumped the first round clear, with six of them opting to return for the second round.

The riders returned to jump in reverse order of merit from the first round, with the fastest clear round, de Luca, having the advantage of going last. The second round proved challenging, with many accruing faults in their attempt to set the time to beat. The first to jump clear over the shortened course was Britain's Matt Sampson, continuing his impressive form at the show. Riding Ebolensky (Clinton x Heratbreaker) – his London Grand Prix winning-mount from 2022 – Sampson set a target of 42.31 seconds, with just two to go. Next into the arena, Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) gave it his best shot, however with four faults was not able to challenge Sampson. It was left to de Luca, riding Violino Il Palazetto, as the only remaining rider able to take the title from Sampson. The Italian speed king made the tightest of turns to post with a time of 39.72 seconds – over two seconds faster than the Brit, pushing Sampson down to second and Jur Vrieling (NED) to third aboard Lhynara (Lyjanero x Diarado).

Speaking after the class de Luca said: “Violino Il Palazetto jumped amazingly. The course was really fast and I was lucky enough to go last so I headed into the arena knowing the time to beat. Matt Sampson played it a bit safe, so it made things slightly easier for me, but it was still a good win." 

Looking ahead to the rest of the week, de Luca continued: "Our goal for this weekend is to claim points in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™, and to hopefully be in the top three. I will ride Cappuccino 194 in tomorrow’s competition as he has been jumping really well. For the London Grand Prix, I will ride Don Vito, who is also in great form. It is simply amazing and an honour to be competing at the London International Horse Show – the crowds are super supportive and knowledgeable on the sport."


This photo has been added to your cart !

Your shopping cart »
This website is using cookies for statistics, site optimization and retargeting purposes. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. Read more here.