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Ireland’s Denis Lynch faster than the French riders in the Hubside Fall Tour’s 5* Grand Prix

Sunday, 20 September 2020
CSI5* Hubside Jumping Grimaud 2020

Photo © Marco Villanti for Hubside Jumping Denis Lynch and Cristello won the CSI5* Hubside Fall Tour Grand Prix. Photo © Marco Villanti for Hubside Jumping.


Edited press release from Hubside Jumping



With five French riders out of the nine qualified for the jump-off in Sunday's CSI5* 1.60m Grand Prix at Hubside Jumping in Grimaud, France, there was every reason for France to be hopeful – especially after Nicolas Delmotte’s victory in the CSI4* Grand Prix last weekend. And although France was able to count on some of the fastest riders in the world, such as Simon Delestre and Julien Epaillard, Ireland’s Denis Lynch was the winner with Cristello (Numero Uno x Voltaire). 

“Tricky!” This was how Belgium’s Jérôme Guéry described the 5* Grand Prix during the course walk. And indeed it was. After half of the forty-six combinations had jumped the first round of the class, only three had managed to produce clears within the time allowed. However, the second half of the riders appeared to have found the key to overcoming the difficulties of the 1.60m course set by the Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani and eventually six more jumped clear rounds. 

Nicolas Delmotte, the winner of last weekend's 4* Grand Prix, produced the first double clear round with Urvoso du Roch (Nervoso x Grand d'Escla) – finishing in 40.73 seconds and going into the lead. However, the French rider was quickly pushed down to the second place by Ireland’s Denis Lynch, riding the 13-year-old stallion Cristello. Although Lynch was slower than the French rider half-way through the jump-off, his two final tight turns helped him shave the time down to 39.14 seconds.

Simon Delestre and Hermès Ryan (Hugo Gesmeray x Ryon d'Anzex) set off in hot pursuit and shaved 1.49 seconds off Lynch’s time during the first part of the track, but finished in 39.32 seconds. Pénélope Leprévost and GFE Excalibur de la Tour Vidal (Ugano Sitte (E.T.) x Ogano Sitte) were also not fast enough with their 42.34 seconds – slotting in behind Lynch, Delestre and Delmotte. Belgium's Pieter Devos also jumped a clear round in 40.90 seconds and slipped in between Delmotte and Leprévost. 

After world no. one Steve Guerdat had two down, it was clear that the victory would go either to Ireland or France as Julien Epaillard and Queeleta (Quality x Landor S) were last to go. While Epaillard delivered a clear round, it was not fast enough this time around – with 39.70 seconds, he finished in third place behind Lynch and Delestre. 

After his victory, Lynch said: “Despite winning today, I wouldn’t say that the Grand Prix was easy: it was quite the opposite. I haven’t been riding Cristello long enough to go into Grands Prix effortlessly. Indeed, we bought him in December and then we were obliged to stop building our combination due to the lockdown, when we had got off to a good start. So we started again from scratch when we were allowed to start competing again. And I must say our most recent shows have gone really well. Last week we were unlucky in the Grand Prix of Valkenswaard where we had one down. Today I had a great feeling; I said to myself: “It’s our turn!” I’m delighted how Cristello performed in the ring! Despite everything, we’re still getting to know each other; I know he’s a very brave horse and he’s also very big (smiles). I now know that we have a good chance of winning, thanks to his big strides and his fighting spirit. It’s great to compete in these kinds of classes with him: he’s always looking for the next fence to jump, is very careful and willing. I’m really lucky to have him in my stables.”


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