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The Swiss reign supreme in the CSI5*-W Land Rover Grand Prix of Helsinki

Saturday, 21 October 2017
CSI5*-W Helsinki 2017

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping Steve Guerdat and Alamo won the CSI5*-W Land Rover Grand Prix of Helsinki. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

Saturday’s highlight at the CSI5*-W event in Helsinki was the 1.60m Land Rover Grand Prix, that saw the Swiss showing off their supremacy.

A total of 44 horse-and-rider combinations lined up for the challenge set by the Brazilian course designer Guilherme Jorge. The 1.60m track counted 12 obstacles and 15 efforts with the time allowed set to 69 seconds. Thirteen pairs cleared their way over the tricky track. Even though the faults were spread out over the course, the vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination at fence six turned out to be a heartbreaker for many.

First to go in the jump-off was rising star Evelina Tovek (SWE) on the 9-year-old gelding Castello (Cristallo x Lifestyle). With a steady clear, the pair set the time to beat to 39,55 seconds. Geir Gulliksen (NOR) on the 9-year-old mare Exit of Ice Z (Emilion x Tornado) followed and illustrated that there was room for improvement, taking over the lead with a time of 39,45 seconds – only to be shown soon after that there was still a few fractions to shave off, as Paolo Paini (ITA) on the lovely 11-year-old mare Ottava Meraviglia di Ca’ Sa G (For Pleasure x Caletto I) clocked a time of 39,19 seconds. 

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping "Today I just tried to do my round without thinking about what the others did," said Steve Guerdat after his win. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

With five riders left to go, Romain Duguet (SUI) on the only 8-year-old stallion Vancouver de Landlore (Toulon x Le Tot de Semilly) took a brave gallop to the last fence, setting a whole new standard and changed the time to beat to 38,12 seconds. Right after him came Daniel Deusser (GER) on the 9-year-old stallion Tobago Z (Tangelo vd Zuuthoeve x Mr. Blue) – the pair that won both the Grand Prix and the World Cup of Oslo last weekend. Giving it their best try, the pair clocked a time 38,13 seconds – ending right behind Duguet.

Second last to go was Steve Guerdat (SUI) on the 9-year-old gelding Alamo (Ukato x Equador). With a flawless round in 36,63 seconds, the pair took home the win and pushed Duguet down to the runner-up position, Deusser to third, Paini to fourth and Gulliksen to fifth spot.

“I have been riding this horse for three weeks,” the surprised winner told the press after the class. “I took him to a two-star show two weeks ago and last week he was in Oslo – I am not sure he ever jumped indoors before last weekend,” Steve said. “It is amazing how fast everything has gone with him – he has been jumping 1.40m classes with a friend of mine and I have never tried to go fast with him before,” Steve said.

“When I was very young, I read an interview with a famous English rider and he said ’You can go fast as long as your horse doesn’t know you are going fast’ – that is something that has stayed in my mind. Today I just tried to do my round without thinking about what the others did – I am surprised that my horse was so quick, and that everything went my way,” Steve concluded adding: ”I am delighted!”

 


Text and pictures © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

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