Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet revealed a new star in his string when galloping to victory with the fabulous grey mare, Coree, at the 10th leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2016/2017 Western European League at Leipzig in Germany.
Chasing a super-fast time set by Frenchman Kevin Staut and his Olympic team gold medal winning ride Reveur de Hurtebise HDC, Gregory broke the beam 0.17 seconds quicker to claim maximum points and move up to 10th on the qualification table. Kevin remains the undisputed league leader with a massive 78 points following a consistent season, and looks a serious contender for the Final in Omaha, Nebraska (USA) in March.
There was a lot of exciting young German talent on show, and seven home runners went into the timed round in which 21-year-old Guido Klatte set the pace with a great clear from Qinghai in 44.90 seconds. Compatriot Markus Brinkmann bettered that with 44.47 on Pikeur Dylon but then last year’s surprise winners at this fixture, 23-year-old Niklas Krieg and Carella, who eventually finished third, went flying through the finish in 43.76.
Roger Yves Bost and the Baloubet du Rouet mare, Sydney Une Prince, winners at the previous leg in Mechelen, Belgium, set the crowd alight when finding a new route to the final oxer through a flower display, but a pole down left this French pair out of contention. So, it was Kevin Staut’s brilliant run in 41.94 seconds that Gregory Wathelet was chasing.
“Coree is an amazing horse, but she’s really only at the beginning of her career” said the man who claimed individual silver at the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen and who wasn’t expecting too much of the 11-year-old daughter of the great Cornet Obolensky.
“Sometimes I lose her a little bit when I go fast, but today I had a good feeling because there were a lot of turns and everything came up just right for us. I didn’t see Kevin go, but he’s always fast so I knew I had to take a lot of risk. I’m very lucky to have this mare, I got her three years ago and she was initially for sale but then Judith Goelkel, who has eight horses with me, bought her and we have taken time to bring her along. I was planning to give her a rest, but now we will see if we can go to the Final – that is my first goal for 2017!”
Result: 1, Coree (Gregory Wathelet) BEL 0/0 41.77; 2, Reveur de Hurtebise HDC (Kevin Staut) FRA 0/0 41.94; 3, Carella (Niklas Krieg) GER 0/0 43.76; 4, Casello (Ludger Beerbaum) GER 0/0 44.22; 5, Pikeur Dylon (Markus Brinkmann) Ger 0/0 44.47; 6, Cato (Markus Renzel) GER 0/0 44.76; 7, Qinghai (Guido Klatte) GER 0/0 44.90; 8, Clooney (Martin Fuchs) SUI 0/0 45.37; 9, Chardonnay (Max Kuhner) AUT 0/0 50.76; 10, Espoir (Pieter Devos) BEL 0/4 42.55; 11, Sydney Une Prince (Roger Yves Bost) FRA 0/4 42.69; 12, Mary Lou (Henrik von Ackermann) SWE 0/4 44.02; 13, Chacco’s Son (Maurice Tebbel) GER 0/4 45.83; 14, Chesall Zimequest (Simon Délester) FRA 0/4 56.82; 15, Charleville (Johan-Sebastian Gulliksen) NOR 0/8 42.72; 16, Equita van T Zorgvliet (Daniel Deusser) GER 0/8 43.48.
Standings: Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2016/2017 Western European League
After Round 10 in Leipzig (GER):
- 1. Kevin Staut FRA – 78
- 2. Lorenzo de Luca ITA – 60
- 3. Denis Lynch IRL – 45
- 4. Steve Guerdat SUI – 44
- 5. Romain Duguet SUI – 43
- 6. Marcus Ehning GER – 41
- 7. Ludger Beerbaum – 41
- 8. Henrik von Eckermann SWE – 39
- 9. Martin Fuchs SUI – 38
- 10. Gregory Wathelet BEL – 37
- 11. Scott Brash GBR – 35
- 12. Pieter Devos BEL – 35
- 13. Roger Yves Bost FRA – 34
- 14. Simon Delestre FRA – 34
- 15. Lauren Hough USA – 33
- 16. Guido Klatte Jr GER – 32
- 17. Holger Wulschner GER – 31
- 18. Nicola Philippaerts BEL – 31
- 19. Daniel Deusser GER – 29
- 20. Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo COL- 28
Driving: Boyd Exell dominates Leipzig’s “pop concert”
It was the most exciting battle imaginable at the FEI World Cup Driving leg in Leipzig. In the end, Australia’s Boyd Exell won with two tenths of a second advantage over Swiss driver Jerome Voutaz. Third place went to the popular Dutchman IJsbrand Chardon. All three were clear in the drive-off.
After seven out of eight legs, Boyd and IJsbrand are now together on the top of the World Cup Ranking list with 27 points; Koos des Ronde is just behind them on 25. Because Boyd had a wild card for Leipzig, second-placed Jerome Voutaz, earned a full ten points and is now in fifth place with 20.
“Leipzig is definitely one of my favourite shows,” said Boyd and added, laughing, “even if the result was closer than I wanted it to be.”
He was in third place after the first round, with the fastest time but one ball down in an obstacle, so first to go in the drive-off.
“In that position I only had one chance: to drive clear and put some pressure on the other drivers,” he said. It was his third win in Leipzig after the World Cup finals in 2011 and 2016.
Jerome Voutaz was undeniably happy about being second behind the three-time World Cup winner from Australia. “I have been second in Leipzig behind Boyd last year and I am very happy to be so close to him this year. That alone is not easy. And next year I will try again to beat him!”
IJsbrand Chardon started the competition with bad luck, having big problems with his reins on day one and finishing last. He then had to go first in the first World Cup round on Sunday, where he put on a very fast performance with one ball down, finishing in second spot. “So I had to wait for about 25 minutes until the first round was over and it was my turn in the drive-off. During that time I could only walk my horses and it was not easy to ‘wake them up’ again. I didn’t have such a good feeling in the drive-off as in the first round, but nevertheless I am happy.”
Course designer Dr. Wolfgang Asendorf was especially pleased with competition: “I liked the combination of technical and tempo in the course and what the drivers made out of it. I was absolutely thrilled by the atmosphere during the drive-off. It was like being at a pop concert.”