Simon Delestre shines in €160,000 Grand Prix of Valence CSI4*

French riders swept the top placings of the €160,000 Grand Prix of Valence CSI4* in Valence, France on Sunday August 28th, emphasizing their new status as Olympic Champions.

Simon Delestre took a well deserved 1st place aboard Chesall Zimequest, with Kevin Staut & For Joy van’T Zorgvilet HDC in 2nd, and Roger Yves Bost in 3rd with Sangria du Coty.

For Delestre, it was a needed victory after the crushing disappointment of having to withdraw his Olympic partner Hermés Ryan in Rio, just days before the Olympic show jumping began. The Longines FEI ranked World No. 2 rider was considered the clutch member of the Olympic team, but when Ryan sustained a minor injury in his stall, Delestre’s Olympic participation ended.

France went on to win Olympic Team Gold with alternate rider Philippe Rozier, who was also in attendance at Valence. While Hermés Ryan recovers at Delestre’s base in France, Delestre picked up the reins of a horse that’s become a true superstar for the French rider this year.

Chesall Zimequest, ranked the best performing horse in the world with Delestre, has picked up a string of CSI5* victories this season, with Valence simply being the latest.

The starting order of 45 produced a jumpoff of just seven riders, four of them French. Rene Lopez of Colombia and Edwina Tops Alexander of Australia, also fresh from their performances in Rio, joined the jumpoff group, as did Charlotte Mordasini of Sweden.

Just four riders managed a clear in the jumpoff, with Tops Alexander on Lintea Tequila giving way to the three French riders.

Delestre’s time of 41.56 seconds was unbeatable, but there were plenty of smiles and camaraderie in the all-French prizegiving. The Olympic champions were honored throughout the weekend in special ceremonies at Valence, and for Delestre, the grand prix victory was his own moment to shine.

Source:  Press Release