It was a rather suitable finale to a wonderful weekend here in Chantilly. The CSI5* Prix EADS was a competition over two rounds and Italy's Uliano Vezzani certainly seemed determined to leave the riders working until the very end with a difficult two rounds.
After some disappointing results for both Frenchman Jerome Hurel and Patrice Delaveau in yesterday's Grand Prix of Chantilly, it seemed France was determined to conclude the weekend with a win, and thanks to Patrice, that is exactly what they did.
The first round offered a very tough triple combination. As well as a short five strides from vertical to very square oxer close to the end of the class which earned a considerable amount of riders' faults. The first round saw top riders with talented mounts fight there way to the end, only to be disappointed by a late rail. Laura Kraut and Woodstock O battled it out through the toughest parts of the course only to have a run out at the last combination. Rather uncharacteristic for that combination.
Christian Ahlmann, leading season ranked rider now and world number one, delivered a wonderful round until the last fence, earning a tremendously frustrating final rail aboard Asca Z. The first round was truly saturated with 4 faulters while a few lucky combinations battled the heat and crossed the finish with a clear round. Such riders as Maikel van der Vleuten, Michael Whitaker, Jane Richard Philips and Simon Delestre.
The second round saw only fourteen come back to compete for the Prix EADS title. Edwina Tops-Alexander, after disappointing results yesterday aboard Guccio, redeemed herself, landing a spot in the second round despite a time fault from the first round. The leading Australian rider and two-time Longines Global Champions Tour season winner, had a single fault aboard her dark bay gelding Ego van Orti, eventually finishing eighth overall.
Maikel van der Vleuten was extremely fast but had the last fence down on VDL Groep Sapphire B. Jane Richard Philips, a Longines-sponsored rider, delivered another consecutive set of clears today to land the lead aboard Dieudonne de Guldenboom. Translated in French, the name literally means "given by god" and so it seems that despite his youth, this gelding is certainly another talented young mount for Jane. Jerome Hurel, also riding a young horse, jumped the first double clear, but it was Jane Richard Philips who took over the lead after taking just a few more risks on course then Jerome.
Speaking about her horse, Dieudonne de Guldenboom, Jane shared with us her results of late and her plans for Valkenswaard. "He did clear in Cannes and Monte Carlo and now today. He did the Derby in Hamburg with my husband also" says Jane laughing.
"It was super to be second today. My horse jumped amazing! The feeling to do the Longines Grand Prix yesterday was also amazing. The results were great for me and for me to move forward with my horses. I'm very much looking forward to Valkenswaard."
But it was a moment for HDC's very own Patrice Delaveau to earn a French win for the hosting nation. Robbed of a French win for the Grand Prix of Chantilly, the French were determined to earn the final win of the weekend. Patrice and Carinjo HDC, a horse originally ridden Thomas Voss, but now very much part of the Haras des Coudrettes team, delivered a usually fast round to land the lead with a time of 49.39 seconds. Patrice said that he did not go "crazy fast" but he still maintained a two second lead ahead of Jane Richard Philips.
His victory lap of honor saw the whole crowd stand up and clap him on as the Frenchman raised his helmet to cheering countrymen. During the prize giving, French riders such as Jerome Hurel, Simon Delestre and winner Patrice Delaveau smiled as the entire crowd, packed to the maximum, sang along to the French national anthem.
It was a wonderful conclusion to a great weekend in Chantilly and a wonderful finale for the French. The Grand Stands and VIP were also packed out again to the maximum today and no one was more happy about a French win then the passionate spectators watching on as Patrice accepted his awards in front of the Grand Stables of the Chateau de Chantilly.
Source: Press release from Longines Global Champions Tour
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