April 21, 2012 -- Valuable World Cup points were at stake Friday evening in the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final as riders vied for a place in Sunday's final competition. Louis Koninck tested the 33 riders that returned for round two over a demanding track in the Indoor Brabant. Riders within the top 25 of the placings following tonight's round qualify to contest Sunday's final competition, of those entries seven will be representing the U.S.
Rich Fellers, Thursday's round one winner, guided the diminutive Flexible to a near flawless round just faulting at one fence. Fellers (Sherwood, Ore.) and Harry and Mollie Chapman's 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse stallion jumped another efficient round only adding four faults at the middle oxer of the triple at fence 11. The pair finished tonight's class in eighth place.
"That was a funny triple. I don't know what was affecting the horses' vision, what they were looking at, but that's not a typical rail for Flexible. I felt like I rode him well and I don't know what I would have done differently there. Anyways, that's the sport." The consummate sportsmen, Fellers feels he may have benefit from tonight's unlucky rail. "We always try to see the positive. I thought of that when I came out of the ring, at least I don't have to jump him off, and he'll just be that much more fresh for Sunday because you do two rounds">
Beezie Madden and Cortes 'C' (Photo by SusanJStickle/PhelpsSports.com)
Beezie Madden was the top placing American rider in round two, guiding Abigail Wexner's Cortes 'C' to fifth place and the fastest four fault round of the night. Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) utilized the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding's ground covering stride and huge jump to execute a near impeccable round. Like Fellers, they also faulted at 11B; this was their only mistake.
"I'm a little disappointed with that. But I thought he jumped well and we're in a good place." Madden likes her chances on the final day and believes the course will suit her horse. "My horse has lots of scope and normally they big build on Sunday. So we will look to jump good rounds and I think we can move up."
They head into Sunday's final competition in eighth place with seven faults.