From some guy at the world cup
Well, it’s all over; and what an outcome.
So, Mario Deslauriers, from an almost impenetrable lead going into the final round, took far too many rails to count (3 I think) throughout the course, maybe a time fault as well (I lost track) and finished in 6th place in the overall standings. It was a dreadful finish which cost him not only the victory, but almost €50k. With the price of things here in Switzerland, he could probably have used the spare change; however, it would have been tough to cash as there is a dearth (none at last count) of bank machines at this Credit Suisse sponsored event. Odd you say – and I concur.
In fact, he was the top placing North American rider, our Karen Cudmore placing 35th overall after her disappointing elimination in round deux. So, no U.S. riders placed in the top 5. Quite disappointing and they must now be looking forward to the World Equestrian Games this fall in Kentucky. I know I am.
The surprise victor (to me, and I think maybe to him also) was three time FEI World Cup winner Marcus Ehning riding Plot Blue. He was in a strong position coming into the final round, but it was more Mario’s undoing than Marcus’s spectacle. In fact, it was an uneventful, clear and crisp run. On the winners podium, the tied for second place riders lifted the (luckily, fairly small) man in the air and almost dropped him from the top step of the rostrum. No protective headgear – that would hurt.
Apparently tied for second (wasn’t made that clear at the awards ceremony), Ludger Beerbaum and home town favorite and current #1 ranked rider Pius Schwitzer. Yes, the crowd went wild for Pius.
Also not that clear was the final round absence of Swiss rider Daniel Etter. He was near the top of the order in the final round, never showed, no comment. Hmmm, Swiss precision is becoming a bit oxymoronic to me.
In post game comments, they all commented on the great organization of the event, and the fairness and well-designed course layout – which pleased designer Rolf Ludi, I’m sure.
Little mention of McLain (one question asked), and small banner (FEI Steals Sapphire’s World Cup – Good Luck to All Competitors) protest during the event. The FEI released another page last night indicating that McLain had lodged an “urgent appeal”, which had been summarily declined by the FEI Tribunal. I’m sure the Chicago and New York lawyers are working late.
Other notable finishers included Portuguese rider and first timer world cupper Luciana Diniz who was positioned for a top three finish, but took a rail in the final round. And Australian Chris Chugg and his pirouetting Vivant. A 7th place solid finish which might be the highest world placing for an Aussie rider – ever?? Nice ride, and a crowd pleaser too.
It’s been total fun, a highly competitive week, great riding on great horses, some intrigue.
Back to Karen. Au Revoir.