CDI 5* Jiva Hill Stables: Germany confirms its supremacy

CDI 5* Jiva Hill Stables: Germany confirms its supremacy

Last day of the five days of the CDI5* Jiva Hill Stables. The International Dressage Competition was marked by German domination, with 13 victories in 26 events, which enabled the 86 riders from 22 different nations to express their full potential thanks to an exceptional site and flawless organization.

Sönke Rothenberger (GER) and Matchball Old, winners of CDI5* Prix Cuénod Construction SA
Photo Credit : Photos Les Garennes

CDI 2*, Swiss victory for Charlotte Lenherr

Riders competing for the 2* label wrapped up the weekend with their Intermediate II round, dominated by Swiss rider Charlotte Lenherr and her 9-year-old bay gelding Gentleman. She was the only rider to pass the 70% mark (70.176%), while Jennifer Buda (GER) and Anne Sophie Serre (FRA) placed Daily Fun 4 and Jibraltar de Massa respectively in 2nd and 3rd position.

CDI3* Grand Prix Special, Patrik Kittel in the spotlight

In this demanding test, which combines all the technical difficulties of the discipline, the battle for victory was fierce between the stars. While Alizée Roussel (FRA) led the way for part of the event with a very respectable score of 69.127% on Bel Amour, the top seeds finally had the last word. Leading the way was Patrik Kittel (SUE) with a score of 73.511% following his performance with his new 13-year-old Westphalian partner, Galleria’s Bohemian, ex-mount of Denmark’s Cathrin Laudrup-Dufour, who soon made up for a first stop noted at 4. Second place went to Austria’s Diana Porsche, with her 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding Dahoud 3, a son of Desidero and out of a dam by show jumping champion Balou du Rouet, who achieved a fine average score of 70.447%. Belgian rider Larissa Pauluis rounded off the podium with her 11-year-old Westphalian chestnut stallion First-Step Valentin (Vitalis x Fidermark), rated at 70.234%.

CDI5* Grand Prix Special Jiva Hill Resort: Patrik Kittel, again!

Second to take the start, under the watchful eye of the federal staff, Pauline Basquin and Sertorius de Rima Z IFCE put in a very fine performance, scoring 72.958% and take the lead, before being supplanted midway through the test by Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Bonamour, who left the track with a broad smile on his face after scoring 74.021%. After the passage of Beatriz Ferrer Salat (ESP), Ryan Torkkeli (CAN), and Nicolas Wagner Ehlinger (LUX), the advantage was still in the Swedish clan, with France in ambush. Matthias Alexander Rath, riding Thiago GS, winner of the previous day’s ICR Construction Grand Prix, and second last to start, delivered a brilliant performance under the expert eye of Monica Theodorescu, which suggested a possible victory. Unfortunately, however, the ten-year-old stallion’s moodiness or emotion on the piaffe and passage through movements 15 and 16, demoted him to 10th place with an overall average of 67.766%. Morgan Barbançon, who brought this top-level event to a close, rode Habana Libre A to a very good performance, with the exception of the piaffers in figures 15 and 18, which lowered her average to 73.383%. This note earned her a very fine second place, while Patrik Kittel retained the lead. A fine achievement for the French, who took two of the three places on the podium.

CDI5* Prix Cuénod Constructions SA, Freestyle to music

The CDI5* Freestyle, featuring twelve couples, brought the 6th edition of this competition to a fitting close, making it a benchmark on the French international calendar alongside Compiègne, Fontainebleau and Lyon. Reigning French champion, and second to enter the arena, Arnaud Serre’s promising 9-year-old James Bond de Massa scored 75.005%, a score immediately improved to 75.480% by Maria Caetano and Hit Plus (POR). Grete Ayache (EST), Guillaume Lundy (FRA), and Anna Merveldt (IRL) could not do any better, but Anna-Christina Abbelen (GER) and Sam Donnerhall took the provisional lead with a 76.580% performance, beaten a few minutes later (76.725%) by Charlotte Defalque (BEL) and her vibrant 17-year-old KWPN stallion Boticcelli.  The public, who had taken to the stands set up for the occasion and even the steps leading up to the panoramic restaurant to watch these demonstrations of technique and elegance, had the pleasure of admiring Fie Christine Skarsoe (LUX), delivering a test  judged  at 75.940% with Imperador Dos Cedros, then the new hope of German dressage, Sönke Rothenberger, associated with Matchball Old, who passed the 80% mark (80.765%). Larissa Pauluis and Flambeau, had tried to reply with a very fine average of 78.540%, but following a last-minute twist of fate, the pair were eliminated when the stewards noticed a few traces of blood in the horse’s mouth, which had maybe bitten his tongue. Last to take the start, French rider Alexandre Ayache delivered a beautiful performance, scoring 77.375%, his personal best with Jolène, and clinches a fine 2nd place behind German rider Sönke Rothenberger and ahead of Belgian rider Charlotte Defalque.

Raphaël Saleh, chairman of the jury

Enthusiastic Raphaël Saleh, who once again chaired the panel of international judges for this 6th edition, confirms that “the Jiva Hill site has become extraordinary, and can compete with the best shows in the world, both in terms of infrastructure and the professionalism of the organization. It’s a prestigious competition where everything is done for the well-being of the horses, the riders and the sport, and it’s much appreciated by riders and figures in the discipline such as Monica Theodorescu, who have been positively impressed by the quality of the event. The aim, by limiting ourselves to one track, is to appeal to riders of a high standard and to offer good sport, seeking quality rather than quantity.” Raphaël Saleh explains the glaring differences between riders in the CDI3* classes: “You don’t need to qualify for this level, whereas to enter a 5* class, you need to have obtained an average of 65% in a CDI 3* or 4*. In this 3* label, we were lucky to watch combinations looking to qualify for the European Championships or the Olympic Games, or even experienced riders with new mounts.” On the subject of France’s performances, Raphaël Saleh, who regretted the absence of Corentin Pottier and Camille Judet Chéret, held back in Ermelö for the world championship for young horses, paid tribute to the progress made by Habana Libre A and Morgan Barbançon, as well as to the harmony and dynamism that emerged from Jolène and Alexandre Ayache’s routines. After emphasizing that France is fortunate to benefit from the support of the Lundin family and its team, who do so much for the sport, Raphaël Saleh unveils a preview of a “series” project involving several competitions, including Jiva Hill, still subject to approval by the FEI board.

Etienne Zeller, a positive overall assessment

Looking back on these four days of competition, Etienne Zeller, director of the Domaine de Jiva Hill and president of the event, says he is very satisfied with this 6th edition, which for the first time has the CDI 5* label, enabling the show to enter the big league at both national and regional level, alongside Equita Lyon.

In addition to temperatures worthy of an All Saints’ weekend, Etienne Zeller was delighted with the number of horses entered (120), close to maximum capacity on a single track, the presence of spectators in a region where the dressage discipline is still confidential, and the positive feedback from riders, thanks in particular to the availability of the estate’s paddocks for horses, which are used by boarders all year round.  To optimize its sumptuous facilities, Jiva Hill Stables plans to organize more events, including a week dedicated to dressage horse sales from September 26 to October 1, another reserved for show jumping horses alongside the Geneva CHI on December 6, and international indoor competitions in the brand-new 64m x 26m arena. Recent major projects in the field of sustainable development include the installation of a rainwater collection system to water the arenas, the installation of 1,000 m2 of photovoltaic panels, and the construction of a geothermal system to save 170,000 liters of fuel oil per year to meet the energy needs of the 50-room 5* Relais Château Resort. In 2024, the 7th edition of the International Jiva Hill Competition will be held at the end of August.


Patrick Kittel on his win of the CDI 5* Jiva Hill Resort Grand Prix Special: I am really surprised, really happy, […]. I don’t know these horses so well, it’s my job to make them horses better, and today I tried a little bit of a different strategy. You do not learn when you win, but when you lose. That’s what I always try to do, if I fail, I don’t go home and feel sorry for yourself, I get back into the ring and do it again.

Alexandre Ayache on his second place in the Cuénod Constructions SA – CDI 5* Grand Prix Freestyle:We’re very happy, the mare is doing this RLM for the first time. She’s making progress. She’s a phenomenon.”
On CDI5* Jiva Hill Stables: “In practical terms, it’s a heavenly facility. The people are all lovely, the stables are superbly run. The organization is perfect.”

Sönke Rothenberger on his win of the CDI5* Prix Cuénod Constructions SA – CDI 5* Grand Prix Freestyle: “I am really happy about my horse and to win the CDI 5*. You don’t win it every day.” 
On the CDI 5* Jiva Hill Stables: “It’s a perfect venue. It’s one of the most beautiful shows I have been to. The indoor, the arenas, and the grand stand for the spectators. For us riders, there are also a lot of activities apart from the show.”