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Olivier Robert opens the ball at Jumping International du château de Versailles

Saturday, 06 May 2017
CSI5* Jumping International du château de Versailles 2017

Photo (c) R&B Presse. Olivier Robert won Friday's biggest class at Jumping International du château de Versailles. Photo (c) R&B Presse.

The CSI5* Jumping International du château de Versailles got underway on Friday, and in the majestic setting of the Grande Écurie du roi French rider Olivier Robert made the home crowds proud when going to the top in the 1.50m Prix Del Monte riding Eros (Querlybet Hero x Forever)

The day had already started well with a victory for Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa in the 1.45m Prix French Tour-Generali. Paired with Status (Satisfaction I x Sao Paulo), his 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Pessoa secured the win by a second over another sport legend – Great Britain's John Whitaker. France's Olivier Guillon made his return at this level of competition to end third. 

But, it was Olivier Robert that dominated the first night-class of the week end; the Prix Del Monte.  Winners last week in the CSI3* Grand Prix of Maubeuge, the pair confirmed their great form. Belgium's Gudrun Patteet on Sea Coast Ferly (Calato x Darco) finished second, and Dutch rider Harrie Smolders on Zinius (Nabab de Reve x Kannan) third.

Penultimate to go, the French rider was not one expected for the victory, as the ring seemed a bit tricky for his 13-year-old BWP gelding: “The arena is small and clearly not a piece of cake for him. Yet, he seemed at ease at the end. He is experienced, it’s his twelfth participation in a 5* – and besides that a foot in the river in Royan, he went twelfth times clear. He surprises me every time, and I’m very happy!”

After an interlude by the Académie équestre nationale de Versailles, the French rider entered the prize giving ceremony alongside three of the four team gold Olympic of Rio: Pénélope Leprevost, Philippe Rozier and Kevin Staut. But Olivier Robert was particularly moved to share this ceremony with one his idols, Germany's Christian Ahlmann (7th): “I was congratulated by my idol! I had a poster of Christian in my bedroom”.

It was an excellent start for the Jumping International du château de Versailles with a large crowd, “A crazy atmosphere,” said the king of the day of the marvelous setting. 


Source: Press release from Agence R&B Presse // Picture © Agence R&B Presse

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