Nicolas Delmotte was the best of a strong force of French riders in the CSI4* Grand Prix of Bourg-en-Bresse on Sunday. The hosts dominated the 1.55 competition, taking home four of the top five placings – much to the joy of the crowds that had met up in big numbers to create a great atmosphere in the May sun. In the end it was only Delmotte that produced a double clear round though, securing the win on the impressive Number One d’Iso Un Prince (Baloubet du Rouet x Si Tu Viens).
Only four riders made it to the jump-off after crossing the finish line on a clean sheet over the first round track, where faults spread out – and a huge amount of riders had to settle for four faults after having a single rail. The fifth place went to France’s Aymeric de Ponnat who only recorded a time penalty on the Quincy-son Ricore Courcelle. It was also a little bit of drama involved with one of the French riders losing the bridle on his horse, cantering around the ring with nothing but the mane as break for numerous rounds – while one of his compatriots parted ways with his four legged partner into the combination only to see the horse turn around and jump the water again the other way around.
The jump-off was opened by Mathieu Billot on the lovely Shiva d’Amaury (For Pleasure x Lando). The French rider set off aiming for a fast clear, but unfortunately a vertical fell early on - the time was good though at 45.83 seconds. Delmotte was next and he left little doubt that he was in it to win, again producing a great clear round stopping the clock on 47.67 seconds. Frederic David and Equador van’t Roosakker (Nabab de Reve x Chin Chin) went for a steady clear, but playing it safe cost them a time penalty. It would prove to be good enough for second though, as last-to-go Will Vermeir on Garrincha Hedoniste (Quite Capitol x Thunder van de Zuuthoeve) had a fast round but the final fence down - and had to settle for fourth place behind the three French riders.
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