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November 8, 2012

European Show Jumping Scene Review: October

Jeroen Dubbeldam won the first Western European World Cup qualifier on Utascha SFN in Helsinki. Jenny Abrahamsson

The mystery of what's happening to the Eurocommerce horses, including the individual silver medalist from the 2012 Olympic Games, Eurocommerce London, still isn't solved. Gerco Schröder has not competed his horses since he was in Rio de Janeiro in the beginning of October as Rabobank has refused to release the horses’ passports. News has been that Stal Eurocommerce was planning on taking Rabobank to court to release the passports, but it now seems like Stal Eurocommerce and Rabobank are trying to find a solution together. Hopefully the Eurocommerce horses will be back in the international rings sooner rather than later.

Another rider who experienced a bit of bad luck in October was Ben Maher. On the way to Rio de Janeiro, Maher’s horses got stuck for 23 hours in Dakar as their plane developed problems and had to wait for parts from Frankfurt, Germany. As the horses didn’t have the necessary papers in order, they couldn't get off the plane, causing Maher some real headache. Eventually the horses arrived safe in Rio.

Finnish rider Mikael Forsten also had some bad luck when he had to withdraw from the World Cup-qualifier in Helsinki due to a broken hand. Forsten broke his hand when landing awkwardly after a fence in an earlier class. This was very bad luck as Forsten had just recovered after he broke his arm while competing in the Grand Prix at Hagen, Germany, last year.

Robert Whitaker, son of famous British show jumper John Whitaker, got some good news last month: He will soon become a father. Robert's girlfriend and fellow show jumper Kate Jackaman is expecting a baby in March 2013.

Another British rider that has every reason to smile is Olympic team gold medalist Nick Skelton. He received no less than four awards at the British Showjumping awards ball in the beginning of October. Skelton's awards included the riders’ Rider of the Year gong, International Combination of the Year (with Big Star) and BS members’ Personality of the Year in addition to an award for outstanding achievement and services to show jumping.

After six years as a Ukrainian rider, Björn Nagel is back under the German colors. “I had some really interesting years with the team of Alexander Onyschenko, and we didn't go separate ways because of a fight. But now I have new goals and have made some other priorities,” Nagel stated in a press release.

As for federations and teams, the German Chefs d’Equipe Otto Becker and Heinrich-Hermann Engemann have both signed new contracts with the German federation and will continue their jobs towards the next Olympic Games in Rio. The same goes for the Dutch Chef d'Equipe Rob Ehrens.

World Cup Underway

In Europe the Rolex FEI World Cup Western European League kicked off in October, with legs in Oslo, Norway, and Helsinki. Victory in the first leg went to Dutch rider Jeroen Dubbeldam on BMC Utascha SFN—previously ridden by the Netherland's Eric van der Vleuten until she came to Dubbeldam a year ago. France’s Roger Yves Bost on Castles Forbes Myrtille Paulois won in Helsinki.

The most exciting part of the two qualifiers was probably the new partnership of Spanish rider Sergio Alvarez Moya and Nick Skelton’s former ride Carlo 273. This new pair ended third in Oslo and second in Helsinki, and Carlo jumped amazingly under Moya, showing great promise for the future for the Spanish rider.

Horses In The News

The amazing gray stallion Cornet Obolensky and Marco Kutscher competed in their last show together in Rio de Janeiro. The fantastic pair has had some outstanding results together; last year they claimed team gold for Germany at the European Championships in Madrid. This year the pair was on the winning German Top League teams in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Rome, and they won the World Cup qualifier in Zürich. The stallion will return to his owners, where he will dedicate himself to breeding. Cornet has already proven himself as a great sire and has several successful offspring jumping at international level.

Royne and Alexander Zetterman’s lovely horse Isaac has passed away at the age of 16. The Swedish-bred gelding has been very successful under Royne and then Alexander. Together with Royne, Isaac won the Falsterbo Grand Prix in 2008 (Sweden), and he was Alexander’s ride in his first World Cup qualifier ever in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2010. Last year Isaac was sold to a Norwegian junior rider where he spent his last year.

Horses Changing Hands

Romain Duguet is the new owner and rider of Kevin Staut’s former ride Le Prestige St. Lois de Hus. Romain Duguet competes for Switzerland but is of French origin. After Staut’s cooperation with Haras de Hus ended earlier this year, the gelding moved to Martin Fuchs in Switzerland with the objective to be sold. During his stay, Le Prestige was competed by Anna-Julio Kontio at the European Championships for Young Riders in August.

Belgium's Jos Lansink has gotten the ride on two new horses in October—Aganix du Seigneur and Jewel's Exclusive Touch, who was formerly ridden by Marcus Ehning. Lansink has high hopes for the 6-year-old stallion Aganix du Seigneur and believes he has Olympic potential.

Dutch rider Harrie Smolders and Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts both have some new promising youngsters in their stables. Smolders has a new ride in the 7-year-old Quincerot van TL  after Axel Verlooy bought the horse from Luc Tilleman. Philippaerts has gotten the ride on the promising Faustino de Liebri. The 7-year-old Berlin x Darco son was the cause of great interest in Lanaken in September where he was ridden by Tim van den Broeck. 

French rider Penelope Leprevost’s ride Oscar des Fontaines will in the future be seen under Slovak rider Rodovan Sillo. The 11-year-old stallion has developed under Leprevost the last years and this year they won classes together at Hickstead and Cannes, as well as achieving great results in Aachen, St. Gallen and La Baule.

Our friends at www.worldofshowjumping.com are providing monthly updates about all the happenings in European show jumping, not just who wins what, but all the biggest news.

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