Saturday evening Gucci Paris Masters offered the crowd a battle between the ten best men and the ten best women from the qualifying class on Friday. Reed Kessler had promised the boys a hard fight, and the women really tried to kick some ass in the red and green Gucci arena. After all twenty riders had finished the first round, the women were in the lead with six riders ready for the winning round. Edwina Tops-Alexander, Janika Sprunger and Reed Kessler were all clear, while Luciana Diniz had one time penalty. In addition to them Jane Richard Philips and Penelope Leprevost qualified on four faults. It was all set for a ladies night, but four men was also ready for the winning round; Christian Ahlmann, Simon Delestre and Alvaro de Miranda were clear and Patrice Delaveau qualified on four faults.
Jane Richard Philips and Pablo de Virton (Andiamo x Kashmir van't Schuttershof) was first to go. They had a nice round, but unfortunately the penultimate fence fell. Patrice was next to with Lacrimoso 3 HDC (Landjunge x Cascavelle). Fence four came down, but his time was good enough to push Jane down to second.
Home crowd favorite Penelope Leprevost then entered the arena to enormous applause. As always Penelope made it all look easy, but Nice Stephanie was not able to clear the first fence in the combination after a very tight turn. The first clear round came with Luciana Diniz and her eight year old mare Fit for Fun (For Pleasure x Fabriano). Luciana kept it safe though, and they finally ended fourth.
Simon Delestre was the next French rider to enter the ring. Once again the French crowds had to see fence A in the combination keeping their riders from taking the lead. After Simon it was time for some more girl power. Janike Sprunger rode a very good round with Uptown Boy (Odermus R x Joost) and went in to the lead. But even before Janika was able to reach the leading chairs on the podium, Christian and Lorena (Larenco x Romeo) had entered the ring and like so many times before they were fast, clear and unbeatable. It was a smiling German that left the arena.
Then it was time for the fighter Reed Kessler. Reed set up the speed on Cylana (Skippy x Darco), but again the first fence in the combination proved to be a challenge. They had the fastest time on four faults though and finally ended fifth. There were still two more fast riders to go. One man and one woman. The battle was still open. Doda was first aboard AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan (Drosselklang II x Ashleigh Brigadier), but the two could not repeat their win from Friday’s qualifier as two poles fell.
Last to go was one of the fastest female riders on the circuit, Edwina Tops- Alexander. Edwina was ready to win as always and Erenice Horta (Diamant de Semilly x Paco) is a very capable horse. They produced a very good and fast round, but Christian’s time was unbeatable so no ladies first today. Edwina was still able to secure second place ahead of Janika, Luciana, Reed and Penelope. In other words girlpower was present in Paris Saturday.
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