Brianne Goutal Takes the $100,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix, Leaving the Team Millar and the Whitakers in her Wake

Just 22 years of age, Goutal topped an impressive international field to take the biggest win of her career!

Toronto, Ontario – A fresh, young competitor stood the International show jumping division on its head tonight, winning a five-way, five nation jump-off, besting top riders from Canada, America, Ireland, The Netherlands and Great Britain to claim the $100,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the 88th Royal Horse Show.

Brianne Goutal, 22, of New York, NY, led a field of 25 starters including a former World Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist and all the members of Teams Millar and Whitaker, the “First Families” of show jumping at The Royal this year. Goutal, a senior studying English at Brown University, typically attends school four days a week, and competes on the weekends. Tonight she was riding Ballade Van Het Indihoff, a nine year-old mare owned by Remarkable Farms LLP.

At first glance, the course of 16 jumping efforts designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, looked innocuous enough, but it quickly became apparent that one key area of the course would be the deciding factor for nearly every rider this evening. A trio of obstacles set quite close together and lined up along the west wall of the ring proved to be the undoing of 16 of the 25 who started.

“My mare is young, so I was a little nervous coming in to the class, but still had good expectations,” said Goutal. “I had no expectations of a win though!”

Goutal had the envious position of riding last in the jump-off, over a shortened course requiring sharp inside turns combined with stretches of flat-out gallop. Goutal’s winning time of 36.66 seconds was more than a full second faster than her closest rival, Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands. Smolders finished on 37.70 seconds with his ten year-old mare Regina Z. Third went to Britain’s youngest Whitaker here this week, Robert, who also won this afternoon’s $15,000 McKee Family International Jumper Challenge – showing he’s doing his part in the battle of the “Royal Families” of show jumping this week.

Today’s matinee horse show also included the Dressage CDI3* FEI Grand Prix presented by Dominion Regalia, which was won by the defending Champion, Ashley Holzer with Pop Art. Tonight’s President of the Ground Jury, Axel Steiner, explained that although Holzer won the class this afternoon, a few mistakes kept her score from it’s usual height.

“Ashley had a very good start to her test – very solid with very high scores. Unfortunately, when she came to the canter work, her old nemesis, particularly the flying changes, came to bite her and the overall result, although she still won the class, was not as stellar as she could have been with a more mistake-free ride.”

Holzer returns to defend her title following an eighth-place finish at this year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held this past October in Lexington, Kentucky. The magical FEI Grand Prix Freestyle to Music will take place tomorrow night, where Holzer and her four fellow competitors will dance and dazzle, in an attempt to both wow the crowds and win this second and final leg of the $20,000 CDI3* Dressage presented by Dominion Regalia.

About the Royal Horse Show and Royal Agricultural Winter Fair ~ A tradition since 1922, the Royal Horse Show brings top horses and riders from Canada the U.S. and abroad, including Olympic and World champions, to Toronto each November to compete for more than $750,000 in prize money and Championships. Over 1,000 horses of all shapes and sizes participate in show jumping, dressage, indoor eventing, driving, coaching and so much more, over the ten-days of hotly contested competition. Special features such as the Spirit of the Horse Ring, EquiMania!, the Farmer’s Market, Trade-Fair Shopping, educational and agricultural events & competition round out this family tradition. Since its debut, the Royal has been a highlight of the Toronto fall social calendar, visited by Royalty, politicians, farmers and horse-enthusiasts for generations. For more information, The Royal Online’s live webcasting, complete schedule, results and to purchase tickets, please visit

$100,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix
Rider / Horse / Country / Score
1. Brianne Goutal / Ballade Van Het Indihoff / USA / 0:00 / 36.66
2. Harrie Smolders / Regina Z / Netherlands / 0:00 / 37.70
3. Robert Whitaker / Omelli / Great Britain / 0:00 / 38.69
4. Dermott Lennon / Hallmark Elite / Ireland / 0:00 / 38.28
5. Karen Cudmore / Southern Pride / Canada / 0:00 / 39.55

CDI 3* FEI Grand Prix presented by Dominion Regalia
Rider / Horse / Total Percentage
1. Ashley Holzer / Pop Art / 69.787
2. Jacqueline M. Brooks / Gran Gesto / 65.489
3. Simone Williams / Wunder Ein / 62.213
4. Victoria Winter / Proton / 60.383
5. Liz Steacie / Spotless / 58.000

Attached Photo: Brianne Goutal of New York, NY, bested a top international field to win the $100,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix at The Royal Horse Show this evening with her horse Ballade Van Het Indihoff. Here, they clear obstacle 11-B, part of the triple-combination which became the undoing of so many of her competitors.  Photo © Michelle C. Dunn