21.06.2008: EYCup S** 145 Simon Bürki is a class apart Event

Simon Bürki (SUI)

Luc Grognuz (SUI)

Resluts 1,40m

Results 1,45m



While in the first qualifier of the European Youngster Cup, the 1.40 category, 27 riders had gone clear in the first round, the 1.45 class was considerably more difficult, in a course designed by Rolf Lüdi (CH). 35 riders competed in this challenging course that asked especially for technical expertise, in view of the upcoming European Championships in Prague (CZE). In the end, it was only the experienced Swiss rider Simon Bürki, from the show yard of Paul Bücheler in Amriswil (CH), who managed to deliver two clear rounds. With his 11-year old Westfalian-branded Quattro B daughter Quanta Costa, he managed to leave fellow Swiss rider Sergio Syfrig (CH) and Scally (by Cheenook) behind, and also placed before German amazone Stefanie Paul (GER) who had bad luck at the last jump with Leoni P and thus lost her chance of winning the class. The same happened to Paul on Sunday in the Young Riders' Grand Prix, which was won by Simone Blum (GER) with Kassandro. Neuendorf marked the second EYCup win this year for Simon Bürki who had previously ridden Queensland to victory at Lamprechtshausen (AUT).

20.06.2008: Luc Grognuz wins premiere in Switzerland (S*, 1,40m)

Under best possible conditions and in bright sunshine, the 2008 EYCup was held in Switzerland for the very first time. Show organizers Willi Melliger and Samuel Bosshard, supported by EYCup initiator Rudolf Hindelang brought the series to Neuendorf. As part of the SJJ, the Swiss Junior Jumping, the first qualifier for the 1.40 category took place today. 63 riders from 5 nations had arrived to negotiate the sophisticated course by course designer Rolf Lüdi (CH). 27 of them went clear in the first round and qualified for the winning round. "There were rather a lot of riders who went through to the winning round," says Niklaus Wigger, responsible for the youngsters at the Swiss Equestrian Federation, "but this was because most of the riders partcipatingare currently preparing for the European Championships in Prague (CZE) and their riding is at their best. This makes it rather difficult for any course designer to find the right route, because horses and riders are in top form here."

In the end, it was the young trainer Luc Grognuz, in the saddle of a borrowed horse from Mellinger, Vedette van de Koeboshoeve (by Clinton) who led the way through the winning round. Although the other riders tried to attack with lightning speed, none of them could beat the time. 2nd and 3rd place went to two excellently riding amazones: Stephanie Gass with her experienced mount Tomgar Rocky, and Stefanie Lauber, daughter of former Swiss top rider Stefan Lauber, who competed with Chrescada. At the prizegiving, the winners were especially pleased with the wonderful special prizes that were donated by internationally renowned jeweller Thomas Szabo.

The idea behind the EYCup concept was very positively received in Switzerland, and trainers and parents alike expressed their desire to the show organizers for a continuation of the series in 2009. Also present were several show organizers from Belgium and the Netherlands who expressed an interest to hold the EYCup in their own countries next season. This means that the vision of Rudolf Hindelang for the international young riders is really bearing fruit, especially since now, in addition to Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland two further countries, namely the Netherlands and Belgium, may now join. It now remains to be seen which other internationally renowned venues will open their doors to the EYCup youngsters for 2009.