It’s simply breathtaking to watch Swiss show jumper Steve Guerdat fly over CHI Geneva’s most challenging fences. For him, competing in the Rolex Grand Prix is like coming home, to an event ripe with memories of extraordinary triumphs and ecstatic crowds.
Longines Fei Ranking
01 - FARRINGTON, Kent USA
02 - SMOLDERS, Harrie NED
03 - WARD, Mclain USA
04 - STAUT, Kevin FRA
05 - FREDRICSON, Peder SWE
06 - VON ECKERMANN, H. SWE
07 -DE LUCA, Lorenzo ITA
08 - GUERDAT, Steve SUI
09 - DELESTRE, Simon FRA
10 - FUCHS, Martin SUI
Paris is the field of dreams for Aussie duo as Longines Final beckons
Worldwide leagues conclude after busy FEI World Cup™ Jumping season
For Australia’s Billy Raymont and Jamie Kermond, these are very exciting times. The pair claimed the top two places in the FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Australian League and are on their way to the Longines 2018 Final in Paris (FRA) which kicks off on 11 April. Raymont (38) cemented his place at the top of the League table with four wins and a host of strong placings that left him 12 points clear of Kermond (32), whose victory in Melbourne was boosted by another good result in Sydney last December. These are two seasoned veterans with a world of experience behind them and good horses underneath them.
Kermond has spent plenty of time honing his skills on the European circuit in recent years. He was crowned Australian Jumping Champion for the third time last season and began introducing his massive 12-year-old gelding Yandoo Oaks Constellation to the delights of the French capital city when lining out at the CSI5* Saut Hermes in the Grand Palais in Paris last weekend.
Raymont, also a multiple national champion, was there too with his 13-year-old gelding Oaks Redwood who had just a single fence down in the first round of last Sunday’s super-tough Grand Prix. These two athletes, and their horses, epitomise the essence of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series as they complete their preparations for the Final of the series that every rider wants to win.
Kermond has been there before, competing at the 2014 Final in Lyon (FRA), but despite his extensive experience this will be a first for Raymont. “Seems crazy to be honest…I probably felt this kind of thing was out of reach these days, but I’m very lucky with the owners. They’re very excited about the horse….and they’re really keen to keep going and seeing what we can do, and for sure I’m the same!"
"I’m really excited to finally get this opportunity. My whole career has been about doing something like this one day!"
Billy Raymont (Australia)
Joining the Australians at the Final will be the top three finishers in the 13-leg Arab League, Jordan’s Ibrahim Hani Bisharat, Egypt’s Mohammed Osama El Borai and Saudi Arabia’s Abdulrahman Alrajhi. However New Zealand’s Rose Alfeld and Samantha Morrison won’t be travelling. Alfeld had a great run in the seven-round series that began at Hawkes Bay last October but feels she doesn’t have sufficient experience to tackle the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. “I’m not sure it’s my time yet!” said the 22-year-old rider after bagging the title with her home-bred horse, My Super Nova. Keisuke Koike claimed the single qualifying spots in the Japan League but won’t be making the trip to Europe either.
Thailand’s Jaruporn Limpichati won the South East Asia series at the end of a fantastic run with Irregular Choice. The pair posted three wins on the way to their regional Final where they again reigned supreme to earn the coveted qualifying spot. The Central Asian League champion was Uzbekistan’s Nurjon Tuyakbaev, and winner of the Caucasus/Caspian League was Shalva Gacheciladze from Georgia.
Fei press release by Louise Parkes
image: Jamie Kermond and Yandoo Oaks Constellation at the Saut Hermes - Grand Prix Hermès, Paris (FRA) last Sunday (18 March). The pair will fly the Australian flag at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2018 which kicks off at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris on 11 April. (FEI/Equestrian Australia/Thomas Reiner) ... See MoreSee Less
16 hours ago ·
French victory in Paris at CSI5* Saut Hermès
History was made at this weekend’s CSI5* Saut Hermès Show Jumping competition in central Paris, with the first victory ever by a French rider in Sunday’s €400,000 Grand Prix. Simon Delestre and his 13-year-old chestnut gelding Hermès Ryan claimed the win in the glass-topped Grand Palais.
The Grand Prix is the showcase event at this unique competition, and 49 horse-and-rider combinations were entered in the 1.60m class, with one round and a jump-off. Five British and two Irish riders were among the elite group looking to claim the title won last year by Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and California.
14 pairs advanced to the tie-breaking jump-off this year, including Tops-Alexander and Inca Boy van´t Vianahof, World No.7 Lorenzo De Luca of Italy on Ensor de Litrange, World No.2 Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands on Cas 2 and World No.5 Peder Fredricson of Sweden on Hansson WL.
Great Britain’s Michael Whitaker, with 12-year-old mare JB’s Hot Stuff, also rode clear with no rails down in the first round to get to the jump-off, but finished with four faults and a time of 41.83 seconds. Nevertheless, their 11th place came with prize money of €4,000 and is a good launching pad for the upcoming Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final, also in Paris from April 11-15, which Whitaker is qualified for.
Ireland’s Denis Lynch and Bertram Allen were 15th and 16th in the Grand Prix with Van Helsing and Molly Malone respectively, after Allen and Molly’s 3rd place in 2017. But the Irish rider did win the Saut Hermès pairs class with Tops-Alexander on Saturday.
In the end on Sunday, it was Delestre and Hermès Ryan, who was rebaptized from his initial name Ryan des Hayettes in 2015 after Hermès became his and Delestre’s sponsor, who captured the €132,000 prize purse for first place, going clear in both rounds and racing through the tight jump-off course in a time of 34.54 s. Just behind, in second, were Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels and Gancia de Muze, with Marcus Ehning and Cornado rounding out the podium. Full results are here.
“I no longer have words to describe this amazing horse,” Delestre said afterwards of Ryan, whom he and Philippe Berthol bought from top-level rival Eric Lamaze of Canada in 2008. “It is exceptional.”
image: image: © Frédéric Chéhu ... See MoreSee Less
2 days ago ·