From 1 to 4 February, the Jumping International de Bordeaux certainly is a leg of the World Cup that has a special place in the riders’ and drivers’ heart. The exceptional plateau in 2018, once again, proves it with, for example, in the only discipline of showjumping, four former winners of the World Cup final, and especially a triple winner, Marcus Ehning, a rider particularly loved by the public of Bordeaux. A love that the German rider returns to it well, by winning several times the World Cup Grand Prix and the Land Rover Grand Prix.
They will be in Bordeaux and Paris – The “already” qualified
Beyond the presence of the former World Cup champions, the Germans Christian Ahlmann, Daniel Deusser and Marcus Ehning, as well as the Swiss Olympinc Champion Steve Guerdat, it is the presence of the already qualified riders for the World Cup Final, that will be held at the AccordHotels Arena of Paris Bercy (11 to 15 April), which best expresses this love international riders have for the International Jumping of Bordeaux. Like Roger-Yves Bost, Kevin Staut, Edwina Alexander, Daniel Deusser, Christian Ahlmann or Steve Guerdat who are widely qualified and come to Bordeaux with their best horses: Qoud’Coeur de la Loge and Sydney Une Prince for “Bosty”; Rêveur de Hurtebise, winner of the World Cup Grand Prix of Bordeaux in 2016, for Kevin Staut; while Edwina Tops Alexander has entered California, winner this season at the World Cup Grand Prix in La Coruña and Inca Boy van T, 3rd in London; and Steve Guerdat will present his famous Bianca and Hannah!
Conquering the last points for the World Cup Final – The “almost” qualified
Other riders will come to Bordeaux to get the small handful of points they still lack for Bercy. This is the situation of the French Simon Delestre, winner in Lyon with Hermès Ryan, who will ride Chadino in Bordeaux with the goal to secure his ticket for Bercy, but also in order to “harden” his bay stallion for a World Cup Final, just like the winner of the 2017 edition of the World Cup Grand Prix in Bordeaux, the Normand Julien Epaillard. Marcus Ehning, the Italian Alberto Zorzi, the Dutch World Champion Maikel van der Vleuten, or even the Belgian Pieter Devos are in a similar situation.
A decisive step to reach Paris – The “not yet” qualified
Unless they make a huge result this weekend in Zurich, other riders will be forced to perform in Bordeaux, and more specifically, a place on the podium, if Bercy is part of their dreams. This will be the case of the only rider in history to have won the Grand Slam (Aachen, Calgary and Geneva), the British Scott Brash, but also the French Aldrick Cheronnet and Penelope Leprévost (we are still waiting for a women’s victory in Bordeaux), the Dutchman Harrie Smolders or the Belgian François Mathy Jr.
Paris is over, Bordeaux in sight – The “far from being” qualified
But the surprise can come from those who have no chance to reach the World Cup Final, like the excellent Normand Alexis Deroubaix, author of a really great performance in Geneva last December. Above all, it can come from all the French riders who will have at heart to stand out on this World Equestrian Games’ year: Cédric Angot, Olivier Robert, excellent in Basel ten days ago, or Julien Gonin, who performed brilliantly in Calgary last year.
FEI World Cup Driving Final – The unavoidable duel
The public of Bordeaux can be reassured, it will be entitled to the unmissable and exhilarating duel between the Australian Boyd Exell and the Dutchman Isjbrand Chardon, refereed, as usual by the other Dutch, Koos de Ronde. The three drivers have faced each other only once this season: in Leipzig, last weekend. The three of them should care about the Swiss Jérôme Shoutaz, second of the season’s ranking, and who won this last competition before the great Final in Bordeaux. Once again, this 2018 Final will be very very hot!
Devoucoux Indoor Derby – Karim Laghouag for a fourth victory?
Winner in 2015, 2016 and 2017, will the French Olympic team Champion, Karim Laghouag, claim a fourth victory this year in Bordeaux? He sure is able to do it, but the world’s best specialists of the eventing discipline all have this goal in mind this winter. The individual Olympic Champion, Michael Jung, has an insatiable thirst for victory, and the fifth edition of this very popular class in Bordeaux would not displease him, especially as he will also ride in the 5* showjumping competition! This derby which appeals to the public of Bordeaux, will bring together some of the best eventing riders of the world, including a second Olympic team Champion of Rio Mathieu Lemoine, the winner of the seven years old horses’ world championship Astier Nicolas, the winner of the Pau CCI4* Gwendolen Fer, the indoor circuit expert Sydney Dufresne, the n9 of the FEI ranking Maxime Livio, or the very good Thomas Carlile.
Whatever the discipline, the Jumping International de Bordeaux lives up to its reputation of a great winter sports rendezvous. Olympic Champions, World Champions, World Cup Final winners, the only winner of the Grand Slam of showjumping in history, the quadruple winner of the World Cup of driving… In short, the very best of three disciplines during four days to #thrill the public in this hotsport for equestrian sports.