Albert Zoer and Oki Doki jump to the win in Bordeaux.
Last summer Albert Zoer had developed into one of the very few riders in the world who could catch up with the likes of Meredith Michaels Beerbaum, having two 'first' horses of top quality to do the tough job. Just 36 hours after winning the Aachen Grand Prix, Zoer smashed the bones in his leg, training one of his young horses. He returned to the circuit in the indoor season, but he was hardly able to walk the course. "It took quite a while for me to get the right feeling back," he said.
It took even longer for Albert's top horse Okidoki to return to form. "Oki is a bit nervous by nature. He had been away from the circuit for months and had to return in the indoor season. That did not suit him at all, with all the noise and tension in the indoor arena's. Bit by bit he started to concentrate more and jump better. Today, for the second weekend in a row, he gave me the old feeling."
What Okidoki also gave to his rider was the full 20 points, ensuring Zoer of a place in the final in Las Vegas.
The 'Jumping International de Bordeaux' had attracted 9 of the top 10 riders, which forced course designer Frank Rothenberger to build both big and technical. "This was one of the toughest courses so far in the World Cup competition," Zoer said. "It was high and you needed to be in control all the time, having to push forward and then hold back in the lines."
Standings after 10 of 13 competitions:
1) Gerco Schroder (NED), 60
2) Edwina Alexander (AUS), 57
3) Steve Guerdat (SUI), 51
4) Albert Zoer (NED), 50
5) Jos Lansink (BEL), 48
6) Daniel Etter (SUI), 45
6) Mikael Forsten (FIN), 45
8) Marcus Ehning (GER), 44
9) Ludo Philippaerts (BEL), 41
10) Jessica Kurten (IRE), 40
11) Ben Maher (GBR), 39
11) Geir Gulliksen (NOR), 39
11) Thomas Velin (DEN), 39
14) Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), 37 (already qualified)
15) Lars Nieberg (GER), 36
16) Max Kuhner (GER), 34
17) Rutherford Latham (ESP), 33
18) Helena Lundback (SWE), 30