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Marcus Ehning saves the best until last

Monday, 24 December 2012

Marcus Ehning and Sabrina won the Grand Prix. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.Germany's Marcus Ehning gave a masterclass in riding and brought Olympia, The London International Horse Show, to a stirring finish with a brilliant win in the Grand Prix.

Marcus, who has won most of show jumping's most glittering prizes, captured the Olympia Grand Prix back in 2004 on Sandro Boy. This time, he was riding that horse's offspring, the 13-year-old bay mare Sabrina 327.

"She was second in the World Cup qualifier at Olympia last year as well, so I am very proud of her," said Marcus. "I won the grand prix a few years ago with the father, so this is something special."

Unusually, this was Marcus's first win of the week at Olympia, but he said: "I knew that if I could get her into the jump-off, I would have a chance."

Nine horses made it through to the jump-off of the €80,000 Olympia Grand Prix, traditional finale of the show. Marcus and Sabrina were sixth to go and easily the fastest of the clear rounds.

Edwina Tops-Alexander, recent winner of the Rolex World Cup qualifier in Geneva, finished second on Ego van Orti – she was nearly three seconds slower than Marcus. Young Swiss rider Janika Sprunger, who has been there or thereabouts all week, was third on Uptown Boy, and Michael Whitaker, fifth on Viking, was best British rider.

Olympia's continental visitors were clearly determined to keep the prizes out of British hands. Earlier in the day, the charming Frenchman Roger Yves Bost, paying his first visit to Olympia for 17 years and known for his brilliance in speed contests, set an unbeatable target in the Shelley Ashman International Ltd EM Rogers (Transport) Ltd Snowman Stakes, an accumulator class.

Riders gathered points for clearing fences, with double points for the joker – an airy upright facing towards the exit – and Roger was the fastest of those riders who gained the maximum 44 points.

Riding the stallion Castle Forbes Vivaldo van het, Roger explained that this horse shines in novelty classes that involve galloping stretches. "He has won a lot of classes like this, rather than the ones that involve tight turns. He's very scopey and fast and when I can gallop him like that, he is marvellous to ride."

Source: Press release Katie Silver

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