Leprevost gallops from start to finish in WC opener
26 03 2016
The French dominated the first round of the Longines FEI World Cup Final. The world’s leading lady rider Penelope Leprevost finished on top after an incredible gallop from fence nr 1 until fence nr 13 and world nr one Simon Delestre followed behind as runner-up.
The first clear round in the table C-competition came from France’s Patrice Delaveau and Lacrimoso HDC (Landjunge) – both masters of speed over heights. The two set the target time at 66.96 seconds.
Both German young gun Niklas Krieg and Swiss rider Romain Duguet delivered clear and fast rounds in the Scandinavium, and got company from home hero Henrik von Eckermann – but it was not until Germany’s Daniel Deusser entered the ring that Delaveau’s time was under threat. Aboard his 2014 World Cup Champion Cornet D'Amour (Cornet Obolensky), Deusser produced one of the most classical rounds of the competition to go clear and stop the clock at 66.54 seconds after both opting to go inside to the third last oxer as well as the final Longines oxer.
Five more clears followed, from USA’s Callan Solem, Ireland’s Denis Lynch, Germany’s Marco Kutscher and Marcus Ehning – the latter posting a picture-perfect round on an extremely well jumping Cornado NRW (Cornet Obolensky) and then followed Belgium’s 22-year-old Nicola Philippaerts who slotted into second on H&M Forever D'Arco Ter Linden (Darco) with a time of 66.94 seconds.
Two riders later, Simon Delestre smashed the leading time after a calculated performance on Qlassic Bois Margot (L'Arc de Triomphe) – his team silver medal winning partner at the 2014 World Championships. Going inside to the last, the French rider caught up with Deusser to take over the lead in 66.04 seconds – but was quite lucky as the back pole of the Longines oxer jumped out of the cups but then back in again.
While some riders showed what they were made of, such as Harrie Smolders on Emerald N.O.P. (Diamant De Semilly) - that made it look easy for the Netherlands with a clear in 68.04 seconds – others struggled. It must have been quite a disappointing day seen with American eyes, as only one of their riders went clear and quite a large group ended far down on the leader board after disappointing performances.
For one of the favorites, Christian Ahlmann from Germany, it did not go as planned either. With two down on Colorit (Coriano) the 2011 World Cup Champion finished 25th.
The decision fell in the last part of the competition. Pénélope Leprevost put her plan to ride Vagabond de la Pomme at high speed from start to finish in practice, not opting for all short cuts, but maintaining an incredible speed. "My horse has developed very well lately. He jumps clear most of the times."
If Vagabond will continue to do so until next Monday night, than the number 2 of Las Vegas 2015 will be the number 1 of Gothenburg 2016.