World Cup trio: Steve Guerdat, Harrie Smolders, Daniel Deusser
Steve Guerdat doubles and wins the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final for the second year.
Olympic champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, won the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final for the second year in Gothenburg (SWE) last Monday 28th March.
The 33-year-old rider produced two faultless rounds with the 10-year-old gelding Corbinian. It was the perfect end to a great event for the Swiss champion.
The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders took the second place riding his stallion Emerald with very good two rounds, while Germany’s Daniel Deusser, winner of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Final in 2014 with Cornet d’Amour, riding the grey stallion stood on the third step of the podium and joined Smolders in hoisting Guerdat and the trophy into the air in celebration.
Guerdat’s biggest wins have come with three different horses – Nino des Buissonnets at London 2012, the mare Albufuehrens Paille in Las Vegas last year, and now his latest champion Corbinian.
26 horse-and-rider combinations lined out for Monday’s third and deciding competition at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2016 at the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Olympic individual gold medallist and defending Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion, Steve Guerdat, was holding the lead going into the final day on a zero score with Corbinian, and claimed the title with a double-clear performance today. His horse, Corbinian, is a 10-year-old gelding.
Course designer Santiago Varela from Spain presented them with a 13-fence test in the first round in which the double of oxer to vertical at fence nine with water-trays beneath each element proved the bogey fence.
9 horse-and-rider combinations jumped clear in the first round.
8 horse-and-rider combinations jumped clear in the second round.
Steve Guerdat’s victory bring the number of Swiss wins in the 38-year history of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series to four.
The first track was enormous but jumped really well, the double at fence nine proving the bogey with its water trays under each element. Austria’s Max Kuhner produced the first clear with the fabulous nine-year-old grey, Chardonnay and next to leave all the timber intact was Dutch star Maikel van der Vleuten with VDL Groep Verdi.
Germany’s Christian Ahlmann with Taloubet and Ireland’s Denis Lynch with All Star kept their scorelines at eight points apiece when also foot-perfect and that began to put the pressure on the remaining 10 of the 26 starters. Germany’s Marco Kutscher and Chaccorina were fault free to hold on a six-point tally and Penelope Leprevost from France did likewise with Vagabond de la Pomme to remain on five, but Philippaerts dropped out of contention with two fences down.
Both Smolders’ stallion, Emerald NOP, and Deusser’s gelding Cornet d’Amour with which he won the 2014 title in Lyon France, breezed in without incident but Ehning would pay a high price for a single error at the second element of the bogey double at nine. So when Guerdat added nothing to his scoreline Smolders and Deusser were still stalking him closely.
The second track was another colossal test but this Final has produced spectacular sport and continued to highlight extraordinary horses and super-talented riders. In the end it was a case of whether the three at the top end of the leaderboard would crack, but none of them did, Smolders throwing down yet another jumping exhibition with Emerald before Deusser followed suit with Cornet d’Amour.
Guerdat rode back into the ring for the last time knowing that, although he could afford a few time faults, a falling pole would put paid to his chances, leaving the Dutchman and the German battling it out for the title in a third-round jump-off. The Swiss rider finished with a zero score! It was their time in the second round that separated Smolders and Deusser, the Dutchman’s quicker trip giving him the edge.
Smolders was delighted with the performance of his stallion, Emerald and really enjoyed the whole experience of the 2016 Final. “I was very thrilled because this was his (Emerald’s) first championship and he convinced me in every way this week. He’s a very attractive horse and he loves the atmosphere here. I must say it was great sport and super exposure of how our sport should be, the audience, the course designing, everything was very good publicity for our sport. Also to have this kind of money from Longines is just as it should be.”
1 Steve Guerdat SUI 0;
2 Harrie Smolders
3 Daniel Deusser
4 Marcus Ehning GER
5 Denis Lynch IRL
6 Christian Ahlmann
7 Callan Solem USA
8 Penelope Leprevost FRA
9 Simon Delestre FRA
10 Chris Chugg AUS