Bologna, November 1, 2023 – Riders from all five continents will try their best in the CSI5*-W Jumping Verona, the only Italian leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™, scheduled from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 November.
Seven of the Top Ten in the Longines FEI ranking have signed up. Their line-up starts with Swedish Henrik von Eckermann, number 1 in the world for 15 months by now and winner of the 2022 Grand Prix riding the fantastic King Edward, the horse he also rode to win the Olympic team gold in Tokyo 2021, the individual and team gold at the World Cup in Herning 2022 and the World Cup final in Omaha 2023.
The other Top Ten are the French rider Julien Epaillard (no. 2, individual bronze at the 2023 European Championship), the British Ben Maher (no. 3, 2012 team gold and 2021 individual gold at the Olympics, team bronze at the 2022 World Championship and five times on the podium at the European Championships), the Swiss riders Martin Fuchs (no. 4, individual silver at the 2018 World Championships, individual gold in 2019 and four other podiums at the European Championships) and Steve Guerdat (no. 5, individual gold 2023 and five times on the team podium at the European Championships, before that individual gold in 2012 and team bronze in 2008 at the Olympics, individual bronze at the 2018 World Championship), the Austrian Max Kühner (no. 9, team bronze at the European Championship in Milan 2023) and the other French rider Simon Delestre (no. 10, team silver at the 2014 World Championship and individual bronze at the 2015 European Championship).
The line-up also features three riders already in the Roll of Honour of the Grand Prix in Verona. In addition to Delestre (twice with Hermes Ryan in 2015 and 2021) and von Eckermann (winner with King Edward in 2022), as already mentioned, the German Daniel Deusser (Calisto Blue in 2018) will also be in contention.
The full list includes other top riders long in the jumping limelight. They are the German Marcus Ehning (winner of a CSI5* competition in Verona and 3rd in the 2014 GP with Cornado Nrw), the Irish Denis Lynch (3rd in the 2021 GP with GC Chopin’s Bushi), the British Harry Charles (3rd in the 2022 GP with Romeo 88), the French Kevin Staut (team gold at the 2016 Olympics) and the Dutch Jur Vrieling (team gold in 2014 and silver in 2022 at the World Championships, also team silver at the 2012 Olympics). The Italian team will have eighteen riders and will be headed by Emanuele Gaudiano: no. 28 in the Longines FEI ranking, now with 56 international wins in 2023.
Lady riders will be represented by the renowned Jessica Springsteen from the U.S. (winner of three CSI5* competitions in Verona and 6th in the 2021 Grand Prix) and by Edwina Tops Alexander (7th in the 2013 Grand Prix) from Australia. Their starting list also features the German Kendra Claricia Bronkop who conquered the Grand Prix podium in 2021, obtaining the 2nd place with Kastelle Memo and the Swiss Janika Sprunger, von Eckermann’s wife who will compete again in Verona after five years of leave (her last appearance dates back to 2017), when she resumed competing in CSI5* events last summer after a break following the birth of her son Noah in April 2021, as well as the young rider Jennifer Hochstadter, just 20 years old from Liechtenstein, who took her first and only victory in a CSI5*-W in Verona in 2022, riding Csio Bel.
A new stand with almost 400 more places
Riccardo Boricchi has been since 2019 the show director of Jumping Verona, the only Italian leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™. While highlighting the prestige of the event (“The number and quality of horses and riders, as always, will be absolute amazing“), Boricchi also outlined the innovations prepared with Fieracavalli for the 2023 edition.
Safety and comfort of horses: «There is growing awareness of these aspects, especially in areas such as the stables which may not be visible to everyone. In addition to all the “aisles” finished with rubber and carpet tiles in the corridors and stalls as in previous years, this year we will use thicker and more resistant materials. The classic, thinner carpet tiles will now be replaced by reinforced versions of higher quality like those used in our homes, which will remain intact even if the horse slips. They will also be more comfortable for horses and easier to clean. Finally, an indoor area for walking horses has been created inside the stables, and the space set aside for national competitions can also be used for this purpose – obviously when no competitions are in progress».
Attention to grooms: «They are important professional figures who deserve the utmost attention. In addition to the ‘welcome kit’, launched last year, they will also receive a “goodbye kit” for the return journey. They will also has an exclusive “free bar” and relax area at their disposition in the stable area, starting from breakfast in the morning».
Places for audiences: «There are now almost 400 extra seats for spectators, since we have set up a second lateral stand are similar to the one installed up two years ago on the other side of the hall. And more space has also been created for the new VIP area: there are now 120 tables while at the same time as aiming for higher quality service in terms of food and hospitality. A kids area has also been installed so that parents, be they riders or guests of the sponsors, can leave their children there free of charge and watch the events in peace even for some considerable time. And speaking of riders, the stand set aside for them is better than ever: it is located next to the “kiss & cry” space set up in the ring».
The history of Jumping Wolrd Cup ™ in Italy
The Jumping World Cup™ arrived in Italy five years after the launch of the series. It was 1984 when Milan became the first city to host the Italian leg of the FEI Jumping World Cup™ inside the Palasport. And the victory went to the great Irish rider Eddie Macken on El Paso. In 1985, as the Milan venue eventually became unavailable, the event was moved out of the city to the Circolo Ippico Brianteo inBirago, where the French National anthem was played for Flambeau C and Frédéric Cottier, a rider who has deeply marked the history of jumping.
The lack of a suitable venue meant that Italy was unable to host a World Cup leg for ten long years. The jumping indoor circuit finally returned to Italy in 1995 at the Palasport in Casalecchio di Reno, just outside Bologna. Top names all took part in the six editions held here, with some of the best standing as winners: the Dutch Jan Tops with Top Gun, the French Patrice Delaveau with Roxanne de Gruchy, the British John Whitaker with Grannusch, the German Rene Tebbel with Radiator, the Swiss Lesley McNaught Maendli with Dulf and again John Whitaker with Welham.
Fieracavalli then put forward its candidacy to host the prestigious event, that made its debut in Verona in November 2001. Every edition since then has been crowned with huge success, both in terms of organization and impressive audience numbers. All this contributed to make Fieracavalli and Jumping Verona one of the top events of the Western Europe League of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™.
Jumping Verona timetable – click HERE