Switzerland’s Luigi Baleri, owner of top ranked horses such as Clooney 51, The Sinner and Chaplin, has been awarded the Longines Owner of the Year Trophy – for the second year in a row. The award ceremony took place during the Longines CSI5* Basel (SUI), in the presence of Christophe Jeanneret, Brand Manager Longines Switzerland, and Dominique Mégret, Chairman of the Jumping Owners Club. This award, created in 2004 and approved by the FEI, illustrates the importance of recognizing the involvement of the owners in building an international career in show jumping. It is proudly supported by the Swiss watch brand Longines, which has recently become the Official Partner of the Jumping Owners Club.
Ridden by Swiss European Champion and current leader of the Longines Jumping Rankings Martin Fuchs, Clooney 51 – that largely contributed to this first place – again enjoyed a string of successes throughout 2019. Together, the pair took the individual gold medal at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championships in Rotterdam (NED), and wins in the 5* Grand Prix of Lyon (FRA), Wellington (USA), and Basel (SUI), and in Geneva (SUI). The grey gelding also recorded a fantastic 2nd place in the Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Final in Gothenburg (SWE).
Dominique Mégret, Chairman of the Jumping Owners Club, was very pleased about Luigi Baleri’ success during the 2019 season. “Being awarded the Longines Owner of the Year one time in one’s life is already a fantastic achievement. To receive this trophy two times in a row is just amazing!” Dominique Mégret said. “As the Chairman of the JOC, I am obviously proud that one of our members sees his efforts rewarded. But above all, this performance shows how important loyalty, faith and respect is. The strong, positive and long-term relationship established between Luigi and his rider and his whole team is certainly responsible for a major part of this incredible result. Building a successful long-term partnership is what every rider should aim for.”
Matthieu Baumgartner, Longines Vice President Marketing, commented: “As the Official Partner of the Jumping Owners Club, it is a great pleasure to start our collaboration with the 2019 Longines Owner of the Year Award presentation to Luigi Baleri. His successes in many major events from 2019, notably in the Longines FEI World CupTM legs and Final, as well as in the Longines FEI Jumping European Championships, speak for themselves. On behalf of Longines, we would like to express our sincere congratulations to him and his team and wish him every success for the years to come.”
The Award, an original bronze sculpture representing a jumping horse, was awarded to Luigi Baleri by Christophe Jeanneret, Brand Manager Longines Switzerland, and Dominique Mégret, JOC Chairman, in the main arena of the Longines CSI5* Basel. Luigi Baleri also received a Longines watch.
The next two owners on the ranking were Stuteri Arch – Charlottte Söderström (owner of H&M All In, H&M Christian K and H&M Indiana ridden by Peder Fredricson and Malin Baryard-Johnsson for Sweden) who was awarded the Owner of the Year trophy for 2017, and Ann C. Thompson (owner of Balou du Reventon, Important de Muze and Romeo 88, ridden by Darragh Kenny for Ireland).