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Quick guide to the Longines FEI World Cup Final

Thursday, 30 March 2017
2017 Longines FEI World Cup Final

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson Will he join the four historical triple-champions? Steve Guerdat is going for his third consecutive Longines FEI World Cup title in Omaha. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Background  

On Sunday 2nd of April a new World Cup Champion will be crowned as the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Final is staged in Omaha (USA).

37 athletes from 20 nations will compete in this year’s World Cup Final presented by Longines. The countries that will be represented are: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay and USA.

Historical champions

Some of the biggest and most memorable partnerships in the sport has won the World Cup title: Ian Millar and Big Ben from Canada, Britain’s John Whitaker and Milton, Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa and Baloubet du Rouet and Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Shutterfly are just a few of the legends whose names are linked to the prestigious title.

Four riders have claimed the FEI World Cup-title on three occasions:

Austria's Hugo Simon, winner of the inaugural final in Gothenburg with Gladstone, went on to record a back-to-back double of victories with ET FRH in 1996 and 1997.

Germany's Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum was also a three-time winner with Shutterfly: In Las Vegas in 2005, Gothenburg in 2008 and again in Las Vegas in 2009.

Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa and the stallion Baloubet du Rouet hold the record as the only horse-and-rider partnership to post three back-to-back wins. They came out on top in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Germany's Marcus Ehning won in Las Vegas in 2003, in Kuala Lumpur in 2006 and in Geneva in 2010 – and this year Ehning gets the chance to become historical again if he wins and becomes the first four-time World Cup Champion.

Defending champion Steve Guerdat is going for his third consecutive Longines FEI World Cup title in Omaha.

Favourites:

"I hope my brother Leopold will win," Dutch rider Mathijs van Asten says to World of Showjumping. "What he and VDL Groep Zidane showed in Den Bosch gives good hopes, but then again it's the best riders in the world over there so I think it is still a long way to go. Of course, Steve Guerdat is a favourite for another title, then there is Maikel van der Vleuten who is always a safe card with VDL Groep Verdi TN N.O.P. - there are many with good chances."

"Kevin Staut," says to World of Showjumping Willem Greve about his favourite. "He has been very close before, his horse is in super form and jumped very good in Den Bosch. Kevin pulled it off before at important occasions, and I think he can do it in Omaha. Apart from that I will have to mention McLain Ward of course, and then there is Steve Guerdat – I hope for him that he wins the triple because he is moving towards becoming a legend in the sport and he would deserve that. And of course I have to put my bets on my compatriots Maikel van der Vleuten Leopold van Asten; I hope they will do well there!"

Concept and rules

The final is ridden over competitions held Thursday 30th of March, Friday 31st of March and Sunday 2nd of April. The first part of the final, will be a Table C class ridden over a course set at a maximum of 1.60 meters. On Saturday, the riders will compete in a Table A class set at 1.50-1.60 meters with a jump-off. Riders who are eliminated or who retire in the first competition are not permitted to take part.

In the first two competitions points are given to all riders having finished the initial round. The winner of each competition gets one point more than the number of starters in the first final competition. The second placed gets two points less than the winner, the third placed three points less than the winner, and so on.

Athletes who have been eliminated or have retired in the initial round of the first two competitions do not get points. Points won by athletes who are tied are added up and divided equally. Fractions of 0.5 and more are rounded up; fractions of less than 0.5 are rounded down.

After the second competition points are transformed into penalties. The rider with the highest number of points after two competitions will have 0 penalties. For all other riders the number of penalties will be calculated by multiplying with the coefficient of 0.50 the difference between their number of points and the points of the leading rider after two competitions.

The third and final competition takes place on Sunday. It will be a Table A class with two rounds over a Grand Prix course at 1.50-1.60 meters. The 30 best placed riders (plus ties) from the provisional classification following the second competition are allowed to compete in the first round of the third competition.

Eligible for the second round of the third competition are the 20 best placed riders (plus ties) from the provisional classification following the first round. Riders with a clear score in the first round are allowed to start in the second round, even if their total score does not bring them into the top 20 riders (plus ties). However, they will compete only for the classification and prize money of the competition itself, and their score in the second round will not be taken into consideration when calculating their position in the final overall ranking of the final.

The winner of the Longines FEI World Cup Final 2016 is the rider that after all rounds has the least amount of penalties. If two or more riders should have the same amount of penalties, there will be a jump-off for the victory.

The Longines FEI World Cup Final in links:

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