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Martin Fuchs takes an emotional home win in the Longines Grand Prix of Zürich

Saturday, 27 January 2018
CSI5*-W Zürich 2018

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping. Martin Fuchs celebrating his Grand Prix win in Zürich. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

A tradition that Rolf Theiler started with his brother in 1988, the CSI5*-W event in Zürich, Switzerland, sees its last edition be held this weekend. And the start on Friday with the 100,000 CHF Longines Grand Prix, could not have been more emotional as last year's winner Martin Fuchs (SUI) again was victorious, this time with the 12-year-old gelding Clooney (Cornet Obolensky x Ferragamo). 

The Swiss course designer Guido Balsinger had set a challenging 1.55m course that counted 12 obstacles and 15 efforts in the first round. Only seven horse-and-rider combinations of the 42 that lined up kept a clean sheet and joined the jump-off over a shortened, eight-fence track. 

Luca Maria Moneta (ITA) on the 17-year-old gelding Connery (Cordobes II x Polydor) clocked a time of 35,68 seconds early on, setting the standard for the rest to follow. His time seemed unbeatable until the very last pair, Fuchs and Clooney, entered the ring. 

Crossing the finish line in 35,12 seconds, Fuchs could celebrate his second five-star Grand Prix win within two weeks – having topped the Grand Prix of Basel as well earlier this month. "It was a special day for me today," Martin told the press afterwards. "I woke up nervous, which I am normally not. I went for breakfast, and could not eat anything and my hands were shaking," he said. "But by the time I got to the indoor, I felt much better already. It is a very warm and welcoming here, I met a lot of friends and support and got a great opening result in the first class and won the second class of the day. So then I was back on track," he smiled.

"Clooney is in great shape," Martin continued, talking about his winning ride. "He showed it already two weeks ago and today I felt he was good. I saw Luca go in the jump-off and he has a fast horse and he is a fast rider, so I knew I had to take all the risk in the beginning of the course. From one to three I think I beat him."

With his voice breaking, Martin explained what made this win very special for him: "I want to dedicate this to my godfather Willi Melliger. He was a big supporter for me, and I am sure he was watching us today." 

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping. Martin Fuchs and Clooney on their way to victory. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

Bertram Allen (IRL) on the 12-year-old gelding Gin Chin van het Lindenhof (Chin Chin x Calido I) placed third with a time of 37,37 seconds, while Philipp Weishaupt (GER) on the 12-year-old gelding Chacon (Chacco Blue x Aventyno) took the fourth place after clocking a time of 35,60 seconds. Anna-Julia Kontio (FIN) on the 10-year-old gelding Lorenzo (Landos x Limbus) placed fifth with a time of 40,84 seconds. 

Second placed Luca Maria Moneta was pleased with his result. "I am really happy", he said in the press conference. "I went in the beginning of the class and I think I did one too many from one to two, I did eight strides there," he explained. "I am proud of my horse, to be beaten by Martin is a big honour." Moneta went on to explain how his 17-year-old partner Connery is "only getting younger". "He is with me since he was ten," Moneta said. "He arrived because he was a little bit special. In the beginning I did not really expect him to be this good. I think he enjoys competition, and he is a real fighter." 

Martin Fuchs had a good day at the office, also topping the 1.45m Price of the Top 40. Riding the 9-year-old mare Dubai du Bois Pinchet (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Andiamo), Fuchs clocked the winning time of 54,00 seconds. Luca Maria Moneta (ITA) on the 17-year-old gelding Neptune Brecourt (Cavalor Cumano x Kayack) and Sameh El Dahan (EGY) on the 11-year-old mare WKD Diva (Balourado x Hors La Loi II) both stopped the timers on 54,41 seconds, sharing the runner-up position. Jerome Guery (BEL) on the 16-year-old stallion Papillon Z (Perhaps V Berkenbroeck x San Patrignano Cassini) took the fourth place, and the fifth spot went to Simon Delestre (FRA) on the 12-year-old gelding Gain Line (Stolzenberg x Raphael)

Text and pictures © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

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