Of the seven groups in the World Cup jumps in Verona, only illustrious world champions Henrik von Eckermann, King Edward (by Edward) and Gerfried Buck with his only nine-year-old son Equitron Naxel V (by Palau de Ruyt) remained visible. As the last player, Puck took it easy on channeling his talent to second place, and Von Eckermann, as a fourth player, didn’t have to ask for everything from the world number 1 seed to take the win. Jur Vrieling and Fiumicino van de Kalevallei (via Plot Blue) finished sixth and are now second in the World Cup standings.
In Verona, Italy, it’s already time for the fourth FIFA World Cup jump-off game on Sunday afternoon. The basic course in particular presented a few challenging technical issues for the fixtures, but the starting jump was flawless for most of them. Von Eckermann was delighted with his victory: “After the World Cup, King Edward obviously took a break and then we had a little problem getting back in shape. We’re heading out for two big tournaments and we’ve jumped in quite a few big seasons lately, which is why we went to Verona – It’s actually unplanned. When others made mistakes in jumping, I saw I didn’t have to overdo it, and I could ride fairly quietly.” He laughs: “It’s always fun here in Italy and it’s often successful for me.”
Nicola Philippaerts and Katanga v/h Dingeshof (by Cardento) rode a great base round, but they already had a hurdle at the first jump hurdle. Then they accelerated a bit with a short spin after the set and a good dip, but the Belgian didn’t do anything crazy on the last line. Four penalty points and a time of 42.36 seconds was the goal for the remainder. At first glance it seemed likely that the British and Irish would go faster. That proved to be the case, because Harry Charles drove a good, fast lap with Romeo 88 (by Contact vd Heffinck) with a faster – but not crazy – final streak. He was within 39.95 seconds but hit the last bull and was very disappointed. Understandably, though, the time and four penalty points was enough for third place and a good set of WB points.
Vrieling: “Indoor fits well with Fiumicino’
Jur Vrieling passed the base round in great style with Fiumincino van de Kalevalei (by Plot Blue). It was again the group’s first major indoor competition, and Vrieling concluded during the break that everything suited him and his horse: “Everything comes from the corners much faster than in the outdoor season, but that suits Fiumicino. He felt good from the first moment.” The jump went with some bad luck. The annealing started fattening on the line up to the second hitch, so it didn’t get enough in the air to get there flawless. Moments later, another ray followed on the colored bull. Vrieling calmly completed the jump in 42 seconds with eight penalty points. It turned out that it was enough for sixth place. After the Dutchman, von Eckermann and King Edward showed why they are the best combination in the world right now. Focused, but not too fast, with plenty of power and acceleration calculated after the first half and safe through the last line. She was clear in 40.55 seconds. It was the first clear jump stage with three sets remaining.
Puck helps his little son
Irish McCauley went fast with his nine-year-old chestnut Django Ste-Hermel (by Upercut Kervec), but that resulted in two early rays. After that, he kept calm and drove his talent well through the second half. What a promising horse! Young Mexican Fernando Martinez Sommer and ten-year-old KWPN (by Glasgow) didn’t keep the powder dry in the first place, but they finished it off well. Then Gerfried Buck led his nine-year-old son brilliantly through the jump. With no rush and with a big stretch on the latter, the Austrian did exactly what he could and had to get his horse a great rank at this point in his career. Puck gave the rest horse to add some hops in a few lines and it really took his time. That time stopped at 45.24 seconds but he finished second and earned a lot of WB points.
Vrieling to second place in the World Cup standings
Jur Vrieling has now climbed to second in the standings after four of 14 stages. Norwegian Viktoria Gulliksen is still in the lead, but today he was not happy. Lars Christine was not there today, he is now the ninth. The next stage is the next weekend in Stuttgart.
The basic circuit is full of problems
The challenging technical course made it particularly difficult in the first half of the field. Several horses had problems in groups, and the big triple jump also proved difficult. The thin yellow slate fell regularly, as happened to the last white bull. There were also a few layovers and some big names quit after a few bars, including Christian Ahlmann. There was also a light rain of beam for Angelica Zanotelli, who won the stage in Helsinki last week. Just like Vrieling and Fiumicino, Harrie Smolders and Darry Lou led a meticulous and calm base ride. Dari Lou unfortunately hit a beam on the first set indent. Then it went fine again, lovely because of the 3-way crossover, but also a bar on the last bull, which turned out to be a problem for more fixtures. Unfortunately.