Grimaud, France – September 26, 2021 – Steve Guerdat (SUI) 1st, Peder Fredricson (SWE) 2nd, Simon Delestre (FRA) 3rd, it would be difficult to dream of a better podium to bring this second week of the Hubside Fall Tour to a conclusion ! Riding Victorio des Frotards, the untouchable Swiss rider gave his opponents no chance taking the 1.60 m Hubside Jumping Grimaud – Golfe de Saint Tropez Grand Prix 5* after a jump-off worthy of the biggest rendezvous! At the end of the morning, the multiple champion had already been victorious in the major class of the CSI 2* with his very good Ulysse des Forêts.
Steve Guerdat (SUI) gave himself an undeniable victory in the 1.60m Grand Prix CSI 5*! Olympic Champion, European Team Champion, former World number one and recent winner of the CP International Grand Prix CSIO 5* at Spruce Meadows , the Swiss rider on Victorio des Frotards, a 12-year-old gelding, has once again shown the extent of his talent at the Hubside Jumping Grimaud – Golfe de St Tropez.
13 obstacles and 16 jumping efforts awaited the 42 riders on the start list on Sunday afternoon, which included 5 out of the World top 10. As soon as the course was open, Germany’s Daniel Deusser (#1) gave his feelings: “The course includes several difficulties, what the course designer proposes is quite tricky, in particular the final combination (a double vertical-oxer) which is going to cause a lot of faults. The time allowed will also play against us, we need to be fast but not lose precision.” That was an understatement!
From the very first to go, this last line – the double at n°12 followed by a final vertical six strides later- proved to be the real test, depriving France’s Alexa Ferrer, Philippe Rozier (FRA), Kevin Staut (FRA), Jeanne Sadran, Grégory Cottard (FRA) but also the Sweden’s Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli (SWE), and Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci (ITA) of a place in the jump-off.
Bruno Garez (FRA) n°11 to enter the arena was the first to find the answers to jumping the course. Accompanied by United Sunheup, he left the ring without a single pole down but with one time fault. It wasn’t until the 18th to go and the virtuosity of the World n°1, Germany’s Daniel Deusser, that the first clear round was seen in this Grand Prix. Riding Casallvano, having found the key he opened the door to clear rounds and was quickly joined by the Colombia’s Carlos Lopez (COL) , Italy’s Emanuele Camilli (ITA), France’s Simon Delestre (FRA), the Swedish Olympic champion Peder Fredricson (SWE), Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (SUI) as well as the Americans Laura Kraut (USA) and Spencer Smith (USA) and finally Ireland’s Billy Towmey.
First to go in the jump-off, Daniel Deusser immediately put the pressure on his fellow competitors with a perfect and very fast round in 44.48 seconds.
It wasn’t enough to impress the 5* riders who followed, starting with the American Laura Kraut (USA) who went faster by more than a second. Always a great performer at the top level, 16-year-old Chesall Zimequest, ridden by Simon Delestre (FRA), repeated the feat allowing his rider to take the lead in 42.94 seconds. But this was without taking into account the two big names who were to follow.
Firstly Peder Fredricson (SWE), team gold medallist in Tokyo, this time riding H&M Christian K, finished his round in 40.42s, then Steve Guerdat (SUI), who, by crossing the line and stopping the clock at 40.28, stole victory by 14 hundredths of a second from under the nose of his Swedish opponent.
Winner’s Circle – Steve Guerdat (SUI)
“I’m delighted, he always jumps well here in Grimaud but often has a faults so I was looking forward to my luck changing and that was the case today,” said the winner after the prize giving. “I’ve already won here with Victorio and to do it again is always pleasurable. In the jump-off he can be very fast but when I saw Peder’s time I hesitated about trying everything because he leaves next week for Barcelona and I didn’t really want to take too many risks. In the end, once I was in the arena I didn’t ask too many questions, I kept going and told myself that if it went well so much the better, if it didn’t it didn’t matter, I’d nothing to lose. The course caused a lot of faults as we saw in the first part of the class. One of the difficulties here at Grimaud is that the obstacles are relatively light so the horses easily leave a hind leg behind. However, they don’t jump badly, but faults happen more quickly here than elsewhere. The layouts are always very interesting, we can ride 8 year olds to help them progress, as well as more experienced horses without taking too much out of them to win, this is a credit to the course designer. This performance with Victorio gives me confidence for next week when we head to Spain for the World Cup Final.”
Final Results – €200,000 Hubside Grand Prix CSI 5*
1) Steve Guerdat (SUI) & Victorio des Frotards – 0 / 0 – 40.28
2) Peder Fredricson (SWE) & H&M Christian K – 0 / 0 – 40.42
3) Simon Delestre (FRA) & Chesall Zimequest – 0 / 0 – 42.94
Source: Press Release from Anchor Equitation for Hubside Jumping
Photos: © Sportfot