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Steve Guerdat and Hannah storm to World Cup win in Stuttgart

Sunday, 19 November 2017
CSI5*-W Stuttgart German Masters 2017

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.
Steve Guerdat with Hannah. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

The fifth qualifier in the Western European League of Longines FEI World Cup took place in Stuttgart, Germany, on Sunday afternoon. Presented by Mercedes-Benz, WALTER solar and BW-Bank, the 1.60m track set by Dutch course designer Louis Konickx counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts with the time allowed set to 71 seconds. A total of 40 horse-and-rider combinations lined up for the challenge, and early on it became evident that the triple combination at fence number seven would be the heartbreaker for many, as the poles kept falling. Nevertheless, 16 pairs cleared their way into the jump-off that turned out to a furious race between some of the fastest riders on the circuit.

For a long time it looked like it would be a home trio on top with Philipp Weishaupt (GER) leading the way after a blistering fast jump-off on the 10-year-old mare Asathir (Diamant de Semilly x Papillon Rouge). That was until Steve Guerdat (SUI) on the 10-year-old mare Hannah (Dulf van den Bisschop x Kashmir van Schuttershof) arrived, clocking the winning time of 48,19 seconds with an unbelievable round.

“I saw the others go and they were so fast that I got a bit worried,” Steve told the press after the class. “Stuttgart is one of my favourite World Cup shows, but I think I have been placed second here three or four times already – and I did not want to repeat that today,” he smiled.

“When you see Hannah for the first time in the stable, you don’t think much of her,” Steve told about his special mare. “But in the ring she is an absolute fighter! When she first came to my place, I could not imagine that she would develop as fast as she has done,” Steve explained. “In Oslo and Helsinki we had one pole down, but today we got it all right. My plan was to do World Cup qualifiers until I am sure of my place for the final in Paris. I also like to do some smaller shows with younger horses, so I am happy if I can take time for that also,” the former World Cup Champion said – now being the leader of the overall standing for the Western European League.

Philipp Weishaupt had to settle for the runner-up position with his time of 48,76 seconds, that for a while looked impossible to beat. “I knew it would get even faster,” he commented on the jump-off. “I was pretty early out, but I think I could not have done it better,” he continued. “I am very happy with my horse, but a little bit disappointed of course – but well, Steve has been second here so many times, maybe it was his turn to win now!” joked Weishaupt. “Asathir belongs to Kamal Bahamdan and I have been very lucky to have the ride on her since Kamal himself is busy with his work,” Philipp said about his ride for the day.

Christian Ahlmann (GER) on the 13-year-old Epleaser van’T Heike (For Pleasure x Nabab de Reve) placed third with a time of 49,13 seconds in the jump-off. “I am very happy, my horse did two good rounds today and he was fighting for me,” Christian said. “Of course I would have loved to take the car home again today, but the others were faster,” Ahlmann – who won the qualifier in Stuttgart last year – said. “I will go to Madrid, Geneva and maybe London –  of course I try to qualify to Paris and collect as many points as possible,” the German rider commented about his plans for the rest of the season.

Crowd favourite Simone Blum (GER) on the 10-year-old mare DSP Alice (Askari x Landrebell) took the fourth place with a time of 50,14 seconds after a fantastic weekend in Stuttgart, and the fifth place went to Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (ESP) on the 12-year-old gelding Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Mar (l'Arc de Triomphe x Apache d'Adriers) after the pair clocked a time of 50,22 seconds in the jump-off. 

 


Text and picture © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

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