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Wednesday, October 7, 2015 · 12:01 PM


Steve Guerdat - World Cup Winner

Steve Guerdat has won the World Cup in Las Vegas, becoming only the third show jumper from Switzerland to do so. Markus Fuchs won in 2001 in Gothenburg, and in 2007 Beat Mändli successfully took the title, also in Las Vegas.

The olympic gold medal winner had nine penalty points in hand before his ride on his french mare Albführen’s Paille. However, the final round became dramatic when he misjudged the entry to the double, and again at the final oxer. As the allocated time was very short, at the finish he seemed uncertain whether his performance was enough to win. Only when the arena commentator announced his name did the Jura native realise he was the new champion. Steve Guerdat later said: “This title means a lot to me. I have been on the podium three times, and twice I missed the win by making mistakes in the jump-off. Today luck was on my side”.

The other podium places went to European riders: Pénélope Leprevost (FRA) on Vagabond de la Pomme, and Betram Allen (IRL) on Molly Malone. Martin Fuchs on PSG Future incurred a fault in the first round, and 13 penalty points in the reprise. He ended his first final in 11th position. Pius Schwizer, who had three penalties in the first round, was unable to appear for the final round and was placed 23rd.

The entire LONGINES CSI BASEL team would like to offer their congratulations to Steve Guerdat on his World Cup victory.

Second GP-Triumph for Luciana Diniz

The prestigious CSI Basel Grand Prix, with total prize money of 330,000 SFr., has been won for the second time by Luciana Diniz. Following her triumph with Lennox in 2013, she won the main competition of the 2015 Longines CSI Basel with Fit for Fun, relegating Marion Modolo Zanotelli and Scottish rider Scott Brash, leader of the world rankings, to second and third places.
Luciana Diniz is 44 years old, a mother of twins, and lives in Wachtberg in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Riding her Hanoverian mare Fit for Fun, she completed the jump-off 68 hundredths of a second faster than the Brazilian Marion Modolo Zanotelli on Extra van Essene. Scott Brash, currently a high flyer in the show jumping world, also went clear in the jump-off with Hello Sanctos, but had to be content with third place. Diniz was awarded 100,000 SFr. for her victory, Modolo Zanotelli received 75,000 and world rankings leader Brash won 50,000 SFr.
Diniz had to wait until the last rider had finished before she could hug her horse and her groom. The Belgian rider Grégory Wathelet on Conrad was faster over the six obstacles of the jump-off before making a mistake at the final oxer.
Surprisingly, the best Swiss rider was Claudia Gisler from Seedorf in Canton Uri. Her Holstein gelding Cordel performed faultlessly in both rounds, but a small time penalty prevented her reaching the jump-off. She finished in eighth position.
The Olympic champion Steve Guerdat on Concetto Son and Werner Muff on Pollendre both incurred one fault each in the second, slightly easier round, and finished 14th and 15th respectively.

Winningmood was in a winning mood

Luciana Diniz is a fan of Basel and the CSI event. Following her Grand Prix victory in 2013 the Brazilian, who rides for Portugal, won the Hotel Les Trois Rois Trophy 2015. Her 16-year-old dapple grey Winningmood was evidently in a winning mood.

22 of the 52 riders managed to reach the jump-off on Saturday in the main competition, which offers prize money of 35,000 SFr. But no one was able to beat Diniz, a 44-year-old mother of twins who has ridden for Portugal since 2006, and is the daughter of a polo player and an eight-time Brazilian dressage champion. Closest to her performance was the Italian Piergiorgio Bucci, the boyfriend of Janika Sprunger, who rode Catwalk to finish just 27 hundredths of a second behind Diniz.

The best Swiss rider was Martin Fuchs on Picsou du Chêne, who finished sixth after a composed and clever clear round. Also reaching the jump-off were Christina Liebherr on Midship du Borda (18th) and Janika Sprunger on Uptown Boy (20th). Liebherr incurred a fault at the water oxer, and Sprunger dislodged two rails. 5,200 spectators watched the main competition of the day in the St. Jakobshalle.

The speed class was won by the German Hans-Dieter Dreher with his Holstein Callisto, owned by Paul Bücheler. Martin Fuchs on Uzo was the best Swiss rider, finishing in 5th place.

Philip Houston ahead of three Swiss Amazons

The amateur final, offering 25,000 SFr. in prize money, was held on the Saturday afternoon and produced first-class sporting action and close results. Philip Houston, riding the Chacco-Blue offspring Chalanda, finished ahead of the three Swiss amazons Roya Saberi from Schmerikon on Viola vom Smitshof, Tamara Schnyder from Gütighausen near Zürich with Excona, and Daniela Wüthrich from Birsfelden with Costa von Aarhof CH.

Houston, the Grand Prix Junior Champion at last year’s Salut Festival in Aachen, was in a class of his own and claimed the 8,250 SFr. in prize money with a precise riding display. The podium places went to three Swiss Amazons and their mares with extremely close times: Roya Saberi, who is trained by Thomas Fuchs, finished only one hundredth of a second before Tamara Schnyder and seven hundredths ahead of Daniela Wüthrich.

Only World Cup champion Deusser ahead of Duguet

Only a small margin prevented the first triumph of a Swiss rider in the main competition of CSI Basel 2015. Romain Duguet sped through the LGT trophy course on Quorida de Treho, missing victory by just 26 hundredths of a second. Only the World Cup champion Daniel Deusser of Germany stood in the way of Duguet's greatest success.

Following Ludger Beerbaum in 2013 and Marco Kutscher in 2014, the 2015 competition saw another German rider in the lead: Daniel Deusser. As the third lastrider in the jump-off, the World Cup champion rode his chestnut mare Espyrante to the limit, finishing just ahead of the equally risk-taking Duguet. Martin Fuchs of Zürich was the second best Swiss rider, finishing tenth on PSG Future after a fault at the third obstacle of the jump-off.

Deusser’s first-class performance earned him 18,750 SFr. Duguet, a Frenchman who became a Swiss citizen in 2012, won 15,000 SFr. He was the reserve rider of the Swiss Team at the World Championships in 2014, and entered the limelight for the first time after two clear rounds at the Nations Cup in Lummen.

As in the Basel City Championship on Thursday, 14 riders managed to reach the jump-off of the LGT Trophy. Many favourites failed to qualify, including Steve Guerdat, Pius Schwizer, Roger-Yves Bost, and the world ranked no. 1 Scott Brash on Hello Sanctos, who collected 12 penalty points on the difficult basic course.

Wathelet again winner of the “Golden Drum of Basel”

Swiss show jumpers are still waiting for their first big success at the Longines CSI Basel. As last year, the Belgian Grégory Wathelet on Conrad won the jump-off of the Basel City Championship, winning prize money of 18,750 SFr. and the prestigious trophy “Golden Drum of Basel”.

Niklaus Rutschi on Windsor was the best Swiss rider, turning in an excellent performance to finish third. The Lucerne rider pushed his Dutch chestnut Windsor to the limit, took tight turns and was rewarded for his risk-taking. After one fault in the jump-off, Werner Muff on Pollendr finished as second best Swiss rider in 11th position.

34-year-old Wathelet, who rode for the Ukraine from 2005 to 2007, was 14 hundredths of a second faster on his agile ten-year-old Holstein stallion than the experienced Swede Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on the now 16-year-old Casall. Rutschi’s impressive clear round missed victory by only 21 hundredths of a second, winning 11,250 SFr.

14 of the 55 riders reached the jump-off in the St. Jakobshalle, with this first highlight of the event watched by 5,200 spectators. Several favourites did not qualify: Olympic gold medallist Steve Guerdat, who is saving Nino de Buissonnets for the World Cup competition in Zürich, incurred two faults with Concetto Son. Also failing to qualify were Christian Ahlman (Aachen Grand Prix winner), Ludger Beerbaum (four times Olympic gold medallist), Scott Brach (world ranking no. 1) and Roger-Yves Bost (European Champion). The Swiss riders Pius Schwizer on Armani, Jane Richard on Pablo de Virton, Paul Estermann on Castlefield Eclipse, Alain Jufer on Wiveau and Martin Fuchs on Picsou du Chêne were also unable to reach the jump-off.

A major Swiss victory is overdue

Swiss show jumpers have won top prizes in Switzerland and throughout the world – the only exception is the LONGINES CSI 5* BASEL, the world class show jumping tournament in the St. Jakobshalle, in which no local rider has ever taken a major title. A first Swiss victory in Basel is therefore long overdue. The goals of the Swiss riding elite appearing at LONGINES CSI 5* BASEL are correspondingly ambitious. Nearly all of the best riders in the world have entered this five-star tournament, the first highlight of the show jumping calendar in 2016. Fifteen of the top twenty riders in the Longines world rankings published in December will compete in Basel. This array of talent is headed by the 29-year-old Briton Scott Brash, the high flyer with Scottish roots who took the Longines Global Champions Tour title in Doha (QAT) for the second time in November, winning nearly a million SFr. The current form of Brash and Hello Sanctos was confirmed by another win at the Top Ten final and the Grand Prix of the Grand Slam series at CSI Geneva in December.

Jane Richard fourth in the Grand Prix

Jane Richard with Pablo de Virton was the big surprise in the Longines Grand Prix. With two clear rounds with her lively French gelding the rider from Berne that lives in Vinovio near Torino finished as brilliant fourth. Best was the Swedish experienced Rolf-Göran Bengtsson with Casall, which brought him 110’000 Swiss Francs, followed by the also experienced German riders Ludgeer Beerbaum with Chiara and Marcus Ehning with Cornado.

Besides Jane Richard, who has a lot of self-confidence, there were three more Swiss in the second round of the Longines Grand Prix with the price winning money of 350’000 Swiss Francs. After one mistake Paul Estermann with Castlefield Eclipse finished as eighth, Roman Duguet with Quorida de Treho ninth and Nadja Steiner, who was third at the Swiss Championship 2013, finished with Capuera as tenth.

The Swiss Pius Schwizer with Toulago, Martin Fuchs with PSG Future, Beat Mändli with Louis and the winner of the Olympic Games, Steve Guerdat with Nasa did not reach the second round.

Best rider of the tournament was the Dutch Harrie Smolders, who won a car. Paul Estermann and Pius Schwizer were second and third in this ranking.

Paul Estermann second in the main competition

Paul Estermann’s success carries on at the LONGINES CSI in Basel. After his ninth place in the LGT-Price on Friday he increased even more on Saturday. In the jump-off only the Dutch Jur Vrieling with Bubalu was better than Estermann with Naiade d'Auvers.

The Swiss rider that competed at the Olympic Games and European Championship got 8’000 Swiss Francs for this success with the 13 years old grey mare. Jur Vrieling, second at the Olympic Games with the Dutch team, earned 10’000 Swiss Francs. The 44 years old Dutch, who was last in the jump-off on Friday and didn’t win any money, now caught up for that. With short turns he won in the class of the «Grand Hotels Les Trois Rois», which was watched by 5’400 spectators with a ledge of 15 hundredth seconds.

Second best Swiss was Werner Muff after one mistake with Landthago as 13th. Janika Sprunger had one rail down in the double-combination and finished 15th, Swiss Champion Beat Mändli had two faults and was 15th. Pius Schwizer gave up after Clever Lady refused. Except Estermann none of the Swiss got in the money-ranking in the jump-off.

22 of the 45 riders managed to reach the jump-off. Course designer Gérard Lachat most probably didn’t expect nearly every second one to reach the final round.

Will finished second

Before the main event David Will had his second victory in the Speed-Competition in Basel with Pokerface. The 25 years old German from Bavaria won the opening competition on Thursday with this horse he had lent from Gerhard Fuchs. The second, the Dutch Jur Vrieling with Tum-Tum was followed by five Swiss riders, starting with Pius Schwizer with his mare Alexia, which he took over from Max Hauri.

Stand-in Kutscher wins the LGT-Price

Only due to a short-term redraw Marco Kutscher got in the field of participants at the LONGINES CSI BASEL. In the LGT-Price the experienced German proofed, that after a long recovery time due to an injury he is fit again. With Cornet's Cristallo he won with a ledge of 1,01 in front of his compatriot David Will with Carriere. After a mistake Paul Estermann was best Swiss as 9th with his mare Cornet's Cristallo in the jump-off. Jane Richard with Pablo de Virton was 10th-With her lively gelding she also had one mistake, at the same obstacle as Estermann. «I attacked too much in the jump-off» was Estermann’s comment, who had won the Grand Prix in Salzburg in autumn. «I could have avoided the mistake. But the horse is in form. And I am going to do my best in the Longines Grand Prix on Sunday.» From the 43 riders and horses 14 where in the jump-off, among them the above mentioned two Swiss. Steve Guerdeat didn’t manage the second round. With his mare Nasa he had a mistake at the last obstacle in the first one. Daniel Saner, Branch Manager of the LGT Bank Switzerland in Basel was very pleased: «the contest was very exciting with good sport. Many of our customers where here and enjoyed it. The event is getting better and better every year.»

Double victory for Belgium in the Championat

The first highlight of the 5th CSI Basel finished with a double victory for Belgium. Grégory Wathelet won the Championat of Basel with Conrad, which had a price winning money of 80 000 Swiss Francs in front of his fellow countryman Peter Devos with Dream of India Greenfield. Best Swiss was Pius Schwizer with Toulago as fourth that had the only clear round of the Swiss riders. There where eleven couples in the jump off. Besides the price wining money the 33-years-old Whatelet, who was riding for the Ukraine between 2005 and 2007, also won the «Goldene Trommel von Basel». Whathelet was first to enter the jump-off and with a lot of speed he finished clear with his Holstein stallion. His fellow countryman Devos, who won the GP of Calgary last autumn, was 0,42 seconds slower than Wathelet. Pius Schwizer was riding the jump-off with his nein-years-old Toulago very clever. He was cautious with the unexperienced horse and didn’t want to make mistakes. The result was the good 4th place and 8 000 Swiss Francs, Wathelet received 20 000 and Devos 16 000. Also Paul Estermann, the rider from Lucerne and participant at the European Championship with Castelfield Ecplise and Fay Schoch from Fribourg with her mare Nouvelle Europe reached the jump-off. Both had two faults and finished as 10th and 11th.

The world's best riders at the Basel jubilee

The world of show jumping is looking forward to the event taking place from January 9th to the 12th in Basel. The LONGINES CSI BASEL from Thursday to Sunday in the St. Jakobshalle will take place with the best riders of the world. 15 of the top 20 of the World Ranking List as well as the three actual champions will honour the little jubilee of the 5th CSI Basel with their participation.

The first-class field of participants is led by the Swiss Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat, World Champion Philippe Le Jeune from Belgium and European Champion Roger Yves Bost from France. There are 55 riders from 17 countries, with 17 Swiss top riders that are in the field of competitors, which have been put together by Hansueli Sprunger, the responsible for sport and rider from Basel.

With the two Brits Scott Brash and Ben Maher, the German Ludger Beerbaum, who was Winner of the Olympic Games four times, and his fellow countrymen Marcus Ehning und Christian Ahlmann, Steve Guerdat, the Dutch Gerco Schröder who was second at the Olympic Games and the Portuguese Luciana Diniz, who won the Grand Prix last year in Basel, eight of the ten world best riders are competing. After the short-term resignations of Daniel Deusser, the German Champion and World-Cup winner in Mechelen, the American Kent Farrington, the French Patrice Delaveau and Sergio Alvarez Moya from Spain, Sprunger compensated these riders immediately.

«I gave the former European Champion Marco Kuscher after a long break due to an injury the chance to compete. And with Piergiorgio Bucci there will be a third Italian starting besides Juan Carlos Garcia and Emanuele Gaudiano. And for Spain Lucrezia Pilar Cordon will replace Sergio Alvarez Moya.»

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Oct 7, 2015
12:00:00 PM CEST