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Gregory Wathelet strikes again in the Rikstoto Grand Prix

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Gregory Wathelet took his second win in Oslo today with Kronos d'Ouilly. Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson.Click here for full results from the Grand Prix in Oslo.

Gregory Wathelet and Kronos d’Ouilly (Uzelien x Graphit) repeated themselves in Oslo, when they proved unbeatable in the Grand Prix. The pair won the 1.50 class yesterday as well, and was in a class of their own yet again. Out of the field of 48 riders no less than 17 went on to the jump-off, which secured high speed and entertainment.

The triple combination in the first round was the part of the course that caused trouble for most; the distance from the triple bar at 4a to the vertical at 4b was a little long and many of the riders had the b-element down.

Four riders were unlucky and had time faults; Kamal Bahamdan and Katie McVean’s former ride Delphi (Leo Caylon x Brilliant Invador) were among them – the horse really has a big heart and jumped a very good round with Kamal. Cian O’Connor has already gotten Carpe Diem (Concorde x Elanville) into ship shape and only had one single time fault.

Runner-up Sergio Alvares Moya on Wisconsin. Drama also unfolded when Omar Bonomelli’s horse Mutine (Papillon Rouge x Noble Cake) came into the ring with its rider on foot – and when he got on, the horse left the arena twice, forcing the Italian rider to withdraw. Angelica Augustsson also got in trouble when her horse Walter 61 (Werenfels x Donator) over an oxer to almost leave her unmounted; but due to the Swedish rider’s brilliant balance she miraculously managed to stay on and retired.

The jump-off was kicked off by Eugeine Angot ion the SF-stallion Old Chap Tame (Carthago x Quidam de Revel), who had the penultimate fence down. Sergio Alvares Moya was next on the Darco-son Wisconsin, and was fast as always – leaving little doubt that those who came behind had to step it up after his time being as good as 34.60. After Abdel Said had two down on his exciting Nabab de Reve-gelding Duc de Mariposa yesterday’s winner Wathelet entered the ring.

Wathelet put his stallion into top speed, but at the same time managed to make it all look very controlled. The Belgian rider shaved off time in all the turns and raced down to the last oxer to cross the finish line on 33.73, 0.87 seconds faster than Sergio. Patrice Delaveau’s mare Ornella Mail (Lando x Alligator Fontaine) jumped amazing in the first round – the horse has scope to burn. In the jump-off she had an uncharacteristic three down though.

Piet Raijmakers Jr. rode a safe clear on Van Schijndel’s Lys Platiere (Quidam de Revel x Grandeur) to end up fifth, while home crowd favorite Geir Gulliksen had two down – after being quite lucky in the first round when the pole on the last vertical stayed in the cups. Kevin Staut had one down on Le Prestige St Lois de Hus (Quidam de Revel x Grand Veneur), as did Luciana Diniz on the lovely Winningmood (Darco x Cassini) and Pius Schwizer on Ulysse (Non Stop x Jus de Pomme). The third fence in the jump-off – a Land Rover oxer caused trouble as it was easy to turn a bit too early in the air and hit the back pole on the way down. Maikel van der Vleuten was amongst the riders who faulted here.

Rolf ended up third on Kiara La Silla. Edwina Tops-Alexander had two super rounds on the Quick Star-stallion Vleut – a horse that suits her really well, and ended up sixth. Natale Chiaudani also has a very exciting new horse in the 12 year old Almero 12 (Asti Spumante x Gajus), which he ended up fourth after two really good rounds. The Italian rider has only had the chestnut gelding for ten weeks. Steve Guerdat had one down, while Nina Braaten missed her stride and jumped through the Land Rover oxer on Loyd 12 (Landor S x Hadj A). Malin had the same oxer down on the Kashmir van Schuttershof-son H&M Reveur de Hurtebise.

Rolf-Göran Bengtsson was last to go on the Swedish bred Kiara La Silla (Cardento x Nurprimus) on whom he did a great job. The European champion pushed the mare on at every occasion and was quite relieved to cross the finish line clear on the time of 35.05 – good enough for third place behind Wathelet and Moya.

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