Staut Takes Individual Jumping Gold For France
Kevin Staut steered Kraque Boom to take the individual jumping gold medal on the final day of the Alltech FEI European Jumping and Dressage Championships at Windsor Castle, Great Britain, today.
In a nail-biting finish he clinched it with a fabulous clear from the 11 year old stallion which is owned by his grand-parents, and he said afterwards – “I hope this will do good things for French breeding and that it will encourage our young riders. France has been through some difficult times over the past few years but this summer we won the Meydan series and now I have won here so I hope this motivates everyone to keep going!”.
Germany’s Carsten-Otto Nagel and Corradina also produced a superb double-clear performance to take silver, but the heart-break of the day was Albert Zoer’s second-round first-fence error which cost the popular Dutchman and his much-loved gelding the individual title. Typically stoic, Zoer accepted the disappointment with good humour – “when I hit the fence I wasn’t happy, but I knew I had to concentrate and go on because the bronze medal was stlll there”.
Course designer, Bob Ellis, admitted that he was surprised when there were 12 clears in the first round. “The course was very big” he said, but it was his second-round track that proved the real test. A much tighter time limit and even taller fences produced only two faultless performances this time out, and those two riders would top the medal podium.
Defending champion, Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, was lying sixth as the final stages unfolded but an untidy turn to the Post Box vertical at fence five saw Checkmate leave that on the floor and not even this quick-moving gelding escaped without also adding a time penalty.
Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat was next into the ring with Jalisca Solier but the mare seemed to be tiring when collecting an uncharacteristic 12 faults. Ireland’s Cameron Hanley and SIEC Livello however put on a classic jumping exhibition and as they turned for home it seemed they could could put huge pressure on the final three. But the clock showed a time fault as the handsome grey bounced through the beams – and that would prove costly.
ANOTHER SUPERB ROUND
Nagel was already lying in bronze medal position when returning another superb round from his mare Corradina, and then Staut steered his stallion home with the biggest smile on his face knowing silver was already in his grasp. As he was cooling down with Kraque Boom in the warm-up ring however he guessed that somehow things might have gotten even better – “great for me, but not for Albert I’m afraid!” he said afterwards. He had heard the huge gasp of dismay coming from the crowd as Zoer’s Oki Doki kicked out the front pole at the very first fence.
The much-fancied Dutch duo completed an otherwise foot-perfect round, but nothing could stop the Frenchman from taking the title for France – for the first time since Alexandra Ledermann delivered individual gold at Hickstead ten years ago.
“I didn’t watch Albert go” said Staut afterwards. “I’m not the kind of rider who watches the others and hopes they will have a fence down” said the sporting 28 year old who has previously operated from the Haras de Hus breeding centre at Nantes, just north of La Baule. He said today that now he is moving for six months to a rented yard near Brussels from where he will concentrate on running a horse-dealing operation.
Talking about Kraque Boom he said he got the stallion to sell as a 7 year old while he was working for a dealer in the East of France. “I was told to find someone to buy him because he was special and so my grandparents bought half along with another buyer, then they bought him outright” he explained. “He’s a fighter, with a super mentality” said the thoughtful Frenchman who now has next year’s World Equestrian Games and the 2012 Olympic Games in his sights.
He said that today’s tracks tested horsemanship, and he complimented Bob Ellis’s course-building skills as did the other two riders. Nagel pointed out that he was the only one sitting behind the press conference table to have won two medals and that he was really pleased because his aim had been to finish in the top ten “and my dream was to make it into the top five. My success is all due to my horse” he insisted, “Corradina jumped five exceptional rounds”.
Staut, meanwhile, reflected on a great week of championship competition. “The sport here was at the top level and the course designer did a super job – it was tough but very fair. The horses were very happy because they were living in a very quiet area and it wasn’t too warm, because of the very English weather!” he pointed out.
And he concluded “on Friday we (the French team) missed the podium by just two points so everyone was behind me for this gold medal. I hope it brings good things for French breeding and encourages our young riders”.
1, GOLD – Kraque Boom (Kevin Staut) Fra 9.42; 2, SILVER – Corradina (Carsten-Otto Nagel) Ger 9.64; 3, Oki Doki (Albert Zoer) Ned 11.18; 4, SIEC Livello (Cameron Hanley) Irl 11.83; 5, Asti Spumante (Thomas Mulhbauer) Ger 15.43; 6, Peu a Peu (Daniel Etter) Sui 15.54; 7, Ninja la Silla (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) Swe 15.66; 8, Vigo d’Arsouilles (Philippe Lejeune) Bel 16.88; 9, Checkmate (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum) Ger 17.31; 10, Snai Seldana di Compalto (Natale Chaiudani) Ita 17.47.
For FULL results go to : http://eventcontent.hippoonline.de/421/421zeitplanENG.htm
FACTS AND FIGURES
25 horse and rider combinations started in today’s competition.
There were riders from 12 nations including 4 from Germany, 3 from Switzerland, Ireland, The Netherlands and France, 2 from Great Britain and Italy, and one from Norway, Austria, Belgium, Sweden and Finland.
The bogey fences in the first round were the triple combination at fence 6 and the final oxer.
In round two the second fence, a vertical with plank on top, proved influential.
Kevin Staut, individual gold medal winner for France “this was a horseman’s competition today”.
Bob Ellis, course designer “Every class produced good results at these championships and I was particularly pleased with the Nations Cup course”.
Albert Zoer, bronze medallist “I tried to ride my own ride but it didn’t work out”.
David Holmes, FEI Sports Director “We’ve had fantastic competition here this week and I want to congratulate all the competitors, the organisers and give a big thanks to the officials”.
Amendment to yesterday’s FREESTYLE DRESSAGE FINAL REPORT – in body text Emma Hindle should be replaced by Laura Bechtolsheimer (GBR).