DUBBELDAM DELIVERS IN VERONA by Louise Parkes
Verona (ITA), 7 November 2010 – The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam broke the German stranglehold on the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series when delivering a sensational victory in Verona, Italy this afternoon. German riders dominated at the first three legs at Oslo (NOR), Helsinki (FIN) and Lyon (FRA) so far this season, but the flying Dutchman set an impossible target when second to go in today’s thrilling 10-horse jump-off and couldn’t be caught despite the best efforts of the world-class field that followed him.
His winning margin was a narrow one however as Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, winner with Checkmate just a week ago in Lyon, came dangerously close to making it a back-to-back double with a superb performance from the 17 year old Shutterfly who was only fractionally slower against the clock. And Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall La Silla finished third in the star-studded line-up. Dubbeldam was crowned Olympic champion in Sydney (AUS) in 2000, Michaels-Beerbaum’s many successes include three Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping titles and, most recently, team Jumping gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA, while Bengtsson took individual silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Also in the top ten today were Carsten-Otto Nagel (4th) who was a member of that German gold medal winning side last month, Ireland’s Billy Twomey (5th) who finished individually 11th in Kentucky, and the man who continues to wear the Rolex armband as No. 1 Rider in the World Rankings, Kevin Staut from France (6th). This truly was a line-up of champions.