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Top show jumpers in Zurich for CSI

Willi Melliger (pictured), the world’s fourth ranked rider, will be competing for Switzerland

(Keystone Archive)

The world's best show jumpers are in Zurich to take part in the 14th Zurich CSI which runs until Sunday. The competition is taking place in the city's Hallenstadion, where 16 of the top 20 riders are chasing prize money of SFr750,000 ($460,000).

Swiss riders taking part include Marcus Fuchs, Willi Melliger and Beat Mändli, who won the silver medal in the team event at last summer's Sydney Olympics.

Among the foreign competitors are Germany's Ludger Beerbaum, Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa, and the Olympic champion, Jeroen Dubbledam of the Netherlands.

"The CSI started as a very small tournament 14 years ago," said co-president, Reto Caviezel. "But it's got bigger and bigger and is now one of the top competitions in the world."

The winner of Sunday's main competition will walk off with SFr100,000.

But the event isn't all about competition.

"There are three main strands," Caviezel told swissinfo. "There's the sport, an exhibition devoted to the fun side of horse-riding and there's a one-hour show dedicated to the success of Swiss riders during 2000."

Swiss show-jumpers won one gold, three silvers and one bronze in international competitions last year.

The show to celebrate their performance will include a troupe of Ukrainian acrobats, a French trick rider called Lorenzo and even Sybille the jumping cow.

Organisers expect the whole event to have attracted more than 40,000 visitors when it ends on Sunday.

by Michael Hollingdale


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