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Explosive Comme Il Faut gives Ehning the competitive edge to win Longines FEI World Cup of Madrid

Sunday, 27 November 2016
CSI5*-W Madrid Horse Week 2016

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping. Marcus Ehning and Comme Il Faut won the Longines FEI World Cup of Madrid. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

The sixth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup series in the Western European League took place in Madrid on Sunday afternoon, and the start field of 40 riders included five from the top ten on the world ranking. 

The course was designed by Spain’s own Javier Trenor, with 12 fences, 15 efforts and the time allowed set to 68 seconds. In the narrow ring, the time allowed turned out to cause a bit of a headache for the riders. As to the elements in the track, the triple combination set as fence number seven saw many faults – the delicate white pole placed as the top rail on the vertical coming out fell frequently. Qatar's Ali Khalid Al Thani was among the unluckiest ones today: He rode a great round on his 11-year-old gelding First Devision, but had to see a pole fall on the very last fence. 

As the second rider in the ring, Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) on the 10-year-old mare Mary Lou 194 (Montendro x Portland L) rode a clear round and soon got company from more as Tobias Meyer (GER) on the 14-year-old mare Cathleen (Cordobes x Ramiro's Son), Gregory Wathelet on the 10-year-old mare Coree (Cornet Obolensky x Liberty Life) and Ludger Beerbaum on the 13-year-old gelding Casello (Casall x Carolus) also joined in for the jump-off.

In the end also Kevin Staut (FRA) on the 11-year-old gelding Aran (Manhattan x Colino), Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) on the 12-year-old gelding Ensor de Litrange Lxii (Nabab de Reve x Mr Blue), Marcus Ehning (GER) on the 11-year-old stallion Comme Il Faut (Cornet Obolensky x Ramiro) and Scott Brash (GBR) on the 10-year-old mare Hello M'Lady (Indoctro x Baloubet du Rouet) rode clear rounds. When the second last rider in the first round, Denis Lynch (IRL) on the 13-year-old All Star 5 (Argentinus x Alme), also went clear it was set to be a jump-off of nine riders. 

The jump-off turned out to be full of surprises, and in the end only five riders managed to repeat their clear rounds. German legend Ludger Beerbaum rode a safe looking clear, and set the time to beat to 47,91 seconds which eventually was good enough for fourth place. Beerbaum’s time was quickly beaten by the next rider in the ring, as Kevin Staut on Aran went around the track in 43,98 seconds to take over the lead.

It was not to last though. Marcus Ehning on the explosive Comme Il Faut rode an unbelievably fast round, and clocked the winning time of 43,56 seconds - his turn away from the second last fence was one that only he could master resulting in the third big Grand Prix win for the season for this formidable pair. 

"I am very happy with my horse", the Ehning said after the class. "I saw half of Kevin's round, but I know my horse and he is very fast – so going into the jump-off I knew I had a chance.”

Pushing Staut down to second with his precise performance, it was Scott Brash that was the third rider on the podium aboard Hello M'Lady. Brash took his first World Cup points of the season, and was very pleased saying: "I am delighted with the result and with the first points. My horse has had a long break so I am delighted to have her back jumping well at this level."


Text and picture © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

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