LUNDBACK LEADS THE WAY IN OSLO......
Sweden's Helena Lundback won the opening leg of the 2007/2008 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping series presented by Landrover in Oslo, Norway this afternoon with a super-fast jump-off round from Madick.
In the nine-horse race against the clock she was second-last into the ring and shaved almost a half-second off the target set by Italy's Juan Carlos Garcia and Hamilton de Perhet to clinch maximum points. And the Swedes were really flexing their muscles at this early stage of the season with Rolf-Goran Bengtsson claiming third with Ninja La Silla ahead of Spain's Rutherford Latham and Guarana Champeix in fourth.
Points picked up at the beginning of the western European circuit can often prove pivotal. There is considerably greater pressure as the series progresses so Lundback was delighted to have made the perfect start in her effort to ensure a place at the final next April.
"The first round was nice and there was just the right number of horses going through to the second round" Lundback said afterwards. The home side's Tony Andre Hansen riding Camiro and Geir Guliksen riding L'Espoir were amongst the 12 four-faulters in the opening round as course-designer Anders Hafskjold track weeded them out, but Norwegian show jumping is clearly in great shape.
For the first time ever in Oslo, a Norwegian rider clinched the Grand Prix title on Saturday afternoon when Gulliksen steered Sundal Colliers Cattani to victory. And there is a real sense of team spirit and strength following Norway's great performance at the European Championships in Mannheim where they finished sixth and qualified for next year's Olympic Games in Hong Kong.
Stein Endresen was the sole home-side representative in the jump-off and brought Le Beau across the line in 44.06 seconds but leaving two fences on the floor during his pathfinding run, so Philippe Leoni's clear with the experienced 13 year old mare Cyrenaika set the first real target in a time of 43.38 seconds. That was always going to be beaten however and Ireland's Cameron Hanley proved the point when the very promising eight year old stallion SIEC Livello broke the beam a second sooner.
Bengtsson and Ninja la Silla then raised the game again when stopping the clock in 40.88 and when Switzerland's Markus Fuchs and Nirmette double-faulted the Swedish rider still had the whip hand. However Italy's Juan Carlos Garcia produced a brilliant run from the 12 year old French-bred gelding Hamilton de Perhet to take the lead in 39.55 and the temperature just kept rising as Rutherford Latham had a cut at it but fell short by two seconds with Guarana Champeix and then Lundback set the arena alight with a fearless challenge.
"I talked with Rolf (Bengtsson) about what I should do because he was already finished" she explained afterwards, but she couldn't really remember exactly how she clinched it. "Maybe I took out a stride between fences four and five but I'm not sure!" she said. "I'm not sure if I would ride it the same way again but Madick really tried for me!" she added.
With the target now set at 39.24 seconds and clear Pius Schwizer and Nobless M were last into the ring and the Swiss partnership gave it everything they had, doing the time as they crossed the line in 39.19 seconds but leaving one fence on the floor. This was still good enough to slot him into seventh spot behind Leoni in sixth and Hanley in fifth while Fuchs had to settle for eighth ahead of Endersen in ninth position.
"I really enjoyed this today - it's special because this is my first World Cup victory" said 31 year old Lundback who lives in Norkoping in Sweden and so is therefore a neighbour of that other Swedish show jumping star Malin Baryard. "Madick is 11 years old and I have had her since she was eight so we know each other well - she is very kind and very talented" she explained. "And today was a really good day for the sport" she added, "because the public really enjoyed the jump-off".
Lundback now travels north to Finland for next Sunday's second leg of the 2007/2008 FEI World Cup™ Jumping series - "I'm looking forward to that" she said, "because it will be really great if I can get to Gothenburg for the final next year". With 20 points already to her credit she is almost halfway there already......
RESULT: 1, Madick (Helena Lundback) Swe 0/0 39.24; 2, Hamilton de Perhet (Juan Carlos Garcia) Ita 0/0 39.55; 3, Ninja la Silla (Rolf Goran Bengtsson) Swe 0/0 40.88; 4, Guarana Champeix (Rutherford Latham) Esp 0/0 41.52; 5, SIEC Livello (Cameron Hanley) Irl 0/0 42.26; 6, Cyrenaika FRH (Philippe Leoni) Fra 0/0 43.38; 7, Nobless M (Pius Schwizer) Sui 0/4 39.19; 8, Nirmette (Markus Fuchs) Sui 0/8 40.27; 9, Le Beau (Stein Endresen) Nor 0/8 44.06; 10, Jalisca Solier (Steve Guerdat) Sui 4/73.29; 11, Fresh Direct Corlato (Tim Stockdale) GBR 4/73.73; 12, Asti Spumante (Thomas Muhlbauer) Ger 4/74.39; 13, Tekila D (Pieter Devos) Bel 4/74.69; 14, Van Schijndel's Curtis (Piet Raijmakers) Ned 4/74.89; 15, Dan 7-T (Henk Van de Pol) Ned 4/74.98; 16, Grim St Clair (Thomas Velin) Den 4/75.67; 17, Legurio (Franke Sloothaak) Ger 4/75.67; 18, Zamiro (Tina Lund) Den 4/75.88; 19, Umit (Wilm Vermeir) Bel 4/76.02; 20, Camiro (Tony Andre Hansen) Nor 4/76.49; 21, L'Espoir (Geir Gulliksen) Nor 4/76.77; 22, Nanta (Jonella Ligresti) Ita 4/77.71; 23, Coulthard (Christian Anfinnsen Oien) Nor 5/79.21; 24, Tymoon Caloo Meerchen (Dirk Demeersman) Bel 8/71.18; 25, Bessemeind's Casino (Morten Djupvik) Nor 8/72.45; 26, Lord du Janlie (Julien Epaillard0 Fra 8/72.74; 27, Pero-Z Hillock (Linnea Ericsson) Den 8/73.87; 28, JPC Modesto (Jean Marc Nicolas) Fra 8/75.22; 29, Aboyeur W (Heinrich Hermann Engemann) Ger 8/75.24; 30, Diorissimo (Jens Fredricson) Swe 8/75.44; 31, JK Horsetruks Cappe Z (Mans Buurman) Ned 8/77.84; 32, HGF Can Fly (Gilbet Bockmann) Ger 12/72.74; 33, Suzie Quattro (Luciana Diniz) Por 12/73.54; 34, Quintero (Omar Bonomelli) Ita 12/75.19; 35, Calandro (Sebastian Numminen) Fin 13/79.89; 36, Olaf (Leon Thijssen) Ned 17/79.72; 37, Billy Birr (William Funnell) GBR 17/82.55; 38, Royal Power (Jose Larocca) Arg 20/71.98; Eq 39, Da Zara Kanebo (Piergiorgio Bucci) Ita, Irish Independent Echo Beach (Cian O'Connor) Irl Ret.
ROLEX FEI WORLD CUP™ JUMPING 2007/2008 - WESTERN EUROPEAN LEADERBOARD AFTER ROUND 1 IN OSLO:
1. Helena Lundback - 20
2. Juan Carlos Garcia - 17
3. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson - 15
4. Rutherford Latham - 13
5. Cameron Hanley - 12
6. Philippe Leoni - 11
7. Pius Schwizer - 10
8. Markus Fuchs - 9
9. Stein Endresen - 8
10. Steve Guerdat - 7
11. Tim Stockdale - 6
12. Thomas Muhlbauer - 5
13. Pieter Devos - 4
14. Piet Raijmakers - 3
15. Henk Van de Pol - 2
16. Thomas Velin - 1
PHOTO CATALOGUE - Photographs of the winning riders in high and low resolution can be downloaded from the FEI online catalogue. To access it, please visit www.horsesport.org>Media Centre>Catalogue. There is no reproduction fee, but please credit photographer (photographer's name will appear under each photo)/FEI. Usage is strictly for editorial purposes.
For further information on the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifer in Oslo, Norway check website www.oslohorseshow.com. The next leg of the series takes place in Helsinki, Finland from 19-22 October. Show President/Director is Tom Gordin, Show Secretary is Kaisa Kujala and Press Officer is Kati Hurme-Leikkonen - Mobile +358 405144753, Email email@example.com. Website - www.helsinkihorseshow.fi.
MEDIA GUIDE - The FEI is pleased to provide you with a Media Guide for the 2007/2008 season. The Guide is filled with useful facts, figures and statistics including the list of winners since the series began in 1978 and contact details to help you access all the information you need.
2007/2008 ROLEX FEI WORLD CUP™ JUMPING SERIES - CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR WESTERN EUROPEAN LEAGUE:
1, Oslo (Norway) 12-14 October; 2, Helsinki (Finland) 18-21 October; 3, Verona (Italy) 8-11 November; 4, Stuttgart (Germany) 14-18 November; 5, Geneva (Switzerland) 6-9 December; 6, London-Olympia (Great Britain) 17-22 December; 7, Mechelen (Belgium) 26-30 December; 8, Leipzig (Germany) 17-20 January; 9, Amsterdam (The Netherlands0 24-27 January; 10, Bordeaux (France) 1-3 February; 11, Vigo (Spain) 8-11 February; 12, 's-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands) 27-30 March; FINAL - Gothenburg (Sweden) 24-27 April.
YOU CAN SEE IT ON TV
2007/2008 ROLEX FEI WORLD CUP™ JUMPING BROADCAST SCHEDULE FOR ROUND 1 AT OSLO:
NRK (Norway) - Sunday 14 October 16.30
RAI (Italy) - Check local service
SVT (Sweden) - Sunday 14 October 19.00, tuesday 16 October 15.05
CBC Country (Canada) - Check local service
CNBC Asia - Saturday 27 October 15.00
CNBC Europe - Saturday 27 october 17.00
ESPN Brazil - Check local service
ESPN Star (Pan Asia) - Check local service
Eurosport - Wednesday 17 october 20.05
Finnish Sport TV - Saturday 27 october 18.25
Fox Australia - Check local service
Fox Middle East - Check local service
M-Net (Pan Africa) - Thursday 1 November 18.00, Friday 2 November 08.00, Saturday 3 November 11.00,
Sunday 4 November 06.00, 15.00, 22.00, Tuesday 6 Novemer 13.30, Wednesday 7 November 18.00
Sport TV (Portugal) - Check local service
Sport Plus (France) - Monday 22 October 00.15, tuesday 23 October 07.30, Thursday 25 October 10.00.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE RULES FOR FEI WORLD CUP™ JUMPING RIDERS FROM FEI WEBSITE www.feiworldcup.org
FEI World Cup™ Jumping has entered its 30th season. The series, created in 1978, today comprises 14 leagues on all continents. The best riders from 132 preliminary competitions will qualify for the final in Gothenburg, Sweden which takes place from 24-27 April 2008. The title-holder is Switzerland's Beat Mandli.
The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 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. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.