It was a thrilling Sunday afternoon that the numerous spectators who came to watch the Longines Grand Prix, have lived. Main event of a magical weekend of competition, the best riders of the world have delivered a passionate sporting fight, from which Daniel Deusser and Equita van’t Zorgvliet came out as great winners. The German rider will definitely be the man to beat during the next two legs of the Longines Masters, in Paris and Hong-Kong. Here in Los Angeles, the series has taken an excellent start and was a real success.
All the ingredients were there for an exceptional moment shared between the competitors and the spectators. The initial course proposed by the new course designer of the Longines Masters, Uliano Vezzani, was difficult, surely to the level of what we can expect from an excellent 5* Grand Prix, and committed a lot of small faults among riders. Ten will realize the perfect round, and battle in a thrilling jump-off for which the Italian Maestro has played with back turns and long gallops. As the public followed all of the riders in the jump-off, the atmosphere in the grandstand intensified as the spectators switched from holding their breath, letting out groans of disappointment and cheering excitedly. Nayel Nassar will quickly find himself in the leading’s chair, and have the hope to add his name to the prestigious board of stars of the Longines Masters: “I was kind of expecting it, there were a lot of good riders after me. I’m really happy of my horse, I know him so well at this point, I’ve spent an amazing week with him. It could have been better if it was not for this guy”, he laughed pointing at Daniel Deusser.
Yes, the German rider claimed the victory in this Longines Grand Prix of Los Angeles, even though he was competing indoor for the first time with his 12y-old mare Equita van’t Zorgvliert: “I had to do adjustments really quickly with her as she had never competing indoor before. The first two days were not amazing, she had one down, we took the last fence yesterday, but today she tried really hard. I saw that on the West Coast they were really fast so I knew I had to try everything to beat this young guy, to took all the risks. I was a little bit lucky on the plank, but at the end, she played the game today, and she was amazing!” Would have he taken inspiration from Harrie Smolders’s round, third rider to go on the podium? It’s what the Dutch rider thinks, and joked: “I had a perfect last line. I think Daniel just watched what I did and did it better himself, that’s all!”
The atmosphere was relaxed, riders tease at each other, what a great way to close up this excellent weekend! All agree, the Longines Masters of Los Angeles was indeed a success: “I must say that the organization puts up unbelievable show with very high class. I think the Longines Masters Series are probably the most quality show we have in the world” congratulated Harrie Smolders. A satisfaction also for the director of the event, Matthieu Gheysen, really proud of the passion felt during all four days: “We had a very warm welcome from everybody for the first year and we are extremely delighted to be here in Long Beach. Thank you to the public, to Longines, to our partners, sponsors, and all who has done a tremendous job to make this event a success. We are now heading out toward Paris, where we are prepared for an intense competition. Thank you all for joining us this weekend, and for following our event throughout the world”.
Attention is now focused on the Parisian leg, the Longines Masters of Paris, that will be hold next Dec. 1-4, at the Parc des Expositions de Villepinte-Paris Nord. Daniel Deusser will be expected as a favorite, now that he is the candidate to the new Super Grand Slam Bonus of 2 250 000 euros. A great event to come!
Source and Photo longinesmasters.com