20 April 2014 - Patrice Delaveau, the man carrying the host nation’s hopes and dreams into tomorrow’s third and deciding leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2013/2014 Final at Lyon, France announced this morning that he was withdrawn his horse, Lacrimoso. “Je suis desolé,” the 49-year-old rider said, deeply disappointed that his dark bay stallion has a minor foot problem and therefore cannot fight for the coveted trophy that all Jumping riders want to win. Delaveau had claimed a share of the lead with Olympic champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, after the first two competitions and hopes were flying high in the French camp last night that a French win could be on the cards. France has only taken the title once before in the 36-year history of the event when Bruno Broucqsault and Dileme de Cephe produced a surprise victory in Milan (ITA) 10 years ago.

“After the first round yesterday I thought I felt something but I was not sure, and he was not as good as usual in the jump-off. Afterwards I knew he was not right, he was a bit lame but it wasn’t anything dramatic. We presented him at the horse inspection today and he was rejected. We were offered the possibility of presenting him again tomorrow morning but we decided - Philippe (Guerdat, French Chef d’Equipe) and the owners - that we will withdraw.”

“I am very disappointed for a lot of people, and for everyone here in France,” Delaveau continued. “It would be a wonderful story to see a French rider winning in France, but this is just the way it is, and the horse is only 10 years old and will surely have many other good years ahead of him.”

Event Director Sylvie Robert said she was disappointed for Patrice, “and for the French team, the owners and for French sport. There are still two French riders in the competition however and I wish them well,” she added.

“Patrice had a great chance to take this title this weekend for France,” Philippe Guerdat said, “but it is fate for him and that’s just the way it is. We were all in the stables together today, including the horse’s owners, Armand and Emmanuele Perron-Pette, and I have to congratulate them for their unselfish decision to withdraw Lacrimoso. They thought only of their horse’s well-being - that came first and not the possibility of victory.”

Possible sprain

Delaveau described Lacrimoso’s injury as a possible sprain in a front front, “but we can’t say for sure just yet, he has to be examined further”.  Asked if he regretted leaving his other horse, Carinjo, at home he replied, “no, he doesn’t like jumping indoors, he is more of an outdoor horse” adding that his other top ride, Orient Express, is only just back after an injury and is not yet fit.

The word Lacrimoso refers to sadness, and there is certainly some of that in French circles today, but as Delaveau pointed out, there is always the future, and everyone is still looking forward with great anticipation to tomorrow’s last competition which will decide who takes home the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping trophy after another thrilling season.

With the Frenchman now out of the picture, it is Olympic champion Guerdat who holds the lead, with a narrow two-point advantage over Germany’s Daniel Deusser in second, while Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum, defending champion Beezie Madden from the USA and first-day winner Pius Schwizer from Switzerland are only another two points further adrift.
By Louise Parkes