Photo: FEI /Satu Pirinen
Gudrun Patteet has become the first Belgian rider to win a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup competition – taking the title in Helsinki.
Gudrun won the second leg of the World Cup Western European League following a thrilling jump-off against some of the world’s most formidable showjumpers.
Swiss star Steve Guerdat was third to go and set a blistering target of 40.10sec with the great mare Hannah, but they kept getting faster.
Reigning European champion Peder Fredricson moved into the lead on a time of 39.51sec with Hannsson W, however it wasn’t quite fast enough.
Gudrun and Pebbles raced around the course with determination to finish on a winning time of 39.30sec.
‘Very very hot’
“He’s not normal, he’s very complicated and very, very hot, but he’s so brave and very talented,” said Gudrun, who went on to describe his careful warm-up routine.
“First he goes on the lunge, and then I get on him with 10 horses to go, because if I warm him up any other way he just loses it! I know how to handle him now, but I have to follow my plan carefully. He’s one of the fastest horses in world so if the plan goes well he can beat anybody!”
Hans-Dieter Dreher and Embassy ll were second (39.47sec) with Peder Fredricson in third.
You can watch the World Cup series on Horse & Country as we have highlights of the FEI World Cup Jumping WEL (Western European League), FEI World Cup Jumping NAL (North American League), FEI World Cup Dressage and FEI World Cup Driving.
FEI World Cup Jumping: Helsinki premieres on Thursday 25 October at 8pm.