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Molly Sorge

May 4, 2007

Mändli Earns Long-Awaited Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Victory

Ask any international show jumper, and they’ll tell you that Beat Mändli has long been one of the most well-respected and admired riders on the circuit. But individual glory has escaped the Swiss rider. Until now.

On April 19-22, in Las Vegas, Nev., Mändli and Ideo du Thot emerged victorious and finally claimed the international spotlight Mändli has deserved for so many years.

“Beat Mändli’s been a great rider for a long time, and very close to some big championships. He’s a great winner,” said McLain Ward, who finished as the top U.S. rider, tied for eighth.

May 4, 2007

A World Cup Wake-Up Call

It was a weird World Cup Final. I don’t think anyone would have predicted that at the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final (see p. 8), Beezie Madden and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum would both fall off, Rodrigo Pessoa would finish at the bottom of the pack, and that two young European stars would factor in the top three.

April 22, 2007

Mändli Surprises Even Himself With Rolex FEI World Cup Final Win

It was a day full of surprises for the conclusion of the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final, April 22 in Las Vegas, Nev.

It’s never over until the last horse jumps the last fence and that was proven in spades today.  But after a dramatic day that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, Switzerland’s Beat Mändli emerged victorious aboard the elegant Ideo du Thot. “I’ve never had this feeling before, because I’ve never won an individual championship.  I don’t think I’ve realized it yet, but I’m very happy for my horse and myself,” said Mändli. 

April 21, 2007

Portofino Rebounds And Wins $75,000 Las Vegas Grand Prix

The crowd might have been shocked when SunCal Portofino stopped twice in the speed leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final on Thursday night, April 19.  But their dismay paled in comparison to Michael Whitaker’s.

“She’s never done anything like that before, ever. From one second to the next, I was going the wrong direction,” Whitaker said. 

April 20, 2007

Melissa Hunsberger's Rolex Will Be About Fun

After filling out her entry for her debut at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, Melissa Hunsberger did one more thing before putting it in an envelope, affixing a stamp, and sending it on its way.

“I took pictures of it like a big nerd. But I’m just happy to be qualified. That’s how I look at it—I’m honestly just enjoying every step of it. It’s amazing to be able to go,” she said.

April 20, 2007

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum Takes Control On Day Two

She won here two years ago, and today, in the second leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum showed that she’s ready to win again.  With a convincing win today, April 20, in the grand prix leg of the Final, she shares the lead in the standings aboard Shutterfly. 

April 18, 2007

Ward Wins Day One Of World Cup Final

Before the first leg—the speed round—of the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final, McLain Ward remarked to course designer Guilherme Jorge that he “didn’t think the course really suited my horse, because it was a true speed class.”

But tonight, April 19, Ward proved himself wrong.  He rode Sapphire to a blazingly fast round, braving to slice two tough inside turns and stopping the timers a second and a half faster than all the others to win the first leg.  Two Germans—Markus Beerbaum and Marcus Ehning—finished up in second and third. 

April 17, 2007

Behind The Scenes: Rich Fellers Has Big Plans For Gyro

Most grand prix riders at this year’s Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final are riding horses bred, raised and aimed from birth for the top of the sport.

Not Rich Fellers.  He’s on Gyro, a 14-year-old gelding who just jumped his first jumper course four years ago, at the ripe age of 10.  And while Fellers and Gyro didn’t have the speed round Fellers would have liked—he went conservatively and Gyro kind of dove through one combination for a 4-fault score—he’s got his eye on the future.

April 17, 2007

American Hunter Riders Have Their Day In WCHR World Cup Team Hunter Challenge

Two years ago, in Las Vegas, Nev., four of the top United States hunter riders challenged four superstar European show jumpers to a duel.  And, much to the Americans’ chagrin, the Europeans came out on top.

So, the rematch was charged with tension.  And humor.  Yes, this competition might have had the pride of American hunter riders at stake, but it wasn’t a bitter fight.  With wry commentary from Frank Madden and Melanie Smith Taylor, and riders with a sense of humor about the rematch, this class was good entertainment, to be sure.

April 5, 2007

It's Anybody's Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final This Year

The fundamental way that the World Cup works, with the leagues, is very important. It isn’t the best 40 in the world—it’s the best so many from each region. That helps to spread the competition out throughout the world and give different people an opportunity to compete with the best. I think that’s a valuable thing for a lot of people, because it exposes them to the highest end of the sport.

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