Despite being called in to ride the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at the last minute, Daniel Deusser won the prestigious class on Evita van de Veldbalie (Wandor vd Mispelaere x Clinton) Saturday night. Deusser has had a tremendous year – and his mare has gone from strength to strength the last months, winning both the Master class in Lyon and in Stuttgart during November, and now also the Top 10 Final. After producing one of the only two double clears in the class, and shaving off 0.20 seconds on runner-up Patrice Delaveau’s time – Daniel could celebrate one of the biggest wins ever. “I am unbelievably happy ,” the sympathetic German rider said after his win adding that it was not the best of jump-offs he did, and that he really had to speed up to the two last fences to catch Dealveau. “It’s one of the biggest victories in my career so far […] I am very happy,” Daniel smiled.
After the first round, only two riders were clear – namely the two ones that ended as the best; Daniel and Patrice. Both riders rode tremendous clear rounds, with Evita van de Veldbalie and Lacrimoso HDC (Landjunge x Cascavelle) jumping fantastic. After these two first riders went clear, it was expected that maybe more would come – but that was not to be. It was a relatively big track that faced the ten riders, and most of the faults appeared on the line half way around with the plank followed by three strides to an oxer and then four short strides to a vertical. Steve Guerdat and Nasa (Cumano x Prince d’Elle) were one of the pairs to come in trouble here, and had a stop on the vertical after a misunderstanding. The combination also caused headache, and more than one rider had to see the b-element – a vertical – fall to the ground. The world’s number one – Ben Maher on Tripple X III (Namelus R x Cantango) was one of them.
Round two was opened by Steve Guerdat, who his time around went clear on Nasa – unfortunately his result from the first round put him on an overall score of 15 penalties. Gerco Schröder’s Castelino van de Helle (Cassini I x Landgraf I) does not have that much experience at his level – and with two down in round two the pair ended at the bottom of the result list this time around. Maruc Ehning and Copin van de Broy (Darco x Brownboy) had two down in the first round, but improved in the second to produce an immaculate clear. “Now you could see how good the horse is,” Marcus said after his second round adding “I was not happy with myself in the first round, but now it was much better.”
Reigning European Champion Roger Yves Bost rode a fantastic second clear – taking out strides everywhere around the shortened eight fence track and keeping the crowds on the tip of their toes as he raced to the final oxer. All fences remained, and with eight faults from the first round Bosty took the lead on Nippon d’Elle at the time of 38.83 seconds. He was quickly overtaken by Ludger Beerbaum though, who produced one of his trademark rounds on Chaman (Baloubet du Rouet x I Love You) to end clear on 38.27 and taking the number one spot on an overall score of four faults from the first round. “My tactic was to go as fast as I could,” Ludger said afterwards – and was happy with a super second round adding that the jump-off demanded the right combination of speed and accuracy.
Luck was not on title defender Christian Ahlmann’s side, and with the Rolex vertical and the final oxer down as his horse got a little flat towards the end he had to settle for eight position on Asca Z (Askari x Carthago Z) with twelve faults overall. It was the same result for Kevin Staut and Quismy des Vaux HDC (Dollar de la Pierre X Super de Bourriere), who ended seventh overall in the end.
Then it was time for the top three to enter the ring in Stockholm. With four faults from the first round, the world’s leading rider Ben Maher knew he had to take all the risks to maybe win – and so he did. Doing an inside turn to the combination, and then later three strides on the Rolex line to the vertical before he raced from the penultimate vertical to the last – he went in to the lead on his Olympic Champion Tripple X III with the fastest time of the day at 35.91! It was an outstanding round, although as Ben put it – “I felt like I was a couple of meters away to the [Rolex] vertical!”
But with both Patrice and Daniel going clear again – Ben was in the end third. Patrice rode a tremendous clear on Lacrimoso HDC crossing the finish line on 37.50 – quite lucky still on a clean sheet as he touched the wing on the final Rolex oxer. With this result he certainly put the pressure on Daniel who had to take every risk to win – and so he did. With four strides down to the Rolex vertical, he set Evita in top gear to the last two fences – and it was enough to steal the win from Patrice. “I had to try, and took the risk – luckily it worked out,” a very happy Daniel commented after his win.
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