Ward wins first round of Longines Final by a whisker

Longines FEI World CupJumping Final 2017      

 

 All complete results of the 2017 World Cup Finals Omaha, NE (USA) with all information on the participating horses and riders you can find here:

jumping: https://www.hippomundo.com/results/competition/388?edition_id=28545

dressage: https://www.hippomundo.com/results/competition/133?edition_id=28544

 

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Home favourite McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur sped to victory in the opening round of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2017. (Liz Gregg/FEI)

 

To download and share free broadcast-quality content and VNRs from the event, click here (World Link for EBU Members) or here for shareable FEI YouTube content. Athlete profiles are also being uploaded.

 

Ward wins first round of Longines Final by a whisker

By Louise Parkes

McLain Ward’s victory with HH Azur in tonight’s first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017 Final was so smooth that defending double-champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, showered his American opponent with praise. The double-Olympic team gold medallist, who posted the quickest time in 59.27 seconds, explained the course didn’t leave riders with a lot of options.

“It was big enough for the first night! In reality there was just a whisker between the top three, I was very fortunate.”

It was indeed a close-run affair as runner-up, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (35), may well have overtaken him but for a small error between the second and third fences which saw him stop the clock on 59.58. “It should have been seven strides there but I did it in eight, and that was the whisker I think!” he said.

“I’m one of McLain’s biggest fans. On the circuit in Florida I like watching him any time”, the 2012 Olympic champion Guerdat said, after finishing third with a thrilling ride on the fiery mare, Bianca. The niceties will be a thing of the past by tomorrow evening however, because with tonight’s result turned into points, Ward has only a two-point advantage over von Eckermann going into the second competition, while Guerdat is only a single point further adrift.

There’s €1,300,000 in prizemoney and the glory of taking the coveted Longines title to be sorted out by Sunday afternoon.