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Patience pays off for Pieter Devos at the Equita Masters in Lyon

Sunday, 05 November 2017
CSI5*-W Lyon 2017

Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping. Pieter Devos won Saturday night's Equita Masters in Lyon with Gin D. Photo (c) Nanna Nieminen for World of Showjumping.

Saturday night's highlight at the CSI5*-W event in Lyon was the Equita Master presented by Equithème. Pieter Devos (BEL) on the 11-year-old Gin D (Clinton I x Skippy II) took home the win – much to his own amazement: "We have had this horse since he was a foal," the happy winner said after the class. "It has been a long way with him – I am actually surprised with the win today, and so delighted with the way he jumped," Devos said after the class.

The 20 best from Friday's Longines Grand Prix were qualified to compete over the 1.60m course set by the French course designer Grégory Bodo. The ten best pairs over the first round, that counted 12 obstacles and 15 efforts, were then set to continue in the second round over a shortened track.

Only four horse and rider combinations cleared the first round: Alberto Zorzi (ITA) on the 13-year-old mare Contanga (Catoki x Contango), Pieter Devos (BEL) on Gin D, Lauren Hough (USA) on the 14-year-old gelding Waterford (Coolcorron Cool Diamond x Julio Mariner XX) and Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) on the 9-year-old mare Dana Blue (Mr. Blue x Hemingway). They were joined by Penelope Leprevost (FRA) on the 9-year-old stallion Urano de Cartigny (Diamant de Semilly x Double Espoir), Bertram Allen (IRL) on the 11-year-old gelding Gin Chin van het Lindenhof (Chin Chin x Calido I), Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) on the 9-year-old gelding Iron Man (Chatman x Capitol I), Steve Guerdat (SUI) on the 11-year-old mare Cayetana (Robin II Z x Papillon Rouge), Marcus Ehning (GER) on the 11-year-old mare Cristy (Canturo x Landlord) and Christian Ahlmann (GER) on the 14-year-old stallion Colorit (Coriano x Capitol) – all carrying four faults from the first round.

Devos and Gin D kept a clean sheet also over the second round, securing the win with a time of 38,90 seconds. Lauren Hough and Waterford took the runner-up position with a clear round in a time of 39,22 seconds and the third double clear pair of the night, Zorzi on the wonderful Contanga, placed third with a time of 39,93 seconds. "This is the first time my horse jumped a 1.60m course - so I am very happy with her and did not want to push her to go too fast on the second round," Zorzi commented on his ride. Leaving all the fences intact on the second round, Penelope Leprevost improved her position with Urano de Cartigny, placing fourth right ahead of Bertram Allen, who also left the poles up on the second round with Gin Chin van het Lindenhof and took the fifth spot in the end.

"Gin D is a half-brother of my first Grand Prix horse," Pieter Devos said about his special ride. "So it is a long story with him – my wife Caroline has actually ridden him more than me, and has done a great job producing him. Gin D has always been very stressed in the ring, and he has required a lot of time and effort," Pieter continued. "To be honest, I did not have the patience with him as a young horse, but Caroline took her time. I have been riding Gin since the beginning of this year, as Caroline was pregnant, and step by step he has improved. Already last weekend in Verona I felt that he is on the right track," Pieter said. "I am very happy that it all worked out today – there are not many places like Lyon, the audience here is just amazing, they are so encouraging and engaged. And it is also the first show for our two months old daughter Lisa!"


Text and picture © World of Showjumping by Nanna Nieminen

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