18 April 2018


Beezie Madden wins her second title!

The AccorHotels Arena seems to bring good fortune to American riders. Thirty-one years after Katharine Burdsall and The Natural, at the time when this place was still called Palais Omnisport de Paris Bercy, another American was crowned champion at this 40th Longines FEI World Cup Final.

Finally, Beezie Madden led the competition from start to finish, despite the small mistake by Breitling LS in the middle of the second round: “That made me a little nervous, then I quickly refocused because I knew I could trust my horse.” However, those four points were not too dramatic because the Swedish rider Henrik von Eckermann had just done the same thing... for a different reason: “I put too much pressure on Mary Lou at that obstacle, I didn't trust her and she didn't deserve that, because she's so good. Afterwards, I relaxed a bit and everything went well. I can’t help remembering that it was Ludger Beerbaum who made me want to make a career in riding. I first saw him in Gothenburg when I was 14 years old. But he finished first and this is the second time I have come third.” ....Indeed, the Swedish rider gave up the second place he had held since Friday to the American Devin Ryan whose young 9-year-old horse was the only one not to have knocked off a bar this week; the point picked up for exceeding the time on the second day was truly costly in the end. “But I'm very proud to be on the world podium for the first time, next to Beezie Madden who is a rider we all respect; it’s almost as good as a win. I hope this result will make our national coach think about me for the selection for the Tryon World Equestrian Games.”

This Longines FEI World Cup generally results in a battle between the United States and Europe, and this time the US Equestrian Team clearly won the match with three riders in the top four. The European riders took five places in the Top 10, which also included a Colombian rider. We should note the great performances of the two former winners of the event, Daniel Deusser and Steve Guerdat, who made good progress after the second day (15th and 19th), both finishing in the Top 10 (8th and 10th). Along with Devin Ryan, they rode the only double clear rounds of the final class.

As regards the French riders, only Roger Yves Bost made it through to the second round after a clear round on Sangria du Coty. But the mare did not manage to repeat her performance (recording 9 points) and the best French rider finished in 13th place in the final ranking.
The GL events Equestrian Sport team rose to the challenge of the event and made this return to the AccorHotels Arena a great success. Now, the curtain comes down on this Longines FEI World Cup.

The 41st World Cup season will start in October and be at Equita Lyon for the of All Saints’ weekend.
The history of this magnificent and historic circuit is far from over.

What they said:

Beezie Madden (USA, 1st): “I am delighted to have joined the exclusive club of two-time winners of the Longines FEI World Cup Final. To win it twice is just amazing. I am very happy for myself, but also for my team, my husband John and my horse’s owner who was here to see the victory. There were three Americans in the top 4, with Devin and his young 9-year-old horse and McLain and his faithful HH Azur. I love the World Cup, I love the competition format, it is the championship of the year for me. It was my horse’s first World Cup championship; I was confident coming into the final, but I was not sure I could maintain my best form from the beginning to the end of the competition. I tried Breitling when he was 7 years old at Jeroen Dubbeldam’s place and gradually he has grown in confidence. Over the last two years, he has really gained a lot of experience but was not regular enough. I didn’t think he would reach the top so quickly at this level of competition. Today, I have truly realised how good he is and I know that he is a worthy successor to Simon and Cortes C.”

Devin Ryan (USA, 2nd): “I am lucky to have a really obedient horse. That has always been his great quality; he had already won events when he was 5 and 6 years old, and at 7 years old he won his first Grand Prix. Last year my goal was to qualify for this final and I qualified through the Eastern American league. My aim is obviously to reach the top ten one day and I hope that this performance will make the coach consider me for a place on the US team for the Tryon World Equestrian Games.”

Henrik von Eckermann (SUE, 3rd): “Mary Lou was fantastic like always. It really was my fault that we knocked that bar off. I lost a bit of rhythm in the middle of the second round and I should have trusted her more. I am angry with myself. My mare was quite a late developer and then two years ago she made great progress in just 6 months. This is what enabled us to be 3rd in the last World Cup Final in Omaha. I would have liked to have done better this year”.

Santiago Varela (course designer): “We saw some great sport. I’m delighted with the way the week went. I want to thank the organising committee who asked me to build the courses here, and naturally the whole team who worked with me throughout the competition. In the next few weeks, I will be designing the courses for the competitions in Madrid and Calgary. And I am delighted to have been chosen to design the course for the next Olympic Games which will be held in Tokyo in 2020; it is a great challenge.”



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