It’s Christmas Time for Italian Emanuele Gaudiano and Admara

Italian Emanuele Gaudiano and his Admara were unbeatable in FEI World Cup Grand Prix in Olympia, London

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The Christmas show at the Grand Hall in Olympia is always something special, and the seventh leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015/2016 Western European League more than lived up to expectations when Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano produced a sensational victory at the London (GBR) venue on Sunday 20th December. In a 17-way jump-off, the 29-year-old rider and his plucky 10-year-old gelding KWPN Admara simply blew the rest away with a fearless gallop when eleventh to go against the clock. A top-class list of home contenders were obliged to line up behind him, with Ben Maher coming closest to take runner-up spot with Diva ll ahead of Michael Whitaker and Viking in third, world no 1 Scott Brash and Hello M’Lady in fourth and Guy Williams and Titus in fifth place.
A total of 36 horse-and-rider combinations from 14 nations took part, 15 of the top 30 riders in the Longines world rankings were in action.
Bernardo Costa Cabral set them a 13-fence track that Brash described as “twisty and turny”.
“When Emanuele is clear it’s impossible to beat him” said runner-up Ben Maher. “He’s known as a very fast rider, but next year he’s better off in Italy than here because he’s spoiled our party here today!” the British rider added with a grin. “It was difficult course in a tight ring and I couldn’t have done any more with my horse today, she did everything for me”, Maher added.
Today’s result has rocketed Gaudiano from 42nd spot on the Western European League leaderboard all the way up to 13th, and well within a shot of a place at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next March. So the Italian rider said today that he will hope to pick up some more points at the ninth leg of the series in Leipzig, Germany in January. There were some other significant moves on the leaderboard also, with Maher moving up from 51st place to 23rd while Michael Whitaker picked up his first points of the season to go into 33rd position.
There are four remaining legs of the Western European League, and the next will take place in Mechelen, Belgium on 30 December with Germany’s Christian Ahlmann still holding pole position ahead of French riders Simon Delestre and Penelope Leprevost.
1 Admara - Emanuele Gaudiano ITA 0/0 36.20;
2 Diva ll - Ben Maher - GBR 0/0 37.15;
3 Viking - Michael Whitaker GBR 0/0 37.28;
4 Hello M’Lady - Scott Brash GBR 0/0 37.49;
5 Titus - Guy Williams GBR 0/0 37.74;
6 Super Sox - Cian O’Connor IRL 0/0 38.51;
7 Cornet Kalua - Max Kuhner -AUT 0/0 39.68;
8 Caccorina - Marco Kutscher - GER 0/0 40.64;
9 Comme Il Faut - Marcus Ehning - GER 0/4 37.09;
10 Corbinian - Steve Guerdat - SUI 0/4 38.40;