HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing takes place at opposite ends of the globe this weekend (7-9 May), with the third and fourth events in the 2010 series taking place at Sydney (AUS) and Marbach (GER).
A new reciprocal arrangement between the organisers of last month’s Kihikihi CIC***-W (NZL) and Sydney has meant that Australian and New Zealand riders have received funding to travel across the Tasman Sea to compete in these events.
As a result, two New Zealanders, Clarke Johnstone, currently lying equal fifth in the HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing standings, and Jenna Mahoney, ninth, will be contesting Sydney. Blair Richardson, the third Kiwi entered, already lives in Australia.
The new format for HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing, with the 15 most successful riders in the 2010 series of 12 events sharing the US$180,000 prize fund, could be good news for Australian Olympic silver medalist Megan Jones, who finished third in the standings last year.
Having already repeated her 2009 Kihikihi victory on Kirby Park Irish Jester, if Jones triumphs at Sydney this weekend she will take a commanding lead in the series. Jones has also entered another horse from her family’s Irish Sport Horse stud, Kirby Park Allofasudden, runner-up in the Adelaide 4-star in 2008.
The record entry of 35 includes Kevin McNab (AUS), leader of the 2008 HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing leaderboard, with the stallion Belcam Caesar, plus Jones’ Beijing team mate Shane Rose and former Olympic team gold medalists Stuart Tinney (AUS) and Wendy Schaeffer.
Follow the competition on www.sydneyeventing.org
Meanwhile, eight nations are represented at Marbach in Germany: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and Sweden.
European bronze medalists Michael Jung (GER) and La Biosthetique Sam head the home side’s entry. Their remarkable 2009 season included a 4-star victory at Luhmühlen and winning the HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing Final at Strzegom (POL).
The French entry includes the seasoned pairings of Arnaud Boiteau and his 18-year-old Olympic gold medalist from Athens, Expo du Moulin, plus Pascal Leroy on Glenburny du Leou and Cedric Lyard with Jessy Mail.
Visitors from across the Baltic include the young Finnish rider Sanna Siltakorpi, who won the Minsk CIC***-W last year.
Follow the competition on www.eventing-marbach.de
Calendar of events
1. Tallahassee (USA), 5-7 March 2
2. Kihikihi (NZL), 2-4 April
3. Sydney (AUS), 7-9 May
4. Marbach (GER), 7-9 May
5. Chatsworth (GBR), 15-16 May
6. Tattersalls (IRL), 27-30 May
7. Strzegom (POL), 24-27 June
8. Minsk (BLR), 21-25 July
9. Rebecca Farm, Kalispell (USA), 22-25 July
10. Malmö (SWE), 13-15 August
11. Haras du Pin (FRA), TBC, 18-22 August
12. Schenefeld (GER), 26-29 August
Standings (after 2 of 12 events)
1 = Mara Dean (USA) 71 points
1 = Megan Jones (AUS) 71
3 = Phillip Dutton (USA) 67
3 = Heelan Tompkins (NZL) 67
5 = Will Coleman (USA) 64
5 = Clarke Johnston (NZL) 64
7 = Bonnie Mosser (USA) 61
7 = Alice Montgomery (NZL) 61
9 Jenna Mahoney (NZL) 58
10 Allison Springer (USA) 4
Photo: Megan Jones at Kihikihi (NZL)