FLAWLESS LE JEUNE CLAIMS THE JUMPING WORLD CROWN by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 9 October – Belgium’s Philippe Le Jeune won the thrilling Rolex Final Four to claim the Jumping World title at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA tonight. The 50 year old rider was not the favourite going into the competition. He would have to see off the efforts of the reigning individual Olympic gold medallist Eric Lamaze from Canada, former World and Olympic champion Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil and the exciting new talent of Abdullah Al Sharbatly from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who, despite his relative inexperience, scooped silver tonight ahead of Lamaze who took bronze.
But in the end the quiet horsemanship skills of a man whose life is totally devoted to his horses won the day. It has been said that the best thing you can do on a strange horse is as little as possible, and his ability to allow four of the greatest jumpers in the world to do what they do best, with minimal interference, clinched the supreme accolade. “I had no difficult moments with any of them,” he said afterwards reflecting on the rides on his rival’s mounts – “I decided to go their way and not to try and make them go my way, and it paid off.”