Guerdat Gallops Into World Cup Lead, Defending Champion Madden In 10th

Credit : Liz Clegg

Thursday 04 April - 22h15 | Lulu Kyriacou/ FEI Press release

Guerdat Gallops Into World Cup Lead, Defending Champion Madden In 10th

Already a multiple winner of the Longines FEI World Cup Final, it was no suprise to anyone watching the first round of the 2019 contest in the Scandinavium Arena, Gothenburg, Sweden, that Steve Guerdat has taken an early lead after the first against the clock round.  Defending champion, America's Beezie Madden is tenth but because of the scoring system is only fractions behind the leaders.

Third last to go over Santiago Varela's course, the Swiss rider knew what he had to do when he entered the ring and managed to make clipping a few hundreths of a second off the leading time (at that point held by Belgium's Pieter Devos riding Apart) look relatively easy.  But after two previous wins  as well as a couple of podium places, Guerdat knows there is along way to go before he  clinches a third victory.

Defending champions, America’s Beezie Madden (55) and her 13-year-old stallion Breitling LS, had just dropped the very last fence, so with three seconds added to their super-fast time of 60.74 seconds would have to settle for tenth spot at the end of the day. But Guerdat cut a completely clean path to break the timers in 61.28 seconds for the win, squeezing Devos and his gelding, Apart, out of pole position by just three-hundredths of a seconds.

Guerdat said after his round, "I'm very happy, Alamo really jumped well. I'm not so used to going fast with him, but I knew he was fast on the ground. I did not really want to know which plan my competitors adopted, I focused on my plan and it worked quite well. I was tempted to take the option before the hoist but I saw the course of Beat (Mändli, which fell while trying to cut short, Ed). He is a very good friend and helped me a lot so it's painful to see him lose everything. If he had succeeded, the others would have tried. In the end, I did not need to take the risk!

It was not easy to choose between Alamo and Albfuehren's Bianca for this final. In Geneva, both were great (the gelding allowed the Swiss to win the Top Ten and the tempestuous bay led him to second place in the Grand Prix, ed). They then had eight weeks break, during which they did not jump. They had the same preparation because I wanted both to be potentially ready for the final. So they resumed the competition in Oliva (in Spain) in 1.25m events. Bianca was then super at Bois-le-Duc, as was Alamo at Saut Hermès in Paris. As a result of that, I made my choice. Bianca is my number one option for the Tokyo Olympics next year, and I do not want her to run in all the championships.

"We can expect a lot of places to move around, it always changes a lot on the second day” he pointed out. “I think a mistake is much more important tomorrow than today. Everything looks good today but everything can look much different tomorrow!”
said the man who is hoping to make his 13th Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final another winning one.

Result Competition 1 here
Standings after Competition 1 here 
Watch highlights here "


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