Simon Delestre and Chesall (Casall x Concerto II) secured another French win in Paris when they took home the win in Saturday's 1.55 Gucci Gold Cup.
It was an evening of tense and exciting sport, with a spectacular winning round that was open for the ten best riders from the first round - which included the four members of the team that won the silver medal for France in the 2014 Normandy World Equestrian Games. The spectators cheered on the French riders with an incredible amount of energy, creating a fantastic atmosphere.
Patrice Delaveau, riding the young Leontine Ledimar Z *HDC (Lodefever II x Grosso Z) - an 8-year-old quite new to this level of competition - had a short-lived lead before he was pushed down to runner-up position by his compatriot Simon Delestre who was 0.58 seconds faster on Chesall.
"For such a young mare, I couldn't have hoped for better, I'm very pleased,” declared Delaveau after.
Simon Delestre, in great shape as well at the moment, was full of complements for his 10-year-old gelding by Casall. "He was a bit unsettled by the atmosphere at the start of the first leg, which perhaps explains why he had one down. But in the jump-off he was back to his usual self, amazing and very careful. He's an exceptional horse even though he is a bit complicated to ride."
Third place went to Netherland's Maikel van der Vleuten on VDL Groep Quatro (Quaprice Boimargot Quincy x Caletto I).
The prize giving was steeped in emotion when, in honour of this fine French victory, the spectators burst into the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise, a capella.
Source: Press release from Longines Masters of Paris
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