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Benoît Zimmermann named Owner of the Year 2016

Monday, 12 June 2017

Photo (c) Sportfot Simon Delestre & Chesall Zimequest, Benoît Zimmermann and Christian Baillet. Photo (c) Sportfot.

Benoît Zimmermann, owner of the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Chesall Zimequest (Casall x Concerto 4), has been named Owner of the Year for 2016 by the Jumping Owners Club.

Ridden by Simon Delestre, Chesall Zimequest enjoyed a long list of successes throughout 2016 including CSI5* victories in Basel, Shanghai, Saint-Tropez, Paris and Rome as well as winning the CSI4* Grand Prix of Valence and the CSI3* Grand Prix of Knokke. The pair also placed many times in various high-level classes throughout the year.

The Award was presented in Cannes to Benoît Zimmermann by Christian Baillet, President of the Jumping Owners Club, and François Bourey, President of the International Jumping Cannes.

The Owner of the Year Award was created in 2004 to recognise the most successful owner of each year in the discipline of jumping. To determine the winner, a classification is established for all horse and rider combinations based on points during the calendar year. The owner of the horse of the winning combination receives the award; a bronze sculpture specifically created for the Jumping Owners Club.

Christian Baillet, President of the Jumping Owners Club was honoured to present the award to M. Zimmermann: “The Owner of the Year Award goes to a very loyal supporter of our sport whose passion for horses led him to not only breed, own and ride horses, but also to sponsor Simon through his company Factum. I am thrilled to reward M. Zimmermann’s continued commitment to our sport. He has been a true supporter of Simon Delestre for many years and we are proud to contribute to a well-deserved recognition”.

Benoît Zimmermann stressed the meaning of this award: "I am both moved and proud to receive an award which I owe to an amazing horse, Chesall Zimequest, but also to the extraordinary combination he makes with Simon Delestre! Chesall Zimequest enters the exclusive club of legendary horses who have received the Jumping Owners Club’s recognition in the past: Hickstead, Big Star, Cella, Shutterfly, Casall Ask and Quickly de Kreisker, to name a few. This award which goes to a French owner for the first time, reminds us that horses owners are an essential and legitimate part of high-level sport. They take risks, support their horses, help develop optimum strategies with their riders and are spellbound by every class. Chesall Zimequest wins with his respect and sensitivity. Some say his eyes are on his hooves. Within two years, Simon helped reveal the horse’s incredible quality. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Simon for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this extraordinary journey."

"This award incites me to try even harder to breed exceptional horses and help them reach their highest level, but also to keep riding and jumping my own horses for leisure and to better understand these noble animals. It also encourages me to further support Simon Delestre in a sport that brings us something new, every day. Long live our passion for this beautiful and demanding sport,” Benoît Zimmermann concluded.

Previous winners of the Owner of the Year Award are John, Pat and Lisa Hales (GBR) for Arko III in 2004 and 2005; Mrs Serena Hamberg (AUT) for The Sixth Sense in 2006; Mrs Nancy Clark (USA) for Shutterfly in 2007; Mr Eric Lamaze (CAN) & Mr John Fleischhacker (USA) for Hickstead in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Mrs Beverley Widowson (GBR) for Carlo 273 in 2011 and Big Star in 2012, Jane Clark for Cella in 2013, the Holsteiner Association for Casall Ask in 2014 and His Majesty Mohamed VI King of Mororcco for Quickly de Kreisker in 2015.

Created under the impulsion of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) in 2004, the Jumping Owners Club is an exclusive organisation of international owners which works towards growing the popularity of the sport around the world. It is the only body which represents the views and opinions of the owners, and works closely alongside the FEI to help increase the owners’ recognition in the sport.


Source: Press release from The Jumping Owners Club // Picture © Sportfot

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