The tenth leg of the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League qualifying series was held in Bordeaux, France. Weishaupt’s win this evening brought the German tally of wins in the series this season to a sensational six. Course designer, Uliano Vezzani, created a course that set the riders thinking, and many of them walked the track several times to ensure they understood the questions he would ask of them.
The line from the triple bar at fence five to the double at fence six was placed against one of the long-sides of the arena, and the distance between the two fences proved influential as many who opted for a five-stride pattern here struggled to get airborne quickly enough in front of the first oxer-element of the double. The next bogey on the track was the triple combination which also claimed a large number of scalps as the opening vertical was followed by a double of oxers with a long two strides between them. Out of the 39 riders in today’s Rolex FEI World Cup 12 advanced to the jump-off, and the course was reduced to eight jumps including a combination – with tight turns and a long gallop to the last fence. An interesting fact is that five of the horses in the jump-off were stallions.
Rene Lopez and Nobless de Tess were first to go and put the pressure on the other riders with a clear round and a time of 36.28; they were fast and did not give anything away. In the end it was good enough for eight place. German rider Philipp Weishaupt and the wonderful 13 year old stallion Catoki (Cambridge x Silvester) were second to go, and with a breathtaking turn to the third fence – a black and white oxer – and a quick gallop to the last; they set the standard on 34.05.
Finnish rider Mikael Forsten played it easy with a clear and steady round on 42.58 aboard Evli Nadele. The fabulous Sergio Alvares Moya and Wisconsin rode a great round on 36.09 to slot into second place- eventually good enough for seventh. Marco Kutscher and the Clinton-stallion Cornet Obolensky were fast, but could not catch their stable jockey Philipp Weishaupt with their time of 37.28. Billy Twomey continued his fabulous form on the stallion J’Taime Flamenco (by Flamenco de Semilly) – doing his best to catch Philipp. It was not enough though on 34.88.
Lars Nieberg and Lord Louis rode a steady and controlled round on 37.30. Much to the home crowds delight the speedy Simon Delestre rode an amazing ride aboard his Baloubet du Rouet-gelding Napoli du Ry. Their time was 34.79, which was good enough for second place – a popular achievement. Top Swedish rider Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and the Guidam-gelding Ninja la Silla were clear and grabbed third place on 34.80, securing even more world cup points on their way to the final in Leipzig.
Pius Schwizer and Ulysse were back in form at 35.29 and fifth place, while Doda and Drossel Dan had the combination down to finish at eight faults. Ludger Beerbaum and Chaman – another Baloubet du Rouet offspring –finished on 35.52 despite taking the same turn to the oxer at nr. three as his stable jockey Weishaupt.
Weishaupt has been Beerbaum's stable-rider for the last eight years and has learned a great deal of what he knows from his boss, but he said after the competition that he didn't have time to discuss jump-off strategy with Beerbaum because he himself was going so early in the second round. "I knew I had to take a risk if I wanted to win and that the turn wouldn't be easy, but I told myself - don't think too much - just do it!” Weishaupt said afterwards. "I knew I wouldn't be fast enough if I went around the other fence before jumping the third - I had to risk something because there were so many others coming after me and I really wanted those 20 World Cup points!" he added. He talked about the challenge of competing a stallion that spends so much of his time at Beerbaum's breeding station. "It's not so easy. Catoki had a lot of mares last year and he is already producing some very good young horses. He has only done four shows in the last four months, this is his first show this year and before that we did London, but I'm planning to take him to Vigo next week" he pointed out. "It's going to be difficult to have him ready for Leipzig, because this year the final is very late - right in the middle of the breeding season - its not so good for me but I can understand that Catoki must do his job".
Runner-up Delestre said he tried to take the same short-cut as Weishaupt but that his horse is a bit spooky so he decided not to take the risk. "But I'm very satisfied because I needed points and I'm almost sure to be in the final now!" he said. Bengtsson explained that he couldn't make the turn because his horse wasn't turning so well. "And I was worried about galloping the last line because I had a problem with that in London and I wanted to be sure of a good placing instead" he pointed out.
The Swedish rider has no concerns about points because he is lying second on the Western European League leaderboard which is still headed by World No. 1 Kevin Staut from France while another great performance from the on-form Twomey today has promoted the Irishman to third ahead of Germany's Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum in fourth.
For full results from the world cup, click here .
Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2010/2011 Western European League - Standings After Round 10 at Bordeaux, France:
1. Kevin Staut, 87 points
2. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, 73 points
3. Billy Twomey, 63 points
4. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, 62 points
5. Rodrigo Pessoa, 56 points
6. Sergio Alvarez Moya, 50 points
7. Christian Ahlmann, 46 points
8. Philipp Weishaupt, 44 points.
9. Harrie Smolders, 43 points.
10. Ludger Beerbaum, 42 points.
11. Simon Delestre, 41points.
12. Marcus Ehning, 40 points.
13. Michael Whitaker, 35 points.
14. Lars Nieberg, 34 points.
15. Marco Kutscher, 34 points.
16. Carsten-Otto Nagel, 33 points.
17. Pilar Cordon, 31 points.
18. Jessica Kuerten, 30 points.
19. Luciana Diniz, 30 points.
20. Malin Baryard-Johnsson, 29 points.
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