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O’Neill Comes Full Circle at Thunderbird to Win $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver Presented by Facet Advisors

O’Neill Comes Full Circle at Thunderbird to Win $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver Presented by Facet Advisors


Langley, BC — Aug. 26, 2018

Uma O’Neill (USA) held her breath as the final horses jumped the first round of the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, presented by Facet Advisors, and she did not exhale until final competitor Eduardo Menezes (BRA) pulled a rail. Then, she was exuberant.
 

Uma O'Neill & Clockwise of Greenhill Z win the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, Presented by Facet Advisors.  Photo by: Kathy Russell Photography

O’Neill, 23, and her own Clockwise of Greenhill Z won the class as the only pair to produce a clear first round over the Alan Wade (IRL)-designed 1.60m course. She and the 11-year-old Zangersheide stallion did not have to jump-off and recorded the first World Cup qualifying victory of their respective careers Sunday at Thunderbird Showpark in Langley, BC.

“I’m ecstatic,” O’Neill said. “I just went out and gave it everything I could today, and asked a little bit extra of myself and my horse, and it really paid off.”




Uma O'Neill & Clockwise of Greenhill Z win the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, Presented by Facet Advisors.
Photo by Cara Grimshaw Photography/tbird


Defending Champion Conor Swail (IRL) and Rubens La Silla, who also won Thursday’s $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome, finished second as the fastest 4-fault round (76.90 seconds). Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Tino la Chapelle finished third on 4 faults in 75.87 seconds.

“I was very, very pleased with [my horse’s] performance today,” Swail said. “It was just one of those things. It’s very easy to make a small mistake. I’d say it was more my mistake than [my horse’s], unfortunately, but it’s fantastic to get second place. Congratulations to [Uma] for her clear round.”

O’Neill excelled with a superior effort from her mount, who fought through the challenging Longines triple combination and a six-strided line to an oxer that followed. She and her mount jumped second in the field of 30, and their clear round held—albeit with some anxiety for the rider—throughout the remainder of the class.

“There were a lot of little tests out there,” Wade said. “[The course] was solved very early on— second horse in—so we knew it was solvable. There were a lot of riders with 4 faults that, I believe, felt that if they had a second chance, they would have gone clear. But that’s one of the great things about show jumping: You get one chance, and you have to take it. We got a lot of excitement and anxiety from people knocking poles late [in the class]. It doesn’t all have to be about speed [in a jump-off]. It is showjumping after all. I think it was good sport.”

O’Neill was especially emotional to record her win at tbird, which was where she was when her winning partner was imported four years ago.

“We got him as a 7-year-old,” she said. “We actually got him imported as when we were [at a tbird show] in August. He is such a good stallion. I just love him.”


Uma O'Neill & Clockwise of Greenhill Z win the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, Presented by Facet Advisors.  Photo by Kathy Russell Photography

The emotion was similarly felt by Thunderbird President Jane Tidball, who hosted an immensely successful World Cup event for the fourth time. Thunderbird also hosted its first ever five-star Nations Cup in May.

“It’s our 45th anniversary,” she said. “I think my mom and dad, George and Dianne Tidball would be incredibly pleased to have a World Cup event here at Thunderbird—which, we’ve had a very successful one. I always think of them when things go well. I’m sure they are all keeping an eye us down here.”

The North American League continues with the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York on September 30, 2018.

#FEIWorldCup #tbird

Fresh Catypso Jumps Navet to Victory in $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup

Fresh Catypso Jumps Navet to Victory in $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup

Langley, BC — Aug. 24, 2018
 
There was a line of fellow competitors waiting to congratulate Eric Navet (FRA) following his victory with longtime partner Catypso in the $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup at Thunderbird Showpark's Summer Fort Festival in Langley, BC.
 
Navet, a three-time Olympian and winner of the 1990 World Equestrian Games (SWE), was out of commission for much of the summer while recovering from surgery to repair two broken metatarsal bones in his foot. While he was out of the saddle, Signe Ostby’s Catypso similarly took time off. The 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding only resumed jumping two weeks ago, but the duo came back firing on all cylinders to earn a popular victory in the $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup Friday evening at tbird.

The fresh pair came home in the jump-off in 38.03 seconds to take the win over Eve Jobs (USA) and Venue d’Fees des Hazalles (38.55 seconds). Shawn Casady (USA) and Highpoint Farm’s Campitello finished third (41.14 seconds) as the only other double-clear performers on the day.
 
“I’ve been off quite awhile,” Navet said. “This is my first show [back], and in the meantime, Catypso was kept fit, but he didn’t really exercise on fences—he didn’t jump a single fence until two weeks ago. I did not expect him to get back in the game quite so fast and win right away, so I am very, very proud of him.”
 
Only eight combinations jumped Alan Wade’s (IRL) 1.50m first round track cleanly out of the original 50 to compete. Navet and Catypso returned to jump fourth over the shortened track after Alison Robitaille elected to withdraw from the jump-off with Ace. The pair’s gallop to the final vertical proved to be the key to victory.
 
“I thought I was a little bit slow in my roll back [to the final line]. I wish I could have done one less stride, so I wasn’t sure I’d be fast enough to win,” Navet detailed. “After the second to last [fence], the oxer, I went full speed to compensate and to save the time that I lost in the rollback. It happened that it was enough to win today!”

@Cara Grimshaw Photography\tbird

Navet will jump Catypso in the week’s feature event on Sunday, the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver . The first leg of the 2018-2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, the competition will take place at tbird at 2:00 PT.
 
“I’m very happy to win, especially at such a fantastic venue,” Navet said. “This is my absolute favourite horse show.”

@Cara Grimshaw Photography\tbird

Catch wall-to-wall coverage from the Fort Grand Prix Ring on tbird LIVE, Saturday and Sunday, and the week's feature event, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, exclusively on FEI.TV

#FEIWorldCup #Longines #tbird

Swail Continues tbird Dominance in $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome

Swail Continues tbird Dominance in $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome
Langley, BC — Aug. 23, 2018


To say Conor Swail (IRL) is at home at Thunderbird Showpark might be an understatement. The defending champion of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver continued his winning ways at Langley by capturing the $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome Stake Thursday with Rubens La Silla. The victory marks the Irishman's fourth in fewer than two weeks at tbird.



Conor Swail & Rubens La Silla win the $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome at Thunderbird Showpark's 2018 Summer Fort Festival. @Cara Grimshaw Photography/tbird

Swail and the 12-year-old Selle Francais stallion laid down a deceptively fast round to win the 1.45m speed class, leaving out strides throughout and crossing the timers in 70.61 seconds. Just behind the winning pair were Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Tino la Chapelle, who completed the course in 70.99 seconds. Shawn Casady (USA) and Durango VDL rounded out the podium in third with a time of 71.44 seconds.

“It was a nice win, and I’m delighted for the horse. I thought he jumped fantastic tonight,” Swail said.

The track, designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade, saw only eight clear rounds. Swail’s winning performance didn’t come until the penultimate trip in a competitive field of 50.

“When you walk around Alan’s tracks, you always think they are sort of nice, straightforward tracks, but he’s always making you make all the right decisions,” Swail said. “He’ll catch you somewhere around a course if you’re not on it. I got a good draw with Rubens, and we had a certain amount of numbers [of strides] all the way around [that I wanted to get], and thankfully I got everything the way I wanted. He felt really smooth, and it made it very easy for me to ride him. I thought he just jumped beautifully.”


Rubens has proved to be a versatile mount, having contributed to a winning effort for Team Ireland in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Canada at tbird in May after returning to Swail’s string following a sale last year.

“I got him back in February/March time this year, and I think that the longer I’ve had him, the better relationship we’re getting,” Swail continued. “He hasn’t done anything particularly wrong at all throughout the whole time, but for me, he’s actually improving. Looking forward, it looks like he has a good, bright future.”

Swail and the chestnut stallion will contest the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, presented by Facet Advisors, on Sunday, Aug. 26. The feature of the 2018 Summer Fort Festival will take place at 2:00 pm PT.

Watch Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver on FEI.TV


Söhnke Theymann and Cypress VF win the CSI4*-W tbird Happy Welcome.
©Totem Photography

Theymann and Cypress VF Get First Four-Star Win in CSI4*-W tbird Happy Welcome
The first international class of the week went to Germany’s Söhnke Theymann, who rode Morgan Evans’ Cypress VF to the top prize in the CSI4*-W tbird Happy Welcome. The duo bested a field of 18 over the 1.40m speed track designed by Alan Wade (IRL) with a final time of 61.10 seconds.

Alison Robitaille (USA) and Ace finished second (63.91 seconds), and Charlie Jacobs (USA) and Cassinja S (64.38) were third. Both pairs competed at the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris (FRA) in April.

Theymann, meanwhile, has been developing Cypress VF for the past two years after his brother Jan scouted her in Europe. The win marked the partnership’s first at the four-star level.

“She really pushed for it, and I just went with the flow,” Theymann said of the 9-year-old “sassy” Holsteiner mare. “I was quite pleased, and she took me. It was a great, fun round.”

Theymann hails from a family of successful riders. In addition to his brother, his parents are both grand prix riders and have a farm in Iserlohn, Germany. His sister, Verena, meanwhile, competed for Germany in dressage. Söhnke now operates Cypress Point Stables in Hidden Valley, CA.

“It’s been a fun ride,” Theymann said. “I like to produce horses from a younger age to the top levels of the sport. [Cypress VF] has been a pleasure to ride and work with every day.”

Catch wall-to-wall coverage from the Fort Grand Prix Ring on tbird LIVE, Friday through Sunday, and the week's feature event, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, exclusively on FEI.TV.

#FEIWorldCup #Longines #tbird

Star-Studded Cast of International Riders

Star-Studded Cast of International Riders Arrive at tbird for Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver

Langley, BC — Aug. 22, 2018

Thunderbird Showpark begins the Summer Fort Festival with heightened excitement, as 75 athletes representing 13 countries passed inspection for CSI4*-W competition, which will culminate with the $145,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver on Sunday, Aug. 26.

The Road to Göteborg Starts at Thunderbird Show Park

The Road to Göteborg Starts at Thunderbird Show Park

The 2018/2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League kicks off at the Summer Fort Festival this August!

Langley, BC, August 16, 2018 — Next to an Olympic medal, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title is the single greatest honour an individual athlete can aspire to in the sport of show jumping.