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The eight time's the charm for Staut at Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final 2017

Saturday, 09 December 2017
CHI Geneva 2017

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
The top three: Kevin Staut, Scott Brash and Peder Fredricson. Photos (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

The Rolex International Jumping Riders Club Top 10 Final in Geneva turned out to be a poster child of what our sport is truly about, as the ten very best riders in the world set out to battle for the sought-after Rolex Trophy. 

The first round over a 1.60m course set by Gérard Lachat (SUI) and Louis Konickx (NED) counted 12 obstacles and 15 efforts in a time allowed of 63 seconds, while the second round was ridden over a shortened, eight fence track. 

Four pairs kept a clean sheet in the first round; Kevin Staut (FRA) on the 16-year-old gelding Reveur de Hurtebise HDC (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Capricieux Des 6 Censes), Scott Brash (GBR) on the 16-year-old mare Ursula XII (Ahorn x Papageno), Harrie Smolders (NED) on the 13-year-old stallion Don VHP Z (Diamant de Semilly x Voltaire) and Lorenzo De Luca (ITA) on the 13-year-old gelding Ensor de Litrange LXII (Nabab de Reve x Mr. Blue). Peder Fredricson (SWE) on the 10-year-old gelding H&M Christian K kept the fences intact but picked up one time fault, while Eric Lamaze (CAN) on the 14-year-old mare Fine Lady 5 (Forsyth FRH x Drosselklang), Gregory Wathelet (BEL) on the 13-year-old stallion Eldorado van het Vijverhof (THunder van de Zuuthoeve x Omar), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) on the 15-year-old stallion VDL Groep Verdi TN (Quidam de Revel x Landgraf I), current world number one Kent Farrington (USA) on the 10-year-old gelding Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris) and home hero Steve Guerdat (USA) on the 10-year-old mare Hannah (Dulf van den Bisschop x Kashmir van Schuttershof) all saw poles fall. 

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Kevin Staut with Reveur de Hurtebise HDC took home the prestigious win.

In the second round, Brash and Ursula XII produced another flawless round in a time of 42,83 seconds – but Staut and Reveur were able to shave nearly two seconds of their time and took over the lead with a time of 40,90. When both Smolders and De Luca had a fence down, it was clear that Staut finally had managed to win the title he has been fighting for the past eight years. 

“I am really proud of my team,” Kevin told the press after the class. “For eight years I have been trying to get a good result here. For me it has been harder than for Peder; he reached the podium here on his first try,” Kevin joked. “The atmosphere, the arena, everything together - Geneva is simply an amazing place and it is really a special win in my career. Our sport is fantastic and I think we were able to prove it here tonight,” he continued. 

“Philipe Guerdat helped me a lot in the warm-up today and told me that my horse is fast enough, so I should try to be clear again and not too crazy. I am really proud to do this with Reveur, he helped me a lot today – the pressure was intense and to do this with a horse I know so well made all the difference,” Kevin commented on his plan for the jump-off. “The last two seasons have been the best of his career,” he went on to say about his little chestnut veteran. “I don’t feel that he wants to slow down!” 

“I was really in a bad mood when I started the weekend here. I had to change my plan about ten times, and I was not happy with myself,” he said. “But when the class started today, I did not think about it anymore. I just tried to ride my best, to for once be able to win this class.” 

On the question if his new role as President for the International Jumping Riders Club is going to interfere with his riding, Kevin commented: ”My first goal is to continue to ride as much as possible, because that is what I love. Our sport is in evolution and we should not fight, but think and be together to make our sport the best it can be. As the IJRC President, I will try to unite the riders so we can continue to go in the right direction.” 

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
The Top 10 grooms - only Lisa from Maikel van der Vleuten is missing. Congrats you superstars!

Second placed Brash commented on his round against the clock, but was not sure he could have done a lot more: “Ursula has an enormous stride so I don’t think I could have done more. Maybe in the turns I lost a bit, but Kevin was too fast for us tonight.”  

Peder Fredricson was nothing but happy about his third place: “First of all I am really happy and proud to participate here and it has been amazing. My horse jumped good and I am really happy with him, the rider was a bit too slow in the first round. I am really happy to be on the podium tonight!”

Text and pictures © World of Showjumping

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