Strong line-ups for the Longines EEF Series Final

26 August 2022

Strong line-ups for the Longines EEF Series Final

Eleven teams will fight for victory in the Longines EEF Series grand finale. Competitors from remote corners of Europe will come to Warsaw, where teams from Austria, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary and Italy will compete for victory. Poland, as the host country, will complement the list.

Italy instead of Switzerland

Despite the fact that initially there was no last year’s winner among the teams qualified for the final, ultimately Italy will compete at Warsaw Jumping. This is all due to the withdrawal of the Swiss, who have the national jumping championships scheduled on the same date. As a result, the Italians will fight to defend the title won in 2021.

Stars galore

Olympic Games athletes, competitors ranked in the top 100 of the Longines Ranking, participants of the World and European Championships. The line-ups of the teams that will participate in the Longines EEF Series finals are very strong, which promises fierce competitions until the last run.

Amongst others, the Austrian team will have Katharina Rhomberg, a participant of this year’s World Championships, who had flawless rides in qualifying competitions in Bratislava and Budapest. An undeniable star of another team, the Belgian team, is Wilm Vermeir, currently the 30th rider in the world ranking, who has won two competitions at CSIO5* Aachen this year and finished 8th in the GP CSI5* St Tropez twice. He appears in Poland frequently. In 2016 he claimed victory in the prestigious CSI4* Grand Prix in Poznań. It seems the Spanish team is led by the very experienced Eduardo Alvarez Aznar, 109th Longines Ranking rider, Olympic Games participant (Rio de Janeiro 2016), two-time World Championship participant, sixth rider of the 2018 World Cup Final in Paris. As for the Dutch team, the three less experienced riders will be partnered by Marc Houtzager, 122nd in the ranking, 2012 London Olympic Games team silver medalist.

Ireland has been amongst the world’s best for years. In 2022, the first team came really close to winning a medal, finishing fourth at the FEI ECCO World Championships in Herning. The Irish will come to Warsaw with a strong squad. There are two riders on the team who are worthy of a special recognition – Trevor Breen, currently the 109th Longines Ranking rider, fourth in the prestigious five-star 2022 Grand Prix CSIO5* Hickstead, and Eoin McMahon, the eighth rider of last year’s European Championships.

The German team will consist of young riders. The leaders seem to be two young female riders – Sophie Hinners (120 LR) and Katrin Eckermann (129 LR). The former showed outstanding performance in the EEF qualifying competitions, in which she scored a “double clear” thus contributing to Germany’s victory in Mannheim. The latter is this year’s winner of the LGCT CSI5* Miami Grand Prix. Unfortunately for Sophie, she will have to do without her primary horse, the stallion Million Dollar, in Warsaw.

The strength of the Portuguese team lies in the even level of its team members. The highest ranked Longines Ranking rider Duarte Seabra, ranked 159th, came fourth in the CSI4* La Coruna Grand Prix this year. Team Sweden will perform with a fully female line-up. The most experienced in it are Stephanie Holmen, winner of the 2018 CSI5* Zurich World Cup competition, who will bring her most successful horse, the mare Flip’s Little Sparrow to Warsaw, as well as European Youth Champion Irma Karlsson.

The highest ranked rider in the world, Vince Jarmy, winner of the CSI2* Riesenbeck Grand Prix, is the strongest point of the Hungarian team at the moment. Italy, the defenders of the title, will come to Warsaw with a slightly different line-up as compared to that of 2021. Still it is Pergiorgio Bucci, winner of the 2022 CSIO3* Gorla Minore Grand Prix, currently the 54th rider in the world, who remains the team’s leader.

Poland’s Championship Team

Poland will also be represented by strong athletes in Warsaw. Among those selected for the team are Przemysław Konopacki and Jarosław Skrzyczyński, new Polish Champion and Vice-Champion, 2022 World Championships participant Maksymilian Wechta, Polish Youth Championships medalist Andrzej Opłatek and the winner of the 2022 CSI2* Biskupiec Grand Prix Marek Lewicki.

 

Scheduled for Sunday, September 11, the Longines EEF Series Final will be held as a two-turn competition, featuring obstacles up to 150 cm. The competition will close this year’s international Warsaw Jumping CSIO4* 2022, held at the Służewiec Racecourse.