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Steve Guerdat wins World Cup jumping final

Steve Guerdat wins World Cup jumping final
Steve Guerdat of Switzerland and Albfuehren's Paille jump in the final round of the World Cup jumping competition at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on April 19. (Glenn Pinkerton / European Pressphoto Agency)

After years of having first place in sight but just out of reach, Steve Guerdat of Switzerland and his horse, Albfuehren's Paille, won the Longines FEI World Cup jumping title in Las Vegas on Sunday after a solid three-day performance, finishing with only eight penalty points.

"In the last nine or 10 years, I was on the podium three times, twice in the jump-off. Every year I was in the top 10," Guerdat said. "Yes, on one side, you always want more, but you also have to be realistic about how good the other riders and the other horses are, so I actually feel really good about all these results. Today I just tried to take it like always. Of course I was nervous, but I'm lucky to have great people around me, to keep me calm and confident."

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Second place went to Penelope Leprevost of France and her horse, Vagabond de la Pomme, with nine penalty points. Third went to Bertram Allen of Ireland and Molly Malone V, also with nine penalty points but a slower time.

The top American rider was Elizabeth Madden and Simon, who finished fourth with 10 penalty points.

Guerdat gave credit to his horse. "I like that she is a real fighter. I know that today in the championship, a lot of horses were struggling, so you really needed a fighter if you wanted to do the job. She knows her job, and every time she sees a fence, she wants to clear it, no matter how. So that's her biggest quality, and I think she really deserves my hat off to her today."

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