A VIKING victory in the Rikstoto Grand Prix in Oslo

19 October - It took a Viking to win the Rikstoto Grand Prix in Oslo. Out of 21 to the jump off, Viking and his rider Michael Whitaker cleared the fences and won with a fraction of a second. 

Time was of the essence with so many riders in the jump off. Dutchman Jur Vrieling whizzed around the course in a flash with his Flash Dance V. Kalevallei, finishing clear at 34,22 s. Two handfulls of the world’s best riders tried to beat this, but it took a fair amount of experience and a Viking to do so. Michael Whitaker concentrated on going clear on the second jump, a vertical following a sharp turn, then the throttle went in and the horse went off. They finished at 34,20 s which proved to be impossible to beat. – Viking has been a little down for a period without us being able to find out why, but now he proved that he is where he should be again, the brit commented. – The challenge in this course was quite simply the speed.


It all comes down to experience


Geir Gulliksen was once again best home rider, as last year he was placed as number nine with his Edesa S Banjan. – With so many horses in the jump off there will be a lot of four faults. With the World Cup coming up tomorrow, I went for a medium speed. Point one was to clear the first vertical, I probably lost some time there, but it was necessary. It all comes down to experience, to ride the course the way your horse needs you to. You need a lot of mileage at this level, as you can see by the top ten of this class, Gulliksen said with a grin.


Olympic champion Steve Guerdat (SUI) also put his experience on display, riding his wonderful Albfuehren’s Paille in an excellent way. With a powerful engine behind and well ridden turns, the horse secured a third place in the class. Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum also showed her skills with a smooth and fast ride on Atlanta, finishing fourth in the class.

Click here for full results.


Course designer Uliano Vezzani emphasized the importance of a good start on the indoor-season for the riders. – For me this was a very good class. The horses jumped fantastic. The show here in Oslo is the first indoor show, the first leg of the FEI Longines World Cup season. For the coming shows leading towards the finals, a good start is very important. 21 riders in the jump-off may be five too many, but for the riders and for the welfare of the horse, it is better with five too many than five too few.
source: http://oslohorseshow.com/