Photo by: Scoopdyga.
The International Longines Horse Show of Lausanne event has begun. And what a performance at Place de Bellerive for this new edition orchestrated by Jean-François Danton and the AEM Sport Team.
The first to inaugurate the paddock decked out in Longines blue (title partner of the event) were the CSI U25 riders, the competition reserved for the under-25s. Surprised by the beauty of the training area, at the edge of Lake Geneva, the 29 competitors however did not forget their podium goal.
The Butet Rider’s Academy award (Table A against the clock at 1.30m) was finally applauded to the French Marseillaise thanks to the Haute-Savoie rider, Victoire Echelard, and Querif Hoy, a 12-year-old French saddle gelding. Jennifer Meylan and Opportune de Bloye gave Switzerland 2nd place on the podium, leaving 3rd place to the Belgian Thibault Vermeulen and Baccord du Abnt.
As the sun reached its zenith and the thermometer registered 28 degrees, in the wake of the CSI U25, the Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc award (CSI1*) brought together 36 riders in this competition with the bar at a height of 1.25m in Table A against the clock. Another victory for France with the Rouannais Charles Henri Fermé/Volonté d’Eve, an 11-year-old Belgian mare (SBS). Switzerland took the rest of the podium with respectively Rachel Sandoz/Gigolo III in 2nd place and Jessy Putallaz/Salomé de Crann in 3rd place.
At 2 pm, 11 pairs of riders/horses maintained the sporting rhythm of the day, and entered the arena to compete in the Mövenpick Hotel Lausanne award (Table A against the clock at 1.15m), an event that resounded to the American anthem thanks to Molly Ohrstrom on Jimy. They beat Leah Decroes (SUI)/Bella Vita classed 2nd before Jennifer Hochstadter (LIE)/Thor Talma, 3rd.
The FEI Solidarity Program award completed this first day of competitions. Starting from 50 pairs, only 15 completed a clear round to qualify for the jump-off. A final neck and neck that crowned the tricolour Simon Lorrain and Troika Denfer, a 9-year-old Holsteiner stallion. Mark McAuley/Utchan de Belheme from Ireland finished 2nd, beating Hansueli Sprunger (SUI)/Isaac vd Bisschop, 3rd.
What they said:
Victoire Echelard (FRA, 1st in the Butet Rider’s Academy Award):
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to be invited to this competition. It is a rarity for me to take part in a competition like this, which is generally open to riders competing in the European Championships – not my case. I would like to thank Jean-François Danton for the invitation and for his confidence in me. The facilities are absolutely fantastic. I am not really used to riding against the clock but luckily my horse is very fast. Winning here is special because I am surrounded by the best riders in the world and I feel really at home here [his parents have facilities near Geneva, ed.]. There are plenty of people I know; it’s really nice. I always try to ride for myself and not put any extra pressure on.”
Michel Robert (FRA, CSI2* competitor):
“I am delighted to be here. It’s wonderful! The facilities are superb and the horses are well housed. The stables are well ventilated and all stalls have a window! The horses were very surprised to see the lake and boats. In fact, I think my horse has not missed a single boat departure. I hope that he will eventually focus on the obstacles instead. It was a very positive initiative to propose a completely free competition open to the public. It is very important for the promotion of sport.”
Laetitia du Couëdic (SUI, CSI5* competitor):
“I am delighted to be here. This is my 3rd CSI5* and the first with Cheyenne. It is a wonderful opportunity to compete at this level, as it is quite difficult to get a place in the top-level. Many thanks to the organisers for giving me this opportunity. I am delighted to represent the Young Riders Academy of Lausanne. The facilities are beautiful and the grounds are good sized. It’s not easy to find space in the city centre but the gamble has paid off. The courses are very well built and well dimensioned. I am delighted to participate! Given the list of committed riders, I think we will see some really good riding. I am not taking my participation lightly!”
Pierre Brunschwig (SUI, CSI2* competitor):
“It is a real pleasure to compete here. The course looks perfect and the conditions are ideal. The competition is completely free, which is an excellent initiative and I hope that the stands will be full!”
Thierry Rozier (FRA, CSI2* competitor):
“I love this new layout! It’s a genuine positive change. It has space; is well ventilated, with a view of the beautiful lake. The event is very convivial and everything has been well thought out! Opening the event with free entry to the public is essential for the discovery of our beautiful sport. We must not forget the younger generation.”
Programme and full results of the day: www.longinestiming.com/#!/show-jumping/2016/1220/html/en/longinestiming/index.html
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