Stories from the 2024 Longines EEF Series: Angelos Touloupis

Angelos Touloupis and Lord Mexx World Cup Finals 2023

Image/Martin Dokoupil

Interview by Christa Dillon

The 2024 Longines EEF Series is now underway, and it promises to be an exciting year ahead. Greek showjumper Angelos Touloupis used the series in 2023 as a part of his preparation for the European Championships in San Siro, Italy, with his top horse Lord Mexx. This partnership then went on to qualify for the 2024 Longines FEI World Cup Finals in Riyadh, where Angelos made history as the first rider to represent Greece in the overall final of the competition.

Lord Mexx was crowned the Logines EEF Series, in association with the Jumping Owners Club, Horse of the Year in 2023. “We didn’t expect to win the award! It was a big surprise, but we were really happy. The horse deserved it.” said Angelos.

“I find the Series helpful for young horses or for horses that don’t have as much experience. It brings them on over quite tough courses, and they learn a lot. The competitions are always in really nice arenas, and I think the series has helped me so much over the last two years to prepare Lord Mexx for the European Championships and bigger goals.”

The award not only highlights the horses but the owners, grooms and breeders behind the horse.

“It is great to recognise good performances from the riders and the horses, but also from the teams behind it all. A rider without a decent groom is nothing. We need them! My wife Jenny is my groom at the shows, and there is also that family connection. It is difficult to find someone who really supports you and knows all your habits, so it works very well for us” added Angelos.

Without a qualified team for the upcoming Paris Olympics, Greece will be represented in showjumping at the games by individual rider Loli Mytilineou. Angelos will therefore focus his attention on the Longines EEF Series, the FEI World Cup shows and the young horse classes. Lord Mexx is currently enjoying a two-week break after his exertions in Riyadh, but soon, he will begin his World Cup 2024/2025 campaign with the aim of collecting some early season points to qualify for the final.

For the Longines EEF Series, this year Angelos is looking to progress the exciting eight-year-old stallion, Kannandillo. This horse was the leading six-year-old in the Hippomundo rankings in 2022 and performed very well as a seven-year-old at the FEI WBFSH Jumping World Breeding Championship for Young Horses at Lanaken in 2023. Angelos will also ride the ten-year-old stallion Del Rey Of The Lowlands Z, who has already won a 1.40m Small Tour class at Gorla Minore this year.

Sassofotografie Angelos Touloupis 1
Angelos Touloupis riding Kannandillo – Image: Sassofotografie

Kannandillo was Angelos’ choice for Gorla Minore, with the pair achieving a fantastic 4/0 result over the two rounds. Showing scope and power, the young horse appeared far beyond his years and is an exciting talent for both Angelos, and the Greek team.

“The Longines EEF Series competitions are nice for the horses because it is generally not a huge Nations Cup, but you still put them in quite a demanding situation which prepares them for the bigger occasions. If they jump in the Nations Cup on Friday and the Grand Prix on Sunday, that amounts to four rounds over the three days. You see a lot of good riders jumping their eight and nine-year-old horses in the Nations Cup to give them the mileage. After two or three [Longines EEF] Series competitions, the horses are ready, and then you can push them because they have so much more experience.”

Good show jumpers are also great horsemen. Angelos’ horses are remarkably consistent performers, and they love to jump for him. He is quick to point out that horses must be allowed to be horses. “We like them to go out in the paddock every day. If they have to spend 23 hours a day in a stable, they will not be happy. We also vary the work that the horses do. We train them in the arena, but we also ride them in the forest, and we lunge them sometimes, too. This way, they don’t get bored. I have had all my horses from a young age, and I really know them. I give them a break before they get tired and rest them when they need it.”

Angelos has several young horses he is very excited about, including two six-year-olds, one of whom is a half-brother to Kannandillo. He also has a five-year-old homebred he thinks will be a special horse for the future, and which he is hoping to qualify for Lanaken later this year. Perhaps in a few years, they too will be jumping in the Longines EEF Series competitions.

Press release Longines EEF Series Copyright (C) 2024 European Equestrian Federation

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