The public is one of the strongest assets of the Longines International Jumping of La Baule. Gathered in the grandstand of the François André stadium, the spectators have been up to their reputation, encouraging each pair, supporting the French riders, greeting every ride and cheering the winners. (Photo © PSV Jean Morel)
These true connoisseurs would have liked to sing the Marseillaise, but they did not hide their pleasure when listening to the Brabançonne that resonated to honour the victory of the Belgian Jérôme Guéry and Grand Cru de Rozenberg.
Before reaching that point, the riders had to qualify for the jump off, after analysing the course designed by Frédéric Cottier. Some were too cautious with the time (83 seconds allowed) and got trapped, especially over the oxer n°6 placed after the water jump, and over the triple combination.
Among the disappointed, the Canadian Eric Lamaze who had a rail down with Chacco Kid, the Olympic champion Steve Guerdat, penalized with 4 faults associated to Bianca, as well as Simon Delestre. The world n°1, and his gorgeous Qlassic Bois Margot completed the course with 5 penalty points. Patrice Delaveau will do his very best to forget his below average performance with Orient Express*HDC (12 points)…
Only 11 riders managed to sign a clear round: Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) with Royce, Kevin Staut (FRA) with Elky van Het Indihof HDC, Bertram Allen (IRL) with Romanov, Pénélope Leprevost (FRA) with Flora de Mariposa, Cédric Angot (FRA) with Saxo de la Cour, Johnny Pals (PB) with Fernando, René Lopez (COL) with Con Dios III, Lucy Davis (USA) with Barron, Gudrun Patteet (BEL) with Sea Coast Pebbles Z, Jérôme Guéry (BEL) with Grand Cru de Rozenberg, and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) with Fibonacci 17.
Pénélope Leprevost put pressure on her opponents when jumping the 8 fences of the jump off in a time of 36’’19 without penalties on Flora de Mariposa. But the option on a victory by the French, vice world champion and world n°5, fell apart after Jérôme Guéry’s ride on his beautiful chesnut horse with an odd-eye. Grand Cru de Rozenberg flew over the poles in a time of 35’’74 that allowed him to clinch victory in the Longines Grand Prix of the city of La Baule 2016, ahead of Pénélope Leprevost and Flora de Mariposa. The 3rd place goes to the German Michaels- Beerbaum and Fibonacci 17.
Source: Véronique GAUTHIER / Jumping La Baule