On Top Of Their Game
British show jumping star Nick Skelton was awarded an Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List for services to equestrian sport. “It is a great honor. I am really chuffed with it and very happy to receive this award. It was a shock, and I am really pleased,” Skelton said.
The 54-year-old rider, who has won more than 2,000 classes and more than $5 million in prize money, continued, “It has been an honor riding for Great Britain over the years, and the announcement of the Queen’s Honor today is great.”
For the sixth month in a row, Swedish rider Rolf-Göran Bengtsson was listed as No. 1 on the Rolex Ranking. Among the rest of the top 10, there were a lot of changes. Pius Schwizer took over the second spot, and Ludger Beerbaum, who was second last month, fell down to fourth place. Skelton climbed all the way from seventh place to rank third after fantastic results this spring.
After six legs of the Global Champions Tour, Edwina Tops-Alexander still heads the overall ranking. Tops-Alexander has 161 points and has collected these at five of the six GCT events. In June, she was third in the Global Champions Tour in Cannes, France, and seventh in Monte Carlo, Monaco; she rode her famous partner Cevo Itot du Chateau in those legs of the tour.
In Cannes, it was Dutch rider Gerco Schröder who won the GCT Grand Prix on Eurocommerce London. Rolf-Göran Bengtsson was the runner-up on Casall La Silla while Tops-Alexander was third after a fantastic jump-off under the floodlights. This was Schröder and Eurocommerce London’s second GCT win; their last one came in Rio de Janeiro in 2011. After his Cannes win Gerco said, “I had a feeling he could win. For me he is a very special horse. From when he was young I had a feeling about him.”
Staut and Reveur de Hurtebise *HDC won the GCT in Monte Carlo, ahead of the up-and-coming German rider Hans-Dieter Dreher aboard Embassy II and the big surprise of the competition, Moroccan rider Abdelkebir Ouaddar on Porche du Fruitier. “It was a great result. I have been riding Reveur de Hurtebise for about two months. I have had some good rounds and some bad rounds but I am happy about the result today,” Staut commented after his win.
Chacco-Blue (Chambertin—Contara, Contender) passed away on June 5. The stallion, owned by Paul Schockemöhle, was 14. Chacco Blue was educated by Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst, and from the beginning of 2011 he was competed by Andreas Kreuzer. Together the two were third in last year’s Aachen Grand Prix, and this year they won the Grand Prix in Neumünster, Germany. More recently, Kreuzer and Chacco-Blue finished 10th in the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Hamburg, Germany.