Germany’s Simone Blum has made history as the first woman to take the individual jumping title at the FEI World Equestrian Games.
Edge of their seats
In a finale that kept spectators on the edge of their seats, Simone produced two fantastic clear rounds with DSP Alice, to win gold. Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs claimed silver with Clooney, while his compatriot and close friend Steve Guerdat bagged bronze on Bianca.
Simone is the first woman to take the title at a WEG, which started in 1990. Prior to that, each discipline had its own World Championship, and since the inception in 1953 only Canada’s Gail Greenough has won gold in 1986 – which was the last of the standalone events. This makes Simone the second women in 65 years to become World Champion.
“This was a perfect day,” she said. “Alice jumped great for the whole week, she had no fault in five rounds of competition, she was unbelievable! She’s so careful.
“She has the biggest heart and I think this week she knew that she could win the hearts of all of the sport. She really wanted this win today.”
It has been a great week for the 29-year-old who also won team bronze. What makes her achievements even more incredible is WEG is her first major championship.
Simone was selected for Tryon because she has shown incredible form at top level in recent years, winning the German Ladies title in 2016 and then topping the 2017 German Men’s Championship, which the best German women are also allowed to compete in.
Simone said she owes her success to her fiancee, Hansi Goskowitz, because he found Alice.
“He is the most wonderful man for me in the world and its just because of him I am sitting here!” she said. “I will marry him in the next four weeks – he will become Mr Blum!”
Ward takes fourth
McLain Ward and Clinta had one rail in the first round on Sunday and came back with a clear round in the second but picked up one time fault. This is Wards best finish in the world championship. In 2014 he took fifth with Rothchild and seventh twice with Sapphire.
“I thought she was brilliant,” Ward said. “She jumped the same both rounds. Like I said, we could have used a little bit of fortune in the first rounds. She came to these championships amazing. It’s a little bittersweet not to be in the medals individually, but I’m thrilled with Clinta. I’m proud of this team; this is a great championship for us, and with a little good fortune I think this mare is going to win a gold medal in Tokyo [at the 2020 Olympics]. I think she’s on the way up.”
LIVE coverage of WEG 2018 is available on the networks of NBC Sports. Go to nbcsports.com for schedules.
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