The game was on in round two of the Rolex FEI World Cup in ‘s-Hertogenbosch today; a seriously tough course heated things up and in the end it was Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt that stayed cool enough to take home the win on Monte Bellini. Another strong round from Pius Schwizer – this round riding Carlina – secured him runner-up position, and the overall lead in the World Cup ahead of the final two rounds on Sunday where 25 of the best riders are qualified to ride. After a mediocre day yesterday, the Germans bounced back today with another rider from Stall Beerbaum taking third – Marco Kutscher on the beautiful grey stallion Cornet Obolensky.
The course for the second round of the World Cup was very demanding. A thirteen fence track that included an huge oxer-oxer combination at fence 4a and b, and some technical lines that among others consisted of a very special orange gate at fence nine with four strides down to an oxer at ten before the heart ache of the competition arrived at 11a, b and c with a vertical-oxer-vertical – caused trouble for most. Especially the middle element of the triple combination – a huge and wide white square oxer proved influential as the distance from the first element was a bit long and the distance out a bit short. Among the riders who faulted here where Ludger Beerbaum, Denis Lynch, Beezie Madde, Richard Spooner, Patrice Delaveau and Kevin Staut – to mention some.
Only three of the 33 riders managed to produce clear rounds. Eric Lamaze was the fourth rider to leave the fences intact on Coriana van Klapscheut, but he had a very unlucky time fault considering how great Coriana jumped. The ten year old Darco-mare yet again proved that she has the potential to be one of the world’s best horses, and that she indeed can fill some big shoes. Before Eric – who started as 24 – there had been lots of faults and four retirements. Sahem El Dahan from Egypt was very happy after a good round with only four faults though, while Margie Engel must have felt a little disappointed when she had the last fence down on Indigo.
The first clear came from Marco on Corne Obolensky (Clinton x Heartbreaker), and the 13 year old stallion jumped a lovely round – although making the crowds gasp when he touched the penultimate fence. The next clear came from Marco’s colleague Philipp on another stallion; the impressive Monte Bellini (Montender x Ramiro) – who almost made the course look easy. Patrice Delaveau’s ride Ornella Mail (Lando x Alligator Fontaine) is like an air craft and pretty much flies the fences, but sadly had one down. Number one in the world Rolf-Göran Bengtsson did not have the best of days when Casall La Silla (Caretino x Lavall I) had two down. Although Kevin had one down on Silvana *HDC (Corland x Widor), this mare also looked great and the pair holds a good overall position as number four. The last clear came from Pius and Carlina (Carvallo x Landgraf I) – his winning partner from Oslo and Helsinki. Yesterday’s top three; Rik Hemeryck, Steve Guerdat and Rich Fellers all had one down – but Guerdat and Fellers are nonetheless rank two on the overall standing.
The jump-off was shortened to six fences including a combination as the third jump. There were mostly turns to be made, but a long stretch to the last oxer opened for some speed. Marco opened with Cornet Obolensky, but seemed to be opting for an economical round rather than going flat out. The German rider was clear though, and crossed the finish line on 35.03 seconds. Next to go was Philipp and he set up a far higher pace from the beginning on Monte Bellini. A really tight turn to the penultimate vertical and a good gallop down to the last oxer gave him the lead on 33.04 – 1.99 seconds faster than Marco. As last to go Pius made a serious bid for the win and made a really tight turn to the combination, but was still a little behind Phillipp on 33.56 and a German victory was secured in Den Bosch.
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