The winning formula in today’s team competition in Paris consisted of putting together two of the most stylish riders in the world; Penelope Leprevost and Marcus Ehning. This French/German mixture had all it took to end up on top in the Le Saut Hermès – precision, smoothness and speed. Aboard Genevieve Megret’s lovely Swedish bred mare Nice Stephanie (Cardento x Ralme Z) and Kathrin Somogyi’s and Marcus' own super experienced stallion Plot Blue (Mr. Blue x Pilot) – there was nothing to do about the two. The pair was one of three to be faultless after the first round; followed by five teams on four faults, one on eight and the last out of the competition after Michel Robert withdrew.
The three clear teams were also the three to end up on top after the second round was completed in the Grand Palais. Penelope and Marcus came in as the third last team to go, and it looked a little dark as Nice Stephanie lowered the back pole on the b-element of the combination. The time was good though, at 37.91. Marcus rode yet an incredible round, in the way only Marcus can do it. The German rider made it all look so easy, making it look so smooth that it was almost as if you couldn’t believe what you saw. Marcus’ performance added with Penelope’s gave the two a final score of four penalties and a total time of 75.33 seconds.
The two other clear pairs also had faults; Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s aptly named Unbelievable (Manhattan x Democraat) took down the penultimate vertical – but as her partner Pius Schwizer remained clear on Powerplay (Casall x Limbus) they slotted into second at a total of 78.16 seconds. When Nuage Bleu (Fildor de Largival x Odjak du Trens) also had one down at fence three Pilar calmed the hot mare a little down, to cross the finish line on 45.07 seconds. Her team mate Simon Delestre pleased the full house in Grand Palais by producing yet another clear though –securing third place on the total time of 82.56. Kathi Offel and Marc Houtzager ended fourth after two super clears from the Ukrainian rider on the lovely grey Charlie (Cornet Obolensky x Potsdam), while Marc was unlucky to have one down on Opium (Polydor x Bormio) the first round.
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