Patrice Delaveau: The 49 year old French rider has a team silver medal from the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, but this will be his first appearance in a top four final. Patrice’s base at Haras des Coudrettes is in Normandy, so he is indeed competing on home soil. Earlier this year he stated that his ambition is to win a medal here at the Games, and now he definitely has the chance! Orient Express HDC has had huge success under Patrice, in June this year the two won the Longines Grand Prix in Rotterdam together and last year the two won the World Cup qualifier in Helsinki as well as being on the winning French team in the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona less than a month earlier. These two are winners through and through.
Beezie Madden: 50 year old Madden did not have the best build-up to the World Championships, as she in May broke her collar bone and had to undergo surgery. The American rider hit back hard though; she made her competition come-back in the middle of July, and not long after she went on to win both the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup and the Longines King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead on Cortes ‘C’ that is her partner at the World Equestrian Games. Beezie has enormous championship experience; she has two Olympic team gold medals from 2004 and 2008, she was individual and team silver medallist at the World Equestrian Games in 2006 – so she also knows the name of the game tomorrow having been in a top four final before. Beezie was also crowned World Cup Champion in 2013.
Rolf-Göran Bengtsson: The 52 year old Swedish rider has had a season full with ups and downs, opening it by winning the five star Grand Prix in Basel before he was forced to take a break due to an injury from the middle of January until the middle of March. When he finally came back, it was stronger than ever before. On Casall Ask Rolf ended second in the Longines Global Champions Tour in Antwerp in April, as well as being second in the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo in June before the pair went on to win the Grand Prix in Chantilly in July. Rolf is also a true championship rider, he was European Champion in 2011 on Ninja La Silla, Vice Olympic Champion on the same horse in 2008 as well as ending up with Olympic team silver in 2004. Casall Ask was on the bronze medal winning team at the European Championships last year and also ended fourth individually. This will be Rolf’s first time competing in a top four final.
Jeroen Dubbeldam: Read our interview with Dubbeldam from April this year, and you will get to know all about his ups and downs. The 41 year old Dutch rider was Olympic Champion in 2000 and also won the team gold at the World Championships in 2006, as well as here in Caen. Jeroen is a true championship rider, and to World of Showjumping he has stated: "I am a championship rider, and that is what I like the most. To be successful at any kind of championship is what matters for me. In that way I am maybe old fashioned. It gives you a good feeling that you can do well for your country, but for me it's also that the championships – European, World or Olympic – should be the biggest thing of the sport. My year is based on working towards the championships; I want to be a part of the team, and that is always my goal." Zenith SFN does his first international championship here in Caen, and is the most inexperienced out of the four horses in the final - so Jeroen has done an amazing job so far in Caen.
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