Mar 31, 2016
Even though Steve Guerdat topped last year’s Longines FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final in Las Vegas, the way he won it left him wanting more. During that final, Guerdat and Albfuehren's Paille crashed through the final fence. “I didn’t ride very well, and that stays in your head all year”, says Steve Guerdat after having won back-to-back the World Cup in Göteborg. “So, today my goal was to ride better than last year.”
Goal: completed. Guerdat earned his second consecutive title without crashing through a single fence, this time aboard the relatively green 10-year-old Corbinian.
Guerdat came into the final contest sitting first on 0 faults. His only demerit during this week's four rounds, all of which he completed on Corbinian, came in Saturday’s jump-off, when Corbinian had one down.
As for Harrie Smolders and Daniel Deusser, who both started on 3 faults, they could only watch and see if Guerdat made a mistake. He didn’t, but they didn’t either. In the end, the Netherlands’ Smolders finished second with Emerald N.O.P., thanks to his faster second round, and Germany’s Deusser was third on Cornet d'Amour.
Though Cornet d’Amour won the 2014 World Cup Final in Lyon, France, and jumped in the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France), this was the first competition of its kind for both Corbinian and the 12-year-old Emerald. They faced the massive tracks set by Santiago Varela Ullastres and the raucous Scandinavium crowd, who were on their feet and screaming by the time Guerdat’s horse’s hooves touched down from the final fence.
And though Corbinian produced a few awkward jumps on his way to clear rounds, it didn’t bother his rider.
“I really felt he was fighting with me,” said Guerdat. “Even if it didn’t look that smooth, I felt the horse was with me and fighting with me.”
Marcus Ehning ended up fourth on Cornado NRW, the third offspring of Cornet Obolensky in the top four of this years World Cup final.