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Thrills and spills from day one of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2023

Thursday, 06 April 2023
Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2023

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2023 kicked off at the CHI Health Centre in Omaha, USA, on Wednesday evening. With 40 horse-and-rider-combinations from 19 nations at start, the Portuguese course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral's 1.60m track was perfectly suited for the varying starting field on day one of competition; tricky enough to separate the best from the rest without causing too much trouble. 

With this photo special, we look back at the thrills and spills from day one in Omaha. First out, Daniel Deusser's Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z and Sean Lynch. 

All photos © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Brazil's Yuri Mansur and Vitiki jumped clear, being extremely lucky on the penultimate oxer, where Vitiki jumped so much to the left that he caught the flag with him.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Germany's Richard Vogel and the impressive United Touch S placed 13rd in the first round.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Smooth operators: Harrie Smolders and the consistent Monaco N.O.P. posted another picture perfect round on Wednesday, sitting seventh on the overnight standings ahead of Thursday's second round.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "My horse is a little inexperienced at this level," Aaron Vale said of the 11-year-old Prescott. "He’s probably jumped maybe 10 classes at 1.60m. We put in a really fast round, it was unfortunate to have one down." With his quick time, Vale placed 10th – even with an added three seconds for the rail.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Placing fourth on day one, Pius Schwizer and Vancouver de Lanlore are left carrying the Swiss hopes after their compatriots did not have the best start to week in Omaha.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Erynn Ballard has only had Hero for two months, but she still thought he would be the perfect choice for the first part of the final – and she was right as the two posted a clear round. For the rest of the final, Erynn will opt for her second horse, Gakhir.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Scott Brash and Hello Jefferson jumped a great round, only losing their balance slightly after the double at fence eleven – not getting a perfect turn to the penultimate oxer. Nevertheless, only Sweden's Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward managed to beat their time of 59.23.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Germany's Gerrit Nieberg and Blues d'Avelin did not have the best day at the office.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. “We were just coming off a big grass field. He has a big, open stride, so it’s totally different coming inside," Nicholas Dello Joio said after having two fences down with Cornet's Cambridge.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. The bended line from a double at fence number ten to another double at fence number eleven proved to be one of the trickiest parts of the course, with the distance measuring 18,80 meters. This oxer at 11a caused a lot of faults – Wilma Hellström and Cicci BJN made light work out of it though.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. The FEI has stepped up with their graphics...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Jur Vrieling and Fiumicino van de Kalevallei did everything right, but still a tiny part of the wall at fence number two fell to the floor, which added three seconds to their time.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. The happiest man in Omaha? Denmark's Andreas Schou was over the moon with Darc de Lux that jumped a brilliant round – stopping the clock on 60.53 and taking the sixth place.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Edouard Schmitz and Gamin van't Naastveldhof ran into trouble at fence number eight, the first possibility to take an inside turn.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. The audience hasn't made it to the arena yet, but hopefully it will fill up for the rest of the final. Here Great Britain's Harry Charles who was disappointed with himself after having an unlucky pole down with Balou du Reventon after he lost his stirrup ahead of fence number nine.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. France's Julien Epaillard and his homebred Donatello d'Auge had two down in Wednesday's first round. However, the 10-year-old is still green on this level and probably gained invaluable experience from the steady round.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "I think Bernardo is a great course designer and really sets hard tracks but versatile for every type of horse," USA's Hunter Holloway said after Wednesday's first round. "It makes all of the riders all ride, and the cream rises to the top, so to speak."

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "I thought she jumped beautiful, and I thought the round was exactly what we planned," Mclain Ward said about Callas. "In hindsight, I would have liked to have done one less step from one to two. The seven was really slow for me. It’s her first championships with me, and I erred a little bit on the conservative side to not take all the risks."

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. He's so good that he can do it with his eyes closed. Germany's Daniel Deusser and Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z looked in great form as the competition kicked off on Wednesday.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Team Nurjon Tuyakbaev were super happy with their rider only having one down in Wednesday's first round.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Martin Fuchs came to Omaha as title defender, but had to see two poles on the floor on the tricky bended line from the double at fence ten to another double at fence eleven.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. As the second last pair out, France's Kevin Staut and Visconti du Telman clocked the third quickest time of the night but with a pole down, they had to see three seconds added, leaving them to 14th place.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. A man on a mission: Last out, Sweden's Henrik von Eckermann knew exactly what he had to do to get the job done...

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. ...leaving a stride out in front of the triple at fence six and rattling the fences nine and ten, Henrik and King Edward's daring round was an exciting end to the first night of competition in Omaha.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. "I am very happy now; it was a good start," von Eckermann said afterwards. "For sure it was an advantage to watch a little bit and see – you have to know how much risk you really have to take, to not go too crazy when it is not necessary and I got my plan done."

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Madelen Isaksson, Cicci BJN and Wilma Hellström were very happy after their fifth place finish on Wednesday.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Vancouver de Lanlore and Pius Schwizer, a match made in heaven?

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Louise Barraud and King Edward after another successful night at the office.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Never not paying attention: Scott Brash's curious Hello Jefferson with his groom David Honnet.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. “When I was here in 2017, I had just started on my own, so to be third in 2017 was unbelievable for me and an amazing experience," von Eckermann said about his feelings on returning to Omaha for another World Cup Final. "Of course, I always want to become better, so I am trying my best and we have to see what happens.”

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Still smiling... but it will only get bigger from here on! The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2023 continues on Thursday with a Table A class set at 1.50m-1.60m with a jump-off.

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