There is no stopping Simon Delestre; on Friday night the French rider won the prestigious Golden Drum of Basel. Delestre, who recently stepped up as no. two on the Longines World Ranking, rode Chesall (Casall x Concerto II) – his winning partner from the Gucci Gold Cup at the Longines Masters of Paris in December.
The perfect amount of ten riders moved on to the jump-off in this 1.55 competition after going clear over the first round track. With great names such as Marcus Ehning, Penelope Leprevost as well as Daniel Deusser on the list for the second round against the clock, it was bound to be a fast affair.
It was close to a home win, but Delestre prevented a Swiss victory by 0.75 seconds in the St. Jakobshalle, as Niklaus Rutschi had to see himself beaten on home soil aboard the 13-year-old Windsor XV (Karandasj x Wellington). Delestre took all the risk needed against the clock, and the careful 11-year-old chestnut gelding had no problems clearing the difficult elements in the jump-off such as the plank-plank combination half-way, as well as giving the final upright plenty of air even in full speed to take over the lead.
Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and the veteran Winningmood (Darco x Cassini), now 17, did all they could but it was simply not enough to catch up with Delestre and Rutschi and the established partnership had to settle for third this time around.
Germany's Daniel Deusser finished fourt, and Finland's Anna-Julia Kontio fifth.
The two other five-star ranking classes, both had Belgian riders on top.
Gregory Wathelet won the 1.45 Preis der Thermoplan AG speed competition on Egano van het Slogenhof (Electro x Nagano), leaving Great Britain's Laura Renwick and Ireland's Billy Twomey to second and third.
The 1.50 Preis der Grosspeter Nutzfahrzeuge AG competition was set up as an accumulator with two jokers, and saw Pieter Devos on top riding Espoir (Surcouf de Revel x Laudanum X). Again Italy's Emanuele Gaudiano was in the money as runner-up, while Gregory Wathelet secured another good result as third.
Text © World of Showjumping // Photo © CSI Basel/Katja Stuppia.
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