It was the young and talented Frank Schuttert that ended up on top in the Grand Prix of Amsterdam. Riding the lovely 10 year old gelding Winchester HS (Numero Uno x Nimmerdor), Schuttert produced one of three double clear rounds – but was way ahead of his compatriot and runner-up Wesley Heijdens in the jump-off. “I’m really, really happy about this victory. It’s one of the biggest indoor shows we have in Holland, and I got the chance from Rob Ehrens to ride here,” Frank explained after his win. Course builder Louis Konickx had set a tough track, which only six of the 41 riders cleared. Faults appeared mainly in the triple combination at 8a, b and c – an oxer-vertical-oxer followed by three strides to a vertical, and towards the end of the track in the combination at 11a and b or the huge final oxer that came out of the corner by the entrance.
As the fifth rider Wesley Heijdens set the first clear on the impressive Dallas du Domaine Z (Darco x Calido I). Much to the delight of the home crowd his clear round was followed with Frank Schuttert going clear on the very bouncy Winchester HS, that likes to throw in a buck or two in between the fences. Kamal Bahamdan rode a super and rhythmical round on Delphi (Leo Caylon x Brilliant Invador), leaving all the fences intact. With Wollie Bollie (Cantos x Zuidhorn) Albert Zoer secured a spot in the jump-off as well, and with Henk van de Pol clear on the powerhouse Warrant (Numero Uno x Nimmerdor) – the Dutch had no less than four riders in the jump-off. Last to go clear was German rider Holger Wenz on Complete (Come Back II x Farewell).
Some were really unlucky, such as Marc Bettinger than ended on one time penalty and Harrie Smolders who had one down and a time fault after a beautiful round on the amazing stallion Emerald (Diamant de Semilly x Carthago). Kathi Offel also had an unlucky rail down after a super round.
Wesley opened the jump-off with another clear. His time was fast, but looked beatable at 37.37 seconds. This was only the third big Grand Prix that Dallas du Domaine Z has done, and Wesley opted for a clear round rather than going too fast. Frank was next and put Winchester HS into top gear; he got a great turn from the penultimate vertical and raced to the last oxer – flying in with the crowd cheering him on. The 19 year old stopped the clock at 35.48 seconds, shaving off 1.89 seconds on Wesley’s time. Kamal took one pole down on the fifth fence – a narrow oxer, as did Albert. Henk had two down, while Holger did another clear on Complete – but he was not fast enough to catch the two Dutch riders and ended third. Frank Schuttert was of course delighted with his win, and also became the youngest winner ever of the Grand Prix of Amsterdam. Of his horse, Frank said; “He’s a bit of a special horse, but he has a good character – not so easy to ride always, but he wants to jump clear and is careful so I really like him. He’s a real winner, and that’s the most important.”
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