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DUBBELDAM DELIVERS IN VERONA
The Netherlands' Jeroen Dubbeldam broke the German stranglehold on the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping series when delivering a sensational victory in Verona, Italy this afternoon. German riders dominated at the first three legs at Oslo (NOR), Helsinki (FIN) and Lyon (FRA) so far this season, but the flying Dutchman set an impossible target when second to go in today's thrilling 10-horse jump-off and couldn't be caught despite the best efforts of the world-class field that followed him.
His winning margin was a narrow one however as Germany's Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, winner with Checkmate just a week ago in Lyon, came dangerously close to making it a back-to-back double with a superb performance from the 17 year old Shutterfly who was only fractionally slower against the clock. And Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall La Silla finished third in the star-studded line-up. Dubbeldam was crowned Olympic champion in Sydney (AUS) in 2000, Michaels-Beerbaum's many successes include three Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping titles and, most recently, team Jumping gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, USA, while Bengtsson took individual silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Also in the top ten today were Carsten-Otto Nagel (4th) who was a member of that German gold medal winning side last month, Ireland's billy Twomey (5th) who finished individually 11th in Kentucky, and the man who continues to wear the Rolex armband as No. 1 Rider in the World Rankings, Kevin Staut from France (6th). This truly was a line-up of champions.
Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2010/2011 Western European League - Standings After Round 4 at Verona (ITA):
1. Kevin Staut FRA - 43
2. Christian Ahlmann GER - 40
3. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum GER - 37
4. Leon Thijssen NED - 27
4. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson SWE - 27
6. Ludger Beerbaum GER - 26
7. Rodrigo Pessoa BRA - 24
8. Philipp Weishaupt GER - 24
9. Malin Baryard-Johnsson SWE - 23
10. Lars Nieberg GER - 22
11. Jeroen Dubbeldam NED - 20
12. Julien Epaillard FRA - 18
13. Gerco Schroder NED - 17
14. Rene Lopez COL - 15
15. Ludo Philippaerts BEL - 15
16. Karina Rie Truelsen DEN - 13
16. Carsten-Otto Nagel GER - 13
18. Nina Fagerstrom FIN - 13
19. Marco Kutscher GER - 13
20. Billy Twomey IRL - 12.
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