Belgian rider Gregory Wathelet dressed in glory by perfectly completing his presentation and carrying the victory in the millionaire class. (Photo © CHIO Aachen / Foto Studio Strauch)
World number 19 Gregory Wathelet of Belgium dressed in glory, winning the CHIO Aachen Grand Prix, the first of the Rolex triple Crown.
The course designed by German Frank Rothenberger for 40 pairs in the dispute of € 1,000,000 Rolex Grand Prix, observed as only 4 of the riders got their classification to the jump-off, where Gregory Wathelet would load the win.
The Belgian rider Gregory Wathelet with the 11-year-old mare Caree (Cornet Obolensky x Liberty Life) owned by Nybor Pferde GmbH & Co.KG & Gregory Wathelet, secured not only 150 World Ranking Points by setting a time of 46.60 seconds with first of three triple clear round, but also with a bag of € 330,000 to occupy the first place.
Always clinging to his strategy, Gregory Wathelet surpassed an inspired Luciana Diniz from Portugal who was very close to snatching him from the first position, after completing her jump-off in 47.40 seconds with the 13-year-old mare Fit For Fun 13 (For Pleasure X Fabriano), taking 130 World Ranking Points and third place was Marc Houtzager of the Netherlands, represented the last triple clear round in 53.66 seconds next to the 10-year-old gelding Sterrehof’s Calimero (Quidam de Revel x Achill / Libero H).
The best representative of the Pan-American Ranking was the world number 17 Laura Kraut of the United States in the fourth place, being the last classified to the jump-off with the 10-year-old mare Zeremonie (Zero x Quick Star), but unfortunately knocked down a pole to complete her course in 4 fouls and 48.01 seconds.
Also featured three-time American Olympic medalist McLain Ward in seventh place with the 11-year-old mare HH Azur (Thunder v. Zuuthoeve x Sir Lui v. Zuuthoeve) in 65.90 seconds plus 4 fouls and eighth place for the four Times Canadian Olympic medalist Eric Lamaze alongside the 14-year-old mare Fine Lady 5 (Forsyth FRH x Drosselklang II) with 4 fouls in 66.97 seconds.
The best Grand Prix’s seed was Kent Farrington of the United States, who did not complete a very effective field with the 15-year-old gelding Voyeur (Tolano van’t Riethof x Goodwill), which would end up placing him in the 14th place with a cumulative of 8 fouls in 63.94 seconds.
For the Latino Ranking only the Brazilian rider Eduardo Menezes participated, being out of the points in the 18th place next to the 12-year-old gelding Quintol (Quintender x Cento), participating in the two rounds and totaling 8 faults in 72.99 seconds.
The next meeting of the Rolex Triple Crown is in Spruce Meadows, where all eyes are on Gregory Wathelet to see if he can emulate the British rider Scott Brash, won the two remaining classes.