Grimaud, France – August 22, 2020 – Scott Brash (GBR) won the Hubside Jumping Grand Prix CSI 4* for the second time in career. Currently the tenth best rider in the world, it was with Hello Jeﬀerson that the Brit claimed the feature class of the week.
A 5* First Round
Such an amazing line-up and world stars is no laughing matter! The Hubside Jumping de Grimaud’s 4* Grand Prix, which was elaborated last night by the Italian course designer Andrea Colombo, was demanding… but not unreasonably so! A good third of the forty-eight riders competing in the class were unsuccessful despite a few clear rounds Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), Grégory Wathelet (BEL), Jessica Springsteen (USA), Alexandra Thornton (GBR) and Laurent Goffinet (BEL) but in a time that was too slow compared to the one set by Colombo.
France’s Edward Levy, who is really on a roll at the moment, was the first of a string of riders to jump clear with Rebeca LS, and confirmed the excellent form of his string of horses. Second twice yesterday in the 1.40m class (with Starlette de la Roque) and the 1.45m class (with Broadway de Mormoulin), he already had a victory under his belt this afternoon with Confidence d’Ass in the 1.40m class and won the CSI 3* Grand Prix at the Longines Deauville Classic last week with Sirius Black.
What an amazing string of horses! Only two riders had qualified for the jump-off half-way through the Grand Prix, as the young Levy, 25-years-old, was joined by his elder, the current Olympic team gold medallist from the Parisian region, Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), who managed to qualify thanks to his perfect round with Castleforbes Vladimir. Two jump-off riders before the break…In the second part of this first round five other combinations managed to qualify thankfully.
Darragh Kenny (IRL), the seventh best rider in the world currently, represented Ireland in this evening’s Grand Prix jump-off with Balou de Reventon. Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Igor, the Belgian combination that won the team gold medal at the most recent European Championships also jumped the first round clear. Pénélope Leprévost (FRA) , the best European female rider in the world rankings currently and the gold medallist with the French team at the Rio Olympics, also went through to the jump-off with Excalibur de la Tour Vidal. As did her fellow countryman Simon Delestre (FRA) with Berlux Z.
The last combination to set off was also the last to qualify for the jump-off: the current World number 10 and the Olympic team gold medallist in 2012, Scott Brash (GBR) , also obtained his ticket to the jump-off with Hello Jefferson. So the jump-off featured seven combinations in total.
Scott Brash: 26 hundredths of a Second Faster than Levy!
First to go, Edward Levy (FRA), who has made Normandy his home, had the first clear round, with an impressive pace, establishing the time to beat for a long time. Bosty, the Olympic team gold medallist, in his inimitable style, undoubtedly took too many risks and knocked over the first fence; the rider from Barbizon didn’t have any regrets as his horse stopped in front of the second last fence… Ireland’s Darragh Kenny (IRL) didn’t manage to worry Levy and finished with four penalty-points.
Although Belgium’s Jos Verlooy (BEL) was the second double clear he didn’t manage to improve on the French rider’s time; a French victory was looking very likely at this stage in the jump-off! Pénélope Leprévost (FRA) and Simon Delestre (FRA) were also double clear but didn’t manage to go faster than Levy, or Verlooy, who were both still in the lead in the provisional line-up. Scott Brash (GBR), who was last to go, was able to count on the powerful stride of his Hello Jefferson! Bingo! After an initial victory last October with Hello Senator, he guided the 11-year-old bay Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cooper vd Heffinck x Irco Mena) flawlessly in both rounds towards penalty-free performances. The Brit used the advantage of being the last combination in the jump-off, being bold to post the winning time in 39.52 seconds. With a perfect second round and a time that was twenty-six hundreds of a second faster, he finished ahead of the young French rider and won his second 4* Grand Prix in Grimaud.
Edward Levy (FRA), who has been performing very well recently. In the end, the Frenchman and Rebeca LS (Rebozo La Silla x Cassini I) had no penalties attributed to them, claiming silver honors in 40.18 seconds.
Having won team gold and individual bronze at the 2019 FEI Jumping European Championships, Jos Verlooy (BEL) was up to his old trick, securing third-place honors aboard Igor (Emerald x Nabab de Reve). The dynamic duo were consistent again, going clear in 40.26 seconds during the tiebreaker.
Winner’s Circle: Scott Brash (GBR)
“I’m delighted with Jefferson’s performance. He really is an exceptional horse. It took a while for me to be able to handle him, he is really powerful. But now we have formed a real combination and it works very well. I have been riding him for two years, but it took several months before we really became a combination. But he is brilliant, very intelligent. There were only seven jump-off riders this evening, but I really want to congratulate the course designer who did a fantastic job. He didn’t have an easy task and had to deal with an extraordinary line-up: there were virtually exclusively riders and horses that usually compete at 5* shows.
So he had to create a 5*-level course, otherwise there would have been twenty clears after the first round, which is not what you want. So well done to Andrea Colombo: his courses were fair, there were rails down on all the fences. I watched the jump-off round of Edward Levy, who was first to go. His mare has a very fast stride but it seemed shorter than Jefferson’s. So I really focused on my horse’s powerful stride to take out a stride before the final fence. It’s possible that I took out other strides elsewhere on the course as well.
It’s the second 4* Grand Prix that I’ve won here at the Hubside Jumping. I would love to add next week’s CSI5* Grand Prix to my list of wins! All of the riders agree that Sadri Fegaier has done an exceptional job as an organiser and we are all very grateful to him. Tonight’s Grand Prix which was held in the evening reminded us all of this really special atmosphere that we all love which is really great. We all needed to experience that.”
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release (edited) by Daniel Koroloff for Hubside Jumping
Photos: © Hubside Jumping / Marco Villanti / Ljuba Buzzola