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Germany's Engemann & Aboyeur W Win First World Cup Final Class

GOTEBORG, Sweden, April 24--Germany's Heinrich Hermann Engemann and Aboyeur W claimed the opening speed class of the Rolex FEI World Cup Final Thursday.

Six U.S. riders finished in the top half of the field with two more contests to go to Sunday's final in this city where the annual global championship of jumping began 30 years ago.

The internationally seasoned German combination was one of 12 pairs from the 39 starters to go clear, and finished 1.51 secs. ahead of Switzerland's Steve Guerdat on Tresor V with pre-event favorite Jessica Kurten of Ireland on Castle Forbes Libertina another 0.43 secs. further back.

The USA's Rich Fellers, 49, of Wilsonville, Ore. on the 12-year-old Irish bred Flexible owned by Harry and Mollie Chapman made his round look easy to finish fourth. .

Recent World Cup winners had mixed fortunes. Germany's Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and the Octavia Farms, LLC-owned Shutterfly, the 2005 Las Vegas World Cup victors, were in fifth place right ahead of the 2007 Las Vegas winner, Beat Mandli of Switzerland and Ideo du Thot.

But Marcus Ehning of Germany riding Sandro Boy on which he won the 2006 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur but has encountered problems since the World Equestrian Games the same year and has been dropped from consideration for this year's Olympics, was eliminated when the horse twice refused to approach the same jump.

Olympic team gold medalist Peter Wylde of the USA who lives in Maastricht, the Netherlands, rode Louisburg Farm's Esplanade 7 to seventh place with no faults.

Mandy Porter, 42, of Encinitas, Calif. on Wild Turkey Farm's 11-year-old Belgian warmblood mare, Summer, was also clear to fill 10th place behind local favorite Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Butterfly Flip and Ludger Beerbaum of Germany and All Inclusive NRW.

Veteran Todd Minikus, 45, of Wellington, Fla. on the 12-year-old mare, Olinda, owned by Houlihan Lawrence and World Cup Finals newcomer Brianne Goutal, 19, of New York and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Onira, owned by Cloverleaf Farm, each had four faults to fill 15th and 16th places, respetively.

Kent Farrington, 27, of Wellington and Up Chiqui, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Alex Boone, William Dobbs and Jim McNerney, clocked the second fastest round of the night but toppled two rails to drop them to 17th place.

Other U.S. riders were Lauren Hough, 30, of Wellington and Quick Study, owned by Laura Mateo, to place 22nd, Richard Spooner, 37 of Agua Dulce, Calif. on Ace, owned by S & B, LLC 26th, Margie Engle, 50, of Wellington, on Hidden Creek's Quervo Gold, 32nd, and Danielle Torano, 34, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on Vancouver d'Auvrey owned by Sir Ruly, Inc. 33rd.

Canadians Jill Henselwood and Black Ice and Darrin Dlin and Catwalk were in 28th and 36th places, respectively.

(Reporting from Goteburg provided by Pelle Wedenmark for HorseSport USA)

Photo: Heinrich Hermann Engemann of Germany and Aboyeur W celebrating their win in the first of three contests of the World Cup Final in Goteburg, Sweden Thursday. Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI


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