Roger Yves Bost was best of the best and faster of the fastest in Friday night’s Longines Speed Challenge. The class was a table C class, calling for some very fast riding and great entertainment for the crowds – who without being asked twice cheered on enthusiastically shouting ‘Allez, allez’ the closer the riders got to the last fence. Speed brings drama, and two riders fell off – while one nearly did but still kept on despite a missing stirrup and almost a forgotten course, bringing the crowd to a standing ovation after the performance was over. In other words; it was a lot of fun!
Reed Kessler took the lead a little over half way in the class. The 18 year old’s round on Ligist (Levantos II x Robin Z) was definitely the most beautiful of the day – Reed held a lovely rhythm throughout the course, and although it rode fast it still looked controlled and light. Reed stopped the clock on 64.76 which was good enough for third place and a beautiful new Longines watch. At the press conference Reed was of course very happy, and was hoping to get back on the podium sooner rather than later.
A few riders later it was time for Bosty, who for the day – not unlike other days – had left the breaks at the entrance. On Castle Forbes Cosma (Couleur Rubin x Peter Pan) Bosty set of in an unbeatable pace, and in true Bosty style his reins got longer the faster it got – with the crowds going completely off the hooks as the turns got tighter and the pace higher. The finish line was crossed on an unbelievable 63.00 seconds, and it looked like nobody could catch him.
Start number 34 Gregory Wathelet came in on Kronos d’Ouilly (Uzelien x Graphit), and the Belgian rider really gave it a go. Unfortunately he had the penultimate fence down – the front pole of the Grand Slam oxer – but still ended on an amazing time; 64.52 and slotted into second, pushing Reed down to third. After the class Gregory was very happy with his horse. At the press conference he stated that second place felt very good when you have Bosty as number one as he is the best in the world when it comes to speed.
The organizers were more than happy after the first day of this year's Gucci Paris Masters with an amazingly big and enthusiastic crowd. Nelson Pessoa explained that they had planned a speed event to make it more entertaining. Their plan obviously worked out perfectly with Longines on their team as the class sponsor.
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