Fuchs Makes
History
in Basel

13 January 2019

Switzerland's Martin Fuchs took the win at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League Jumping in Basel today...

With only three clears in the first round, it was Martin Fuchs rode to first place in front of a home crowd, followed by Marc Houtzager of the Netherlands in second and Belgium's Pieter Devos in third.

 

With only three qualifiers left, the top riders were out to get more points under their belt before the upcoming Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals in April, but the course was proving tight on time and unforgiving on poles.

 

Fuchs and his top horse Clooney pulled off a spectacular clear in front of a home crowd.

Lucia Le Jeune Vizzini was the first to leave the fences up, but had a single time fault...

Nadja Peter Steiner and Saura de Fondcombe suffered the same fate for Switzerland, as did Spain's Eduardox Alvarez Aznar.

 

Michael Whitaker of Great Britain and Valmy de la Lande has a retirement after one pole and a run out. Germany's Ludger Beerbaum on Castello was lacking form; the combination had three poles, one stop and a time fault.

 

Houtzager was the first clear of the atfernoon with Sterrehof Calimero, followed immediately by Devos. Switzerland's Steve Guerdat had four faults, but was not aboard his top mare Bianca.

 

With only 8 riders left to go, there was still only three clears.

 

Gudrun Patteet of Belgium looked set to be the fourth, but a slightly slow time resulted in another clear with a single time penalty, ruling her out of the jump off.

 

Ireland's Denis Lynch had a run out at the third element of the triple, where his horse, The Sinner, decided to jump the decorative plants instead of the 1.60m fence!

The course was
unforgiving
on poles 

Four faulters were the order of the day, with Bertram Allen, Steve Guerdat, Hans Dreher, Max Kuhner, Christian Ahlmann and others all taking a single pole...

Three riders went forward to the jump off out of a total of 40 competitors, proving the technicality of the course.

 

Houtzager was first to go, keeping the pace steady but making tight turns on a scopey horse.

 

Pieter Devos shaved two seconds off Houtzager’s time but had the penultimate fence down after a tight turn.

 

Fuchs came in to roaring applause from his home crowd, and a speedy clear round shot him into first place, much to the delight of the spectators.

 

Can't wait for more Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ excitement? We can't either! Catch all the action on FEI TV next week! 

 

Text by Sophie Baker

Images by FEI/Katja Stuppia