HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing Final Preview: All Roads Lead to Poland
RELEASE: August 20, 2009
Follow the Event on FEI TV at www.feitv.org
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Malina Gueorguiev
Clayton Fredericks of Australia is counting down the days to his defence of his HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing title this weekend, August 21-23, at the eagerly-awaited horse trials at Strzegom, Poland.
It has been his main aim all season for which he has been carefully preparing his dual championship winner and beautiful jumping machine Ben Along Time, a four-star winner and Olympic and World Silver medalist.
However, he will face fierce competition from his travelling companions on the long road across Europe—his wife Lucinda on Headley Britannia and British representatives Ruth Edge (Two Thyme), winner at the recent Gatcombe (GBR) qualifier, and Oliver Townend (Flint Curtis), current leader in the HSBC FEI Classics™ Standings. Edge said that after "sleeping on it" for 24 hours, she was spurred to travel to the prestigious Final, and other British-based riders who have decided it’s not to be missed are the former dual Olympic Gold medalist Mark Todd of New Zealand with Gandalf and South African Stuart Fitzgerald.
A field of 31 riders from 14 nations, including the 2003-2004 champion, Linda Algotsson of Sweden with the 19-year-old Stand By Me, will tackle the first HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing Final to be held in Eastern Europe, at the much-praised venue of Strzegom.
The longest journey by far has been undertaken by American Kelly Prather, who has travelled from California with Ballinakill Glory, her trip made possible by a new scholarship given in memory of Jack Le Goff, the French-born mastermind behind the FEI World Cup— Eventing Series who died recently.
Germany is the most strongly represented nation, with six riders, including Marina Köhncke, winner of the Malmö qualifier on Calma Schelly, plus Frank Ostholt (Air Jordan) and Kai Rüder (Leprince des Bois), fourth and sixth at last year’s HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing Final, plus recent Luhmühlen four-star winner Michael Jung with La Biosthetique Sam.
The following nations are represented: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Lithuania, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden and USA.
Dressage will take place on Saturday and cross-country, followed by a horse inspection and jumping, on Sunday.
Cross-country Course Designer Rudiger Schwarz has made some extensive changes to the course; it will take a different route over a distance of 4,400 meters with 27 fences. It will be one of the most challenging courses to have been built in Poland in recent years.
Strzegom is situated in the south-west quarter of Poland and for three days will become the world capital of eventing. Follow the Event on FEI TV at www.feitv.org
From Friday, August 21 until Sunday, August 23, 2009, Poland will be in the spotlight of international top-level eventing when for the first time ever a country from Eastern Europe will be hosting a HSBC FEI World Cup™ Final.
The thrilling final of the first FEI World Cup™ season fully supported by HSBC will see elite riders from all global heartlands of eventing competing for the international title.
FEI TV, the new official video website of the International Equestrian Federation, will stream all the action from one of the sport’s most prestigious and competitive events in high-quality right onto your computer.
The broadcasts will be presented by English commentator and horsesport specialist Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes and feature the cross-country phase on Saturday August 22, from 14:00 CEST onwards. The live broadcast of the deciding jumping phase on Sunday will start 14:45 CEST. Additional features such as the dressage phase as well as interviews will also be made available to users.
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