Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
The final Massimo Dutti Trophy CSI5* feature class of the day saw World Number 1 Simon Delestre (FRA) showcase his talent with the phenomenal chestnut gelding Chesall Zimequest. Simon took the lion’s share of the $377,000 prize money class after a masterful round.
11 riders went through to the jump-off, with the crowds once more on the edges of their seats as the class unfolded. Cheering at every fence, the passionate audience watched as the world’s best riders took to the arena for the final Longines Global Champions Tour class of the day.
The competition went right down to the wire after Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) and H&M Legend of Love set a blinding pace in the jump off, and crossing the line in a 39.91s. Olivier and Simon were evenly paced, with Olivier ahead for most of round, with Simon winning the jump-off on the final turn and gallop to the last.
Christian Ahlmann and the vocal grey stallion Cornado II came in third, with the crowd cheering in delight as Cornado neighed upon entering the arena. They put in an impressive round, crossing the line in 39.94s, just three tenths of a second behind Olivier.
Danielle Goldstein (ISR) with Caspar 213, Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) with Lintea Tequila and Gerco Schröder (NED) with Glock’s Zaranza made up the final few places, with Gregory Wathelet (BEL) finishing 7th after an unlucky pole with Oh d’Eole. So speedy were Gregory and his 14 year old black mare, they crossed the line in 38.65s, and would have been sure winners of the class.