Germany’s Marco Kutscher and his formidable gelding Cornet’s Cristallo (Cornet Obolensky x Pilot) blasted away the opposition in a high adrenaline victory in Shanghai ahead of tomorrow’s Grand Prix battle. The fast pace and determination sets the scene for a real prize fight tomorrow.
Valiant spectators braved the heavy downpour determined to stay in their seats and watch the climax to the first big 5* class with a significant prize purse of $371,000. The 1.50/1.55m competition on the opening day of the event culminated in a thrilling jump-off between 13 riders with plenty of calculated risk taking by some of the best in the world.
First in the impressive sand arena, Doda de Miranda with AD Rahmannshof’s Bogeno (Baloubet du Rouet x Elanville), set a blistering pace which had the remainder of the field chasing him until the very last few to go. The Brazilian rider watched every round avidly and his lead looked in jeopardy when Scott Brash and Hello Annie (Contender x For Pleasure) came within 0.2 seconds of his time. It was on a knife edge until the end as the last three riders to go knocked him off the top spot. With the rain pouring down, the sport heated up, and Marc Houtzager on Sterrehof’s Uppity (Guidam x Epilot) was the first to to usurp Doda at the top of the leaderboard with a time of 37.82. Marc’s lead did not last long as Henrik von Eckermann followed him into the arena on the chestnut mare Gotha FRH (Goldfever x Prestige Pilot) and immediately seized the lead in 37.33. But it was last to go, Marco Kutscher with Cornet’s Cristallo, who took the eventual pole position successfully executing all the necessary risks and crossing the finish line a whole second in front on 36.28.
Source: Press release from LGCT
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