Just like last year, Julien Epaillard was the big man at the FEI World Cup competition in the Spanish capital. By winning the Grand Prix, his mare Caracole de la Roque (s.Zandor Z) won the seventh victory in a row. Unique in show jumping, unique as the fact that Epaillard won five of the six most important classes in Madrid last year and this edition. In second place was Daniel Dusser with Bingo St. Hermel (by number one Desseau) who had to surrender at just over a second and a half to the winner on the jump. Simon Delestre took the third step on the podium staying clear with Cayman Julie Jumper (by Hickstead) in 44.37 seconds.
An entire army of toppers was registered for the FEI World Cup Qualifier in Madrid, which meant points had to be fought hard because the quality was so high.
Erik van der Vleuten’s horse under saddle in Dreamland (Sunday de Riverland) today looked a bit empty. Chestnut geldings usually jump off the ground explosively, but this was less today, resulting in three hurls.
Jur Vrieling had already amassed 30 points in previous competitions and was third in the intermediate standings. With Long John Silver (via Lasino) a few more points today and he had enough for the final. Unfortunately, things did not go according to the required scenario because there was first a mistake in the blue bull followed by a second mistake in the steep jump afterwards. On top of that, Vrieling came home again flawlessly, but those eight penalty points held up.
Maikel van der Vleuten urgently needs points because he doesn’t have any yet. Those are the moments the knight from Mierlo seems to live for, he is at his best. Without even touching the wood once, he qualified with Elwikke (by Eldorado van Zeshoek) as the thirteenth group jump. So, half the job done, now to finish the jump.
In all, 15 of the 40 participants completed the first run without errors and competed on the jump for victory and points. Including jumping eight obstacles including a double jump. There was a very good chance that no matter the quality of the entrants, Julien Abaillard had to be in second place, and if he could stay clear, it would only get exciting who would finish second. This is how it has been many times before and this is how it will be many times in the future because that’s how good and fast a guy is, you can’t do anything about it.
Fireworks from the start
Ben Maher had shown a convincing first ride with Exit Remo (s.San Remo), recently bought in Holland, and said beforehand he is a naturally fast horse, so he is sure to take the win. Turns out that these are not empty words because he tried. As a first start, he had to set a time that would provoke others to greater risks and possibly mistakes. But he took a huge risk on his double jump income, making the miss inevitable for Exit Remo. Four penalties in 42.92 seconds.
As expected, the tension cleared up after the second start because Julien Epiar and Caracol de la Roque (Zandor Z) scored a clear run in 42.61 seconds and no one would ever come out there again.
It wasn’t Daniel Dusser with Bingo St. Hermel (by number one Desseau) who led at full throttle but still had to give no less than 1.69 seconds to Epaillard at the finish.
Simon DeLister also did not succeed. With the Cayman Jolly Jumper (by Hickstead) he did everything he could, but eventually crossed the line 0.07 after Deusser. Just like Martin Fox and Kevin Stout they failed too. They have been so provoked into becoming mad enough to beat Epaillard’s time that mistakes are inevitable.
Who will be the second?
By now Deusser was second and Piergiorgio Bucci was lucky that he and his horse stayed upright because on the descent of the penultimate hurdle, Cochello (s.d.) got away in time and managed to get back on his feet. the stirrup but pushed himself back into the saddle and miraculously cleared the last hurdle in a time of 45.34 seconds even though he could not find the stirrups.
Maikel van der Vleuten started with a clear plan not to attack Epaillard’s time but to attack Deusser or Delestre. Unfortunately, the steep jump went downhill halfway through the jump and Maikel calmly rode home and finished sixth, good for 11 World Cup points and €7335.
WB rating after six stages