The new super pair Steve Guerdat and Nasa (Cumano x Prince d’Elle) took home the Rolex Grand Prix in Zürich Friday evening with the only double clear. It turned out to be a very exciting class, and in the end it was the triple combination at 4abc that turned out to be the heartbreaker for most of the riders with a plank-oxer-vertical that caused trouble for almost everybody. Seven of the 43 riders went clear, and two had time faults – the latter were Christian Ahlmann and Athina Onassis de Miranda who both had great rounds but were just outside the time allowed.
The first clear came from French rider Jerome Hurel on the scopey Ohm de Ponthual (Voltaire x Calypso d’Herbiers). Seventeen riders returned from the ring without any luck, and it was Kevin Staut at start number 23 that was the next to produce a faultless round. With Silvana HDC (Corland x Widor) he made the course look easy. Alvaro de Miranda also rode a great round on the lovely grey AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan (Drosselklang x Ashleigh Brigadier), as did Steve Guerdat on Nasa to wild excitement from the home crowds. Another impressive grey went clear as well; Winningmood (Darco x Cassini) with Luciana Diniz – stylish as always. Two Swedes were also among the clear; Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Reveur de Hurtebise (Kashmir van Schutterhof x Capricieux de Six Censes) and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson on Casall La Silla (Caretino x Lavall I).
The jump-off was reduced to seven fences and eight jumps. There were two stretches, two distances and two short turns. Jerome was first to go but had the fifth vertical down. Kevin really went for it, but also he had to see a fence fall – the second vertical in his case. But the time was good; and the clock stopped at 33.38. Doda tried his best as well, but got a little too keen and raced down to the oxer that was number six and missed the distance causing a disturbing moment. Luckily all went well as both horse and rider regained their balance, and they ended fourth
Steve was next to go as number four out. With Nasa Steve has formed a promising partnership, and this is the second big win for this relatively new couple. The popular Swiss rider raced around the track, and really shortened the last stretch as much as was possible to cross the finish line on 32.70. Luciana had the first and the last down, and Malin had the penultimate oxer down turning in the air but her time at 35.08 was good enough for third. Rolf was last to go, but had the second vertical down – just like Kevin and had to settle for fifth. The home crowd didn’t care though; their favorite had won!
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