Clayton Fredericks has become the second rider in eventing history to win a second HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing Final. Linda Algotsson’s won the opening two competitions in 2003-04.
His achievement is all the more remarkable, as both wins were on Ben Along Time, who only six weeks ago picked up Olympic team silver in Hong Kong. Clayton’s first win was in Malmo, Sweden in 2005.
“I bought Ben Along Time as a 4-year-old, and he has been such a good horse in championships, so this means the world to me,” said Clayton. “The World Cup is a really important competition for me. My win in 2005 gave me confidence to go on and win other competitions.”
Clayton Fredericks survived a sticky moment on Saturday’s cross-country in Deauville, France, when Ben Along Time left a leg jumping into the water complex at fence 20, pitching his rider on to his neck. They quickly recovered to complete the course without penalty.
Unfortunately Lucinda Fredericks, who was in second place after dressage, was not so lucky. Headley Britannia made a rare mistake at the penultimate obstacle and clipped the narrow rails. The mare remained on her feet, but Lucinda didn’t remain in the plate. “I think I just got a little blasé,” said Lucinda modestly.
Mistakes were scattered around the cross-country track. The huge corner at fence 4 collected some notable scalps, with refusals for world number 1 and H&H columnist William Fox-Pitt, who retired Kaleidoscope, Andrew Nicholson on Henry Tankerville and Rodney Powell on Zin Zan ll.
Rolf Luedi’s up-to-height show jumping track in the sand arena produced only three clear rounds. These included a brilliant performance by Britain’s Laura Collett, 19, who finished 13th on Fernhill Sox at her first HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing Final. Other clears came from Stephen Bradley on Brandenburg’s Joshua (18th) and Andrew Nicholson, 26th on Henry Tankerville.
Ensign rose to the occasion magnificently for Pippa Funnell, only catching the very last upright with a hind leg. Pippa was visibly frustrated with herself, but the error would not have made any difference, as Clayton, now with two fences in hand, only touched one rail to take the title.
HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing Final results
1 Clayton Fredericks/Ben Along Time (AUS) 36.1 + 4.8 + 4 = 44.9
2 Pippa Funnell/Ensign (GBR) 41.1 + 4.8 + 4 = 49.9
3 Frank Ostholt/Air Jordan (AUS) 43.3 + 3.6 + 4 = 50.9
4 Michael Jung/La Biosthetique Sam FBW (GER) 45, 0, 8 = 53
5 Nicolas Touzaint/Hildago d’Ile (FRA) 45.7 + 0 + 8 = 53.7
6 Kai Ruder/Le Prince des Bois (GER) 43.3 + 2.8 + 12 = 58.1
7 Eric Vigeanol/Coronado Prior (FRA) 51.3 + 4 + 4 = 59.3
8 Cedric Lyard/Jessy Mail (FRA) 50.9 + 5.6 + 4 = 60.5
9 Andreas Ostholt/Lady Lemon (GER) 52.2 + 2.4 + 9 = 63.6
10 Kevin McNab/Gameplay (AUS) 58 + 0 + 8 = 66
Don’t miss H&H’s full report and colour photos from Deauville, plus William Fox-Pitt’s column, on sale Thursday 25 September