Steve Guerdat raised the roof on Gothenburg’s Scandinavium tonight, as he took his third World Cup victory, riding the relatively inexperienced 11-year-old Alamo. The Swiss world number one now joins an elite group of just five riders ever to have won this prestigious title three times.
He began his finals campaign in perfect fashion, winning the opening night’s speed leg. With one fence down in the second round he came into the final day sitting third on the leaderboard and moved up to the top spot after two flawless clears with the Ukato gelding.
“He was nothing short of amazing today; this was his first championship and he has never jumped three classes of this level in a row before,” said Steve, who showed nerves of steel as he entered the ring last, with no fences in hand. “He’s a real athlete, very powerful, and he showed today that he is one of the best.”
The last time Steve took the World Cup title was also here in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2016 on Corbinian, having also topped the podium in 2015 riding Albfuehren’s Paille in Las Vegas.
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It was a Swiss one-two as Martin Fuchs and the Cornet Oblensky son Clooney 51 also produced a stunning clear in both rounds on the final day, finishing second just ahead of the Swedish crowd’s beloved Peder Fredricson and the grey Cardento son Catch Me Not.
“Clooney has been fantastic throughout this championship. Those big tracks today had a lot of questions but Clooney made it look simple,” said 2018 world silver medallist Martin.
Despite not winning a class, it was Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar and Rokfeller De Pleville Bois Margot who led coming into the final day of competition, after very consistent performances. Sadly though, two fences down in the first round of the afternoon dropped him out of contention for the overall title and, with another pole in the second round, he finished in equal 10th.
Don’t miss the 11 April issue of Horse & Hound for full coverage from the World Cup finals in Gothenburg.