Sometimes its a threesome that causes a problem and such was the case on Friday night, April 17th for the second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final II taking place in Las Vegas, NV. But this was a triple threat of a different kind and came at the end of a very tight and complicated situation. That threesome was the triple combination near the very end of a course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio and it was where most of the riders downed a rail leaving only five to come back for the jump-off. And what a jump-off it was. While only one of the two nineteen year olds who placed first and second on the first night were among those chosen few, Richard Fellers and his 19-year-old Flexible finished fourth in the jump-off after downing one rail. And Ireland's 19-year-old Bertram Allen, the winner in the first round, rode his mare Molly Malone V to seventh.
The man who rose to the top of the charts with a double clear round in a time of 32.87 seconds was Steve Guerdat, whose victory ride set the audience on fire. No surprise was second place finisher Beezie Madden, who rode her Bronze Medal winning 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games horse, Simon. Talk about electrifying an audience; their round almost took the roof off of the Thomas & Mack Arena.
One of the biggest highlights of the night happened with a rider who never finished his round. Todd Minikus, who's had his share of ups and downs over his show jumping career, almost added another down to this one when he nearly was bounced right out of the saddle after fence #4. Somehow he managed to just barely bounce back into place before attempting to finish the course. While victory may not have been his this time, he’s done quite well over the past year, especially when in September of 2014 he and Quality Girl won the Zoetis $1 Million Dollar Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties, NY.
In total, 35 riders faced off against the course made tougher by the fact that it was a big course in a small indoor arena, but those who rose to the top sailed through the triple threat combination and showed it could be done.
The dressage World Cup has finished with Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro to the victory. Show Jumping will continue in Las Vegas with the final rounds on Sunday, April 19th. To find out more about this competition, visit the web site at http://www.worldcuplasvegas.com/. For more about the FEI, whose rules both sports follow, go to www.fei.org.
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