Hattrick for Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum in Stuttgart

Hattrick for Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum in Stuttgart

If ever the words ‘winner’s luck’ had a meaning, it would be in the Stuttgart lag of the Rolex FEI World Cup™ competition. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and her amazing horse Shutterfly had two big rattles in the first round. The rail of the Mercedes Benz oxer bounced up and down in the cups. But being last to go in a thrilling 17 combinations jump off, Michaels-Beerbaum once more showed her ambition and superb skill. Meredith amazed the crowd with a spectacular race and a well deserved win, leaving Steve Guerdat in second and Alvaro Miranda Neto in third place.

‘MMB’ and her super athlete Shutterfly really left the Hans Martin Schleyer Halle in dust after one of the most sensational jump offs of the year. The holder of the Rolex FEI World Cup™ title didn’t need the 20 points, there was another reason why Michaels-Beerbaum really wanted this one dearly.

“It’s such an honour to win Stuttgart three times in a row”, Meredith said, having just left Shutterfly’s saddle. “I don’t think anyone has ever done that. I watched Steve Guerdat ride in the jump off, everybody knows how difficult it is to beat Steve. He was the only one to successfully do the inside turn to the double combination. All others either avoided the risk or had a fault. So I had to try this as well. My luck is that I have this incredible horse. Shutterfly is 15 years old, but he still going strong.”

Straight after the class, Michaels-Beerbaum didn’t have an explanation for her win. “Steve had a perfect ride, I would have to analyse the video.”

Steve Gerdat himself didn’t need the footage. “The last line, Shutterfly was faster going to the Rolex oxer.”

Guerdat had beaten the time of Rutherford Latham, one of his great competitors in the Western European league. After that he could only stressfully wait for Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum to decide on his fate. “I had beaten Meredith once this year, in Lyon. It’s a bit much to ask to beat her twice!”, Guerdat joked. “I lost it in the last line. My mare doesn’t like to jump coming out of a big stride, so I pulled her up a bit. I just didn’t want to take the risk. But the result is fine by me, we had a super round and I’m very happy to be in the lead of the competition so far.”

Course designer Ulliano Vezzani may not have been happy, having no less than 17 combinations qualified for the jump off. But, in fact, an exciting spectacle enrolled, with riders being tempted to take chances and those who decided to settle for a little bit less. The turn to the double (oxer – vertical), that remained of the triple combination, was the tricky bit. In order to win riders would have to take the inside turn. Those who primarily wanted to stay clear, had to take a detour around another fence.

One of the riders taking chances was Ludger Beerbaum, who had a rail down when Coupe de Coeur stiffened his back at the oxer, coming in at an acute angle, not being able to avoid the last rail.

Alvaro Miranda Neto didn’t want to take the risk aboard AD Picolien Zeldenrust. The Brazilian did a pony race, from start to finish, never minding the extra meters, but showing a great heart galloping to the last fence: 0/37.31 was good enough for third place and 15 valuable WC points.

Rutherford Latham from Spain also thought that WC points were more important than the chance to win the main class of the Stuttgart German Masters. The winner of Oslo took the long route and picked up another 13 points to take second place after Steve Guerdat in the provisional standings.

This MMB victory was madness in the right sense of the word. The sort of ride you don’t advice amateurs to copy at the local show. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum showed the true ability of a champion. She won Stuttgart for the third time and took the 20 WC points. “I didn’t need those, as defending champion I’m already qualified. But I took them anyway!”

Not necessary to ask whether or not Michaels-Beerbaum will try to win another hattrick. She can do that next year in April, if she wins the 2008-2009 version of the Rolex FEI World Cup™.

Results of the Stuttgart Rolex FEI World Cup™ competion:

1) Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), Shutterfly, 0-0/35.26
2) Steve Guerdat (SWI), Jalsica Solier, 0-0/36.43
3) Alvaro Miranda Neto (BRA), AD Picolien Zeldenrust, 0-0/37.31
4) Rutherford Latham (ESP), Guarana Champeix, 0-0/39.34
5) Timothée Anciaume (FRA), Lamm de Fetan, 0-0/39.48
6) Tina Lund (DEN), Carola, 0-0/42.87
7) Geir Gulliksen (NOR), L’Espoir, 0-0/42.95
8) Max Kühner (GER), Acantus GK, 0-0/44.14
9) Janne Friederike Meyer (GER), Cellagon Lambrasco, 0-4/36.17
10) Lars Nieberg (GER), Lucie, 0-4/37.31

Standings of the Rolex FEI World Cup™ competion after four rounds:

1. Steve Guerdat 34
2. Rutherford Latham 33
3. Geir Gulliksen 31
4. Omar Bonomelli 25
5. Daniel Etter 23
6. Ludo Philippaerts 21
7. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum 20
7. Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst 20
7. Gerco Schröder 20
10. Nicolas Delmotte 20
11. Max Kühner 20
12. Thomas Velin 19
13. Leon Thijssen 17
14. Alvaro Miranda Neto 15
14. Ben Maher 15
14. Helena Lundback 15
17. Sören Pedersen 15
18. Michael Whitaker 15
19. Vincent Voorn 14
20. Andreas Knippling 13
20. Maikel van der Vleuten 13

Categories: News, Show Jumping