It was under a bright sun that the CSI 5*1.50m Grand Prix, the highlight of the day, got underway in the early afternoon. Seven reached the jump-off and at the end, it was Germany’s Hans-Dieter Dreher who emerged victorious with Vestmalle des Cotis, a 12 year old gelding by Baloubet du Rouet. The pair have been competing together for a little over a year and have already won a 1.55m speed class, in Hamburg last August. Although just starting at 5* level, it looks as though they will be formidable opponents in the months ahead. “I’m really grateful to have been invited to Grimaud,” said the rider. “My horse is fantastic, he’s a big jumper, but he’s quite sensitive so I always have to be careful and gentle in my actions. He’s a 12 year old but only started 5*’s in September at Aix-la-Chapelle so he doesn’t have much experience at this level. I tried to go as fast as possible, in the line between number 2 and 3 I wanted to take 6 strides but I ended up taking 7. I lost a bit of time so the only answer was to a stride out in the last line. That’s what I did and it paid off!” René Lopez has undoubtedly been having some of his best performances over recent days. Victorious last week and then again this Thursday, the Colombian René Lopez piloting his grey Stalognia, was this time 2nd, missing out on another win by only 0”08 sec. The three times Belgian national champion Jos Verlooy finished 3rd with Fts Killossery Konfusion. The best rankings from riders representing the home nation France, were from Nicolas Delmotte with Dallas Vegas Batilly and Simon Delestre on Chesall Zimequest, they took 6th and 7th places respectively.
To continue this great afternoon of sport, another CSI 5* class awaited the riders and the public, a 1.50m speed. Great Britain’s Guy Williams riding Rouge de Ravel, previously winners here at Grimaud in September in a 1.45m, repeated his performance. “My horse loves speed classes” smiled the rider. “I can ask anything from him, he’ll always give it. I hope we can perform just as well again tomorrow in the Grand Prix”. Brazil and Switzerland complete the top three thanks to Eduardo Pereira De Menezes and H.Big Action, already successful yesterday in the 1.50m, then the rider ranked number three in the World, Martin Fuchs with Tam Tam du Valon.
Full results here