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Jur Vrieling saves the best for last in €170,000 Longines FEI World Cup of Helsinki

Sunday, 22 October 2017
CSI5*-W Helsinki 2017

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping All smiles: Jur Vrieling won the Longines FEI World Cup of Helsinki. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

The second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Western European League 2017/2018-season took place in the Finnish capital of Helsinki on Sunday afternoon. With many of the world’s best horses and riders present, a total of 40 pairs lined up for the competition and it was Jur Vrieling (NED) that emerged as the winner riding the 11-year-old stallion VDL Glasgow v. Merelsnest (Nabab de Reve x Darco).

The course set by the Brazilian course designer Guilherme Jorge counted 13 obstacles and 17 efforts in a time allowed of 78 seconds. The small ring combined with delicate planks and technical lines took their toll, and only nine horse-and-rider combinations cleared the first round and joined the jump-off.

First out in the jump-off was Francois Mathy Jr. (BEL) on the 9-year-old gelding Uno de la Roque (Numero Uno x Kannan). The pair saw two poles falling, while Aldrick Cheronnet (FRA) on the 10-year-old gelding Tanael Des Bonnes (Watch Me x Don Pierre) took the last fence down. Geir Gulliksen (NOR) on the 16-year-old gelding Edesa S Banjan (Toulon x Lys de Darmen) and Chloe Reid (USA) on the 10-year-old stallion Codarco (Darco x Orame) both gathered eight faults.

Robert Whitaker (GBR) on the 14-year-old gelding Catwalk IV (Colman x Corleone) was the first one to leave all the fences intact, taking over the lead with a time of 39,27 seconds.

Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) on the 11-year-old mare Mary Lou 194 (Montendro x Portland L) took a nasty looking stumble after the penultimate fence, but made a good recovery galloping to the last oxer and pushed Whitaker down to second place, setting the time to beat to 38,41 seconds. 

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping The top three in Helsinki: Jur Vrieling, Henrik von Eckermann and Marlon Zanotelli. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

Felix Hassmann (GER) on the 12-year-old stallion Cayenne WZ (Claudio x Ramirado) saw a pole fall, while Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (BRA) on the 10-year-old mare Celena VDL (Mr. Blue x Chin Chin) rode a brilliant clear round in 38,60 seconds, slotting in between Whitaker and Von Eckermann.

Last to go Jur Vrieling on VDL Glasgow v. Merelsnest knew he had to give it his best, and he did just that – producing a clear round in 36,85 seconds and taking home the win, pushing Von Eckermann to second, Zanotelli to third, Whitaker to fourth and Hassmann to fifth spot.

“Eric van der Vleuten and Leopold van Asten helped me in the warm-up and they told me that I had to keep coming – and that is what I did,” Vrieling told the press about his plan for the jump-off. “I am lucky to have such a scopey horse. When I saw the distance to the last fence – it was a bit far – and I was only hoping that Glasgow will jump,” the happy winner laughed. “VDL is a fantastic owner to have – I am very lucky.”

Vrieling was not short of superlatives when it came to describing his horse Glasgow, who also won the CSIO5* Grand Prix of Rome last summer. “Glasgow has all the scope and super mentality – I try to get to the World Cup Final in Paris with him. He is a championship horse, a fantastic horse – probably the best I have ever had,” he said.

Henrik von Eckermann was happy with his runner-up position. “Jur did the best job today and I am really happy with the second place,” he said. “I can only thank the super team I have behind me. If my horse is ok, that is the biggest worry at the moment,” he commented on the stumble Mary Lou took in the ring. “I already told the course builder before the class started, that he did a fantastic job today. To build all these fences in this small ring – he did it in a fantastic way, the course felt perfect to ride.”

Third placed Zanotelli praised his horse Celena VDL and thanked his owners. “I am really pleased with my mare, she has done a great season. Today she was fighting her heart out and I am very happy.”

 


Text and pictures © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

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