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Ben Maher & Tripple X take the Prix Le Figaro in Paris

Friday, 02 December 2011

Two lovely rounds gave Ben & Tripple X III the win in Paris. Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.As last to go in the fourteen horse jump-off it was Ben Maher who swept away the first prize on Tripple X III (Namelus R x Cantango Z) in the Prix Le Figaro at the Gucci Masters. The 1.55 class had 41 riders lined up to compete for the win, and  the twelve fence track proved difficult enough – most faults came at the first element in the one-colored  dark red combination at 9a and b. Janne Friedrike Meyer opened the jump-off on Cellagon Lambrasco (Libero x Coriolan), and put a good amount of pressure on the other riders with a clear and fast ride on 38.41 seconds. Laura Kraut had the second fence – the previous 9a – down on Cedric. Denis Lynch went for a more steady version, and was clear on Crocant 3 (Chalan x Corrado I) – while Marco Kutscher could not catch Meyer’s time 0.91 seconds behind.

Runner-up; Ludger Beerbaum on Chaman.Jos Lansink went into the lead on Casper van Spieveld (Mr Blue x Capital) as fifth rider to go, shaving off 0.33 seconds on Meyer’s time – taking advantage of the grey gelding’¬s big canter. Mario Deslauriers’ grey mare Cella (Cento x Chin Chin) is a lovely horse, and the two stayed clear although a little behind Lansink and Meyer – as did in-form Pius Schwizer and Dundee vd Dwerse Hagen (Caesar van de Helle x Browboy).

Ludger Beerbaum decided it was payback time from Abu Dhabi and set Chaman (Baloubet du Rouet x I Love You) in top gear. That proved fruitful when a race down on the last line to the Gucci oxer gave him the lead with a time that was 1.17 seconds faster than Jos. The time looked unbeatable. The riders that followed could not match Ludger’s time, although Meredith really went for it on the magical Bella Donna 66 (Baldini II x Calido I). There was no doubt that Olivier Guillon really wanted to please the home crowds, and after tight turns and high speed on Lord de Theize (Donald Rouge II x Tolbiac des Halles) he was only 0.12 seconds behind Ludger to slot into second. Philippe Le Jeune on Boyante de Muze STX (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Darco) eventually ended up fourth as second last to go.

Third and best of the French; Olivier Guillon on Lord de Theize. But it was the stylish British rider Ben Maher who could celebrate the most in Paris. On his homebred beautiful stallion Tripple X III he produced a round that rode much faster than it looked, cutting off an unbelievable 0.72 seconds on Ludger’s time to take home the win.

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