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Weishaupt with outstanding win in the $3,000,000 CP International presented by Rolex at Spruce Meadows

Monday, 11 September 2017
CSIO5* Spruce Meadows 'Masters' 2017

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Philipp Weishaupt and LB Convall celebrate their win in the $3,000,000 CP International presented by Rolex at Spruce Meadows. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Philipp Weishaupt (GER) and LB Convall (Colman x Cascavelle) topped Sunday's $3,000,000 CP International presented by Rolex, a part of the Rolex Grand Slam-series, when producing the only double clear of the Grand Prix. It was the pair's second Rolex Grand Slam win; they also went to the top in the 2016 Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen last summer.

The CP International presented by Rolex was a 1.70m Grand Prix asking some real questions of the 42 riders and horses competing. Course designer Leopoldo Palacios made sure the riders stayed focused from beginning to end with his massive fences in the huge grass ring. 

In the first round it was the last line that caused most problems, putting an end to the dream of a second round for several of the riders being clear up until then. Scott Brash (GBR), Steve Guerdat (SUI), Kent Farrington (USA), Christian Ahlmann (GER) and Gregory Wathelet (BEL) were among the victims of this line, that consisted of a huge triple bar followed by five strides to a triple combination with an oxer-vertical-oxer with one short stride between the a- and b-element and two longer strides to the c-element before it was five strides to the last vertical. 

The best 12 riders qualified for the second round with three riders on four faults, one with two time faults, one with one time fault and seven on clean sheets. The second round consisted of 11 fences and 14 jumps with one short combination and one short triple combination causing some issues for the riders.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Second place went to Luciana Diniz and Fit For Fun. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Fine Lady 5 (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) kicked off the massive second round, and improved their score from the first round by ending with one single time fault – leaving them on a total of five faults to eventually end fifth.

For others, round two did not come easy. Sergio Alvarez Moya's (ESP) G&C Arrayan (Baloubet du Rouet x Grannus) went off a bit, and added 12 faults to his previous four. Cian O’Connor (IRL) decided to retire after having 16 faults with Good Luck (Canturo x Furioso II) while French rider Julien Gonin with Soleil de Cornu CH (Qredo de Paulstra x Le Tot de Semilly), who did a great first round with only two time faults, didn’t find the rhythm in the second round and had to add 19 faults to his total score. Marco Kutscher (GER) and Clenur (Carinue x Fernando) got an unlucky pole on the a-element of the Liverpool combination at no. 5, and had to add another time fault which left them with six faults in total.

Eric Lamaze was still in the lead with his five faults when Emilio Bicocchi (ITA) entered the ring riding Sassicaia Ares (Ephebe For Ever x Rebel Z). After a beautiful clear the first time around, Bicocchi now got a fault on the c-element of the triple combination – taking over the lead with four faults. Sameh El Dahan (EGY) on the other hand fell down the ranks during the second round, after having 13 faults on Sumas Zorro (Ard Vdl Douglas x Unknown). 

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
McLain Ward and HH Azur over the b-element of the difficult triple combination in the first round. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Philipp Weishaupt was supposed to enter the ring next, but LB Convall lost a shoe on the second last jump during the warm-up and the German rider was pushed down on the list to get the shoe back on his horse – perhaps not the ideal start to the second round. Instead, McLain Ward (USA) with HH Azur (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Sir Lui) entered the ring after an easy clear in the first round. In the second round however, Ward got some problems with the short combinations on his big striding mare and the back pole on the b-element of the triple combination at no. 8 fell to the ground. With four faults and a faster time than Bicocchi, McLain could still take over the lead though.

Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala (Orlando x Cardento) had to see two fences fall to the ground – no. 6 placed on three strides after the combination, as well as the a-element of the triple combination. Maikel van der Vleuten did an impressive first round with his big jumping VDL Groep Verdi TN (Quidam de Revel x Landgraf I), and it looked like he was well underway sorting out the difficult combinations but then the delicate bicycle fence at no. 10 – the second last jump – fell and to that the Dutch rider also had to add a time fault. With his result, Van der Vleuten squeezed in just between Lamaze and Kutscher on the result list.

By now, LB Convall had his shoe back on and entered the arena as second last to go. Weishaupt and LB Convall made the crowds gasp for air going slow in to the triple combination, but with some amazing jumping they cleared the course once more crossing the finish line double clear.

Last to go was Luciana Diniz (POR) and the fantastic Fit For Fun 13 (For Pleasure x Fabriano), and now it was all in her hands. With a clear round it would be a jump-off against Weishaupt, and with any faults Weishaupt would be the winner of the class. The little mare jumped amazing, and it looked like it would be a jump-off all the way to the very last fence. After Diniz tried to leave out one stride however, they ended in the middle of the huge oxer leaving them on four faults and in second place ahead of McLain Ward in third.

“It is impossible to describe the feeling of winning here in words! My sincere thanks go to my horse LB Convall, without him I certainly wouldn’t be standing here as the winner. He simply has incredible quality,” stated Philipp Weishaupt after his win. 

Philipp Weishaupt will now once again take on the challenge of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping: The rider who succeeds in winning three equestrian Majors directly in succession, goes down in history as the Rolex Grand Slam Champion and receives a bonus of one million Euros. So, should Philipp Weishaupt manage a further Major victory in December at the CHI Geneva 2017, he will be riding to take the Grand Slam title in March 2018 at The Dutch Masters in ´s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. “What Scott Brash pulled off two years ago, namely three Major victories in a row, was sensational and probably no one will be able to repeat this feat in a hurry. But I will certainly concentrate all my energy on trying to do so,” promised Philipp Weishaupt with a view to the next legs of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

 


Text and pictures © World of Showjumping

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