The battle for a place in the top-four jumping final at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) produced superb sport today, and with the host nation’s Patrice Delaveau making the cut, the noise, excitement, and tension in the Stade D’Ornano at Caen is set to reach fever-pitch tomorrow afternoon.
The Frenchman will be joined by America’s Beezie Madden, Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, and The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam in the closing stages of what has been one of the most exciting world championships of all time.
There were several high-profile withdrawals before today’s penultimate competition began, including Germany's Christian Ahlmann, who was lying 10th with Codex One; Canada's Yann Candele, in 22nd place with Showgirl; and America's Kent Farrington, who was holding 27th position with Voyeur.
A total of 29 horse-and-rider combinations lined out, and French course designer, Frederic Cottier, presented two tracks that brought the cream to the very top.
A Significant Role
Only eight horse-and-rider combinations jumped clear over the 12-fence first-round track, in which the triple combination at fence eight, the massive oxer at fence 10, the following vertical at 11 and final oxer at 12 all played a significant role.
There were three countries represented by three riders–Ireland, The Netherl