In the Hubside Jumping Grimaud-Gulf of Saint-Tropez’s CSI 4* Grand Prix, America’s Jessica Springsteen won ahead of two riders from Rhône-Alpes, Olivier Perreau and Mégane Moissonnier. The United States were fittingly represented in this Grand Prix’s final line-up; in her first time competing here, the legendary Beezie Madden finished sixth.
In the initial round of this Grand Prix, only seven combinations managed to find the key to the course designed by Spain’s Javier Trenor Paz Marcos Nuñez. The usual stars, including France’s Julien Epaillard and Germany’s Christian Ahlmann, didn’t make it past the first round.
Switzerland’s Edwin Smits on Farezzo was the surprise in this Grand Prix and was first to jump clear and as a result, had the difficult job of going first in the jump-off. However, the Swiss rider proved he was in fine form and was double clear. Jérôme Hurel, one of the three French riders qualified, had one down with Byron du Telman and any chance that he had of winning went out the window.
Jessica Springsteen and RMF Tinkerbell set a very high standard and greatly improved on the Swiss rider’s time, shaving 4 seconds off the time to beat. Austria’s Max Kühner on Eic Coriolis des Isles gave it his all and was also double clear, but was three seconds slower than the incredibly fast Springsteen. Beezie Madden and Garant, who also jumped clear, suffered the same fate as they were five seconds slower.
The riders from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes represented a threat as Loire’s Olivier Perreau, who was second-last to go on GL events Venizia d’Aigully, missed out winning by 24 100ths of a second; Mégane Moissonnier on Cordial also lost any hope of victory as she was almost three seconds slower. Despite this, they finished second and third respectively in Summer Tour’s first 4* Grand Prix.
“I’m delighted!” said Springsteen. “Tinkerbell jumped superbly, in a very regular and constant way. She deserves to win this 4* Grand Prix. I am really pleased how things went here today!
“The first round wasn’t too easy and I realized that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park for my mare. But she is really big-hearted and gave it her all. In the jump-off, I was the third rider to go out of seven, so I had to take all the risks. But she is very fast naturally and very willing, so both of these qualities were a huge advantage. We will see if this result will have an impact on my Olympic selection. I am not going to put myself under pressure.”
Next week the show will play host to a CSI 5*, a CSI 2* and a CSI 1* starting on June 17.
Complete results here.
~ with files from Blizko Communication