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Marcus Ehning works his magic to win the Longines FEI World Cup in Bordeaux

Saturday, 08 February 2014

Marcus Ehning won the Longines FEI World Cup in Bordeaux on Cornado NRW. Photos by World of Showjumping.It looked like it would be another home win to celebrate for the French crowds in the Longines FEI World Cup in Bordeaux on Saturday night, but Germany’s Marcus Ehning wanted it differently though – and a magical jump-off round from the German rider made him the winner on the wonderful Cornado NRW (Cornet Obolensky x Acobat). Although Marcus pushed crowd favourite Roger Yves Bost and Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois (Dollar du Murier x Grand Veneur) down to second with his breath taking performance – the Bordeaux audience celebrated his round as he was one of their own riders, which made the night even more special. Ending third did the World Cup winner from Zürich – Pius Schwizer – proving yet again what a super star he has in Toulago (Toulon x Carthago).

After the first round, no less than thirteen of the 37 riders had produced clear rounds over Uliano Vezzani’s thirteen fence track – that was a fair one. The faults spread out, but quite a few were caught out in the triple combination at 6abc and in the combination following the four long strides from the oxer at eight. There was little drama, apart from Steve Guerdat retiring Nasa (Cumano x Prince d'Elle) after a crash into the b-element of the combination – luckily both horse and rider left the arena intact and with Steve still on his mare.

The oldest horse in the competition – the 18 year old Cash (Carthago x Lavall II) opened up the jump-off with Marco Kutscher in the saddle. Unfortunately two poles fell around the shortened track that counted seven fences and that also included the last two elements of the triple combination. There were plenty of tight turns to be made and also a long gallop to the final Longines oxer.

Home rider Roger Yves Bost ended as a popular runner-up on Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois. Great Britain’s Joe Clee continued his good form from Zürich, and rode another clear on the well-jumping – although slightly eccentric – Diablesse de Muze (Baloubet du Rouet x Nabab de Reve) to take the lead as second rider to go. It did not last for too long though, because one rider later it was time for Billy Twomey on the 17 year old Tinka’s Serenade (Tinka’s Boy x African Drum), and with the mare looking as fresh as ever the pair took the lead after a beautiful clear stopping the clock on 36.08 seconds. The following two riders – Patrice Delaveau and Luciana Diniz – both had a fence down, but Patrice had the fastest time of the day at 35.43 seconds.

Pius Schwizer was next in the ring, and swept around the course in a time of 35.83 seconds – taking over the lead on the nine year old gelding that won for him in Zürich. Neither Katharina Offel or Michael Whitaker could do anything about the Swiss rider – Offel had one down on Lacontino (Landgold x Continue), and Michael slotted into third just behind Twomey aboard Elie van der Kolmen (President x Darco) after a great clear round on 37.93 seconds.

Four riders then remained, and when Bosty entered the ring the roof in the arena almost lifted. The pressure was on, but that did not seem to affect the reigning European Champion as he raced around the track on the feisty fourteen year old mare – cutting the turns down to the minimum everywhere and then racing down to the last oxer to stop the clock at an incredible 35.66 seconds. The crowds went wild, and Bosty got a standing ovation as he left the ring. It looked hard – if not impossible – to beat.

Third was the winning pair from Zürich; Pius Schwizer and Toulago.And the only one of the three remaining riders in the jump-off that managed to do anything about Bosty, was Marcus Ehning. His jump-off round is hard to describe in words; it was simply beautiful to watch – and as always Marcus guided Cornado around the track silently as if almost walking on clouds. It did not look nearly as fast as it rode, Marcus rides with such precision that speed is hard to detect – but it was definitely there as the German rider shaved off 0.21 seconds on Bosty’s time to take home the win in Bordeaux.

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