It was Colombia's Daniel Bluman, America's Lauren Hough and Germany's Marco Kutscher that opened up with wins at the Stephex Masters on Friday. The first edition of the event has attracted a very strong field of riders, and offered top sport during the day and night. The CSI3* 1.40 class went to Daniel Bluman, who rode Cantando Lyngriis (Cassini I x Zarewitsch) to victory being almost a second faster in this speed class than Kent Farrington on Zojasper (Concorde x Jasper). In third followed John Whitaker on Lord of Arabia (Cassini II x Carry).
The 1.45 class was won by Lauren Hough on the Zandor Z-daughter Royalty Des Isles. The American rider was clear in both phases, and the quickest in the second one against the clock at 24.49 seconds. Very close behind followed Jerome Guery who on Demone Des Rosiers Z (Darco x Kannan) set an early leading time of 24.55 seconds, to later be pushed down to runner-up position. Third was Pilar Cordon riding Caelum Ter Wilgen (Quick Star x Nabab de Reve) to a time of 24.68 seconds.
But it was Marco Kutscher who took the biggest victory of the day, when he secured himself a brand new Land Rover winning the 1.50 class on Cornet's Cristallo (Cornet Obolensky x Pilot) in addition to a prize of 6000 Euro. Kutscher came in towards the end of the 60-horse class and shaved off almost a second on current leader Kent Farrington's time aboard Willow (Guidam x Little Rock) to push the American rider down to runner-up position. Lauren Hough had another great result, as she ended third on Ohlala (Orlando x Cardento) rover a second behind Marco.
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