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European champion takes superb World Cup win at Olympia

European champion Martin Fuchs continued his superb 2019 by taking the Longines FEI World Cup leg at Olympia this afternoon (21 December) in definitive fashion.

 The world number two rider – who must now be eyeing the top spot in the rankings – followed up last week’s win with Clooney 51 in the Geneva grand prix with victory by almost two seconds today, on The Sinner.

 Second to go in a six-strong jump-off, Martin and Luigi Baleri’s 11-year-old gelding threw down the gauntlet with two superb angled turns to cross the line in 31.99 seconds, with Germany’s Max Kuhner on Elektric Blue P second, on 33.83 seconds, and Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels on Delux Van T&L third.

 “It was a great round,” Martin said. “I tried to take all the risks because I really wanted to win. I’m so happy.”

 Martin’s uncle Markus won the Olympia World Cup leg in 1990, and he was in the Grand Hall today to watch his nephew’s victory.

 “Olympia’s amazing, it’s such a traditional horse show,” Martin said. “My parents and uncle used to ride here and it’s so nice to win in front of this amazing crowd.”

 Martin could be seen riding every stride of his round, and he said he wants to work on keeping his upper body quieter – “but it seems to work so I’m happy with it for now”.

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His ambitions for next year include taking that number one spot from his compatriot Steve Guerdat, which is a “huge dream”, then he is aiming for the Tokyo Olympics with his European gold medal-winner Clooney.

 It was a fifth-place finish for Britain’s Scott Brash and Hello Jefferson, a horse Scott believes has a “big, big future”, and who jumped a beautiful first-round clear but clipped a pole in the jump-off.

 Britain’s Holly Smith and Hearts Destiny, who had also jumped a foot-perfect first round, were also unlucky in the jump-off to flick a brick from the wall and then lower a pole, leaving them in sixth place.

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