Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum wins third World Cup title

  • Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Shutterfly won their third Rolex World Cup final with another peerless display in Las Vegas.

    The world number one, and still the only woman ever to be on a German championship team, described it as the “perfect week,” winning all three legs. She revealed that the win was extra special and dedicated to her father, who died only four weeks ago.

    Listen to Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s interview

    McLain Ward and Sapphire had given her no real margin for error but the superiority of Shutterfly is so marked that he was never going to need it. The pair were in a league of their own throughout.

    McLain paid tribute to his former countrywoman and then to his horse. “I honestly don’t think we could have done any more and if we started the week all over again I’d still do it all the same.”

    Dutch pair Albert Zoer and Oki Doki were third, staying ahead of 2008 runner-up Rich Fellers and Flexible, who looked out of their depth on the final day after making such an impact in the opening speed test.

    Ben Maher and Robin Hood were a fantastic seventh on their World Cup debut, a result Ben described as “quite acceptable.”

    Robin Hood’s clear in the final round was awesome and he gave the troublesome triple bar at least two feet. Maher will forever kick himself for booting out first and last fences in earlier rounds as these results are carried forward.

    “These were silly mistakes I might have got away with somewhere else, but I was always go to have difficulty in the speed leg and you have to be pleased to have gone this well against combinations with five or more years more experience than me,” said Maher.

    He will now rest Robin Hood before starting his campaign for selection for the European championships in August.

    Listen to Ben Maher’s interview

    Michael Whitaker made the final cut wth Portofino, who was contesting her sixth World Cup, but Michael retired after lowering three spreads.

    Don’t miss H&H’s full report on all the action from the World Cup final, on sale Thursday 23 April, ’09

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