The French riders have had a good start on home soil in St. Tropez, as Julien Epaillard and Simon Delestre opened the CSI5* Longines Athina Onassis Horse Show with home wins on Thursday.
World no. one Simon Delestre won the feature class of the day; the 1.50 Bentley Prize riding the 11-year-old gelding Chesall Zimequest (Casall x Concerto II) to victory against a strong field of 41 riders. No less than seventeen riders moved on to the jump-off, where Delestre was the fastest stopping the clock at 33.49 seconds.
Not too far behind followed crowd favorites Abdelkebir Ouaddar and the 12-year-old stallion Quickly de Kreisker (Diamant de Semilly x Laudanum XX), with a time of 33.94 seconds. Third place belonged to Great Britain's Ben Maher and Diva II (Kannan x Berlioz), who finished two seconds behind the winning time. Fourth went to Germany's Daniel Deusser and fifth to USA's Georgina Bloomberg.
Earlier in the day, speed master Julien Epaillard won the 1.45 Premiumares Prize. With a time of 30.40 seconds in phase two, the French rider was the fastest one aboard Cristallo A LM (Casall x Corofino) leaving Ukraine's Cassio Rivetti to the runner-up position aboard Chataga (Chacco-Blue x Carthago) 0.09 seconds behind. Third was Ben Maher with Aristo Z (Andiamo x Flamenco de Semilly), also close to the winning time as he was only 0.17 slower.
Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Nicola Serafini/LAOHS
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