Photo: FEI/Kit Houghton
Emile Faurie has come second in the FEI World Cup at Olympia Horse Show – missing out on first place by just 0.15%.
It was Emile and Delatio’s first ever Freestyle together and the rider admitted to never having ridden the floorplan to music before the big night. The pair was last to go, and entered the packed arena with little expectation.
However, Delatio produced a sensational test to score 80.405%, much to the shock of Emile.
“It’s not a surprise…it’s a miracle!” said the three-time Olympian and European team gold medallist. “You dream of moments like this. I’ve waited for a good horse to come along and now I have a whole string – I can’t thank the Kasselmann’s [Delatio’s owners] enough.
“Delatio doesn’t have a lot of mileage on the clock and there’s definitely a few more percent in there. He’s such an awesome trier and he really wants to do it. One of his strengths is his incredible concentration and temperament. Anyone who thought of writing the Brits off when Valegro retired can think again!”
Patrik Kittell won the class riding Delaunay and is now well on his way to the final in Paris next April. This is only the second time the Swedish rider has competed at Olympia, and his last visit didn’t end so well.
“Thirteen years ago I came here and was dead last, but to come back and win is so emotional,” said Patrik. “It’s proof that if you work hard, you can achieve anything – it’s such a cool feeling.”
Edward Gal, who won the Grand Prix the night before, was third with Glock’s Zonik (79.34%) ahead of Madeleine Witte-Vree and Cennin (77.64%). The next three places went to British riders.
Back to their best
Lara Butler was fifth with Rubin al Asad. Her new Dire Straits floorplan was packed with difficulty and the only lapse was a very onward-bound final extended trot to score 76.98%.
Hayley Watson-Greaves and Rubins Nite were back to their best, to score just 0.3% less for sixth. Careful planning reaped great rewards for Richard Davison and Bubblingh when they finished seventh in their biggest test to date with 75.65%. Richard said his music is “one for the kids” as it’s full of modern tunes.
Gareth Hughes was 13th on 72.33%. Despite some time away from competition, Gareth increased the difficulty of his floorplan and a few nerves crept in as the atmosphere affected ‘Darcy’.
You can watch highlights of the FEI World Cup Dressage: Olympia when it premieres on 18 December at 8pm on Sky 253 or online via H&C Play or Amazon Video. The programme will then be available on Catch Up.