Lyon, France – October 29, 2021 – Start of the CSI 5* competition at Longines Equita Lyon with the Prix Groupama with temps différé (single phase) timing. The big names of the circuit came to get things going and take the temperature of the event.
The third rider out, the American Jessica Springsteen (USA) put in a fast time on her dynamic Volage du Val Henry, taking the lead with a time of 32”27 (4th). The tone was set! But Julien Epaillard (FRA) took up the challenge! With some sharp turns, leaning forward and smooth, the French rider lowered the time to 31”43. It all looked over, but the British rider Holly Smith (GBR) showed great determination and form on Fruselli, finishing with an even faster clear round in 31”26.
“This is the horse’s first indoor competition, so I’m almost surprised that he has done so well so quickly. He is a great horse, who can go really fast. When I entered the arena, I was determined to win and I knew what I needed to do. I just had to put it into practice! This is my first visit to Longines Equita Lyon and it’s really a wonderful show, with a great atmosphere and great arenas!” said the delighted thirty-two-year-old rider. At the very end of the class, the public was holding its breath when the Swiss rider Bryan Balsiger (SUI) took third place with AK’s Courage.
Final Results – €25,654 Groupama Prize CSI 5*-W
1) Holly Smith (GBR) & Fruselli – 0 / 31.26
2) Julien Epaillard (FRA) & Solero MS – 0 / 31.43
3) Bryan Balsiger (SUI) & AK’s Courage – 0 / 32.00
Source: Press Release from Equita Lyon
Photo: © DR