William Whitaker is in the mix in the world cup at Zurich

William Whitaker posted a super double clear on Utamaro D Ecaussines in Zurich’s world cup qualifier to take fourth place.

Swiss course-designer Guido Balsiger provided a thought-provoking track for the 38 starters with many riders struggling with the left-hand turn to the triple-bar – several ending on a deep stride – while the penultimate double was also influential. Nevertheless, nine provided initial clears with Spain’s Eduardo Alveraz Aznar throwing caution to the winds and daring Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot to a thrilling win.

“He’s not a horse I normally ride so quickly, but I took a chance today and so glad I did because it paid off,” said Eduardo, after posting his first points on the series table.

Last to go, Austria’s Max Kuhner and Cornet Kalua, chased hard but despite a courageous gallop to the last was 1.83 sec off the pace for second. Colombia’s Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo claimed third on Admara – the former ride of Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano.

William guided Ludwig Criel’s Diamant de Semilly 12-year-old Utamaro into fourth, 2.62 sec behind the winner.

“I’m really happy the way my horse jumped. It was a tough course and he did exactly what I asked of him in both rounds,” said William.

Michael Whitaker and Viking returned on four faults while Billy Twomey on Diaghilev came home on eight.

Ireland’s Denis Lynch topped the 1.45m with Echo de Laubry with 0.56 dec in hand over Germany’s Christian Ahlmann on Cornado II in the 14-strong jump-off. William on Diablesse de Muze and Billy aboard Eindhoven GH both incurred four faults in round one.

Photo © Liverpool International Horse Show/Trevor Meeks