Britain’s show jumpers were on good form in France this weekend, with Tim Stockdale winning the Bordeaux Grand Prix and Michael Whitaker sixth in the FEI World Cup qualifier. But the French were undoubtedly determined to demonstrate their prowess on home turf: Frenchmen Michel Robert and Michel Hecart took first and second places in the FEI World Cup qualifier.
Course designer Frank Rothenberger’s first-round track caught out the majority of the field, and only five combinations made it into the jump off of the FEI World Cup qualifier. Michel Hecart, first in the arena, put on the pressure with a 38.05 sec clear with Itot du Chateau. But Robert and Galet d’Auzay, next to go, shaved almost a second off Hecarts time to finish in an unbeatable 37.12 sec. Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum took third place with Ulrich Kirchhoff in fourth and Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson in fifth.
“I’m very happy with my horse tonight” Robert said after collecting the €27,000 first prize. “This is his first win indoors. Normally he goes better outside, but he was settled tonight even though it was a difficult competition”.
Britain’s Michael Whitaker and Insultech Portofino produced the quickest four-fault first round to take sixth place. Whitaker now lies in fifth position on the FEI World Cup leader board after round 10 with 50 points. William Whitaker and Arielle also gained just four penalties to take 15th place in the Bordeaux FEI qualifier.
Meanwhile Tim Stockdale and Fresh Direct Corlato took their second Grand Prix in two weeks when they won the Bordeaux Grand Prix. The pair outpaced Germany’s Olympic Gold medallist Ludger Beerbaum to take the €18,000 first prize.
FEI World Cup Leader Board (after round 10)
1. Christian Ahlmann – 82
2. Beat Mandli – 64
3. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum – 63
4. Albert Zoer – 56
5. Michael Whitaker – 50
6. Markus Beerbaum – 45
7. Judy-Ann Melchior – 44
8. Gerco Schroder – 42
9. Rene Tebbel – 42
10. Patrick McEntee – 42
11. Malin Baryard-Johnsson – 36
12. Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst and Marcus Ehning – 34
14. Eugenie Angot – 34
15. Marco Kutscher – 33
16. Steve Guerdat – 30
17. Daniel Deusser and Leopold Van Asten – 30
19. Mark Armstrong – 28
20. Jos Lansink – 27