UNITED States rider Richard Fellers won the FEI World Cup showjumping finals in a thrilling display on his horse Flexible.
The likeable American is the first from his country to win the title since 1987.
The Indoor Brabant at s'Hertogenbosch in Holland was packed to the rafters for the three FEI World Cup Showjumping competitions.
The winners of each of the three classes were awarded a Rolex watch of their choice.
Speed was the first class and the Rolex went to Fellers and his Irish-bred Flexible, the oldest horse in the competition.
Second in the speed was Switzerland's Steve Guerdat and the 11-year-old gelding Nini Des Buissonets by Kannan out of a Narcos II mare.
Third went to Belgium's Rik Hemeryck and his 12-year-old gelding Quarco de Kerambars by Darco out of a Skippy mare.
Reigning champion Germany's Christian Ahlmann retired after the opening speed class - unhappy with the way the 12-year-old Melchior-owned stallion Taloubet Z went.
The second competition was the Table A, one round and a jump-off class, which again saw 31 starters with four riders retiring, effectively putting them out of final contention.
Germany's Phillip Weishaupt took first place points while also collecting a Rolex watch for his work. Riding 10-year-old bay stallion Monte Bellini, Weishaupt clocked 33.04 seconds, to win from Switzerland's Pius Schwizer and the 11-year-old bay mare Carlina, with a time of 33.56 seconds.
Germany's Marco Kutscher, riding grey stallion Cornet Obolensky, was third in 35.03 seconds.
After the first two competitions, Fellers and Flexible were heading the leader board. Sitting equal with Fellers was Switzerland's Steve Guerdat. Both riders were coming into the final competition with one time penalty and no fences lowered.
Sitting on five faults was Pius Schwizer for Switzerland, leaving one fence in hand.
Phillip Weishaupt was sitting on 10 faults after the first two competitions and with 11 points was 2009 European Champion Kevin Staut for France.
Australia's Edwina Tops-Alexander was well out of title contention sitting on 36 faults after the second competition with her new ride, the huge striding Titus.
Finally it was time for the final competition: two rounds of different design would decide the title winner for 2012 and the race was not easy to predict.
The first round one clear came from Dutch rider Mikael van der Vleuten who jumped with such maturity and class that he made it all look so easy riding the 10-year-old stallion VDL Groep Verdi.
It was towards the end of round two that the crowds realised that they could possibly see a jump-off for the title.
Coming into this round Marcus Ehning brought 15 points, his final score when he jumped the first second round clear.
The second clear in round two went to Weishaupt to finish with 10 penalties.
Frenchman Kevin Staut and Silvana finished with two fences down for a total of 11 faults.
Steve Guerdat brought through just a single time fault with not a fence down over the rounds to date.
Second last to go was Fellers with Flexible and as they came through the start flags the crowd of 8000 held their collective breath willing this gutsy horse to jump clear, which he did.
Eventually, two were left standing for the jump-off - Fellers and Guerdat..
First to go was Guerdat and his 11-year-old horse and he put his foot on the accelerator the minute they came through the flags and the crowd roared as they took the tightest of turns from fence two to three and pulled it off and then the long gallop to the final fence saw Guerdat open his hand, never contemplating taking a pull and they stopped the clock at 26.61 seconds with all fences standing!
The challenge had been sent to Fellers and his 16-year-old Flexible. Fellers also opened up his machine as they flew through the start flags, took the turn even tighter from fence two to three and his gallop to the final fence saw the crowd rise to their feet as they stopped the clock at 25.97 seconds making their win look all too easy.