London, England – December 19, 2021 – The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ brought top-class sport to ExCeL London as the world’s best equestrian athletes battled it out for the prestigious title. The testing 1.60m course set by Brazilian course designer, Guilherme Jorge (BRA), saw 11 combinations master the first round without fault. The first to achieve this feat, Ireland’s Anthony Condon (IRL) riding SFS Vincomte, got the jump-off underway, incurring four faults coming out of the double at fence eight. Great Britain’s Jack Whitaker (GBR), a winner at The London International Horse Show last night, followed Anthony Condon (IRL)into the arena, suffering the same fate.
Ireland’s Michael Duffy (IRL) was the first to produce a clear over the shortened course, which featured nine jumping efforts, setting a time to beat of 39.38 seconds. Norway’s Geir Gulliksen (NOR) put in a brilliant effort to take the lead, however it was short lived, as he was followed into the arena by the legendary John Whitaker (GBR) and Unickdu Francpor, who went into pole position at the halfway point, timed in 37.50 seconds.
Former World No. 1, Harrie Smolders (NED) and Monaco survived a tricky moment at the first, before upping the ante to provide a new target to beat of 36.77 seconds . Great Britain’s Olympic champion, Ben Maher (GBR), put in a valiant effort aboard Faltic HB but could not match the pace of Smolders, eventually finishing in fifth place.
With three to go, Great Britain’s Harry Charles (GBR), full of confidence following a win earlier in the week, took over the lead to the delight of the sell-out crowd, shaving 0.86 seconds off Smolders’ time on the 11-year-old bay Oldenburg mare Stardust (Chacco-Blue x Con Air 7). The 22-year-old had a nail-biting wait for the final two, which included the in-form Martin Fuchs (SUI), but his round aboard the 11-year-old mare, Stardust, proved unbeatable, giving Charles the victory exactly 20 years after his father won the same competition.
Final Results – €170,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ of London CSI 5*-W
1) Harry Charles (GBR) & Stardust – 0 / 0 – 35.91
2) Harrie Smolders (NED) & Monaco – 0 / 0 – 36.77
3) John Whitaker (GBR) & Unick du Francport – 0 / 0 – 37.50
Source: Press Release by Gayle Jenkins / Revolution World for The London International Horse Show
Photos: © LIHS / Kit Houghton