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Dreher makes it look cool and easy to win the the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix in St. Gallen

Sunday, 05 June 2016
CSIO5* St. Gallen 2016

They made it look easy: Hansi Dreher won the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix of Switzerland on Cool and Easy. Photo (c) CSIO Schweiz St. Gallen.
They made it look easy: Hansi Dreher won the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix of Switzerland on Cool and Easy. Photo (c) CSIO Schweiz St. Gallen.

Hans-Dieter Dreher piloted Cool and Easy (Contender x Riverman) to victory in the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix of Switzerland today. A fabulous second round from the German rider and the 12-year-old gelding earned them the win in St. Gallen, which was much deserved – in Friday’s Nations Cup the couple was clear in the first round but retired in the second after an early fence down under horrible weather conditions. This time around, the two stayed dry and clear – claiming the first prize of 50 000 Euro.

Ten riders moved on to the second round of the 1.60 Grand Prix after going clear the first time around. The course was set by Gerard Lachat, and proved quite perfect with ¼ of the riders in the class clearing the thirteen fences that included a triple combination early on as 4abc, an open water halfway and then a combination at 12ab on the very last line.

The second round started off with a line from the former fence 12a to 13, and then another line on either six or seven strides before a left turn to an oxer waited and then a right turn into the former line of fence three on eight strides to the last two parts of the triple combination – two verticals – before it called for more carefulness with another vertical and a long stretch home to the final Longines oxer.

First out around the shortened track was Ireland’s Cian O’Connor and Good Luck (Canturo x Furioso II), who helped secure the win for the Irish team in Friday’s Nations Cup. O’Connor opted for a steady clear round without any risk, and crossed the finish line with a time of 58.35 seconds – a time that looked more than possible to beat. 

The next clear round was to come from the third rider out; Germany’s Janne Friederike Meyer on the well-jumping 9-year-old gelding Chuck (Cassus x Ramiro's Son II). The two put the speed up slightly compared to O’Connor, taking over the lead on 56.69 seconds.

That did not last long though, and Ireland’s only double clear couple from Friday’s Nations Cup were next to go. Greg Broderick and the 10-year-old MHS Going Global (Quidam Junior I x Cavalier Royale) went for a far less conservative performance than the first three pairs, really going for it on the final line to bring the time down to 50.08 seconds and putting the pressure on those to come.

Lucy Davis is not one for hanging around to opt for safe clears, so she set the fantastic Barron (For Pleasure x Nabab de Reve) off in top gear from the very beginning showing that she was in it for the win. Tightening the turns everywhere, and then getting a superb angel to the penultimate vertical before she urged the 12-year-old gelding on down the last line the American rider managed to shave off even more time stopping the clock on an incredible 47.53 seconds after giving the front pole on the final oxer a proper rub. 

Davis time looked hard to beat without taking a lot of risk, but as next in the ring Hansi Dreher proved it could be done. Always fast, today was no exception from the German rider’s side and with Lucy’s performance Hansi knew that there was no margin for error nor any time to waste. Cool and Easy jumped fantastic yet again, and as Hansi galloped through the finish line the clock showed a new leading time: 47.29 seconds.

None of those to come could catch him: Ireland’s Bertram Allen gave it a go, but had one down coming out of the combination while last year’s winner Romain Duguet had to see the fourth vertical falling to the ground. Last to go Paul Estermann – who has had a fantastic show – went for a steady clear on Lord Pepsi to secure 5th place.

The one who came closest to Hansi and Lucy was home heroine Janika Sprunger who produced a fabulous round straight from the heart while she almost was lifted over the fences by the crowds to slot into third aboard the lovely Bonne Chance (Baloubet du Rouet x Cambridge), and securing a pair of Swiss feet on the podium next to Dreher and Davis. 


Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © CSIO Schweiz St. Gallen

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