March 20, 2022 – Wellington, Fla. – A total of 29 Under 25 athletes made their way under the arch of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s International Arena Sunday morning for the $50,000 Hermes Under 25 Series Final Grand Prix. Showcasing some of the most promising up-and-coming athletes in international show jumping, the finale event served as the last installation of the Winter Equestrian Festival’s Hermes Under 25 Grand Prix series. Following two rounds of stiff competition, it was Germany’s Richard Vogel that claimed the winning title aboard Looping Luna, also securing the series overall winning title at the conclusion of the class.
Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) crafted the 13-obstacle course fit for the occasion. Setting the tone early on, Great Britain’s Grace Debney was the first to contest, delivering a clear round aboard Boheme De la Roque. Only one trip later, Ireland’s Max Wachman would deliver a clear round, ensuring a jump-off would take place at the conclusion of round one. Nine others would add their names to the jump-off roster, including Sophia Studd (DEN), Vogel (GER), Caronline Mawhinney (USA), Carlos Hank Guerrreiro (MEX), Dominic Gibbs (USA), Lexi Ray (CAN), Sara Tindale (CAN), Francisco Goyoaga Mollet (ESP) and Maya Aryal (USA).
Whittled down from the original lineup of 29 athletes, the 11 jump-off contenders returned to compete over Vaillancourt’s shortened eight-fence track. Proving her consistency, Debney and Boheme De la Roque became the clear-round pathfinders in 37.81 seconds. Wachman was next to contest, hoping to beat Debney’s clear effort. A time of 38.55 seconds and one fence being lowered to the ground would leave Wachman and Quintini out of contention for the winning prize. Studd and Holsteins Matina tried to replicate Debney’s clear round, unfortunately knocking the last fence. Vogel and Looping Luna would ultimately unseat Debney, posting a clear time of 36.16 seconds. An 8-fault finish from Mawhinney and Stella Levista was not a threat to Vogel’s leading position, however, Hank Guerreiro and H5 Chacco-San would come a close second by leaving all fences intact and crossing the finish line in 37.76 seconds. In an effort to overtake the lead, Gibbs and Amazing II would acquire 8 faults on course before Ray produced a clear effort in 40.13 seconds with Elco Van Hof Ter Naillen. Tindale would also jump a clear round aboard Lukaku VD Bisschop, tripping the timers in 43.99 seconds to take the fourth place position and bump Ray to fifth. A four-fault finish in 35.69 seconds for Goyoaga Mollet and Icarus would leave them out of contention for a podium prize. Aryal and My Girl 52 were the final combination on course. A four-fault finish in 37.65 seconds would place them into seventh, leading Vogel straight to the winner’s circle aboard his 7-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Horse Management GMBH, Looping Luna.
Second place honors were presented to Hank Guerreiro and H5 Sport Horses LLC’s 10-year-old Hannoverian gelding, H5 Chacco-San. Rounding out the top three was Debney and Boheme De la Roque, a 10-year-old Selle Francais mare owned by Temple Equestrian LLC.
Show jumping competition at Week 10 of the Winter Equestrian Festival will continue Sunday afternoon with the $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m CSI4* in the International Arena, and will resume Wednesday, March 23, to kick-off Week 11 of WEF at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Richard Vogel – $50000 Hermes Under 25 Series Final Grand Prix winner
On competing in the Hermes Under 25 Grand Prix Series:
“[It was a big goal for me.] It is my last year in the U25 and I think this series is amazing for us younger riders to compete between us and not just the top riders in the world. I had a lot of focus on this tour. I had three different horses [that I competed in the series]. Once it was on the grass, then in the dressage arena and then in [the International Arena], so I tried to take a horse that would do well in that ring. It felt good to do the classes.”
On his business as a professional:
“I am from Germany and we are based in Frankfurt. I have a company together with David Will, the German show jumper. He is doing shows in Spain at the moment and I am here for the season.”
On the jump-off:
“I think the key for that jump-off was to try to do it as smooth as possible. There were not any long approaches where you could canter a lot, so there was a lot of turns and angles. I watch Grace [Debney] go and thought ‘Oh, it’s going to be tough to beat.’ So I knew I had to be as fast as possible. Luckily, I was a bit faster!”
Carlos Hank Guerrerio – $50000 Hermes Under 25 Series Final Grand Prix second place
On competing in the Hermes Under 25 Grand Prix Series:
“I think, as Richard [Vogel] said, this is a great series for us younger riders. I think this is my fifth or sixth year competing in it, but I remember when I was 15 years old this was it! You could jump under the lights, in a Nation’s Cup format in the dressage stadium and then on the grass, so it really felt like the show was making an effort for us younger riders to step up, have different experiences and have a little bit of a higher level available to us than just the junior or amateur classes. Even now that I am participating in some of the CSI4* and CSI5* events, I think this is still one of the highlights of the season for me. It’s very useful to bring up some of our young horses as well because you jump in so many different arenas, so it’s amazing for the young horses. This year I didn’t have as many horses, so I only did the first week and the team week. I was lucky that I qualified for this, then I decided to bring what I think is my most competitive horse out for this, so I am happy it paid off.”
On H5 Chacco-San:
“He is a Chacco Blue gelding. He is 10 now but I have had him since he was 8 years old. He had a little bit of an injury when I got him, so he is a little behind, but he is a real fighter in the ring. He is really careful but he always wants to fight for you and get to the other side of the jump. He is not the easiest to ride because he can be stiff and strong in the mouth, but he always tries really hard for me and he is really competitive in jump-offs and speed classes. I am really lucky to have a horse that I can compete every week.”
Grace Debney – $50000 Hermes Under 25 Series Final Grand Prix third place
On going first in the jump-off:
“I kind of knew that fences one, two, three and four were the most important parts of the course. They were probably the easiest, so that was where you were going to make your time up. I didn’t catch it the way I wanted to, but I thought I did a great job making it up. Like Richard [Vogel] said, you really just had to be smooth because there was not a lot of place to gallop, you had to find every jump right out every turn.”
On Boheme De la Roque:
“One of our biggest goals was this series for this year, so I chose her as my front runner for that. She is definitely one of my top horses. She is a fighter and sometimes she wants to win more than I do, so that helps a lot! She is always looking to do the right thing and that’s what we thought made her suited for this class. She is so consistent.”
$50,000 Hermès U25 Series Final:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / R1 Time | R1 Faults / R2 Time | R2 Faults
1. Looping Luna / Richard Vogel / Horse Management GMBH / GER / 0 | 72.66 / 0 | 36.16
2. H5 Chacco-San / Carlos Hank Guerreiro / H5 Sport Horses LLC / MEX / 0 | 69.32 / 0 | 37.76
3. Boheme De La Roque / Grace Debney / Temple Equestrian LLC / GBR / 0 | 71.39 / 0 | 37.81
4. Elco Van Hof Ter Naillen / Sara Tindale / Tindale Farms / CAN / 0 | 72.35 / 0 | 40.13
5. Lukaku VD Bisschop / Lexi Ray / Lexi Ray / CAN / 0 | 72.27 / 0 | 43.99
6. Icarus / Francisco Goyoga Mollet / Straburg Morin Inc / ESP / 0 | 71.95 / 4 | 35.69
7. My Girl 52 / Maya Aryal / Maya Aryal / USA / 0 | 68.74 / 4 | 37.65
8. Quintini / Max Wachman / Coolmore Show Jumping / IRL / 0 | 72.30 / 4 | 38.55
9. Holsteins Matina / Sophia Studd / Studds Show Stables / DEN / 0 | 71.30 / 4 | 40.29
10. Amazing II / Dominic Gibbs / Mountain King Ranch LLC / USA / 0 | 71.18 / 8 | 36.76
11. Stella Levista / Caroline Mawhinney / Caroline Mawhinney / USA / 0 | 71.00 / 8 | 38.68
12. Le Cordial / Andrezej Oplatek / Socpodarstwo Rolne & Andrzej Oplatek / POL / 1 | 73.35