Steve Guerdat and Ferrari 111 (Furioso II x Polydor) went in top gear from start to finish in today’s RWE-Preis von Nordrhein-Westfalen, to take home the win. “It was a really fast class, and I decided to take risks from the start to try to win. Ferrari felt really good today; he was awake and careful,” Steve said after his win.
The 1.55 class had almost 50 riders at start, and of these 19 went on to the jump-off. The first round track consisted of 13 fences and included three combinations and an open water jump, but it was the combination at 9a and b that caused most trouble with its water trays and a difficult approach where the combination was almost a little hidden behind the hedges surrounding the lake and thus appeared somewhat late for the horses to see. The class also had a dramatic end as Roger Yves Bost took a bad fall with Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois (Dollar du Murier x Grand Veneur) at the last fence, but luckily both horse and rider where in one piece as they walked out of the course.
Janika Sprunger and Up Town Boy (Odermus R x Joost) set the time to beat as second to go in the jump-off, and when she stopped the clock on 49.92 she put plenty of pressure on the other riders. Neither Janne-Friederike Meyer, Rene Tebbel, Ramzy Al Duhami or Werner Muff could catch her although they were all clear – but Muff and Kiamon (Kolibri x Ramiro´s Match ) came closest and slotted into a temporarily second. Ludger Beerbaum and Chiara (Contender x Coronado) had the next clear, and went into third – but they were all to be pushed down as Steve was next to enter the huge arena in Aachen.
Steve held a high pace from start to finish, and tightened all the turns around the shortened track. A great turn to the penultimate vertical gave the Swiss rider a perfect angel which accommodated for a really good line on the stretch to the final oxer. Steve stopped the clock at 47.52, and shaved off 2.4 seconds of Janika’s time.
Hans-Dieter Dreher followed after Marc’ Houtzager had ridden a clear round. Dreher set off on Embassy II (Escudo I x Silvio I), and chased Steve to the appreciation of the home crowds – but he was slightly slower on the time of 48.62. Then followed Laura Kraut on the lovely Cedric (Chambertin x Carolus I); she also held a high pace, but did not go flat out and slotted into third on a time of 49.36. Lauren Hough was last to go an ended fourth on Blue Angel (Luidam x Ascendant), securing the US two riders in the top five.
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