The first full FEI World Cup™ Vaulting season will culminate in a hotly contested Final in Bordeaux (FRA) this weekend (February 4-5), when the sport’s top male and female vaulters will compete to secure the World Cup title.
The series has been hard fought with 10 male and 10 female vaulters competing in five qualifiers in Kiel (GER), Munich (GER), Salzburg (AUT), Paris (FRA) and Leipzig (GER).
Six male and six female vaulters will now battle it out for the honours at the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2011/2012 Final in the Bordeaux Exhibition Centre.
World number one Patric Looser (SUI), who has announced his retirement after Bordeaux, heads to the Final after securing a six-point lead over Viktor Brüsewitz (GER). They will be joined by Lukas Klouda (CZE), Yvan Nousse (FRA), Lukas Heppler (SUI) and Remy Hombecq (FRA).
Switzerland’s Simone Jaïser (SUI) leads the points tally for the female vaulters and will be joined by Anna Cavallaro (ITA), Sarah Kay (GER) and world number one Joanne Eccles (GBR).
Germany’s Pia Engelberty, fourth in the points tally, is unable to compete at the Final after breaking her foot. Rikke Laumann (DEN) will also miss the Final and Mary McCormick (USA), who was due to replace Pia Engelberty, will not be making the trip to Bordeaux.
This allows Hannah Eccles (GBR), twice British Junior Champion and Great Britain representative in the individual female competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Kentucky and four-time French champion and twice junior champion Anne-Sophie Musset-Agnus (FRA) to compete in this weekend’s Final.
“My dream is to one day be in the world top-five and this weekend is an opportunity for me to realise this dream”, said French vaulter Anne-Sophie Musset-Agnus, after learning that she would be competing in the Final on her home turf.
”By taking part in the FEI World Cup Vaulting Final this weekend I am already fulfilling my dream,” the 26-year-old said. “I will be performing at my best in Bordeaux, working closely with my mother and my horse Kilkady d’Heurteloup – Kenny for short – to stand out amongst the elite vaulters at the Final.”
The title of FEI World Cup™ champion will be decided over two Freestyle to Music rounds on Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February when the vaulters will produce highly creative performances with extraordinary gymnastic moves on their horses to impress the judges.
“This is building up to be a thrilling Final at the end of the first full FEI World Cup™ Vaulting series,” said Ian Williams, FEI Director of Non-Olympic Sports.
“The standard set during this first full season has been extremely high and the Final will be really exciting for the spectators. They will see the world’s most talented vaulters push themselves to the limit to secure victory in Bordeaux.”