Read about how Steve Guerdat predicted something great would happen, how Gerco Schröder got his time fault in the first round, about a tired Bella Donna and Simon Delestre who had to jump the last fence the other day with just one rein among other things.
Steve Guerdat after he had jumped the first round - not knowing how right he would be: "The feeling was good, he is in a great shape. He has been like this all way through. He jumped fantastic in the first three rounds; he touched two fences in four rounds and they both came down really unlucky - but the horse feels at his best and just gets better and better and I hope it stays that way. The horse can jump anything if I just ride him good. Especially now when he has been jumping a few rounds and just gets more and more confidence. So I know if I ride good I'll be somewhere at the end. And he is still very fresh, he is prepared to jump five more rounds if he has to."
Simon Delestre said this about today's first round: "This is the most difficult course so far. Napoli is still very fresh in his body, but he is not too fresh in his head, so he is super to ride. On the other day my rein broke before the last fence and that was a crazy feeling. I somehow managed to turn around without the reins, and just with the legs get him straight to the last fence and we got over it without faults. I really don't know how we managed it but he was fantastic."
"This was his [Bufero] first championship final and when I saw the course it was quite big, it was quite difficult but it was a nice course. I am pleased with the horse. It was a stupid fault on the water that wasn't necessary, the distance was good but I had to do a bit more effort there. The last one I had the feeling that the pressure was a bit gone, he didn't fight like he did on the other fences. But I am very pleased with the way he jumped and quite pleased with the way I rode. I was the last one in and got the spot from Rolf so I just got to know it 1,5 hour before the class," said the Belgian rider Dirk Demeersman after the first round.
"Since the start of the show there have been many difficulties for my horse. He likes a really big ring and when he can use his big strides. Today I could choose with the strides and when I can choose between six short and five long strides I always go for the long strides. For my horse this course was better. In the team competition we had no choice. When it was six short strides there, it was six short and not five long. Long distances are always better for my horse," said Olivier Guillon about his Lord de Theize.
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum about the first round with Bella Donna: "She was a bit tired but it was two really small faults. She has never had a fault on the water before, but I think that the last fitness wasn't there today and I didn't even notice the fault in the triple combination. So I was very surprised when it said eight faults on the score board. I can not be mad but the power was lacking a bit today. I don't think we would have gotten the faults if she wasn't tired."
Rich Fellers about how he wanted to prepare for the second round: "I am going to be in the warm-up a lot less because I think he will be still warm from this. He is a small horse but he has a lot of fight in him."
"My horse has just gotten better and better every time he has been in the ring and he is coping really well with the atmosphere. He is the fittest I ever had him. When I started I was afraid he might be too fresh, but after jumping those rounds I am really glad he is so fit," Scott Brash told us after the first round.
Gerco Schröder had one time fault in the first round and said this about it: "I had a super feeling, he jumped amazing but I was a little bit too slow. He was really fresh and before the triple combination I had the feeling that he had a bit too much power so I took one moment to relax him and that cost me a bit of time unfortunately."
"I didn't wake up this morning seeing myself on the podium with such a young horse so I am not disappointed and leaving here glad not having any bad experience with this horse," said Eric Lamaze after his first round with the only nine year old Derly Chin de Muze.
Marcus Ehning about all the time penalties in the class: "It is not so easy to be inside the time on this course, because you have to ride your turns really round and out otherwise it is easy to lose the jump. But Plot Blue is really easy in the turns so that's why we didn't have any problem with the time."
Kamal Bahamdan about his first round and his love for Noblesse des Tess: "I was extremely pleased with my round and I was extremely pleased and happy with Noblesse. She keeps amazing me, she is really an amazing horse and regardless what happens in the next round she has a huge spot in my heart. She loves the show and big venues and she loves to show off."
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