Alltech FEI WEGâ„¢ Jumping: Final Four

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Dubbeldam makes it double-Dutch gold
By Louise Parkes

Jeroen Dubbeldam made it double-gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy when adding the individual title on September 7th to last Thursday’s team victory for The Netherlands. He made his way into the afternoon’s top-four Jumping final thanks to a horse that he admitted was inexperienced at this level of the sport and which clearly surprised him during the week. But the 10-year-old Dutch-bred Zenith lived up to his name by providing his 41-year-old rider with a title he has wanted for a very long time. 

Beezie Madden added another bronze medal to her collection at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games by taking third place in the hotly contested “Final Four” for the World Championship show jumping title.

Her mount, Abigail Wexner's Cortes C, was named Best Horse of the Finals. The 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood by Randel Z was the only horse who had no faults throughout the day’s competition, which involved each rider competing on their own horse over Frederic Cottier's abbreviated eight-obstacle course, then switching onto every other rider's horse to go over the fences again.

For Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson it was a disappointing day as he missed out on the podium. Faulting with his own horse, Casall ASK, in the first rotation of horses, he did it again with both Delaveau’s Orient Express and Dubbeldam’s Zenith. Madden’s bronze, following silver at Aachen (GER) in 2006, was hard-won, too,  when the 50-year-old New Yorker finished just two faults ahead of the Swede after also having a fence down with each of her opponent’s horses.

Eight-fence test

French course designer, Frederic Cottier, set an eight-fence test that started out over a vertical, moved on to a 1.48m oxer and then to a 1.50m vertical before a right turn brought them back to an oxer standing 1.52m high. It was the following triple combination, an oxer to a double of verticals, that presented the biggest challenge of the day, and then there was a roll-back to a white oxer at fence six before running left-handed down to the final line. The penultimate vertical stood at 1.55m and the final oxer was 1.50m high and 1.60 wide. First into the ring, Dubbeldam threw down a perfect clear round with his own horse that put it up to the rest of them.  

Bengtsson looked vulnerable from the outset when hitting the middle element of the triple combination with his own stallion, Casall ASK, especially when both Madden and Delaveau followed with clears. And the Swedish rider’s chances took another blow when, partnering Dubbeldam’s Zenith, he repeated the mistake at exactly the same spot and also added two time faults.

Madden and Casall ASK left the final element of the combination on the floor and when the American rider faulted again at the combination with Zenith, it was already turning into a tussle for gold between the French and Dutch men. 
One of the memorable moments of these championships was the sight of Casall ASK looking totally relaxed while Dubbeldam wandered around the arena to take the applause of the crowd. The French supporters really wanted their own man to win, but they didn’t hold back in celebrating with this new, true champion.


Top-Four Jumping Final: GOLD - Jeroen Dubbeldam (Zenith SFN) NED, 0 faults; SILVER - Patrice Delaveau (Orient Express HDC) FRA, 1; BRONZE - Beezie Madden (Cortes C) USA, 12; 4, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (Casall ASK) SWE. 14.

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