The Lorensberg Theatre in the city of Gothenburg played host tonight to the draws for both the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ and FEI Dressage World Cup™ Finals 2019 with competitors, officials and guests from all around the globe enjoying the party atmosphere.
Now it’s all-systems-go as a total of 35 riders from 20 countries are set to battle it out over three days of Jumping, while 18 riders from 12 nations will contest the Dressage title.
Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos de Muniz first pulled out the names and numbers for Friday’s Dressage Grand Prix, and Kittel was delighted to slot into the no. 17 spot of the 18 starters, while Losos de Muniz will be sixth into the Scandinavium Arena.
Going first is never any rider’s choice, but Ireland’s Judy Reynolds is no shrinking violet and when her name was announced as pathfinder she just muttered determinedly, “and that’s where I intend to stay!” Some of the other heavy hitters didn’t get their ideal slot either, Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg will be first after the half-way break in tenth place while her compatriot and double defending champion Isabell Werth will be next, going 11th. Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann Andersen will start in 14th place and America’s Laura Graves 15th.
Tanya Seymour will fly the South African flag and one of the interesting twists to this year’s Dressage Final is the number of older horses competing. There are five 17-year-olds - Seymour’s Ramoneur, Reynolds’ Vancouver K, Don Auriello ridden by Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson, Langehanenberg’s Damsey FRH and Graves’ Verdades who are all showing incredible form.
South Africa will also be represented by Lisa Williams when the Jumping action gets underway tomorrow (Thursday 4 April) at 18.00. Sweden’s Peder Fredricson and Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca drew these names and numbers and it was no surprise that Fredricson was all smiles after shooting up to third in the new world rankings confirmed today.
He’s drawn fourth to go in tomorrow’s competition while de Luca will go 22nd of the 33 starters. Switzerland’s Beat Mandli will be first into the ring followed by German legend Ludger Beerbaum, but all eyes will be on defending champion America’s Beezie Madden who is nicely-drawn in fourth-last place. It’s going to be fast and furious as riders try to ensure a competitive spot going into Friday’s second competition.
Home hero, Henrik von Eckermann, goes just before de Luca while Germany’s Christian Ahlmann is drawn 25th and fellow-countryman Daniel Deusser 27th. World silver medallist, Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs, will be 14th into the ring but one of the speediest men on the planet however is his compatriot Steve Guerdat. The individual world bronze medallist and double FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion is competing in his 13th Final and, having retained the World No. 1 spot in the new rankings, will be on fire when he follows Madden into the ring, third-last to go.
Starting order for Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2019 Final Competition 1 here
Starting order for FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2018 Final Grand Prix here
Facts and Figures:
Defending champion, America’s Beezie Madden, is chasing her second consecutive and third overall Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title.
She posted her first win in Gothenburg in 2013 and came out on top again in Paris (FRA) last year.
The first FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final took place in Gothenburg in 1979 where Austria’s Hugo Simon was crowned champion with Gladstone.
This is the 15th time for the Swedish city to the FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final.
Four riders have won the FEI World Cup™ Jumping title on three occasions: Hugo Simon (AUT), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Marcus Ehning (GER) and Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil. Pessoa is the only rider to have won three back-to-back titles on the same horse, the stallion Baloubet du Rouet.
The youngest Jumping riders competing this year are both 20 - Eve Jobs USA and Khaled Abdulrahman Almobty KSA. Youngest ever Jumping winner was Canada’s Mario Deslauriers who was just 19 when coming out on top with Aramis in Gothenburg in 1984.
Defending champion, Germany’s Isabell Werth, is going for her third consecutive FEI World Cup™ Dressage title and her fifth overall.
She recorded her first victory with Fabienne in 1992 in Gothenburg (SWE), her second in Las Vegas (USA) in 2007 with Warum Nicht, and won again in Omaha (USA) in 2017 and Paris (FRA) in 2018 with Weihegold OLD.
The first FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final was held in ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands in 1986 where Denmark’s Anne-Grethe Jensen and Marzog reigned supreme.
The youngest Dressage rider at this year’s Final is 28-year-old Daniel Bachmann Andersen representing Denmark. The youngest Dressage horse is the 10-year-old Rheinlander stallion Sun of May Life, ridden by Russia’s Regina Isachkina.