The third World Cup leg in Lyon offered some very good rounds as well as action and some surprises around the 13 fence-course. Including the triple combination and the combination, the course counted 16 obstacles. The last line proved to be the hardest challenge for most riders with an oxer straight out of the corner, then a line on six or seven strides down to a tight vertical-vertical combination.
Marco Kutscher and Cash produced a great round, but had the last fence down. Ludger Beerbaum rode as perfect as ever on Chaman, but towards the penultimate fence Chaman suddenly ran out which forced Ludger to make a big circle to get over the last combination. Home favorite Penelope Leprevost and her loverly Mylord Carthago did not have the best day at work. The normally well coordinated combination did not find their rhythm and ended jumping through fence nine.
Eugenie Angot , Ole Kristoffer Meland and Meredith Michaels- Beerbaum all had very good rounds, but one time penalty kept them out of the jump-off. Especially impressive by Meland from Norway who is a quite new face at this level.
Seven riders went faultless out of the first round and took part in the jump off that was a course reduced to eight fences and nine jumps. Ludo Philippaerts and Challenge vd Begijnakker (Chellano Z x Palestro vd Begijnakker) were first to go and cleared the course at 40,83. His round looked good and relatively fast, but with some brilliant riders to come it did not look like it would be enough.
Michel Robert and Oh d’Eole had two down, while Paul Estermann rode a controlled but clear round aboard Castlefield Eclipse (Obos Quality) and crossed the finish line at 41, 58 which was eventually good enough for third place. Manuel Anon and Rakel Chavannaise (Voltaire x Papillon Rouge) took out one stride to the last oxer, but were not able to match either Paul or Ludo’s time.
Then it was time for the home favorite , Kevin Staut and Silvana (Corland x Widor), who produced one of their better rounds ever in the first round. Kevin wanted to please the crowds and tried to take a very tight turn inside another fence towards a big oxer. Unfortunately he did not get it right and Silvana jumped through the front pole.
Christian Ahlmann is normally dangerous in a jump-off situation and today was no exception. He easily cleared the turn Kevin struggled with, but Codex One (Contendro x Glueckspilz) had one “silly” fence down earlier in the course.
Pius Schwizer and Verdi III (Hors la Loi x Cantus) was the last combination to enter the arena in Lyon. The Swiss rider showed the crowds how the job was to be done as he shaved off 0,84 seconds of Ludo’s time making some very tight turns. The spectators got to see a very happy Pius as he cantered around the arena throwing his helmet, waving and throwing kisses.
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