GCT Cannes Day 3
Grand Prix day opened with a speed class where faults were counted as time so even a fast four fault round might get a high place and a share of the 20'000 Euro prize fund. Consequently there was no hanging and Harry Smolders (Exquis Powerfee) set a time of 59.67 almost immediately that was going to take something special to better it.
Daniel Deusser, one of three riders who have been commuting between the German Championships and Cannes, was the first to show that special quality. Riding the marvelous and ever placed mare Vonka, his turn into the double would have graced any high goal polo match but sadly even Vonka could not quite clear the second part after such a turn. Never the less, his time was 56.35 so even with a four second penalty, they went into second.
Ludo Philippaerts was almost last man in and having seen something that had escaped the notice of the other competitors, he steered Tauber VH Kapelhof inside the first fence to reach the oxer at ten, and leaving all the fences up, stopped the clock in 58.64 to snatch victory. This was the black stallion's 45th international victory in top class competition.
The Grand Prix though was what the capacity crowd was waiting for and it did not disappoint them. The first round saw eleven completely clear rounds over Serge Houtmann's course and a further three with just one time penalty.
Included among those who made it to the second round carrying four faults was last years winners Meredith Michaels Beerbaum and Shutterfly who fell victim to an upright over a water tray at fence eight and Albert Zoer with Oki Doki who had got a bit close at the second last oxer. But with the likes of Ben Maher (Robin Hood), Laura Kraut (Anthem) and Denis Lynch (Latinus) among those on zero, there were still plenty of big names capable of a double clear and making it to a third against the clock jump off.
In the second round Albert Zoer fast four fault round set the standard because the time was exceedingly tight. Fence six, an upright heading directly towards the crowd proved the undoing of amongst others, Meredith and Shutterfly. But then Britain's Ben Maher with his World Cup mount Robin Hood managed to leave all the fences intact only for the clock to show one time fault. Next to go Denis Lynch went even wider to fence seven and although clean jumping, had two time penalties. Then Daniel Deusser, already placed this week tried hard on recent acquisition AD Aboyeur but could only equal Ben although his time was a little faster. That left the door open for Roger Yves Bost to improve his Hamburg place and make up for his admitted mistake in that jump off. In his inimitable style Roger set off and the crowd could barely contain them selves as he jumped. To say the crowd went wild when he passed the finish completely clear would be an understatement. He had a brief wait while Ludo Philippearts jumped but as the third fence fell and then the sixth, Roger knew the 95'000Euro first prize was his.
Denis Lynch's fourth place was good enough to take a slim lead in the overall rankings from Patrick Mckentee, Bernardo Alves and Roger Yves Bost.
The Tour now moves onto Monaco and full details including todays results and the current GCT standings will be found on www.globalchampionstour.com
Results Grand Prix
1. Ludo Philippaerts BEL, Tauber VH Kapelhof, 0, 58.64
2. Harry Smoulders NED, Exquis Powerfee, 0, 59.67
3. Daniel Deusser GER, Vonka A, 4, 60.35
Roger Yves Bost- “It was a very profitable two minutes! I need pressure and really big courses to do my best, perhaps in St Gallen it was to easy so I made a mistake there! The horse is not so easy but perhaps he gets a bit mature now he is thirteen years old.”
Ben Maher- I think the second round time was tight but it made a really good contest. I dont think I could have done more than I did to win. Roger was the only one brave enough to cut the corners so he deserved to win. Robin has earned his holiday now anyway.”
Daniel Deusser- I will have to see how Monaco goes before I decided about plans for Aboyeur, first I need to get the German Championships out of the way tomorrow with Air Jordan! And Vonka was amazing earlier. As I landed she already was turning for the double, it is as if she knows the course on her own! I am really lucky to be in a place where I get the opportunity to ride so many good horses””
Ludo Philippaerts-”I have had this horse for seven seasons so I could be fairly confident about how to ride him! And I have been doing this for a long time but it is still great when you win 20'000Euro.”
Harry Smolders-” We have been placed all three days, he is very consistent and versatile, and I love Coming to Cannes. This is my fourth time here, it is a great setting and great weather.”
Denis Lynch-”A bit disappointed by with myself, I was too slow but it is great to be leading the rankings and thanks to CN and the GCT for providing the opportunity. I have had a good week, although I have a bad back and John Whitaker has been helping me by warming up the horses a bit and then earlier today I misplaced my jacket and had to borrow Ben Maher's, but in the end the horse jumped super so I am pleased overall.”
Catherine Haddad, dressage competitor- “I have been to some very impressive shows, and in Europe it is common to get top class dressage and show jumping on the same bill, but this show is something else. It is my first visit here, I love the fact that we are here with the jumpers it makes a much better, less ratified atmosphere and I hope I get invited again.”
Roger Yves Bost. Photo by Kit Houghton
Ben Maher and Robin Hood.
Photo by www.photostationonline.com
Photo by www.photostationonline.com
© Cyberhorse 2009 Lulu Kyriacou