Round A of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Final III at Gothenburg Horse Show in Sweden is complete and Beezie Madden’s title hopes are slipping out of reach.
The World Cup defending champion, and Team USA’s leading medal hope, rode into this morning’s class tied for fourth with Niels Bruynseels (BEL), Olivier Philippaerts (BEL), and Martin Fuchs (SUI) on three penalties. With a single rail separating the top five from the overnight leader, Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar, she was well within striking distance of defending her title.
Then the rails fell.
For Madden, it was the vertical at 10, which has proved the boogey fence for many a clear round this morning. Philippaerts and Alvarez Aznar are out of contention altogether, dropping two rails apiece on course, while clears from Guerdat and Martin Fuchs have moved Switzerland into the top two slots and Germany’s Max Kuher into fourth. Guerdat is chasing a third World Cup title.
With the deciding round still to come, Madden now needs a miracle to take home the title. Assuming she can put together a clear in Round B, the top five will all have to fault and Guerdat will have to incur an unlikely two rails and/or a rail and time fault to force a jump off.
At this stage, it’s the world #1’s title to lose.
Catch the final round on fei.tv.