Credit : Facebook
Tuesday 26 February - 09h39 | Ian Clayton
Social media can reveal a lot: where people are at a particular moment, what they are up to, what’s on their mind, how they are feeling – and how they view the medium itself. Take the case of the current Top Ten show jumpers in the world in the Longines Rankings and their ‘latest’ Facebook posts (see below the text), whether posted by themselves or their team.
Indeed, looking at the riders' most recent posts, one can see that some are quite up-to-date and personal with their communication on the platform, some are more business-oriented, while others may have given up on it a bit. At the moment of the ‘sample’, for example, World No.1 Steve Guerdat of Switzerland – who is currently competing in Spain – shared a throwback video this week of himself talking about his mount Alamo at Spruce Meadows last autumn. Guerdat explains among other things that even though the horse was 10 years old at the time, he has been relatively inexperienced at the elite level until more recently. Next on the list is McLain Ward of the United States, a graduate of Greenwich Country Day School, whose family-oriented timeline includes a picture on February 15 with one of his children and a pony. Further down, Ward also touts the young rider Ziggy Hoffman as a future champion, saying that he looks forward to him breaking Ward's own records some day. Another page bearing Ward's name shared some quotes from Winston Churchill about horses back in 2012. The Facebook posts come back to Europe for World No.3 Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands, who shared a magazine cover story on February 22 about his ‘world beater’ horse Don VHP Z, one of the mounts which has carried the Dutchman to the top of the sport in recent years. Another horse-related post, but this time directly business-oriented, comes from World No.4 Marcus Ehning of Germany. Stallions from the sport horse business he runs with family member Richard will be available for breeding soon, reads the translated German language post from February 19, adding with a spring-like flower emoji the declaration that the Ehnings are feeling "hopeful." Staying in Germany, the most recent Facebook post of Daniel Deusser, fifth in the Longines Rankings, dates back to January 17. A picture of his mount Tobago is accompanied by the statement "Ready for Partner Pferd" in Leipzig. And it turns out they were in fact ready, as the pair finished fourth in the Longines FEI World Cup stage there – part of the rider's triumphant season in the Western European League.World No.6 Peder Fredricson is certainly active on Instagram, and there also appear to be a couple profile pages linked to him on Facebook, with one's latest post from 2017 giving a good insight into his view of sports and competition (assuming it is him). "That's right," the post says, agreeing with the opinion of Swedish hockey player Henrik Lundqvist who believes children should be allowed to compete and win prizes from a young age [contrary to a proposed rule in Sweden which would diminish the importance of winning and losing.] Another more up-to-date page shares an article about a recent competition the rider took part in. The seventh-ranked show jumper on the planet this month is Great Britain's Ben Maher, who (on that topic of rankings) expressed his appreciation earlier this month about maintaining his rank, as well as for the team he works with. "Tip my hat to you sir... pretty bloody amazing," one fan commented. Defending Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Champion Beezie Madden also has her mind on rankings this week, acknowledging in a post on Monday her second place in the USEF rankings behind Ward and ahead of long-time fellow teammates Laura Kraut and Kent Farrington.Number 9 on the list is Sweden's Henrik Von Eckermann, who on February 11 shared a post about his equipment supplier and the fact that five members of the team using it, Martin Fuchs, Henrik Von Eckermann, Niels Bruynseels, Max Kühner and Steve Guerdat, have qualified for the 2019 World Cup Final in April in Gothenburg. A post liked by Guerdat and 10 others.Finally, to round out the Top 10 show jumping riders in the world, Canada's Eric Lamaze, who has been out of action for months due to illness, shared the news that he intends to compete in the CSI5* Global Champions League this year. He will be joined on the Cannes Stars squad by Jane Richard Philips, Margie Goldstein Engle, Karel COx, Abdel Said and Under 25 rider Daniel Coyle. Images below from Facebook.
Monday 25 February - 16h18
Wednesday 27 February - 14h52
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