Chantilly, France – July 11, 2021 – The €300,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* was the high point of this first Masters of Chantilly: a beautiful class with a beautiful course, where the priority was the horses’ welfare. There were some faults, but all of them light, some disappointing though, like the one of Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Victorio des Frotards. Thirteen protagonists were left for the jump-off, including some couples leaving for Tokyo in a few days.
Among them, the winner, Nicolas Delmotte who started in second position in this jump-off with his Olympic horse Urvoso du Roch: “As we leave for Tokyo in a few days, I didn’t want to take too much risks, but I still wanted to win. I could have gone faster, some did, but they all had one down, my choice was the right one in the end and I am very proud of my horse.”
A total of forty-seven combinations entered the grass arena of the Grandes Ecuries for the feature class of the week, a 1.60m challenge to be disputed on a course designed by Grégory Bodo (FRA). A total of 13 combinations qualified for the jump-off, led by the likes of Steve Guerdat (SUI), Martin Fuchs (SUI), Philipp Weishaupt (GER), Denis Lynch (IRL), Bertram Allen (IRL), Roge-Yves Bost (FRA), Pénélope Leprevost (FRA), and Jérôme Guéry (BEL). They were joined by Marie Demonte (FRA), Julien Gonin (FRA), Luiz Felipe de Azevedo Filho (BRA), Pedro Muylaert (BRA) and Paris Sellon (USA).
In the end, despite a conservative round from Nicolas Delmotte aboard Marie Claudine Morlion’s 2008 chestnut Selle Français gelding (Nervoso x Grand d’Escla), who opted not to risk it all, thinking about not forcing the horse too much before their trip to represent France in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
With 42″30, he put enough pressure on his opponents to push them to the limit, giving him, one month after La Baule, a second 5* Grand Prix victory. A success that boosts his confidence just before the Games: “It’s true that I’ve been 300% motivated for a little while now. My horse is in extraordinary shape. After La Baule, he had a week’s rest and after two small courses in Grimaud, he was at his best here in Chantilly. But despite these victories, you have to keep your feet firmly on the ground. I always say that on Monday when you get back to the stables you start again from scratch. You have to try to not put more pressure than necessary on yourself, but I do think a lot about the Games and I need to stay focused.”
Martin Fuchs (SUI) rode Leonie Jei (Baltic VDL x Corland) was not too far from the winning time, although the Swiss, who is currently the second-ranked rider in the world admitted that he was the one responsible for not being fast enough, not his horse. The Swiss was just over three-tenths of a second slower than the winners, being clocked at 42.66 seconds at the end of their second penalty-free performance.
After a stellar start to the outdoor season, Marie Demonte (FRA), this time aboard Vega de La Roche , was solid again. The French rider displayed her great riding form aboard the 2009 chestnut Selle Français mare (Diamant de Semilly x Baloubet du Rouet) towards the only other double clear of the day, securing bronze honors in 42.95 seconds.
Final Results – €300,000 Rolex Grand Prix of Chantilly CSI 5*
1) Nicolas Delmotte (FRA) & Urvoso du Roch – 0 / 0 – 42.30
2) Martin Fuchs (SUI) & Leonie Jei – 0 / 0 – 42.66
3) Marie Demonte (FRA) & Vega de La Roche – 0 / 0 – 42.95
Source: Press Release (edited) by Pascal Renauldon / Agence R&B Presse for Masters of Chantilly / EEM
Photos: © Rolex Masters of Chantilly / Pascal Renauldon / Agence R&B Presse / Jessica Rodrigues / EEM