Russian Rider Steals a March in HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing


Riders from the U.S. and Eastern Europe have rocketed up the HSBC FEI World Cup™ rankings following competitions at Kalispell (USA) and Minsk (BLR) this weekend.  Karen O’Connor (USA) shoots into equal 10th place with just three events to go after a convincing victory at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana.

Her mount, Mandiba, travelled to the 2008 Olympics as a relative novice; now, with the FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games™ on home territory approaching, the Irish-bred gelding looks the finished package after leading from flagfall to finish on his Dressage score.

“I’m delighted,” said O’Connor. “Mandiba has really matured. He’s become very confirmed in his flatwork and a lot of fun to ride. I was feeling the fruition of a lot of work this weekend.”

Buck Davidson (USA), who climbed from sixth to second on My Boy Bobby, and Phillip Dutton, who dropped a place to third after an unfortunate Jumping round on Truluck, headed a record contingent bringing 18 horses from the East Coast, the first time horses have flown here since 1962.

All were full of praise for the organisation and ground conditions at Rebecca Broussard’s 640-acre estate in the foothills of the Salish Mountains. Davidson said he had fulfilled two ambitions – to compete at the western venue of Kalispell and to see a grizzly bear!

Mara Dean (USA), who withdrew High Patriot when fourth after Cross-Country, summed up: “This is comparable to what you would see in Europe and on the best of the East Coast. It’s amazing to go into town and everyone knows who you are.”

There were 28 starters on Capt Mark Phillips’s revamped Cross-Country course, which included a new keyhole fence into water, and 23 completed with 20 clear rounds. 19 finished the competition.

Results
1 Karen O’Connor/Mandiba (USA) 44.2 + 0 + 0 = 44.2
2 Buck Davidson/My Boy Bobby (USA) 51.2 + 5.2 + 0 = 56.4
3 Phillip Dutton/Truluck (USA) 45.8 + 0 + 16 = 61.8
4 Hawley Bennett/Gin ‘N Juice (CAN) 49.6 + 6 + 8 = 63.6
5 Sharon White/Rafferty’s Rules (USA) 58.6 + 2 + 4 = 64.6
6 Phillip Dutton/Inmidair (USA) 54.6 + 2 + 8 = 64.6

Full results on www.eventatrfarm.com


The HSBC FEI World Cup™ event at Minsk attracted 19 horses from Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine and produced a home win for Viachaslau Poita (BLR), who was successful here in 2008, riding the 14-year-old Trakehner stallion Arbat.  He rose to the top spot after Alena Tselipaushkina (BLR), the only rider to achieve the optimum Cross-Country time, had four fences down in the Jumping phase on Passat and dropped to fourth.

However, Russian rider Alexey Korshunov gained the most HSBC FEI World Cup™ points – he was second on Gavot and fifth on Fort and has leapt into sixth place in the standings.  A total of 14 horses completed the Cross-Country with 10 clear rounds and 10 completed the event, which, said Technical Delegate Andy Griffiths (GBR), was “a great competition”.

Results
1 Viachaslau Poita/Arbat (BLR) 55.6 + 0.8 + 8 = 64.4
2 Alexey Korshunov/Gavot (RUS) 63.8 + 3.6 + 4 = 71.4
3 Aliaksandr Faminou/Gorlinka (BLR) 551.6 + 8.4 + 12 = 72
4 Alena Tselipushkina/Passat (BLR) 52.8 + 0 + 20 = 78.8
5 Alexey Korshunov/Fort (RUS) 61.2 + 13.6 + 4 = 78.8
6 Mykhailo Nastenko/Lankaster (UKR) 62 + 14.4 + 4 = 80.4

Full results on www.horses.org.by

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), 18-22 August
12. Schenefeld (GER), 26-29 August

Standings (after 9 of 12 events)
1 Michael Jung (GER) 142 points
2 Megan Jones (AUS) 138
3 Phillip Dutton (USA) 131
4= Clarke Johnston (NZL) 128
4= Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) 128
6 Alexey Korshunov (RUS) 125
7 Sonja Johnson (AUS) 119
8 Kai-Steffen Meier (GER) 107
9 Andrew Downes (GBR) 104
10= Mary King (GBR) 74
10= Karen O’Connor (USA) 74
12= Mara Dean (USA) 71
12= Chris Burton (AUS) 71
12= Sam Griffiths (AUS) 71
12= Oliver Townend (GBR) 71
12= Viachaslau Poita (BLR) 71

For the full rankings, see www.feiworldcup.org

Prize-money distribution (in US$)
1st place: 50,000
2nd: 34,000
3rd: 23,000
4th: 18,000
5th: 13,000
6th: 10’000
7th: 8,000
8th: 6,500
9th: 5,000
10th: 4,000
11th: 3,000
12th: 2,000
13th: 2,000
14th: 1,500
15th: 1,000

Photo 1: Karen O’Connor and Mandiba on their lap of honour after triumphing at Kalispell (Photo:Stockimageservices.com)
Photo 2: The winning combination in Minsk: Viachaslau Poita (BLR) and Arbat (Photo: Dzimitry Valiushka)




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