LONGINES FEI WORLD CUP FINAL: facts, figures and comments!

19th April - Facts and Figures:

Lyon in France is hosting the 36th FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final this weekend - 17-21 April.
Yesterday competition was the first of three rounds of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

A total of 40 riders competed in the class which was won by Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer riding Quidam du Vivier.

First to go yesterday was Great Britain's Michael Whitaker who was competing in his 22nd FEI World Cup Jumping Final. He made a single mistake at fence 9 and is lying 16th with Viking going into the Saturday’s second Final competition.

Course designer is Germany's Frank Rothenberger.

The oldest horse in tonight's competition was the 17-year-old chestnut mare Tinka's Serenade ridden by Ireland's sole representative, Billy Twomey.  They finished in eighth place.

The youngest horses were both nine-year-olds - the bay stallion Caramsin competed by Latvia's Kristaps Neretnieks and the bay gelding Amor ridden by Brazil's Yuri Mansur Guerios.

The USA's Beezie Madden has returned to defend her title with the horse with which she won the FEI World Cup™ Jumping title in Gothenburg, Sweden last year, the 15-year-old bay gelding Simon. After yesterday’s competition, Madden is lying 12th.


Comments after first day:

Course designer Frank Rothenberger - “I said before the competition we should get 12 to 15 clear rounds and we got 14.  I gave them two or three little options, tight turns, but it was more of a classical course.  There were 31 faults at the oxers and 12 faults at the verticals”.

Patrice Delaveau FRA when asked if, as a French rider, he feels extra pressure competing on home ground at Lyon -  “Yes but the crowd carries you and spurs you on, so it works both ways!”

Ludger Beerbaum GER, when asked if he was happy with his round today - “there is nothing I would have changed - even after the triple, I could have gone one stride less but these guys were two seconds ahead in the end so it wouldn’t have made any difference.  I am absolutely happy with my round and my horse - he couldn’t have done better today”.

Patrice Delaveau FRA - “I will ride Lacrimoso again tomorrow.  For this Final you need a horse that can go for three days and Lacrimoso is capable”.

Pius Schwizer  - Talking about Quidam du Vivier said “I have a lot of experience and the horse relied on that tonight. He has a lot of talent and I knew Quidam for four years before I began to ride him - that was about four months ago.  Previously he was ridden by Markus Hauri, son of Max Hauri.  He was a very spooky horse so he was brought on slowly in smaller classes to give him confidence and he never won an international class before, but he has had some good placings in 3 and 4-Stars over the last few months including at Gothenburg (SWE).  He is a naturally fast horse, and in the end today was just my day!” the Swiss rider said.

Photo Caption: Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer steered Quidam du Vivier to victory in yesterday’s opening round of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2013/2014 Final at Lyon, France.  Photo: FEI/Dirk Caremans.