It’s rare that the cool and calm Marcus Ehning goes so far as to even crack a smile, but after he landed from the last jump tonight, his grin could have lit the stadium, and he threw his arms in the air. He and Sandro Boy had jumped to two perfect rounds tonight, April 30, to claim the win in the FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Usually, crowds don’t cheer much for riders when they’re not doing their best, and not challenging for the lead. But even though he’s not going home with any prizes, Syed Omar Abu Bakar Almohdzar has received the most enthusiastic crowd reception of any other rider in the FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final.
His first FEI Show Jumping World Cup experience might have been a disappointment, with things not going his way, but Kent Farrington rebounded quickly, and finished his time in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a win in the $49,700 KL Grand Prix tonight, Apr. 29.
When I first started working for The Chronicle of the Horse, I knew there would be a lot of travel involved. But I never dreamed then that one of my destinations would be Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And when the assignment became mine, I was a little bit trepidacious. I didn't know quite exactly where Kuala Lumpur (commonly referred to as KL) was, much less anything about it. Well, here I am, and I've learned a lot about the place on my wanderings when not at the horse show.
Marcus Ehning has Olympic team gold and a 2003 World Cup Final win under his belt, and now he’s poised to claim another major title. In the first leg of the FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final—the speed leg--Ehning jumped his way to the top with a marvelously efficient round aboard Sandro Boy in just 60.06 seconds. The competition kicked off the Final, held for the first time outside of Europe and North America, in the Malaysian city of Kuala Lumpur.
Jan Byyny Thompson vividly remembers her first time riding in the Rolex Kentucky CCI****. In 2003, she tackled her first four-star there on Shared Dreams, or "Whitey," a gray Thoroughbred who many had believed just might not be up to the task.
"When we got there, not only was Whitey wild, but I could hardly ride him. I was in tears by the second day," recalled Thompson, 38.
Most grand prix riders would give their eye teeth to have a horse good enough to jump onto the short list for the World Equestrian Games team. Margie Engle not only has two on that list, but they also accomplished the remarkable feat of finishing one-two in the WEG selection trials, a grueling five-round affair held over four days, March 21-25 in Wellington, Fla.
"She's in the catbird's seat, in a very enviable position," U.S. Chef d'Equipe George Morris said of Engle's accomplishment.
A few days before the R.W. "Ronnie" Mutch Equitation Championship, Maria Schaub didn't know if she'd even be able to compete. Her horse hadn't completely recovered from an injury, and she didn't think she could find a suitable horse to replace him.
But fate intervened, and Laura King-Kaplan, who rides with Frank and Stacia Madden at Beacon Hill along with Schaub, offered Nelson, a seasoned equitation horse, for the class, held March 11 during the CN Wellington Finale CSIO in Wellington, Fla. It was a last-minute partnership that paid off for Schaub.