It was a day of speed, accuracy and luck in the in the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg during the first phase of the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals. The 13-fence course designed by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela left little room for error as riders and their charges raced the clock in their journey to victory. It was the current world ranking number one show jumper, Steve Guerdat, who bested the field after day one.
Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and Alamo, the black 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Patricio Pasquel Quintana rode to the top of the leaderboard as the third-last to go out of the field of 33 starters with 61.28 seconds. Guerdat, the 2012 Olympic champion and FEI Jumping World Cup champion (2015 in Las Vegas and 2016 in Gothenburg), bested Belgium’s Pieter Devos time of 61.31 seconds sending Devo and Apart, the 14-year-old chestnut KWPN gelding owned by Devos Stables, to a second place position. Fellow Belgian Olivier Philippaerts and H&M Legend of Love, the striking 13-year-old grey DSP owned by Team Philippaerts settle for third with a time of 61.43 seconds.
“I’m very happy, he (Alamo) jumped well. I had a fast round without taking too much out of the horse. I know that this horse does not go as fast as my other horses, but I know he is quite quick, “said Guerdat. “I just tried to stay focused on my plan and what I wanted to do. I didn’t think too much about what the others (riders) were doing.”
Defending World Cup champions, U.S. Olympic veteran Beezie Madden and her 13-year-old stallion Breitling LS, were making efficient work of the course when an unlucky rail dropped at the very last fence. The unfortunate rail added three seconds to their fast and efficient time of 60.74 seconds. The duo now sits in tenth place heading into Friday’s competition.
The action began with a dramatic dismount for Guerdat’s good friend and Swiss team-mate Beat Mandli who attempted a very difficult turn inside the first fence on the approach to the planks at fence 11. His 11-year-old mare Dsarie just couldn’t make it and stopped, resulting in an elimination.
“We can expect a lot of places to move around, it always changes a lot on the second day,” said Guerdat. “I think a mistake is much more important tomorrow than today. Everything looks good today, but everything can look much different tomorrow!”.
This is Guerdat’s 13th Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals appearance.
Friday’s Start Order https://results.hippodata.de/2019/1638/docs/s08.pdf
Standings after Competition 1 here https://results.hippodata.de/2019/1638/docs/jwcf_got_2019_-_standings_after_wcf_i.pdf