It was an amazing evening in Gothenburg for the Swedes as home rider Emma Emanuelsson won tonight’s Grand Prix riding Titan (Camaro M x Cardento), and her compatriot Peder Fredricson secured third and Douglas Lindelöw fifth. The Swedish riders really gave the home crowd value for their ticket money, producing three of the six clear rounds in the class – also making sure to bring the atmosphere to a climax for the weekend with the audience going wild with the top performances. In between the two Swedish riders in the top three, came South Africa’s Oliver Lazarus who has had a very good weekend in Gothenburg.
The task that faced the riders was not an easy one. Frank Rothenberger’s thirteen fence track was hard to find a rhythm around, and had very unusual lines in addition to some of the fences coming close out of the turns. It also included a quadruple at 8abcd with an oxer in, then two strides to a vertical – then one stride to a vertical – and then two strides to an oxer. It was definitely not a conventional course, and many struggled with good reason.
The first clear of the day, was one of the most beautiful. It came from Sweden’s super talented Douglas Lindelöw on the wonderful Talina (Matterhorn x Heidelberg). The 23 year old rider found the rhythm right from the start and his round was very smooth. Despite the difficulties facing him, Douglas made it all look like a walk in the park and as he crossed the finish line on a clean sheet the crowds went wild. The next clear came three riders later, this time from Oliver Lazarus on Catan (Catoki x Exorbitant). The South African rider – based in Germany – has had a good show in Gotheburg notching up two wins on the opening day. Then followed Norway’s Dag Ove Kingsröd who rode a brilliant clear round on Dimaro v.d. Looise Heide (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Flamenco Desemilly).
Emma Emanuelsson brought the temperature in Scandinavium to a whole new level as she displayed some fantastic riding on a very well jumping Titan to go clear. Four riders later she was joined in the jump-off by Michael Whitaker, who demonstrated how to do it on the amazing Amai (Nonstop x Bacara) and then by home rider Peder Fredricson who produced a beautiful clear on H&M Sibon (Sibon W x Baloubet du Rouet) – a horse that keeps on impressing.
The jump-off was opened by Lindelöw. He was faced by a shortened track that consisted mainly of very long stretches to canter on, and a few short turns. Unfortunately the back pole on the a-element in the former quadruple fell and Douglas was left on four faults. Lazarus was next in, and until the final vertical luck was on his side – but it fell to the ground and he was left on four penalties. Kingsröd also had one pole down – the penultimate vertical fell after a short turn.
Emma was next in, and used Titan’s huge gallop to her advantage. Choosing forward strides everywhere, and tightening the turns to the combination and the two following fences – she really took some risk, but the 11 year old Swedish bred gelding had no problem with that as he jumped superbly yet again. As the all-Swedish pair crossed the finish line the crowds went wild; Emma had taken the lead with a double clear. Not even the veteran Michael Whitaker could catch Emma, as he suffered the same faith as Kingsöd to have the penultimate vertical down. So, when Peder entered the ring as last to go in the jump-off a Swedish win was for sure. The Longines vertical fell for Peder though, but he still kept the tempo up and secured the third place after Emanuelsson and Lazarus – pushing Whitaker down to fourth and Lindelöw to fifth.
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