There was a line of fellow competitors waiting to congratulate Eric Navet (FRA) following his victory with longtime partner Catypso in the $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup at the Thunderbird Showpark Summer Fort Festival in Langley, BC.

Navet, a three-time Olympian and winner of the 1990 World Equestrian Games (SWE), was out of commission for much of the summer while recovering from surgery to repair two broken metatarsal bones in his foot. While he was out of the saddle, Signe Ostby’s Catypso similarly took time off. The 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding only resumed jumping two weeks ago, but the duo came back firing on all cylinders to earn a popular victory in the $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup Friday evening at tbird.

The fresh pair came home in the jump-off in 38.03 seconds to take the win over Eve Jobs (USA) and Venue d’Fees des Hazalles (38.55 seconds). Shawn Casady (USA) and Highpoint Farm’s Campitello finished third (41.14 seconds) as the only other double-clear performers on the day.

“I’ve been off quite awhile,” Navet said. “This is my first show [back], and in the meantime, Catypso was kept fit, but he didn’t really exercise on fences—he didn’t jump a single fence until two weeks ago. I did not expect him to get back in the game quite so fast and win right away, so I am very, very proud of him.”

Only eight combinations jumped Alan Wade’s (IRL) 1.50m first round track cleanly out of the original 50 to compete. Navet and Catypso returned to jump fourth over the shortened track after Alison Robitaille elected to withdraw from the jump-off with Ace. The pair’s gallop to the final vertical proved to be the key to victory.

“I thought I was a little bit slow in my roll back [to the final line]. I wish I could have done one less stride, so I wasn’t sure I’d be fast enough to win,” Navet detailed. “After the second to last [fence], the oxer, I went full speed to compensate and to save the time that I lost in the rollback. It happened that it was enough to win today!”

Navet will jump Catypso in the week’s feature event on Sunday, the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, presented by Facet Advisors. The first leg of the 2018/2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, the competition will take place at tbird at 2:00 PT.

“I’m very happy to win, especially at such a fantastic venue,” Navet said. “This is my absolute favourite horse show.”

Watch the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver on FEI.TV