Paris, France – April 13, 2018 – Although the second round of the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final fell on Friday the 13th, luck was on Beezie Madden’s side once again as she claimed back-to-back wins with Breitling LS in phase two of the championship.
Thirty-six athletes returned to the AccorHotels Arena to contest over Spain’s Santiago Varela’s first round course, which saw nine finish fault-free over the 14-obstacle serpentine. The time-allowed also proved to be a challenging factor in the first round as six fell short of qualifying for the jump-off with 1 time fault.
France’s own Kevin Staut and Haras des Coudrettes’ Silver Deux De Virton H D C were the early double-clear pathfinders of the jump-off, leading the way in 36.87 seconds. However, just two rounds later, the Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders and Emerald, owned by Axel Verlooy and Eurohorse BVBA, galloped around the short course to take over the lead by three seconds in 33.44 seconds.
Madden (USA), Thursday’s big winner during the first phase of competition, was last to go in the jump-off with Abigail Wexner’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Quintero–Armonia, Acord II). Despite the pressure of returning on Friday as the championship’s current leaders, the pair kept their cool and confidently completed all seven efforts to blaze through the timers in 33.22 seconds and steal the win from Smolders, who finished in second.
Henrik von Eckermann (SWE), who finished third in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in 2017, rounded out Friday’s top three with Toveks Mary Lou, owned by GT Elite Scandinavia AB. They jumped double-clear and finished the jump-off in 33.92 seconds.
The champion of the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final will be crowned on Sunday, April 15, following the third and final round of the competition, which will begin at 2 p.m. (8 a.m. EST). At the conclusion of Friday’s second round, points were awarded to athletes based on their finishes throughout the first two rounds, which were then converted into penalties that will be carried into Sunday’s final round. The third phase has two rounds, with the top 30 athletes returning for the first round. The 20 best-placed athletes following round one will move on to the second round and the athlete with the lowest number of penalties after all three competitions will determine the overall winner.
At the end of Friday’s second round, the overall standings remain with Madden in first place with 76 points and zero penalties. However, Eckermann is not far behind in second place with 68 points and 4 penalties. The USA’s Devin Ryan holds on to his third place position overall from phase one with 63 points and 6 penalties. To see the full list of the overall standings after phase two, click here.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Beezie Madden – Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final II winner
On winning the second round of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final:
“I am so happy it’s gone this well so far. I’m taking it in stride. I thought I had a shot to do well when I brought him here and so far he has gone beyond expectations. Hopefully he can hang on through Sunday!”
On Breitling LS’ performances on Friday:
“My horse feels amazing and he’s made my job easy. If it looks easy, it’s probably to his credit because every time I call on him he does exactly what I want. He’s careful, he’s clever and I couldn’t ask for more. He’s always been a good horse by nature — super temperament even though he’s a stallion. He’s figured out his front end and that’s been key for him. He’s always been careful and scopey.”
On being four points ahead after Friday’s second round:
“It’s always nice to have a rail in hand, but we’re really only halfway through. We’ve done two rounds and a jump-off and we might do that again on Sunday so a lot can change. I just hope my horse stays in good form and I stay in good form and keep jumping clear rounds.”
Harrie Smolders – Second place
On Emerald’s performances on Friday:
“Emerald jumped fantastic today. He was very feisty, but he has a lot of fighting spirit. On the other hand, I must say I don’t like to lose but if I have to lose and Beezie beats me then kudos to her because that was in great style and it was a great class.”
Henrik von Eckermann – Third place
On his jump-off round:
“I’m really happy with my horse. I didn’t ride so great through the jump-off. I was a bit over careful but [Toveks Mary Lou] jumped both rounds absolutely fantastic.”
Santiago Varela – Course designer (Spain)
On having nine combinations in the jump-off:
“In terms of sport, it was good and the horses have all jumped well. They all have to jump two more rounds so I keep that in mind when I build the course.”
On not changing the tight time-allowed:
“As a strategy for riders, it’s better to maybe have one time penalty than have one [rail] down. But really, to be in the championship you need to be in the jump-off and to be in the jump-off you need to take the risk and time-allowed is part of the sport. This is the time that we measured and we kept the time that we measured.”
Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final II:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Breitling LS / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 / 0 / 33.22
2. Emerald / Harrie Smolders / NED / Axel Verlooy and Eurohorse BVBA / 0 / 0 / 33.44
3. Toveks Mary Lou / Henrik von Eckermann / SWE / GT Elite Scandinavia AB / 0 / 0 / 33.92
4. H&M Legend of Love / Olivier Philippaerts / BEL / Ludo Philippaerts/ 0 / 0 / 35.19
5. Silver Deux De Virton H D C / Kevin Staut / FRA / Haras des Coudrettes / 0 / 0 / 36.87
6. Luebbo / Jamie Barge / USA / Kylie Co. / 0 / 0 / 37.02
7. HH Azur / McLain Ward / USA /Double H Farm and François Jr. Mathy/ 0 / 4 / 32.74
8. Zacramento / Douglas Lindelöw / SWE / Hakansson Häst AB / 0 / 4 / 32.85
9. Chesall Zimequest / Simon Delestre / FRA / Benoit Zimmermann et M.S.H. SA / 0 / 4 / 35.57
10. Eddie Blue / Devin Ryan / USA / LL Show Jumpers, LLC / 1 / 75.09
11. Admara / Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo / COL / S.A.S. Haras des Grillons / 1 / 75.42
12. Chactino / Ibrahim Hani Bisharat / JOR / Saeed Mohammad Ghazi Hussein Al Abo / 1 / 76.29