Precisely on time, the last seats were occupied in the wonderful tournament arena at the Glock Horse Performance Center for the grand sporting finale, the CSI3* Glock’s Grand Prix. Nobody wanted to miss the competition, with both world ranking list points and total prize money of 100,000 euros.
Thirty nine participants faced the course over 1.55 m designed by Frank Rothenberger. This task was anything but easy. It was particularly the triple combination at obstacle 11 (upright-upright-oxer) that brought many a contestant to their limits, as well as the testing finish line, consisting of a mighty triple-bar and narrow upright. Only five of the world-class duos who entered managed to finish the first round with no faults. For them, the task was then to find the right strategy again for the excitingly-laid-out jump-off.
Something the British rider William Whitaker had evidently found. This 25-year-old nephew of John Whitaker, with his agile twelve-year-old Fandango (Last Liberty x Krocket 651) focused right from the start and made perfect use of his gelding’s extensive gallop. Fault-free and in 35.23 seconds, the duo galloped over the finishing line and received ear-splitting cheers from the packed ranks of spectators.
"I don’t know what made the difference today, but Lady Luck was certainly on my side. My uncle didn’t actually win today, but he’s sure to be pleased to see another Whitaker standing up here," said William in the winner’s interview.
Second place went slightly surprisingly to Turkish rider Omer Karaevli. Jumping outstandingly, his Belgian gelding Dadjak Ter Puttenen (Toulon x Vanitas) didn’t touch a single bar and his rapid time was rewarded with second place and much applause from the spectators.
There was a breathless hush during the ride by the last starter: Glock rider Gerco Schröder. Everyone at the Glock Horse Performance Center had their fingers crossed for him and his twelve-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Clearway; Glock’s Cognac Champlanc. Jump after jump, the statuesque great white horse’s performance captivated all. When the clock ultimately stopped at 36.97 seconds and the Glock dream team had secured third place in the Glock’s CSI3* Grand Prix, there was no holding back as the arena resounded to jubilant rejoicing!
Source: Press release from Glock Horse Performance Center
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