Quote of the Week
“I’m looking forward to [putting] on my competition outfit again.”
—World Champion Simone Blum of Germany is ready to answer the Bat-Signal and get back in the game after undergoing shoulder surgery in December. Simone, Gotham and show jumping have missed you.
- Simone Blum and DSP Alice at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Photo (c) Libby Law/ EquNews.com
What’s Going On in Gothenburg?
Beezie Madden & Breitling LS (c) Jenny Abrahamsson/World of Show Jumping
This week, all eyes will be on Gothenburg, Sweden for Longines FEI World Cup™ Finals 2019.
Lots of folks, including 52 riders from 22 nations on the show jumping side. Among the U.S. contingent: defending champion Beezie Madden and Breitling LS, looking in fine form after a top placing in a ‘Saturday Night Lights’ CSI5* Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) last month. Last year’s second-place finisher, Devin Ryan, will be on hand with Cooper stepping in for 2018 mount, Eddie Blue; and Georgina Bloomberg will return to the Finals for the first time in 14 years with Chameur 137. Representing Gothenburg’s rookie contingent: Eve Jobs and Kelli Cruciotti, both of whom will be making their first appearance for the U.S.A. at an FEI World Cup Final.
What About Dressage?
Glad you asked. Eighteen athletes from 12 countries will be taking to the dressage arena, where it’s likely that Isabell Werth (GER) will be competing against… Isabell Werth for the top spot (kidding). Werth, who’s going for her fifth title, currently holds the #1 and #3 position in the world on Weihegold OLD and Bella Rose 2, respectively, though only Weihegold will be heading to Gothenburg. World #2 Laura Graves and Verdades will represent the U.S. alongside Kasey Perry-Glass (Goerklintgaards Dublet) and Adrienne Lyle (Salvino).
After two years of U.S. Champions, we’d love to see a double-hat trick: one for #QueenBeezie, who’ll be going for her third World Cup Finals title, and one for America, which will be vying for its third consecutive win at Gothenburg. But don’t expect the rest of the globe to take any of this lying down.
For our money, this year will come down to two pairs: hometown boy Henrik von Eckermann, who’s been on a tear of late with Toveks Mary Lou; and 2018 WEG silver medalist Martin Fuchs of Switzerland, with his magical white unicorn, Clooney. Both are repeat bridesmaids at FEI World Cup Finals, with multiple placings in the top five, but neither have been the bride—yet. Von Eckermann, in particular, has been gunning for the top spot, and what better place to do it than his home country? According to German wunderkind, Christian Ahlmann, the title is Henrik’s to lose, and we all know if Christian Ahlmann says it, then it’s probably true.
If You Can Only Watch One Round…
Watch McLain Ward and HH Azur Back in Top Form in Wellington
Watch McLain Ward for long enough and you’ll realize there are two victory McLains: somber, #grateful McLain, and (our personal fav), devil be damned, in-your-face, double-first-pump-to-the-sky McLain, the latter of which showed up this weekend at the final, $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix of the WEF season. It’s “Annie’s” first big win of the year, and it’s nice to see this pair back where they belong: kicking a*s and taking names.
This Just In...
Jonty Evans & Art Make Their First, Public Appearance Together at Belton
Jonty Evans & Cooley Rorkes Drift (c) Lucy Elder/Horse & Hound
Global fan favorites Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift (a.k.a. “Art”) made their first public appearance together at the Belton International Horse Trials this week, almost a year after the Irish Olympic eventer suffered a traumatic brain injury at Tattersalls that left him in a coma for months. “People have been incredibly kind [so] the determination was easy to get hold of, it was the drive from everybody who got involved, everybody who wore green for Jonty, it means so much –I want to thank everybody very much,” Evans said.
Partner Pro-TipsYou Don’t Even Need an Appointment: Brianne Goutal-Marteau, Sports Psychologist, Will See You Now
Brianne Goutal-Marteau & Fineman (c) Jump Media
If there’s one person who knows a thing or two about how to ride a big class without buckling under the pressure, it’s U.S. showjumper and former Big Eq guru Brianne Goutal-Marteau. This month, Brianne will be judging the IHSA Metropolitan Equitation Invitational—a new, college showcase taking place on Friday, April 26th during the Longines Masters of New York. We caught up with her to learn two, surefire tips for kicking nerves to the curb.
Could Your Horse Concentrate Like This?
Dressage isn’t often considered the most thrilling phase of three-day eventing, but maybe we’ve just been doing it wrong. British eventer Imogen Murray mastered a different kind of test a few weeks ago at the Oasby Horse Trials, when a loose horse volunteered to become a central figure in her dressage round. We’ll give full marks for concentration to Imogen’s mare, Ruby (watch above), and you can get the story behind this now-viral video here.
The $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (Wellington, Florida)
McLain Ward & HH Azur (c) Sportfot/EquNews.com
Can't touch this: McLain Ward & HH Azur were flawless on Saturday night at WEF 12.
- McLain Ward (USA) / HH Azur / 0/0/37.42
- Kent Farrington (USA) / Gazelle / 0/0/37.82
- Lucy Deslauriers (USA) / Hester/ 0/0/39.25
- Eduardo Menezes (BRA) / H5 Quintol / 0/0/39.69
- David Blake (IRL) / Keoki0 / 0/0/44.36
- Daniel Bluman (BRA) / Ladriano Z / 0/4/39.09
- Rodrigo Lambre (MEX) / Velini / 0/4/40.15
- Laura Kraut (USA) / Confu / 0/EL
- Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) / Charmeur / 4/77.69
- Shane Sweetnam (IRL) / Indra Van De Oude Heihoef 13 / 4/77.75