Belgium’s Wathelet reigns supreme in Lyon

In a truly sensational 14-horse jump-off, Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet steered Jamesbond de Hay to victory in the third leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2023/2024 Western European League at Lyon (FRA) today. This was the first time for a Belgian rider to take the win at the hugely popular French fixture.

The host nation’s speed-master, Julien Epaillard, set what seemed like an impossible target when galloping through the finish in 33.10 seconds with Dubai du Cedre when ninth to go against the clock. But Wathelet and his big-striding 12-year-old stallion shaved 0.17 seconds off that when third-last into the arena and couldn’t be caught.

British riders Ben Maher (Dallas Vegas Batilly) and Harry Charles (Romeo 88) finished third and fourth while another Belgian, Pieter Devos (Jarina J), finished fifth ahead of Frenchwoman Megane Moisonnier (Cordial) in sixth place.

Maximum points from today’s result leaves Wathelet in sixth spot on the Western European League leaderboard at this early stage of the 14-leg series which leads to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Riyadh (KSA) next April.

The WEL action now moves on to round four in Verona, Italy next weekend.


FEI Press release by Louise Parkes
Image: Equita Lyon 2023