Clayton Fredericks claims World Cup eventing final

September 22, 2008

Clayton Fredericks (Australia), who rode Ben Along Time to victory in the 2008 HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing Final.

Third placegetter Frank Ostholt (Germany) and Air Jordan 2. © Kit Houghton

Clayton Fredericks has become the second rider in eventing history to win a second HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing Final. He retained his cross-country lead to claim the final in Deauville, France at the weekend.

The last rider to win the World Cup Final twice was Linda Algotsson, at the start of the competition in 2003-04.

Fredericks' achievement is all the more remarkable, as his two wins were three years apart - he triumphed in Malmo (SWE) in 2005 - but both on the same horse, Ben Along Time, who only six weeks ago was in Hong Kong winning an Olympic team silver medal.

"I bought him as a four-year-old, and he has been such a good horse in championships, so this means the world to me," said Fredericks.

"The World Cup is a really important competition for me. My win in 2005 was the launch of my recent successes in the career and gave me confidence to go on and win other competitions."

The HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing Final formed a centrepiece to an exciting weekend of equestrian sport, including Driving and Jumping events, as part of R.I.D.E. Normandie, a concept begun last year at the venue which was the unsuccessful under-bidder to Kentucky for the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games. The historic racing and polo venue, in the heart of France's horse-breeding area, Basse-Normandie, is now bidding for the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.

All 27 horses presented at the final horse inspection passed - Sara Algotsson did not present the 19-year-old Robin des Bois and Cedric Lyard's Jesse Mail and Andreas Ostholt's Little Lemon FRH were held but passed.

Swiss course-designer Rolf Luedi had produced a fair but appropriately difficult, up-to-height jumping track in the sand arena, and there were only three clear rounds, for young Laura Collett (GBR), 19, who finished 13th on Fernhill Sox at her first HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing Final, Stephen Bradley (USA) on Brandenburg's Joshua, 18th, and Andrew Nicholson (NZL), 26th on Henry Tankerville.

Frank Ostholt (GER), lying sixth on his wonderful horse Air Jordan, appeared to give riders breathing space when he hit 5b, the troublesome middle part of the treble, but it was eventually good enough for third place.

Kai Ruder (GER) had three fences down on the French stallion Le Prince des Bois to slip from fifth to sixth; Nicolas Touzaint hit two to drop from third to fifth; and Michael Jung (GER) also had two rails down on La Biosthetique Sam FBW to move down from second to fourth.

Pippa Funnell (GBR) thought it would be a big course for her small horse Ensign, but, rattling a few rails, he rose to the occasion magnificently, only catching the very last upright with a hind leg.

Funnell was visibly frustrated with herself, but the error would not have made any difference, as Fredericks, now with two fences in hand, only hit one, the second upright part of the double at 7.

"I was very relieved that last fence didn't count," said Funnell, who echoed Fredericks' praise for the organisers of Deauville and HSBC.

"On behalf of the riders, I would like to say how much we owe HSBC and the FEI for this investment into our sport. It is great and we are very grateful."

All three top-placed riders, Funnell with her World Cup horse, Ensign, now head to Les Etoiles de Pau (FRA), the final event in the HSBC FEI Classics series.

HSBC's Sponsorship Manager, Giles Morgan, said how pleased he was with his company's first foray into Eventing. "We would like to thank our hosts for a brilliant event," he said.

"We have learned a lot in our first season and are very much looking forward to being involved with the whole series next year."