Riding the relatively novice nine year old gelding Louis, who has been stepped up this season due to the absence of some of his other top rides, Mandli came into the 11-horse jump-off with all guns blazing and set them a blistering target that could not be bettered.
Switzerland's Beat Mandli and Louis, winners of the third leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series at Lyon yesterday, pictured with Magali Dubois-Vaucher of Rolex. © Kit Houghton
Frank Rothenberger's 13-fence track produced plenty of excitement, and the time-allowed of 74 seconds accounted for three big names including the reigning Olympic champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead. The Canadian rider was full of confidence after winning the previous night's Equita Masters at the French venue which has won widespread praise from riders and spectators alike. But Hickstead was hot to handle and although Lamaze brought him home without dislodging any timber, his battle for control cost him dearly as a single time fault kept him out of the jump-off along with the home side's Julien Epaillard (Latina du Pitray) and Patrice Deleveau (Katchina Mail) who suffered precisely the same fate.
40 starters, 11 into jump-off
The double of verticals at fence 9 was the bogey of the day, the first element fell six times in round one and the second element fell three times.
The oxer at fence two also proved problematic, hitting the ground five times during the first round.
The winning horse, Louis ridden by Switzerland's Beat Mandli, is a nine year old Oldenburg gelding by Lord Pezi owned by Paul Bucheler.
The youngest horse in the competition was the 8 year old Gotha, by Goldfever and ridden by Germany's Ludger Beerbaum. This partnership finished in 10th place.
The oldest horse was the 16 year old stallion Sandro Boy ridden by Germany's Marcus Ehning. They finished in fourth position.
Three riders finished with just a single time penalty in the first round.
Nine riders completed with four faults in the first round.
There were two retirements in round one - Roger-Yves Bost of France with Ideal de la Loge and Italy's Gianni Govoni and Joyau d'Opal.
Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2009/2010 - standings after Round 3 at Lyon:
1. Daniel Etter (Sui) - 40
2. Marco Kutscher (Ger) - 33
3. Patrice Deleveau (Fra) - 29
4. Eric Van der Vleuten (Ned) - 24
5. Beat Mandli (Sui) - 21
6. Marcus Ehning (Ger) - 18
7. Daniel Deusser (Ger) - 18
8 Philipp Weishaupt (Ger) - 18
9. Albert Zoer (Ned), Pius Schwizer (Sui) - 17
11. Ben Maher (GBR) - 15
12. Natale Chiaudani (Ita) - 15
13. Luciana Diniz (Por) - 14
14. Svante Johansson (Swe) - 13
15. Leopold Van Asten (Ned) - 13
16. Harrie Smolders (Ned) - 12
17. Jessica Kuerten (Irl), Patrick McEntee (Bel) - 11
19. Olivier Desutter (Fra) - 10
20. Edwina Alexander (Aus) - 9