US rider Laura Kraut triumphed in GCT’s first-ever class in Switzerland with the opening competition providing a tantalising glimpse about the form of riders and horses before tomorrow’s crucial Grand Prix. Laura, riding the talented mare Cincinatti La Silla, outpaced the rest of the field winning in 33.51 - over a second ahead of second place rider Katharina Offel of the Ukraine on Olivia de Nantuel who finished in 34.74.
The 2-phase 1.45 m class at the GCT Lausanne next to Lake Geneva saw Brazilian speed supremo Rodrigo Pessoa come in third in 34.82 on the brilliant Let’s Fly. There was a strong showing from the big contingent of French riders with particularly fast and polished clear rounds from Pénélope Leprevost and Simon Delestre.
Olympic riders and horses, including Swiss gold medallist Steve Guerdat and Nino des Buissonnets and Great Britain’s Nick Skelton and Ben Maher, were on show to the delight of spectators. Michael Whitaker and Christian Ahlmann, who are both closing in on Edwina Tops-Alexander in the GCT championship ranking, both rode solid rounds in a sign they will be on strong form for the Grand Prix. Rolf-Göran Bengtsson of Sweden clocked up 8 faults on Casall La Silla but made good use of the opening class to fine tune for tomorrow evening’s Grand Prix presented by main sponsor Jaeger-LeCoultre. Before the 5* competitions today, several riders were treated to a fascinating tour of the luxury Swiss watchmaker’s manufacture in the Vallee du Joux.
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