It was David McPherson on Billy Bishop (Kannan x Gladstone) who went all the way to the top in the three-star Grand Prix in Drammen today. McPherson rode a picture perfect first round on the nine year old gelding; making the course look easy – but gained one time penalty for exceeding the time allowed. As did the up-and-coming Victoria Gulliksen – daughter of Norwegian rider Geir Gulliksen – who in her father’s absence produced a great first round on Storm (Grandeur x Nurprimus). Italian rider Giovanni Consorti on the lovely, but not so easy, stallion Silverstras (Quantum x Corofino) joined in and also proceeded to the jump-off with one time penalty.
The thirteen fence course turned out to cause difficulties, and the line with a vertical at fence eight to the water at fence nine – followed by a new line to an oxer at fence ten caused trouble for many of the riders. The triple combination at 12a,b and c also claimed victims, and it seemed like many struggled to find a rhythm. Only one other rider kept the fences intact; Francesca Capponi from Italy on the strong – but well-jumping – Stallone (Ahorn x Joost). With two time penalties she was fourth.
The jump-off invited to plenty of tight turns, and the stretch to the last oxer asked for speed. Victoria Gulliksen rode a very good round as first to go, but had to see the front pole of the last oxer fall to the ground. David McPherson was next, and after his lovely first round it looked as Billy Bishop was full of confidence. Although the pair was somewhat lucky at the vertical at fence three they left all the fences intact to cross the finish line on a time of 43.25. The fastest time of the day was delivered by Giovanni Consorti at 41.25 seconds, but a pole at the a-element of the combination fell and the Italian rider had to settle for second.
For full results click here.
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