FEI World Rankings December 2016

       No wonder Michael Jung is so good over the coloured poles


As expected Michael Jung starts 2017 as the FEI World Number One eventing rider. Michael finished the year in the top spot on 632 points, well ahead of second placed Phillip Dutton on 517 and Australia’s Chris Burton in third on 484.

Michael’s last eventing competition brought him second and third places at Pau in October but he hasn’t just been taking it easy and sitting waiting for Santa this month. Since the end of the eventing season he has started in 33 show jumping classes on his four horses FischerDaily Impressed, FischerChelsea, Daniels Jack S and Sportsmann S. In fact Michael not only finishes the year in the top spot of eventing but claims 619th place on the Longines World Show Jumping rankings

But back to the FEI World Eventing Rankings where, as is usual at this time of year, there has been little movement since the November points were added up. However a couple of end of year competitions in the Southern Hemisphere have helped a few Antipodean riders make some moves


      Sam Felton and Ricker Ridge Escada at Puhinui


While Stuart Tinney has moved up a couple of places from 34th to 30th thanks to his CCI3* win on Queen Mary at Wallaby Hill in December, the big move in the top 50 is that of the young New Zealand rider Samantha Felton who jumped from 72nd to 44th. Sam had five horses competing at Puhinui International Horse Trials and two of them, Nochraha in the CCI1* and Ricker Ridge Escada in the CCI3*, finished in second place.

Sam had a big year in 2016 with a stay in Australia as part of her campaign and we have an interview coming up with her soon about the trials, tribulations and teachings of her trip


      Shenae Lowings and Venture Sky High, 5th in the CCI2* in Adelaide


Two other big moves up the Top 100 came from Australia’s Shenae Lowings and New Zealand’s Hayley Frielick. Shenae Lowings is definitely one of Australia’s young rising stars and this month she has moved from 89th to 58th again thanks to a good result at Wallaby Hill with second place on Ballyhoo in the CCI3*.

Ballyhoo really struggles in the show jumping phase at this level but Shenae is working on it and, when you can place second despite 16 show jumping faults, why not? Her other 3* horse Venture Sky High didn't compete in December but went well in Adelaide for the 20 year old rider from Western Australia


      Hayley and My Happiness


Hayley may compete for New Zealand now but she is based in Australia and has enjoyed a good end of season this year with her two horses Class Action LP and My Happiness finishing fourth and sixth in the CCI3* at Wallaby Hill as well as placings at Goulburn and Canberra earlier in the year. This month she moved into the top 100, just sneaking in at 99th place, up a whopping 109 places from 208th.

Talking of Kiwi riders, it is worth a mention that the top ranked New Zealand rider is none other than Andrew Nicholson who started the year not knowing if he would be able to compete successfully after his broken neck in 2015. In fourth place on 476 points, there can now be no doubt about his comeback


 Second place in the CCI4* at Burghley showed that Andrew Nicholson was well and truly back on form in 2016


As another quick aside, look carefully at the top 10 riders. Notice anything? Although they may now be representing different countries (or none at all in Andrew’s case!), six of the top 10 started their careers in the Southern Hemisphere .......

Take heart young Aussies and Kiwis ..............

View the full December 2016 FEI Eventing Rankings here