Articles: Press Release
Switzerland's Beat Mandli and Ideo du Thot Win 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup
Title; McLain Ward and Sapphire Lead American Effort with 8th Place Tie
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada-On the last day of the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup for
show jumping, it came down to a battle between the Germans and Swiss. In
the end, it was a win for Beat Mandli and Ideo du Thot, the 11-year-old
Selle Francais gelding after putting in two rounds where they downed
only one rail to finish on a score of five World Cup points. Some 15
nations were represented in the show jumping World Cup and the roster of
international sport stars left the crowds very happy with amazing rounds
of show jumping and enough thrills and spills to satisfy the most ardent
The leading American going into the last day was New York's McLain Ward
and Sapphire, his 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. They entered the
final two rounds of show jumping in fifth place. By the end of the
competition, the pair had dropped to a two-way tie for eighth place
(along with Germany's Marco Kutscher) after downing two rails to take on
eight faults in the first round and tipping a brick off the wall on the
second obstacle in the second round to add four more. They ended their
World Cup bid with a final score of 15 penalties.
Going into the final day of show jumping, there were nine Americans, and
two of them making the top 20 to come back for the second round withdrew
and did not compete - Molly Ashe Cawley with Kroon Gravin and Schuyler
Riley with Ilian. Richard Spooner with Cristallo, Mandy Porter with
Summer and Christine McCrea with Promised Land did not make the final
round. That left four Americans heading into the second round - Kate
Levy aboard Vent du Nord, Lauren Hough aboard Casadora, Margie Engle
aboard Hidden Creek's Quervo Gold and Ward with his Sapphire.
Ward had taken the win on Day One of the competition. His overall finish
could have been even lower in the placings if it weren't for a few rails
that refused to fall even though the pair gave them a good clipping.
They were in danger of downing tow rails in the tricky triple
combination in the first round. Thankfully, he left them in tact.
Ward was asked exactly what the trouble was today, and in his usual
character, he was direct and frank. "I rode badly. The horse jumped
great the first two days. I overrode her today in the first round, and I
was shocked by the wall in the second round. Normally, she jumps that
very well," he said. "For that horse and myself, it was a very mediocre
The rider's disappointment was obvious, as he truly felt that he had a
very good shot at taking the title this year. "Obviously, it was a great
start. For me, it was very disappointing and I thought I had a shot when
I came here. I'll have to do better next time, but this [today's finish]
is not going to change our program or plan."
Mandli couldn't have been happier with his win. "The first round wasn't
so good...my horse is quite sensitive, and I got a bit nervous because
he [the horse] didn't really concentrate. Then I had a bad ride to the
second to last line in the first round, so that's probably why I had the
last fence down."
In the second round, the rider and his horse found themselves more
assured. "He [Ideo du Thot] gave me really good confidence. It just felt
super to ride."
Mandli also took great pride in being a Swiss rider atop the leaderboard
at competition's end. "Of course, it is a great thing for a Swiss rider
to win the final. I think that everybody [in Switzerland] is happy
there. We don't have a really big amount of riders, only a few good ones
at the top. We have to fight together."
Coming in at second place in the World Cup was Germany's Daniel Deusser
and Air Jordan Z. The pair put in the only double-clean and clear rounds
today, but they had 11 World Cup points coming into the final day, which
was a bit much to overcome, especially with so many of his German
countrymen and Swiss riders ahead of them in the rankings.
But, it was German superstar rider, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, aboard
her champion 14-year-old Hanoverian Butterly Flip, that provided the
day's biggest surprise - and it was not a good one. As the world's
number one rider coming into the World Cup, she was certainly an odds-on
favorite in a city where people bet on everything and anything. But,
despite a strong showing early on, and being tied at first coming into
the final day of competition, she proved that anything can happen in
this sport. The rider stunned the crowd when, during the first round,
she was eliminated. With only two jumps left to go in the round, she
lost balance after clearing the Liverpool at the 11th obstacle. She fell
to the ground, and her hopes for a repeat Las Vegas World Cup win went
out the window.
Third place was a tie between a German, Markus Beerbaum and Leena, and a
Swiss rider, Steve Guerdat and Tresor V. Guerdat sat as the overall
leader coming into the final and Beerbaum sat inside the top 10 coming
into Sunday. In the first round, Beerbaum and Leena downed the final
rail in the triple combination to take on four faults. A second
four-fault penalty in the final round might have kept him further down
the finish tally if it had not been for the rails sent flying by two
other Germans - Marco Kutscher and Marcus Ehning - both of whom sat in
the top 10 entering the final day of competition.
Guerdat and Tresor V downed a rail late in the first round for four
faults. He added a disappointing eight more faults in the final round to
slide him down the leaderboard.
Germany had plenty to be proud of, however, with a total of six riders
seated in the top 10 after the dust had settled in the Thomas and Mack
Center in Las Vegas. The Swiss had two seated - Mandli as the
titleholder and Steve Guerdat at a tie for third with Beerbaum. In
addition to Ward's finish in side the top 10, the other country
represented was Sweden with Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Butterfly Flip.
It was a very tight finish outside the top spot occupied by Mandli. In
fact, only one point sat between each of the riders finishing in second
to eighth place.
The other American riders coming back for the Top 20 - Levy, Hough and
Engle - each downed at least two rails in the final round. One of them -
Levy - took on a single time penalty each, finishing just outside the 59
Hough posted the second-best finish for Team USA, ending at 16th place.
Aboard Casadora, she experienced a refusal in round one on the third
fence of the triple combination. She went back and tried the triple from
the start of it, and she cleared it without fault. A downed rail, plus
two time penalties, left her with six faults heading into round two. In
the second round, she took on eight more faults.
Engel, in the 14th World Cup appearance, and Hidden Creek's Quervo Gold
brought eight faults from the first round of the day to the bad start
she had in the second round. It was a rough start as she burst through
the first fence. Additionally, Engle added two more poles for a total of
12 faults. She finished her work in 17th place.
Finally, Levy, aboard Vent du Nord, downed one pole in the first round,
plus two in the second round. Adding her time penalty from the second
round, she found herself at 18th place to end her World Cup bid.
For complete results of today's competitions, go to the USEF homepage -
www.usef.org - and click on the Rolex FEI World
Cup Finals section in the center of the homepage.
The Animal Planet television network will televise a special 90-minute
broadcast of the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup Finals on Saturday, May 12,
beginning at 9:00 p.m. (EDT). The telecast will include the Finals in
both jumping and dressage.
For more information, please contact Maria Partlow, USEF Senior Vice
President of Marketing/Communications at (859) 225-6941 or
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