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Marcus Ehning of Germany Wins Budweiser Show Jumping World Cup Final

Las Vegas, NV—April 20, 2003— Marcus Ehning of Germany emerged as the 25th Show Jumping World Cup Champion with a faultess performance on Sunday, riding his Oldenburg mare Anka to victory at the Budweiser World Cup 2003 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Three-time World Cup Champion Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil had to settle for the runner-up position this time aboard Baloubet du Rouet, owned by Diago Pereira Coutinho. Third went to Malin Baryard of Sweden riding H& M Butterfly Flip, owned by Christina Larsson. The top US rider was Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI who tied for fifth aboard Anthem, owned by the Summit Syndicate.

Ehning received a wonderful birthday present a day late, as he celebrated his 29th birthday on Saturday.

“I can’t believe it,” said Ehning. “I never thought I would win. If you think too much about it, it can hurt you, you need to go day to day.”

There was much to think about on the final day, as competition was extremely fierce. The top three were less than a rail apart in placings with Ehning and Pessoa tied for second place with two faults and Baryard in the lead with a perfect score of zero. Ehning was the first of the top three to go as they were riding in the reverse order of merit. Ehning, a Sydney Olympic team Gold Medalist, went clear putting the pressure on the top two. Pessoa did not have the same luck as he did three years ago when he won in Las Vegas and he had a rail down in the first round giving him a score of six faults with only Baryard to go.

“I had a silly fault,” said Pessoa. “But it caught a lot of horses.”
That included Baryard who also had a rail, which moved her down to second for the final round with a score of four faults.

“The mare was too fresh and difficult to ride,” said Baryard. “It was unlucky, but other times I have had luck on my side, so you just have to take the good days with the bad.”

In the second round, Pessoa went clear putting pressure on the remaining entries with a total score of six faults. The atmosphere was thick with pressure as Baryard entered the ring. If the young Swede had one rail down, there would be no chance to win as that would give her eight faults while Pessoa was finished with six. She had a rail to drop to third.

Ehning was the last to go and had no room for error. One rail would tie him with Pessoa and force a jump-off. Two rails would give Pessoa the title. Ehning and Anka rose to the occasion leaving all the rails up and claiming the title. He threw down the reins and raised his arms in the air with the crowd on their feet cheering for them. It was a spectacular finish for the most prestigious show jumping competition in the world this year.

Las Vegas Events, Inc. really knows how to put on a show. The opening ceremonies and acts between the breaks were outstanding with Las Vegas showgirls, laser shows, fireworks, equestrian demonstrations and amazing variety acts. The packed stands appreciated every minute of it making the whole event one to be long remembered.

Prior to the competition, four US riders received Silver medals for competing in 100 World Cup competitions. They were Donald Cheska, Beezie Madden, Eric Hasbrouck and Susie Hutchison.

The World Cup organization is losing an icon as Max Ammann is retiring as director of the World Cup after twenty-five years. Ammann created the World Cup and is largely responsible for making it the truly great event that it is today.

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