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Steve Guerdat steals the win in the Longines FEI World Cup in Gothenburg

Sunday, 01 March 2015
Longines FEI World Cup Western European League 2014/2015

Steve Guerdat and Albfuehren's Paille over the last fence in the jump-off. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Steve Guerdat and Albfuehren's Paille over the last fence in the jump-off. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Steve Guerdat made sure it was a Swiss win instead of a Swedish in the Longines FEI World Cup in Gothenburg, when he snatched the win ahead of home hero Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on Sunday afternoon. In front of a sold-out Scandinavium – that as always brought on an amazing atmosphere – Guerdat sealed the deal on Albfuehren's Paille (Kannan) also taking the overall win in the Western European League with his top result.

It was a big track that waited for the forty riders in the class, and faults spread out everywhere – but the last fence – an oxer – caught out quite a few, and also rattled properly for others. In the end thirteen riders went clear and moved on to the jump-off. Eight fences and nine jumps with plenty of roll-back turns waited for those fighting for the win, and also a long stretch to the final fence.

The talented home rider Douglas Lindelöw opened the jump-off on Casello (Casall x Carolus I), but unfortunately had one down. Nevertheless it was enough to qualify him for the final in Las Vegas. Judy-Ann Melchior went on to produce a clear jump-off on As Cold as Ice Z (Artos Z x Carthago Z), eventually a round good enough for fifth place. Pius Schwizer and Gerco Schröder both had one rail down each – and then it was time for the champion.

Steve Guerdat entered the ring, and when he crossed the finish line clear on a fantastic jumping Paille – after a great turn after the third fence – the clock showed 43.13 and the Swedish crowds cheered him on as he was their own as he took over the lead.

The temperature rose as Rolf entered the ring on Casall Ask (Caretino x Lavall I), and although he tried his best he could not keep up with Steve and slotted into second with a time of 43.49. The atmosphere was not disturbed though and the roof lifted in Scandinavium.

Marco Kutscher had an unlucky turn after the third fence as Cornet's Cristallo (Cornet Obolensky x Pilot) stumbled and lost time – slotting into third with a time of 43.89 seconds. Jur Vrieling went for a medium fast round and ended fourth on VDL Zirocco Blue N.O.P (Mr. Blue x Voltaire) well over a second behind the winner, while Henrik von Eckermann (Cento x Cash) later took the sixth place with Cantinero after a steady clear round – the last of the day. Maikel van der Vleuten, Edwina Tops-Alexander and Kevin Staut all had to see rails fall – Kevin being the fastest and ending up seventh.

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