On Sunday afternoon it was time for the weekend’s most expected competition when FEI Jumping World Cup™ qualifier, second for this season, took place in Helsinki. Everyone was keen to see who would be going home with 20 qualifying points for Omaha finals in 2023. This year we got to witness another double victory as yesterday’s Defender Grand Trophy winner Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli on Kalinka van de Nachtegaele finished on top with two flying rounds. She is only the fourth ever to do so in Helsinki and couldn’t almost believe it herself.
“I think I haven’t realized yet what happened: I won both! I’m so happy, thankful and proud. It’s my first time winning a Grand Trophy and World Cup in the same weekend so I’m very happy that it happened. As we all riders know, it’s so much about details, you can touch a pole and it goes down or it stays on. Today I was lucky in my first round and my horse did an amazing jump-off. I’m very thankful to sit here today with all these riders, they were all really quick” Augustsson Zanotelli said overjoyed.
The double wouldn’t have been possible without her horse, whom Augustsson Zanotelli praised as a true winner.
“She is very special; special in difficult ways but also special in amazing ways. She’s very delicate and sensitive but she’s really a winner. She goes into the arena and wants to win. I’ve had her for a couple of years now and I think we have become a really strong team. I’ve started to ride her against the clock only half a year ago because when she came to me, she was a little bit too nervous. I was hoping that this would happen – that she would become this winner but of course you never know. And now I’m feeling so proud of her, she’s really becoming a super star”, Augustsson Zanotelli described her trusted companion, Kalinka van de Nachtegaele.
Gerrit Nieberg on Blues d’Aveline CH from Germany managed an amazing double clear as well and earned himself the second place.
“It’s always nervous to wait when Angelica is the last one to go. This was the first world cup show for my horse so I’m more than proud and super happy with the second place. I will continue the World Cup in Stuttgart in a few weeks, and hopefully get a few other chances”, Nieberg commented after the competition.
Third place went to Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann of German and Buettner’s Minimax. For the World team champion, European team champion and Nations Cup gold medalist this was the first time in Helsinki, but she enjoyed the arena and credited also the course designer.
“I’m super happy. Of course, there’s always something you could’ve done better but my horse jumped amazing. I have to say, yesterday we had a little hard time; I had an unlucky fault, so I was a little bit doubting of myself and worried about how it would go today. Even if I didn’t win, I’m super happy, proud and thankful”.
“I also want to say, even though the course yesterday didn’t work that well for me, the course designer did a beautiful job. It’s my first time here in Helsinki, the crowd is super and it’s really nice to ride here, but it’s a small indoor arena and coming from outdoor season, it feels even smaller. But the course designer did it perfect and you always had the chance to do a clear round. And I’m super happy I did that today”, Meyer-Zimmermann said about her weekend and today’s competition.
The course designer himself, Guilherme Jorge, was satisfied as well.
“I’m very happy: it’s always a big challenge here, the arena is small arena and I always try to give the horses the best chances to get to the jumps. We do have excellent conditions here with the footing and we have a great crew led by Johanna Mikkola here in Finland. It’s always very special to come to Helsinki”, Jorge told in an interview.
This weekend marked the comeback for Helsinki International Horse Show after three years and event director Tom Gordin was understandably very happy.
“This is a dream; two months ago, we only had one slogan and that was ‘finally’. Finally to come back in business and sport. This week has been amazing, and we made a new record in spectators, close to 52 000 visitors in five days. So really, what more can I ask. I’m so proud that the riders come back year after year because there are more than 140 five-star events and only 52 weeks. To have the top stars coming, I’m very proud, thank you”, Gordin said, inviting everyone to come back next year.
Victoria Gulliksen is leading the FEI Western European League standings after Helsinki with Bryan Balsiger on the second place and Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli and Gerrit Nieberg sharing the third place. The season continues in Lyon next weekend.
LONGINES FEI JUMPING WORLD CUP™ Helsinki International jumping competition with jump-off, 160 cm Starts 37, placings 12.
1) Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli – Kalinka van de Nachtegaele, SWE 0/68,46-0/34,13
2) Gerrit Nieberg – Blues d’Aveline CH, GER 0/67,70-0/35,16
3) Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann – Buettner’s Minimax, GER 0/69,11-0/35,44
4) Thomas Ryan – Springfield, IRL 0/68,37-0/35,62
5) Gilles Thomas – Luna van het Dennehof, BEL 0/68,71-0/36,08
6) Victoria Gulliksen – Equine America Papa Roach, NOR 0/68,58-4/35,20
7) Eduardo Pereira de Menezes – H5 Elvaro, BRA 0/67,11-4/35,27
8) Bart Lips – Hurricane D,D,, NED 0/67,48-4/36,05
9) Jack Whitaker – Equine America Valmy de la Lande, GBR 0/68,49-4/36,12
10) Jordy van Massenhove – Equine America Verdiamo Z, BEL 0/70,98-8/40,30
11) Lars Kersten – Emmerton, NED 4/64,58
12) Kevin Staut – Visconti du Telman, FRA 4/65,42
Complete results: LINK