The FEI World Cup Finals in show jumping and dressage took place over the weekend in Paris, France. We’ve got the recap of all the action right here!
America’s Beezie Madden and Breitling LS took their second win of the week tonight to go into Sunday’s title-decider with a one-fence advantage at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2018 in Paris (FRA). Photo by FEI/Liz Gregg
Thousands of spectators and scores of horses and their riders have all gone home to their native lands — but for five action-packed days, the capitol of the horse world was Paris, France, which played host to the FEI World Cup Finals in show jumping and dressage. The competition was fierce and the feats by horses and riders were inspiring: here’s a recap of the action if you couldn’t catch any of it live.
Winning the 2017 FEI World Cup Finals by a huge margin, Isabell Werth of Germany has been hailed as the queen of the dressage arena, and she was the heavy favorite to win in Paris. But the USA’s own Laura Graves certainly didn’t make it easy, marking an 81.413% in the Grand Prix, the first of two rounds of competition. This score was Graves’ personal best aboard her Verdades and she led Werth by over three full points.
Graves was also riding in her first World Cup Finals in Europe, a setting which she found unique: “It’s very different from the conditions in America, since the qualifying circuit is mostly on outdoor courses, and here it’s indoor. It’s a real opportunity to be here in Paris, to be up against the best and to push back your limits.”
Werth and her mount Weihegold made a few uncharacteristic errors which hindered their score, leaving the door open for Graves and Verdades to step right up. “The mistakes with the gallop and in the transitions were a bit unexpected,” stated Werth. “But let’s face it, it makes the competition even more exciting!”
But on the second and final day of competition in the Freestyle, Werth came out swinging, scoring an incredible 90.657% on Weihegold who appeared to be much more focused for performance. In response, Graves and Verdades scored a smashing 89.082% for yet another personal best. While this score wasn’t enough to surpass the ruling queen, it certainly established Graves as a serious contender in international competition.
Werth called her…