40 riders came to start for the third World Cup leg in Lyon this evening. The best one of them all was the European Champion Rolf Göran Bengtsson - this time aboard Casall la Silla (Caretino x Lavall I). The Swedish rider was the fastest of the nine riders that went on to the jump-off at the time 40.88. “Casall made the difference in taking the turns really sharply today, I didn’t dare go too fast on the long lines because that’s why I had made a mistake last week”, explains today’s winner. Yet the Swede stays pragmatic when interrogated about his victory: “It’s my job. Life does not stop once you have a title, one has to continue winning and make sure that the horses keep a good performance.”
In second place was a rider who's on a good flow these days, Katharina Offel. It was recently known that Offel has ended her partnership with the Ukrainian businessman Alexander Onishchenko, but the separation does not seem to affect her results. Today Offel had a double clear aboard the nine year old mare Cathleen 28 (Cordobes x Ramiro’s Son). The two were also placed in the 1.50 - 1.60 class on Friday, and were runners up in the Grand Prix last weekend in Hannover.“ Cathleen is in a good shape at the moment, she placed second in the Riders Tour of Hannover last week and today I was not far away from victory.” In fact, she was only 7 hundredths of a second behind Rolf-Göran Bengtsson: “But I cannot see where I could have improved my course so I don’t feel any regret. Rolf-Göran was terrific today and to be the runner-up to the European Champion in such an important class, that’s a beautiful result.”
Steve Guerdat gave Nino de Buissonnets (Kannan x Narcos II) its debut in the World Cup today - a challenge the ten year old gelding managed quite well with a double clear and third place at the time 41.62. “Nino des Buissonets did not perform too well in Scandinavia and if it hadn’t been Lyon, I would not have come. I was already happy to be in the jump-off and it’s true that I did not take all the risks, but Nino is naturally fast. I knew that my time would put pressure on the others.”
The home crowd got two riders amongst the top five as Kevin Staut and Michel Robert also had double clears with Zeta de Hus (Zandor Z x Atlantus Z) and Kellemoi de Pepita. (Voltaire x Jaime des Mesnuls).
At the other end of the result list, three riders retired - Shane Breen, Marcus Ehning and Philipp Weishaupt while Daniel Deusser got eliminated with Untouchable27 (Hors la Loi x Heartbreaker).
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