HELSINKI, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Jur Vrieling, the 48-year-old rider from the Netherlands, won the second leg of Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League in Helsinki on Sunday night.
Vrieling was the last to compete in the 40 strong list, and he won the applause when he, together with his horse Glasgow, cleared all the 17 fences in the first round.
In the jump-off, Vrieling secured the first place with 36.85 seconds, followed by the runner-up Sweden's Henrik von Eckermann with 38.41 seconds. Marlon Modolo Zanotelli from Brazil took the third place.
The ice hockey ring of the Helsinki Ice Hall had been transformed into a confined equestrian competition court, which turned out surprisingly challenging for the most promising players.
"It was a truly tough test, with the confines of the small Ice Hall arena proving simply too tight for a number of the top combinations," said the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) in the press release.
Brazilian course designer Guilherme Jorge admitted that he had been under pressure to set up the obstacles within the limited area. "To build the course with the limitations here, and to have 17 fences was a challenge for me, as well as the riders," he was quoted as saying.
Vrieling said he was lucky as his teammates who failed to get to the jump-off shared with him their experiences. "Leopold (Leopold van Asten from the Netherlands) said: whatever happens keep coming, I think you can make it if you are fast enough over the last three fences," Vrieling said.
After the Helsinki qualifier, Vrieling got 20 points and tied with German rider Daniel Deusser for the second place in the Western European League standing. Eckermann ranked the fifth with 17 points. The first was France's Kevin Staut.
The 2017-2018 season of Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Western European League, consisting of 13 qualifiers, kicked off in Oslo last week. The next qualifier is due in Verona, Italy next week.