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‘The Golden Drum of Basel’ to Werner Muff and Daimler

Saturday, 13 January 2018
CSI5* Basel 2018

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
The top three in 'the Golden Drum of Basel': Werner Muff, Olivier Philippaerts and Luciana Diniz. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

As expected it was a difficult course waiting for the riders in Friday night’s ‘Golden Drum of Basel’ – a 1,55m class with a jump-off. The faults spread out all over, but many riders who were clear to the very last jump – a demanding triple combination as no. 13 – lost their chances of a jump-off just there. In the end nine out of the 56 horse-and-rider combinations solved the challenge and cleared the course.

“It was not a typical course in the first round, because we had a lot of space between some of the fences. It was nice not to have everything coming too close after each other, and it was nicely build. But to keep the concentration up to the end of the course and still have the time in the back of your head was a challenge,” Werner Muff said after the class. 

The jump-off course consisted of seven fences, including one combination, and offered the riders both lines to stretch and short turns. First out in the jump-off was Kevin Staut (FRA) with Silver Deux de Virton HDC (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Heartbreaker) and they had to settle with four faults, after having the a-element of the combination down.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Werner Muff and Daimler. on their way to victory. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

The next out was one of the home hopes, Pius Schwizer with the only nine-year-old About A Dream (Clinton x Indoctro). The mare has her own style, but really doesn’t want to touch the poles and cleared the course in 39,71 seconds.

Marcus Ehning’s Cornado NRW (Cornet Obolensky x Acobat) is back in top form, and jumped another beautiful round. As usual it didn’t look that fast, but Ehning managed to shave off almost a second of Schwizer’s time to take the lead.

Julien Epaillard went all in as he normally does, riding Toupie de la Roque (Kannan x Nabab de Reve), but with four faults it was not to be this time around – which was also the result for Romain Duguet (SUI) with Twentytwo des Biches (Mylord Carthago x Kalor du Bocage) although with an even faster time.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Runner-up Olivier Philippaerts with H&M Legend of Love. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Luciana Diniz (POR) and the bouncy Fit For Fun (For Pleasure x Fabriano) did short turns and put up the pace wherever they could – taking over the pole position in 38,72 seconds. She didn’t get to keep the lead for long though, as home rider Werner Muff with Daimler (Canturano x Lupicor) went all in for the win. Muff took several risks and Daimler was up for it, ending the shortened course in an unbelievable 36,28 seconds.

“I saw Ehning jump, and I still had the Grand Prix in the back of my head,” Muff detailed about the jump-off. My horse jumped super in the first round, so I thought back and forth if I should go for it or not. I watched 2-3 riders and I knew I was the seventh riders in so I put all thoughts away and rode the jump-off as good as I could and it worked out.”

Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) did his very best to catch Muff’s time, riding H&M Legend of Love (Landzauber x Corgraf) but went in a bit more than half a second behind Muff with 36,91 seconds taking the runner-up position. Last to go was Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) with California (L’esprit x Libero H) and she did a solid clear in 43,81 seconds – going in on 6th place – ending a class of fantastic sport.

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Third place went to Luciana Diniz with Fit for Fun. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Muff was the first Swiss rider in nine years to win this prestigious class. “I’m so happy I managed to win this class with Daimler, he is just an amazing horse. That I can experience this with Daimler, with the owner here to watch, makes me really happy.”

“Daimler is the fast and furious. He is just one of a kind. He has his things while handling him and on the warm-up, but still we understand each other quite good and always a bit better. And he is such a fighter! I’m always trying to get him to do things a bit more relaxed, but when he knows it is time he is on and then as soon as he knows he is done he calms down totally,” said Muff about his spectacular horse.

Text and pictures © World of Showjumping

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