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Lars Kersten and Funky Fred Marienshof Z steal the show in the CSIO5* 1.50m Prix Saur in La Baule

Saturday, 08 June 2024
CSIO5* Jumping International de La Baule 2024

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Lars Kersten and Funky Fred Marienshof Z won the CSIO5* 1.50m Prix Saur in La Baule. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ.


Text © World of Showjumping



Saturday evening's CSIO5* 1.50m Prix Saur at Jumping International de La Baule 2024 went to Lars Kersten (NED) and Funky Fred Marienshof Z (Fantomas de Muze x Libero H) after an exciting jump-off between a tough group that included four riders from the current Top 10 on the Longines Rankings. 

Nine pairs out of the 58 horse-and-rider combinations at start cleared the first-round track set by French course designer Gregory Bodo. In the jump-off, Kersten and the 10-year-old Funky Fred Marienshof Z set the standard with a decisively fast round – stopping the clock on 42.14, a time that in the end proved unbeatable. Mclain Ward (USA) and Callas (Casall x Coriano) got the closest, finishing just fractions behind Kersten in 42.16, while current world number nine Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and RR Combella (Cornet du Lys x Indoctro) took the third place with a time of 42.69. 

Max Kühner (AUT) and EIC Quantum Robin V (Carambole x Stakkato) placed fourth in 45.48, while Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Bastille (Balou du Rouet x Chacco-Blue) had to settle for fifth after a fence down in 40.94. 

"In the end I was lucky, because Martin was faster than me," Kersten commented to World of Showjumping after his victory. "Actually, with Funky Fred it often does not look fast, but he covers the ground really well and he has a huge stride. From one to two in the jump-off, I could do an easy six and then I thought I lost it coming to the combination because I added a stride there. The whole last part of the jump-off was really smooth, I could take my first distances and keep the rhythm."

"We have been jumping our first five-star Grand Prixs last winter and I think now it is all coming together," Kersten said about his winning mount. "He really seems to like the grass arenas. He is just a very good, cool horse. In the ring, he really likes to do the job and I think that is also why he does it so well. His breeders still own him; Marienshof has quite a few good horses and they do a very good job with their breeding. Together with them, it is nice to see this horse grow up the levels." 

"All the Rolex shows are so well put together, at amazing venues. La Baule is for sure one of the best shows there is," Kersten complimented the traditional French venue. 


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