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Steve Guerdat and Dynamix de Belheme best in Sunday's CSI5* 1.60m Grand Prix GL Events in Fontainebleau

Monday, 29 April 2024
CSI5* Fontainebleau 2024

Photo © PSV. J. Morel. Reigning European champions Steve Guerdat and Dynamix de Belheme won the CSI5* 1.60m Grand Prix GL Events in Fontainebleau, France. Photo © PSV. J. Morel.


Edited press release from Printemps des Sports Équestres



Reigning European champions Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Dynamix de Belheme (Snaike de Blondel x Cornet Obolensky) won Sunday's CSI5* 1.60m Grand Prix GL Events in Fontainebleau, France.

For the team from GL events Equestrian Sport – the organiser of the show in Fontainebleau – this week of competitions served as an operational preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, for which it will be responsible this summer.

Only three out of the 50 horse-and-rider combinations at start cleared the first-round track set by the two masterminds Gregory Bodo and Santiago Varela, a duo that later this summer will be responsible for the courses at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. First to solve all the questions asked by Bodo and Varela was Jennifer Hochstadter (LIE) aboard Golden Lady (Cassini Gold x San Patrignano Mister), but the huge crowds at the Grand Parquet de Fontainebleau had to wait a while until Aurelien Leroy (FRA) on Croqsel de Blaignac (Ugano Sitte x Rubynea) finally secured a jump-off. Third and last to join in was Guerdat, current world no. three and by far the biggest name in the jump-off.

Photo © PSV-Jean Morel. "She's in great form," Steve Guerdat said about Dynamix de Belheme. Photo © PSV-Jean Morel.

And it was experience that had the last word. Stopping the clock on 39.28 seconds, Guerdat took the win ahead of Leroy who with his time of 39.91 seconds had to settle for the runner-up position, followed by Hochstadter in third in 42.61. Koen Vereecke (BEL) and Lector vd Bisschop (Bamako de Muze x For Pleasure) finished fourth with only a single time penalty from round one, while Julien Epaillard (FRA) and Donatello d'Auge (Jarnac x Hello Pierville) completed the top five as the fastest four-faulters.

"She's in great form," Steve Guerdat said about the 11-year-old mare Dynamix de Belheme. "She had a long break after Geneva last year, then competed in a few small classes in Spain at the beginning of the year, before taking part in 's-Hertogenbosch and then had another rest. It's fair to say that she surprised me this weekend. I wasn't expecting her to be so dynamic; I thought she was still one or two competitions away from reaching top form. It gives us confidence for the rest of the season."

Photo © PSV-Jean Morel. Aurelien Leroy and Croqsel de Blaignac finished second. Photo © PSV-Jean Morel.

"The quality of a competition is not determined by the number of stars," Guerdat continued. "I was already involved in the Printemps des Sports Équestres when it was a four-star competition. Everything here is amazing and I'm just really looking forward to jumping on the grass of the Grand Parquet. Hats off to the organisers and a big thank you. We're lucky to have organisers like these, who think about the sport more than anything else. We really need people like that."

"It's an honour to finish second behind Steve Guerdat," second placed Aurelien Leroy said. "I'm really happy, my horse was just great today! Last year, he started the season really well and then, for various reasons, which are undoubtedly down to me, he wasn't as good in the second half of the season. So, we decided to give him a long break and then I drew up a programme that I thought would enable him to come here and compete, if I was lucky enough to be selected. It all turned out as I had hoped, so I'm delighted." 

Photo © PSV-Jean Morel. Jennifer Hochstadter and Golden Lady ended third. Photo © PSV-Jean Morel.

"She's teaching me a lot and I'm extremely lucky to have her with me," third placed Jennifer Hochstadter said about her horse Golden Lady. "Everything came together today; I know she has the ability and that she'd give me everything. But I didn't expect such a great performance. It's really a special moment for me. This is my first podium finish in a CSI5* competition, so I'm still enjoying the buzz, and I haven't come back down to earth yet. In any case, I'm very proud of my horse and the team around us. I knew that it was going to be difficult for me to be competitive in terms of speed in the jump-off. I have not handled the pressure very well in the last few jump-offs I've taken part in. But today, I kept my rhythm and remained confident and my horse did the rest." 


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