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Ups and downs at the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Paris

Saturday, 14 April 2018
Longines FEI World Cup Final Paris 2018

One thing is for sure: Nothing can be predicted in the sport of jumping, and at the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Paris this has been no exception. After a disappointing opening round with Zinius, world no. two Harrie Smolders bounced back yesterday to finish 2nd with the amazing Emerald after two clear rounds climbing up the overall standings to sit 7th ahead of Sunday. All photos (c) Jenny Abrahamsson. 

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Breitling LS and Beezie Madden have impressed so far, winning both on Thursday and Friday. Here they make their turn to the double of uprights in yesterday's jump-off.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Alison Robitaille gives Ace a hug after clearing the fences in yesterday's round, only notching up a single time penalty - which also was the case for five other riders.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
After finishing 2nd on Thursday, hopes were high for 2014 World Cup Champions Daniel Deusser and Cornet d'Amour. But, it did not go according to plan as the 15-year-old gelding had a mistake on the upright at 5a that forced his rider to pull up before the next jump.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Former World Cup Champion Steve Guerdat also came in trouble when Bianca jumped through the plank at the b-element at the triple combination and almost unseated her rider at the next upright. At their second attempt, everything was back to normal.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Carlos Lopez's Admara was sky-high behind yesterday, which caused quite a few questions on the press conference after the class. FEI's John Roche answered: "A decision has been taken by the FEI to get rid of hind boots, for ever, that enhance performance. It is over a period of time, and there is a reason for that. It's got to do with qualification systems for the Olympic Games and whatever, and so that we have created a situation where all riders compete under fair and equal conditions. But having seen the horse participate this evening, one could definitely consider that this was totally exaggerated and it is for sure something we will take up with this particular rider."

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Denis Lynch was eliminated after the class, according to the FEI due to the so-called blood rule.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Henrik von Eckermann had good reason to be happy with Toveks Mary Lou that was double clear and 3rd, bringing her rider to sit 2nd on the overall standings.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
After a rather disappointing start to the final, Kevin Staut changed horses and bounced back to end 5th on Silver Deux de Virton HDC.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
These two really impressed: Jamie Barge jumped a double clear round on the lovely Luebbo to finish 6th. The American rider now sits 14th overall.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Few horses can match this one: HH Azur yet again jumped incredible with McLain Ward in the saddle, but unfortunately hit the top pole of the upright coming into the combination in the jump-off to finish 7th with the fastest time of the class. The reigning champions now sit 4th overall.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Oliver Philippaerts and the lovely H&M Legend of Love have had a great start to the finals, and sit 4th on the overall standing after jumping double clear yesterday finishing 4th after a quick and clever jump-off.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
It was a big surprise to see Marcus Ehning and Cornado NRW have three poles down yesterday after finishing 4th the first day, dropping down to sit 15th overall ahead of Sunday together with Daniel Deusser.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
One hand only! Simon Delestre had to use his whip a couple of times to motivate Chesall Zimequest, that sometimes can be a bit shy in the ring. It all worked out though, and the couple finished with a clear in the first round but rolled off the front pole on the last oxer in the jump-off.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
It's not often Bosty has a time fault, but this happened yesterday! The French rider is the best for the hosts overall, sitting 10th ahead of Sunday.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Urmas Raag has his own style with quite long reins when on Ibelle van de Grote Haart, that has a long and low neck, but impressed yet again yesterday when recording only a time fault.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
These two have been absolutely amazing: Beezie Madden is an incredible horse-woman and rider, a joy to watch in the ring and has made it look so easy aboard Breitling LS!

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