Brazil's Alvaro de Miranda and former Australian horse AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan won the Rolex FEI World Cup class in Geneva yesterday.
Alvaro Miranda and AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan Winners. © Kit Houghton/FEI
The last rider in at the last event of CHI-W Geneva 2011, the 38 year old rider and his 13 year old gelding scorched home to stop the clock in the jump-off in 41.72 seconds to win the €42,000 first prize and a Rolex watch.
In second was Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson on Casall La Silla with 42.22 seconds, and French rider Patrice Delaveau was third on Orient Express in 42.42 seconds.
The first round yielded an almost unprecedented 16 clear rounds from a starting field of 40.
The result boosts Bengtsson's position at the top of the series leaderboard, but Miranda has climbed onboard in 18th place. And the Brazilian is now altering his game-plan for the rest of the indoor season, with his sights shifted to earning a spot at the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2011/2012 final in 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands next April.
Bengtsson said afterwards: "With so many in the jump-off it gets really fast and everybody was going the fastest they could. We had to take risks everywhere, otherwise you couldn't beat it, and of course Doda was last - so he could win it!"
Miranda, who came to Europe in 1995 and trained for many years with Nelson and Rodrigo Pessoa, is better known to his friends and colleagues as Doda.
He said: "the course was difficult and I never thought there would be 16 clear rounds. I was very lucky to be last to go, because I know my horse is very speedy".
Drossel Dan will now take a well-earned rest. "This is his last show for the year, he will start again in Basel in January and my main aim with him is the Olympic Games next year so he won't be doing the World Cups.
"I would love to jump him in London - my schedule is to get him to the Olympics in the best possible form," he said. But he added that, following his win in Geneva, he is designing a "Plan B" for the rest of his winter season.
"I have a new horse, Bogeno by Baloubet, he is 11 years old and he has a lot of quality, I like him a lot and I will try to qualify for the Rolex Final with him. I will take him to La Coruna (Spain) next week and then see how we go," he said.
The next World Cup leg takes place at the world-famous Olympia Horse Show in London, Great Britain on Sunday followed by the eighth round at Mechelen in Belgium on December 30.
• Geneva's Prix L'Hebdo was won by French rider Penelope Leprevost and Modena, with Daniel Etter (Switzerland) on Constanzia 3 second. Third was Werner Muff (Switzerland) on Unik GS.