Grimaud, France – September 20, 2020 – With four French riders out of the nine qualified in the 5* Grand Prix jump-off today, there was every reason for France to be hopeful, after Nicolas Delmotte’s (FRA) victory in the CSI 4* last weekend. And although France was able to count on some of the fastest riders in the world, such as Simon Delestre (FRA) and Julien Epaillard (FRA), Ireland’s Denis Lynch (IRL) was the winner with Cristello. A look back on a thrilling Grand Prix and jump-off.
“Tricky!” This was how Belgium’s Jérôme Guéry (BEL) described the 5* Grand Prix during the course walk. And indeed it was, since after half of the forty-six combinations competing had ridden in the first round of the class, only three had managed to jump clear in the time allowed. However, the second half of the riders appeared to have found the key to overcoming the difficulties of the 1.60m course made up of thirteen fences, created by the Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani (TA). Six of them joined the trio who had already qualified for the jump-off. Nine riders went through to this jump-off, which in the end boasted no fewer than five French riders and promised to be thrilling, considering the rapidity of the combinations competing.
Although America’s Paris Sellon (USA), first to go in this jump-off with Cassandra, had one down on the first element of the combination, Nicolas Delmotte (FRA), the winner of last Sunday’s 4* Grand Prix in this same ring, had the first double clear round with Urvoso du Roch. He finished in 40.73 seconds and went into the lead of the provisional line-up.
However, the French rider was quickly relegated to the second place by Ireland’s Denis Lynch (IRL), riding his thirteen-year-old stallion Cristello. Although he was slower than the French rider half-way through the jump-off, thanks to two final tight turns, he finished in 39.14 seconds.
Simon Delestre (FRA) and Hermès Ryan set off in hot pursuit and shaved 1.49 seconds off Lynch’s time on the first part of the track, but finished in 39.32 seconds, i.e. eighteen hundredths of a second too slow to unseat the Irish rider. The same was true for Pénélope Leprévost (FRA) and GFE Excalibur de la Tour Vidal, who despite being thirty hundredths of a second faster on the first part of the course, finished in 42.34 seconds. Kevin Staut (FRA) was next to go with Tolède de Mescam*Harcour. The Olympic team gold medallist’s hopes were crushed, after knocking down the first element of the double, plus the final two fences in the jump-off. But France was still in the running with a possibility of a victory for Julian Epaillard (FRA) and Queeletta, last to go.
Before them, the current European team gold medallist, Belgium’s Pieter Devos (BEL), jumped a perfect round, in 40.90 seconds and slipped in between Delmotte and Leprévost, in the fifth position of the provisional line-up. The second-last competitor taking part in this final, Steve Guerdat (SUI), the World number 1, had one down on the second fence and also on the second element of the double. So the victory would either be for Ireland or France.
All of the French hopes were placed on the fast Julien Epaillard (FRA). With Queeleta, he managed to finish the jump-off clear. But in a time of 39.70 seconds, the combination finally wound up in the third place. As this thrilling jump-off cocluded, Denis Lynch and Cristello won their first 5* Grand Prix together.
Winner’s Circle – Denis Lynch (IRL)
Despite the victory, I wouldn’t say it was an easy Grand Prix, far from it. I haven’t been riding Cristello for long enough to face “easy” Grands Prix. In fact, we bought him in December, then we were stopped, in the construction of the couple, by the confinement, while our debut was going well. So we started over when we were allowed to go back to the competition. And I must say that our last competitions went very well. Last week, we were unlucky in the Valkenswaard Grand Prix where we got four points. Today, I had a great feeling; I was like “It’s our turn! “. I am really delighted with what Cristello has produced in terms of the course! Despite everything, we are still getting to know each other: I know he is a very courageous horse, very big too (smile). Thanks to his great stride and his fighting spirit, I can now confirm that we have our chances. It is a pleasure to run such events with him: he will always look for the next obstacle, he is very respectful and willful. It’s really lucky to have him in my stable.LikeComment
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release by Daniel Koroloff / Blizko Communication for Hubside Jumping
Photos: © Hubside Jumping / Marco Villanti / Filippo Gabutti
Les Impressions de Denis Lynch (IRL)
Malgré la victoire, je ne dirais pas que c’était un Grand Prix aisé, loin de là. Je ne monte pas Cristello depuis assez longtemps pour affronter des Grands Prix « faciles ». En fait, nous l’avons acheté en décembre, puis nous avons été stoppés, dans la construction du couple, par le confinement, alors que nos débuts se passaient bien. Nous avons donc repris du début lorsque nous avons été autorisés à retourner en concours. Et je dois dire que nos dernières compétitions se sont très bien passées. La semaine dernière, nous avons manqué de chance dans le Grand Prix de Valkenswaard où nous écopons de quatre points. Aujourd’hui, j’avais un super feeling ; je me suis dit « C’est notre tour ! ». Je suis vraiment ravi de ce que Cristello a produit en termes de parcours ! Malgré tout, nous sommes encore en train d’apprendre à nous connaître : je sais que c’est un cheval très courageux, très grand aussi (sourire). Grâce à sa grande foulée et sa combativité, j’ai désormais la confirmation que nous avons nos chances. C’est un plaisir de courir de telles épreuves avec lui : il va systématiquement chercher l’obstacle suivant, est très respectueux et volontaire. C’est une vraie chance de l’avoir dans mon écurie.
Pour tous les résultats, cliquez ici.
Source: Comuniqué de presse par Daniel Koroloff / Blizko Communication pour Hubside Jumping
Photos: © Hubside Jumping / Marco Villanti / Filippo Gabutti