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All French colours as Penelope Leprevost wins the first leg of the 2015/2016 Longines FEI World Cup Western European League

Sunday, 18 October 2015
CSI5*-W Oslo 2015

Penelope Leprevost and Flora de Mariposa went to the top in the Longines FEI World Cup in Oslo. Photo (c) Roger Svalsrød/hesteguiden.com.
Penelope Leprevost and Flora de Mariposa went to the top in the Longines FEI World Cup in Oslo. Photo (c) Roger Svalsrød/hesteguiden.com.

It was a great start to the indoor season and the 2015/2016 Longines FEI World Cup Western European League as Penelope Leprevost and Flora du Mariposa (For Pleasure x Power Light) secured a well deserved win in Oslo. It is not often the longest way turns out to be the fastest, but on this beautiful sunny autumn-day that was exactly what happened as the very interesting 15-horse jump-off came to an end.

In-form Billy Twomey was the first rider to go and also the first rider to post a clear round in Telenor Arena. Twomey and his now 18-year-old mare Tinka’s Serenade (Tinka’s Boy x African Drum) produced a lovely round, making it all look very easy, but as the next 19 riders entered the arena it became clear that the course had its difficulties. Especially the triple bar at fence eight coming of a turn and the following two related lines to fences nine and ten caused problems for several riders, including the more experienced ones.

Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Rockfeller de Pleville Bois Margot (L'arc de Triomphe) were the next combination to go clear at start number ten before the crowds had to wait until Steve Guerdat at start 22 to get the next clear. After Steve the super stars and clear rounds kept coming, finally qualifying 15 riders for the jump-off.

Frank Rothenberger’s shortened track for the jump-off consisted of eight obstacles including the combination 4a and b. The turn to the combination became the interesting part of the jump-off as most riders chose the tight turn getting there as the alternative route forced them to take a far longer way. Also the gallop to the final oxer played a part as the riders had to decide to go for the nine more safe strides or take a risk to save time and fight for the eight.

As first to go, Ireland's Billy Twomey turned inside to the combination - but did not get a good stride and Tinka was not able to stretch over the b-element. As number two, Spain's Eduardo Alvarez Aznar proved that the turn was more than possible though. After his round nearly every rider - except the ones obviously going for a safe clear - chose the short route probably thinking that was the only way to fight for the victory. What became clear as the jump-off came to an end, was that the short turn got the horses a bit out of rhythm although Simon Delestre, Patrice Delaveau and Marcus Ehning all made it look very easy, holding on to the top three spots as Penelope Leprevost entered the arena.

In true Penelope-style the amazing French rider kept Flora de Mariposa on a forward stride over every fence, and surprised everyone as she chose the long way to the combination. Her choice made it possible to keep up the high forward tempo though and as she took out the ninth stride to the last oxer and crossed the finish line she was 0,35 seconds faster than fellow country man Simon Delestre and Qlassic Bois Margot (L'arc de Triomphe x Galoubet A) who had to settle for second place. With Patrice Delaveaux and Lacrimoso HDC (Landjunge x Cascavelle) in third it was all French colours in Oslo at the prize giving.

Marcus Ehning was able to sneak in as number four after two wonderful rounds with Comme Il Faut (Cornet Obolensky x Ramiro) before the last rider in the French quartet, Kevin Staut, finished in fith place with Reveur du Hurtebise  HDC (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Capricieux des Six).

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