LOOSER AND WIEGELE TAKE INAUGURAL FEI WORLD CUP™ VAULTING TITLES 

29 Apr 2011

by Louise Parkes

Switzerland's Patric Looser and Germany's Simone Wiegele claimed the inaugural FEI World Cup™ Vaulting titles at the 2010/2011 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Leipzig, Germany this afternoon.Looser was under pressure, having finished second to Nicolas Andreani from France in yesterday's first Freestyle competition. But the 26 year old reigning World Champion from St Gallen, who won three of the four qualifying rounds over the winter months, produced a superb performance to put the result beyond doubt today.

Wiegele followed her team-mate, Antje Hill, into the bigger arena in Hall 1 which seemed to be much more to the liking of the horses than the smaller ring used yesterday. And although Hill's routine was dramatic and beautifully controlled, it was Wiegele's more complex display that settled the destination of the very first Female World Cup trophy.

EXPRESSION AND BALANCE
Italy's Anna Cavallaro took the lead when third-last to go in the Female competition, showing expression and balance to earn a score of 7,713 from the judging panel of Germany's Helma Schwarzmann and Jochen Schilffahrt and Poland's Elzbieta Dolinska. But Hill's performance raised the bar with a mark of 8,233 when next to take her turn. Only Wiegele could now prevent the 23 year old who took individual silver at last year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky from seizing the brand new FEI World Cup™ Vaulting trophy, and she did just that.

The 25 year old from Grevenbroich, who finished one place behind Hill in Kentucky where she took individual bronze, was oozing confidence following her first-day success. And, together with longeur Agnes Werhahn and horse Arkansas, produced an impeccable performance.

"I saw Antje go, and that Arky (Arkansas) was calm so I was happy about that" said Wiegele afterwards. "I wasn't thinking about beating Antje when I started my routine, I was just concentrating on what I had to do and I was really happy when it all went OK" she added. When her score of 8,613 was added to her first-day total she had a clear advantage on the leaderboard and the title was undeniably hers.

UNDER NO ILLUSIONS
Looser was the penultimate competitor in the Male competition and was under no illusions about the standard of work he needed to produce. As he arrived in the arena, it was Germany's Viktor Brusewitz who held the advantage with a score of 8,017, but, from the outset, it was clear that the Swiss vaulter was on top form. With the "Spaceman" routine which earned him gold at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ honed to an even higher level, Looser threw down the gauntlet to final competitor Andreani when putting 8,793 on the board, and although the Frenchman's movements were bold and expressive, the stumble on his final dismount reduced his scoring potential and his mark of 8,246 left him lying in runner-up spot overall.  

In modern vaulting, the horse's score counts for 20% of the score and Looser's handsome horse Record RS vond der Wintermuhle, handled with the most subtle of skills by longeur Alexandra Knauf, added quality and calmness to the picture of the perfection.
"I wanted to put as much pressure as I could on Nico (Nicolas Andreani)" said Looser afterwards. "I didn't enjoy that he made a mistake but we all want to win and it was my turn today - Nico will have a big chance at the European Championships in France later this year" he pointed out.

MAKING HISTORY
"We had the chance to make history here this week so it is very nice to win the first FEI World Cup™ for Vaulting" continued Looser who knew that he was expected to do well this week. "Everyone knows I am World Champion so they said I should win the World Cup Final but it’s not as simple as that. It is nice to change from second place yesterday into the winning spot today though! Yesterday I made two little mistakes but today I think I did my best Freestyle ever - even better than in Kentucky - because I took more risks" he added.

FEI Director, Ian Williams, said he was "ecstatic" with the way the first FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Final worked out. "These competitors are great ambassadors for our sport which is all about team-work at the end of the day. I'd like to thank Volker Wulff and all his team here in Leipzig for making this FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Final possible so quickly. It is a great addition to the FEI World Cup™ programme" he added.

AUDIO
Listen to interviews with Ian Williams - FEI Director of non-Olympic sports and the stars of the FEI World Cup™ Final Vaulting:

Patric Looser in German
Patric Looser in English
Simone Wiegele in English
Simone Wiegele in German

Photo Catalogue: images for editorial purposes are available free of charge from www.feiphotos.org
Additional images: from the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Final in Leipzig (GER) are available from www.gettyimages.com
FEI YouTube Channel

Final Result:
Female Individual: 1, Simone Wiegele (Arkansas) GER 8.467; 2, Antje Hill (Arkansas) GER 8,240; 3, Anna Cavallaro (Harley) 7,623; 4, Pia Engelberty (Sir Bernhard RS von der Wintermuhle) 7,463; 5, Simone Jaiser (Luk) SUI 7,360; 6, Stefanie Kowald (Alando) AUT 7,337; 7, Ines Juckstock(Lamenticus) GER 6,980.

Male Individual: 1, Patrick Looser (Record RS von der Wintermuhle) SUI 8,710; 2, Nicolas Andreani (Idefix de Braize) FRA 8,513; 3, Viktor Brusewitz (Airbus) GER 8,017; 4, Lukas Klouda (Sir Bernhard RS von der Wintermuhle) CZE 7,527; 5, Yvan Nousse (Carlos) FRA 7,510; 6, Daniel Kaiser (Down Under) GER 6,817.

Facts and Figures:
1.    Female champion Simone Wiegele (GER) and Male Champion Patrick Looser (SUI) are the very first winners of the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting title.
2.    This is a back-to-back world title for Looser who also headed the Men's competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, USA.
3.    In the Female competition, one horse was used by two vaulters - Arkansas who helped Simone Wiegele to victory and fellow-German Antje Hill to claim second place.
4.    Germany was represented by four vaulters in the Female division. The remaining competitors came from Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
5.    In the Men's section both the host nation and France had two representatives amongst the six starters.
6.    Agnes Werhahn was longeur for both first placed Simone Wiegele and second-placed Antje Hill in the Female competition.
7.    Male champion, Patrick Looser's, longeur was Alexandra Knauf.
8.    The Judging panel was Helma Schwarzmann (GER), Elzbieta Dolinska (POL) and Jochen Schilffahrt (GER).

Quotes:
Simone Wiegele - "This is a great result but I enjoy team competition even more, because we all work together".
Patric Looser - "I will have a new Freestyle routine later in the year - I am working on that already. I started this routine at Aachen last year and then took it to Kentucky so it seemed stupid to change for the FEI World Cup™ finals".
Agnes Werhahn, longeur for Simone Wiegele and Antje Hill (GER) - "Everyone should know that individual vaulting is also a team sport - its not possible without a good horse, a good longeur and a good coach".

PRESS KIT ZONE
Visit our new FEI Press Kit Zone to get everything you need on the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2010/2011.

FAB FOUR
For the first time in the history of equestrian sport, the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage, FEI World Cup™ Driving and the inaugural FEI World Cup™ Vaulting takes place under one roof in Leipzig this week, bringing together four world-class disciplines for a fabulous festival of sport.

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