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The first round of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2022 in images, part one

Thursday, 07 April 2022
Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2022

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2022 kicked off in Leipzig, Germany, on Thursday and it was Switzerland's Martin Fuchs and Chaplin that topped the first competition after delivering a fast clear over the tricky 1.60m course. 

A total of 35 horse-and-rider combinations from 19 countries had lined up for the first round of the final, jumped as a Table C competition, where three seconds were added per fault made. As second last to go, it was Fuchs and the 15-year-old stallion that snatched the win from Austria’s Max Kühner and Elektric Blue P.

Here a look back at the all action as the quest for the 2022 World Cup™-title finally got underway. 

All photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Team USA had eight riders taking part in Thursday's first round of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, which meant Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland was kept busy throughout the class. 

We would love to know what fence or distance that gave Conor Swail this expression when walking the course. In the end, Swail – currently ranked 5th in the world – delivered a fantastic clear round with Count Me In to end third.

"It was an ok round, a little bit too much on the hot side maybe," Sweden's Jens Fredricson said after his ride on Markan Cosmopolit which resulted in a 7th place. "Sometimes when I have him in a better balance, we can be smoother and faster." 

Lithuania's Andrius Petrovas showed his support to Ukraine, and delivered a fantastic round where only the last fence fell.

Finland's Noora Forsten and Con Caya had one rail down, the plank at fence nr. 12 that caught many out. 

"My plan was to do a normal, nice round, not to do anything crazy," Norway's Geir Gulliksen commented after delivering the first clear of the class. "I think it was a nice, smooth round, it worked out how I planned it. I just try to jump as good as I can, my horse feels good, I try to save his energy. He tries hard, and he can jump it all when his energy is right." 

"My ride was ok, I had three verticals down which of course is a bit disappointing, but my horse feels good," USA's Katie Dinan said after her round on Brego R'N'B. "We don’t have that much experience indoors together, as we come from Florida. I hope for a better result tomorrow.” 

Marcus Ehning's Calanda was really not sure about the Longines trophy. 

USA's Mclain Ward and Contagious ended fifth after a pole down midway added three seconds to their time, which would have been the fastest of the day in 64.94 seconds. 

"I think it was a good course, it was not crazy big but quite delicate, not many clear rounds," Harrie Smolders said after having a rail on 9a. "Monaco is feeling in super shape, he likes the atmosphere in the ring and I am looking forward to the next few days. We will need to have a super day tomorrow and on Sunday to stay in contention for the podium."

"This was probably as much as I could do, but I was too slow," Jack Whitaker said after finishing 18th on Equine America Valmy de la Lande after a clear round. "I am very happy with the way he jumped, he jumped amazing, he is just not the fastest horse in the world." 

At 66-years-old, Great Britain's John Whitaker is doing his 22nd World Cup™ Final and should not really need to wear an accreditation...

"Apart from having a jump down, it went perfect," John Whitaker said after his round on Equine America Unick du Francport, which saw an unlucky pole fall in the triple combination. "I planned to go around in 67-68 seconds and I thought it was a bit too risky to try and really go and win it. I just tried to get a good place today, play a bit safe. If I would have been clear, it would have been perfect. I did what I wanted to do, strides and turns, he was jumping really good, he did not deserve to knock one down." 

Germany's David Will was full of praise for  C Vier after a brilliant round that saw the pair end up fourth, being the best German combination. 

Egypt's Abdelrahman Shousha and Check Quick's journey at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2022 ended after two refusals, here on the last fence of the course. 

All smiles for USA's Hunter Holloway after a super round on Pepita Con Spita, where only the back rail on the triple bar fell to the ground. The pair finished 8th.

Germany's Christian Kukuk was disappointed with his own riding, even though Checker jumped a beautiful clear round. 

"We have a great relationship going," Ireland's Conor Swail said about his horse Count Me In after the pair finished third in round one at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2022.

"I am really happy, it is our first World Cup™ Final," Gerrit Nieberg said after ending 6th with Ben. "Everything was pretty much as we planned, the one mistake was mine, I think I got a bit too close and that was the reason for the mistake, but for the rest I am really happy. It is a really special atmosphere here and an honor to be a part of a World Cup™ Final, my goal is to be in the top ten by the end of it." 

"This is the first big indoor event like this for this horse, so I am really happy with how he went today," Kristen Vanderveen said about Bull Run's Prince of Peace after having three rails down. "I really liked the course, I think it was really fair, there were some good options if you wanted to really try and win the class but also plenty of options to take a more conservative road so it was nice." 

Uzbekistan's Bekzod Kurbanov and King Cornet L were not really working in the same direction today, ending the class as no. 33. 

Switzerland's Steve Guerdat – the defending champion from 2019 – did not have the best day at the office with Victorio Des Frotards, and ended 25th.

Team Fuchs could celebrate yet another great success; here Chaplin's owner Luigi Baleri. 

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