Neumünster, Germany – February 19, 2023 – It is a great and a beautiful thing to win the €52,600 Grand Prix of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken CSI 3* and the satisfaction of Sweden’s legendary show jumper Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) was evident. “I’ve been here in Holstein for almost exactly 20 years and you can call that a home win – especially with a Holsteiner stallion.” The eleven-year-old gray stallion Zuccero (VDL Zirocco Blue x Caretino 2) gave the Swede, who lives in Oelixdorf, victory in the most prestigious jumping competition of the VR Classics, which is endowed with euros.
A success that was happily welcomed by the audience in the sold-out Holstenhalle. Bengtsson now hopes that the stallion, which belongs to the Holsteiner Verband, will stay in his stables for a long time. Second place went to a Dutchman who – in terms of medals at the Olympics, World Championships and European Championships – rides at a similarly high level as the winner.
Jur Vrieling (NED) jumped to second place with Comme-Laude W (Comme il Faut 5 x Diagonal) and joked around. “Immediately after the gold at the European Championships, Zirocco Blue multiplied here in Germany and now we’re second behind Rolf,” laughed Vrieling. His former top horse Zirocco Blue is the father of the winning horse Zuccero.
A very emotional situation was third place in the grand prix for Alexander Housen (BEL) from Belgium. Only 14 days ago, the Belgian received permission to start and competed for the first time at three-star level with the mare Cassandra HSP (Sandro Boy x Calido I): “She jumped very well and we were initially only involved in the horse, my father only gave it to the co-owner in December, buying a share and now it’s ours.” The VR Classics are a very unusual and great tournament – both Vrieling and Housen addressed the organizers with this compliment.
Janne Friederike Meyer-Zimmermann (GER) still has victory in the Grand Prix of the Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken on her “bucket list”, as she assured with a laugh. A single drop at the last obstacle for Meyer-Zimmermann and Messi van’t Ruytershof prevented a top placing
Final Results – €52,600 Grand Prix of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken CSI 3*
1) Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) & Zuccero – 0 / 0 – 38.06
2) Jur Vrieling (NED) & Comme Laude W – 0 / 0 – 38.11
3) Alexander Housen (BEL) & Cassandra HSP – 0 / 0 – 39.40
Source: Press Release (translated & edited) from the VR Classics – Neumünster
Photo: © Bemer Riders Tour / VR Classics – Neumünster / Pferdefotografie Stefan Lafrentz © http://www.sportfotos-lafrentz.de by Stefan Lafrentz