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Steve Guerdat and Hannah win €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of Falsterbo

Sunday, 16 July 2017
CSIO5* Falsterbo 2017

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Steve Guerdat and Hannah celebrate their victory in the Longines Grand Prix of Falsterbo. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Steve Guerdat won Sunday's CSIO5* €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of Falsterbo, riding the 10-year old Hannah (Dulf van den Bisschop x Kashmir van Schuttershof). This was the pair's second five-star Grand Prix victory of the season, they also won in Lummen back in April. 

“I have been coming to Falsterbo for many years, because it has been one of my favourite shows since the first time I came here," said Steve Guerdat after the class. "I wasn’t winning anything here, but this is the kind of show that is the reason why I do the sport and why I love the sport so much. I always wanted to be good here and brought my top horses and tried my best, but could never get a ribbon. So it was very depressing to go home on Sunday. Now I’m just so happy! Everything went great today, and I had two super rounds and really enjoyed it out there. I’m very, very, very happy!” an emotional Guerdat continued.

The Grand Prix was a 1.60m competition over two rounds with 44 riders in the first round, out of which 25% qualified for the second round. The course build by Frank Rothenberger and Christian Wiegard consisted of thirteen fences with one triple combination and a combination as well as an open water. It was these three elements that caused most problems in the first round, that saw eight riders produce clears to be joined by two with one time penalty and one with four faults.

The second round was shortened to eight jumps with a combination as fence no. five, and turned out to be very dramatic.

First out was Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) with Cristalline (Cristallo I Caretello B), who had to add another four faults to her score leaving her on eight penalties. Next out was a home rider Fredrik Jönsson (SWE) with Cold Play (Contendro I x Argentinus), who had one time penalty from the first round – but cleared the course the second time around.

Unfortunately for Ali Wolff (USA), who delivered a beautiful performance with one time fault in the first round, was pushed out of the saddle at the second fence in round two – landing on her feet and somehow managed to hold on to her Casall (Casall x Capitol I) leaving the ring eliminated. 

Marie Valdar Longem (NOR) and Algorhythem (Tampa x Calvados) were next out as the first clear couple from the first round. This time around, Marie had to see a pole fall to add four faults to her score. As next to go, Helena Persson (SWE) with Bonzai H (Balooubet du Rouet) delivered a steady clear in 50,40 seconds making the home crowds happy. 

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
The top three: Peder Fredricson, Steve Guerdat and Chloe Reid. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Then Steve Guerdat entered the big grass ring in Falsterbo with Hannah, and the 2012 Olympic Champion put his mare in top gear – knowing he had fast riders coming behind. Crossing the finish line in 44,00 seconds, Guerdat took the lead. 

Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) gave his all to try to secure a home win with Cantinero (Cento x Cash), but with the time of 45,53 seconds he went in to second place. The only 20-year-old Chloe Reid (USA) on her stunning Codarco (Darco x Orame) was next out and gave it a really good go, taking over the runner-up position with her time of 44,74 seconds. Tim Wilks (GBR) on the other hand went for a safe clear with Quelbora Merze (Tarzan de Beaulieu x If de Merze) to eventually end up 6th with a time of 50,61.

Peder Fredricson and the bouncy H&M All In (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Andiamo Z), winners of the Longines Grand Prix of Rotterdam in June, added some more drama to the second round. Fredricson held a high pace coming into the combination, ending up a bit close to the b-element where H&M All In showed his acrobatic skills and almost jumped Fredricson out of the saddle. Of course, this cost the pair some time but Fredricson continued in full speed with out one stirrup to end just a little behind Guerdat with a time of 44,46 seconds taking over the runner-up position ahead of Reid. Last to go was yesterday’s derby winner Bertram Allen (IRL) with Izzy By Picobello (Cicero Z x Capriano), but today Allen had to see a pole fall leaving the victory with Guerdat. 

“I was confident going in o the second round, because my mare felt so good in the first round. She is that kind of horse that already in the warm-up shows if it will be a good day or a bit more difficult day. From the first jump in the warm-up she felt really good today,” Guerdat detailed. “In the jump-off I was a bit lucky, because Peder was very unlucky. His horse jumped so high, he almost flew off. It was his bad luck, and it was my good luck – so I’m delighted.” 

Peder Fredricson was perhaps a bit disappointed not to bring home the victory on home soil. “What shall I say, my goal was to win the Grand Prix and I was really close. But I’m still very happy with my horse that jumped fantastic, and I’m very pleased with myself that I continued to fight even though I lost a stirrup. He is not the ideal horse to ride with only one stirrup. So I’m happy with both of us that we continued to fight to win. As they say: You are not a loser until you give up!”

"This is by far the biggest accomplishment I ever had!" said 20-year-old Chloe Reid after her third place. "I’m training with Markus and Meredith Beerbaum. I go to school in Miami, Florida and spend most my time in Wellington if I’m not in Germany training with Markus and Meredith," explained Reid. 

Guerdat paid tribute to the crowds and organizers in Falsterbo, when explaining why he loves the show so much. “Today is a great example. It is pouring rain, it is cold and windy and people are still here because they love what we do and they love the sport and they love horses. You can really feel that through the facilities, they think about the horses, the riders and the grooms. I know we need sponsors, we need VIPs – but there are so many shows today where the only thing that matters is the VIP and you don’t know why you ride. They are just there, and jumping or not jumping doesn’t matter to most of them. When you come here they want to see sport, they support you! I think at these kind of shows you still have kids that can dream about the sport, even though they don’t have a very wealthy pocket.”


Text and pictures © World of Showjumping

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