This year’s showjumping trials at Villars-Gryon take place on 3–10 July and there’s plenty on offer for those interested in equestrian sports amid spectacular Alpine scenery. This free event, which brings together both regional and national as well as pony competitions, serves as a qualifier tournament for the Swiss Grand Prix Championship Elite 2014.
If you’re unfamiliar with showjumping, it’s one of the most visually exciting and elegant equestrian events. The competitors in full finery are challenged to complete a circuit jumping over high fences and other obstacles. Riders are penalized if they knock down, stop at or circumvent a fence, so there is enormous pressure on horse and rider to be technically precise and frankly, brave. If they can complete a clear round, they go through to the jump-off. This is a shortened, timed course that they must complete as fast as possible. The horse and rider judged with the least faults and the fastest time, win.
From 3–6 July, events will be held for licensed riders only. Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 July, however, are open to ponies and unlicensed riders. The events include training test runs to qualify for regional licenses. Also on 7 July, French equestrian artist Pierre Fleury will perform with his famous pony show. From Thursday 10 until Sunday 13 July, competitions are being held for national and international riders.
On Friday 11 July, there is the spectacular six-bar event (riders jump six fences set in a straight line). The top billed event, the Grand Prize and championship qualifier, Swiss Elite 2014, is held on Sunday 13 July. The four winners will compete as wild cards at the Concours Hippique Internationale de Genève (CHI) – one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian competitions – on 12–15 December in Geneva.
Last year’s show jumping competition was a melting pot of nationalities and hosted an array of European equestrian stars. These included Irishman Trevor Coyle, winner of the prestigious Aix-la-Chapelle Grand Prix; Norwegian Eva Ursin; and the Swiss Olympian Pius Schwizer, winner of a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing summer games. Last year’s winner and wild card attendant at the CHI in 2013 was Genevoise Julie Jucker.
WIN A VIP LUNCH FOR 2
Attend this prestigious event as a guest of LE NEWS
This week we are giving away a VIP lunch for 2 as a guest of Le News at the Show Jumping of Villars-Gryon on the 3 July – rendez-vous for the lucky winners will be from 11h00 in Villars.
To enter the competition, click here.
For the full programme, please see: www.jumping-villarsgryon.com