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Sweden's Baryard-Johnsson Receives World Cup Ticket

Malin Baryard-Johnsson received the perfect birthday surprise when she learned that she will compete at the Rolex FEI World Cupô Jumping Final in Las Vegas, NV, April 18-22, 2007.

The Swedish rider, who celebrated her 32nd birthday on April 10, 2007, was lying second on the reserve list after the final qualifying leg in s'Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands last month but a call from FEI headquarters confirmed that she was now being offered a place at the 2006/2007 FEI World Cupô season-closer and she jumped at the opportunity.

"I was very happy to be asked" she Malin. "I've had some success in Las Vegas before with Butterfly Flip and she is in good form right now so I am really looking forward to it" she added.

The mare will join many of the other European horses being shipped out of Amsterdam airport on April 14th, to the Thomas & Mack Center where 43 of the world's best show jumping competitors will battle for World Cup honors under the spotlights.

Malin is one of 18 riders qualified from the Western European League. There are eight Germans included in this group including league winner Christian Ahlmann, World No. 1 Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and her husband Markus Beerbaum, Marco Kutscher, Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst, Rene Tebbel, Daniel Deusser and of course the defending champion, Marcus Ehning. Albert Zoer, Leopold Van Asten and Gerco Schroder represent The Netherlands while Judy-Ann Melchior and Patrick McEntee will line out for Belgium, and Switzerland is also double-handed with Beat Mandli and Steve Guerdat in action. Britain's Michael Whitaker, French-woman Eugenie Angot and Tony-Andre Hansen from Norway complete the Western European League listing.

Flying the Australian flag will be Edwina Alexander and Gavin Chester, while the South American League representative will be Denis Gouvea. Mexico's Santiago Lambre and Alberto Michan, Japan's Taizo Sugitani, Poland's Krzysztof Ludwiczak and Lukasz Jonczyk and A. Bin Metab Al Saud from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will add even more of an international flavour along with Canada's John Pearce and Jill Henselwood.

The host country sends out a star-studded cast including Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, Lauren Hough, Margie Goldstein-Engle, Schuyler Riley, Molly Ashe and Christine Tribble-McCrea. West Coast riders Jill Humphrey, Richard Spooner and Rich Fellers will also take their chances along with USA Wild-Card winners Kate Levy and Mandy Porter but the man who they may all have to look out for is the FEI Wild-Card choice, Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil, whose record of three consecutive World Cup victories between 1998 and 2000 with the great Baloubet du Rouet stands out as a truly unique achievement.

Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com


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