Equestrianism - Staut leads way in Stuttgart

Frenchman Kevin Staut took a memorable victory in the fifth qualifying round of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping 2012/2013 Western European League series at Stuttgart.

Equestrianism - Staut leads way in Stuttgart

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Kevin Staut on Silvana HDC (Karl-Heinz Frieler/FEI)

After a thrilling jump-off between 11 riders and their steeds, Staut claimed victory atop Silvana HDC with a time of 42:66, just ahead of Marcus Ehning on Noltes Küchengirl, who crossed the line without penalties but one hundredth behind.

The first round proved a tricky one for the riders, especially in the triple jump, which led to nearly half the competitors knocking over a rail. Still, 11 pairs survived and went on to face each other in a memorable jump-off.

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum opened up with at a relatively slow pace on her young horse Bella Donna, but the second round was a different story.

Sweden's Jens Fredricsson on Lunatic set the tone as he attempted a short cut from fence three to four, managing to clear in 43:97, almost 10 seconds faster than Michaels-Beerbaum.

Ehning, in good form, went fifth and Noltes Küchengirl jumped the course smoothly with a perfect pattern while making the right choices to clock a time of 42:67.

Under normal circumstances, that would have been enough for victory, but Ehning had not reckoned with Staut.

An audacious effort from the Frenchman saw him complete a perfect course and pip Ehning at the post and rocket up the world rankings.

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