Daniel Deusser and Equita van’t Zorgvliet (Cassini I x Darco) took their second five-star Grand Prix win of the season, taking the victory in the Longines Grand Prix of Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon as well as earning the chance to get the Super Grand Slam Bonus of 2.25 million Euro.
It was a thrilling Sunday afternoon for the crowd of spectators that had met up to watch the Longines Grand Prix in Los Angeles. During the main event of a magical weekend of competition, the best riders in the world delivered a passionate fight – from which Daniel Deusser and Equita van’t Zorgvliet emerged as winners. The German rider is definitely the man to beat at the next two legs of the Longines Masters Series, taking place in Paris and Hong Kong.
All the ingredients were there for an exceptional moment shared between the competitors and spectators. The first round course build by the new course designer of the Longines Masters Series, Uliano Vezzani, was difficult and at the level of what can be expected from a five-star Grand Prix.
In the end, ten riders produced clear rounds and went on to battle it out in a thrilling jump-off over a track where the Italian course designer played with roll back-turns and long gallops. As the public followed all of the riders in the jump-off, the atmosphere in the grandstand intensified as the spectators switched from holding their breath to letting out groans of disappointment and cheering excitedly.
Longines Speed Challenge winners Nayel Nassar and Lordan (Lordanos x Landor) quickly found themselves in the leader’s seat, and the Egyptian rider was hoping to add his name to the prestigious board of stars of the Longines Masters. “I was kind of expecting it. There were a lot of good riders after me. I’m really happy with my horse, I know him so well at this point. I’ve spent an amazing week with him. It could have been better if it was not for this guy,” he laughed pointing at Daniel Deusser.
It was the German rider that snatched the victory in this Longines Grand Prix of Los Angeles, even though he was competing indoors for the first time with the 12-year-old mare Equita van’t Zorgvliet. “I had to make adjustments really quickly with her as we never competed indoors before. The first two days were not amazing, she had one down, we took the last fence yesterday, but today she tried really hard. I saw that on the west coast they are really fast so I knew I had to try everything to beat this young guy, to take all the risks. I was a little bit lucky on the planks, but at the end she played the game today and she was amazing,” Deusser said.
Deusser might have been inspired by third placed Harrie Smolders’s round on Don VHP Z (Diamant de Semilly x Voltaire), as the Dutch rider joked; “I had a perfect last line. I think Daniel just watched what I did and did it better himself, that’s all!”
Everyone agreed that the Longines Masters of Los Angeles indeed was a success. “I must say that the organization puts on unbelievable shows with very high class. I think the Longines Masters Series is probably the highest quality show we have in the world,” congratulated Harrie Smolders.
Event director Matthieu Gheysen was also satisfied, and very proud of the passion that has been present during all four days. “We had a very warm welcome from everybody for the first year and we are extremely delighted to be here in Long Beach. Thank you to the public, to Longines, to our partners, sponsors, and all who have done a tremendous job to make this event a success. We are now heading out toward Paris, where we are prepared for intense competition. Thank you all for joining us this weekend, and for following our event throughout the world,” he said.
Attention is now focused on the Parisian leg, the Longines Masters of Paris, that will be held Dec. 1-4, at the Parc des Expositions de Villepinte-Paris Nord. Daniel Deusser will be expected as a favorite, now that he is the candidate to win the new Super Grand Slam Bonus of 2.25 million Euro.
Source: Press release from R&B Presse // Picture © R&B Presse for EEM
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