Marlon Modolo Zanotelli and VDL Edgar M win the CSI5 * Grand Prix at Hubside Jumping in Grimaud!

Forty-six competitors among the best riders and horses in the world; a perfect round for thirteen of them: the only CSI 5* on the planet held in August fulfilled all of its promises in the ring of the HUBSIDE JUMPING de Grimaud. And as a bonus, a victory for Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, World No.18, with VDL Edgar M, who dominated the class faced with a jump-off of expert riders…and won the first 5* Grand Prix of his career! Grégory Bodo, the French course designer who has been in great demand at shows for the past two years, was responsible for creating tonight’s track.

He designed a first round which was on a par with the incredible line-up boasted by the HUBSIDE JUMPING since international competition resumed: perfectly balanced, respectful of the horses, spectacular! The percentage of jump-off riders (twenty-five) generally recognised as the perfect ratio for this level of competition, was virtually respected. And what jump-off riders they were! Olivier Robert, first to go in this second round reserved for those who had jumped the first one clear, had one pole down with Vivaldi des Meneaux.

The new Dutch national gold medallist, Marc Houtzager suffered a worse fate and left Grimaud’s big ring with eight faults. The first double clear was for France’s Kevin Staut, the current Olympic team gold medallist, tonight riding Viking d’La Rousserie, in a quick time...but which seemed beatable. Belgium’s Grégory Wathelet, the next rider to go, shaved two seconds off the Norman’s time, but knocked down one pole. So Kevin remained in the lead! However, he didn’t stay so for long as Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts on H&M Legend Of Love, and after him, Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano and his unusual Chalou, successively occupied the pole position.

Marcus Ehning, the German maestro, and his experienced Misanto Prêt A Tout didn’t manage to unseat them. When he came into the ring, Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, was an outsider in this jump-off of champions. And yet... With a double clear round, the thirty something rider was as fast as lightening and went into the lead of the Grand Prix’s provisional line-up. After him, the greatest riders, Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, World no. 13 and the winner of the 2011 World Cup Final, the Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten, World no.12 and the winner of two 4* Grands Prix in Grimaud, Scotland’s Scott Brash, World no.10, the 2012 Olympic team gold medallist and the winner of last week’s Grand Prix in this same ring and the Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders, World no. 19, all had one pole down and didn’t manage to unseat the Brazilian.

But a jump-off is never over until France’s Julien Epaillard has been in the ring. The speed king from Normandy loves this kind of challenge but had to admit defeat tonight, and finished with four faults. At thirty-two years of age, Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli won his first 5* Grand Prix.

Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (BRA): “First of all, I would like to thank my whole team who do a great job at home, as well as the owners of VDL Edgar M, who is a very special horse. He was placed in the top 5 of all of the most recent 5* Grands Prix in which he has competed and was very close to winning every time. Now that has happened and what’s more, it’s the first time that I have won a 5* Grand Prix! He jumped wonderfully, I’m really delighted, he is an amazing horse.” [Regarding the Mercedes vertical which was knocked down a lot in the jump-off] “It was placed in a bend on the right with white poles which were difficult for the horses to make out. I also think that speed and fatigue after the double contributed to unbalancing the horses. Moreover, Edgar brushed the first element of the double but I know he is very careful, so I was able to take risks. He is wonderful! I hope to come back to Grimaud for the series of shows in September and I would like to thank Sadri Fegaier and the whole organising team who allow us to do our job and practice our sport in this very difficult period. It is very important for us and for the horses.”

Press Release

© Ljuba Buzzola pour HUBSIDE JUMPING

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