The London International Horse Show came to its apotheosis this afternoon in the 1.60m World Cup competition. Seven of the starters managed to qualify for the jump-off, where it ended up being a "battle of the British". Certainty of a God Save The Queen was already there after an impressive ride by Scott Brash aboard Hello Jefferson (Cooper van de Heffinck), and as last to go, compatriot Jodie Hall McAteer jumped onto the podium as well by taking the third place.
Seven of the 37 competitors managed to qualify for the all-important jump-off of the World Cup competition at the ExCeL Centre in London. Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten had to start second with Elwikke (Eldorado vd Zeshoek), which gave them little chance of a reference point. After a great clear round that included very short turns and lots of risk-taking, the duo jumped to the leader's position in a time of 41.21 seconds.
The "catch me if you can" challenge was taken up with both hands by the next starter, Scott Brash in the saddle of Hello Jefferson. The first of two British combinations in the jump-off got a touch of luck on the second jump of the double, but then had the home crowd going wild for the brilliant chrono of 39.67 seconds.
Just after Brash, Daniel Deusser on the back of the 12-year-old bay mare Killer Queen Vdm (Eldorado vd Zeshoek) was allowed to venture into the British time to beat. The German world number seven proved to be just too slow, eventually placing second on the podium with a difference of only six hundredths. No gold, but another bunch of World Cup points in his pocket.
How could it be otherwise than that world number one Henrik Von Eckermann also managed to qualify for the jump-off. Riding the 9-year-old chestnut mare Dzara Dorchival (Qlassic Bois Margot), the Swede went flat out for the win and took a lot of risks. This unfortunately resulted in a fault on the oxer just after the impressive wall, which earned him fifth place with the same time as Brash.
With Jodie Hall McAteer starting last, the British crowd was already assured of a home victory. McAteer got a bit lucky on the first obstacle of the double, and continued her round with a slight "better safe than sorry" attitude. In a time of 40.14 seconds, the rider secured the bronze medal on Salt 'n Peppa (Stolzenberg).
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Ph. © London International Horse Show