April 16, 2018
Quote of the Week
“So, I finish my warm-up and all of a sudden, George and McLain come running up and say, ‘All you gotta do is jump clean and we got the gold!’”
—2008 Olympic gold medalist Will Simpson, explaining—no, not your reoccurring nightmare—but his actual experience returning to jump-off for a medal in Beijing. No pressure.
Hold the Phone! It’s FEI World Cup™ Finals Week!
This week, the City of Lights played host to one of the most prestigious equestrian events of the calendar year: the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Longines FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals. The crowd was jazzed. The jumps were huge. And in four days, two heroes of equestrian sport were crowned for another year.
How does it work?
Show jumping began on Thursday with an opening Table C (speed) competition, in which rails counted as seconds on the clock. Riders then had the choice to switch horses for a jump-off round on Friday and the final two rounds on Sunday, with only the top 30 competitors coming back for the last day.
Dressage riders competed in a Grand Prix test on Friday and a final Grand Prix Freestyle to music on Saturday.
Who Came Out on Top: Dressage
For the second year in a row—and despite a winning Grand Prix performance from the U.S.A.’s Laura Graves & Verdades on Friday—Saturday was all about the world’s most successful equestrian athlete ever, Isabell Werth of Germany. Together with the 13-year-old mare, Weihegold OLD, Werth took home the Championship, beating Graves by just 1.575 percentage points, and spraying everybody (like everybody) with champagne.
PonyWorld Highlight: The Prize Giving
During the awards ceremony, Werth offered a swig of her champagne not just to runners up Laura Graves and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER), as is customary, but to their grooms as well (two thumbs up Isabell!). Then, Bredow-Werndl's horse, Unee BB, couldn’t quite handle the prize giving, so while the other riders remounted for the victory lap, Jessica piaffed home all by herself. Nobody puts baby in a corner.
Who Came Out on Top: Show Jumping
From wire to wire, the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final was all about one pair: America's Beezie Madden and her 12-year-old stallion, Breitling LS. In five rounds of jumping, they dropped just one pole, having both a rail and a time fault in hand going into Sunday's final competition, and putting on a master class in show jumping in virtually every round they competed. Relative dark horse Devin Ryan & Eddie Blue, also of the U.S.A., and Sweden's Henrik von Eckermann & Toveks Mary Lou, finished second and third, respectively.
PonyWorld Highlight: A New Record for Beezie
At age 55, Madden will become the oldest rider ever to win a World Cup Jumping Final, an honor she achieved previously with Simon in 2013. She is also the first female rider to win the championship since her own victory five years ago. "I won in 2013, and to win here with a horse that we really believed in, but took a little to mature—and for him to come through today—is really fantastic," Madden said.
If you can only watch one round…
Watch Luciana Diniz in her final class with Winningmood.
Always the consummate horsewoman, Portugal’s Luciana Diniz retired her longtime mount—the 19-year-old Belgian stallion, Winningmood—to stud this week in fitting style: sound, happy, and after a final, textbook-clear round in Paris. The pair is best known for their wins in Chantilly, Vienna, and Madrid, and top finishes at Aachen, Spruce Meadows, and more. “Winny finished his last parcour of his show jumping career in the most beautiful way, a clear and amazing round. Now it’s time to start the new chapter of his life,” Diniz wrote on her Facebook page.
Making your own jump panels—it's easier than you think!
Looking to freshen up your jumping equipment this spring? You don't have to have be a master craftsman or spend a million dollars to add a few new pieces to your collection. Amateur jump builder Olivia Knott of "DIY Horse Ownership" explains how.
This just in…
Did you miss us?
This week, our founders Lucy Davis and Lindsay Douglass chatted with the PlaidCast Junior’s Piper Klemm and Sissy Wickes about all things PonyApp! From Lucy’s Olympic journey to the idea behind PonyApp, and where its headed next, you can listen to their full interview here.
Has talent, won’t wait for direction.
You can't help but smile at this viral video by High Point Hanoverians of Chesterfield, Maryland, in which their 2018 filly decides to take her new legs out for a test run over a line of hedges on the farm—and likes it! We'll be looking for you in Paris 2024 little lady.