Gothenburg, Sweden – February 25, 2023 – The Gothenburg Trophy is the classically desirable title that many riders over the years have sought during the Gothenburg Horse Show. Many have tried to take home the trophy in Scandinavium – the list of riders who have succeeded has had another addition: Victor Bettendorf (LUX) with Mr. Tac.
The cheering in the arena rose to unimaginable heights when Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), three-time winner of the Gothenburg Trophy – the first time in 1996 and most recently in 2019, and the incredibly gorgeous stallion Zuccero had a clear first round and went on to the jump-off. He secured third place with the just 11-year-old stallion who won the Neumünster Grand Prix last weekend and is predicted to have a brilliant future. In fourth place came the young Belgian Thibeau Spits (BEL) with the nine-year-old stallion Foncetti vd Heffinck, which is partly owned by the Swedish Eklunda Stuteri.
New Father & Winner of the Five-Star Grand Prix
Victor Bettendorf has had successful weeks in February with several victories and the birth of his second child with his girlfriend and partner.
– I haven’t even realized yet that I won, I’ve been watching the competitions from Gothenburg on TV since I was little and dreamed of riding here in a distant future. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to take tonight’s victory as the real deal, it has yet to sink in.
Bettendorf has been based in France for 2.5 years where he runs a stable together with his girlfriend. His father-in-law Michel Hecart helps him with the training of his horses and he has really good horse owners and the stud De La Roque as a breeder.
“I know Mr. Tac very well, I bought him when he was five and sold him when he was seven, and then the Megret family bought him for me at the beginning of last year. He is eleven years old and raised in Luxembourg – just like me, notes Bettendorf. In the jump-off, I gave everything, there were only six of us, so there was nothing to hesitate about. I’m very competitive, I don’t like to lose so I went for the win today. Before the last obstacle, there was nothing else to do than press.”
Marc Dilasser (FRA) with the horse E2k Abricot Ennemmelle, colloquially called Abricot, took second place with half a second plus on Bettendorf’s time.
“I have ridden the horse since it was seven years old, my sponsor bought the horse for me, I have a lot of faith in it because it is only his second five-star start, so to say that I am satisfied does not really cover my feelings today”, Dilasser said. I did what I could but Victor is so fast, he wins a huge number of classes. I’m older than Victor and should have won but no, he said with a laugh.”
Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) was doing well with the approved Holsteiner stallion Zuccero but was two seconds away from victory.
“It is a fantastic result for Zuccero because he is completely new at the level, he was already good last weekend in Neumünster but he needs to practice a bit more on turning quickly. He is very consistent again this weekend although he needs more practice. He is a breeding stallion from the Holsteiner Association and we expect a lot from him, it will be exciting during the season,” said triple winner Rolf-Göran Bengtsson.
Victor Bettendorf concluded with a few words about how he experiences his first visit to Gothenburg Horse Show:
“It is mindblowing to ride into Scandinavium, the audience is incredible and they ‘know horses’, they cheer for everyone, so lovely. It is an absolutely exceptional experience. With so many spectators, you need a horse with a lot of confidence and a lot of heart. When I ride in with Mr. Tac and he meets the atmosphere in the arena – I feel how he grows under me.
Final Results – SEK $1,450,000 Gothenburg Trophy CSI 5*-W, presented by Volkswagen
1) Victor Bettendorf (LUX) & Mr. Tac – 0 / 0 – 37.52
2) Marc Dilasser (FRA) & E2K Abricot Ennemmelle – 0 / 0 – 38.30
3) Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) & Zuccero – 0 / 0 – 39.55
Source: Press Release from the Gothenburg Horse Show
Photos: © Gothenburg Horse Show / Filip Jenå