In an extraordinary display of American horsepower and rider talent, USA competitors currently top the leaderboard going into the final rounds of both the dressage and the showjumping World Cup final contests today (April 13).
In the impressive indoor arena in Paris, France, dressage rider Laura Graves won the grand prix on the 16-year-old Verdades, beating the world number one combination of Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD. Laura scored a new personal best of 81.413 %, and every one of the seven judges had her ahead of Isabell. It was €7,000 to the winner in this class, but the prize-money ramps up considerably in tomorrow’s freestyle to music, which determines the final podium placings.
Weihegold made a couple of expensive and uncharacteristic mistakes in the grand prix — including changing at the beginning of the extended canter and a blip at the start of the one-time changes — to finish in second on 78.261%.
Germany finished in second, third and fourth, with Jessica von Bredow-Werndl rounding out the podium with Unee BB (75.668%) and Dorothee Schneider on Sammy Davis Jr. just behind. Sweden’s Patrik Kittel filled fifth on Deja, with Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann-Andersen and the breeding stallion Blue Hors Zack finishing in sixth.
Showjumping: Beezie’s the best
In the showjumping contest, Beezie Madden maintained her position at the head of affairs after winning yesterday, too. With the talented Mexican-bred Quintero son Breitling LS, she was last to tackle the jump-off, and timed her clear round to perfection and collected the winner’s check for €34,500. The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders (Emerald) finished in second, with the Swedish rider Henrik von Eckerman third on Toveks Mary Lou.
Three other riders managed double clears, including the USA’s Jamie Barge, while McLain Ward finished seventh as the fastest of the four-faulters in round two.
Results from the first two rounds are translated into penalties going into Sunday’s final round, and Beezie has a fence in hand.