Lyon, France—April 20
Patrice Delaveau of France and Kent Farrington of the United States have both decided to withdraw from the last day of the Longines FEI World Cup Finals. The blow is particularly hard for French rider Delaveau, who stood tied for the lead in the World Cup Final on his home turf.
Delaveau announced this morning that he has withdrawn his horse, Lacrimoso. “Je suis desolé,” said Delaveau, 49. After the first two rounds, Delaveau had stood tied for first with Steve Guerdat.
“After the first round yesterday I thought I felt something but I was not sure, and he was not as good as usual in the jump-off,” Delaveau said. “Afterwards I knew he was not right. He was a bit lame but it wasn’t anything dramatic. We presented him at the horse inspection and he was rejected. We were offered the possibility of presenting him again tomorrow morning but we—Philippe [Guerdat, French Chef d’Equipe] and the owners—decided that we will withdraw.
“I am very disappointed for a lot of people, and for everyone here in France,” Delaveau continued. “It would be a wonderful story to see a French rider winning in France, but this is just the way it is, and the horse is only 10 years old and will surely have many other good years ahead of him.
“Patrice had a great chance to take this title this weekend for France,” Philippe Guerdat said, “but it is fate for him, and that’s just the way it is. We were all in the stables together today, including the horse’s owners, Armand and Emmanuele Perron-Pette, and I have to congratulate them for their unselfish decision to withdraw Lacrimoso. They thought only of their horse’s well-being—that came first, and not the possibility of victory.”
Delaveau described Lacrimoso’s injury as a possible sprain in a front foot, “but we can’t say for sure just yet, he has to be examined further.”
Farrington announced a few hours later that he’s also withdrawing Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur from the final round of competition on April 21.
“My horse is just coming back in to the sport after a break. I’m thrilled with his performance last night and happy to have him back on form,” said Farrington. “I believe this horse has a bright future ahead of him; that coupled with my current standing we decided that it was in the best interest of the horse to focus on the future.”
Farrington rode Voyeur to a remarkable victory in the second leg of the Final on April 19, but hinted at the decision in the press conference after the class. When asked why he used Blue Angel for the first leg and saved Voyeur for the second leg, he replied: “Voyeur is just coming back to jumping 1.60-meter fences, so I don’t think he’s really at the fitness level that I could use him in all three legs. It’s too much jumping at this time for that horse,” Farrington said.
“To even ask him to jump again on Monday might be too much for him to do, so I’m going to see where we are in the standings and see if I really want to push him or if I’m happy with where he is and save him for something else. If I don’t think he’s in a strong enough position to win, I won’t come back.”
After his thrilling win on the second day of the Final, Farrington stood in 10th with 12 penalties to his name.
Ireland’s Billy Twomey also withdrew his ride Tinka’s Serenade, from the final leg. They were sitting in 17th place.
So, 27 riders will jump for the Final title on April 21.