Patrice Delaveau and Orient Express HDC (Quick Star x Le Tot De Semilly) were not to be beat in the Longines Grand Prix of Rotterdam on Sunday. Even though eleven other riders tried their best in the jump-off no one got even close to the time of the French winner, who came back strong after a bad fall in the second round of Friday's Nations Cup.
The 50 rider class was a challenge, with many options for the distances and with huge fences. Most of the faults came on the middle fence on the last line - number 12 - a vertical with water placed behind the fence. Otherwise the faults were spread around the track build by Santiago Varela.
Twelve riders cleared the first round and Lucy Davis with Barron (For Pleasure x Nabab de Reve) showed the way. Lucy ended the jump-off with four faults though, as did Rodrigo Pessoa with Status (Satisfaction x Sao Paulo) and Jos Lansink with Ensor de Litrange (Nabab de Reve x Mr Blue) who were next to go.
The first clear round in the jump-off came from Jane Richard Philips on Pablo de Virton (Andiamo x Kashmir van't Schuttershof) that showed some acrobatic moves to stay clear over the fences in a very high speed. Jane couldn't hold on to the lead for long though as Gerco Schröder and Glock's London N.O.P (Nabab de Reve x Chin Chin) were next to go and with short turns they managed to shave four seconds of Jane's time.
Gerco soon had to give the lead away to Patrice Delaveau and Orient Express HDC who did - what looked to be - the perfect jump-off. With short turns and full speed they ended the course in 38,06 seconds.
Then the race began - everyone wanted to be faster than Patrice - and Bertram Allen with Molly Malone V (Kannan x Cavalier) was the first one to try. With 39,54 seconds he went in on second place, a position he couldn't keep for long as the next rider Paul Estermann on Castlefield Eclipse (Obos Quality x Furisto) ended the jump-off in 39,13 seconds.
Brianne Goutal on Nice de Prissey (Rosire x Amarpour) got a pole down while next rider Daniel Deusser with Cornet d'Amour (Cornet Obolensky x Damiani) kept the course intact. Daniel was the rider getting closest to Patrice's time with 39,00 seconds.
Jur Vrieling got the perfect start with Vdl Bubalu (Baloubet du Rouet x Nimmerdor) but in the end two poles landed on the ground and they had to settle for the 12th place. Last rider Marc Houtzager with the 18 year old Sterrehof's Opium (Polydor x Bormio), who seems to be in the shape of his life, gave his best but couldn't do anything about the best times and had to settle for fifth place.
It was fantastic sport in Rotterdam, but it unfortunately got a bit shadowed by a very bad accident for Denis Lynch and Coulisa (Couleur Rubin x Sandro). The pair had a terrible fall on the triple bar - which lead to Coulisa being picked up in the arena with a trailer and brought to the clinic. So far there are no reports in regards to the injuries on the horse, but hopefully it will be possible that she makes a recovery.
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