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SHOWJUMPER WINS $700,000 PRIZE

JERRY SMIT, DOUBLE WINNER IN THE PULSAR CROWN SERIES, WINS US$700,000 (A$1,186,000) FOR HIS VICTORY IN THE GRAND PRIX OF CANNES

Jerry Smit of Italy became the second rider in history to win two Pulsar Crown competitions with a win Saturday evening 17 June in the Grand Prix Marina Picasso at CSI Cannes (FRA). For his efforts he came away with a prize bonus of 700,000 USD in addition to the more than $100,500 USD presented to the winner of the Grand Prix.

Smit, 30, was second to go in a three-horse horse jump off featuring Ludger Beerbaum of Germany and Beat Mandli of Switzerland. Beerbaum and his 10 year old Selle Français stallion Champion du Lys was first to go and set an impressive pace with a clear round in 42.46 seconds.. Smit, however, was not intimidated and, with his 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion Lux Z, delivered a faster clear in 41.59 seconds. Mandli, who had an early rail, retired.

Smit began his Pulsar Crown cycle with a win at the Grand Prix of Valkenswaard in 1999. He did not achieve victory at the second event, the Pulsar Grand Prix at CSI Monterrey in Mexico. Thus Saturday was his last chance to increase his Pulsar Crown purse.

Smit’s win was only the second double win in the history of the Pulsar Crown, the world’s richest show jumping series. The first was Hugo Simon of Austrian who claimed his double win in Aachen in 1998.

The USD 700,000 prize for this double-win completes Smit’s Pulsar Crown cycle and returns the double-win prize to US $600,000 for riders who begin their cycles in 2000. Markus Fuchs who began his cycle in 1999 and was also in contention for a double-win purse in Cannes, has one more chance to increase his Pulsar Crown purse from USD 25,000 to his own double-win purse of USD 700, 000 at the upcoming CHIO Aachen, July 12-16.

The Pulsar Crown, a prize fund under the aegis of the Féderation Equestre International (FEI), operates on an ongoing cycle and offers top show jumpers from around the world the opportunity to compete for purses between USD 1.5 million and USD 2.5 million in additional prize money. The purse, the largest ever offered in the sport, is awarded based on a rider's results in the Grand Prix at three top international show jumping competitions in Valkenswaard, Netherlands, Aachen, Germany and in 2000, CSI Cannes.