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Hans-Dieter Dreher and Magnus Romeo defeat their competitors in Bordeaux

Saturday, 09 February 2013

Hansi and Magnus Romeo did it! Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson. Hans-Dieter Dreher took home his first World Cup win in Bordeaux tonight aboard Magnus Romeo. The win has been waiting for Hansi for a long time; the German rider has done a tremendous job with the stallion that has turned out to be the horse of a lifetime for him. With eight riders going clear in the first round, it meant a perfect jump-off in Bordeaux. The faults spread out evenly around Uliano Vezzani’s brilliant track; a 13 fence course with a combination on a line at 7 a and b (oxer-vertical) and a triple combination at 10 a, b and c (vertical-vertical-oxer).

The first clear came from second-to-go Emanuele Gaudiano on Chicago 84 (Chambertin x Quinar); the Italian rider jumped a super first round and came flying out of the combination. Five riders later Mechelen-winner Henrik von Eckermann showed that his partnership with Gotha FRH (Goldfever x Prestige Pilot) is something really special and went clear again after a perfect round. Over fifteen riders later, Richard Spooner and the eccentric Cristallo (Caretino x Cicero) entered the ring and notched up another clear – before Penelope Leprevost did a great round on Nayana (Royal Feu x Narcos II) – to the home crowds wild delight.

What a pair; Henrik von Eckermann and Gotha! Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.The four last clears came from Denis Lynch on the power house Abbervail van het Dingeshof (Nonstop x Jus de Pomme), Hans-Dieter Dreher and the stallion Magnus Romeo (Royal Feu x Hans Anders Z), perfectionist Pius Schwizer on Picsou du Chene (Le Tot de Semilly x Caloubet du Bois) – that jumped amazing – as well as Gerco Schröder on the ever amazing London (Nabab de Reve x Chin Chin).

The jump-off track was reduced to eight jumps which included a combination a little over half way, with a long stretch to final oxer. Emanuele opened with three down, before it was time for Henrik. The Swedish rider was clear yet again, and went fast – but it did not look as quick as it rode. He stopped the clock at 34.77 seconds and it looked beatable.

The Master of Faster – Richard Spooner – was next. The American rider has the second fence down, but still went for it and eventually ended 6th. Penelope went all in for the home crowds on Nayana, and it looked really fast, and everybody were surprised when she didn’t beat Henrik’s time – the home rider was 0.15 seconds behind, slotting into second. Denis did some short turns, and gave it his everything towards the final oxer – but had it down. In the end the Irish rider ended 5th.

Then it was time for Hansi. The German rider is one of the most dangerous against the clock, and can ride really fast. When he and Magnus Romeo – who is not always the easiest – cooperate, they really have something special. Today that magic was there, and they were a crazy good team. It was a simple recipe, but a fast one at 34.25 seconds. Hansi took the lead, pushing Henrik down to second and Penelope down to third. Nobody could catch Hansi; Pius went for a secure clear taking home 4th, and Gerco got in trouble as London backed off at the start line – being scared – and the timed ticked away for the super pair – leaving the Rolex FEI World Cup victory to Hansi, as his first one.

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