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World class field set for Malmö finale
Malmo, Sweden

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Forty of the world's best riders, representing 12 nations, have descended on Malmö in Southern Sweden for the fourth running of the annual FEI Eventing World Cup Final. This is the culmination of 17 qualifiers in eight countries and three continents over the last 12 months. Countries represented are: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

The defending FEI Eventing World Cup champion, Clayton Fredericks (AUS), who recently won the individual silver medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games, leads the charge.

This time he rides Nullarbor, an impressive nine-year-old on whom he finished 4th at the Saumur CCI*** in May and won the British Open title. The pair lay fourth in the dressage at Burghley when they withdrew to re-route to Malmo.

Fredericks will face strong opposition. Olympic gold medallist Nicolas Touzaint (FRA) makes his long-awaited re-appearance with the great grey Galan de Sauvagere, the horse on whom he won gold in Athens and at the 2003 European Championships.

Darren Chiacchia (USA), who won the The Fork (Norwood, NC) FEI Eventing World Cup qualifier, also has a strong chance; he rides the stallion Windfall II, a member of the bronze medal team at the Athens Olympics.

The home side is strongly represented, headed by Linda Algotsson (SWE), a former dual World Cup champion, who rides her 2003 winner and European silver medallist Stand By Me.

Other riders to watch include Frank Ostholt (GER), a team gold medallist in Aachen recently, and his compatriot Andreas Dibowski; plus Finland's Piia Pantsu (riding Ypaja Karuso); former European Champion Jean-Lou Bigot (FRA) on his 2005 Saumur winner Derby de Longueval; and Belgium's Karin Donckers on her Olympic horse Gormley, who will get a good draw as the second highest-placed rider in the FEI Eventing World Cup rankings.

The organising team at Malmö reports perfect going and an excellent, sunny weather forecast. There are new stables and the cross-country start and finish has been re-sited. The weekend is set fair for an excellent competition to provide a fitting climax to the 2006 Eventing season.


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