Ireland’s Denis Lynch leapt up the leaderboard to finish on the podium in tonight’s Longines FEI World Cup jumping final, the second of three days of competition.
The leg was won by Germany’s Christian Ahlmann (Taloubet Z), with Denis and All Star 5 second and Harrie Smolders and Emerald filling third.
Christian, who earned €34,500 for his efforts with a daring round on his nifty and talented 16-year-old stallion, said: “I wanted to go fast and I have a really fast horse; an unbelievable horse.
He took the tightest of lines which none of the other six riders in the jump-off could reproduce.
“This was my only chance to get up the rankings before Monday — there was no other option than try to put my colleagues under pressure. Apparently it worked out.”
Denis, who was second to go in the jump-off, was 4.5 seconds slower than the pathfinding German, but these were the only two double clears of the night. He won €26,250.
“I was too slow yesterday,” he said. “Tonight I was lucky the others had fances down so I was second. But this competition isn’t about winning one class, so I’ll just keep trying to keep the fences up.”
Results from the first two legs are combined to give a penalty score, with those having performed well so far gaining an advantage. 30 riders progress to the final day’s jumping which takes place on Monday.
The current leader is Steve Guerdat (Switzerland) who starts the final day on a zero penalty score, with Marcus Ehning, Harrie Soulders, Daniel Deusser and Nicola Philippaerts all within a fence of poll position.
Denis sits in equal 10th with eight penalties.
Laura Renwick — who was set to be the only British contender in the final — had to withdraw her horse Bintang II after he was thought to have got cast overnight and was too stiff to jump.
Two other horses did not compete tonight: Egypt’s Mohamed Talaat was disqualified after jumping on the first day as his ride Connaught was found to have blood on his flank in the post-round inspection.
China’s Zhiwen Zhao withdrew Pommeau Du Heup before tonight’s class as the horse sustained a cut to his off-hind (right) leg when he crashed through the oxer at fence seven on Friday. He has recived stitches to the leg.
For a full report on all the action at the FEI World Cup finals, pick up a copy of Horse & Hound magazine on Thursday 31 March.