FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy selection
The twenty finalists of the FEI Jumping Ponies' Trophy have been selected. Since October, some of the best pony riders in the world have been competing for a spot in the finals at Jumping Mechelen. The FEI Jumping Ponies' Trophy can be regarded as a World Cup for our future stars. Flanders Christmas Horse Show is therefore very proud to be hosting the apotheosis of the series for the second consecutive year.
World Cup for youth
The FEI Jumping Ponies' Trophy may not be an official World Cup, but, thanks to its many talented competitors from various countries, and its competitions at the most beautiful equestrian events in Western Europe, it does feel like one.
The initiative was launched three years ago by none other than Ludo Philippaerts, Rodrigo Pessoa and Peter Bollen, sports director at Jumping Mechelen. Peter: "Before 2016, pony riders did not have the opportunity to compete in a lot of high level events during the winter season. The FEI Jumping Ponies' Trophy was designed to motivate our future Olympic athletes and prepare them for a great career." This year, the qualifiers were hosted in Herning, Lyon and Stuttgard. Peter: "We deliberately opted for top events so our youth could enjoy the best infrastructure. They competed alongside their heroes, and performed in front of big audiences. That will also be the case in Malines. The final round will take place just before the FEI Show Jumping World Cup. This is not only a highlight for the participating pony riders, but also for the Christmas Horse Show. After all, our visitors are very excited to meet the show jumping heroes of the future."
Only the twenty best riders of the qualifiers can enter the final leg of the FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy at Jumping Mechelen. Currently, Portugal’s Molly Hughes Bravo is on top of the leaderboard. She is the daughter of jumping rider Miguel Bravo and Marion Hughes, a former winner of the Show Jumping World Cup in Malines. Moreover, Molly's cousin Seamus Hughes-Kennedy was FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy champion in 2017. He has also been selected for this year’s final.
The Belgian tricolor will be represented by Aline Sercu. The Belgian audience knows her as the 2018 Gouden Laars champion, a series for talented pony riders in Flanders. Aline is already looking forward to participating in Malines. Aline: "The courses will be high and technically difficult. But I will put my best foot forward. In Lyon my pony Opaline Optima (Orchid's Romario) fell down in the triple jump. But at the last qualifier in Stuttgart we were back at full speed. Opaline is in good shape and my trainers Marc and Pieter De Brabandere have been a great support. This series is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. It makes me want more, perhaps even a professional career after I finish my education."
Click here for an overview of the finalists.
Molly Hughes Bravo - Aline Sercu
Program FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy @ Jumping Mechelen
- Thursday 27/12 | 13u. | Barema C | 1.30 m. | Presented by Cavalor
- Friday 28/12 | 16u.15 | Barema A HOC | 1.35 m. | Presented by TAO
- Sunday 30/12 | 17u.15 | Barema A - 2 rounds | 1.35 m. | Presented by Jumping Mechelen
Author: Katrien Van Miert