Steve Guerdat and Victorio des Frotards win the Grand Prix at CSI 5* Hubside Jumping Grimaud

Steve Guerdat Steve Guerdat

The CSI5* 1.60m Grand Prix, was the highlights at Hubside Jumping in Grimaud, France. 
Among the fourty-five at start, nine moved on to the jump-off. Signing the fastest double clear, Swiss rider Steve Guerdat number one in the world,  with Victorio des Frotards took the win with a time of 37.73. French rider Edward Levy with Rebeca LS finished second, with a time of 37.86. Swedish rider Peder Fredricson and Catch Me Not S fcompleted the podium, with a time of 38.86.

The event was eagerly awaited! The HUBSIDE JUMPING de Grimaud played host to the crème de la crème of international horses and riders for the first CSI 5* in the world since they started competing again. Judge for yourself: two thirds of the World Top 30 were present at the show organised on the initiative of Sadri Fegaier. The world hierarchy was respected on the track of the French course designer Cédric Longis, who was officiating for the first time at CSI 5*-level: Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, the World number one, triumphed with Victorio des Frotards. Three cheers for him! He finished ahead of the young French rider Edward Levy, and Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, the current World no.6. This afternoon, forty-eight horse and rider combinations, among which the best riders and horses in the world, took part in the first five-star Grand Prix to be held in Europe since 23 February! Nine of them found the key to this first round, under the sun of the French Riviera and so went through to the jump-off. Suspense to the very round Italy’s Albert Zorzi, the first rider to go in the jump-off with Cinsey, had one pole down: given the prestigious list of riders to follow, his chance of finishing on the podium were slim. Indeed, immediately France’s Edward Levy had the first double clear in a very fast time of 37:86. In doing so, he established the time to beat for several rounds...His fellow countrymen, Titouan Schumacher had one pole down, and Kevin Staut, was double clear, but not as fast (39:33), and didn’t manage to unseat Levy and his mount Rebeca LS from the pole position. Other riders tried and came close, but Levy’s time remained unbeaten! Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts and Niels Bruynseels were double clear as was Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, but Edward Levy was still the fastest rider. Germany’s Daniel Deusser, the World number 3, came into the ring, but the threat he represented subsided when he knocked a pole over. Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat was the last rider to go in this jump-off. But what a rider - the World number one, the titleholder of the Longines FEI World Cup Final and the 2012 Olympic individual gold medallist. He put an end to the suspense... and the dreams of a victory for the French rider. He was also double clear and finished thirteen hundredths of a second faster than Levy in a time of 37:73.

What the riders had to say Steve Guerdat (SUI): “The first round went really well. Victorio had already won the three 5-star Grands Prix in which he competed this year. I knew he could do it but despite this, there were a lot of unknowns in this Grand Prix, as I didn’t jump a lot with my horses during the lockdown. He jumped really well here during the first week of the HUBSIDE JUMPING and then he went home to rest a bit last week. He jumped really well in the first big class on Thursday, but in the 1m50 class on Friday I felt he was a bit tired. So I wasn’t sure how we would do today. Apparently, the day off really did him good, because during the first round he jumped incredibly. I think that he has never jumped as well as that! I had a great feeling in the ring when we jumped the first round. The jump-off of this Grand Prix was really fast, like all the classes that take place here, and that’s why I chose to ride Victorio. He really gave it his all for me in the jump-off and I’m really proud of him! Next week, I will be back in the ring here but without Victorio, who is going home to have a rest.”

Edward Levy (FRA): “It’s always frustrating to be beaten by the last rider in the ring of course, but today it was the World number 1, so it’s a good consolation prize! There was line-up worthy of a championship in this Grand Prix and my mare was extraordinary. This great result rounds off the good performances that Rebeca Ls has had here, so I’m really pleased. Even if Rebeca doesn’t have a very long stride, she is always very fast on the ground. I think that Steve and I had the same number of strides, so I really don’t know where he was faster. I have no regrets because I rode the jump-off round that I was supposed to, no matter what. Rebeca was able to have a rest during the lockdown like most of the older horses. She toned up while staying really fresh. When she got here, she was champing at the bit... And so was I! (laughs)”

Peder Fredricson (SWE): “It was really great to take part in this show and meet up with all the riders again. I really missed them (laughs). We all really missed the social side of shows. And high-level sport is of course what we missed the most. Everyone wanted to win this Grand Prix and we were all super focused! We had a great Grand Prix and the course designer did a fantastic job! I don’t think that there were any options in the jump-off that would have allowed you to save time. It was all down to the horses’ abilities.”

Earlier in the day, the legendary German rider Marcus Ehning won the HUBSIDE JUMPING’s CSI 2* Grand Prix. “I’m thrilled with Cristy,” explained the winner. “She has had a lot of experience at 5*- level, but I wanted her to ease her back in to competing again. She was able to demonstrate all her qualities and her natural rapidness in the jump-off. I really enjoyed myself! I was here two weeks ago. This show is amazing. What the organisation is doing is really fabulous, and even more so in the current context. I’m delighted to be here and we’re lucky to be able to count on organisers such as those of the HUBSIDE JUMPING who do a lot for us. Cristy will be back in the ring next weekend for the CSI 4*. I don’t know exactly in which classes she will compete as I have several good horses here with me in Grimaud. But I am pleased that I’m staying here for another week to compete!”

The HUBSIDE JUMPING is held with the presence of the public, in accordance with the health guidelines in force in France. Admission to the show is free of charge. We look forward to seeing you next week, from 9 to 12 July, for a CSI 4*, a CSI 2* and a CSI 1*.

press release

image by IJRC/F.Petroni

See full results here.

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