London Knights’ formidable combination of Martin Fuchs with Clooney 51 and Ben Maher aboard Explosion W blew away the competition in a jaw-dropping class today, taking pole position and every advantage possible heading into Saturday’s showdown.
However, just one rail away after today’s results are the current ranking leaders St. Tropez Pirates, with Pieter Devos and Dani G. Waldman collecting just 4 faults in the complex class to put them within touching distance of a podium – and the Championship title – tomorrow.
In a drama-fuelled day, the Shanghai Swans – who were placed second in the overall rankings so far – were eliminated from the competition after Peder Fredricson and Zacramento unexpectedly parted ways during today’s first round of action. Their elimination would mean the team cannot improve on their score this weekend, dropping the Swans out of contention for the title.
Martin Fuchs spoke after their round: “It helped that we have two of the best horses in the world and are in great shape, so it’s a great start. My horse Clooney is in the best shape he’s ever been now.”
Teammate and team manager Ben Maher revealed the team’s tactics: “Martin and I sat down and we had a plan this week. We have our two best horses here, and it’s the first time we’ve teamed them up together.”
But the experienced British Olympic gold medalist remained clear-headed: “One minute you can be winning, the next you can be out, and every score counts. We’ve come with one of the best teams possible this weekend to put pressure on the others, so we’ll hope to produce more clear rounds tomorrow.”