It was quite a competition comeback for Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and Casall Ask in Basel, as the pair went all the way to the top in the Longines Grand Prix on Sunday evening. The Swedish rider – who has been out with an injury – came back to his first competition in over a month in full force and on a very fresh Casall Ask who was visibly happy to be back in the ring. The fifteen year old stallion jumped better and better for every class he was in this weekend, and today the pair’s two wonderful clear rounds brought them all the way to the top.
After the first round of competition, nine riders were clear – and they were joined by six four faulters for round two. The track for round two was really not build like a jump-off, but more like a proper second round with ten fences and also included a triple combination at 4abc.
The first double clear of the Grand Prix came from Marcus Ehning on a very well jumping Cornado NRW (Cornet Obolensky x Acobat). With his trademark precision and perfect rhythm, the German rider took the lead with the time of 43.65 seconds – putting real pressure on the rest to come that were on a zero penalty score.
Romain Duguet, Gregory Wathelet, Jessica Kürten, Harrie Smolders and Edwina Tops-Alexander they all tried – but on the expense of one down.
Then it was time for Rolf and Casall Ask. A determined Rolf really put the tempo up, and on a very well jumping Casall he went clear again with great turns absolutely everywhere – crossing the finish line on 43.25 to take the lead. Ludger Beerbaum on Chiara (Contender x Coronado) tried to chase Rolf, but despite his efforts Ludger was still behind on 43.52 seconds slotting into second between Rolf and Marcus.
Last to go was home rider Jane Richard Philips, and when she produced a second clear to take the fourth place aboard Pablo de Virton (Andiamo x Kashmir van't Schuttershof) the home crowds went wild and got a great conclusion to the Grand Prix in Basel.
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