Roger Yves Bost celebrated his 47th birthday in style when clinching maximum points in the second qualifying leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League at Helsinki, Finland today. Riding Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois, the enigmatic Frenchman whose jumping technique often seems to defy the laws of gravity, produced another one of his trademark heart-stopping rounds to pip Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo in a nail-biting 14-horse jump-off. Jeroen Dubbeldam and BMC Utascha, winners of the opening round at Oslo a week ago, had to settle for third place this time out. But the Dutchman now holds a strong lead at the top of the series table. With 35 points already to his credit, he only needs one more strong result to ensure his spot at the final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.

The start-list was reduced from 40 to 39 due to the late withdrawal of Finland’s Mikael Forsten who broke his hand when landing awkwardly over a fence in an earlier class at his home fixture this morning. This was very bad luck indeed, as he is not long recovered from a broken arm sustained while competing in the Grand Prix at Hagen, Germany last year.

A twisting first-round track from course designer Aki Ylanni produced 14 clear rounds, but not without some considerable effort. The Hartwall Arena is an ice-hockey ring, measuring just 60m x 30m, and the questions asked by the 13 obstacles were relentless. As winning rider Bost explained afterwards “the horses never got a break the whole way around, they had to concentrate every second”.

The Track

The track took them around the arena in a series of figures-of-eight, and good course-walking paid dividends. Every fence was approached off a turn or bending line, but those who could establish a forward rhythm, and riding horses prepared to be brave, were rewarded with a clean sheet. Losing the rhythm proved detrimental as the distances quickly unravelled, especially from the oxer at fence five to the triple-combination at six, and from the vertical at fence nine through the sharp right-hand turn to the Rolex oxer at 10 which was followed by a strong five or holding six strides to another big oxer at 11.

For some however, disappointment came at the very end of the course, Max Kuhner’s exciting nine year old stallion Clintop making it all the way there only to clip the front rail of the final double to leave the German duo amongst the six first-round four-faulters.

Match the Record

It was Dubbeldam who led the way against the clock, aiming to match the record of Switzerland’s Daniel Etter, Germany’s Christrian Ahlmann and Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer who each recorded a double over the first two legs of the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping series in the previous three seasons. He raced through the finish without fault with Utascha, but when he saw 38.98 seconds on the scoreboard he shook his head before leaving the ring, already convinced that just wasn’t quick enough.

Again the course required precise turning skills, but Italy’s Giovanni Consorti, who finished the first round at the end of the buckle with the courageous gelding Silverstras, hit the vertical at fence nine which was now the third fence on the track before bringing his scoreline to eight faults when leaving the last element of the treble – now reduced to just two jumping efforts – on the floor.

Young Swiss talent, Martin Fuchs, took individual gold at this summer’s FEI European Young Rider Championships at Magno Racino, Austria with the 16 year old grey gelding, Principal, but this pair also fell foul of the vertical, while Sweden’s Peder Fredricson and Lunatic also left one on the floor when next to go.

London 2012 Olympic team gold medallists Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos chased down Dubbeldam’s target-time with a great round in 39.08 seconds before Bost took his turn – and it was a thrill a minute. The 12 year old mare is feisty character at any time, and with the Frenchman urging her to give him everything she had, she responded by racing through the finish in 37.39 seconds which really threw it down to the remaining eight runners.

Clear but Careful

Try as they would, they simply couldn’t catch the leading pair. Bost’s French colleague, Kevin Staut, was clear but a little careful with Silvana when breaking the beam in 40.74, but Britain’s Will Funnell was really giving it his best shot when steering Billy Angelo home in 40.28 which, in the final analysis, proved good enough for fifth place.

However it was Spain’s Sergio Moya who produced the strongest threat to Bost’s supremacy, with a sensational round from Carlo. This is a partnership clearly destined for great things if they continue as they have begun, the 11 year old grey gelding formerly competed by Britain’s Nick Skelton has taken to his new rider very quickly indeed, and they are forming a formidable relationship. With absolute confidence, and enjoying every moment of the challenge, Carlo crossed the line in 37.48 seconds to finish just 900ths of a second behind the winning time to put Moya in second spot ahead of Dubbeldam in third and Brash in fourth.

Moya was delighted with runner-up spot. “It felt really good” he said afterwards. “I was third last weekend, and second this week so I’m ready to be first next time!” He plans to take a different horse to the next leg of the series in Lyon (FRA) in two weeks’ time and will bring Carlo out again for Stuttgart (GER) later in November. “Nick (Skelton) has done such a great job with Carlo. The horse has a lot of experience, and he really tries so hard for the rider” Moya added.


Winning rider Bost was delighted with his mare too. “She (Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois) was very good today. In the jump-off she started so fast that when I got to the second fence I thought – well she wants so much to go so I will let her! Sometimes you have to be quiet when riding her but I knew Sergio (Moya) would be very fast so I decided to go a little faster. With her it’s easy to lose control, but today she was fantastic!” he pointed out.

With 20 points on the board he slots into sixth place on the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2012/2013 leaderboard going into his home event at Lyon. But Dubbeldam is sitting pretty at the top of the series table while Moya is only three points behind, with Scott Brash in third and The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and Britain’s Will Funnell sharing fourth.


1, Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois (Roger Yves Bost) FRA 0/0 37.39; 2, Carlo (Sergio Alvarez Moya) ESP 0/37.48; 3, BMC Utascha (Jeroen Dubbeldam) NED 0/0 38.98; 4, Hello Sanctos (Scott Brash) GBR 0/0 39.08; 5, Billy Angelo (William Funnell) GBR 0/0 40.28; 6, Silvana HDC (Kevin Staut) FRA 0/0 40.74; 7, VDL Groep Verdi (Maikel van der Vleuten) NED 0/4 39.46; 8, Lunatic (Jens Fredricson) SWE 0/4 40.22; 9, Cocoshynsky (Emanuele Gaudiano) ITA 0/4 40.81; 10, Warrant (Henk van de Pol) NED 0/4 41.87; 11, Principal (Martin Fuchs) SUI 0/4 42.34; 12, Catoki (Philipp Weishaupt) GER 0/8 38.69; 13, Silverstras (Giovanni Consorti) ITA 0/8 43.27; 14, Nasa (Steve Guerdat) SUI 0/8 43.53; 15, Powerplay (Pius Schwizer) SUI 4/65.17; 16, Louis (Beat Mandli) SUI 4/65.52.

Full result here