Geneva (SUI), 18 April 2010 – Germany’s Marcus Ehning will celebrate his 36th birthday tomorrow as the newly-crowned 2010 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping champion. In the Palexpo arena in Geneva, Switzerland this afternoon he kept the coolest head despite an early mistake and won through when those ahead of him faltered. This was his third time to take the prestigious Rolex title and he said, “It’s really unbelievable – I thought I was too far behind going into the last round but this is how it works out – I am so happy!”
Germany dominated the winner’s podium when Ludger Beerbaum produced one of just four double-clear performances in today’s competition to finish joint-runner-up with Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer. And the thrilling class highlighted some great characters and new arrivals, but shattered the dream of America’s Mario Deslauriers who it seemed was about to re-take the title he first claimed 26 years ago in Gothenburg, only to see it slip from his grasp in the fading moments.
Course designer Rolf Ludi presented two more classic tests, but only seven of the 29 starters got it right in the first round and when Deslauriers and his brilliant nine year old Dutch gelding Urico were amongst them it further bolstered their position at the top of the leaderboard after the first two legs. The flimsy planks at fence four, the vertical following a tight left-hand bend at seven and the water-tray oxer at fence 10, ridden on a three-stride distance from the previous 1.60m FEI vertical, proved the bogeys here but when Ehning’s Plot Blue clipped the very last – a wall with beautifully-carved Swiss cows decorating the top of it – then it seemed his chances were scuppered. With only four points separating the top four riders going into the final day every mistake was critical, but third-placed Schwizer lowered the bogey planks while fourth-placed Patrice Deleveau of France kicked out the oxer at fence two, so Ehning only slipped one place to third at the end of the opening round of jumping.
Edwina Alexander is writing a diary for HorsesintheSouth.com as she prepares for the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Geneva from 14-18 April 2010. Here is Edwina’s first entry.
Could you describe a typical training day?
I normally wake up at 7.00am and I am in the stables by 8.00am ready to ride the horses. Every day is a little bit different but on average I ride between 6 to 8 horses each day, and I will keep riding until 1.00pm. I’ll start riding again between 2.00pm-4.00pm. I then spend some time in the office in the afternoon catching up with emails, organising travel arrangements for upcoming shows, sending videos to clients. I feel more relaxed if I know exactly what’s going on!
How have you been keeping busy since your Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series win in Vigo?
I kept Socrates (Cevo Socrates) and Itot (Cevo Itot Du Château) busy in the lead up to Gothenburg, where they both jumped well. Since Gothenburg they have both had a break from showing which has included one easy day during the week, some hacking in the woods, dressage and a bit of a lunge in the afternoon. I have been to Australia since Gothenburg but they have both been kept active with some small jumps work.
Isabell Werth is writing a diary for HorsesintheSouth.com as she prepares for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games from 25 September-10 October. Here is Isabell’s first entry.
Could you describe a typical training day?
Since my son Frederik’s birth last year the day now starts with him! I then start with the horses at around 9.00am and I can ride about seven horses per day. The rest of the day is now usually based around the stable business and Frederik.
How many horses do you have at the moment?
At the moment we have around about 40 horses under the saddle, so my whole team is very busy!
Kihikihi (NZL), 1 April 2010 – The action in the 2010 HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing moves ‘down under’ where a determined Megan Jones (AUS) will be travelling back to New Zealand to defend her title at the Mitavite International Horse Trials at Kihikihi this weekend (2-4 April).
Jones was one of the most successful HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing riders in 2009, winning the Sydney (AUS) leg as well, and led the standings leaderboard for most of last year. If she can replicate that form, she will have as much chance as any of winning the lion’s share of the US$180,000 on offer to the top 15 riders in the series, which comes to a climax at Schenefeld (GER) in August after 12 CIC***-W events in 10 countries across three continents.
Jones is bringing the same horse as last time, her talented little home-bred grey Kirby Hall Irish Jester, on which she won a team silver medal and finished 4th individually at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong.
FEI TV – Re-live the excitement of today’s competition and enjoy highlights, interviews and archive footage at www.feitv.org.
BENGTSSON BAGS THE HONOURS IN THE LAST QUALIFIER AT ‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH
‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) 28 March 2010 – Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson scorched to victory in the last qualifying leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands today when pipping Ireland’s Jessica Kuerten by the smallest of margins. In a thrilling 16-horse jump-off that kept spectators rooted to their seats it was Kuerten who seemed to have set an impossibly fast target for the rest when eighth to go against the clock. But the coolest of cool Swedes cruised home to shave one-tenth of a second off her time when last to go with his 11 year old stallion Casall la Silla.