Current British Open champion, Robert Smith is currently leading the Western European League of the FEI World Cup Jumping Series having scored a total of 75 points.

Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum is hot on his heels with 74 points, but the British veteran need not fear – he has already sealed his place in the final. The top 17 riders after the last qualifier in Goteborg (13-16 April) will join Smith at the 2006 FEI World Cup Final in Kuala Lumpur (26-30 April).

Inspiring wins from Smith in the qualifiers at Olympia and Wellington helped earn his points. Before making the journey to Kuala Lumpur, the champion jumper will defend his British Open title at the British Open Championships in Sheffield.

British number one Nick Skelton is currently lying in ninth place on the FEI leader board, but he has opted not to compete in the final. Thus it is up to Michael Whitaker, currently lying just outside the qualifying places in 19th, to earn Britain a second rider in the final.

Ben Maher is also still in with a chance of a trip to Kuala Lumpa following an impressive fourth place in the s’Hertogenbosch qualifier last weekend. The young rider, from Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire, is currently lying in equal 26th place.

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