The start order for the first round of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2014

McLain Ward will be last into the arena while fellow-American, Kent Farrington, will be the penultimate competitor when the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2014 gets underway with the Table C Speed class at Lyon, France on Friday.  The draw for starting spots took place tonight at Lyon’s elegant City Hall which dates all the way back to 1642, and under the 17 fabulous chandeliers adorning the historic and sumptuously-decorated reception room, it was Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts and French rider, Patrice Delaveau, who pulled the names and numbers out of the hat.

For British veteran, Michael Whitaker, it was third time unlucky as he was drawn first of the 40 starters from 20 nations who are taking part in this 36th annual finale to the indoor Jumping season.  However his 2013 European silver medal-winning team-mate, World No. 1 Scott Brash, has a strong draw when going third-last.

Defending champion, America’s Beezie Madden, will be 31st into the arena as she bids to make it two-in-a-row with Simon while three-time FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion, Marcus Ehning from Germany, is drawn 34th with the stallion Cornado NRW.  The final six are an interesting mixture, with Egypt’s Nassar Nayel who qualified as winner of the Norther American West Coast League running 35th with Lordan followed by America’s Saer Coulter and Springtime and then Jamie Kermond, winner of the Australian Jumping Championship last September who topped the FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014 Australian League.  Brash and the on-form mare Ursula will be tough nuts to crack when third-last to go, ahead of the speedy American partnership of Farrington and Blue Angel and, finally, Ward with HH Carlos Z.

By Louise Parkes