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First from start to finish for Robert Whitaker in Gothenburg Trophy

Sunday, 25 February 2018
CSI5*-W Gothenburg 2018

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Robert Whitaker and Cash Sent won the Gothenburg Trophy. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Saturday night's highlight at Gothenburg Horse Show was the CSI5* Gothenburg Trophy presented by Volvo, worth 850,000 Swedish kroner. With the fences set to the height of 1.55m, the first round counted 13 obstacles and 16 efforts. A wall as fence number four turned out to be a no-go for some of the horses, causing some surprising refusals. Only seven pairs of the 30 horse-and-rider combinations that were lined up for the challenge set by the Swedish course designer Peter Lundström, kept a clean score and joined the jump-off over a shortened, eight-fence track. 

First out was Robert Whitaker (GBR) on the 11-year-old gelding Cash Sent (Verdi x Niveau), who's time of 37,15 seconds turned out to be unbeatable. The British rider was overwhelmed with the win. "It is amazing," he said afterwards. "I have had this horse for a couple of years now. He did not have that much experience when I got him, and in the last year I have stepped him up to the bigger classes. To win this class tonight is just amazing. To be honest, for the jump-off was trying to go clear and just do what the horse was ready to do and not more. It actually worked out quite well; there were a lot of verticals in the jump-off and I think that is where I got lucky, really. I did not think I was fast enough to win!" 

Crowd favorite Stephanie Holmén (SWE) on the 14-year-old mare Carma (Cardento x Ralmé Z) had another great day at the office, clocking a time of 37,71 seconds and slotting in on the runner-up position. The young Swede who recently took her first ever World Cup win in Zürich, was impressed with her horse. "This class was much more than the horse has done before," she commented. "This was her first international Grand Prix class, so I am very proud of her. It will be great to have another horse to go next to Flip's Little Sparrow this summer. It is a dream coming true, I have been coming to this show since I was 8-years-old." 

Marcus Ehning (GER) on the 15-year-old stallion Cornado NRW (Cornet Obolensky x Acobat) clocked the fastest time of the night, but had to settle for third place after a pole hit the floor in 35,49 seconds. Ehning, who has won this particular class three times in the past, was really going for the win. "My horse jumped amazing. I was placed second in the big class the first day and placed third yesterday, so I really wanted to win today," he said. 

Steve Guerdat (SUI) on the 12-year-old gelding Corbinian (Cornet Obolensky x Pilot) placed fourth after a daring round in 36,73 seconds, and Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) on the 10-year-old gelding Icos (Cicero Z x Contender) took the fifth spot with a time of 39,19 seconds – both with four faults each.

Text and pictures © World of Showjumping

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