2016 Was Their Breakout Year

Laura Graves & Verdades
Credit : Scoopdyga

Friday 23 December - 15h42 | Johanna Zilberstein

2016 Was Their Breakout Year

There have many revelations in equestrian sports this year, with rising stars starting to challenge the world’s top-ranked riders in the different disciplines. As we near the end of 2016, Grand-Prix-Replay takes a look at four young hopefuls, including one American, who entered into the global spotlight over the past twelve months. 

 - 2016 Was Their Breakout Year

Niklas Krieg and Carella
Credit : Scoopdyga

NIKLAS KRIEG
Age: 22 
Nationality: German
Discipline: Show jumping
Main horse: Carella
Breakout moment: If there is a debut performance to remember from 2016, it’s undeniably German rider Niklas Krieg’s forceful win at the Nations Cup in Leipzig, Germany at the start of January. After qualifying for the jump-off alongside thirteen experienced adversaries — including Switzerland’s Paul Estermann, France’s Kevin Staut, Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet and Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya — the young rider (on Clearway) was not only one of three to go double-clear, but then finished faster than Ireland’s Denis Lynch on All Star 5 and the Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders on Don VHP Z. A first victory for Krieg, who was not only participating for the first time in a Nations Cup, but in his very first CSI 5*-W. A great performance followed by another afterwards, which assured him a place in the World Cup final. The torch is being passed!

Laura Graves
Discipline: Dressage
Nationality: American
Age : 29 
Main horse: Verdades
Breakout moment: 2016 smiled on Laura Graves, whose seemingly unstoppable rise with Verdades culminated in a fourth place at the Olympic Games in Rio. Accustomed to top finishes in Wellington, and already second at the Pan American Games in Toronto last year, the American piled up great results on the European circuit this year, with a second place in the CDIO 5* Grand Prix in Compiègne, France, as well as an impressive victory and fourth-place at the CDIO 5* of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Along the way, Graves has earned the accolades of professional observers who recognize the elegance and lightness of her riding. Not bad when one considers that she almost gave up equestrian sports for hairdressing.

 - 2016 Was Their Breakout Year

Maelle Martin and Ginnis Van't Geyzeven
Credit : Scoopdyga

Maelle Martin
Age: 25 
Nationality: French
Discipline: Show jumping
Main horse: Giovani de la Pomme
Breakout moment: Having already excelled at the CSI 1-, 2- et 3* levels, young Frenchwoman Maelle Martin broke into the highest level of her sport in 2016, discovering the world of CSI 5*s for the first time in September in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was a great debut for Martin on her top horse, Giovani de la Pomme, with a 2nd in her first class of the competition before finishing 19th over the two legs of the Grand Prix. The result obviously also helped the confidence of Martin’s 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood, who a few weeks later offered her a victory in the CSI 3* Grand Prix in Saint Lô, France, followed by a second place in the difficult Masters of Stuttgart. Martin’s year ended with appearances at the prestigious CSI 5*s of Paris and Geneva, and the consistency of her results hint at a bright future for the 25-year-old.

 - 2016 Was Their Breakout Year

Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez and Lorenzo
Credit : Scoopdyga

Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez
Discipline: Dressage
Nationality: Spanish
Age : 28 
Main horse: Lorenzo
Breakout moment: Among the big surprises of 2016, the tour de force of Lorenzo Severo Jurado Lopez can not be overlooked. More used to CDI 2 et 3*-level competitions (with two victories at the CDI 3*s of Herning and Odense at the start of the season) the Spaniard, riding Lorenzo, drew a lot of attention at the CDIO 5* of Aix-la-Chapelle. And then he surprised everyone with his fifth place in the individual rankings at the Olympic Games in Rio. The pair hasn’t slowed down since then either, finishing second at the CDI-W of Salzburg after winning the CDI-W of Odense (Denmark). 

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