Swiss dominate first World Cup round

October 13, 2009

Switzerland's Daniel Etter produced a spectacular win at the opening leg of the 2009/2010 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League series in Oslo, Norway at the weekend.

The 34 year old rider from Berne showed that he and his great campaigner, Peu a Peu, have lost none of the form that helped them contribute to their country's team gold medal winning performance at the Alltech FEI European Jumping Championships at Windsor in England this summer. And, underlining the current strength of the Swiss, Etter's team mate Pius Schwizer slotted into second today with Ulysse.

L-R: Morten Aasen, Show Director, Princess Martha Louise of Norway and Magali Dubois Vaucher with Switzerland's Daniel Etter and Peu a Peu, winners of the opening leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series in Oslo.© Roger Svalsrod
Riders from 16 nations lined out in this highly-competitive opening fixture, and a total of 12 combinations qualified for the second-round jump-off including four from Germany and two from both Switzerland and The Netherlands.

The first of the 13 qualifying legs in the Western European League took place at the impressive new Telenor Soccer Stadium on the outskirts of Oslo and course designer, Anders Hafskjold, pulled no punches when presenting a big, strong 13-fence track. In previous years the Oslo fixture was often considered an easy target for early points in the winter-long series but with a world-class field, including six of the top ten in the latest Rolex World Rankings, Hafskjold showed no mercy, and those points were hard-won.

"Peu a Peu is one of the toughest horses around," said Etter of the gelding who never seems to be off the circuit. Their superb result at the Windsor Europeans was quickly followed by a trip to the Masters at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada and the big, bold horse seems as keen as ever about his job. "I'm very lucky with him, he's always been incredibly sound, and its great to win early in the World Cup season so that you can get the points and relax a bit later," he said.

However they don't plan to take any time out just yet because Etter will compete at the next leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series next Sunday in Helsinki, Finland and in Lyon, France two weeks later before competing at the Global Champions Tour Final in Doha, Qatar, next month.