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Harrie Smolders and Capital Colnardo on top in Basel

Sunday, 14 January 2018
CSI5* Basel 2018

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
The winners: Harrie Smolders with Capital Colnardo. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

For a long time it looked like there would be no jump-off in Saturday night’s 1,50m ‘Prize of the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois’ in Basel. The time allowed was one challenge, the track another but then rider no. 9 in the ring – Olivier Robert (FRA) – delivered the first clear within the time allowed. However, the crowds had to wait until rider no. 32 – Harrie Smolders (NED) – for a jump-off to be secured. In the end, six horse-and-rider combinations jumped clear, out of the 51 in the class. 

“When I walked the course, I expected some more clears. But the time was tight again and it was faults everywhere. The triple combination was quite difficult, since it was a bit long between a and b,” Harrie Smolders explained after the class.

Olivier Robert with Quenelle du Py (Tresor du Remon x Ryon d’Anzex) was first out in the jump-off and with a fault early on, he ended the course with four faults in a time of 38,29 sec. Next out, Harrie Smolders with Capital Colnardo (Colman x Coronado) cleared the jump-off track – that consisted of several turns and a stretch down to the last fence – in 39,03 seconds.

“My horse stumbled after fence no. 2 in the jump-off. I still got a good distance to no. 3, but then I had to reorganise a little bit which cost a bit of time. I really didn’t think I would win, because I left too much room for the ones  to come. But then the ones being faster than me all got a fault, so it all turned my way today," Smolders says about his jump-off. 

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Janika Sprunger and Ninyon finished as runners-up. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

The winners from Thursday’s biggest class – Marcus Ehning (GER) and Pret A Tout (Hiram Chambertin x Stew Boy) – were next to go. In typical Ehning-style, with some very short smooth turns, he shaved 1,5 second off Smolders’ time, but when the back pole on the second last oxer fell the German rider went in on second place.

Then it was time for Friday’s winner Werner Muff (SUI), this time riding Pollendr (Polytraum x Corrado). Muff went for a steady round and cleared the course in 42,15 seconds, taking over the second place from Ehning. The Swiss rider didn’t get to keep the second place for long though, as the only lady rider in the jump-off – Janika Sprunger (SUI) with Ninyon (Nintender x Careful) – squeezed in just ahead of Muff in 41,28 seconds.

The always fast Felix Hassmann got an early fault, and slowed it all down a bit. This time he had to settle for the sixth place after ending the course with four faults in 38,34 seconds. 

“I’m very pleased with Capital Colnardo. Both Colnardo and Cas, which I have with me here in Basel, are owned by Copernicus Stables. Colnardo jumped really well today and he really tried his best. Tomorrow Cas will do his first big test with me, so let’s hope that will go well as well,” a happy Smolders said after his win. 

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Third place went to Werner Muff and Pollendr. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Earlier during the day, Basel got to see a home win in the 1,45m ‘Prize of Dach+Holztech GmbH’ when Martin Fuchs did an unbelievable fast round with Dubai du Bois Pinchet (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Andiamo). With his 57,11 seconds, Fuchs was more than a second faster than runner-up Felix Hassmann (GER) with Sl Brazonado (SL Baluarte x Silvestre). Third place went to another fast rider – Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) with Carlotta (Chaccomo x Cento), fourth place to Bryan Balsiger (SUI) with Poppee de Damvil (Quidam de Revel x Rox de la Touche) and fifth place to Philippe Rozier (FRA) with Reveur de Kergane (Hornet Rose x Elan de la Cour). 

Text and pictures © World of Showjumping

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