French rider Roger-Yves Bost delighted the crowds with a top speed win and a characteristically big smile as he claimed victory in the GCT CSI 5* International in Spain. “Bosty” lit up the competition with a stunningly quick round in the 1.50m class setting a time of 60.89 on his bay stallion Castle Forbes Vivaldo van het. After the prize giving lap of honour Roger-Yves said: “He is a very fast horse and I’m very pleased. We won a lot of classes at 1.50. I’m also pleased because I changed plans and decided to ride him in this class.” It was a repeat of his display of acceleration and daring riding at one of the opening classes at the first GCT of 2012 in Doha, Qatar, last month.
The cracking pace of the winning round in Spain was considerably ahead of the competition. Swiss rider Steve Guerdat finished second in 63.57 on his powerful chestnut Ferrari. Steve praised Roger-Yves’ performance and said of his own second place: “I didn’t have a perfect round, but I have a very fast horse.”
With the course bathed in sunlight,
British rider Nick Skelton was a strong challenger for the podium and finished third on 63.98 on Unique. On a balmy evening on the Mediterranean coast of Spain there were some impressive rounds by the world’s best. Simon Delestre, Marco Kutscher, Penelope Leprevost, Cindy van der Straten-Marie and Kamal Bahamdam all clocked up solid rounds.
The build up to the GCT Grand Prix Banco Sabadell Trophy on Saturday evening is well underway. And for many of the top riders the road to the London Olympics has already started. A significant number of the horses at the GCT in Spain are well and truly locked into their preparations for the forthcoming 2012 Games. It means the world’s premier show jumping series, with the richest prize money in the sport, is being closely watched by the chefs d’equipe of the national teams.
Earlier in the day Ukranian rider Cassio Rivetti clinched victory in the opening CSI 5*competition today despite a fast challenge from current GCT champion Edwina Tops-Alexander.
Cassio rode a deceptively quick round on his 12-year-old bay stallion Böckmanns Lazio finishing in a winning time of 57.19. The stallion’s big stride paid dividends on the course designed by Frank Rothenberger and after the prize giving Cassio said: “He jumped a really good round. He has had some experience here before and I believe that helped as he really liked this speed class.”
World No1 female rider Edwina sped into second place on her consistently high performing mare Mel d’Argences in a time of 57.48 just a fraction behind Cassio. Edwina, the first GCT euro millionaire, had an impressive start to the 2012 GCT series by winning the opening Grand Prix of 2012 in Doha, Qatar, last month.
The Tour, with the richest prize money in the sport of show jumping, kicked off in bright sunshine at the Oliva Nova Equestrian Centre on the southern tip of the province of Valencia. The immaculate sand arena was described as “impressive” by riders as they walked the course. The venue, new to the GCT circuit this year, is sandwiched between the wide sandy beaches on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and rugged mountains in the southern tip of the province of Valencia.
Some of the leading riders, like Kevin Staut, Alvaro de Miranda and Marcus Ehning, took advantage of the early class to test out their newer and younger horses. Other riders like Christian Ahlmann and Marco Kutscher took the opportunity to warm up their top Grand Prix horses ahead of the main Grand Prix competition on Saturday evening.
Source: Press release from Global Champions Tour