PHOTO: FEI/Lotta Brundin Gyllensten/LOTTAPICTURES
The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final is just weeks away, and Britain’s hopes are pinned on Michael Whitaker and his nephew Robert.
‘About time I won!’
Michael has enjoyed a great season, with a number of top ten places on JB’s Hot Stuff and Calisto Blue. His best result was in the final qualifier in Gothenburg, where he came third. This moved him up from 15th to seventh place on the leaderboard and secured his place in the final on 11-15 April.
Michael has yet to decide which horse he will take to the Paris final, but one thing we can be sure of is he will give it his all on the night. This will be Michael’s 23rd World Cup final and, as the 57-year old said, ‘it’s about time I won it!”.
Robert finishes the season 16th and just made the final cut as the top 18 riders go through. Ireland will also be represented, with Denis Lynch finishing in fifth place and Mark McAuley scraping through in 18th.
In it to win it
It has been a thrilling World Cup 2017/18 series, with the very best showjumpers in the world battling it out for those all important qualifying points.
Sweden’s Henrik Von Eckermann’s win in the last leg saw him overtake long-time league leader Kevin Staut, who had a fantastic season. Only one French rider has ever won the coveted FEI World Cup trophy, so there is a major incentive for him to win the title on home turf.
Germany’s Marcus Ehning will be also be in it to win it, as he makes his bid to become the first ever four-time champion.
Everything to play for
A total of 10 Western European nations will be represented in Paris, and they will be joined by riders from 15 other leagues. Competitors start with zero points in the final, so there is everything to play for.
Before the big final next month, you can take a look back at all the best bits of the qualifying rounds in FEI World Cup Jumping: 2017/18, which features the thrilling jump-offs from the 13-leg series.