The Rolex FEI World Cup had its 8th leg in the Western European league in Mechelen, Belgium. Many of the sport’s top profiles enjoyed a Christmas holiday witch opening the door for some of the other riders to grab some points.
The class consisted of 38 riders, and only four of these were clear and went through to the jump-off. Three of the clears were from the host nation Belgium, much to the joy of the home crowd. Two riders – France’s Simon Delestre on Couletto and Germany’s Daniel Deusser on AD Untouchable – had one single time fault. These two greys, together with two others of the same colour - Casper van Spieveld and Nasa, looked absolutely amazing and made the course look easy.
Gregory Wathelet, was first to go in the jump-off on the 8 year old son of Randel Z; Sea Coast Cortes C. The gelding was one of two 8 year old horses to make it through to the jump-off. And the Belgian rider put pressure on the other riders with an excellent clear round, crossing the finish line on 40.44 seconds. Niels Bruynseels – another Belgian rider - followed with the lovely grey Cumano-mare Nasa. Bruynseels however gave his all towards the the final planks, hit them hard and ended up on four faults and the time 41.28.
The World Champion from Aachen in 2006 - Jos Lansink - rode a fantastic round on the 8 year old Casper van Spieveld, which has only been with the Belgian rider for the last two weeks. The Mr Blue-gelding is a big one, but the new partnership still managed to shave off 0.32 seconds of Kürten’s time on the last part of the jump-off course. Unfortunately Lansink ended up with the same faith as fellow teammate Bruynseels when the final planks fell. Lansink and the wonderful grey had to settle for third, leaving Kürten to enjoy 13 000 Euro, a brand new Land Rover and a Rolex watch.
To FEI.org Jessica Kürten said this of her win: "It was a very special win, and I feel quite emotional. We really wanted to win, we were unbelievably motivated and we had to go very fast to beat Gregory Wathalet. Winning this and the Queen's Cup on Tuesday have made it a fairytale week!" Of Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois Kürten said; "I'm really proud of her!”
For full results from the class click here .
The standings in the Rolex FEI World Cup in the Western European League are as follows after the eighth leg in Mechelen;
1. Kevin Staut FRA - 87
2. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson SWE - 57
3. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum GER - 50
4. Christian Ahlmann GER - 46
5. Billy Twomey IRL - 44
6. Harrie Smolders NED - 41
7. Rodrigo Pessoa BRA - 36
8. Michael Whitaker GBR - 35
9. Carsten-Otto Nagel GER - 33
10. Ludger Beerbaum GER - 31
11. Jessica Kuerten IRL - 30
12. Malin Baryard-Johnsson SWE - 29
12. Sergio Alvarez Moya ESP- 29
14. Gerco Schroder NED - 28
14. Robert Whitaker GBR - 28
16. Lars Nieberg GER - 27
16. Leon Thijssen NED - 27
18. Jos Lansink BLE - 25
19. Philipp Weishaupt GER - 24
19. Simon Delestre FRA – 24