The quality of the field of participants at the LONGINES CSI BASEL from January 9th to 12th 2014 is better than ever. The whole world elite are competing in the «St. Jakobshalle». There will be 58 Riders from 18 nations. Nine of the ten best riders of the actual World Ranking list and 18 of the 20 best ranked in the Longines World Ranking will be in Basel. Further to that all three titular’s of big international Championships. Steve Guerdat, the Swiss Olympic Champion as well as European Champion Philipp Le Jeune from Belgium and the French Roger-Yves Bost have confirmed that they are coming. Also the complete Swiss elite as well as a lot of former international champions will be competing in the St. Jakobshalle. The event in Basel has definitely enforced it’s self in the international scene and the tournament is one of the best addresses for the riders. In total there will be 17 classes with a price winning money of 781000 Swiss Francs and a budget of approx. 3.5 million Swiss Francs. Ten classes are on a CSI5*-level, the highest international level of tournaments, seven international classes are reserved for the amateurs. 738’000 Swiss Francs will be paid for the five-star-competitions. The Longines Grand Prix with one round and a second round for the 15 best couples on Sunday afternoon pays 350’000 Swiss Francs. The winner will earn 110’000 Swiss francs. That means, the Longines Grand Prix is one of the Grand Prix’ with the highest price winning money in the world. Everybody interested on horses will for sure have their eyes on Basel on January 12th. These monetary attractions made the interest for the international stars quite big. A further attraction is the fact, that the riders can win points for the Longines Ranking in nine classes. That is unique for an international indoor tournament.
The Swiss show jumping riders started the new indoor season successfully. Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat started the Word Cup season 2013/2014 in the Norwegian capital Oslo with the second place. A week later the rider from the Swiss Jura had the same result in Helsinki (Finland). In both entries he relied on his «gold horse» Nino de Buissonnets. Besides that, Martin Fuchs (European Team Champion Young Riders 2013) was decorated as the most successful rider of the show. This resulted from his two victories in the big classes and top results in the Grand Prix and the Word Cup entry.
For the first time a woman won the Grand Prix at the CSI Basel which is the indoor Grand Prix (450’000 Swiss Francs) with the highest price winning money in the world. Born in Brazil, the rider is competing for Portugal and lives in Germany. In the jump-off she came out on top with Lennox and finished first in front of last year’s winner Roger Yves Bost (FRA) with Myrtille. With an audience of 5700 spectators in the St, Jakobshalle Alexandra Fricker from Zürich finished the pulsating jump-off with her French mare Paille as sixth. The daughter of a doctor was without any mistake in all three rounds. She is training since a short time with Achaz von Buchwaldt in Hamburg and this has already shown progress and brought her a bonus of 20’000 Swiss Francs. Second best of the Swiss was Clarissa Crotta, with West Side she was in the second round of the Grand Prix and finished as eleventh. Crotta will be moving from Breitenburg in North Germany to Osnabruck and was again able to get in the bottom line in Basel. 15 riders managed to get in the second round. It was a difficult course from course designer Rolf Lüdi. 14 finished without any faults. Nine of these where clear again, what meant a jump-off over six fences. Luciana Diniz, who was fourth in the World Cup Final 2010 in Geneva, was 65/100 faster than Roger-Yves Bost. This was her biggest victory up to now, winning 150’000 Swiss Francs.
The German Christian Ahlmann, participant at the Olympic Games, won the competition of the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois. This was the second win for him, after the accumulator completion. With his stallion Asca the leader of the World Ranking List was 0,06 seconds faster than the French Patrice Delaveau with Lacrimoso. Third on the podium was the Dutch rider Marc Houtzager with Sterrehof’s Uppity. Paul Estermann with the stallion Maloubet du Temple was the only Swiss that reached the jump-off. After one fault he finished as eighth.
Pius Schwizer was the one, that broke the ban of the Swiss riders during the CSI Basel. In the speed competition he had the first victory with his 16 year old Belgian gelding Ulysse for Switzerland. He just flew over the fences and earned a price winning money of 10’000 Swiss Francs.