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CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix of Lummen to Steve Guerdat and Hannah

Sunday, 30 April 2017
CSIO5* Lummen 2017

Photo (c) Tiffany Van Halle for World of Showjumping. Steve Guerdat and Hannah en route to victory in the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix of Lummen. Photo (c) Tiffany Van Halle for World of Showjumping.

Steve Guerdat (SUI) added yet another major Grand Prix-win to his list of achievements on Sunday, when he went to the top in the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix of Lummen riding the 10-year-old mare Hannah (Dulf van den Bisschop x Kashmir van Schuttershof). 

The 2012 Olympic Champion was one of only five riders clearing the first round 1.60 m track set by Eugène Mathy counting thirteen fences, which included a triple combination at 6abc, open water on the following jump and a combination at 10ab before turning away from the in-gate to the three last fences. 

"I think it was just the result of a great course designer," said Guerdat of the number of clears in the first round when asked if the Grand Prix track was too difficult or too tricky. "He has been fantastic all week! I did not ride his courses for a long time, and I was afraid that he got a bit old but he did a fantastic job as every class was super to ride – never against the horses, always nice and a lot of fun for the horses and riders but at the same time there were a lot of fences down."

Bernard Briand Chevalier (FRA) and the lovely 13-year-old chestnut mare Qadillac du Heup (Helios de la Cour II x Thurin) opened up the jump-off in Lummen. Unfortunately, the first element of the former triple combination fell to the ground, and then one more pole on the next oxer leaving the French rider on a penalty score of eight. 

Emilio Bicocchi (ITA) and Sassicaia Ares (Ephebe for Ever x Optiebeurs Rebel Z) were next out, but had the second fence down – an upright – finishing on four faults with a time of 49.47 seconds. 

Steve Guerdat and Hannah were up next. The Swiss rider gave the mare a good forward rhythm from the beginning, and kept his flow throughout the eight-fence track taking a tight turn to the combination half-way and really going for it on the last stretch to the final Longines upright. When Guerdat crossed the finish line, the clock showed 48.77 seconds – the time to beat was set.

2016 Olympic silver medallist Peder Fredricson (SWE) was next to go on the stunning 10-year-old gelding H&M Christian K (Namelus R x Calvados), that just like Guerdat's Hannah is a new kid on the block at five-star Grand Prix level. Beautifully guided by Fredricson, H&M Christian K did light work of the course though but was almost a second shy of the leading time slotting into runner-up position. 

As last to go, Manuel Fernandez Saro (ESP) had the chance to steal the show but when U Watch (President x Nabab de Reve) hit a rail on the third last vertical victory belonged to Guerdat, while Fredricson and Bicocchi filled up the rest of the podium. 

"I'm probably the first to be surprised about this win today," commented Guerdat after the Grand Prix. "The mare has been with me for about three months, and she was not really in shape when she arrived straight from Mexico. But, she improved quite quick and we won a three-star Grand Prix in Italy some weeks ago so I though 'ok, lets have a try in Lummen and see if we can qualify for the Grand Prix'. She even had two down in the qualifier here, but still felt like she jumped it quite easy so I was motivated. I think she jumped amazing today in both rounds, and was good to ride. I'm surprised and very very happy, and I hope it's just the beginning."


Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Tiffany Van Halle for World of Showjumping 

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