The French rider Patrice Delaveau stopped Daniel Deusser in his race for the Grand Slam of Indoor showjumping, the three riders of the podium were standing in 0.15 seconds in this second round. With his fantastic Aquila*HDC, he just came back to the highest level and writes his name for the second time in this Longines Grand Prix of Hong Kong.
A scintillating weekend of equestrian action at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong came to a suitably dramatic conclusion in its final and most important competition, the Longines Grand Prix. The race could hardly have been closer, with Patrice Delaveau snatching victory on Aquila HDC from the Austrian Max Kühner on Cielito Lindo 2 by just 0.07 seconds in the jump-off, with Longines Grand Prix of Paris winner the German Daniel Deusser on Cornet D’Amour only another 0.08 seconds behind in third. “It was great today, and my horse was fantastic,” said Delaveau. “I love it here in Hong Kong.”
Presented by Title Partner & Official Timekeeper Longines, the Longines Grand Prix, over 1.60m obstacles, also came with the biggest prize purse of the weekend attached: a total of US$382,800. Twenty riders from 12 countries battled it out for the title over two rounds, with the 20 riders whittled down to 12 for the jump-off. A fiendish course was created for the first round by course designer Louis Konickx. Faults from the first round carried through to the winning round with the five riders who went clear in both rounds – the others were fourth-placed the Australian Jamie Kermond on Yandoo Oaks Constellation and fifth-placed Michael Whitaker on Calisto Blue – separated by their jump-off times.
A win for Deusser, victorious in Paris also on Cornet D’Amour, would have put him in with a shot at the Grand Slam Indoor super bonus of €2.25 million for winning three consecutive Longines Grand Prix in the same season in Paris – Hong Kong and New York. After his second round, riding ninth of the 12 remaining competitors, few would have bet against him doing so, but he was immediately followed into the arena by Delaveau, who shaved a fraction of a second off Deusser’s time, racing to victory in 37.81 seconds amid scenes of frenzied excitement from a packed-out crowd that got behind the riders with full-throated gusto, as they have all weekend. Kühner, who came third at last year’s Longines Grand Prix of Hong Kong on Cornet Kalua, rode straight after Delaveau, and only just missed out on snatching the title from the Frenchman’s grasp.
Patrick Delaveau (FRA) & Aquila HDC
Patrice Delaveau has a chance to collect the Grand Slam Indoor bonus of €1 million if he can win the Longines Grand Prix at the final leg of the current season of the Longines Masters Series, in New York, and follow it up with a win in Paris at the start of the 2018-19 season.
The conclusion of the Longines Grand Prix brought the 2018 edition of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong to a suitably action-packed close. But more top-quality showjumping action is never far away with the Longines Masters Series, which comes to its grand finale in New York on April 26-29, 2018. See you there.
Source: Press Release by Solenn Rispail / Agence R&B Presse for EEM / Longines Masters
Photos: © PSI – Power Sport Images for EEM