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WoSJ Exclusive; Our top ten favorites for the World Championship title

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Beerbaum, Ludger (GER): Ranked as number two in the world it is not possible to leave the ‘maestro’ of showjumping out. Although his WEG-partner Chiara’s results have been somewhat up and down during the summer season, there have been some undoubtable highlights such as the couple’s double clear round in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in Rome, and more recently their third place in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Valkenswaard. This is a pair that has a record of rising to the occasion; they were Vice-Champions at the World Cup Final in Lyon in April and last year they took European team silver in Herning, as well as finishing sixth individually. Ludger has no less than four Olympic gold medals, as well as five medals from the World Championships not to forget his fourteen medals from the European Championship. The record speaks for itself.

Keyword(s) for success: Beerbaum

***


Bengtsson, Rolf-Göran (SWE): The Swedish rider has had a season full with ups and downs, opening it by winning the five star Grand Prix in Basel before he was forced to take a break due to an injury from the middle of January until the middle of March. When he finally came back, it was stronger than ever before. On his partner for the Alltech World Equestrian Games – Casall Ask – Rolf ended second in the Longines Global Champions Tour in Antwerp in April, as well as being second in the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo in June before the pair went on to win the Grand Prix in Chantilly in July. Rolf is also a true championship rider, he was European Champion in 2011 on Ninja La Silla. Casall Ask was on the bronze medal winning team at the European Championships last year and also ended fourth individually, and has the experience needed going into the World Championships. The pair is definitely one to watch as the competitions starts in Normandy.

Keyword(s) for success: Perfect partnership

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Brash, Scott (GBR): The world's number one rider and the world's number one horse – Hello Sanctos – are of course considered as one of the hottest medal candidates at the World Championships. They come with a very recent and big win under their belt, as they only two weeks before it kicks off in Normandy won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in London. The pair also won the Global Tour Grand Prix in Estoril and Cannes earlier this summer. And the couple has plenty of championship experience, as they were on the gold winning medal team both at the Olympics in London and at the Europeans in Herning last year where Scott also won the individual bronze. Brash is known as the 'Ice Man', and does not seem to be affected by any kind of pressure – and together with the amazing Hello Sanctos he might be just the one to end as World Champion.

Keyword(s) for success: World nr. one x 2

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Deusser, Daniel (GER): World Cup Champions Daniel Deusser and Cornet d’Amour are definitely a pair of the calibre that could end up going all the way into the top four final, fighting for the medals. Cornet d’Amour’s summer season has been quite quiet, he was started up again in St. Tropez following his World Cup success and has been jumped at only a few very well selected events. Towards the end of June Daniel ended second with him in the Grand Prix in Rotterdam, in early July they were placed in the Grand Prix in Paris before they went on to be fourth in the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen. The couple were fifth individually at the Europeans last year, and claimed team silver. This pair will be one to watch as the battle commences in Normandy.

Keyword(s) for success: Versatility

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Devos, Pieter (BEL): Dream of India Greenfield will be Devos' partner in Normandy, and together the couple have been extremely consistent this season. The pair won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in June, had only a single time penalty over the two rounds of the Mercedes Benz Nations Cup in Aachen in July – which Belgium won, and was double clear in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at Hickstead in August. Their final preparation for the Games was the three star show in Ommen in the middle of August, where Peter jumped two small classes on the 11 year old gelding.

Keyword(s) for success: Stability

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Ehning, Marcus (GER): Marcus Ehning is currently ranked as the fourth best rider in the world, and his partner in Normandy – Cornado NRW – is ranked as the second best horse. The two have had a very good outdoor season, with the grey stallion jumping very consistent throughout the summer. Cornado’s last show was in London in the middle of August where he was clear in both classes he jumped. Earlier this year, Marcus and Cornado NRW won the prestigious Hermès Grand Prix in Paris and ended fourth in the Longines FEI World Cup Final. The fantastic German rider has Olympic team gold from the Sydney Games, team gold from the WEG in Kentucky 2010, two team gold's from the Europeans in 1999 and 2003 – not to forget that he has won the World Cup Final three times.

Keyword(s) for success: Perfectionism

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Guerdat, Steve (SUI): The Olympic Champion will partner up with his medallist horse from London, Nino des Buissonnets. After showing various form this summer season, the super-couple – who also has been vice-champions at the World Cup Finals in 2012 and 2013 – came back with a bang in Münster in the beginning of August, winning the four star Grand Prix proving that their form is spot on ahead of travelling to Normandy. And just to warn everybody; Nino's warm-up for Normandy looks pretty much the same as it did for London in 2012 – with the difference being this final win that must have given the pair just that perfect confidence going to Normandy. And, as for a top four final we are quite sure that Steve has an upper hand with the feisty Nino that will be a proper challenge for the other riders.

Keyword(s) for success: Swiss timing

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Madden, Elizabeth (USA): Beezie did not have the best build-up to the World Championships, as she in May broke her collar bone and had to undergo surgery. The American rider hit back hard though; she made her competition come-back in the middle of July, and not long after she went on to win both the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup and the Longines King George V Gold Cup on Cortes ‘C’ that is the horse that she will partner up with for the World Equestrian Games. Beezie has enormous championship experience; she has two Olympic team gold medals from 2004 and 2008, she was individual and team silver medallist at the World Equestrian Games in 2006 and she was crowned World Cup Champion in 2013.

Keyword(s) for success: Girlpower

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Mohammed, Bassem Hassan (QAT): Bassem Hassan Mohammed has written some serious showjumping history this year for Qatar, and will for sure be motivated to continue to do so in Normandy with some excellent results from this summer season up his sleeve. With the horse that will be his partner at the Games – Primeval Dejavu – Bassem has had some great results this year, starting their summer tour with ending fourth in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Antwerp and then continuing to impress with some great clear rounds throughout the summer. Bassem is a fighter in the ring, and the Grand Prix winner from Monaco will for sure be ready to battle it out in Normandy.

Keyword(s) for success: Fighting spirit

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Schröder, Gerco (NED): Gerco and Glock’s London N.O.P. have been long-time contributors to Dutch showjumping success, and were silver medallists at the Olympic Games in London – both individually and for the team. This summer, they have been in great form and opened their outdoor season by being third in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Madrid. The two were double clear in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in Rotterdam, and only had a tiny time penalty in the Nations Cup in Aachen – and the 12 year old stallion’s shows have been selected carefully this season. Their last show was in Ommen in the middle of August, where London jumped one 1.45 and one 1.50 class as his final preparation for the Games. In addition Gerco will for sure also be keen to do well for his owners Katrin and Gaston Glock, who stepped in and saved London for Gerco during the Eurocommerce-auction earlier this year.

Keyword(s) for success: Glock Präzission

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