Patrice Delaveau and Ornella Mail HDC (Lando x Alligator Fontaine) made sure that the home crowds at the Gucci Paris Masters got value for their ticket money as they took home the Prix Salon du Cheval on Saturday. A blazing jump-off paid off for the French rider – known for his danger against the clock – and the Parisian audience could celebrate yet another home win at this wonderful event.
After the first round, six riders were left on a clean sheet – and it was no easy task they had solved as the poles on the first round track kept falling for many. It was especially the triple combination towards the end of the course followed by a tricky line to the final Gucci oxer that caused trouble, and many had one or more rails down here.
Kent Farrington opened the jump-off, and set Blue Angel (Luidam x Ascedant) in top gear already on the first line – flying down. It was clear the American rider was in it to win as he cut the corners everywhere, making an incredible turn after the vertical leading to the penultimate challenge – two elements of the former triple combination. When he crossed the finish line, the time looked close to impossible to beat at 32.45 seconds. Next to go – Katharina Offel on B Once Z (Baloubet du Rouet x Lavalleto) produced another beautiful clear round, and settled into runner-up position with a good time at 34.11 seconds.
As Patrice Delaveau entered the ring, it quickly became clear he would try to go for the win – much to the appreciation of the crowds who willingly cheered him along. Delaveau’s turn after the vertical to the combination was genius, and as he went flat out to the final oxer it looked like he maybe would be able to make it – and so he did! The clock stopped at 31.28, and he had shaved off an incredible 1.17 seconds on Farrington’s time to push him down to second and Offel to third. Neither Maikel van der Vleuten nor Roger Yves Bost could catch these three riders as Maikel had one down, and Bosty two – and Alvaro de Miranda opted not to ride the jump-off finish sixth.
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