World Cup Qualifier, Olympia
Rene Tebbel stamped his authority on the current World Cup series after a brilliant win in the 22nd running of a qualifying round in Olympia’s Grand Hall, riding Meurer’s Le Patron.
Two weeks previously, the pair also triumphed in Amsterdam, and prior to that, they finished third in Berlin. Rene now heads the World Cup table on 57 points after seven competitions.
Although riders thought that Frank Rothenberger’s course was not over big, it proved catchy enough.
Eight of the 18 starters jumped initial clears, and Rene Tebbel set an unbeatable standard in 29.28when the 10-year-old Meurer’s Le Patron produced the first double clear round.
“The jump-off course proved difficult, as the turn back to the first part of the combination was veryshort for me,” said Tebbel. “He is a forward going horse, and wastes little time.”Not many would have laid odds on the time being beaten, but next drawn Michael Whitaker raised British hopes with a daring round with Ann Bedford’s stallion Virtual Village Handel.
Taking a strong hold from the outset, Michael struggled to contain Handel, and the pair arrived at the last oxer on five strides. Unfortunately, a rail fell in an incredible 28.70, to ultimately earn them fourth place.
Willi Melliger was not tempted against the clock with Calvaro V, and he settled for a tactical clear round in 37.64.
Taking up the challenge was last drawn Beat Mandli and Pozitano, who finished in 31.1 4 to secure second place. The pair also finished runners-up to John Whitaker and Welham last year. “We lost a little bit of time when he shied away from the Traxdata fence on the turn to the double, but I have to be pleased,” said Mandli afterwards.
Results: The World Cup Qualifier
1, Meurer’s Le Patron (Rene Tebbel); 2, Pozitano (Beat Mandli); 3, Calvaro V (Willi Melliger); 4, Handel (Michael Whitaker); 5 , Diams III (Herve Godignon); 6, Silwa Little Gun (Helena Weinberg).For more information and full days results, see www.olympiashowjumping.com