THE WORLD-CHAMPIONSHIP SILVER MEDALLIST MARTIN FUCHS GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs won the Longines FEI World Cup show jumping stage presented by GL events on Sunday afternoon in Lyon.

Riding his grey Clooney, the twenty-six-year-old recorded one of the greatest wins in his career. Both the horse and rider confirmed their continuing good form, less than two months after winning the silver medal at the show-jumping world championships in Tryon, North Carolina, USA.

The class began with a first round involving forty of the best couples in the world of show jumping. The course was designed by the French course designer Grégory Bodo, and provided for an interesting blend of sport, suspense and entertainment. The course comprised 14 obstacles with 17 jumping efforts, and had to be completed in 75 seconds. This time limit was decisive in the first leg. Several couples saw their hopes dashed, such as the French champion Penelope Leprévost on Vancouver de Lanlore and the British rider Robert Whitaker on Catwalk, who were penalised for exceeding the limit by just one second.

In total, ten couples managed to complete this technical course (with obstacles close to 1.60m) in the time imparted: four French, two Swiss, one Belgian, one Italian, one Dutch and one Swedish rider. This was enough to set up a great final for the spectators in Lyon, who turned out in numbers. Having led for a long time with a time of 37’78, the Italian rider Lorenzo De Luca saw victory snatched away at the death by another star of the discipline, the young Swiss rider Martin Fuchs. On Clooney, he took tight corners and did a great run down the final straight to finish the jump-off in 37’25. “Clooney once again proved that he is one of the best horses on the international scene. We have worked a lot together. We have become more efficient and faster in the jump-offs. Lorenzo De Luca’s managed a really fast round already. We had to turn even tighter to try and take the lead,” he said. They duly rose to the challenge. His compatriot Steve Guerdat, who was very quick on his faithful Bianca, could not do any better, and recorded a time of 37’89. He finished in third place, just ahead of the Dutch rider Maikel Van der Vleuten on Dana Blue (38’00) and the Kevin Staut, the best-ranked French rider in the class, on For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC (38’32). “I am very happy with my horse’s performance. Unfortunately, I lost a little time at the end of the jumpoff, otherwise I could have hoped for a better ranking,” said the Frenchman.

The five top-ranked riders in this class were all within a second of each other, highlighting how closely fought the jump-off was. Out of the four French representatives in the jump-off, it is also worth noting the fine performance of Guillaume Foutrier, who finished seventh in his first Longines FEI World Cup show jumping class with Valdocco des Caps. Nicolas Deseuzes (from the Rhône Alpes) finished ninth on Quilane de Lezeaux, just ahead of Olivier Robert (from Gironde) on Tempo de Paban.

Rankings:

1. Clooney & Martin Fuchs (SUI) 0/0 37.25 sec
2. Ensor de Litrange LXII Lorenzo De Luca (ITA) 0/0 37.78 sec
3. Bianca & Steve Guerdat (SUI) 0/0 37.89 sec
4. Dana Blue & Maikel Van der Vleuten (NED) 0/0 38.00 sec
5. For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC & Kevin Staut (FRA) 0/0 38.32 sec 6. Apart & Pieter Devos
(BEL) 0/0 38.72 sec
7. Valdocco des Caps & Guillaume Foutrier (FRA) 0/0 41.87 sec 8. Ida van de Bisschop &
Irma Karlsson (SWE) 0/4 39.85 sec
9. Quilane de Lezeaux & Nicolas Deseuzes (FRA) 0/8 40.79 sec 10.Tempo de Paban &
Olivier Robert (FRA) 0/RT