Some of the most formidable horse and rider combinations have captured World Cup glory (some on more than one occasion) and with just one day left before we can crown this year’s champion, we’ve listed 14 moments in World Cup history we think everyone should know before Sunday’s Final III showdown:
1979: *Austria’s Hugo Simon was the winner of the inaugural World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden riding Gladstone. He then went on to record back-to-back victories in 1996 and 1997 riding ET FRH.
1982: U.S. rider Melanie Smith [today known as Melanie Smith Taylor] became the first woman to win the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final aboard her bay gelding Calypso. She captured the title in Gothenburg on a scorecard of 0 penalties.
1984: At just 19 years old, Mario Deslauriers became the first Canadian and youngest person-ever to win and still holds that record today. His win was with Aramis who, at the time of their victory, was only seven years-old.
1985: Five years after his first win in 1980, American Conrad Homfeld became the first person to win the World Cup multiple times.
1989: Captain Canada and Big Ben, need we say more? Well, we will anyway, just to give you some history. Ian Millar was the first rider to win back-to-back victories on the same horse, the first in 1988.
1991: John Whitaker of Great Britain followed suit being the second athlete to post consecutive wins with the same horse, Milton (another legendary animal).
2000: *Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa and iconic stallion, Baloubet du Rouet are in a league of their own holding the record as the only pair to claim three consecutive wins (1998, 1999, 2000).
2009: *Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum joined the three-time winner club, clinching the Las Vegas Finals as well as those in Vegas in 2005 and Gothenburg in 2008, all three, aboard Shutterfly.
2010: *It was back-to-back victories for Germany and the magic No. 3 for Marcus Ehning who followed Michaels-Beerbaum, winning in Geneva in 2010, and previously Las Vegas in 2003, and Kuala Lumpur in 2006.
2012: At then, 16 years of age, Rich Fellers’ fiery Irish Sport Horse stallion Flexible jumped to an unforgettable World Cup win breaking a quarter-century drought of US World Cup victories, when he won the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Holland.
2013: Beezie Madden, the woman of the hour in 2018, is and will always be a force to be reckoned with. Madden clinched her first World Cup title aboard Simon after going head-to-head with Steve Guerdat in a thrilling Final III jump-off round.
2014: Double D reigned supreme in Lyon with the horse he is currently competing on for this year’s final, Cornet d’Amour. What also made Daniel Deusser’s World Cup win so monumental was that it brought the total number of World Cup Final wins for Germany to ten, dominating ahead of previous title holders, the United States.
2016: Back-to-back was the name of the game for Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat whose first victory was in 2015. The then 10-year-old Corbinian, Guerdat described “as a little green to multi-phase championships,” however, he stepped up and left Gothenburg a champion.
2017: McLain Ward closed out a truly perfect weekend jumping completely fault-free to win his predestined first World Cup™ Jumping Final title with the talented HH Azur.
*There’s something about the number 3 . . .
There have been only four riders to ever win three FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final titles.
- The World Cup Watcher’s Go-To Guide [Noelle Floyd.com]