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Andre Thieme and Contadur win the Falsterbo Derby

Saturday, 13 July 2019
CSIO5* Falsterbo 2019

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. Andre Thieme and Contadur. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Andre Thieme (GER) and Contadur (Conteros x Kolibi) took home the victory in the Falsterbo Derby presented by Vellinge Business Park after a two-horse jump-off. 

As usual the derby track caused problems for the majority of the 15 horse-and-rider combinations that competed, and in the end there were only two clears – Andre Thieme with Contadur and Steve Guerdat (SUI) with Evita (Canturano x Farmer). It was a close call for the win, with only 0.1 seconds separating the two riders in the jump-off, leaving Guerdat in runner-up position. 

"My plan was to go quick enough to put Steve at least a little bit under pressure. We all know that Steve is faster than everyone if he really wants to," Thieme said at the press conference. "I was hoping that he didn’t know my horse that well, and it worked out as he didn’t realize that my horse is really quick. I did one risky turn back to the wall and that was the only turn where I was quicker than him. In the end I was just that tiny bit faster."

Guerdat agreed: "I underestimated his time, I have a natural fast horse and I thought I had everything quite smooth and fast enough to get his time. I thought I was a second ahead, and I blew it up."

According to Thieme, Contadur has all the qualities needed to be a perfect derby horse: "Contadur is always full power. He can go a very long distance without getting tired and he is very, very careful so he stays careful until the end. I think that is one of the most important things for a derby horse, you don’t need that much scope but you need fight in the horse and you need carefulness and smartness. He for sure has all of that." 

Third place went to last year’s winner Peder Fredricson (SWE) with Cute S (Pessoa VDL x Quite Easy), who ended the first round as the fastest four faulter. William Funnell (GBR) with Billy Buckingham (Billy Congo x Clover Hill) ended fourth and Bart Bles (NED) with Grand Canyon van HD (Cartani x Nabab de Reve) fifth – both of them on four faults. 

Andre Thieme, who has won the prestigious Hamburg Derby three times, explained why he has focused so much on the derby competitions: "The first few years I didn’t really have horses to be good in the real international sport, so I had to pick a class where I knew I could do a lot of things and train it before. I concentrated on that for a few years and had a really good horse for the derby classes. This way I could go all around the world and do those, and where we went we did pretty good. That is a little bit how it all began, and now it is still fun to once in a while have horses for that and compete in the different derby competitions."

"I think a derby is easier than a normal class, because you can train a derby," Guerdat said. "It is a shame that we don’t have more of these classes because it is so enjoyable to ride, when the horse is with you – and the horses love it. It is much more natural for them to jump. It is very good training for both horse and rider, and I wish we had more. I think this is the root of our sport and we shouldn’t forget that. I’m always very happy to see that some shows keep on running these derby classes, but I’m always surprised though when I see so few starters. Because this is that kind of class where you know exactly what is going to come so you can train it. And the horses love it. I really enjoyed the afternoon!"

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