Fontainebleau, France – April 23, 2023 – The second Printemps des Sports Equestres ended in a spectacular fashion! The show rounded off in the best possible way for the thousands of spectators who had braved the capricious weather to cheer on the local rider in the competition, Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), who finally came out on top in the €100,000 GL Events Grand Prix CSI 4*.
At the Printemps des Sports Equestres this weekend, you could sense that the Olympics were looming next year. Indeed, the organiser of event, GL events Equestrian Sport, will be in charge of delivering the equestrian events at the Parc du Château de Versailles next year on behalf of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee. Before the main event next year, the riders will once again be meeting in April at the Grand Parquet in Fontainebleau, for the test events of the Games. All the teams involved in the test event will be working on the Olympics a few months later in the gardens of the “Roi Soleil” in Versailles. For the second Printemps des Sports Equestres, the course designer Grégory Bodo (FRA) – who will also be working in Versailles for the Olympics next summer, alongside the Spaniard Santiago Varela Ullastres – gave the riders the opportunity to familiarise themselves with his courses, with their specific characteristics and spirit. There were fifty starters in the first round of this CSI 4* Grand Prix GL events, with obstacles at 1.55m, with fourteen qualifying for the final jump-off, and the sort of grand finale that the French public is dreaming of for next summer!
French Riders in Good Form
Among the fourteen riders that qualified for the jump-off of this Grand Prix GL events, seven couples were French. The odds of a French victory were two to one!
For a long time, however, spectators in Fontainebleau thought that the Swedish rider Wilma Hellström (SWE) would win the day. Riding her quick, fleet-footed, elevenyear-old gelding Quinti von Hof, the rider posted the first double clear round of the jump-off, in a time that seemed unbeatable!
The Colombian René Lopez (COL), on Kheros van’t Hoogeinde, the rider from Northern France, Nicolas Delmotte (FRA), on his faithful Ilex VP, Reynald Angot (FRA) from Normandy on Chrome d’Ivraie, and the Belgian Niels Bruynseels (BEL) on Delux van T&L, were all perfect on the jumps, but slower than the Scandinavian, who was one of the two female riders qualified for the jump-off.
It was only when the local “boy”, Roger-Yves Bost (FRA), Olympic champion with the French team in 2016, entered the arena that Wilma Hellström lost her first place in the class. Riding the stallion Cassius Clay VDV Z (Calvino Z x Wolfgang), “Bosty” did what he often does and got back to winning ways at the top level. The French rider had not won a 4* Grand Prix since the summer of 2019. “It’s good for morale” he said with the legendary warmth and grace for which he is renowned.
Winner’s Circle – Roger Yves Bost (FRA)
“I am so happy to have won this Grand Prix in Fontainebleau in front of such a big audience. It’s a real pleasure, and it’s great for the morale. Even more so, considering things did not go that well for me in this morning’s French Championship. My horse Cassius has been in good form over the last few shows, but I admit that it is not often he goes so fast in a jump-off. He is thirteen years old and getting faster by the day! He really enjoyed the big arena of the Grand Parquet and this is the first event we have won together.”
Final Results – €100,000 GL Events Grand Prix CSI 4*
1) Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) & Cassius Clay VDV Z – 0 / 0 – 35.24
2) Wilma Hellström (SWE) & Quinti von Hof – 0 / 0 – 36.31
3) Reynald Angot (FRA) & Chrome d’Ivraie – 0 / 0 – 36.54
Source: Press Release by Eloïse Lépine for Les Printemps des Sports Equestres
Photos: © PSV Photo / J. Morel
Categories: CSI 4*, English, Jumper News France