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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Stars of world show jumping ready for Longines Global Champions Tour of Lausanne

Stars of world show jumping ready for Longines Global Champions Tour of Lausanne


The great stars of world show jumping today are set to compete at the crucial Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix showdown in Switzerland this weekend. 

The most talented and famous riders and horses in the sport will be in action at the Bellerive showground in Lausanne for three days of thrilling equestrian sport at the highest level. This will be the second time the world’s premier equestrian series has taken place in beautiful Lausanne and promises to be another high caliber event on the calendar. 

With prize money of €285,000 on offer in the Grand Prix on Saturday evening the battle to be among the best 18 riders through to the second round of the Grand Prix will again be intense. 

The championship race has witnessed exceptional show jumping all season with the most talented riders and horses raising the bar on speed and precision. Riders from America, Great Britain and Germany are fielding premier league combinations as the battle to dominate the Longines Global Champions Tour ranking accelerates towards the final event in Qatar later this year. 

Longines Global Champions Tour President Jan Tops said: “This is a beautiful location where the public really appreciates sport of the highest quality. Switzerland is, of course, also home to our Title Partner and Official Timekeeper Longines and I wish to thank Longines and all our sponsors and fans for their support. The quality of sport during this season has been excellent and comes at a time when we are experiencing tremendous growth in our sport worldwide in terms of sponsors, media and nations participating.” 

Lausanne will once again be a crucial stage in the Longines Global Champions Tour series and leading US rider Laura Kraut is determined to try and repeat her stunning 2012 victory at the Bellerive showground. 

Laura enters the event in Lausanne as the current leader of the Longines Global Champions Tour ranking on 187 points - 2 points ahead of Germany’s Christian Ahlmann but with a healthy lead over her other nearest rivals. 

Laura said: “I'm really looking forward to coming back to Lausanne this year! I have been resting Cedric since Valkenswaard to have him fresh and ready for Lausanne. The tour this year has been very exciting for me. I am pleasantly surprised to be leading the series, and I will try my best between now and Doha to stay at or near the top.” 

Here are just some of the exceptional combinations confirmed for top grade show jumping for a worldwide TV and online audience: 

• Triple X IIIBen Maher (GBR) 

• Chaman Ludger Beerbaum (GER) 

• Cristallo Richard Spooner (USA) 

• CedricLaura Kraut (USA) 

• Codex One Christian Ahlmann (GER) 

• Lennox Luciana Diniz (POR) 

• Viking Michael Whitaker (GBR) 

• Cevo Itot du Chateau Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) 

• Plot Blue Marcus Ehning (GER) 

• Noblesse des Tess Kamal Bahamdan (KSA) 

• Castle Forbes Myrtille Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) 

• UlyssePius Schwizer (SUI) 

Big guns ready for championship race 

The great equine stars of world show jumping today are set to compete at the crucial Grand Prix showdown in Switzerland this weekend. The great Chaman, Triple X III, Codex One, Lennox and Cristallo are currently set to be among the lineup of champions and Olympic medalists in Lausanne. 

The most talented and famous horses in the sport are due to be in action next to Lake Geneva from Wednesday for the 10th stage of the 2013 championship race. All season the bar has been raised by these supremely talented horses and these masters of speed and precision show jumping will be delivering thrilling sport in Lausanne. 

British rider Ben Maher said he will be using his Olympic gold medal champion Triple X III more as the season climaxes: "I'll be using Triple X a little more now. Aristo is pretty fresh, well he's always fresh, and he doesn't need any time off. We'll just switch them up a little bit. We’ll be doing Lausanne, Vienna and Barcelona. Triple X will do Lausanne and then I will use Urico and Triple X in Vienna. Triple X is better the more he jumps. He likes to get going. We'll have him there (Vienna) and maybe we'll try Urico in the Grand Prix in Vienna. “ 

Speaking about his Longines Global Champions Tour season so far Ben, who is at 20 on the Ranking Board and won the Grand Prix in London in June, said: "In the beginning of the season, I thought I was going to be one of the big things to look out for, but it didn't really work out because I had a fracture in my back so I missed the first couple. Then due to team commitments and things like that. I think I've got three really good placing, but sometimes you’re better off with six placing then three really good ones. It's rewarding if you get a lot.” 

The amazing gelding Cedric and rider Laura Kraut will be pulling out all the stops to defend their victory in Lausanne a year ago. They will be up against the very highest tier of international talent and facing stiff competition for the winning share of the €285,000 Grand Prix prize money on Saturday night. 

Riders from America, Great Britain and Germany are fielding premier league combinations as the battle to dominate the Longines Global Champions Tour ranking accelerates towards the final event in Qatar later this year. 

Here are just some of the exceptional combinations confirmed for top grade show jumping for a worldwide TV and online audience: 

• Triple X III Ben Maher (GBR) 

• Chaman Ludger Beerbaum (GER) 

• Cristallo Richard Spooner (USA) 

• Cedric Laura Kraut (USA) 

• Codex One Christian Ahlmann (GER) 

• Lennox Luciana Diniz (POR) 

• Viking Michael Whitaker (GBR) 

• Cevo Itot du Chateau Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) 

• Plot Blue Marcus Ehning (GER) 

• Noblesse des Tess Kamal Bahamdan (KSA) 

• Castle Forbes Myrtille Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) 

• Ulysse Pius Schwizer (SUI) 

Ludger, Gerco, Laura and Christian...... 

The 10th leg of the championship is less than a week away and the best in the world have been talking about their star horses and the race ahead. As we head for the final three events of the championship circuit, some of the leading competitors give an insight into their top performing horses. Next Thursday the highest caliber riders and horses in the world will gather in Lausanne for three days of dynamic equestrian sport on the shores of Lake Geneva. The beautiful setting will be complimented by exceptional show jumping and here the star athletes tell us about their current top horses. 

Ludger Beerbaum: We have seen some great competition. Zinedine is a nine-year-old stallion jumping his first Grand Prix season. He is really careful. When he goes to the jumps you know 95% he is going to jump it and it is a really safe feeling. Chiara is a mare, 10 years old with great potential. I think I will retire with these horses so another 3, 4, 5 years and try to be one of the most successful. 

Asked about the pursuit of perfection in his show jumping career, Ludger said: "With Chaman especially, but even at the point when you think it is perfect you have to keep it up. The sport has changed so much and the Global Tour has had a great impact. In the industry the turnover is 200 to 300 times higher than we had 10 to 15 years ago." 

Gerco Schröder: Every leg of the Tour is different but they are all special. It is a fantastic series and really good prize money. It’s fantastic to have Longines are the new sponsor for the owners who invest a lot of money in the horses and it is really good for the sport. I will be trying for a really good result. For the moment London is my favorite horse, but I am lucky to have really good horses like Monaco, Milano and Berlin. 

Laura Kraut (Ranking Leader): My horses have jumped really well and I just have to keep fighting. I am really excited to be back in the lead. Cedric was special from the beginning and I also think he is one of the best athletes in the world. He has a wonderful character; he could live in the house if he could! When you are riding him anything can set him off but now he has got older he is much simpler. He is 15 now so we go slow and jump twice a month in the summer. The fact he has won four Global Champions Tour classes is pretty remarkable. 

Christian Ahlmann: Taloubet is super brave and a really good character. He is absolutely a winner. He has so much power from behind, he can jump an oxer 3m wide but it is the rider’s job to keep him under control. If he is quiet and concentrated he is using his power the right way. We trust him 100%, he is really brave and honest. 

Laura and Christian are locked in a fierce battle at the top of the Longines Global Champions Tour ranking board with only three events in Lausanne, Vienna and Doha to run in the 2013 championship season. 

Challenging childhood beginnings for Brazil's Doda Miranda 

We recently sat down with recent winner of our Grand Prix in Valkenswaard, Doda Miranda, to learn more about the leading Brazilian's early beginnings. We wanted to know how he started riding and how he came to build a career in Brazil before moving to Europe to become of the top-ranking talents out of Latin America. Currently ranked 5th on the Longines Global Champions Tour Season Rankings, Doda Miranda admitted to us that his beginnings were somewhat difficult, displaying a lot of fear as a young child. Despite what you might think, it took tremendous courage and adversity to overcome his childhood fears and stay true to his deep-felt love for horses. 

"I started riding because when I was seven years old, my father one time brought me to one village in Brazil, called Caxambu, to spend a weekend with my brothers. My father told us that tomorrow morning we could ride horses. They were very skinny horses that you can ride around. But he said, we have to go early because it is very warm. So the next morning, I was up at seven and at seven-thirty I was riding with my Daddy. Since that, I wanted to do this trip all the time but it was 400 km from San Paulo. My father said, Doda we can’t be here every weekend. But I want to ride, I told him. So he said I could be a member at the horse club. He said, you can do this as a hobby and maybe become professional one day." 

"Then I went to this Horse club to do my first test, but I was very scared because when I saw the horses, the horses I had been riding were 300 kilos, you know, very skinny. Then I see these horses, they are 600 kilos, two times as big, and I was so scared. They put me in one indoor to ride, I did a test and my father asked the trainer. I was 10 years old. My father asked, how long until he can start competing? The trainer said, three years. He’s very blocked, he’s scared, and I don’t know if he has any feeling because he is so blocked. My father said, but in three years you can teach a monkey to ride." 

"In one year, I won my first Championship. In one year I won one of the most prestigious Championships for Children. It was actually a show held by the family of Luciana Diniz. It was Children competing against one-another, like Luciana Diniz. They were in the last year of Children’s and I was in my first year and I won. So that was super-motivating for me. But my father was very hard with me." 

"He was very hard with me because many times I was scared sometimes to ride. He would throw himself from the horse onto the ground, to show me that it didn’t hurt. Then one time, I was crying so much because I was scared to jump and he told me, I’m going to take a picture, so you remember your face in this moment. Because one day, when you are Champion, I’m going to show you this picture. So in Atlanta, when I won the Olympic Bronze medal, he showed me the picture." 

"My father said that I was scared, but that my love for the horse was bigger than my fear. He saw that every time someone would ask me to do something on the horses and I wouldn’t do it because I was scared, I would go home and lock myself in my room, so sad after." 

"I was always had this dream, when I was young, even before I was riding. This recurring dream, that a black horse was following me. A black stallion that was always following me and waiting for me. It was a very strange thing because I had it even before I was riding." 

With so much fear as a young boy, we asked Doda if he ever considered quitting or trying other sports and he shared with us, a very poignant moment in his childhood, where his fear of jumping, his father support and his overwhelming determination to be with horses crossed paths. 

"It was Sunday morning, beautiful day in Sao Paulo, Brazil. My father was with my trainer and they set up a small cavaletti and then a jump of 1.30 for the first time. This was when I was starting to lose my fear. Then I saw that and I said, no I won’t go, it’s too big. My father told me to come here. The arena was filled with a lot of people. So I came to my father and he took me by the shirt and put me down in the ground. Took my shirt off and threw it in the bush, took my boots, my pants and everything except my underwear. He said; “Fine you don’t want to be a champion, go to the swimming pool and swim with your friends.” 

"I was so mad; I went to the bush and took everything back. They put the fence to 1.45 and I jumped it because I was so mad. Then a lot of the mothers at the horse club came to my father and asked him, what are you doing with this boy? It is not correct. He said, he is my son and I know that he is scared but he goes home and he is crying. He is obliged to do it but I know that he wants to do it. My father reminds me, that of all my friends then, in Sao Paulo, I am the only one who is still riding. I always had the support of my father and wonderful horses. My father always bought the best horses for me. He is not a horseman, but he is so clever. My grandfather was a military major, for the Brazilian infantry. My father always wanted to ride when he was a child. In fact, 100 meters from where the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be, my father grew up and 100 meters from the Olympic Games location, my father started riding." 

"My mother was always with me in the show, my father also. I remember we went to this show in 1986, there were 75 starters. He was filming every rider, every day with his camera. He was filming every rider, in both rounds. Because he wanted me to watch the others and see their rounds. What was very clever also? When I had so many good horses, he created a team. He wanted me to learn to share my horses and to learn how to be very strong with my team. So that if I lose one day, I would be happy for my team. This was super. Many times, when I lost, I learnt to be happy because my friend was in a place that I wanted to be. He was better then me and that was super clever of my father." 

Looking at his growth as a rider and his amazing journey from Brazil to Europe, we asked the top-ranking rider where he wishes to see Brazilian show jumping in the future and how he hopes the sport will grow in his home country. 

"My dream is that one day that we have fifteen riders for the Brazilian team, and we all fight, in a good way, for each place on the team." 

Longines Global Champions Tour wanted to know, how did the talented Brazilian end up on the shores of the European continent and how did he know when to make the transition from superstar South American rider to international competitor in some of the most intense and competitive competitions in Europe. 

"In Brazil, my father always told me, that when I wanted to come to Europe, I would have to learn languages. If I was going to quit school, that I would have to learn at least three languages. French, English and maybe German. So if you go, you have to study those languages. But before you leave Brazil, you must win everything there is to win here. You must be Brazilian Champion. Then I was two-times Junior Champion and then I was four-time Young Rider Champion in Brazil. Then I came to Europe when I won the Brazilian Championships for Professional Senior level and I was South American Champion. Then my father said, you can then go." 

"When I came to Europe to live, it was 1995, a year before the Olympic Games. On that year, I didn’t have a horse; we had bought the wrong horses. Then there was this really nice horse named Aspen. The owner, who is one of my best friends, he has money, he didn’t need to sell the horse, but he asked at that time for $1 Million for the horse. My father bought the horse for me and that was the horse that I won Bronze medal with at the Olympic Games in Atlanta and Sydney. I was also gold at the Pan American Games with the Team in Winnipeg. I was so lucky because I had that horse for more than 8 years competing constantly and he stayed sound. Imagine the risk, to put that money on a horse one year before the Olympic Games. I was the best Brazilian in Atlanta Individually, I was eighth overall. I was the only one in the jump off from Brazil. Atlanta was my first career-making horse." 

"I went to Athens when I was riding for Onyshenko. It was a very important moment for me. I was not riding for the Ukraine, I was still riding for Brazil but I was riding exclusively for Onyshenko. At that moment, I only had two horses and then when I started riding for Onyshenko, I had 12 horses. I had the opportunity to train with Paul Schoeckomole also. That was also really great for me. Then I went to the Olympic Games in Athens with an 8 year old horse of his called Count Down. I think I finished 19th or something like this. I was also very happy because the horse didn’t have a lot of experience and this was the result." 

With such a challenging beginning, Doda Miranda's adversity and will power displayed in his younger years has clearly remained valuable to the 40-year-old Brazilian Olympic medalist who hails from São Paulo, Brazil. Clearly, such inner strength has helped this South American talent endure through intense international pressure to earn two Olympic medals and 14 Grand Prix wins in 2011 alone. As the top-ranked Brazilian rider in the world, Doda has not only contributed to the sport as an individual rider but maintains a focus on the importance of future growth for Brazilian show jumping as well. 




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