Christian Ahlmann and Little Lady Z (Laptop x Grannus) went all the way to the top in the very fast Prix Merial at Equita Lyon on Saturday. The German rider and his small, but extremely quick, 12 year old mare came in towards the end of the 1.50/1.60 class – as number 32 out of the 49 riders. One rider after another chased the win, and for quite a few riders it was Marc Houtzager that held the top position on Sterrehof’s Uppity (Guidam x Epilot). Then, ten riders later, Scott Brash came into the ring and cut the time down with 0.12 seconds on Bon Ami (Pavarotti van de Helle x Richebourg) – after a super fast second phase that included a breathtaking turn and race to the final oxer.
Scott’s lead didn’t last to the end though, as Christian miraculously shaved off 0.06 seconds on the time after producing a second phase with his trademark tight turns and accuracy. Hans-Dieter Dreher really went for it on Embassy II (Escudo I x Silvio I) – and it says a lot about how fast Christian was, when Hansi had to settle for second after crossing the finish line on the exact same time as Scott which meant the two shared the runner-up position. Marc Houtzager finished fourth, and Daniel Deusser fifth.
Janika Sprunger produced the fastest time of the day on JL’ Komparse (Kolibri x Kronenkranich) – but unfortunately she hit the front pole on the final oxer in the brave attempt to take the win to Switzerland.
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