Sunday, 07 July 2013 International Show Jumping

Riding legend John Whitaker (GBR) writes Carinthian equestrian history

What a final to four days of first-class equestrian sport at the GLOCK HORSE PERFORMANCE CENTER! From the morning on, crowds started flocking to the main arena to see the show jumping stars in action. By the time the highlight was due to start in the afternoon, GLOCK’s 4* Grand Prix, the facility was packed and not a place was to be had near the ring. This world ranking competition over a challenging 1.60 m course, which has a purse of €300,000 and also ranks as an important qualifier for the 2014 World Equestrian Games, promised first-class jumping. After a technically demanding first round, 14 athletes had qualified for the decisive jump-off. Even if there were no Austrians in the contention – after the first round, local hero and GLOCK rider Dieter Köfler was the best local rider on GLOCK’s Prince de Vaux in 26th (8 penalties) – you could have heard a pin drop in the jump-off, as everyone held their breath in suspense during every ride. The spectators were on the edge of their seats, sighing at every knockdown and cheering every clear round, no matter what the rider’s nation – a perfect setting in Carinthia for equestrian sport! 

John Whitaker brought all his experience to bear today. Aboard his 11-year-old stallion Argento, the holder of 18 medals from Olympic Games, World and European Championships fairly attacked in the jump-off. What he produced was a sensational round to take the GLOCK’s 4* Grand Prix crown (45.37) and €75,000 in prize money. Runner-up Max Kühner (GER) was also much applauded for his round. The Bavarian with his 13-year-old Holstein stallion Coeur de Lion fought like a lion himself, had the courage to take risks and was rewarded with an excellent result (46.01). Like father, like son is all that can be said for third placed Robert Whitaker (GBR). He was certainly not afraid of taking risks on his fast round with Colman son Catwalk IV (46.67).

International jumping competition with jump-off (1.60 m)
2014 WEG qualifier competition
Competition counting for LONGINES Ranking List
1. Argento - Whitaker John (GBR) 0 45.37 - jump-off
2. Coeur de Lion - Kühner Max (GER) 0 46.01 - jump-off 
3. Catwalk IV - Whitaker Robert (GBR) 0 46.67 - jump-off 
4. Croesus - Mändli Beat (SUI) 0 47.53 - jump-off 
5. Bernadien van Westuur - Terceira Jillian (BER) 0 49.50 - jump-off 
6. Urleven van de Helle - Mallat Maiju (FIN) 0 51.90 - jump-off 
7. Qarat de la Loge - Epaillard Julien (FRA) 4 45.93 - jump-off 
8. VDL Groep Sapphire B - Vleuten Maikel van der (NED) 4 46.17 - jump-off 
9. Sterrehof’s Tamino - Houtzager Marc (NED) 4 46.53 - jump-off 
10. S.I.E.C. Livello - Augustsson Angelica (SWE) 4 47.01 - jump-off
11. Leonie W - Nieberg Lars (GER) 4 48.29 - jump-off 
12. Audi’s Wizard - Biessen Ivo (NED) 4 49.39 - jump-off 
13. Luikka - Bettinger Marc (GER) 4 49.56 - jump-off 
14.Romanov - Allen Bertram (IRL) 8 43.31 - jump-off
Results link

Here they brought their experience to bear – John Whitaker and Argento © Michael Rzepa

They nearly did it – Max Kühner (GER) and Coeur de Lion were happy with runner-up spot © Nini Schäbel

Like father, like son – Robert Whitaker (GBR) and Catwalk IV finished third © Michael Rzepa