St. Gallen, Switzerland — June 04, 2023 — As the finale of the Longines CSIO St. Gallen 2023, the €152,500 Longines Grand Prix of Switzerland CSIO 5* was carried out. Forty-four pairs had been able to qualify for the Grand Prix on the previous days of the tournament, among them eighteen Swiss. The best eleven pairs from the first round qualified for the second round. Only six of them could finish the first round without penalty points. Pleasing for the local fans: With Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Janika Sprunger (SUI) there were also two Swiss among them.
In addition to the six zero faults, Jur Vrieling also reached the second round. Although he did not have a pole fault in the first round, he had to accept a point for exceeding the time allowed. Furthermore, the four fastest riders with four penalty points also qualified for the second round. Dominik Fuhrer (SUI) and Steve Guerdat (SUI) finished twelfth and thirteenth with one pole down each, narrowly missing out on the top eleven that was eligible for the second round.
Aurelien Leroy (FRA) was the first rider to start the second round with zero points on his account. But right at the first obstacle the pole fell and he finished the round with four penalty points. After that the defending champion entered the arena. Martin Fuchs (SUI) , who won the Longines Grand Prix of Switzerland CSIO 5* last year with Connor Jei, also finished the second round without any penalties this time with Commissar Pezi under saddle. A first mark was set for the four riders still to come without any penalties. The first challenger was Janika Sprunger (SUI). She also finished the second round without penalty points, but in a much slower time than her compatriot.
Great Britain’s Harry Charles (GBR) also showed a flawless round, but did not come close to the best time set by Martin Fuchs. As the second last rider in the jump-off, the current number five in the FEI world ranking entered the arena in St. Gallen Gründenmoos and there it fell, the best time set by Martin Fuchs (SUI). With the eleven-year-old stallion Uricas v.d. Kattevennen, the Dutch rider took the lead and because the last rider in the second round, Denis Lynch (IRL), had to accept four points, it stayed that way. He is only the second Dutchman to win the Swiss Grand Prix. Only Jan Tops could win before him and this was in 1988. Congratulations to Harrie Smolders (NED) for the well-deserved victory in the Longines Grand Prix of Switzerland.
With this, the 2023 Longines CSIO St. Gallen is already history. We are looking forward to next year.
Final Results — €152,500 Longines Grand Prix of Switzerland CSIO 5* — 1.60m
1) Harrie Smolders (NED) & Uricas VD Kattevennen — 0 / 0 — 41.43
2) Martin Fuchs (SUI) & Commissar Pezi — 0 / 0 — 42.40
3) Harry Charles (GBR) & Romeo 88 — 0 / 0 — 45.28
Source: Press Release from Longines CSIO St. Gallen
Photos: © Longines CSIO St. Gallen / Katja Stuppia