Constant Van Passchen (BEL) won the final CSI5* class, the Master Airbus Group, in Chantilly Sunday. Constant rode a masterful round with his stunning black 12 year old mare Diamanthina van T Ruytershof (Diamant de Semilly x Carthago) to take the title. Bertram Allen (IRL) and his bay gelding Belmonde (Ovidius x Kenwood) came an unbelievably close second, just six tenths of a second behind Constant, and Ukraine's Ferenc Szentirmai was third with his chestnut gelding Quickdiamond (Quick Lauro Z x Catango).
For the first round Uliano Vezzani built a course to suit all classes of horse. The fair and intelligent course forced riders to think about the strides to the fences, with the jumps raised at the full 1,50m.
Rene Tebbel (UKR) was the first to ride a phenomenal clear round and was quickly followed by John Whitaker (GBR) and his bay stallion Argento (Arko III x Gasper).
Alexandre Fontanelle (FRA) was the first of the French riders to go clearand the thousands of fans erupted in patriotic celebration as the combination crossed the finish line. He was joined by Alexis Borrin (FRA), Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), Simon Delestre (FRA), Cedric Angot (FRA), Penelope Leprevost (FRA) who all rode stunning rounds to the delight of the crowd.
Constant van Paesschen (BEL) also provided a superlative performance to earn his place in the high-calibre jump-off, alongside the likes of Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), Bertram Allen (IRL), Ferenc Szentirmai (UKR), Martin Fuchs (SUI), Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT).
Sixteen top class combinations lined up for the final showdown of an exciting weekend. The jump-off looked set to be a flier, with plenty of opportunities for a gallop and only two real turns where riders could gain or lose valuable seconds.
Britain's John Whitaker was the first to set the pace with a double clear in 38.04seconds. However Bertram Allen (IRL) rode his larger striding horse to perfection, making a sensational turn to the third fence, the CWD vertical and galloping to the last to finish in 36.77s. Simon Delestre (FRA) looked hot to change the order and finished with the leading time, however he clipped the last fence behind and finished 9th.
It was down to Constant Van Paesschen (BEL), who rode an incredible round to pip Bertram's time in 36.71. Constant held his mare off the vertical and released into the double, making an audacious turn back to the fence and galloped flat out to the last to take the win.
The Tour now moves to the beautiful surroundings of Syon Park, London, from the 24th - 26th July for the eleventh leg of the championship race. With just three points between current ranking leader Luciana Diniz (POR) and world number 1 Scott Brash (GBR), both of whom will be in London, it's set to be a dramatic race as the title battle continues.
Source: Press release LGCT.
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