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Flying Frenchman Julien Epaillard sets the pace at LGCT Hamburg opening day

Thursday, 25 May 2017
CSI5* LGCT Hamburg 2017

Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT. Julien Epaillard and Quatrin de la Roque LM won in Hamburg. Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT.

The Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg got off to a flying start after speed ace Julien Epaillard (FRA) won the opening CSI5* class with Quatrin de la Roque LM (Quick Star x Kannan). The Frenchman blazed to the win, ahead of the 52-strong field to finish almost a second and a half ahead of the rest. 

Frank Rothenberger (GER) set a straightforward but galloping course, ultimately suited to a speed horse capable of riding over a 1.45m track at a pace. The two phase class featured nine fences in the first part, then four fences set against the clock with a fair gallop between the elements. As opposed to last week’s grass arena in Madrid, Hamburg’s pitch was as flat as a snooker table, as riders navigated between the Derby elements.  

Audrey Coulter (USA) set the standard early on, with a foot-perfect round aboard Cas 2 (Indoctro x Nummero Uno) setting the time to beat at 27.49s. Yuri Mansur Guerios (BRA) and Unita Ask (Corrado I x Caretino) - who competed at the Rio Olympics under Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) - put in a stylish performance, with the relatively new combination topping the time sheets a few tenths ahead at 27.36s.

Dutch star Harrie Smolders (NED) and Zinius (Nabab de Reve x Kannan) shaved a second off their time and lead for much of the way, after pushing Yuri off the top with a new time to beat of 26.14s. The Dutchman looked secure at the top of the timesheets, until Julien Epaillard and Quatrin de la Roque LM set off through the second phase at a gallop, taking a stride out twice at the seven-stride distances and propelling him well into the lead. Stopping the clock at 24.25s the careful long-striding horse finished up a second and a half ahead of the rest taking the win at the first of a four day festival of showjumping. 

 


Source: Press release from LGCT / Picture © Stefano Grasso/LGCT

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