ROLEX FEI WORLD CUPTM JUMPING 2009/2010
Lyon (FRA), 1 November 2009
MANDLI MAKES IT THREE FOR SWITZERLAND
In another afternoon of Swiss magic, Beat Mandli made it three-in-a-row for the European gold medal winning nation when galloping to victory in the third leg of the 2009/2010 Rolex FEI World CupTM Jumping series at Lyon in France.
Riding the relatively novice nine year old gelding Louis, who has been stepped up this season due to the absence of some of his other top rides, Mandli came into the 11-horse jump-off with all guns blazing and set them a blistering target that could not be bettered. The result moves him into fifth place on the Rolex FEI World CupTM Jumping leaderboard which continues to be headed by fellow-countryman Daniel Etter who won the first two legs at Oslo and Helsinki. The popular Dutch duo of Albert Zoer and Oki Doki slotted into second place today while Ben Maher and Wonderboy took third for Great Britain ahead of World No. 1 Marcus Ehning from Germany partnering his 2006 Rolex FEI World CupTM ride, Sandro Boy, in fourth.
PLENTY OF EXCITEMENT
Frank Rothenberger's 13-fence track produced plenty of excitement, and the time-allowed of 74 seconds accounted for three big names including the reigning Olympic champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead. The Canadian rider was full of confidence after winning last night's Equita Masters at the French venue which has won widespread praise from riders and spectators alike. But Hickstead was hot to handle today and although Lamaze brought him home without dislodging any timber, his battle for control cost him dearly as a single time fault kept him out of the jump-off along with the home side's Julien Epaillard (Latina du Pitray) and Patrice Deleveau (Katchina Mail) who suffered precisely the same fate.
The difficulties were spread all around the course but it was the double at fence nine that accounted for the biggest number of victims. Following the oxer at fence eight which was jumped off a corner, it came up on a bad stride for many of those who could not maintain a rhythm. "It was a long four strides to two really big verticals" Mandli said afterwards. "Quite a few horses hit it when going on four so I put five in there and it worked out well for me" he added. The triple combination at fence six, oxer to vertical to oxer, also hit the floor consistently as did, surprisingly, the oxer at fence two which was the first of two mistakes from Etter and Peu a Peu who failed to make the cut into the jump-off this time around.
Despite the best efforts of the home runners only one of the 11 French starters made it through to the deciding round and that was pathfinder Olivier Desutter with his Cruising mare Aranka. This horse and rider combination earned their place in Lyon after winning the French National Championship at Fontainebleau last month and, in their very first indoor show together, and on their Rolex FEI World CupTM Jumping debut, they proved more than equal to the task when producing the very first clear round of today's competition. Cool as a breeze the nine year old mare and her 44 year old rider once again kept a clean sheet to set the target in 42.89 seconds. But their lead didn't last very long.
Next to go was Mandli who shattered that target with a scorching run in which he took all the risks - and they paid off. Asked afterwards if he had almost been unseated at the second-last where he landed in a driving, forward seat before galloping down to the final vertical he said "no, I was just putting on my left leg to make sure we got the turn quickly!" and as he screeched through the finish in 39.31 seconds it was clear that this was going to take some beating.
A great attempt by Belgium's Patrick McEntee and Ever Mury Marais Z was hampered by a nasty stumble on landing over the second-last but Great Britain's Ben Maher and the big, handsome grey Wonderboy came close when breaking the beam in 39.86 seconds to temporarily slot into second place. Zoer and Oki Doki were even closer to the target-time when next to go however, the 13 year old gelding right back to the top of his form and looking like he was enjoying every minute of the race against the clock.
GOOD AS THEY GET
And that proved as good as they could get - Daniel Deusser (Aboyeur) lowering two, Ehning following with a copybook clear in 40.26 seconds to secure fourth spot and Harrie Smolders also clear but more than a second further off the pace to slot into fifth. Mandli had an uneasy moment however when Australia's Edwina Alexander set off on a cracking round with her little gelding Isovlas Itot du Chateau who effortlessly beat his time when through the finish in 39.06 seconds but who had to settle for eighth when leaving a fence on the floor. The final two, Germany's Marco Kutcher with Cornet Obolensky and Ludger Beerbaum with Gotha also faulted once to finish down the order but Beerbaum's eight year old mare is still only learning her trade and looks brimming with promise.
"I'm delighted with Louis, he just keeps getting better and better" Mandli said. "He was good at Munster where he was third in the Grand Prix and in Ascona where we finished ninth and in Hannover where he was sixth". Asked if he had thought he was fast enough to win in the jump-off he said "No, you can't think that when you've so many top riders coming after you but I tried to make it as difficult as possible for them!". And now that he has placed himself firmly on the leaderboard does he plan to go to more of the qualifying rounds? "I don't know because I wasn't selected for any over the next few weeks - I'm definitely going to Zurich - maybe I might get into Stuttgart, we will see" he answered.
It seems then that he will not compete in the next leg of the 2009/2010 Rolex FEI World CupTM Jumping series which takes place in Verona, Italy next Sunday afternoon. However the 40 year old Swiss rider who finished third in Las Vegas in 2000 and third again in Kuala Lumpur in 2006 before winning with Ideo du Thot in Las Vegas in 2007 looks set to be a big threat again this season.
Switzerland's Beat Mandli and Louis, winners of the third leg of the Rolex FEI World CupTM Jumping series at Lyon today pictured with Magali Dubois-Vaucher of Rolex - Kit Houghton.
RESULT: 1, Louis (Beat Mandli) Sui 0/0 39.31; 2, Oki Doki (Albert Zoer) Ned 0/0 39.36; 3, Wonderboy (Ben Maher) GBr 0/0 39.86; 4, Sandro Boy (Marcus Ehning) Ger 0/0 40.26; 5, Exquis Oliver Q (Harrie Smolders) Ned 0/0 41.39; 6, Ever Mury Marais Z (Patrick McEntee) Bel 0/0 41.84; 7, Aranka (Olivier Desutter) Fra 0/0 42.89; 8, Isovlas Itot du Chateau (Edwina Alexander) Aus 0/4 39.06; 9, Cornet Obolensky (Marco Kutscher) Ger 0/4 41.83; 10, Gotha (Ludger Beerbaum) Ger 0/4 44.12; 11, Aboyeur W (Daniel Deusser) Ger 0/8 39.85; 12, Latina du Pitray (Julien Epaillard) Fra 1/74.70; 13, Katchina Mail (Patrice Deleveau) Fra 1/74.79; 14, Hickstead (Eric Lamaze) Can 1/75.09; 15, Melodie Ardente (Simon Delestre) Fra 4/68.80; 16, Mylord Carthago HN (Penelope Leprevost) Fra 4/68.61. Full Results at www.scg-nl.nl
Rolex FEI World CupTM Jumping 2009/2010 - STANDINGS after Round 3 at Lyon:
1. Daniel Etter (Sui) - 40
2. Marco Kutscher (Ger) - 33
3. Patrice Deleveau (Fra) - 29
4. Eric Van der Vleuten (Ned) - 24
5. Beat Mandli (Sui) - 21
6. Marcus Ehning (Ger) - 18
7. Daniel Deusser (Ger) - 18
8 Philipp Weishaupt (Ger) - 18
9. Albert Zoer (Ned), Pius Schwizer (Sui) - 17
11. Ben Maher (GBR) - 15
12. Natale Chiaudani (Ita) - 15
13. Luciana Diniz (Por) - 14
14. Svante Johansson (Swe) - 13
15. Leopold Van Asten (Ned) - 13
16. Harrie Smolders (Ned) - 12
17. Jessica Kuerten (Irl), Patrick McEntee (Bel) - 11
19. Olivier Desutter (Fra) - 10
20. Edwina Alexander (Aus) - 9
Facts and Figures:
40 starters, 11 into jump-off
The double of verticals at fence 9 was the bogey of the day, the first element fell six times in round one and the second element fell three times.
The oxer at fence two also proved problematic, hitting the ground five times during the first round.
The winning horse, Louis ridden by Switzerland's Beat Mandli, is a nine year old Oldenburg gelding by Lord Pezi owned by Paul Bucheler.
The youngest horse in today's competition was the 8 year old Gotha, by Goldfever and ridden by Germany's Ludger Beerbaum. This partnership finished in 10th place.
The oldest horse in today's competition was the 16 year old stallion Sandro Boy ridden by Germany's Marcus Ehning. They finished in fourth position.
Three riders finished with just a single time penalty in the first round.
Nine riders completed with four faults in the first round.
There were two retirements in round one - Roger-Yves Bost of France with Ideal de la Loge and Italy's Gianni Govoni and Joyau d'Opal.
Ben Maher (GBR) who finished third with Wonderboy - "I brought Wonderboy here because Robin Hood is having a break. I'm really pleased with how he went because it was a big test for him. I got him from an amateur rider but he is very fast and very effective at this level".
Albert Zoer (Ned) who finished second with Oki Doki, talking about the jump-off - "I don't think I could have gone any faster, although maybe I got a little close to the first fence and Oki had to jump too high and we wasted a bit of time".
CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR WESTERN EUROPEAN LEAGUE: 1, Oslo (Norway) 9-11 October; 2, Helsinki (Finland) 15-18 October; 3, Lyon (FRA) 28 Oct-1 November; 4, Verona (Italy) 5-8 November; 5, Stuttgart (Germany) 15-21 November; 6, London-Olympia (Great Britain) 15-21 December; 7, Mechelen (Belgium) 26-30 December; 8, Leipzig (Germany) 21-24 January; 9, Zurich (SUI) 28-31 January; 10, Bordeaux (France) 5-7 February; 11, Vigo (Spain) 11-14 February; 12, Gothenburg (Sweden) 25-28 February; 13, s'Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands) 25-28 March; FINAL - Geneva (Switzerland) 14-18 April.
Broadcast Schedule can be downloaded from www.feiworldcup.org
Photo Catalogue - Photographs of winning riders in high/low resolution can be downloaded from FEI Photo Calalogue at www.fei.org>Media>Photo Catalogue - no reproution fee ut photographer must be credited (name appears under picture). Usage strictly for editorial purposes.
Media Guide - 2009/2010 Media Guide filled with useful facts, figures, statistics and contact details can be downloaded from www.feiworldcup.org - click on Jumping then Media. Hard copy available from FEI Communications - Email email@example.com.
FEI World CupTM Jumping has entered its 32nd season. The series, created in 1978, today comprises 14 leagues on all continents. The best riders from 121 preliminary competitions will qualify for the final in Geneva, Switzerland which takes place from 14-18 April 2008.
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