Robert Smith takes a top five finish in Gothenburg

Robert Smith jumped into fifth with a double clear on Bavi in the Longines FEI world cup at Gothenburg.

Twelve of the 33 starters posted first round clears, with Britain losing Scott Brash and Hello M’Lady to four faults. Six jumped further clears in a hotly-contended jump-off, with Robert’s early round eventually finishing 1.84 sec in arrears of the winning time on the Balou du Rouet 12-year-old mare.

Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann gave the home crowd a popular win with the penultimate draw in the concluding western European league leg on Mary Lou 194. They won by the slender margin of 0.07 sec from the Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten on VDL Groep Verdi TN NOP.

“This is a very emotional win!” said Henrik, who worked with German legend, Ludger Beerbaum, for many years before going it alone in a new yard in Bonn (GER) last September.

He wasn’t certain that his mare was ready, but when he put her under pressure for the very first time today she willingly gave it her all.

“She’s still quite green and I can’t take risks on turns with her yet, but however impossible it seems she always does her best to get across the fences and I’m very grateful to her owner, Karl Schneider, who has kept her for me because she’s something special!” he said.

On the final leaderboard, France’s Kevin Staut leads the way with Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca second and Ireland’s Denis Lynch third. Scott Brash is Britain’s best, but in 22nd, is unlikely to travel to the USA final unless several of the top 18 above him drop out.

Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy FEI