in Paris

01 December 2018

Nadja Büttiker, Lukas Heppler and Syra Schmid & Zoe Maruccio gave Switzerland a clean sweep of wins in the opening qualifier of the 2018/2019 FEI Vaulting World Cup™ in Paris.

The FEI Vaulting World Cup™ got off to a captivating start as competitors came out all guns blazing desperate to get their FEI World Cup™ campaign off to the best possible start.


The tension palatable as Paris provided the first of four qualifying opportunities vaulters have to try secure enough points for an elusive slot at the FEI World Cup™ final in Saumur, France in April next year.


In the female category Nadja Büttiker, on-board 12 year-old Acardi Van De Kapel with lunger Monika Winkler-Bischofberger, showed her dominance to convincingly take top honours (8.278).

Nadja, who narrowly finished second at the FEI Vaulting World Cup™ Final earlier this year, performed her ‘Time’ inspired routine which highlights her versatility and physicality to great acclaim.

After the first round Büttiker’s fellow compatriot Ilona Hannich occupied the third place position after Acardi Van De Kapel wasn’t entirely at ease on the circle.


Less than 24 hours later the pair were back with Ilona securing the highest second round freestyle score of 8.482 to average 7.913 and move ahead of Germany’s Corinna Knauf (7.850).


Heppler edges Calvijo

In the male category the competition came down to the wire, after the first round freestyle a mere whisker separated Colombia’s Juan Martin Clavijo (8.574) and Switzerland’s Lukas Heppler (8.552). 


Overnight leader, 18-year-old Clavijo stunned the Paris audience in his FEI World Cup debut, bringing new moves to the fore which showcased his impressive flexibility.


However, he was unable to fend off the assault from Heppler who, in utter harmony with Acardi van de Kapel was able to execute a freestyle jam-packed with difficulty. Heppler cementing his reputation for rising to the FEI World Cup™ occasion with this dominant performance (8.588).


Frenchman Clement Taillez finished third (8.236), with Germany’s Thomas Brüsewitz (7.826) and Hungary’s Balazs Bence (7.178) completing the top five.

Don Dorado's delight

In the Pas De Deux category two of the most exciting young prospects lined up against each other looking for glory.


It was Syra Schmid & Zoe Maruccio who triumphed completing a golden day for Switzerland (8.097).


Competing with long-term lunger Michael Heuer at the helm, the Swiss pair impressively teamed up with Don Dorado who they have only trained their pas de deux on three times and who has only been Vaulting since March. Performing with conviction they looked like they had been together for years – Don Dorado a horse to watch for the future.


Finishing second from the US were Daniel Janes & Haley Smith with their routine featuring beautiful shapes and lines.


Unfortunately Amaretto du Perchet came to a halt midway through their routine and Daniel slipped from Amaretto, in what was otherwise an elegant performance (7.199).


The FEI Vaulting World Cup™ returns next weekend in Salzburg for the second leg of this gripping series.