For the third time in his career Marcus Ehning won the Rolex Grand Prix in Zurich tonight, but it was the first time he did it together with Noltes Küchengirl (Lord Z x Cambridge). The course proved to be difficult and especially the triple combination caused problems for several riders as their horses landed on the c-element's back rail. Maiju Mallat and Gran Carthago had a bad fall on the fence, and only six riders made it on to the jump-off.
Jeroen Dubbeldam and Quality Time Tn (Quantum x Cantus) were first to go in the jump-off but they did not get a good start as the first fence fell. They finally finished at eight faults as they also got the penultimate fence which also caused problems for Paul Estermann and Castlefield Eclipse (by Obos Quality) as the next combination.
Jane Richards Philips' ride Pablo de Virton (Andiamo x Kashmir van't Schuttershof) jumped amazing in the first round and kept up the fighting spirit throughout the jump-off which they also cleared in 40.48 seconds. Next out was Laura Renwick with Oz de Breve (Dollar du Murier x Grand Veneur). The British combination has been on good form lately, but also Laura had the penultimate fence down.
Sergio Alvarez Moya produced a great round with Carlo (Contender x Cascavelle) but finished at four faults. Last to go was Marcus Ehning and Noltes Küchengirl (Lord Z x Cambridge). Küche jumped easy as ever and ended the course nearly three seconds faster than Jane Richard Philips and Pablo de Virton who ended second.
After the class Marcus said: "I was lucky and was last to go in the jump-off. Küche is a very fast horse with a lot of experience and I know about her strength and I am very happy that our round was good enough for a win. When I rode in to the jump-off I knew that I had to be faster than 40 seconds but it is hard to know if you start off to slow or too fast. But thanks to her natural speediness I didn't have to risk too much. "
Jane Richard Philips was maybe the happeist rider at the press conference; "It was sensational! I am surprised about myself and my horse and I think it is brilliant to be second. My horse left the stable for the seventh time today when he went for the jump-off, and the more he gets out the calmer he gets. He will always be special, but he is unbelievable good. I found him in Belgium when he was four and at that time he had no rideability so I thought it would be impossible - but sometimes the impossible gets possible."
Paul Estermann, who ended third in the class said: "I risked a bit too much in the jump-off so that is why we had one down. I was second to go and had fast riders after me so I thought I had to risk a little to have a chance. Now afterwards I could have given myself a bit more time."
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