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Michael Whitaker steals Thursday’s biggest win in St. Gallen

Friday, 02 June 2017
CSIO5* St. Gallen 2017

Photo (c) CSIO St. Gallen. Michael Whitaker and Viking won the Preis des Longines CSIO St.Gallen. Photo (c) CSIO St. Gallen.

The CSIO5* event in St. Gallen, Switzerland, kicked off on Thursday in the impressive Gruendenmoos Equestrian Stadium, that will host the fourth leg of the FEI Nations Cup Europe Division One on Friday.

The Preis von Domus & Walter Knoll, a 1.45m class in two phases went to the young talent Christian Kukuk (GER) on the 10-year-old mare Alena (Asca x C-Indoctro) with a time of 36,65 seconds in the second phase. Paul Estermann (SUI) on the 13-year-old mare Cornet's Hope (Cornet Obolensky x Drosselklang) took the second place with a time of 37,52 seconds. Third place went to Edwin Smits (SUI) on the 13-year-old gelding Dandiego BZ (Dutch Capitol x Flemmigh) with a time of 37,85 seconds in the second phase. Catherine van Roosbroeck (BEL) on the 11-year-old mare Shou D Ouilly (Calvaro x Quick Star) placed fourth with a time of 38,59 seconds and the fifth place went to Walter Gabathuler (SUI) on the 10-year-old gelding Silver Surfer 2 (Casall x Levisto) with a time of 38,68 seconds.

The Preis des Longines CSIO St.Gallen, a 1.50m jump-off class, that served as a qualifier for Sunday's Grand Prix and gave the riders a chance to gather Longines Ranking points, was the main class of the first day.

Out of 59 pairs that started, eleven made their way to the jump-off. Second to go in the jump-off, Steve Guerdat (SUI) on the 10-year-old mare Hannah (Dulf van den Bisschop x Kashmir van Schuttershof) took an early lead, setting the time to beat at 35,48 seconds. It looked like the winning pair from CSIO5* Grand Prix of Lummen could add another big win under their belt, but as second last to go Michael Whitaker (GBR) on the 15-year-old Viking (Jacomar x Almox Prints) pushed the Swiss rider down to the second place, taking home the win with a time of 35,08 seconds.

Werner Muff (SUI) on the 9-year-old gelding Daimler (Canturano x Lupicor) took the third place with a time of 36,16 seconds in the jump-off. The fourth place went to the young and talented Sanne Thjissen (NED) on the 10-year-old mare Celine M Z (Crusador x Orame) with a time of 36,31 seconds in the jump-off. Bertram Allen (IRL) on the 10-year-old stallion Hector van d'Adbijhoeve (Cabrio van de Heffinck x Utrillo van de Heffinck) took the fifth place with a time of 37,05 seconds in the jump-off.

"Viking has had a bit of a break, and he jumped last week in Rome and already there he felt good. I think he likes the ground here, he felt very good today," the winner Michael Whitaker said after the class. "He is 15-years-old now, but he feels really good. This is a really nice show, a great place to come to and how Viking felt today this promises good for Sunday!"


Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © CSIO St. Gallen

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