Victory for Marcus Ehning in Stuttgart

Victory for Marcus Ehning in Stuttgart

Germany´s Marcus Ehning won the fourth leg of the FEI World Cup Jumping 2005/2006 series in front of an ecstatic home audience of 8,700 spectators in Stuttgart today.

German runners were dominant, with Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum slotting into second spot ahead of Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst in third, but Holland´s Gerco Schroder further extended his considerable lead at the head of the Western European league table when finishing in the top twelve.

Stuttgart attracted a world-class field of 40 to the FEI World Cup Jumping competition and spectators were spoiled for choice during the spectacular five-day fixture which staged competitions in five separate FEI disciplines including eventing, vaulting, driving and dressage along with jumping.

America´s Conrad Homfeld, Olympian and winner of the World Cup finals at Baltimore in 1980 and Berlin in 1985, was course designer for the Las Vegas Finals in 2003, and 15 riders found all the answers to the questions he posed for them in the first round today, guaranteeing a thrilling jump-off against the clock.

Switzerland´s Beat Mandli and Ideo de Thot were first into the timed round, staying clear in 40.26 seconds, but reigning FEI World Cup Jumping champion Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum shaved more than two full seconds off that when steering Checkmate home in 37.98 to set a truly tough target for the rest.

Jos Lansink´s big grey, Cavalor Cumano, was foot-perfect but well off the pace when crossing the line for the Belgian rider in 43.79 while Gerco Schroder´s Eurocommerce Monaco clipped a pole for four faults in 40.29 seconds. Frenchman Jean-Marc Nicolas was a little cautious when clear in 41.15 seconds with JPC Modesto Equifoam but Franke Sloothaak and the eight year old Aquino meant business when returning a time of 39.76 seconds but leaving one on the floor for four faults.

Ehning and Gitania however produced a breath-taking performance when seventh to go. Michaels-Beerbaum´s time looked just about as good as you could get but Ehning, currently World No. 1 rider, was not intimidated as he set off with the horse with whom he claimed European team gold in San Patrignano this summer. From Sudlohne in Germany, the 31 year old rider has a formidable record including team gold at the Sydney Olympic Games and two further European titles. He was also FEI World Cup champion in 2003 and finished third at the Final in Las Vegas last April, and he was right on song today.

Gitania responded to his every call and when they broke the beam in 37.67 seconds they really put it up to the remaining eight riders who, despite their best efforts, simply could not match them for speed.

Holland´s Jeroen Dubbeldam (BMC Nassau) and Germany´s Toni Hassmann
(Meurer´s Le Patron) each had a fence down while European silver medalist Christina Liebherr from Switzerland picked up nine faults with LB No Mercy after a strange slip-up on the flat and a subsequent fence on the floor.

Results (20.11.05)
Class 11 – Grand Prix 238.2.2
FEI World Cup Jumping

1. Gitania / Ehning, Marcus GER / 0/0 / 37.67
2. Checkmate / Michaels-Beerbaum, Meredith GER / 0/0 / 37.98
3. Candy / Pollmann-Schweckhorst, Alois GER/ 0/0 / 38.37
4. Kalusha / Smith, Robert GBR / 0/0 /38.65
5. Loreana / Nieberg, Lars GER / 0/0 / 38.71
6. Ideo du Thot / Mändli, Beat SUI / 0/0 /40.26
7. JPC Modesto Equifoam / Nicolas, Jean-Marc FRA / 0/0 /41.15
8. E.T. Royal Volo / Hansen, Tony Andre NOR / 0/0 / 41.59
9. Cavalor Cumano / Lansink, Jos BEL / 0/0 /43.79
10. Meurer´s Le Patron / Hassmann, Toni GER / 0/4 / 38.87

Source: FEI

Categories: News, Show Jumping