Richard Davenport and Michael Whitaker carry British hopes in show jumping’s World Cup final

Richard Davenport has received a last-minute invitation to compete at this weekend’s SJ World Cup final at Leipzig in Germany.

Richard, 22, will join Michael Whitaker, Britain’s only other competitor in the final, with Martin Dawes’s 12 year-old chestnut gelding, Grand Marnier.

Michael Whitaker will behoping to equal if not better his third place in last year’s final, riding Anne Bedford’s 13 year-old dark bay stallion, Handel II.

Handel has been rested since sustaining a high flexor tendon injury in s’Hertogenbosch, which has been healing well.

The rest of the world

Michael and Richard will be competing against 38 of the the best riders in world, including title holder Marcus Fuchs (SUI), and the FEI’s top three ranked riders, Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Ludo Philippaerts (BEL).

A strong challenge is also expected from Germany’s Marcus Ehning, Lars Nieberg and Ren‚ Tebbel, while few would bet against Rolf-G”ran Bengtsson (SWE), Jan Tops (NED) and Jerry Smit (DEN) being among the top placed riders.

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