With 276 athletes in attendance from 16 nations, the beautifully lit Ecole nationale d'équitation provided the perfect backdrop for three days of FEI Vaulting.
Kristina Boe, Jannis Drewell and Theresa-Sophie Bresch & Torben Jacobs returned to defend titles, aiming to replicate the German clean sweep of successes from the FEI Vaulting World Cup™ Final in Dortmund last year.
In the female category, three German and three Swiss competitors lined-up against one another, hungry for FEI World Cup™ glory.
Prior to the competition, defending champion Kristina Boe announced that at the conclusion of the final, she would be retiring from competition.
Throughout her ‘farewell tour’ this World Cup season, Boe has been delighting fans by bringing back some of her old favourite routines.
It was only fitting that she would conclude her career with her freestyle interpretation of Jane Goodall which won her the double gold medal at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™.
In the final freestyle her horse Highlander came to an early halt at the end of Kristina’s otherwise flawless routine, unfortunately costing her a spot on the podium (8.122). It does nothing to detract from her unparalleled FEI Vaulting career and the long list of accolades to her name.
The night belonged to her compatriot Janika Derks (GER), who convincingly led the competition from beginning to end and won by an astonishing 0.4 margin (8.753). Armed with her new ‘Million Dollar Baby’ freestyle, alongside her horse Carousso Hit and lunger Jessica Lichtenberg, she was untouchable by the rest of the field.
A hair’s breadth separated second-placed Marina Mohar (8.390) and third-placed Nadja Buttiker - both hailing from Switzerland.
Overnight a mere 0.04 separated the young, expressive Colombian vaulter Juan Martin Clavijo and top FEI Vaulting World Cup™ qualifier Jannik Heiland.
After round one the two had pulled away from the rest of the highly decorated field and a tense head-to-head battle ensued.
The night belonged to Clavijo (8.976) as his astonishing expression, flexibility and the sheer complexity of his freestyle scored him a second-round total in excess of nine to maintain his lead ahead of Heiland who finished 2nd (8.770).
Finishing third, Thomas Brusewitz debuted his new Alexander Hamilton routine.
Complete with his signature back-facing backflip, he added another FEI World Cup podium finish to his impressive list of accolades after finishing 2nd in both the 2013 &2015 finals (8.690).