A thrilling jump-off led Jos Verlooy (BEL) and his 13-year-old stallion Caracas to victory in the Longines Grand Prix. It is the first time in the seventy year history of the event that Belgium has taken a win in this category. Reigning European Champion and last year’s winner of the Longines Grand Prix Peder Fredricson (SWE) came in second with H&M Christian K and Swiss Janika Sprunger placed third with Bacardi VDL
Out of the fifty combinations to compete, eleven rode the course built by course designer Alan Wade without any errors to secure a place in the jump-off. Five combinations received a time penalty, leaving them just short of the jump-off. Sadly for the home crowd, among those five were Dutch riders Michel Hendrix, Willem Greve and Gerco Schröder.
Obstacle three, a vertical, proved to be deciding in tonight’s jump-off, as only four combinations managed to leave it intact. Jos Verlooy followed his trainer Harrie Smolders’ advice and that worked out well for him. After Verlooy’s run with Caracas, five combinations attempted to better his quick, faultless run but proved unsuccessful.
Our compliments to course designer Alan Wade, who along with Louis Konickx created a tough but fair course for the Longines Grand Prix. Alan Wade will also design the course for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon (USA).