Daniel Deusser & Cornet. ph: FEI/Mette Sattrup
On Sunday, October 15, 2017, Germany’s Daniel Deusser and the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding Cornet (Obolensky x Caletto I) produced a spectacular win during the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League in Oslo, Norway.
The feature event, held on the final day of competition at the Kingsland Oslo Horse Show CSI5*, saw 35 partnerships compete aboard the 13-obstacle-track set by Great Britain’s Bob Ellis.
The move from outdoor shows to the confinement of an indoor arena tested the reflexes, control, and accuracy of the horse and rider combinations. Only seven proceeded to the final round, with Deusser and Cornet, second-last in the order, producing the winning time of 36.83s. A day prior, Deusser and Tobago Z won the CSI5* Rikstoto Grand Prix.
Cornet was previously ridden by USA’s Lauren Hough, and only recently partnered with Deusser at the beginning of summer. “[Hough] is an American rider with an American way of riding. She’s half my size so there’s been a period of adjustment! Lauren asked me to help her a little bit with him in July and it worked out good, so my owners, Stephex Stables, bought him for me to ride and I’m really happy with him!”
“[Cornet is] very sensitive, you have to get to know him a little bit but he has great character,” said Deusser. “He wants to help you in the end, he wants to win, and he has a great instinct in the ring!”
Opening the jump-off, Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and the ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare California (L’esprit x Libero H) rode to a leading time of 38.22s, finishing in an eventual 3rd place. The podium placing comes just 11 weeks after Tops-Alexander gave birth to her baby daughter, Chloe.
France’s Kevin Staut blew the competition wide open with a breath-taking run from the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC (For Pleasure x Heartbreaker), setting the time to beat at 36.96s. In the end, it proved to be .13s slower than Deusser’s, and the duo would finish in an eventual 2nd place.
“I didn’t see Kevin go, but I did see the first two [riders], and I realised it would be easy to get too deep to the second-last,” said Deusser. “I thought if I just stayed in the same canter stride, I might get a better jump there and then really go for it to the last”.
The recently-crowned individual European champion, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, finished in 4th place with H&M Christian K, just 0.2s shy of the final podium placing.
Back in 2014, Deusser took the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Title with Cornet d’Amour in Lyon (FRA), and today’s victory has set him on the path to the 2018 Final in Paris (FRA) next April. Deusser will now target more qualifying points at the second leg of the Western European League in Helsinki (FIN) next weekend.
The full results can be viewed here.