The Rolex FEI World Cup had its opening leg in Oslo today. The course was big, and some of the fences caused more trouble than others. Fence number five was a big black and white double, with five short strides to a narrow vertical. This line proved to be challenging, and several riders failed here. The last fence – a huge double with a round watertray – fell for many of the riders, including Edwina Alexander, Albert Zoer, Eric van der Vleuten and Jessica Kürten.
Seven of the forty riders managed to cross the finish line without any faults. The first to go in the jump-off were Emanuele Gaudiano on Chicago 84. They had one fence down, and their time was 45.82 but they later got eliminated - a decision that is bound to be subject for discussion. Malin Baryard-Johnsson rode a beautiful clear round on the stallion H&M Tornesch 1042 to get to the jump-off, but had two fences down. Leon Thijssen on the Numero Uno-stallion Tyson was the first to go clear, and took the lead with a time of 47.99.
It didn’t last for long, as world nr. 1 Kevin Staut rode a clear round on Le Prestige de Hus – the stallion being his usually bucking self – shaving off 4.20 seconds on Thijssen’s time. Lars Nieberg and Levito stole the lead from Staut, and crossed the finish line on 43.33 – 0.46 seconds quicker than Staut. It was to be a good day for the Germans, when Ludger Beerbaum also went clear on the Baloubet du Rouet-stallion Chaman - with a time of 42.12 which was good enough to take the lead. Beerbaum chose a different route to the combination, and it paid off.
It was Christian Ahlmann that went all the way though, and with a fantastic clear round and a time of 41.40 on board of the lovely stallion Taloubet Z victory was his – securing the top three places for Germany. Ahlmann benefited from watching Beerbaum's round, and took the same route - just a little faster. This was for sure a day of mixed emotions for Ahlmann, as he earlier in the day lost his promising stallion Calvados Z – probably due to a broken artery. The horse will now be taken for autopsy, to clear the cause of its tragic death.
Earlier in the day Roger Yves Bost won two classes, a 1.45 class and the show class – a knock out competition. The world cup circus now moves on to Helsinki, Finland - were the second leg will be held next weekend.
For full results see http://events.horses.nl/2010/oslo/results/008-res.htm
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