Austrians head the Vaulting Squad Compulsory Round
Caption: Team Austria won the Squad Compulsory round at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, France.
Louise Parkes/FEI Communications - Team Austria’s vaulters got off to a great start when topping the Round 1 Compulsory competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, France today. Partnering their steady and reliable horse Alessio I Amabile, they collected a score of 7.872 to finish ahead of Germany in second while Switzerland slotted into third place.
A total of 17 nations are competing for the world championship title at the Zenith Arena in the Parc des Expositions in Caen this week. The fantastic venue is a theatre designed by Jacques Millet and Claude Renouf which opened in 1993. It has staged concerts featuring many major stars including Leonard Cohen and has also hosted the Cuban National Ballet.
With state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment, the 7,000-seater stadium has already proven a huge hit with Vaulting enthusiasts who roared support for their chosen teams throughout today’s competitions.
German Chef d’Equipe, Ulla Ramge, was full of praise for the venue. “This is the best arena we have ever had for our sport” she said this afternoon.
Judges Pavla Krauspe (SVK), Sue Detol (USA), Anna Kull (SUI), Veronigue Girard (FRA), Katolina Wickholm (FIN0, Anita Flamand (AUT), Helma Schwarzmann (GER) and Elzbieta Dolinska (POL) put Germany’s Rikke Laumann at the top of the Female Individual Compulsory class. Lunger for Laumann’s Ghost Alfarvad Z is Lasse Kristensen, and the winning score was 8.435.
Runner-up was Great Britain’s Joanne Eccles on a mark of 8.350, while third place went to Switzerland’s Simone Jaiser on a score of 8.300.
The Female Individual competitions have the biggest entry, 32 in total, and it was Italy’s Anna Cavallaro who lined up fourth today ahead of Germany’s Corinna Knauf in fifth and America’s Mary McCormick in sixth place.
The Male Individual Compulsory was a triumph for the home side, with Jacques Ferrari pipping fellow-Frenchman Nicolas Andreani while the Brusewitz brothers, Viktor and Thomas, slotted into third and fourth for Germany.
Ferrari led for the much of the way with the Brusewitz brothers filling second and third, but when Andreani scored 8.300 he slotted in behind Ferrari’s winning mark of 8.410 and relegated the Brusewitz duo.
A total of 17 lined out in the Male Individual Compulsory event.
Germany’s Erik Oese finished fifth ahead of Austria’s Lukas Wacha in sixth, and it was a great result for ninth-placed Lambert Leclezio from Mauritius who was representing his country for the first time at world championship level thanks to FEI Solidarity funding.
Andreani has big ambitions this week and is thoroughly enjoying the great venue. "I've never competed in such a beautiful arena before. We really are in the limelight here, and the spectators are very close which just adds to the experience” he said today.
"My friends and my whole family are here, including my grandmother Noelle who has travelled 900 kilometres to support me. As defending world champion, I would of course love to win gold at the first WEG in France - seeing a tricolore on the podium would be even better!" he added.
Vaulting continues tomorrow (Wednesday) with Freestyle starting at 09.30, while the Technical Test and first Pas-de-deux will take place on Thursday. The finals for all four events - Squad, Individual Female, Individual Male and Pas-de-Deux will all be held on Friday.