Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
It was a perfect day in Paris for the home riders as Julien Epaillard (FRA) took a convincing win with Cristallo A Lm in the CSI5* 1.50m Prix Oddo. The French rider thrilled the crowds in the high octane speed class, crossing the line clear in 57.51s, a full three seconds ahead of his nearest rival. It was a sensational French one-two, as home hero, the legendary Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) took a worthy second place, his stunning grey Pegase du Murier responding as the crowds cheered them on. But the pair had to settle for second, with the larger horse unable to match the tight turns that Julien’s Cristallo was able to make.
The 49 strong field took to the sand arena and course designed by Uliano Vezzani as the sun came out across the expansive Bagatelle park in Paris. Horses and riders from around the globe took their turn at the imposing fences, with the world’s best battling it out.
Pedro Veniss (BRA) was the early pace setting with AD Argos, setting the time to beat at 64.42s overall. However he was soon topped by compatriot Marlon Módolo Zanotelli (BRA) and Madame Butterfly, who ultimately finished in 4th and Leopold van Asten (NED) with VDL Groep Miss Untouchable who took 5th place. Pilar Lucrecia Cordon (ESP) and Nuage Bleu took the final podium step, with the pair delivering a beautiful clear round to finish in third overall.
The local crowds could be heard shouting ‘Allez!!’ boosting on their home riders in the fast paced class, and were ecstatic when Julien and Roger-Yves crossed the line with their horses to take the top steps.
Earlier in the day, home show jumper Harold Boisset (FRA) took a stunning opening win with his 9 year old chestnut mare T’Obetty du Domaine during the first CSI5* class of the weekend to the delight of the local crowd. The French rider blew away the competition in the two phase competition, finishing two seconds ahead of second placed man Billy Twomey (IRL) and his stunning 12 year old grey stallion Ardcolum Duke. Crossing the line in 24.69s the pair took top honours in the Prix Renault, effortlessly clearing the 1.45m jumps and notching the pace up a gear in the speed phase of the round.
A total 48 world class international riders took to the arena for the first time during this three day festival of show jumping, with all eyes on the top combinations as they kicked off round 10 on the Championship leg. It was a good day for home riders, as Cedric Angot (FRA) took a strong third with Talent Des Moitiers, and Mathieu Billot (FRA) with Shiva d’Amaury and top French rider and World Number 2 Simon Delestre (FRA) with Hermes Ryan were both placed in the top ten.
It was a good class for many of this weekend’s young stars of show jumping with Philip Houston (GER) and Kannella taking 4th place, Paris Sellon (USA) and Canasta Z in 5th, Alberto Zorzi (ITA) and Florette van het Lambroeck and Alexandra Thornton (GBR) with Charielle rounding out the placings. Other notable combinations were Pénélope Leprevost (FRA) and Vagabond de la Pomme, Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) with Caretina de Joter and Pius Schwizer (SUI) with PSG Future.
The day rounded off with the spectacular “Six Bar” competition with 14 riders taking part in the ‘high jump’ competition. Riders and horses took to the arena for the final time today, to try their best at the huge imposing vertical fence, which went up a notch after each round.
As dusk began to fall, just six were left in round four: Mathieu Billot (FRA) with Saphir Des Chayottes, Julien Epaillard (FRA) with Usual Suspect d’Auge, Pedro Veniss (BRA) with Rissoa d’Ag Bois Margot, Billy Twomey (IRL) with Tin Tin, David Will (GER) with Lacidos, and Laura Renwick (GBR) Heliodor Hybris. With clouds darkening overhead, the light faded too much, with the riders electing to finish round four as equal winners. So the six shared the prize in the end, with the height clocked at 2.05m.