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Federation Equestre Internationale News

FEI World Cup Jumping - Iron Maiden Takes Control In Olympia

In a thrilling 13-horse jump-off, British-born German rider Helena Weinberg claimed maximum points at the sixth leg of the FEI World Cup Jumping series in Olympia today.

The show in the heart of London was completely booked out even before it began last Wednesday night and the capacity crowd were on the edges of their seats this afternoon as they enjoyed a real cliff-hanger of a competition which just kept more exciting by the moment.

Belgium’s Jos Lansink was first to go against the clock but lowered the fourth fence, so it was Peter Wylde who set the early pace when clear with Fein Cera in 37.94 seconds. Michael Whitaker was next into the ring however and a scorching run from Portofino shaved over a second off that target-time.

Sweden’s Maria Gretzer and Cinderella returned with eight faults on the board but Belgium’s Ludo Philippaerts really increased the pressure when Parco broke the beam to take the lead in 35.59 seconds. Afterwards Ludo said he knew that might not be fast enough but added "I could not have gone faster than I did – my horse is not naturally so quick".

The following three riders failed to threaten Ludo’s advantage as Austria’s Gerfried Puck opted for a careful clear with S&L Manpower, Sweden’s Malin Baryard and H&M Butterfly Flip collected four faults, Italy’s Roberto Cristofoletti and Lohengrin di Villa Emilia picked up 12 faults and Edouard Couperie decided to take a leaf out of Puck’s book and err on the side of caution with Pro Pilot who left all the fences standing in 39.76 seconds. Caution however was not in Helena’s mind as she set off with Kasting Horses Gavi.

The 9 year old stallion by Graf Grannus is a difficult character in the warm-up ring as he is inclined to threaten other horses when working in a confined space but the 39 year old German rider has built up a tremendous relationship with him and today she reaped the benefits of years of trust and training.

Frank Rotherberger’s jump-off track asked riders to risk all with a long gallop from an upright at fence two to an oxer down the far end of the ring and Helena kicked off at a tremendous pace, curling sharply right to the following oxer and then cutting left-handed inside the Snowman which marked the starting line. Taking the oxer there at a tremendous gallop she kicked on for the penultimate upright before racing to the final big oxer and, standing a long way off this one, Kasting Horses Gavi stopped the clock in 34.52 seconds.

It was a stunning performance but with three horses left to go the result was still uncertain and, next into the ring, Marcus Ehning and For Pleasure came dangerously close to demoting their team-mates. At 17 years of age For Pleasure still jumps like a young one and this superb stallion seems to relish his work as much as ever. He made the first-round track look ridiculously easy and, once again, he popped his fences in effortless style but the clock showed 34.80 seconds as he crossed the line and Marcus blamed himself for not going quicker.

"As you can see the horse is great but the problem today was me – I was not quick enough over the first few fences" he said afterwards but he was well-pleased when settling into runner-up spot after Spain’s Rutherford Latham and Bretzel collected four and Jan Tops retired with Roofs after having three fences down.

Marcus believes the secret of his success with For Pleasure is the care and attention given to the horse by his sister, Karina, - "it is because of her that he feels and looks so good" the German rider said. He intends to compete again in the World Cup series in Leipzig next month but Marcus does not intend taking the horse to the World Cup Final. He is unsure whether For Pleasure will be his first choice as an Olympic contender but sees the horse, who clearly still very much enjoys his job, continuing to compete for some time – "hopefully the end of his career is not too near" he added.

Kasting Horses Gavi however is really only beginning to show what he can do and Helena was delighted with the way he responded today. "He is naturally quite fast and he stays cool in very difficult situations but this is the first time I have ever put him under this kind of pressure" she said. Originally from Sheffield in the north of England, she first started riding under the German flag in 1987 after her marriage to Peter Weinberg and she describes Kasting Horses Gavi as "the best horse I have ever ridden". Helena’s brother, Bruce Dickinson, plays with the heavy metal rock band Iron Maiden and today she showed an iron will herself, rocketing up to second position on the FEI World Cup leaderboard, just three points behind Marco Kutscher, and picking up £18,500 stg in prizemoney for her victory.

Michael Whitaker has been producing consistently good recent results and, finishing fourth behind Ludo and Parco today, is now third in the rankings ahead of Eric Van der Vleuten in fourth and double-winner Thomas Velin in fifth.

The next leg of the FEI World Cup Jumping series takes place in Mechelen, Belgium on December 30.

RESULT: 1, Kasting Horses Gavi (Helena Weinberg) Ger 0/0 34.52; 2, For Pleasure (Marcus Ehning) Ger 0/0 34.80; 3, Parco (Ludo Philippaerts) Bel 0/0 35.59; 4, Portofino (Michael Whitaker) GB 0/0 36.84; 5, Fein Cera (Peter Wylde) Usa 0/0 37.94; 6, S&L Manpower (Gerfried Puck) Aut 0/0 38.11; 7, Pro Pilot 11 (Edouard Couperie) Fra 0/0 39.76; 8, H&M Butterfly Flip (Malin Baryard) Swe 0/4 37.94; 9, Bretzel (Rutherford Latham) Esp 0/4 38.45; 10, AK Cumano Z (Jos Lansink) Bel 0/4 42.76; 11, Cinderella (Maria Gretzer) Swe 0/8 41.10; 12, Lohengrin di Villa Emilia (Roberto Cristofoletti) Ita 0/12 44.17; 13, Roofs (Jan Tops) Ned 0/Ret; Equal 14, Lowina (Albert Zoer) Ned, Eve de Etisses (Hubert Bourdy) Fra, Arko (Nick Skelton) GB, Giorgio (Lars Nieberg) Ger, Lindor (Jerry Smit) Ita, Loro Piana Hamlet (Guy Williams) GB, JPC Modesto (Jean-Marc Nicolas) Fra, Temple Croesus (Paul Barker) GB, Marius Claudius (Robert Smith) GB, Qualite (Robert Whitaker) GB, Cortaflex Mondriaan) William Funnell GB, Shutterfly (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum) Ger.


Marco Kutscher – 50
Helena Weinberg – 47
Michael Whitaker - 45
Eric Van der Vleuten - 44
Thomas Velin – 43
Ludo Philippaerts - 42
Jos Lansink – 40
Peter Wylde – 38
Malin Baryard – 36
Otto Becker – 30.
All results from OLYMPIA available at website: www.olympiashowjumping.com. Show Director is Simon Brooks-Ward LVO. Show Secretary is Penny Henderson – Email: pennyh@hpower.co.uk. Candy Burnyeat is Press Officer - Telephone ++44 1753 847916 or Email: candyb.hpim@easynet.co.uk.

The next leg of the FEI World Cup series takes place at MECHELEN in Belgium from 26-30 December and marks the half-way stage of the series. Show Directors at Mechelen are Peter Bollen and Lucien Somers – Tel: ++32 475 289100 or ++32 475 701314. Email: peter.bollen@vitamex.com, acos@skynet.be. Show Secretary is Yolande Wauters Tel: ++32 475 263198 and Press Officer is Edith de Reys Tel: ++32 475 659281, Email: edith.dereys@tiscall.be.


1, Helsinki - 19 October; 2, Oslo - 26 October; 3, Verona - 9 November; 4, Berlin - 16 November; 5, Geneva - 7 December; 6, Olympia, London - 21 December; 7, Mechelen - 30 December; 8, Leipzig - 25 January; 9, Amsterdam - 1 February; 10, Bordeaux - 7 February; 11, Vigo - 14 February; 12, Paris - 6 March; 13, s'Hertogenbosch - 28 March; 14, Gothenburg - 11 April. Final in Milan - 21-25 April.


The company officially announced changes to its show jumping team during Olympia and 23 year old British rider Richard Davenport is to join its ranks while Franke Sloothaak and Olivier Guillon will be replaced. Davenport's recent results include membership of winning Nations Cup team at Hickstead 2003, third at FEI World Cup leg in Oslo, second in Grand Prix in Paris and fourth in last weekend's Grand Prix at Lar Coruna.

"Richard Davenport was an easy choice for us" the company said in a press release issued during the show. "The team that we have picked for 2004 and onwards is a mixture of world-class riders, both established and new challengers".

BIOGRAPHIES on riders competing in the FEI World Cup series are available at http://bios.horsesport.org.

Riders from FEI website: www.horsesport.org.

FEI World Cup jumping has entered its 26th year. The series, created in 1978, today comprises 12 leagues on all continents. The best riders from over 100 World Cup preliminary competitions will qualify for the Final in Milan (ITA) from 21 to 25 April 2004. The title-holder is Markus Ehning (GER). The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is
the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 130 National Federations.

Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines - Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes - horse and rider - and the FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse.



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Updated: October 2005.