It was USA's Kent Farrington and the lovely 9-year-old gelding Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris) that won Sunday's CSI5* Longines Grand Prix of St. Moritz and the top prize of 62.500 CHF.
Ten riders went clear over the first round thirteen fence track, to proceed to the jump-off where it was Germany's Tobias Meyer that opened up with a clear round in 43.61 seconds that looked more than possible to beat.
As next rider in the ring Belgium's Niels Bruynseels on the 10-year-old mare Cas de Liberte (Cracky Z x Chellano Z), quickly took over the lead after a blistering fast round over the shortened seven fence track stopping the clock on 42.47 seconds and putting pressure on those to come.
Dutch rider Marc Houtzager had to see two poles fall, while Italy's Riccardo Pisani had one down in the attempt to catch Bruynseels. Germany's Marc Bettinger had a stop on the fourth vertical as well as a pole down and counting the time faults added his score was eventually seventeen faults.
Michael Whitaker however, made no mistakes. The British rider set his 14-year-old veteran Viking (Jacomar x Almox Prints) in top gear from the very beginning, and got a great turn from the third last oxer to the penultimate vertical before he went flat out on the final stretch to the last oxer. When he crossed the finish line, the time was as good as 40.35 seconds and Michael took over the lead.
While Austria's Max Kühner and Great Britain's Robert Whitaker both had one down, USA's Kent Farrington would show everybody how it should be done. On a winning streak having already gone to the top in yesterday's 1.50m class, Farrington was ready for more. The recipe was full speed from beginning to end, and the careful little rubber ball Creedance answered every question asked in a perfectly executed jump-off to take over the lead with the incredible time of 39.56 seconds. As last to go home rider Jane Richard Philipps had the chance on Pablo de Virton and the Swiss rider really gave it a shot, but it was slightly too slow at 42.16 seconds and the pair slotted into third behind Farrington and Whitaker.
Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © CSI St. Moritz
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