‘I’m getting old, but I’m still here!’: A legend wins, a 6ft3in fence and a horse called Coolio

  • We may be drawing towards the end of the calendar year, but there’s no let-up in the international circuit with this week’s showjumping news round-up focusing on the CSI5-W* show in Madrid, Spain, where two showjumping greats battled it out for top honours, while riders were also in action from as far afield as Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

    So who finished in the ribbons this week? Here is your weekly round-up of international showjumping news and results.

    Marcus Ehning: ‘I’m getting old, but I’m still here!’

    Making the headlines in this week’s showjumping news was the battle between two showjumping greats in the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier of Madrid, Spain. Just 0.25sec separated Marcus Ehning on new ride Coolio 42 and Ben Maher with Enjeu De Grisien, but it was the German master, a three-time winner of the World Cup Final, who took top honours with an exceptional performance against the clock.

    “Winning here for the third time means I am getting old, but I’m still here!” said the 49-year-old.

    Talking about the eye-catching and brilliantly named 10-year-old son of Casalito, who was produced by Marcel Marschall and who Marcus only started riding three months ago, he said, “It is only his second World Cup, so I am very pleased with him.”

    There was drama in the 10-way jump-off when a couple of horse-and-rider combinations veered off the bending line to the final oxer and it resulted in elimination for poor Kevin Staut when Visconti locked on to the wrong fence.

    An in-form Ben Maher, who won the Verona leg of the Longines FEI World Cup qualifiers, was competing at just his second five-star grand prix with the nine-year-old, a five-star winner at Spruce Meadows earlier this year.

    “I did everything I could, there were one or two places that didn’t go exactly as I wanted but it was a difficult course in the jump-off,” said the Olympic champion. “We saw some amazing riders make mistakes, and Marcus just got me there at the last jump, I think!”

    Ben Maher and Enjeu De Grisien

    Ben Maher with Enjeu De Grisien in action in Madrid.

    Showjumping news: a quality podium in Rouen

    The CSI4* grand prix to conclude Equiseine Rouen in France resulted in a victory for home rider Penelope Leprevost riding 12-year-old Texas, a Swedish-bred son of Tornesch 1042. Chasing her home was Ireland’s Jessica Burke with the speedy Express Trend, while Tim Gredley was back on the podium with his great championship horse Medoc De Toxandria. Robert Whitaker also finished in the ribbons at the show with Caroline Blatchford’s Vermento, and Robert Murphy won Saturday’s speed class with Jos Lansink’s Hulde G.

    A 6ft3in six-bar thriller

    Back at IFEMA Madrid Horse Week, Friday’s six-bar kept the crowds thoroughly entertained and resulted in a high-flying victory for Austrian showjumper Max Kuhner. He and the 10-year-old EIC Cooley Jump The Q were the only pair to clear the final vertical set at a sky-high 1.90m (6ft3in).

    Showjumping news: Max Kuhner and EIC Cooley Jump The Q win the six-bar in Madrid

    Max Kuhner and EIC Cooley Jump The Q clear 1.90m to win the six-bar in Madrid.

    Showjumping news: grand prix success

    At Sentower Park, Belgium, Irish showjumper Bertram Allen was the winner of the CSI2* 1.45m Prijs Zangersheide International grand prix riding the 10-year-old stallion Castigo De Amor, while Noora von Bulow and Interstar B were among the other winners for Great Britain, winning a 1.40m speed class. There was further British success on the Barcelona Christmas Tour, where Jessica Hewlett and Ilmar HDC triumphed in the CSI2* grand prix after a six-way jump-off.

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