Unbeatable Marcus Ehning, in the Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix of IFEMA Madrid

Marcus Ehning stole the show on the last day of IFEMA Madrid Horse Week. The German and Pret A Tout won the Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix, IFEMA Trophy with a very fast run, “the horse has a lot of experience and he is very quick so my goal was to beat Pieter Devos”, Marcus said. The podium was completed by two other spectacular riders, Christian Ahlmann, who said he, “did not expect to be in the podium because my horse is very young and in fact entered the arena slightly scared”, and Pieter Devos, after the Madrid leg is now number one in the Western European League ranking. In the Press conference with the three top riders and Alvaro Arrieta, the best Spanish rider Carolina Aresu was also present who managed a very good run, only finishing with 4 penalty points. She said, “I feel very comfortable with my horse and this was my third 5* Grand Prix with him”.

It was difficult to repeat yesterday’s day, in which the Spanish riders took home the gold of the five jumping trophies; among them, the Olympic Sergio Álvarez Moya, was undefeated in the CSI5* Alfonso X El Sabio University Trophy of 1.50m. However, on the last day of the IFEMA Madrid Horse Week, the  Spaniards maintained a good standing and started the day with a podium that was one hundred percent Spanish.

A dozen riders finished the 1.25m CSI2* Zalacaín Trophy without fail and the top six were Spanish. Jesús Garmendia Echevarría, bronze medal the day before in the CSI2* 1.40m Rodilla Trophy, won the first test of the day with Llain de Llamosas, an eight-year-old stallion. Alejandro Álvarez Gutiérrez and Califa SA ran almost as fast, the pair who finished third yesterday at 1.25m of the LG Signature Trophy. Finally, the young rider Pablo Valle Espinedo and his 12-year-old horse, Tresor de Varende, scored third place.

Finally, at 1:00 pm, the star of all the IFEMA Madrid Horse Week events, the Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix, began. Marcus Ehning and Pret A Tout achieved the victory with a very fast and fine run, in an intense jump off between nine legends. The crowd roared in excitement on a standing ovation after the German managed an even better time than Pieter Devos (43.66) who has just gone before him. But Ehning, who already in 2016, won the World Cup Grand prix also in Madrid, was able to take advantage of knowing that he had to be quicker with his 16-year-old horse and managed an unbeatable time of 43.30 seconds.

Christian Ahlmann also made a brilliant round with his young Dominator Z, but he exceeded his compatriot’s time by just 0.23 seconds. After receiving the second place in Madrid, the rider has acknowledged that he did not expect such a successful result from his 9-year-old black stallion. Although defeated by the Germans, Pieter Devos has been having his best year. He won in Stuttgart, he won third place in Lyon, and also this weekend in Madrid where he also achieved back in 2015, which has allowed the Belgian to climb to the first position of the Western European World Cup ranking.

Before the jump off, a total of 40 opponents faced a very technical 1.60m course with complicated combinations designed by Javier Trenor. On this occasion, the Spaniards lost their opportunity after Eduardo Álvarez Aznar and Sergio Álvarez Moya retired from the course.

The CSI2* 1.45m Marca Trophy ended this fantastic weekend. The last rider who has finished victorious from the IFEMA arena Madrid Horse Week was the Spaniard, José Fumero, thanks to his good performance with his 11-year-old mare Donita. From about thirty participants of the last competition, only three riders succeeded to a small jump off. The second place has been awared to the Argentine, Rosendo Bidart, who was eliminated after falling from Enriques of the Lowlands in the jump off, and the second position given to the Portuguese Bernardo Ladeira and his stallion Dento, who knocked down two bars.

As on the previous days, the Salon del Caballo was full of activities and exhibitions. The Non-Stop Track hosted exhibitions from other types of disciplines: horseball, vaulting, indoor cross and horse rides. In the afternoon, a Lusitanian thoroughbred danced for the attendees and the magic of Paco Martos and his horses entertained the fans.

And so an exciting and thrilling 3 days of competition and shows have ended where the national riders have made their local fans proud.

Spanish Tsunami on the second day of the IFEMA Madrid Horse Week

The unbeatable Dorothee Schneider wins the Grand Prix Dressage World Cup Freestyle and the Spanish riders triumph in all the jumping events of the journey!

Five trophies and five Spanish golds. The second day of IFEMA Madrid Horse Week started just like yesterday, with Spaniards reaching the podium, and this time the rest of the classes were contagious. Early in the morning, with the bars at 1.40m above the ground, in the CSI2* Trophy Rodilla, Kevin González de Zárate, scoring the second place yesterday in the CSI2* Exterior Plus Trophy of 1.25m, and his Recesvinto horse were placed first, in a two-phase test in which 26 pairs (of 38 participants) were able to complete the course. The second place went to the rider Paloma Jiménez-Carmona González and her mare Sherie Star, who surpassed Jesús Garmendia Echevarría and George by just a few tenths of a second.

The morning continued with the CSI2 * 1.25m LG Signature Trophy, also awarding more medals for the Spaniards. For a second time, Kevin González de Zárate received the gold medal, where he surpassed his own mark of the previous day with his 9-year-old horse Calipso van de Bergdalhoeve Z. Álvaro Álvarez Gutiérrez also improved from his result on Friday (bronze at 1.25m), this time, with his gelding Califa SA. The rider Carlota Miret and her 18-year-old mare Ubine Jambo M won the third position.

Today at 2pm, Spain triumphed as the rider Pilar Lucrecia Cordón with Seawillow won the CSI5 * 1.45m Air Europa Trophy, who were the same pair that won the bronze yesterday. The Spanish rider, impressed Madrid with her 9-year-old gelding who she has been jumping with this autumn in the Belgian show competitions in Lier and Opglabbeek. The Italian, Emanuele Gaudiano and his horse Kingston van het Eikenhof achieved the second place, and the Norwegian Victoria Gulliksen, with Ballenteskin Watch This, took the third place on the podium. Only six pairs finished the course without fail, because the time was short.

Later on, the IFEMA Pavaillions were flooded with some of the most beautiful and epic music. The music was chosen by the 14 riders who designed their own choreography to compete in the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle. But the leaders of the podium did not change much from last night. Dorothee Schneider did not disappoint, and dazzled again on Saturday with DSP Sammy David Jr. in a very original and special reprise where the judges awarded her with a score of 82.29. Just like yesterday, Claudio Castillo Ruiz and his stallion Alcaide were not able to beat the German winner. After winning three silver medals in Rotterdam, here in Madrid, he came second with a good score of 80.23. And finally, in third place, the Dutchman Hans Peter Minderhoud and his stallion Glock’s Zanardi repeated another bronze just like on Friday in this Freestyle class with a score of 78.35 placing him in the first position of the Dressage World Cup ranking.

In the evening, there was another Spanish victory, and definitely the most exciting. Hidden away by the public, Sergio Álvarez Moya, the last to enter the arena, flew through the most demanding class of the day, the CSI5 * Alfonso X El Sabio University Trophy with heights of 1.55m. The Olympic rider and his young mare Kardenta vant Meerhof were the fastest amongst the dozens of excellent riders that played the winning manga. For less than a second of difference, the Spaniard surpassed the German Christian Ahlmann and the 8-year-old stallion Solid Gold Z. After Álvarez Moya’s exciting round, the Italian Emanuele Gaudiano and  his unsual Chalou scored third place. This last pair who repeated their position on the podium, as they achieved the silver of the CSI5 * 1.55m Star Damm Trophy on Friday.

Beyond the high competition, the public of the central arena were entertained by the ponies in the Pony Turf Aon Trophy. They have been followed by a fun with the  Horseman team show, the acrobats who, barefoot, jumped an obstacle course of up to 1.40m.

At 10:45 p.m., the last test of the day began, the CSI2* Lexus Trophy, an entertaining Jump & Drive in seven riders, dared to jump on horseback and drive an SUV against the clock. This is how Kevin González de Zárate got his third victory, and he was accompanied on the podium by Fernando de los Santos García, the first rider of Eduardo Álvarez Aznar,  and Marco Juncadella Hohenlohe. As a climax, the rider Clémence Faivre and her Romanian horse offered a special performance.

Just like on Friday, the Non Stop Track hosted one show after another: Deporcan’s dogs demonstrated their agility, there was natural dressage and cowboy dressage exhibitions. Meanwhile, men on stilts, donkeys and other pets were strolling around the Horse Hall to entertain the hundreds of fans.

The final of the III Copa de la Vaquera was also held on Saturday, which premiered last year at IFEMA Madrid Horse Week. The winner, to the sound of flamenco, was José Ramón Pérez García with Donaire, who obtained the highest average score after two days of competition. Jonatan Peña and Talavante, the winners in the last edition, were in second place, although they were in the first qualifying round on Friday. Almost the same score as Amador Martín and Santano II JB, in third position.

So an exciting day ends leaving the spectators with a good feeling before the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Grand Prix IFEMA Trophy that will be held tomorrow at 1.00pm.