Hamburg, Germany – Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, opened her summer season with a momentous victory in the €285,000 Global Champions Tour Grand Prix held Saturday, May 15, in Hamburg, Germany.
A total of 50 starters lined out for the second event in the 2010 Global Champions Tour, which links together nine of the world’s top show jumping events. At the end of two rounds, four were double clear over the tough test set by German course designer Frank Rothenberger to force a jump-off. Hough had the advantage of going last in the jump-off, and had seen the three riders before her make mistakes. A clear round would win the day, not to mention €95,000 in prize money, and that is exactly what Hough and Quick Study delivered.
“It is absolutely the biggest victory of his career,” said Hough of the 11-year-old selle francais gelding owned by Laura Mateo and Meredith Mateo. “To jump triple clear was unbelievable, and I am very proud of our victory.”
The Global Champions Tour event in Hamburg was the first competition for Hough and Quick Study since representing the United States at the 2010 World Cup Final in Geneva, Switzerland, four weeks earlier. It was also the first outdoor event on grass that the pair had contested all year, and bodes well as they prepare for upcoming events in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and Aachen, Germany.
In March, Hough and Quick Study were named to the United States Equestrian Team Long List for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games following two of five Selection Trials. The pair then placed third in the $200,000 World Cup Grand Prix held Saturday, March 13, in Wellington, FL, to book their ticket for Geneva.
As members of the United States Equestrian Team Long List, from which the members of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Team will be chosen, Hough and Quick Study will represent the United States at CSIO5* Rotterdam from June 16-20 and will have three weeks to rest before CSIO5* Aachen from July 13-18.
“I have planned his schedule very carefully,” noted Hough of her strategy to ensure that Quick Study is on form for Rotterdam and Aachen, as well as for the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, this fall. “We will do one show, a CSI4* in Balve, Germany, at the beginning of June to be ready for Rotterdam. With the way that Quick Study is performing, and with the amount of shows and prize money available, it is tempting to want to show more often, but I have to keep my focus on the road ahead, and preserve him the best that I can. I love to represent my country, and I love Nations’ Cup competition.”
In addition to Quick Study, Hough will also campaign the grand prix mounts Casadora, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Laura Mateo and Meredith Mateo, and Prezioso S, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood breeding stallion owned by Highlife Farms. As she did in 2009, Hough will base herself in Europe, deciding in the fall whether she will return to the United States or continue to compete in Europe for the indoor circuit.
“Riding against the best riders in the world every day raises your game and makes you more competitive,” said Hough, currently ranked 32nd in the world, of her decision to train and compete in Europe. This year, she is based south of Brussels, Belgium, at Haras de Ligny, the training center of Nelson and Rodrigo Pessoa.
A member of the United States Equestrian Team at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Hough was also a member of the Gold Medal Team at the 2003 Pan American Games riding Windy City and the Bronze Medal Team at the 2007 Pan American Games riding Casadora. For more information on Lauren Hough, please visit www.laurenhough.com.
Photo: Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, and Quick Study won the €285,000 Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Hamburg, Germany, on Saturday, May 15. Photo Credit – Global Champions Tour