French Olympic hopeful Simon Delestre and speed supremo Roger-Yves Bost thrilled the big home crowd at the 5* curtain raiser before the GCT Grand Prix in Chantilly. Delestre declared his victory on the dark bay mare Whisper in 62.67 “formidable” and admitted he had to do “everything” to beat ‘Bosty’. And by the end of his round he was over a second quicker than Bost in the 1m45 Prix Domaine de Chantilly against the clock. Bost rode a characteristically super fast clear round on his star mare Castle over the 12 fences in 63.89 - over six seconds faster than than the leader at the moment in the competition. But he had to concede second place to speed rival Delestre. USA rider Kent Farrington, part of a nine-strong American contingent at the GCT Chantilly, was third on Venus in 65.19.
Delestre, who will be riding Napoli du Ry at the Olympic Games in London, said: “I saw Bost and he has one of the fastest horses in the world in that kind of round. I knew I had to try everything. Whisper has a super big stride and it really works in this kind of big arena. In the smaller arena I have to hold her and that loses a bit of time, but here with the big grass ring it is super.”147 - Frenchmen fly the speed flag on home turf
Bost, who had notched up several speed class victories in the GCT this season, was good humoured about missing out on another win today. He said: “Of course I am happy with the horse again but I was slower so I try at the next class.”
16 nations were represented in the class which allowed the champions of show jumping to warm up before this afternoon’s Grand Prix. One of the most thrilling rounds came near the end from British Olympic hopeful Ben Maher on his speed horse Aristo Z. Maher took a series of ultra tight turns at a cracking pace but had the final fence down. In traditional GCT style, the jumping was played out against the stunning facade of the Grandes Ecuries on the Chateau de Chantilly estate in the town that is know throughout France as the capital of the horse.
Source: Press release from GCT.
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