There were two big competitions in the European zones for the World Cup: dressage in Denmark, and jumping in Finland.
Switzerland’s Romain Duguet and the brilliant mare Quorida de Treho won the World Cup Western European League leg at Helsinki in Finland for the second year in a row today. In another heavyweight jump-off against the clock, the 36-year-old rider came with a late run to snatch victory from Mathieu Billot and Shiva d’Amaury from France, while third spot went to Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Comanche.
The result sees Duguet share equal-fourth place on the League table with Italy’s Alberto Zorzi who won last weekend’s opening round of the 13-leg series at Oslo in Norway. Heading the table is Belgium’s Pieter Devos who finished fourth with Dream of India Greenfield today.
The small ice-hockey arena in Helsinki is a challenge for competitors and course designer alike but, not even Rio 2016 Olympics designer Guilherme Jorge could keep the numbers in check, as 15 of the 36 starters found the key to his twisting first-round track.
Fourth in the jump-off, Mathieu Billot set the target with a super round in 32.70 seconds and stayed out in front until Romain and Quorida de Treho set off with just three left to go. “Mathieu is a really fast rider so I knew I had to take a risk to beat him!” Romain said after taking a super-sharp turn to the second fence and launching himself at the last to break the beam in the winning time of 30.96.
He wasn’t completely surprised at his repeat victory on a horse with such a big stride and extravagant jump. “Yes the arena here is tight, but Quorida is fast across the ground and really reactive – she’s full of quality.
“I have been riding her since she was seven years old and she’s 12 now and has always been in my stables, so we are a team.The best thing about her is that she always tries her hardest on the big days!
“After Lyon I plan to compete in Madrid and Geneva and then we will give her a break, and also everyone in the stables will have a break for a few weeks. Only if I really need points will I go to London and Mechelen. The plan is to qualify Quorida for the World Cup Final in Omaha and then to concentrate on my nine-year-old mare, TwentyTwo des Bisches.”
Romain now heads for the third leg of the series at Lyon, France next Sunday.
Result: 1, Quorida de Treho (Romain Duguet) SUI 0/0 30.96; 2, Shiva d’Amaury (Mathieu Billot) FRA 0/0 32.70; 3, Comanche (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum) GER 0/0 32.78; 4, Dream of India Greenfield (Pieter Devos) BEL 0/0 32.92; 5. Bianca (Steve Guerdat) SUI 0/0 33.67; 6, SIEC Carsten (Marco Kutscher) GER 0/0 34.00; 7, Cas de Liberte (Niels Bruynseels) BEL 0/4 31.87; 8, Market Irminka (Shane Breen) IRL 0/4 32.26; 8, VDL Groep Arera C (Maikel van der Vleuten) NED 0/4 32.26; 10, Aran (Kevin Staut) FRA 0/4 32.76; 11, Babylotte (Yuri Mansur) BRA 0/4 33.13; 12, Quenelle du Py (Olivier Robert) FRA 0/4 33.71; 13, Antonio (Gianni Govoni) ITA 0/4 34.42; 14, Lord Chambertin (Philipp Weishaupt) GER 0/8 35.27; 15, VDL Groep Beauty (Leopold van Asten) NED 0/8 35.86.
The sensational Spanish partnership of Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez and the 10-year-old gelding Lorenzo were convincing winners of today’s first leg of the World Cup Dressage Western European League at Odense in Denmark. Throwing down a score of 82.060 they pinned Sweden’s seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven into runner-up spot with Paridon Magi, while another of the strong Swedish contingent, Rose Mathisen, steered Zuidenwind into third.
“Lorenzo is coming back after his holidays,” said Severo, who made a huge impact when finishing fifth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with the horse who only competed in his first international Grand Prix last February. “At the moment he may not be as sharp as he was earlier in the season but he is coming along nicely. He coped very well with the atmosphere and he enjoyed the applause of the crowd!”
He was the favourite to win after topping yesterday’s Grand Prix in which Rose Mathisen was runner-up, and turned on a dispaly of showmanship that set the performance alight. “I think a freestyle somehow should reflect the personality of the rider, and I very much like guitar music, so Santana was an easy choice for me,” he said.
Severo took the lead with just four left to go, and Rose followed him into the ring to post 76.705 with her 12-year-old stallion. “This was not only Zuidenwind’s first World Cup but also his first international indoor Grand Prix so I am very happy with him,” said the 57-year-old rider who was born in Norway but now competes for Sweden.
However, she was immediately overtaken for runner-up spot by fellow-Swede Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven who posted 79.555 with Paridon Magi. “He was really super and got his best score ever today. I was a tiny bit behind the music but caught up,” Tinne said.
The second leg of the Western European League qualifying series will take place next week, in Lyon, France.
Result: 1, Lorenzo (Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez) ESP 82.060; 2, Paridon Magi (Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven) SWE 79.555; 3, Zuidenwind (Rose Mathisen) SWE 76.705; 4, Du Soleil (Kristy Oakley) AUS 76.705; 5, Jimmie Choo Seq (Mads Hendeliowitz) SWE 75.740; 6, Radetzky (Marjan van Der Jagt) NED 74.375; 7, Meggle’s Boston (Hendrik Lochthowe) GER 73.505; 8, Rustique (Mai Tofte Olesen) DEN 73.365; 9, Fuerstano (Juliane Brunkhorst) GER 72.585; 10, Daintree 3 (Kathleen Keller) GER 71.835; 11, Ratzinger (Marlies van Baalen) NED 71.050; 12, Aston Martin (Helene Melsen) DEN 70.690; 13, Ramoneur 6 (Tanya Seymour) RSA 70.270; 14, Sirikit (Carina Nevermann Torup) DEN 68.290; 15, Heselgaards Rismon (Hasse Hoffmann) DEN 66.825.