GERMANY’s Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann won the seventh round of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Western European League in La Coruña, Spain last Sunday after a thrilled two-way jump-off with Britain’s Harry Charles.

It was a tough day at the office for many of the 40 starters, with five retirements, two eliminations and 14 posting a four-fault result in the opening round. Santiago Varela built a challenging track, but the decision to change the first-round time-allowed from 85 seconds to 83 was what kept the number qualified for the jump-off to the minimum.

Second to go in the opening round, Charles made it look fairly easy when clearing the 14-fence track in 81.03 seconds with Casquo Blue,before the time-allowed was decreased. Another 22 horse-and-rider combinations took their turn before Meyer-Zimmermann and Messi van’t Ruytershof matched that.

Charles set the jump-off target with another great run from his 12-year-old gelding, stopping the clock in 36.87 seconds to throw it down to his sole rival. But the 41-year-old German lady, who gave birth to her son in January, wasn’t intimidated. Her brilliant rollback to the vertical at fence five gave her the advantage before she raced through the timers in 36.52 second to secure the win and €99,000.

“I watched Harry, I know he is a very quick rider but I felt that there was nothing to lose. I didn’t want to over-speed but I wanted to take my chance. When you are second to go and there are only two riders you have to take the chance,” she said afterwards.

“The course-building was good but it was a tough course, and because of the time changing you had to hurry a lot and usually that brings more faults. In the end I was lucky there were not so many clears. It was more about the time because you had to take risks, and when you take risks you have more faults,” Meyer-Zimmermann added.

Austria’s Max Kuhner had to settle for third place; he looked set to jump a clear only to collect a single time penalty with Up Too Jacco Blue. The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders and Uricas vd Kattevennen finished fourth with two time faults, while world champion Henrik von Eckermann was the fastest four-faulter to place fifth.

Frenchman Kevin Staut was sixth and he continues to head the overall leaderboard on 53 points, ahead of von Eckermann (46 points) and Harry Charles on 45. The top three already look well-qualified for the Longines Final in Omaha (USA) next April. Round nine moves to the London International Horse Show next week.

Lynch and Ryan placed

Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan finished third in Saturday’s 1.50m jump-off at the Spanish venue. Riding Jos Lansink and Emma Holtrust’s 11-year-old gelding Guppie VDL, he was among nine clears in the first round to go forward to the jump-off.

Against the clock, just four were clear again, and Ryan produced a time of 38.50 seconds to earn €31,500. Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt landed the win with Coby 8 (0/0 34.19), ahead of Harry Charles with Billabong du Roumois in second (0/0 35.58).

Tipperary’s Denis Lynch was the runner-up in Friday’s 1.45m Table A. He guided the Onyx Consulting-owned GC Chopin’s Bushi to one of 18 clears in 61.41 seconds, just slower than French winner Gregory Cottard with Cocaine du Val (0/ 60.46).