French rider Pénélope Leprévost made the first round of the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg look easy last night, winning the Speed Round (Jumping Final 1) with a time of 63.78 seconds. Leprévost, currently the top ranked female rider in the world (#5 on the FEI World Ranking list), completed the course over 2 seconds faster than rest of the top 5 riders – including current FEI World #1, fellow French rider Simon Delestre.
Leprévost and Vagabond de la Pomme made the cleverly designed course, dreamt up by course designer Santiago Varela of Spain – filled with multiple opportunities and options for daring riders to make cuts – look ever so simple. When asked how she did it, Leprévost smiled, saying, “Vagabond is simple to ride. He is a super character. Dressage training has really helped with controlling all of his power.”
German rider and 2014 Longines FEI WCF Champion, Daniel Deusser, placed third in last night’s Speed Round, but winning the class was not his goal. “I was a bit more cautious. I tried to be careful after my experience [during the Speed Round] last year at Vegas after dropping a rail. My goal was to be within the top 6 to 7 riders at the end of the first round.”
At this stage in the game, there is certainly a great deal of strategy and calculation at play. H&S looks forward to seeing how the standings evolve tonight in Round 2 of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final.
Top 5 Riders after Round 1:
- Pénélope Leprévost and Vagabond de la Pomme
- Simon Delestre and Qlassic Bois Margot
- Daniel Deusser and Cornet d’Amour
- Steve Geurdat and Corbinian
- Nicola Phillippaerts and H&M Forever D Arco Ter Linden
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