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Steve Guerdat and Venard de Cerisy to the top in the CSI5* Hubside Grand Prix

Monday, 10 May 2021
CSI5* Hubside Jumping Grimaud 2021

Photo © HUBSIDE JUMPING / Filippo Gabutti Steve Guerdat and Venard de Cerisy won the CSI5* Grand Prix at Hubside Spring Tour. Photo © Hubside Jumping / Filippo Gabutti.


Edited press release from Hubside Jumping



Sunday marked the end of the Hubside Spring Tour de Grimaud-Gulf of Saint-Tropez which has brought the world’s best riders together for two weeks on the French Riviera. This week Sadri Fegaier’s Haras des Grillons played host to the first CSI5* outdoor show in Europe for the 2021-season, and it was world no. one Steve Guerdat that went to the top in the 1.60m Grand Prix – the concluding highlight of the second week. 

Forty-six combinations among the best in the world competed over French course designer Grégory Bodo's track. For the occasion, Bodo introduced a new feature in this Hubside Grand Prix as he included a water jump for the first time – at the request of the French riders – with the objective of preparing the horses for the forthcoming Olympics and the European Championships. The water jump didn’t create any major problems, unlike the delicate vertical-vertical-oxer triple, on which many combinations did not come out unscathed.

Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar was the first to go clear in the first round with Legend (Ogano Sitte x Nabab de Reve), and could start dreaming of a second victory after his win in the Hubside Spring Tour’s 4* Grand Prix last week. Before the break, only two riders had finished the first round clear, ensuring that the Internet users would be able to watch a jump-off: Brian Moggre also qualified for the jump-off with Balou du Reventon (Cornet Obolensky x Continue), a stallion which was previously ridden by Ireland’s Darragh Kenny. After the break, three Olympic gold medallists managed to go through to the jump-off: Laura Kraut, the team gold medallist in 2008, France’s Pénélope Leprévost, team gold medallist in 2016, and Steve Guerdat, the current world number 1 and the Olympic individual gold medallist in 2012, put pressure on the two riders previously qualified. Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann on King Edward (Edward 28 x Feo), Julien Epaillard with Kosmo van hof Ter Boone (Arko x Pachat II), Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Vertigo du Désert (Mylord Carthago*HN x Robin II) as well as Scott Brash and Hello Senator (Carambole x Indoctro) completed the start list of the jump-off which featured nine riders.

Eduardo Alvarez Aznar, first to go in the jump-off, had the first double clear round in a time of 39.79 seconds – although his round did not appear to be as fast as it actually rode. However, rider after rider had trouble catching Alvarez Aznar’s time. Brian Moggre appeared to aim for a clean round without necessarily trying to go too fast, stopping the clock at 40.85 seconds, while his compatriot Laura Kraut on Baloutinue left the ring with one down. Despite going clear with Vancouver de Lanlore, Pénélope Leprevost still finished behind the leading time. Then, Steve Guerdat came into the ring and managed to improve the time to beat by sixty-six hundredths of a second. None of those to come could catch him: Henrik von Eckermann left the ring with four faults as did Julien Epaillard and Lucina Diniz; as for Scott Brash, he finished the round with two down.

“It’s my first win since I became a dad, so it obviously means a lot to me,” Guerdat said. “I imagine that my daughter had absolutely no idea what happened, but it pleases me to think that I won this 5* Grand Prix for her on the day that she is five weeks old. We realised that Eduardo Alvarez Aznar, who was the first to go in the jump-off, had ridden a lot faster than we imagined when we watched his round on the screen. I don’t think my jump-off course walk was the greatest as there were strides to take out all over the place: this is why we were caught off guard by the jump-off and Eduardo’s time. I tried to take out strides but I didn’t succeed, so I stepped on the gas going into the double. So my jump-off may not have seemed very smooth. At any rate, I’m really pleased, my horse jumped superbly. I wasn’t sure that it would be enough for the jump-off, but it worked out well in the end. We may have benefited from Julien Epaillard’s four faults. None of my horses competed a lot last year. This one took part in two or three shows in 2020; he started competing again in Spain this year, in small classes and a 3* Grand Prix, then everything came to a standstill again in terms of European show jumping. So it’s obviously his first show since competition resumed, he has a great mindset and he’s in really good shape. He was a bit fresh on the first day and I was concerned that wouldn’t be enough for today, but he gave it his all and he was in exceptional form.”

The next Hubside Jumping event will be held at the beginning of June: the Haras des Grillons de Grimaud-Gulf of Saint-Tropez will be the setting for three CSI5* and two CSI4* shows over a five-week period. 

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