2018 Finals
Flashback

28 March 2019

With the FEI World Cup™ Finals right around the corner, we take a trip down memory lane to remember last year’s dramatic events in Paris…

There was no shortage of romance in Paris as previous winners Beezie Madden and Isabell Werth reclaimed their respective titles at the 2018 FEI World Cup finals™.

 

As the city of love embraced equestrian’s biggest annual occasion, Beezie dominated from the off and rolled back the years to once again win the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title following her success in Gothenburg in 2013.

 

While Isabell arrived in Paris a huge favourite, she was pushed all the way by American rival Laura Graves.

 

What happened last year?

The drama of the Dressage had the crowds on the edge of their seats from the off, with fans erupting as Laura Graves pulled out a personal best to take the lead at the end of the first day of competition.

 

 

When the last day rolled around, it was all to play for. But it was Isabell that pulled out a stunning performance to secure her fourth FEI Dressage World Cup™ win with a score of 90.657%.

 

Laura and Verdades took second place with 89% and an emotional Jessica von Bredow-Werndl took the bronze position with 83.7%.

 

After spraying champagne from the top of the podium, an overjoyed Werth paid tribute to her star mare Weihegold.

 

"It was perfect today,” she said. “Today she was fantastic. It was one of her best freestyles - really focused, really with me. The crowd was applauding, clapping - it was really special today." 

 

Jumping for joy

Beezie made a fabulous start to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ competition, taking first place in the speed class on the opening day of competition.

 

While the second day was Friday the 13th, it was another dream round for Madden, with a slight wobble at one point not enough to become a nightmare.

 

Once again giving the audience and her opponents a textbook ride to learn by, she managed her 12-year-old stallion Breitling LS beautifully in both the first round and the final jump off, in which she finished in a mere 33.22 seconds.

 

Madden headed into the final day Grand Prix with a four-point lead over second-placed Henrik von Eckermann of Sweden.

 

And she and Breitling used all their experience to maintain first place in front of the Paris crowd.

 

In the final Grand Prix, she stayed clear in the first round and only knocked one rail in the second, for a time of 67.31 seconds and four penalty points aboard Breitling.

 

It was the USA for both gold and silver on the podium, as American Devin Ryan took a hard-won second place on nine-year-old Eddie Blue.

 

Ryan, who wasn’t expected to factor into the top finishers, showed maturity and grit throughout the three days of riding and came from third place to go clear in the final round with a time of 67.50 seconds and only six penalty points.

 

Beezie said: “My horse was fantastic and to have the US in one-two is great — it couldn’t have been a better week for us.”

 

Sweden’s Von Eckermann, aboard his mare Toveks Mary Lou, was in second place going into Round B of the Grand Prix but knocked a rail down early in the course.

 

Even though he finished with a fast time of 66.07 seconds, Von Eckermann wound up with eight penalty points and landed in third place for the bronze medal.

 

A disappointed Von Eckermann told FEI.org: “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.”

Will 2019 be Eckermann’s year?

His recent form suggests a win on home turf could be on the cards. Or will Madden defend her title once again for a sensational third Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ win?

 

If you’re heading to Gothenburg, we look forward to seeing you there… be sure to say hello to our team! If you want some ideas for things to do in between events, check out our guide to Gothenburg here.

 

For those of you that can’t make the trip, make sure to follow all the action on FEI TV!

 

Words by Hannah Spreckey

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